StromTrooper banner

1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,564 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,861 Posts
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:





 

·
Registered
Joined
·
387 Posts
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!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,564 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
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

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-2495lmt#specifications
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,757 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,861 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,564 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,564 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
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

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,757 Posts
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!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,861 Posts
P38arover, I don't know if this will help you or not, but Openstreet maps is a free source for maps and it includes Australia. You didn't mention what kind of GPS you have, but the Openstreet maps supposedly can be downloaded onto some Garmin devices. I've never done it, but I'll attach the link that tells how to do it. It might be a way to update your GPS without paying the $100.00 (or whatever it is now) to update the Garmin maps.

https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OSM_Map_On_Garmin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
475 Posts
Consider a RandMcNally GPS

I'm not a company troll or a 'net seller.
I have a RandMcNally TND530 GPS that I’ve used for years driving OTR semi. Dependable as gravity, bright enough in sunlight and works all day windshield-mounted in sunshine hot enough to where you can’t hold your hand on the top of the dashboard.
The TND-series have various trucking-oriented presets and menu options (Hazmat routing, low clearance, weight alerts, hours of service logs, etc) but also a separate car configuration with its own options. The are other models without the trucking emphasis, and all have the features you’d expect. None is waterproof, or all-weather however. For use on the bike I have a waterproof Givi 5”/127mm Holder (p/n S954B). The GPS-side has a quick release mount for the holder that is similar to their TankLock system. The bike-side is intended for handlebar mounting, but I have it mounted to the left mirror stalk and neither the mirror or the GPS come out of adjustment. Vision on both is crystal clear, too. For me, mounted thusly it’s easier to operate and see it over my tallish 20L tank bag, and I can still turn to full left lock.
RandMcNally also has a free website where you can create, save and upload to their own GPS’ your own custom designed maps all for free; no paying download a proprietary online map platform.
Worth a look, IMHO.

https://www.randmcnally.com/electronics
http://tripmaker.randmcnally.com
https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/givi-universal-phone-gps-holder
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,564 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I'm not a company troll or a 'net seller.
I have a RandMcNally TND530 GPS that I’ve used for years driving OTR semi. Dependable as gravity, bright enough in sunlight and works all day windshield-mounted in sunshine hot enough to where you can’t hold your hand on the top of the dashboard.
The TND-series have various trucking-oriented presets and menu options (Hazmat routing, low clearance, weight alerts, hours of service logs, etc) but also a separate car configuration with its own options. The are other models without the trucking emphasis, and all have the features you’d expect. None is waterproof, or all-weather however. For use on the bike I have a waterproof Givi 5”/127mm Holder (p/n S954B). The GPS-side has a quick release mount for the holder that is similar to their TankLock system. The bike-side is intended for handlebar mounting, but I have it mounted to the left mirror stalk and neither the mirror or the GPS come out of adjustment. Vision on both is crystal clear, too. For me, mounted thusly it’s easier to operate and see it over my tallish 20L tank bag, and I can still turn to full left lock.
RandMcNally also has a free website where you can create, save and upload to their own GPS’ your own custom designed maps all for free; no paying download a proprietary online map platform.
Worth a look, IMHO.
I appreciate the info but this is a thread for a totally different subject, which is how to make a Nuvi water resistant and take care of some of the vibration issues. That being said while this is a nice GPS I really like how Garmin's work. My wife has TomTom's and hates Garmin and I feel the same way about how a TomTom operates. Honestly I could just buy the Givi bag and put it on the Nuvi but where is the fun in that? Then again I may pull out the remainder of my hair when I start using basecamp, who knows.

My budget for this project was $50 and I am under budget at this point even replacing the battery. That Givi bag is like $35. I think I will buy a sun visor for $9 to complete the package

However I do have a couple of questions if you don't mind. Does the Givi bag have a membrane in front or is that open. Also if it does have a membrane and it's completely sealed have you ever had a problem with heat buildup since there is no way heat is getting out of that Givi waterproof bag.

And yes I am trying to get a high end GPS on my bike for almost nothing. I'm retired and I find this subject fun. I am amazed that some of these older GPS's have the features they do. I can't wait to take it apart and see how it goes together. I may seal it from the inside around the case and never take it apart again. For $18 what difference does it make? I can always buy a second one for almost nothing and throw it in my closet.

And I am thinking of ordering a Bluetooth helmet speaker assembly for $17 from Gearbest but I don't know if it will arrive in time for the rally.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,775 Posts
"....And I am thinking of ordering a Bluetooth helmet speaker assembly for $17 from Gearbest but I don't know if it will arrive in time for the rally....."

