Nuvi modifications to make it a bike GPS - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 36 Old 03-15-2019, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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Nuvi modifications to make it a bike GPS

I started this in the event section just to see if anyone would be interested in such a thing. The more I read the more I decided this was the route, pun intended, for me. I don't ride my bike that much now but am starting to ride it a little more. A modern GPS is necessary but I also want it to be reliable. Sure I could buy a Zumo but I would have to buy an older unit to stay within my budget. The goal is to make it both water and vibration resistant. So let the project begin

The first thing I did was compare Nuvi models for this project. I created a spreadsheet of discontinued models and came up with a list of models that have the following abilities

Lifetime Maps (why pay for maps when I can get them free). While the terms say this doesn't transfer I have found it usually does. But to make sure I had them load the newest maps
Bluetooth
multi-point routing
lane assistance
voice commands

I also looked for traffic but after doing research on how Garmin traffic works it's not an issue for what I am doing, and it saves me a lot of money not having it. Works like crap on my other Garmin anyway

So my decision was a Nuvi 2495LMT. Its a 4.7 inch screen that can be turned in either a horizontal or vertical direction. I got it with no accessories for $18 and that included shipping.
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Formerly clovett but changed to my gaming name

2004 DL650 1998 DR650 1994 CB1000 1992 DR350
2004 Z400 1965 Norton 650 1984 Honda XL200
1975 Suzuki RM125 1972 Yamaha 100 enduro
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post #2 of 36 Old 03-15-2019, 05:26 PM
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Where did you find one for $18? They are still A$249 from Garmin Down Under

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post #3 of 36 Old 03-15-2019, 05:45 PM
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I've been chugging along with a Nuvi 2455 for years. I have two of them, in case one goes bad, but so far that hasn't happened. I'm going to have to upgrade at some point, though, as these older Garmins are getting more scarce, even on eBay.

Does the 2495 have Trip Planner? That's one of the Garmin features I find most useful; the ability to upload a GPX file created on a program like Tyre, Furkot or MyRoute and get turn by turn directions from it.

My solutions to waterproofing (well, water resistance, anyway) were pretty simple. I masked off the screen with Post-It notes, and then used clear silicone sealant between the edge of the screen and the housing. Between that, the sun shield I made, and the GPS' position behind the windscreen, I've never had any issues with being out in the rain. It's been through some real downpours, with no ill effects.

I think the vibration issues mostly stem from the less than secure connection between the USB port and the USB power cable. There are some pretty fragile wires in there that don't stand up well to the plug constantly vibrating around in what's usually a pretty loose connection. My solution was a homemade bracket on the RAM cradle that holds the plug securely in the USB port, so it can't move at all. The hookup looks like this:





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post #4 of 36 Old 03-15-2019, 05:56 PM
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I like the idea that RC showed to secure his USB power cable. I tried using a nuvi 765 on my bike. I built a hefty holder to keep it from vibrating. That worked, but the USB connection on it went kaput from vibration or wind or both. I'm still using my Zumo 550 with lifetime maps but thought the 765 would be a nice backup unit since it too has lifetime maps. Oh well. An $18 2495 sounds nice!!
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post #5 of 36 Old 03-15-2019, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p38arover View Post
Where did you find one for $18? They are still A$249 from Garmin Down Under
Fleabay of course! This guy sells a lot of older GPS units and has more of these for $18 but shipping to Australia is probably a little more than here. I doubt you can get one shipped there for that price. But you are free to look his seller ID is realdeal_4_u

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Originally Posted by RCinNC View Post
I've been chugging along with a Nuvi 2455 for years. I have two of them, in case one goes bad, but so far that hasn't happened. I'm going to have to upgrade at some point, though, as these older Garmins are getting more scarce, even on eBay.

Does the 2495 have Trip Planner? That's one of the Garmin features I find most useful; the ability to upload a GPX file created on a program like Tyre, Furkot or MyRoute and get turn by turn directions from it.

