GPS wiring question - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 9 Old 05-02-2011, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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GPS wiring question

I have A Nuvi 550 with the bare-wire hookup. I'd rather not put it on a switched circuit. I'd like to go directly to the battery, but I'm not sure if the voltage-reduction module in that wire will be a permanent power draw. Garmin support tells me they think it will stop drawing once the Nuvi battery is fully charged, but they weren't sure. They said if I unhooked the cable from the Nuvi that would stop any draw as well. I'd rather not have to bother with that. Does anyone know if this thing will be a permanent power drain?
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post #2 of 9 Old 05-02-2011, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Morrie View Post
I have A Nuvi 550 with the bare-wire hookup. I'd rather not put it on a switched circuit. I'd like to go directly to the battery, but I'm not sure if the voltage-reduction module in that wire will be a permanent power draw. Garmin support tells me they think it will stop drawing once the Nuvi battery is fully charged, but they weren't sure. They said if I unhooked the cable from the Nuvi that would stop any draw as well. I'd rather not have to bother with that. Does anyone know if this thing will be a permanent power drain?
If it has a rechargeable battery, it will deplete itself on standby to some extent, so yeah, you are probably adding another constant battery drain. Whether its significant enough to be a problem depends on a lot of things. You could leave an ammeter in series with it for a few days while parked to be sure -- if it's less than your clock is already drawing, then maybe it's no big deal.

Maybe you already know this and have reasons for not doing it, but this is what relay-switched accessory fuse boxes are for - you can wire it directly to the battery (through said relay) and have that automatically cut when the engine is off.

Last edited by dtalk; 05-02-2011 at 04:20 PM.
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post #3 of 9 Old 05-02-2011, 05:15 PM
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Even without the GPS plugged in, the LED on the voltage reducer is still drawing some power (1 watt?). I just installed the same thing connected to my PC8, unswitched. I will probably change it to a straight USB charger, then it would only draw when the GPS was attached. BurnsMoto - Motorcycle USB Weatherproof Power Socket - USB Charger

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post #4 of 9 Old 05-02-2011, 08:05 PM
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Yak,
Remember that if you have a Garmin Nuvi, a regular mini-usb cable will put your unit into the data mode. I don't remember all of the details, but Garmin has a small resistor across two of the pins to run it in power mode. Powerlet makes an adapter (I use one on my mini-usb cable that I have wired to the front accessory plug from Eastern Beaver). I assume that the Garmin wiring harness is wired appropriately.

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post #5 of 9 Old 05-02-2011, 08:34 PM
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THANK YOU for posting this! I have the same setup with the 550 Nuvi and I have been meaning to test the current draw on the down converter with no load and with load. Here is what I found.

Nuvi 550 connected .2 amps with the device turned on or off.
Nuvi disconnected the meter could not detect any current. (Down converter light is on)

I am sure there has to be some draw but it is so small the meter does not register. It would take a very long time to run the battery down with that little current.
I have a plug under the seat with a fuse in-line that I use for the tire pump and the Nuvi power. Only one of them needs to be connected at any one time so I leave it disconnected to the down converter unless I need to use the GPS for trips. So now I know I can leave it connected without fear of drawing the battery down overnight while traveling.
Thanks again!!

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post #6 of 9 Old 05-02-2011, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Wow,

Great help, guys. I have the 3-outlet Eastern Beaver system and my only switched circuit is already used. That's why I wanted to wire it unswitched. I'm going to just wire it to the battery and keep an eye on it.
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post #7 of 9 Old 05-02-2011, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Morrie View Post
Wow,

Great help, guys. I have the 3-outlet Eastern Beaver system and my only switched circuit is already used. That's why I wanted to wire it unswitched. I'm going to just wire it to the battery and keep an eye on it.
You know you can put more than one item on a circuit as long as you don't exceed the limits of the fuse or contacts, right?

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post #8 of 9 Old 05-03-2011, 08:24 AM
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I would wire it to the switched circuit. That way you don't have to worry about it. My Nuvi 500 is wired to a switched circuit, and it will work with the bike turned off. It just switches to it's internal battery, which is kept charged when the bike is on. Of course when you turn the bike off the Nuvi ask you if you want it to stay on or turn off.

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post #9 of 9 Old 05-03-2011, 02:32 PM
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Here is a reason why you don't want it hooked directly to the battery in an unswitched manner... I have several Nuvi 255Ws. In our Kia Sorento the unit is hooked to a live cigarette/power outlet. The Sorento's battery died overnight when the temp fell below 0. Everything else in the circuit then sucked the few milliamps out of the Nuvi battery and killed the battery in the Nuvi. Apparently you should never drain the Garmin batteries completely to nothing; they cannot be saved. Cost me $30 for one of those battery kits you can get on ebay to fix the darn thing.

There are many stories on this board regarding V-Strom batteries suddenly failing (as motorcycle batteries are prone to do as they age). If that happened while the bike were sitting in your garage, the Garmin battery would likely be ruined before you could catch it.

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