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GPS Options?

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I'm considering a GPS insted of a speedometer for my bike. If the price is right. Is there something in the $100-200 range (mounted)? Since the primary function would be as a speedometer, a big and bright display of speed would be great.

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I dont know of too many GPS units that would stay constantly lighted like a speedometer, as well as you dont get a live readout of the speed your doing on most models I have seen. Maybe there is something out there.

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A Garmin E-trex unit with a RAM mount should be about $200, depending on which model GPS you purchase. In daylight, the display is clearly readable so it could easily function like a speedo. You can run with backlight constantly on when light is dim, but that drains the battery quick.

R

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You might want to look at marine units for your purpose. For instance, my Lowrance handheld is continuously lighted when plugged into 12 volts and is 100% waterproof. And, since it is made for navigation not hiking, it can be configured to continuously update and display only speed and heading. The display on mine is big and can be configured to show anything you want it to show. On the boat I have it splitting the screen between speed/heading and the background map.

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I have an etrex legend. You can display large numbers and it will show you your speed plus three other things, like average speed, moving time, odom. I wired a plug for mine, so it runs off my bike's battery. I used the Garmin bicycle mount with rubber underneath, and it work great. Everything was less then $200.

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Do what Weeeeeeeee said. I've done the same thing on my XR400 with two Garmin units. Spend a little more on the unit out of the gate. I spent 100.00 on the cheap unit, only to replace it with the $400.00 unit once I discovered how fun and info packed a GPS can be. You will never go riding the same way once you have a map packed GPS on board. It opens up a whole new world of places just over the next hill, around a bend or thru a forest.

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They have the Etrex legend at walmart for $135. You can really pack a lot of info in it. It is a big step up from the basic yellow one. I went through 3 of the yellow ones before I finally got this one. Its great.

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After reading this, googling and reading about the eTrax, the "eTrex Legend" seems to be the best deal (memory, high res screen, lower cost). I also see there is a "Bicycle/Motorcycle" mount for under $20.

Next question, splicing into the bikes 12V supply... (WR450F) Anyone done that with one of these? Or is it just easier to use rechargeable batteries?

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Definitely use your bike's batteries. The AAs don't last very long. I just ran a cigarette lighter plug to where my stock odometer was, and mounted the bracket there. The power adapter for the gps fits right in, and I use a rubber band to hold the plug into the socket. Now I can run all night with the compass and light on, and I don't have to worry about batteries. 😢

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Here is what I would suggest, I did this on my buddy's bike that has an E-trex Legend.

Unfortunately, Garmin doesn't make a power cable that you can just splice into 12 volts for the E-trex. The E-trex runs on 3 volts. You can buy an adaptor that plugs into the cigarette lighter to supply the GPS. You can splice in a female cigarette lighter plug into your 12 volt system, however,

as one of the previous posters stated, that is not a very good way to go.

What I did is buy the cigarette lighter adaptor. If you unscrew the end of the adaptor, where the fuse goes, you can open the cigarette lighter assembly. Inside is a fairly small circuit board/voltage regulator that regulates the power to 3.15 volts. I simply took this board and placed it inside a small "project box" enclosure that I bought from Radio Shack for about $3.00. I put two "pigtails" coming out of this enclosure (one has the GPS plug on it, the other has two wires that I spliced into 12 volts).

You will have to do a small amount of soldering, but it makes for a very slick installation and you don't have to worry about the cigarette lighter plug wiggling around inside the female socket.

If you have any questions, feel free to PM me.

KS

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is it true if i use the RAM ball mount for my Garmin E trex Legend, the vibration will likely destroy it ? ...

