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Is a generic vehicle power cable safe for my handheld unit?

I'm not in a country where Garmin products are sold and shipping would take too long and be inconvenient and expensive. I could probably find a generic vehicle power cable that fits my GPSMap 62s though. My question is, is there any risk in using a power cable not specifically designed for a Garmin gps unit, especially if the quality of the cable is questionable?

Comments

  • sussamb 792 Points
    edited August 2015
    Why do you say the quality is questionable? If it is do you really want to risk it?

    If the quality isn't 'questionable' and provided it's designed for Garmin GPS it should be fine.
  • sussamb said:

    Why do you say the quality is questionable? If it is do you really want to risk it?

    I haven't bought one yet. I'm saying if it's generic then I can't be sure of the quality. And the whole point of my question was to understand what risks there are. Why should I assume there is any risk? If it's a poor quality cable then it might just mean that it may stop working after a while. Or it may mean there is a risk of damaging the unit. Alternatively, it could be a high quality cable but not designed specifically for Garmin units and that might carry a risk as well. But it's not like I should just assume there is a risk, which is why I don't understand your reply. There might be very minimal risk.
    sussamb said:

    If the quality isn't 'questionable' and provided it's designed for Garmin GPS it should be fine.

    Obviously!
  • Boyd 1966 Points
    I have used a variety of cables with no problem. But I don't see how anyone can really answer such broad question. If you are concerned, don't do it, that is the only truly "safe" approach. But since you also said it isn't practical to get a real Garmin cable, it doesn't sound like you have much choice...
  • privet01 205 Points
    edited August 2015
    The only real risk is that it won't work as expected. You might plug it in and it just goes into mass storage mode or a charging only mode or something else. The risk of harming the Garmin is very low... IMO of course.
  • Boyd said:

    I have used a variety of cables with no problem. But I don't see how anyone can really answer such broad question. If you are concerned, don't do it, that is the only truly "safe" approach. But since you also said it isn't practical to get a real Garmin cable, it doesn't sound like you have much choice...

    The choice is to use batteries or draw power from the vehicle. To someone who doesn't really have any knowledge of power cable design and who vaguely recalls some advice about the risk of a generic cable for some other electronic device (maybe it was an A/C adapter rather) and who sees the cylinder on the cable and thinks "I wonder if that modulates the power in some way", the question seemed reasonable. I've since found out that those cylinders are just magnets that help reduce interference and from your response am pretty comfortable at this point in just getting a generic cable.

  • Typically USB cables are cables and to the best of my knowledge they all deliver 5 volts on pins 1 & 4 then 2 & 3 are the data. Games are played with various resistors between 3 & 4 to guess if you want to connect to a computer, charge or just run the device, some gps units simply ask.

    Various sources can not deliver.enough current for a boost charge and the charge controller in you gps blames the cable, but mostly it is the source of the power, so it would be unusual to find a cable the causes a issue.

    Kevin Hutch
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