Hardwiring 5v gps

 

I want to hardwire my gps to my vehicle but I don't believe I can cut off the cigarette adapter because it steps the voltage down from 12v to 5v. I don't have much room to work with where I want to tap into the cars power. Has anyone done this without wiring the cigarette adapter in behind the dash?

2 choices

You can do it one of two ways.

1 goto radio shack and buy a 5 volt voltage regulator, an appropriate heat sink, a couple of capacitors and a enclosure for it all.

wire it this way

http://www.tkk.fi/Misc/Electronics/circuits/psu_5v.html

2. Buy one of those 12v to 5 v usb adapters gut it and use the insides to build your own.

http://www.extremepda.com/XPDACLADAPT.html

you can find them cheaper on ebay and local stores.

Paul

--
Paul Team Dougherty

Wow!

I didn't realize they had such a thing as a Universal USB Cigarette Lighter Adapater. Had I known about this before, it would've saved me a lot trouble. I think I'll buy one and reroute my TomTom...thx again!

Some are, some are not

Ducati wrote:

I didn't realize they had such a thing as a Universal USB Cigarette Lighter Adapater.

My iPAQ rx 5915 came with a USB cigarette adapter but it does not work with my Razr. Apparently it is not universal enough.

Cheers

Direct hardwire kit for Garmin.

skisteamboat wrote:
Ducati wrote:

I didn't realize they had such a thing as a Universal USB Cigarette Lighter Adapater.

My iPAQ rx 5915 came with a USB cigarette adapter but it does not work with my Razr. Apparently it is not universal enough.

Cheers

That is because Motorola decided NOT to make their USB connection universal in its wiring. They must have wanted to make the money themselves on the accessory sales. ;-)

Gregj2
Here's a direct wire kit to use. This is designed for direct hardwire and it has lots of extra cable length to allow you hide the wire real nicely. Of course this is power only won't work for those like me who want a MSN Direct service also to the 680 but for a universal USB power source it will do the trick.... even to the iPAQ. ;-)

Just to be safe I would use a spare connection in the fuse block that you could independently put in a low amp fuse because I don't see a fuse on this cable.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Direct-Hardwire-Power-Cable-Nuvi-Garmin-...

--
nüvi 680, nüvi 770, Garmin Mobile XT, etc...

Hardwiring 12V GPS ...

Gregj2 wrote:

I want to hardwire my gps to my vehicle but I don't believe I can cut off the cigarette adapter because it steps the voltage down from 12v to 5v.

I notice your profile says Nüvi 660...in which case, the vehicle power cable might not contain any active components anyway.

I believe this is the Vehicle Power Cable you have - which is the same one that my C510 uses (both are listed on the 'products' tab.) All there is in mine, is a fuse....and quite a few springs :-)

If you fire up the Battery Diagnostics page, you can see the external voltage. On the C510, it's 13~14V, rather than the 5V that my Nüvi 310 shows.

--
------------------------ Phil Hornby, Stockport, England ----------------------               http://GeePeeEx.com - Garmin POI Creation made easy           »      

Power cord internals

I took apart my cigarette adapter and found a circuit board which looked like it could very well step it down to 5v. I then became curious and tested the voltage at each of the terminals of the mount and found that it was 12v to the mount. I'm still not sure what the circuit board in the cigarette adapter is for but im guessing it has something to do with either the FM transmitter or some other kind of accessory. Thanks for the input. Ill let you know what I find out.

hardwiring GPS

Hi. You sound so GPS saavy, I need your help. We wired our new Garmin 255W into the lightings main wires in the headliner (where the AC controls are) on our suburban, and after 2 short drives the GPS completely died....will not turn on and has total dark screen. Was able to turn on breifly hooked up to our PC, but wont function or open screen with PC connect. Screen said partially blocked the last time it was on in the truck. I am charging now on PC and will try to hook up tomorrow to 12 V directly. PS: We didnt cut the original cable we bought the socket and cut the male end and wired the male end wires to the lighting wires. Then, pluggeD in the original male socket to the female socket that we bought. Could we have killed the poor thing??? PLEASE HELP ASAP... my email is oripandous@yahoo.com and my name is Nichole..thanks alot...

Nichole! No!

Don't use 12 volt, the unit isn't made for it, and needs to have the voltage 'stepped down' to 5 volts.

--
nüvi 3790T | nüvi 775T | Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable ~ JFK

Hard wiring a new socket is fine

ORIPANDO wrote:

Hi. ... We didnt cut the original cable we bought the socket and cut the male end and wired the male end wires to the lighting wires. Then, pluggeD in the original male socket to the female socket that we bought. Could we have killed the poor thing???

So you just hard-wired in a new accessory socket and then plug in your un-altered Garmin car charger to that socket? Nothing wrong with that at all. You do need to look closely to see if the charger is actually working, though. If you wired your new socket backwards, you would have blown the internal fuse (or worse) in the car charger.

You need to connect your Nuvi to your PC overnight to be sure that it's fully charged. See if it turns on then. Try the hard reset option if it does not.

