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Old 17 September 2003, 05:34   #1
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Installing cigarette lighter !

Hi chaps, I've just bought a Garmin GPS-MAP 76 and want to run it via the cigarette lighter lead supplied. What is the best system to use? i.e, Should I buy a unit from the local car accessories shop or buy a proper marine unit ? Would you mount it in the dash or leave it out of sight in the console locker. Then, hot wiring it into the fuse box - HOW ? There are spare places for fuses but no connections for the fuses to slot into. Any advice before I mooch upto my local chander would be appreciated. Thanks....
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Old 17 September 2003, 06:26   #2
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A simple unit from a car accessory shop should be fine but you may need to weather proof it. A rubber cap or something will do the trick. The previous owner of my boat has one mounted on the console facing down...a good idea to prevent water collecting and shorting the terminals. I'd go one extra and have a cover though. (By facing down, I mean mounted on a surface of the console that's facing down).

As for fusing, if the fuse board is full, the accessory shop should be able to give you an in-line fuse holder that should save you much trouble. Much cheaper solution to extending the fuse board.

Finally, make the supply switched so that you can isolate it for whatever reason.
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Old 17 September 2003, 09:38   #3
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You'd be best off not wasting the cigarette lighter by using it to power a gps. I often find I need a fag and the gps to be working simultaneously at the same time together. i have the gps mounted (and hard-wired) beside the cigarette lighter and behind the ash-tray.
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Old 17 September 2003, 10:25   #4
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A different Idea

Having given it some more thought I've decided to hard wire the electrics rather than have a lead strewn across the dash from the gps to the socket. However, can I simply cut off adaptor which would connect to the socket, strip back the wires, connect an in-line fuse and wire it into the existing fuse block or battery ? Having opened the adaptor it has a .25 fuse and a circuit board which, serves what purpose I have no idea. Having looked at the correct power lead from Garmin it's simply the lead I have minus the adaptor but with an "in-line" fuse on the red lead. What do ya think ?
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Old 17 September 2003, 13:05   #5
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That sounds reasonable, just watch you don't overload any existing wires if you wire it into something else - the gps should draw negligable current saying that so shouldn't really overload anything anyway

I have just bought myself a cigarette lighter socket that has a rubber cap which leads onto a rubber seal behind - I got it from Maplin for something like 6 which I didn't think was too bad.
For the wiring in side, I'll be putting 17amp wire onto it, with a 20 amp switch, and there will be a 15 amp fuse in line with it.
I don't smoke, so there's no problems there, but I want to use it for things like portable search light, and my portable 12V coolbox

What I will probably end up doing is running a 25 amp wire to a connector block, and wiring everything off that, as opposed to running some individual stuff back to the battery on its own like it is now. I don't isolate the whole electric system with a switch, ever since my parents engine alternator blew up all the electrics on their boat when their isolator switch started playing up causing surges through the systems.

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Old 17 September 2003, 13:07   #6
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Car and boat electrics are regarded as noisy and spiky. The danger I see is that a small unit like the 76 may have less tolerance to a noisy supply than a larger more robust unit that was intended for permanent installation.

If Garmin supply a "hard-wire" adaptor as you describe, then they must envisage users doing as you're doing so it should be ok.

If it were me, I'd make sure the fuse I used was exactly as rated and of the quick-blow variety. As I said before, I'd add a power isolation switch.

Also, I normally switch off all the expensive stuff before starting the engine.

Hope this is of some help.
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Old 17 September 2003, 16:05   #7
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I have the Garmin 176C and the power supply is fed via a cigarette lighter socket which is fitted on the console. This is a marine type not automobile and is fitted with a rubber cap.

I quite like it

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