Zumo 665 installation Woes!

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by afulldeck, May 29, 2012.

  1. afulldeck

    afulldeck Adventurer

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    Not sure where to start, since after spending nearly 1k on the Zumo 665 and excited to get it. I bought it to be used with my scala rider G9. Bluetooth instructions! Unfortunately out of the box, I was disappointed, no I was extremely disappointed. Its disheartening to feel this way after spending that amount of cash. Worse yet, I haven't even begun to use it.

    Here are the issues I've encountered already:

    1) When I read the specs for 655, I understood I could charge and provide power to the 655 through a USB port. Indeed, even the quick start manual said, you could power the 665 through a USB port. So naturally, I thought I could power it up and plug into a USB power source and begin to use the 655. Nope. It doesn't work that way. I can plug it into a PC for map updates only. Now I suppose that might be okay for some users, but unfortunately my bike has been fitted with all weather UBS ports. Meaning I could provide power to all my electronic devices through USB ports including: my blackberry, my ipod, my old gps. Any other device that could handle USB to USB, USB to mini-USB, or USB to micro-USB. Why not the zumo 665?

    2) The Unit did come with a automotive adapter, great for my car. But I don't have automotive sockets installed on my bike and I avoid them like the plague. They are big and awkward for a motorcycle. That technology is too old. So, does any one know where I can get an "automotive adapter like cable" that has a USB end instead of the huge male end for the 665?

    3) Finally, motorcycle cradle with the main power cable is an issue. Why isn't there an option to unplug the headphone jack, microphone jack, and xm mini-USB from this cable? The last thing I want is dangling unused cables under my frame. Even if I tape them up, the fact that they are there 'dangling' and will never be used is going to just annoy me. Yes, I am a perfectionist.

    If there is a positive answer to number 2, I would use the car cradle on the bike instead of the one provide.

    I'm so disappointed.
    #1
  2. hancockbs

    hancockbs Auburn Alumni

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    How do you propose to mount the car cradle?
    #2
  3. afulldeck

    afulldeck Adventurer

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    I was hoping to do it the same way I mount all electronics, through a ram mount. Is this impossible? The only reason I thought I would use the automotive cradle is, well, I would have too because Garmin does not allow me to power the unit or connect the xm antenna directly.

    What I wanted (or expected) and what I got from all my other past devices electronic devices, was the ability to power the unit directly via cable (no crazy cradle requirements) and to connect the XM directly to the unit. I don't need a cradle to run my Ipod, Ipad, blackberry, G9, G4, radio, and other gps devices, why would I need it here? If the Zumo 655 had that, then there would be no issue.

    I bought the zumo for these features: bluetooth (for the promise of connecting to my G9 and G4 wirelessly), vocal turn instructions, XM radio, MP3 player, the ability to easily switch the unit between my motorcycles. I did not buy the unit for the cradle and crazy power hook-up. Never did I expect strange connections and dangling wires. Never did I expect that I would have to buy cradles for all my bikes. Funny, even the fuse on the power lead is a waste, since I run all electronics through a fuse box already. Hooking directly to the battery is not a good thing in the long run for a motorcycle.
    #3
  4. littlefield

    littlefield Been here awhile

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    This doesn't answer your USB question but I use SAE power connectors available at auto parts stores to connect power to my devices. Much more compact than cigarette lighter plugs. You can remove the cigarette lighter plug from you power cord and graft on an SAE.
    #4
  5. hancockbs

    hancockbs Auburn Alumni

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    I have not seen a Ram mount for the Zumo 660/5 because of the power requirements. I think Garmin went with the power connectors that they did for water resistance. I am not saying that I completely agree with that choice, but it is what it is. I would like to use the FM traffic antenna on my bike, but I can't since it is part of the power cord and there is no way to plug it in. A Ram mount with power outlet might solve this problem for me as well. Currently, I have the Garmin motorcycle mount powered by connecting it to the rear of one of my Powerlet plugs. I am sure you could do the same with your USB outlet.
    #5
  6. afulldeck

    afulldeck Adventurer

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    Sorry I don't follow, what you mean.