Hard Wiring 255W to car

I purchased one of these from EBAY.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230364740...

Amazon also sells them. It has a DC to DC converter to convert the 12 volts to 5 volts @ 1 amp. It would cause my 255W to keep cycling up and down with the computer symbol and the green bar moving across the screen and then say loading maps and then back to the computer. My meter showed 5.07 volts. The vendor was nice enough to send a second one. It did the same thing. Somewhere I saw reference about Garmin's usb cable not being standard. The car cable that came with the GPS never shows the computer. I built my own circuit with a 7805 voltage regulator. It works but it also shows the computer when it is first powered on. Anyone know the wiring of the Garmin cable?
Thanks.

Hard wire nuvi to vehicle

I wired my 680 by using the following parts:

Littelfuse Add-A-Circuit Fuseholder for Mini Fuses
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=071-...

Cigarette Lighter Socket
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=265-...

I inserted the gps ac power into the cig lighter socket and wired it to the add-a-circuit. I inserted the add-a-circuit into the fuse box (using a switchable post). This automates the gps on/off when the vehicle is turned on/off.

Since you are using the oem cig power adapter, this will preserve the step down function from 12v to 5v

--
“It’s their world. We’re just living in it.”

Hard wiring 255W reply from Garmin

GeoC320 wrote:

I purchased one of these from EBAY.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230364740...
Amazon also sells them. It has a DC to DC converter to convert the 12 volts to 5 volts @ 1 amp. It would cause my 255W to keep cycling up and down with the computer symbol and the green bar moving across the screen and then say loading maps and then back to the computer. My meter showed 5.07 volts. The vendor was nice enough to send a second one. It did the same thing. Somewhere I saw reference about Garmin's usb cable not being standard. The car cable that came with the GPS never shows the computer. I built my own circuit with a 7805 voltage regulator. It works but it also shows the computer when it is first powered on. Anyone know the wiring of the Garmin cable?
Thanks.

Here is the reply I received from Garmin Tech Support:
Thank you for contacting Garmin International.
We are happy to help you. I'm sorry, but we do not offer a hard wire kit the Nuvi GPS units. The eBay site you included in your email shows this hard wire kit is provided by a third party vendor, and their listing shows it is compatible with the Nuvi 255W. However, we do not have any information about products of this type that are offered by other vendors and unfortunately cannot support the item or advise you of use or compatibility....... Often, adaptors or power supplies from other manufactures can cause the GPS unit to default to the "mass storage" mode (picture of GPS connected to a computer on the touch screen)...

The USB port on the Nuvi 255W is the same mini USB port as other Nuvi GPS units.... The GPS can be charged from your computer by connecting with a standard mini USB cable. These are available at any retail electronics store or you can also order a mini USB cable cable at the link below;

https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=1345
With Best Regards,
Kent C
Product Support Specialist, 2nd Shift Automotive Team. Garmin International
913-397-8200 800-800-1020 913-440-8280 (fax)
Att: Kent C, Associate #5949 www.garmin.com

Trickier than it looks...

The automotive electrical environment is not a simple, friendly one! At least not if you want equipment to survive long-term. Nasty things can happen, particularly when you start your car, and when you stop it.

I've hard-wired my 680 (along with my ham radio gear and some other equipment). Wiring the 680 was made "easier" by the fact that there's a traffic receiver in the cig plug, so I needed to use that anyway. I've got a cig lighter socket that's hardwired into a switched power source so the Nuvi is running when the engine is.

That power tap has a noise filter and protection diodes to keep out nasties.

When I've done my own power supplies for running 5 volt electronics in an automotive environment, I've invested a few bucks in protective components. There's an SAE standard that deals with what an automotive electrical device should be able to survive. The different vehicle manufacturers each have their own "standards" as to what a device needs to survive.

Google "alternator load dump" for one of the nastier situations a well-designed piece of electronics kit should survive!

--
Nuvi 2460, 680, DATUM Tymserve 2100, Trimble Thunderbolt, Ham radio, Macintosh, Linux, Windows

Garmin 265wt Car Charger voltage

I see a lot of great info in this thread about car chargers, and I believe my question has been answered.
I am looking for a car charger for my Garmin 265wt.

Radio Shack now only sells 'generic' car Chargers, and none actually say 'Garmin 265' on the package.
But the output voltage is 5v on these chargers.

I looked at my 265 and the package paperwork and the the Net, and could not find the OUTPUT voltage required for a car charger for a Garmin 265.

I believe I killed a Garmin 2xx using a 12 volt output charger once.

From the info I see here in this forum, it appears that I need a car charger with an OUTPUT of 5 VOLTS.

Is this correct?

Thanking You,
jerrylite

The easiest solution

Get a 5 volt cigarette lighter charger adapter and add wire to the cigarette lighter contacts of the adapter, then hardwire it. make sure you use electrical tape to insulate your wire. Mine is hidden under the dash.

