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Discussion Starter #1
Santa brought two new GPS units to my house for Christmas, so I was thinking about recycling my old Garmin Nuvi 200 to my 01 Triumph T-bird. Ebay has several handlebar mounts for the Nuvis that look promising, so that part should be relatively easy to remedy. My main concern is rigging up a 12 power supply to the bike for the GPS unit. Are there any special considerations that I need to pay particular attention to? Should I just connect a cigarette lighter receptacle to the battery or fuse box to power the unit or dispense with the plug-end of the power cord and connect the unit directly to the battery/fuse box? For the sake of arguement, I use a full face helmet, so sound quality really isn't a huge concern but being able to see the GPS screen cleary is a necessity. finally, how do you "weather-proof" a GPS unit on a motorcycle short of taking it off when it starts to rain? Any ideas you guys have tried would be greatly appreciated.
 

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The best way to weatherproof a Garmin for your bike is to buy a Zumo, Quest, or Street Pilot 2820. Ram and Pelican make some weatherproof boxes that might work.

Seriously, a motorcycle GPS is exposed to a lot more than weather. There is vibration to consider, even these smooth running triples vibrate considerably more than your car does. Motorcycle Friendly units made by Garmin are bulit to resist that vibration as well as the weather. The Zumo screen is much brighter than the Nuvi's so it is still visible in bright sunlight. Glove friendly controls,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, well the list goes on from there.......

I have mine wired direct to the battery with the inline fuse that came installed in the wire that was included with the GPS.


Good Luck
 

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Like Denny I powered my GPS through a receptacle attached to the battery with an inline fuse. I had a Garmin GPS60Cs and after riding with it through all sorts of weather it finally died. I called up Garmin to inquire about their waterproofness since it is supposed to be and they told me it sure is, throw it into a bucket of water and it will do fine but it is far different being attached to a motorcycle handlebar going 80+ on a highway in the driving rain. I replaced it with a GPS60CSx and use a sandwich bag to cover it when it rains :). If you can't keep it behind a fairing/windshield it will eventually let water in so you either have to go for my elegant solution or a waterproof case like Denny mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Since I'm trying to use what I already have, buying another GPS is really not an option.
I really like the sandwich bag idea for weather-proofing the Garmin. I do have the "roadster" screen mounted on the T-bird and can easily keep a few sandwich bags in my saddlebags. I try not to ride in the rain, but it sometimes happens. The windscreen should keep the driving rain off the GPS and the baggies should take care of the rest.
I also already have a couple of spare cigarette lighter receptacles laying around the shed. One is just the metal receptacle that needs to be wired in and mounted somewhere. The other is already wired and encased in a sturdy plastic covering that just needs to be connected to the battery or fuse box (no inline fuse, but I'm sure I can rig something up if someone can tell me what size fuse to use.)
I don't plan to leave the GPS on the bike 24/7. I'd just like to be able to throw it on when I take off on a road trip and take it off when I stop along the way. Nor do I intend to use the GPS for everyday riding, only for those trips to the unfamiliar...like trying to find my way to the nearest Triumph dealerships (three or four hours away from where I live.)
So, given this information, what are my best options for powering the unit, limiting vibration damage, and keeping the GPS in clear sight?
 

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Hi,

I was loaned a Nuvi 200 for a couple of months, and I was very impressed, especially since they are £89.99 in Halfords now. I didn't think about using it with the T-Bird (as it was not my GPS).

It would be nice to have a purpose built motorcycle GPS, but at 4 times the price, I don't know?

I mostly ride with a tank bag (Bagster) and I am wondering about whether the GPS could be successfully locating it in the map holder/display panel the bag has on top........this should offer some protection from the weather and vibration as well.