My solutions to waterproofing (well, water resistance, anyway) were pretty simple. I masked off the screen with Post-It notes, and then used clear silicone sealant between the edge of the screen and the housing. Between that, the sun shield I made, and the GPS' position behind the windscreen, I've never had any issues with being out in the rain. It's been through some real downpours, with no ill effects.

I think the vibration issues mostly stem from the less than secure connection between the USB port and the USB power cable. There are some pretty fragile wires in there that don't stand up well to the plug constantly vibrating around in what's usually a pretty loose connection. My solution was a homemade bracket on the RAM cradle that holds the plug securely in the USB port, so it can't move at all. The hookup looks like this:
I completely agree. I plan on doing something similar but not exactly what you are doing. I also believe, as do you, that one of the main issues is that USB connector and yes the 2495LMT can store up to 100 routes. I have a NUVI 1390 but it won't store routes and besides I will just leave this one on the bike. I have the mount from my quest that has a 12v to 5v converter that is made to mount just behind the ram cradle. My plan is to cut a mini USB cable and take the power pins from the supply routing them to the mini usb end and put an XT60 connector in so I can disconnect it if I wish. As for the USB connector as it goes into the unit I plan on cleaning the pins with deoxit and just barely inserting the connector then surround it with clear silicone. As I push the connector in it will form around it and create a seal that not only keeps water out but will provide an excellent anti-vibration effect.

As for the silicone around the edges of the screen I thought about the same thing but was thinking blue painters tape for a nice crisp edge.

The speakers I am not sure if I want to silicone them or not. I am thinking waterproof gorilla tape over that and maybe around the outer edge of the case. It may not survive holding it underwater for a long period but rain won't be getting in.

Thinking about replacing the battery too and coating all internal connectors with deoxit then either silicone or hot glue each one.

So total in this project will be (if I can use the 12v to 5v from the quest) and note that live traffic will not work using this method as there is no receiver which is in the garmin power cord.
GPS $18
Ram Cradle $12
Battery $11

Total $41

Full specs on the 2495LMT

https://www.gpscity.com/garmin-nuvi-...specifications

Formerly clovett but changed to my gaming name

2004 DL650 1998 DR650 1994 CB1000 1992 DR350
2004 Z400 1965 Norton 650 1984 Honda XL200
1975 Suzuki RM125 1972 Yamaha 100 enduro
1971 Honda CT90 1968 Honda Z50A

Last edited by Dread7; 03-15-2019 at 06:34 PM.
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post #6 of 36 Old 03-15-2019, 06:56 PM
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I did something similar. In the end the unit died in a prolonged rainstorm by water splashing back (against direction of travel) onto the screen and running down into the groove of the ram mount. It was sitting in there and eventually seeped through the seal I had on my unit and shorted out the screen and god knows what else. So if you do your conversion make sure that the unit can not sit in a puddle held in the groove of the ram mount holder.
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post #7 of 36 Old 03-15-2019, 07:11 PM
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I didn't try to cover the speaker holes on the GPS body because I was kind of concerned about heat build up. Those holes also vent the heat from inside the unit; I don't know how hot it gets inside the GPS, but like with most electronic devices, heat isn't their friend. So far, I've never had a problem with water getting into the unit under rainy conditions.

I did something similar with my power cable. I didn't want to use a data/power cable, since the data portion of the cable makes the unit reboot every time you cycle the power on and off. If I'm following a route in Trip Planner, the GPS reboots and I have to restart the route and figure out which waypoint I stopped at so I can restart the route from there. I got a male USB to male Mini USB cable, cut the cable and shorted out the two data wires, and the reconnected the two power wires. Now, when I shut off the power, the GPS just defaults to battery mode and maintains my position.

Plugging and unplugging a USB connector can also shorten its lifespan. My power cable stays plugged into the GPS almost all the time; when I remove the GPS from the bike, I take off the whole unit, RAM cradle and all. The only time I unplug the USB cable from the unit is when I have to program it, since I have to use a regular data cable for that.

I have a 12V-5V buck converter mounted on the left inside of my fairing, which provides power to two USB outlets mounted over the instrument cluster.

