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hardwiring a sat-nav


hobson
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I've acquired a spare power lead for our garmin, and as i'm fed up of the wires getting in my way and not making contact over bumpy roads, i'm wanting to use the old adapter to hardwire in.

firstly, am i right in thinking that the centre is the live and outside bit is neutral?

and secondly, the adapter has a small glass fuse in it, do i need to substitute that for another fuse or will the main lighter socket fuse do?

i'm planning on using piggyback spade connecters with the insulated female part, so that it is removeable if needs be.

any thoughts and advice please? :)

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Whatever you do, DO NOT cut off the cigar lighter plug on the GPS lead, without checking the output voltage!!!

They usually contain voltage regulators, normally 12v to 5v dc(anything with a USB plug on it). but other voltages could well be used (3 volts ish).

If your plug does have a regulator in it, then you'll either need to get a seperate regulator, or use a female cigar lighter type socket, so you can wire that in out of the way, and then plug the GPS lead in to that.

Luke

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firstly, am i right in thinking that the centre is the live and outside bit is neutral?

On cig lighter plugs/sockets yes, on smaller DC plugs & sockets as found on GPS's, laptops, etc. then it's usually centre +ve but not always, only way to be sure is check with a multimeter.

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Oooh, i'm so glad i asked! i never even thought about a regulator.

there's a small moulded box on one end which has a small hole in the side which looks like it has something metallic inside, i've put on a pic of the main bits of the lead.

anyone got any ideas?

med_gallery_16965_1052_36149.jpg

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Well, it turns out the box is an FM reciever for traffic reports, so i'll not be using that lead, but i do have the old lead which is a much more basic version, it has no boxes or anything and is just a cable with a lighter plug on one end.

however, the info on the plug states:

input 10-30v 1a max

output 5.25-4.9v 1a

so there's clearly some kind of regulator then.

really i wanted t be able to get rid of the crappy cigarette socket and wire it directly, wonder if theres a way to do it via USB? which i'm sure i can charge it from...

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Ok, so having spent a bit debating my options, i found i needed a 12v to 5v transformer/regulator (thankyou luke!) to do what i originally wanted.

i looked at several options from ones which ran from the lighter socket (Essentially doing the same job as the charger) or make up a transformer myself (not hard to do with a bit of soldering skill and some electronic bits.

in the end i figured the charger i have must have one built into it, so i took it apart and found this:

med_gallery_16965_1052_67249.jpg

which is obviousley the transformer, as you may be able to see, the ends which make up the lighter socket plug are marked + and - and soldered with wire.

so i'm thinking i can remove the current wire and ends, solder in some longer bits, which i can attach some connecters to, put the whole thing in a small electrical box (available from maplins) and wire it all in properly, completely bypassing the lighter socket.

just one question though now: what size fuse do i use to replace the one which was in the charger? which says on it: F1 AL250V but looks very small and the wire in it is very thin.... :blink:

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just one question though now: what size fuse do i use to replace the one which was in the charger? which says on it: F1 AL250V but looks very small and the wire in it is very thin.... :blink:

You've already answered that yourself;

however, the info on the plug states:

input 10-30v 1a max

output 5.25-4.9v 1a

If you're going to use standard automotive fuses, you'll probably find a 1A fuse will be fine, If not I believe the next available size is 2A.

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What I have done on several vehicles is buy a 4 way socket ` plug on one end of the wire and 4 sockets on the other end. I cut the plug off and hard wire the the socket. I then buried the socket behind the dash somewhere and use the 12v adaptor that came with the device.

That's what I have done.

The 4 way has a switch on its own plug that I use in the existing socket so I can switch off all the adaptors in one go when I leave the vehicle. All the wiring is then hidden and only the connection pops out the dash where the gadget is mounted.

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It's the cigarette lighter socket thats driving me mad, no matter which sockets and plugs i try they always seem to work intermittently, especially when on uneven ground, and both garmin plugs seem worse than my others (phone/laptop charger) for not connecting properly, and seeing as the satnav gets used more than anything else, and the wire is really long i thought it'd be better to hardwire it in.

you'd never get these issues in a newer car would you?!

-but thats the fun of landy ownership eh?! :lol:

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I have, twice! i've tried the garmin chargers in other sockets too, and they're just as bad, my other chargers are fine though....

it was also the length of cable dangling about and getting caught thats annoying me. it'll be much tidier built in.

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Since we're on the subject, for those who need a different voltage supply you can hack the cheap USB supplies to provide a different voltage:

Hack-a-day - switched mode power supplies

Normal caveats apply - if you don't understand it then you probably shouldn't be doing it :P

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Ok, done it!

after nipping to the nearest Maplins for a few bits, and spending an hour in the workshop with the soldering iron i have this:

med_gallery_16965_1052_200607.jpg

as you can see i now have two nice female spade connectors instead of the cigarette plug, the transformer/regulator is inside the box with a hole drilled for ventilation, and the ferrite on the cable (the black blob bit) is a clip on replacement for the original (it took me longer to find out what that was called and it's job than it did to make the thing!!)

so the box is now hidden behind the standard stereo mount.

after hooking it all up with piggyback spade connectors, everything works, and i now have a lovely short wire sticking out from the back of the stereo area which goes straight into the satnav.

i also now have the lighter socket spare for other things, and seeing as the charger only draws one amp, it shouldn't affect anything else i run from it.

i am a happy bunny! :D

thanks for all the help everyone.

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Very nice indeed!

I've done a similar thing in my Volvo - I have mounted a USB socket in the dash which I use for charging various devices that use USB as a power source.

From the details you've given above (5v, 1A) you could use this adapter to charge a phone/ipod etc if you put another connector on the end. I wouldn't charge more than one device at once though!

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