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Non-Garmin 12 volt inputs for Nuvi

Anyone built a different 12 volt input device for a Nuvi? I want to use Anderson PowerPoles to connect my Nuvi to a 12 V motorcycle electrical system. Here's what I got from Garmen tech support:
Regular cigarette lighter adaptor:
Input: 10-30v DC 1.3A(MAX)
Output: 4.75-5.25V DC 2A
Fuse spec: 2A/ 250VAC
It looks like there is a resistor in the cigarette lighter plug to reduce voltage, plus a fuse. The fuse is easy. Anyone done this using a resistor inline, and what connectors did you use?
Thanx

Comments

  • kenp 92 Points
    You need a voltage regulator, not a resistor. I'm old enough to think 7805, but I expect there are much better ones available these days.

    You can buy a USB cigarette lighter plug adapter for just a few dollars, and a socket for even less. You might consider getting a pair and plugging them together. Or getting the USB adapter and taking it apart to hard wire the 12 volts in. You'll need the transition to USB anyway.

    The USB cable needs to be wired in a particular way so it powers the Nuvi and doesn't put it into computer mode. I forget what it is, but I remember seeing posts in this forum with the details.

    Ken
  • In my experience there are two types of USB cables. The cable used only for charging does not have the data conductors. That prevents the device from going into mass storage mode. I suppose you could modify the data transfer type cable to disable the data conductors, but it's not something I'd attempt with my fat fingers, and anyway the charging-only cable, which frequently includes a 12V automotive plug, is cheap.
  • privet01 228 Points
    I've read that nuvi's aren't designed to handle the vibration on a motorcycle. But I have no experience. Last motorcycle I had was a dirtbike 40 some years ago.
  • menhir 113 Points
    My Nuvi 550 (I use a RAM mount) doesn't seem to have any problems with the vibrations on my motorcycle. Of course, not all Nuvi's are the same, and some motorcycles vibrate a whole lot more than others.

    But anyhoo...

    The 12V/USB adapter is a good solution. The only problem I've noticed is that the little beasts will sometimes work loose due to, you guessed it, vibrations. But at least you have simple alternative to carrying the OEM Garmin adapter along.

    However, I've always been unsure which output level I should use to power the Garmin.

    For instance, my adapter has 2 USB Ports. According to the specs:
    2.1A output for tablets and high-power devices
    1A output for smartphones and standard USB devices

    I've never been able to get a definitive reply on which port I should plug my GPS into...Only anecdotal stuff:

    According to sales dude at Best Buy, and the specs of the universal GPS chargers they sell, 1A will be fine for the Garmin.

    According to the sales lord at the Verizon Kiosk, 2.1A will be fine for my Android/RazrM.

    Just very opposite of what was stated on the specs. :roll:


    In practice, both devices work in either port so if anyone has more specific information, I like to hear it.

    Regardless of which port I use, the GPS starts up in Mass Storage Mode, as if I connected it to my computer. It eventually slips back into GPS mode, but that takes extra time, time I don't want to spare if I turn the GPS on for some quick guidance.

    Is that a matter of the power level or the type of USB cable?
    If it's the cord, then I guess I need to find a USB cable without the data conductors, right?

    How would I go about identifying one at the store, or modifying a cable I already have?
  • Boyd 1999 Points
    Of course, not all Nuvi's are the same
    That is certainly the case with the 550, which is an unusual Nuvi in that it's waterproof and shockproof like Garmin's handheld models. :)
  • kenp 92 Points
    The 12V/USB adapter is a good solution. The only problem I've noticed is that the little beasts will sometimes work loose due to, you guessed it, vibrations.
    They like to work themselves loose just for the fun of it, even without vibration. :) But that's what zip ties and the like are for.

    As is slicing the thing open and hard wiring.

    Ken
  • SergZak 340 Points
    They like to work themselves loose just for the fun of it, even without vibration. :) But that's what zip ties and the like are for.
    You'll never, ever see a zip tie in my car holding something together...no way. Duct tape, yes... 8)
  • kenp 92 Points
    I don't know about duct tape. The stuff isn't any good for ducts, which makes it ever more questionable for off-label uses. :)

    I've never had a zip tie fail to hold a zip in place.

    Ken
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