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Old 06-12-2007, 08:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Garmin Quest Hardwiring (electrical question)

So I just picked up a Garmin Quest and the handlebar mount (fits like a charm, btw).

The battery really only lasts 2 hours with the back light on, and I'm thinking hardwiring it to the bike is a good idea. I think that I would run the wire directly from the battery, as I'd really rather not cut into the wiring harness.

Garmin sells a hardwire kit, for $75, but I think I could probably visit the radio shack and get the parts for less than $25.

I checked the home charger and it says 5V 1.0A output, so I'm thinking I need to convert the power to down to 5 volts and 1 amp. So I reach out to you electrically inclined DMLrs, what do I need? An inline resistor and inline fuse? What size resistor? Any other recommendations you could offer?

I'd ask the folks at the local radio shack to answer these questions, but they seem to be more concerned with selling cell phone and satellite contracts than electrical parts.
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Old 06-13-2007, 02:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Garmin Quest Hardwiring (electrical question)

Hi,

Depending on how picky the Garmin is about it's input voltage, this could be a little trickier than you think.

The biggest problem with just using a resistor and a fuse, is that the resistor will just drop the voltage proportionally to the battery voltage, so when the battery is at a lower voltage the GPS will get a lower voltage and vice versa.

Also, as there is a relationship between voltage, resistance and current, (V=IR) you will need to know the GPS's actual current draw to calculate the resistor size for this particular application (this may vary with such things as back light etc.)

A far better solution is to build a little DC-DC voltage regulator, there are heaps of schematics on the net, but this may be beyond your willingness to experiment.

Or find a cheap car charger for a cell phone or something that puts out 5V and cannibalize that.

Or, and this would be my option, pony up the 75 bucks for the kit and have it done tommorrow.

Sorry, long post, kept thinking of different ways to skin this cat.
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Old 06-13-2007, 09:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Garmin Quest Hardwiring (electrical question)

A better option might be to find a used car kit on eBay, cut off the cigarette lighter end and wire that to the battery. Even if you have a regular lighter socket on your bike you may not want the big adapter with speaker built in they use. I'm not sure if it's fused on that end, but you'll want to keep that in-line with your wiring job if it is. While you're at it, you can add an 1/8" audio jack so you can hear the voice prompting if you like.

I keep thinking I'll do this job, but the battery on mine lasts about 6 hours w/o the backlight and I generally don't need it on.
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Old 06-13-2007, 09:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Garmin Quest Hardwiring (electrical question)

Thanks for the input guys! The more I'm looking into it, the more I'm thinking about ponying up the $75.

DD - If I decide not to get the dedicated kit, your option is definitely the way to go. One question, when I cut off the cigarette light plug, won't I be cutting off all the goodies that do the conversion?

Again thanks for the input guys.
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Old 06-13-2007, 10:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Garmin Quest Hardwiring (electrical question)

I have a Garmin ZUMO motorcycle GPS. It came with everything needed to install in a car and a motorcycle. I have mine hardwired to the battery on my S2R 1000. Very easy, lift the tank and hook it up. The motorcycle mount has a special pigtail that plugs into the mount. I doubt you'll find it at Radioshack. The car mount is simply plugged into a cig lighter type power source.
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Old 06-13-2007, 10:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Garmin Quest Hardwiring (electrical question)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcal

DD - If I decide not to get the dedicated kit, your option is definitely the way to go. One question, when I cut off the cigarette light plug, won't I be cutting off all the goodies that do the conversion?
What conversion are you referring to?

Also, I forgot to mention that you'll likely want to pull the connector on the car suction cup mount and connect it to the bicycle mount you described. It's held in with a hex screw.
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Old 06-13-2007, 11:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Garmin Quest Hardwiring (electrical question)

Quote:
Originally Posted by DesmosDromos
What conversion are you referring to?

Also, I forgot to mention that you'll likely want to pull the connector on the car suction cup mount and connect it to the bicycle mount you described. It's held in with a hex screw.
The conversion from 12V to 5V.

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Old 06-13-2007, 12:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Garmin Quest Hardwiring (electrical question)

dude...

http://electronics.pricegrabber.com/...ies/m/8830163/

$45 [thumbsup]

I just got my quest. Taking a trip to ME from NJ in the cage w/ the wife this weekend. Bit that adapter will come in handy.
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Old 06-14-2007, 03:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Garmin Quest Hardwiring (electrical question)

Late answer to a post, but like the others said, you can't just use a resistor or 2 and create a voltage divide, cause with the bike running, the system is at about 14V, and fluctuates +/- a couple volts.

What you need, and it would be relatively easy, is a 3 terminal voltage regulator. Something like a LM340T5 would work.

datasheet link

They take any voltage (up to say 35VDC) and regulate it to 5V (or 12V or 15V depending on model) and they output up to 1A max.

_____
| |----- output (5VDC)
| |----- ground
|____|----- input (14VDC)


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Old 06-14-2007, 09:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Garmin Quest Hardwiring (electrical question)

I don't know if this helps as my gps is different. I have a Garmin Legend. I use is for snowmobiling, deep woods canoe camping, and mounted to my bike. It has one of those mini usb ports on it. I just took out a 12 volt accessory from a junk yard, and bought an ipod type usb 12 volt charger (all usb power runs @5 volts) for like 7 or 8 bucks. Then I used a usb to mini cable and voila, power to my gps for cheap. It is all hidden now looks good. [thumbsup]
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