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One of my coworkers found a nice 1-AMP regulated DC to DC converter online that can switch between 3-6-9-12 VOLTS DC for $12.95. The Garmin cigeratte lighter adapter with the built in converter to 3V doesn't have a regulator which is perfectly fine for an automotive electric system but could be problem with a motorcycle electric system as some have here reported. Here is the site:http://www.farnsworthelectronics.com/powersupplies.htm

You'll still need the "Garmin" bare cable . I found this site that sells "generic" Garmin compatable cables: http://pfranc.com and sells http://pfranc.com/cgi-bin/P/e2OEM4 for $4.99 which points you to a local "dude" in the USA that can ship for the USA here: http://pfranc.com/cgi-bin/pub/u_OR/?pid=e2OEM4 You could always pay more for an OEM Garmin bare wire from many vendors.

You'll also need an fuse which you can pickup any electronic supply store.

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lstepino,

That seems like a good idea (and cheaper than buying the Garmin cig plug). Are you sure about the Garmin Cig plug not being regulated. My buddy has been using the guts from one with no problems. His bike is actually at my house right now. I think tonight I'm going to try and vary the voltage going into the cig plug and see if it changes from 3.15 volts at the output.

KS

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Go to cycoactive and order a garmin v with dualsport kit and have the v mod done. Right around $400 and IMO best and most rugged setup out there. You will be pleased with the easy to use rocker that you can do with your gloves on and the screen is big enough to see. The dualsport kit comes with a hard wire kit so you can leave the back light on and use it a night. The best thing I have bought for my self in a while.

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is it true if i use the RAM ball mount for my Garmin E trex Legend, the vibration will likely destroy it ? ...

I used a RAM mount on a Warrior ATV and my old XL600R and never had any problems with my GPS III+ (which was a factory reman). Still have it, although I also have a V now. I do use the Touratech mount on my DRZ, but lots of guys use RAMs with no problems.

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is it true if i use the RAM ball mount for my Garmin E trex Legend, the vibration will likely destroy it ? ...

I'm a dealer, but don't stock the stuff. I race a SM and have a Foretrex I use for times, average speed etc etc, my garmin has bounced off the track more than once and has also been on my street SM which is a vibrating brute.... here is the handlebar mount kit, cheapest just to buy it off the net......

010-10267-00 lists for $ 17.99 hope that helps....... 😢

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lstepino,

That seems like a good idea (and cheaper than buying the Garmin cig plug). Are you sure about the Garmin Cig plug not being regulated. My buddy has been using the guts from one with no problems. His bike is actually at my house right now. I think tonight I'm going to try and vary the voltage going into the cig plug and see if it changes from 3.15 volts at the output.

KS

I do stand corrected:

ref: http://www.nomad.ee/micros/etrex.shtml

First of all, some words about the power cable that you can buy from Garmin. It has a switching regulator built into cigarette lighter plug. It is based on rather exotic ADD MICROTECH chip AMC34063A in pretty much datasheet step-down configuration.

etrexpw_2.gif

As you can see, the designer has relied on two chokes to suppress HF noise, and has added diode to protect against reverse polarity spikes. However, the chip has 40V maximum input voltage and thus will probably die on power surges (like disconnecting battery with the engine running) unless the alternator has surge suppression built in. The AMC chip is actually ADD MICROTECH version of 'industry standard' MC34063 which is available from several manufacturers.

There is further detailed information on that page about hacking a $10 cigarette lighter plug type mobile phone chargers that uses the same chip. This could be a good solution for a DIY project.

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This is the kit I went with to replace my Garmin POS plastic OEM handlebar mount. I do highly discourage anyone from using the Garmin mount.

greth_lg.jpg

I ordered from this site ( http://www.cyclegadgets.com/Products/RAM/ram.asp?prod=RAM-ETREX ) as www.cycoactive.com was out of stock for an expected two weeks. $40.00 is a deal compared to the crappy Garmin mount, even if they gave it away. I added a thin rubber pad to the mount soften up vibrations.

I'm still trying to work out an effective hard wire power solution but for now I'm having great results using Energizer Lithium AA compared to standard alkaline batteries.

energizer_l91bp-2_lg.gif

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