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Discussion Starter #1
Not directly related to V-Strom, but happened on my v-strom. Thought it could help others.

Yesterday I rode on a GPX route I pre-planned (Google maps KML converted to GPX - If anybody wants to learn a free quick method I can gladly post it).
It was 100% cloudy but the GPS worked fine when I started.
At some point I lost satellites but then it came back, then in the mountains I lost it. This went on for 30 minutes, and I'm getting lost and assuming it is the weather and the mountains.
But this never happened in the past so long.
I stopped, took out my mobile GPS (Android) and what do you know, instant connection. So I'm thinking :furious: ?!?!
Disconnected the GPS from the charging cable, and suddenly I get full 5 bars ?!?
How can than be related? Put the the cable back, immediately down to 0 bars but still charging sign.
I got back home on battery GPS, not doing the route as I have wasted 1 hour on this issue.

Later at home, I verified that some how the Garmin charging connector (USB up angle B male) or Garmin charger are faulty - have no idea why this happened, maybe the vibrations.
I connected another 12->5 charger (from my coocase volt package) and it works fine. The coocase charger was connected to the bike and to my Minivan.
Anyway, only $16 to replace with new charger (I don't think getting a new connector and soldering is worth the effort and time, and it could be a faulty charger, not the connector), but getting stuck away from home without a GPS is not the best experience..
 

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I use a Garmin Nuvi and could use info on that.

I will now carry a spare 12V charger for mine [my Blackberry had the same plug so I have a couple of spare leads for the car and bike, my new HTC Android is different].

The only thing I've noticed when using a non Garmin power lead is that the Garmin thinks it's hooked to a computer when first turned on, it does connect to the satellites and function normally once it runs through the start up process.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I use a Garmin Nuvi and could use info on that.

I will now carry a spare 12V charger for mine [my Blackberry had the same plug so I have a couple of spare leads for the car and bike, my new HTC Android is different].

The only thing I've noticed when using a non Garmin power lead is that the Garmin thinks it's hooked to a computer when first turned on, it does connect to the satellites and function normally once it runs through the start up process.
Nuvi 360 has two USB ports:
1. One on the side, which is used for connecting to a PC and also charges the battery. When the charger is put there the GPS cannot be used interactively, it goes into 'Data Transfer' mode
2. One on the back that requires a special black plastic adapter. The adapter has a female USB B connector on its back and a wide male connector on its front that goes into the GPS.

The second option must be used.
Not sure what model you have, but Garmin are very consistent in their GPS design. Most of the differences are software features and different screens.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I will now carry a spare 12V charger for mine [my Blackberry had the same plug so I have a couple of spare leads for the car and bike, my new HTC Android is different].
Sorry, forgot to add - I will not normally carry another one. The batteries easily would have lasted two hours, it was just surprising and annoying to loose 'faith' in something we take for granted.
How did we live before GPS? :mrgreen:
 

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How did we live before GPS? :mrgreen:
I've had GPS since it first became available in the 90's. I also still carry paper maps for the big picture. The big downside to paper maps is that they don't tell you where you are.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've had GPS since it first became available in the 90's. I also still carry paper maps for the big picture. The big downside to paper maps is that they don't tell you where you are.
I only started using GPS ever since we moved to the USA about 5 years ago.
Back in Israel it was not needed - I knew most of the roads and cities, and it is a small country. Worst case you ask somebody, it was quite a common thing to do.
My wife and I literally traveled around the world back in 97, and also traveled in Europe later in 2004 - all without a GPS and it was just fine.
The problem with the GPS is that it kills your natural/manual navigation skills - just like what a calculator does to kids ability to perform simple calculations. Most kids (actually most people) can't multiply or divide long numbers (as in more than 2 digits..) without a calculator. Why work hard if there is a faster electronic way? :)
I'm used to navigation by sun at day and stars at night from my army training, but I'm afraid the next generation (my kids) will have no idea where the north is without some electronic guidance.
 

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The problem with the GPS is that it kills your natural/manual navigation skills
Naw, I still have a great sense of direction and still take plenty of detours. The GPS just makes it easier to avoid doubling back when you're feeling adventurous but don't really have the time. :mrgreen:
 

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I don't use the power adapter that came with my Garmin while on the bike. I bought a USB adapter from Powerlet.com and then added their special 90 degree adapter cable for Garmin devices. I use a high quality USB cable to go in between the two. There is no guarantee that this will keep me from having a failure, but the high quality power adapter and cabling reduces the chances of it. It was worth paying more IMHO to get a high quality vibration resistant 12 volt to USB adapter from these folks along with the special cabling, I feel that this was/is one area that I should not cut corners on even though they cost a bit more.

The power adapter that came with my Garmin was visibly low cost and I don't trust it for something this important to me.