I wanted my power outlets to be up there by the GPS so I didn't have wires running all over the place. There are two Motopower USB outlets with waterproof covers mounted to an accessory shelf I built out of sheet metal scrap from a 20mm ammo can. The shelf bolts onto two unused holes on my windshield mount. It looks like this:





To keep the USB cable firmly connected in the outlet on the shelf, I built a little L-shaped bracket that I glued and zip tied to the USB connecter. The bracket has a hole in it that a screw can pass through. There's a matching L-shaped bracket on the top of each USB outlet, with a threaded hole. When I plug in the USB cable to the port, I screw the two brackets together with a long screw. It anchors the plug firmly in the outlet; it doesn't vibrate, and it doesn't come loose. The attachment system looks like this:



All the cabling stays up there near the windshield, and out of the way.
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post #8 of 36 Old 03-15-2019, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blaustrom View Post
I did something similar. In the end the unit died in a prolonged rainstorm by water splashing back (against direction of travel) onto the screen and running down into the groove of the ram mount. It was sitting in there and eventually seeped through the seal I had on my unit and shorted out the screen and god knows what else. So if you do your conversion make sure that the unit can not sit in a puddle held in the groove of the ram mount holder.
That's an excellent point. I believe putting silicone in the crack around the unit where the shells come together then putting a strip of black gorilla tape on top of that should do the trick. I will have the strip meet at the top of the unit so the tape is a solid piece along the sides and bottom.

Formerly clovett but changed to my gaming name

2004 DL650 1998 DR650 1994 CB1000 1992 DR350
2004 Z400 1965 Norton 650 1984 Honda XL200
1975 Suzuki RM125 1972 Yamaha 100 enduro
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post #9 of 36 Old 03-15-2019, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCinNC View Post
I didn't try to cover the speaker holes on the GPS body because I was kind of concerned about heat build up. Those holes also vent the heat from inside the unit; I don't know how hot it gets inside the GPS, but like with most electronic devices, heat isn't their friend. So far, I've never had a problem with water getting into the unit under rainy conditions.

I did something similar with my power cable. I didn't want to use a data/power cable, since the data portion of the cable makes the unit reboot every time you cycle the power on and off. If I'm following a route in Trip Planner, the GPS reboots and I have to restart the route and figure out which waypoint I stopped at so I can restart the route from there. I got a male USB to male Mini USB cable, cut the cable and shorted out the two data wires, and the reconnected the two power wires. Now, when I shut off the power, the GPS just defaults to battery mode and maintains my position.

Plugging and unplugging a USB connector can also shorten its lifespan. My power cable stays plugged into the GPS almost all the time; when I remove the GPS from the bike, I take off the whole unit, RAM cradle and all. The only time I unplug the USB cable from the unit is when I have to program it, since I have to use a regular data cable for that.
As for heat build up I am not overly concerned about it and since the speaker has a membrane I am not sure heat can escape there. The GPS is designed to work in conditions up to 140 degrees and the electronics on both sides of the MB are shrouded with aluminum with, from what I can see, no way to vent heat from under it. I doubt the screen attach to the MB any different in the Zumo units so the only real difference is the ability to get your power through a cradle and not the USB port. You can see the capacitors and connectors on the logic board but note the active electronics are all under a metallic shield. There is one on the other side also with nothing else except the other side of the USB port. When I receive mine and take it apart I will examine it all closer


Formerly clovett but changed to my gaming name

2004 DL650 1998 DR650 1994 CB1000 1992 DR350
2004 Z400 1965 Norton 650 1984 Honda XL200
1975 Suzuki RM125 1972 Yamaha 100 enduro
1971 Honda CT90 1968 Honda Z50A
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post #10 of 36 Old 03-15-2019, 11:02 PM
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I used my GPS in landscape format. The first picture shows the shallow trough that caused the death of the GPS, the gps is installed, it was a real thin one, just like a mobile phone. The water probably came in through the rear cover. They were taped up but not filled with silicone.
The second picture shows the "solution" after the fact. It never came to use since I was going on a +7k mile trip and just could not get another unit ready and risk being stranded half way through, so I bit the bullet and got a refurbed Zumo and have not looked back. But they are pricy!
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