    I also have a "quick disconnect" tank bag wired for power. Holds and charges all my other electronic equipment. There is also a nice space for the gps, which the 665 fits nicely but is now not going to be used. Without the ability to not use a cradle, I think garmin has badly missed the mark. And will loose customers. Not gain them. Nothing like shelling out $$$$$ and then being disappointed over silliness.
    #6
  7. hancockbs

    hancockbs Auburn Alumni

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    The motorcycle mount is designed to be permanently connected and left on the bike. I understand that may not be what you want, but it is what it is. I simply hardwired the mount's power from the rear of my powerlet outlet. The mount stays on the bike all the time and I take the GPS out of the mount when I am not using it.
    #7
  8. afulldeck

    afulldeck Adventurer

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    Not thoughtful engineering, if you ask me. For the kind of money being shelled out with these device they can do better, much better.
    #8
  9. TRZ Charlie

    TRZ Charlie That's MR. Asshole

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    Send it back and get something else....just sayin
    #9
  10. FatChance

    FatChance Road Captain

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    +1 :nod

    Doing proactive up-front research before buying a $1K farkle will probably help get something that works the way you want it to...
    #10
  11. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    Strange complaint there... Garmin can't help but gain customers if they stop using the mini USB as a power source. It sucks.
    #11
  12. afulldeck

    afulldeck Adventurer

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    It is hardly a strange complaint. And your mistaken if you think my argument is about mini-UBS. This isn't about whether using mini USB, micro USB or any USB connect sucks or not. Its about two design issues: (1) standardization of power connections and, (2) maximum usage. Standardizing commercial devices to standard power connections improves product usefulness and drives market expansion. Why not fix the design flaw directly and make a connector that works. Or get together with the rest of the industry and drive a connection standard to the device. Don't create another problem with a cradle, because it limits (2) and it limits your market.

    Here is a wonderful tool, which limits its own use to one motorcycle and even on that motorcycle it cannot be moved around. The engineer who designed this, forgot that "using the device" in as many ways as possible is just as important (I would argue more important) as it is from protecting it from the rain (also a good thing). Want to sell more of these devices? Make them easier to use, more necessary to more people, more adaptable, in all ways possible. In short, no usage limitations.
    #12
  13. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    I think a big lesson here is not to rely solely on specifications when buying a complicated high tech piece of gear like this.

    It would have been better to have started a thread here about your intended use and ask for comments about how feasible it is from people who have real-world experience using it in a motorcycle environment.

    There always hitches and gotchas when buying high tech equipment that you just are not going to find out about from the specs. The specs are oriented to the good stuff and marketing features associated with a device.
    #13
  14. smr238

    smr238 Sam

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    It gets better, the xm identifier is located in the antenna not the unit. So even if you buy seperate cradles for all of your applicatons you will still need to move the antenna from one to the other or pay for an xm subscription for each additional antenna.
    #14
  15. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    I standardized my connections long ago, when I only had one mount for my Montana, and now that we have 4 mounts in the house, I still put SAE connectors on the mount cables.

    [​IMG]

    If there is standardization in future, it better not be to any form or USB or I'm gonna give up.
    #15
  16. afulldeck

    afulldeck Adventurer

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    Emmbeedee, I would welcome a SAE or SAE like connection directly to the device.
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  17. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    There's nothing stopping you from putting the SAE connector on the bare wires of the power cable.

    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. RealOldDualSportGuy

    RealOldDualSportGuy You Played it for her, you can play it for me Supporter

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    We upgraded from a 550, with the thoughts of utilizing the Powerlet Handle Bar Power mount (which we used with the 550) and a short Powerlet cable to the Power outlet mounted on the bars.

    Unfortunately as the OP has pointed out, it does not work.

    The Garmin Bundle of Snakes Motorcycle mount is too busy and has way more connections than we want or need.

    And yes the OP is correct in that there is no Quick Disconnect for the 660/665 (like there was/is for the 550).

    Again the OP in our opininon is correct when he says the lack of engineering on the part of Garmin has made this unit less user friendly.

    And as for the "crack" about doing advanced research, how would you suggest that be done? You buy from reputable vendors and expect a quality well designed piece. Especially for something that is specifically esigned for use on a motorcycle.

    Enjoy

    :lol3
    #18
  19. afulldeck

    afulldeck Adventurer

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    The OP says thank you....
    #19
  20. FatChance

    FatChance Road Captain

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    Really? This is a sub-forum about getting informed advice about various GPS units that would work "for me". Besides putting a single post into this sub-forum or others elsewhere and asking existing motorcycle riders who are also device owners about the connections and capabilities or simply their satisfactions and dissatisfactions with the device one is considering before spending $1K on a new GPS one is not familiar with? I think I read several hundred posts about the Montana I ended up buying to replace my 276C and posted several additional requests for information before only spending about $600 total and buying one. It lives up to my informed expectations completely! Other than that, there are only one or two other options that spring to mind... :dunno

    Enjoy!

    :lol3
    #20