Better check and make sure that the 2495 Bluetooth can communicate with the Helmet speaker system. A lot of the auto GPS units Bluetooth system only communicates with a phone and acts like a handsfree device. ie. the microphone in the unit will communicate with the phone and the phone will communicate with the unit speaker. The unit will not communicate turn by turn instructions, via Bluetooth, to helmet speakers. I believe the 2495 falls into that category.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,564 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
"....And I am thinking of ordering a Bluetooth helmet speaker assembly for $17 from Gearbest but I don't know if it will arrive in time for the rally....."

Better check and make sure that the 2495 Bluetooth can communicate with the Helmet speaker system. A lot of the auto GPS units Bluetooth system only communicates with a phone and acts like a handsfree device. ie. the microphone in the unit will communicate with the phone and the phone will communicate with the unit speaker. The unit will not communicate turn by turn instructions, via Bluetooth, to helmet speakers. I believe the 2495 falls into that category.
I wonder that also but there is no way to find out in advance. I recently got a iPhone 7 and it won't talk to my Bluetooth device I use for watching TV. About the best I can do there is buy the one that does 4.0 Bluetooth. At $17 it won't be devastating and if it won't talk to the GPS I can probably listen to music with it. I do have the same concerns but there is zero way of knowing
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
475 Posts
However I do have a couple of questions if you don't mind. Does the Givi bag have a membrane in front or is that open. Also if it does have a membrane and it's completely sealed have you ever had a problem with heat buildup since there is no way heat is getting out of that Givi waterproof bag.
Hi Dred,
Yes, the Givi does have a glossy, clear membrane in front (with a small visor, see my photos in my original post) and another on the included rain cover. It appears to be of the marine type as it can be folded or crushed without getting white creases. I do have to deliberately poke the screen in order to change commands with a gloved finger; lotta layers. There is a small buttonhole port on the bottom for a power cord. It also has a 3 1/2-sided zipper which is self sealing and so far, itself seems to be water resistant enough that I've never used the rain cover. It comes with two different thickness foam pads to help keep the GPS unit in place and a silicone strip for the mount where it meets the handle bar (or mirror stalk:wink2:.
My Rand McNally has never had a thermal shutdown the entire time I've owned it mounted on windshield or in the Givi. I was concerned about putting a sealed black GPS in a zippered black holder in direct summer sun, but no problems. My iPhone will thermal shut down in the clear pocket of my tankbag.
When adjusted properly, the screen is readable even in bright sunlight-even tiny half degree adjustments up down right or left can make a difference.
One final note, the Givi may start at around $35US for the smallest of three size options, the 5-inch/127nmm is $56.10 at RevZilla. good specs & photos there, too.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,480 Posts
P38arover, I don't know if this will help you or not, but Openstreet maps is a free source for maps and it includes Australia. You didn't mention what kind of GPS you have, but the Openstreet maps supposedly can be downloaded onto some Garmin devices. I've never done it, but I'll attach the link that tells how to do it. It might be a way to update your GPS without paying the $100.00 (or whatever it is now) to update the Garmin maps.

https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/OSM_Map_On_Garmin
I'll check it out for the Garmin Nuvi 42LM I bought in England a few years back while on holiday. It was cheaper to buy the GPS than hire one from the rental car company. Garmin won't let me update the Australian maps I bought off eBay but it will let me update the UK maps that were on it.

I didn't mention the brand of GPS I have on my bike as it probably means little to others. It's Strike Genius BT motorcycle GPS. It runs what appears to be the iGo software, the maps are updated through NaviExtras in Europe. An update is A$100. Mine was last updated in 2012.

The GPS is identical in appearance (but running different mapping software) to an earlier Aldi GoCruise 3.5" GPS that went with my Strom when I sold it. If I recall correctly, it uses Win CE as an OS.
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
4,734 Posts
I have got to the point where I'm not comfortable riding without ear plugs. Ear plug type headphones (medium grade skull candy) for music and helmet speakers for communication and gps (when I need audio for GPS) work well.

And similar to the disposable Nuvi, I have a collection of cheap TomToms that fit in my X-grip. It's a super fast way of mounting, holding, and removing a GPS. When I need audio from the GPS I use my cell phone. One day one might fail due to rain, but I have two more waiting to take it's place, and even without waterproofing the first one is holding up fine.



Same mount for phone and GPS. Turn in to upright or sideways. It works both ways.

Mounted right below my line of sight.

 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top