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Old 29 Nov 2006
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Hardwire Garmin Etrex vista

Hi,

Calling on those electrical buffs........

I am about to hardwire the Garmin etrex cigarette lighter adaptor directly to my 12v battery. Before doing so, I was wondering if anyone has taken the cigarette lighter adaptor apart and done anything to make the circuit board a bit more robust and less prone to vibration for off road use - does anyone know how I would go about doing this?

I have heard the spring fuse is a weak link, is it possible to replace this with another fuse type?

I have also been told to rub dielectric grease on all the terminals - does this make a difference?

I also intend to wrap the adaptor in electrical tape to try and make it more water resistant - any other suggestions?

Last, and perhaps most importantly, I assume I only need to solder one + cable from the battery to the adapter. As the adapter has two connection points (standard cigarette lighter fitting), I assume I don't actually need to also connect a -, or am I missing something?

cheers
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Old 29 Nov 2006
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"I have heard the spring fuse is a weak link, is it possible to replace this with another fuse type?"

Serious understatement. Mine snapped off at the point where it was welded onto the circuit board and left me havng to buy AA batteries all the way back to UK...and that was only are paved road. Can only imagine how it will rattle into small bits on a dirt road.

Maybe blobs of electric silicone mastic to hold everything in place.
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Old 29 Nov 2006
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depends on what connector you have if you have the old Garmin connector 4 pin in line block or the new 5 pin mini USB for the old connectors there is a potted transformer available around £45 perfect for a bike for the new ones there isn't anything available yet but like you say use a cig adaptor and convert.
you need +ve and -ve top get your GPS to work.
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Old 30 Nov 2006
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I've used 'potting compound' on stuff before to toughen things up.

Sounds like something that lives in a greenhouse but its an epoxy gloop you pour over a circuit board to make it a rock hard waterproof lump. Maplin sell it.
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