I do carry paper maps as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I don't use the power adapter that came with my Garmin while on the bike. I bought a USB adapter from Powerlet.com and then added their special 90 degree adapter cable for Garmin devices. I use a high quality USB cable to go in between the two.
Doug - thanks for that info.
Could you please point me to the pages of the mentioned hardware? In particular the 90 degree adapter cable.

EDIT: Doug, nm, I think I've found it.. $$ expensive..I'll take my chances with another stock Garmin charger, hopefully it will last.
Just the connector: ($13)
http://www.powerlet.com/product/miniusb-adapter-for-garmin-gps/357

The whole charger ($45 - wow, pretty much for a small 12->5 charger) : (too short, a usb extension cable must be needed, another good $10 I guess)
http://www.powerlet.com/shop-by-appliance/garmin-nuvi-360/product/mini-usb-short-powerlet-cable/259/67
 

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Yeah, I had 2 Nuvi 360s fail on me within about 3 months. First one had weird display artifacts on the screen.

They sent me a replacement.

Then the replacement got to the point where it would randomly drop from solid signal bars on the signal strength screen to hollow signal bars (not sure what that means, but it would lose reception).

Fortunately the 3rd one has lasted me for years and years now.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Then the replacement got to the point where it would randomly drop from solid signal bars on the signal strength screen to hollow signal bars (not sure what that means, but it would lose reception).
That's exactly what I got, only it went from random behavior to constant behavior in 30 minutes - you might have had the same connector and/or charger issues but with a lesser degree.
I wonder if this is caused by noisy signals, or by a shorting of the wires some where.
 

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Doug - thanks for that info.
Could you please point me to the pages of the mentioned hardware? In particular the 90 degree adapter cable.

EDIT: Doug, nm, I think I've found it.. $$ expensive..I'll take my chances with another stock Garmin charger, hopefully it will last.
Just the connector: ($13)
MiniUSB Adapter for Garmin GPS - Powerlet Products

The whole charger ($45 - wow, pretty much for a small 12->5 charger) : (too short, a usb extension cable must be needed, another good $10 I guess)
Mini USB Short Powerlet Cable - Powerlet Products
You almost got my setup right. I use the right angle connector you listed but I use Powerlet's USB Type A & iPod 3g to Cigarette Lighter Adapter at $17.95 USB Type A & iPod 3G to Cigarette Adapter - Powerlet Products
Added a short really good USB cable (can be found any number of places, I think it cost me $3.99) in between the two. Works good, lasts a long time (I hope). Have been using this setup for a couple of years on various bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
You almost got my setup right. I use the right angle connector you listed but I use Powerlet's USB Type A & iPod 3g to Cigarette Lighter Adapter at $17.95 USB Type A & iPod 3G to Cigarette Adapter - Powerlet Products
Added a short really good USB cable (can be found any number of places, I think it cost me $3.99) in between the two. Works good, lasts a long time (I hope). Have been using this setup for a couple of years on various bikes.
It is a nice setup, if the new Garmin charger goes wild again, I'll go that route. Already ordered from Amazon.. :)

One remark/correction - the connector you're using is not right angle but up angle: (From Amazon: Amazon.com: Garmin nüvi Vehicle Power Cable: Electronics)


Right angle (Right as in right side, not as in 90 degrees) looks like this:


Up, Down, Left & Right connectors are all 90 degree angled connectors, but using the term 'Right' is confusing.

See all connectors types over here:
USB Connectors

Edit: The Right angle USB connector does not fit the ram cradle that holds the Nuvi, that is why I emphasized the difference. Only the Up Angled type fits.
 

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At some point I lost satellites but then it came back, then in the mountains I lost it. This went on for 30 minutes, and I'm getting lost and assuming it is the weather and the mountains.
But this never happened in the past so long.
not sure how androids work, when satelites go below the horizon the sofware may simulate your position

not uncommon to loose satelite reception in deep valleys or urban canyons

we've also had sunspot interference lately, but that doesn't eliminate the signal, just distorts the accuracy a bit, not sure what the effect of LightSquared LLCs cell towers is yet


I've had GPS since it first became available in the 90's.
my first experience with GPS was with a $250,000 trimble unit in 1988 when there were only 6 satelites up and a 3 hour window, (did a ground control survey of 1600 acres in the middle of the night) the full constellation prolly wouldn't have been up and running in the early 90s if we didn't have the Gulf War, the launch schedule was accelerated and completed during Desert Shield



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Discussion Starter #15
not sure how androids work, when satelites go below the horizon the sofware may simulate your position

not uncommon to loose satelite reception in deep valleys or urban canyons
Well, after waiting for 30 minutes for the GPS to get back to itself, I chose a location clear from any obstructions on a hill side.
Androids (well 2.2 at least) have an app called Maps.
It is true that the phone uses cell triangulation to show the current position, but it is easy to see that this is not a satellite point since the app draws a blue semi-transparent light blue circle around the point. The radius of the circle shows the accuracy.
When GPS is off you get a big nice circle (+-1/2 mile).
When GPS is on (8 meters exactly according to the app) the circle is so small that you can only see it when super zooming.