Geoff
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The tank bag is a very interesting idea.
I was given the Nuvi 200 as a graduation present in August. So, rather than put it back in the box and probably never use it again, I thought I'd relegate it to the T-bird so I don't ever have to remove the new GPS unit from the car.
I found an interesting article on the web last night on how to hook up a "weatherproof" cigarette lighter receptacle, so I think I may have that problem partly solved. I just have to find a convenient place to mount the receptacle now.
 

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I'd recommend figuring out the current draw from the GPS, and then finding an appropriate ignition switched ground or 12V. This way, the GPS would turn on and off via the key.
 

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Gps

I use my boat/car gps in the tank bag window. No problems.

This gps has it's own battery so I just use that on shorter rides. On longer rides I rigged up a cord that has a battery buddy pigtail on it. There is an inline fuse on the battery side. Just be sure to reverse the polarity.

I am not crazy about cig lighter type sockets, the plugs come loose from these.

A freezer ziplock bag over the whole thing sounds good in the rain, maybe even seal the whole thing up with some tape or a rubber band around the wires and bracket.

A gps on a ride really frees me up to enjoy the ride more. I am never in a hurry on a ride so if I see a good road that is heading the general direction that I am going, i take it and let the gps re-route me. Or i just go get lost and let the gps find my way home.

enjoy!
 

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I'd recommend figuring out the current draw from the GPS, and then finding an appropriate ignition switched ground or 12V. This way, the GPS would turn on and off via the key.
That is a good point. I didn't have to worry about this because I used a regular plastic mount that didn't have any security features so I just took it off the bike and shoved it into a pocket at every stop. You wouldn't want to leave your bike with it on and come later to find out you drained your battery 100%.
 

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It would be nice to have a purpose built motorcycle GPS, but at 4 times the price, I don't know?


Geoff
You can get refurbished Quest units online for less than $200 USD. Can't beat a deal like that! You do have to take a glove off to adjust it most of the time, but you are supposed to pull over to do this anyway, right? ;)

Motorcycle-specific GPS also has more features such as uploadable route plans. Most of the cheap GPS out there today can't do that...
 

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I'd recommend figuring out the current draw from the GPS, and then finding an appropriate ignition switched ground or 12V. This way, the GPS would turn on and off via the key.
I've found that there are several times I want to use the GPS controls while stopped, with the bike turned off. Depending on the GPS, some do not have internal batteries... It can be advantageous to have it wired hot all of the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I made a trip to the local Wal-mart today and purchased the receptacle, wire and connectors I need to rig up a "weatherproof" outlet for the GPS. I also found a "weatherproof" enclosure for the Garmin Nuvis on Ebay that looks promising. Now, I just need a break in the rain to hook everything up. I use an Igo charger with interchangeable power tips for my cell phone and PDA and it looks like I'll soon be adding a power tip for the Garmin to my collection.

Here's the link I found for the receptacle installation. Maybe it'll be helpful to others who are looking to add a power outlet to their bikes:

http://www.pashnit.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2318
 

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Before my trip I had no many chances to use my zumo on the bike and I wanted to be sure that it will not let me down during next three weeks (and never later). I'm not good electrician, but thought it wold be great to get power supply from a trusty place, where voltage is constants, etc. Asked jimmy900 and here is his answer:

" On the GPS, I'd connect the ignition wiring inside the headlight. The Classics have a spare wire coming off the ignition switch. It's yellow and ends at the connector in the headlight so it's very convenient for a handlebar mounted unit. Just be sure to have an inline fuse in the system it can go inside the headlight shell.

Connecting to the battery would work, but then you'd have a wire with full voltage on it all the time. That could let you run down your battery when you garage the bike with the GPS installed."
 

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Look at boating accessories for water RESISTANT plugs.
http://www.slipstreamer.com/Product/Misc/misc.html makes a simple and effective handle bar mount.
Look at the camera supply outfits (try B&H) and see what they have for cameras that is shock resistant and waterproof. You may have issues with glare, etc.
Pelican makes a lot of cases, and diving resources would also be a good place to look.
 
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