Heat Shrink

mrbombastic wrote:

Get a 5 volt cigarette lighter charger adapter and add wire to the cigarette lighter contacts of the adapter, then hardwire it. make sure you use electrical tape to insulate your wire. Mine is hidden under the dash.

What Mr. Bombastic said PLUS....stop at a hobby shop and buy a small box of pre-cut heat shrink tubing (usually in the radio control section. Put that over the wires before you join them and then just hold a heat source (bic lighter) under it to shrink it. Makes a neat and tight seal.

shrink tubing

TheProf wrote:

...stop at a hobby shop and buy a small box of pre-cut heat shrink tubing (usually in the radio control section.

Usually can find that stuff at Lowes, HomeDepot and other stores.

easy way, hard way...

The easy way is to get a cig lighter socket from Radio Shack or your local auto store, wire that into your car somewhere convenient, and plug the GPS cig lighter plug into it. Now you'll be running the GPS off the source that was designed for it.

If you're insistent on rolling your own, and bolting an LM7805 to a metal bracket under your dash, many manufacturers put resistors (singly and as voltage dividers) on to the USB data pins to throw the device into one mode or the other. Apple does this with iPhones and iPods as an example, to detect "authorized" chargers and the like.

I'd highly suspect Garmin has done something similar. Get out that ohmmeter and start checking those USB lines! (Have we had a post on this some time in the past? We may have.)

--
Nuvi 2460, 680, DATUM Tymserve 2100, Trimble Thunderbolt, Ham radio, Macintosh, Linux, Windows

easy to do

Your profile indicates that you have 3 different GPSs, The Garmin 660 should use 5v, I'm not certain about the others. I'm not sure what you are really trying to do. Wiring in a 5 volt regulator is easy enough, although you'll have to have it terminate on a mini USB connector to mate with the Garmin. I would suggest cutting it in to some electronics at the fuse box that is switched off with the ignition, so that you do power the regulator constantly and find that it has discharged your battery at the wrong time, such as picking your can up at the airport after parking it for a week or so. The radio fuse is usually a good choice for this. This should also give you automatic power off when the ignition is off and power up when the ignition is turned on.

Unless you are extremely good about permanently mounting the GPS, I urge you to no leave to device in the car unattended. And to not act surprised when it is taken.

You can just buy a regulator chip and hack this together yourself, but since you asked the original question I'm guessing you are not completely comfortable with that. Many inexpensive cell phone chargers will work and have the right connector (you can even sometimes get one along with a pre-paid cell phone for less than ten bucks, so don't pay more than that just for the charger).

hardwired

This maybe a little off topic since it is about the advantage of having it hardwired and not how to do it; anyhow I wanted to share why I did it.

Nowadays I keep mine inside the center console of my Nissan Altima, I routed the power cable from inside the dashboard into the back of the center storage so every time I turn on the car the Nuvi turns on and even with the lid closed on the compartment I get alerted when approaching a RLC, it is a very inconspicuous location for a GPSr and so far had no problems, when using the Nuvi for navigating all I have to do is open the storage lid and don’t have to fuss with mounts or circle marks on the windshield.

--
Garmin 38 - Magellan Gold - Garmin Yellow eTrex - Nuvi 260 - Nuvi 2460LMT - Google Nexus 7 - Toyota Entune NAV

I wonder if above linked

I wonder if above linked Vehicle Power Cable is applicable to motorcycle. After some searching, I realized that the type of cigar socket might be different between cars and motorcycles. Has anyone know which one work for motorcycles?

No problem.

tttincognito wrote:

I realized that the type of cigar socket might be different between cars and motorcycles.
Has anyone know which one work for motorcycles?

No there is no difference.....except most bike sockets will NOT accept a real cigarette lighter and probably are fused for a lower max. current.

12 Volts is 12 Volts.

--
Magellan Maestro 4250// MIO C310X

Update on 255W car chargers

I bought this:
http://cgi.ebay.com/12v-DC-USB-Car-Charger-Adapter-Garmin-Nu...

It works great. Garmin powers right up, no recycling, no thinking it's connected to a pc.
So the 255W IS picky on using generic chargers.

USB Adapter From Goodwill

I picked up a cell phone USB-Cigarette Adapter from the Goodwill store -- it cost me 50 cents. I opened the cigarette adapter end and took out the positive plug that sticks out of it and hardwired the positive and negative connections to a truck's circuit that is only one when the ignition is on. Then I connected the other end to the dash mount for the Garmin. It has been in use for 3 different Garmin's, and never had a problem. The whole thing cost me 50 cents, a piece of scrap wire about 2 foot long, and time to solder them

One of these days I'm going to move that wire to a connection that is also on with the accessory position.... smile

--
Garmin Nuvi 1690

I'll bet you

It's not for a 255W. I have three mini USB cell phone charges and they all caused my 255W to cycle power.

oops during my hardwire

I may have screwed up my gps. Accidently put 12v to my 5v nextar. Anyone know of a fix other than buying a new gps?