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  #1  
Old 22 Jan 2008
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Hard wiring a GPS Vista

I've googled it, I've searched here but no where can has the answer for me.

I have a Garmin Vista Hcx which i'm going to be using for my trip, I was going to use a car charger and then fit a car charger socket to the bike to run it from.

But I've been thinking I'd rather take out the 'plug and socket' element to it (moisture concerns, bulky etc) and wire it straight to the battery with a switch on it, (keeping the USB connector obviously) is this possible, i've seen threads about 'Quest' gps's where people say they just removed the cigerette plug and wired straight into the bike.. can this be done with all of them or just 'quest' .... Help!
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Old 22 Jan 2008
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Can't say for others but for my Quest I just wired the black negative to an earth point (bolt fixing) and the positive red to a live wire like my rear light. Worked fine for me, the GPS then only gets power when the ignition is on.
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Old 22 Jan 2008
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So did you cut the car cigarette lighter off and use the wiring from that, or does it come with loose wires? I'm concerned by wiring straight to the bike because of voltages etc..
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Old 22 Jan 2008
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Thats pretty much what I did. Lasted fine from Argentina up to Alaska so I guess it worked!
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  #5  
Old 22 Jan 2008
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The older Etrek Vista models are 3v and therefore cannot be hardwired to a 12V battery without retaining the cigarette lighter adaptor. I have not seen the new Hcx model but also assume it is 3V.

I previously wired my Etrek vista to a 12V motorcycle battery (retaining the cigarette lighter adapter). I found the adaptor to be very unreliable offroad. The unit would constantly turn off and the fuse blew very quickly.

I suggest if you are looking for an offroad unit to be hardwired, try for a different GPS, such as a 60Csx or similar, which doesn't need the adapter. If it is just for onroad usage, you may be able to brace the cigarette adapter sufficently so it works ok.

There are a few posts on this topic in Adventure Rider if you want more info.

cheers
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Old 22 Jan 2008
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Don't wire the Hcx GPS straight into the battery they need a convertor in the line as the have a input into the Mini USB port on the GPS of i think 3.3v you could take the Cigarete plug apart pot the convertor in suitable material then hard wire in.
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Old 22 Jan 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian E View Post
Don't wire the Hcx GPS straight into the battery they need a convertor in the line as the have a input into the Mini USB port on the GPS of i think 3.3v you could take the Cigarete plug apart pot the convertor in suitable material then hard wire in.
Oh, it sounds like you know what you are talking about.... hmmm... do you know what the converter in the adaptor looks like? will it be obvious?
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Old 23 Jan 2008
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Cyco Activ also have a guide to hard wiring your GPS to the battery. This link may be of use.

GPS Power and Interface by CycoActive

I think Touratech may do a converter which does not require the cigarette lighter housing but still retains the converter. I will say from personal experience that the original garmin adaptor (unmodified) really is a piece of junk if you want to go offroad.

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Old 23 Jan 2008
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It's pretty obvois when you look inside it's all the electronic components inside the plug.

Don't use the TouraTech GPS power lead for the Hcx unit it is not the right voltage there unit is designed for the older eTrex plug and supplies 5.5v
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Old 23 Jan 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian E View Post
It's pretty obvois when you look inside it's all the electronic components inside the plug.

Don't use the TouraTech GPS power lead for the Hcx unit it is not the right voltage there unit is designed for the older eTrex plug and supplies 5.5v
I've ordered one off of the t'interweb when it arrives i shall carefully open it, when it comes to wiring it onto the bike are there good/bad places to wire too?
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Old 24 Jan 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetusUK View Post
I've ordered one off of the t'interweb when it arrives i shall carefully open it, when it comes to wiring it onto the bike are there good/bad places to wire too?
Personnaly i would get power straight from the battery with the appropriate fuse of course this means your GPS will not try and switch off everytime you switch the ignition off.
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Old 25 Jan 2008
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Right all the bits have arrived to hard wire this me thinks..
I have opened up the plug and can see the converter, the plan is to solder the wire which had the spring on to the red wire, the clip one to the black wire and then rubber wrap the whole lot, i'm then going to put in a foam block for vibration protection, and then fit the whole thing to the bike... does that seem right?
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Old 25 Jan 2008
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Sounds about right. have you finished yet.

i would as you say extend the cables put the convertor back into the plug casing which you have already shortened so there is just the handle bit left then i would use a runny glue and pour into the container therefore sealing the board against any ingress of water then when set install onto bike.
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Old 25 Jan 2008
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The black should go to an earth point like a fixing on the frame. I connected my red to the rear brake light wire (was running along by the frame under the seat) and used a Scotch clip (makes it easy to connect one wire to an existing (live) wire without cutting it in half). You can then leave the GPS on the bike overnight in your garage etc if you want rather than taking it off all the time as it powers down when you turn the ignition off. Just cable tie all the wires out of sight and it it looks pretty neat. You should only see a bit of cable from the underside of the GPS bracket as it goes under the tank.

I used the TT locking GPS bracket and wire (non audio version), the only trouble I had on the trip was after about 12k miles when the connection at the end of the wire on the bracket failing due to dirt and stupidly I'd been using WD40 on it which just attracts dirt, better to use a connector cleaner from a computer shop. I think the TT cable has some inline fuse in it anyway but using the brake light live wire is pretty low voltage anyway. At least thats how the BMW shop guy told me how to do it and it worked fine for me.

Good luck with it.
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Old 27 Jan 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian E View Post
Sounds about right. have you finished yet.

i would as you say extend the cables put the convertor back into the plug casing which you have already shortened so there is just the handle bit left then i would use a runny glue and pour into the container therefore sealing the board against any ingress of water then when set install onto bike.
Finished it.. I used block connectors on the wiring to connect it together, theory being that its easy to fix repeatedly than crimping and uncrimiping bullet connectors... or resoldering, i then put the converter in that rubber electrical tubing which you heat seal up.. the plan is to drill a hole in the tenere dash for the mini usb cable, mount the converter behind the dash, and run the wires back into the bike to the location suggested, i'm then going to put a dab of silicone at the drill hole sealing it, and then i just need to build my mounting bracket for the gps (handlebar mount just doesnt look tough enough, and im not paying touratech prices) which i think is going to be an 'basket' with some sort of elasticated fixing piece..
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