So the Satellite were fine on the Android, and also the Nuvi had fine satellite reception.. >> ONCE << the darned charger was pulled out. Not just one bar or two, but full five bars. I tested it 5 or more times, checking that I'm not making a mistake. Connector goes in, bars go to zero, connector goes out, 5 bars. That's how I got back home from where ever I got lost at - with satellite, on GPS batteries.

But it is good that Android has Radio/Cell-Tower Position System - Nice backup mechanism even though very inaccurate.
 

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It is a nice setup, if the new Garmin charger goes wild again, I'll go that route. Already ordered from Amazon.. :)

One remark/correction - the connector you're using is not right angle but up angle: (From Amazon: Amazon.com: Garmin nüvi Vehicle Power Cable: Electronics)
Never heard of up angle before. Good info.

Right angle (Right as in right side, not as in 90 degrees) looks like this:

Up, Down, Left & Right connectors are all 90 degree angled connectors, but using the term 'Right' is confusing.
I liked it back in the day when right angle meant 90 degrees. :)
 

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When GPS is on (8 meters exactly according to the app)


don't belive the 8 meter claim, a few weeks ago, I sent a field crew out to set aerial control targets for a survey job I'm working on, we used the GPS on an android to get the targets in the general area then went out later on with survey grade GPS (±1cm) to get the actual location , a few of the targest were within 8 meters, but the majority were over, but all within 15 meters(50feet)



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Discussion Starter #18
don't belive the 8 meter claim, a few weeks ago, I sent a field crew out to set aerial control targets for a survey job I'm working on, we used the GPS on an android to get the targets in the general area then went out later on with survey grade GPS (±1cm) to get the actual location , a few of the targest were within 8 meters, but the majority were over, but all within 15 meters(50feet)
Yes, of course. It is not a survey grade GPS.

But when the Cell Tower positioning is on, it is clear and evident that GPS is off (8 or 15 meters). The inaccuracy in the former case is in one or two orders of magnitude larger than GPS, not just by a constant factor of 2.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The saga continues..
Got the Amazon Garmin Nuvi charger - has a fat USB B Male Connector, not low profile as the original Garmin I had..
Doesn't fit the RAM Nuvi Cradle. :headbang:
The charger doesn't look like the one in the image - different led, and cover.
Amazon will pay for the return, but I'm stuck without a charging GPS and the weekend is approaching

I cut the original faulty cable thinking of getting a low profile connector (ebay or powerlet) and soldering it. It was a little surprising to find a regular cable instead of the USB wires I was expecting.
It is not USB, just has a core cable for +, and _ around it (not sure what the exact technical terms..excuse me). The voltmeter shows a stable 5.19V so the charger seems to be fine. I think only the USB connector was bad.

@DougInKY: Could you please verify for me that the Powerlet MiniUSB connector that you got has a low profile male connector? Could you post an image of its side profile or measure that length in mm? A low profile connector is flat - there shouldn't be a bulge behind it/the cable.
I'm asking for your help, so I don't order from powerlet to find out it doesn't fit the RAM cradle again. Thanks!

If the powerlet connector is low profile, then I'll get a USB male B straight connector (salvaged one) and soldier it to the existing charger cable.
Just not sure what to do with the DATA (+) and DATA (-) cables (Green/White) of the salvaged straight connector (it comes from a PC cable).
Should I leave them floating (i.e. with electric tape) or short them to the (-/Black)?
 

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Okay, just went out and took my setup out of my tank bag to make photos but first, here is a link to the MiniUSB adapter for Garmin GPS's that I use:

MiniUSB Adapter for Garmin GPS - Powerlet Products

Now the pictures:

Excuse the little leather bag. It is something I carry in my pocket for my headphones and my USB memory stick. Anyhow, here is a pic of my mount with my GPS in it and the cord connected. If you look closely, you can see that there is a little plastic ridge on the RAM case that interferes with the plug. It still plugs in and makes a good connection that has never caused a problem. If it ever does, I will take my Dremel to it and thin it down some, but as I just said, it has never caused me a problem.


Next is a pic of the connector plugged in again but from a different angle. Here you can see a little better the plastic ridge on the RAM case that keeps the cable from plugging in fully. Again, I have to say that this has never caused me a problem.


Next is a pic of from behind.


Next is a pic of both cables and the USB connector all hooked together.


Here is a pic of the end of the cable from Powerlet that plugs into the GPS.


If you need more, just let me know.
:thumbup:
 
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