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Greg A.
Greg A., Engineer
Category: GPS
Satisfied Customers: 8922
Experience:  Using & Working with GPS systems for 10+ years
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Can you connect a Garmin nuvi to a trickle cable that is

Customer Question

can you connect a Garmin nuvi to a trickle cable that is already on my 2004 Harley FXSTS, if so what type of cable do I need. The trickle cable has a round male and female connector coming from under the seat with a fuse under the seat?
JA: What is the exact model of your Garmin? And can you guesstimate how old it is?
Customer: I believe it is a 255w , the maps have to be updated.
JA: What happened right before this popped up?
Customer: you ask me how old it is, I don't know how old a 255w is.
JA: What troubleshooting have you tried?
Customer: none
JA: Is there anything else the GPS Technician should be aware of?
Customer: I believe the Garmin will hook up to the existing cable, that is the question
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: GPS
Expert:  Greg A. replied 4 months ago.

Hello & Welcome to Just Answer,

I'm Greg and will do my best to assist you today.

Sorry I didn't see your question earlier and to hear of any issue you are having with your device.

To help you with this issue, may I ask:

1) Can you tell me more about this "trickle cable", and if the voltage can be measured at the connector for that cable?

2) Can you CONFIRM the FULL Model Name & Number of the device you are working with?

These points are IMPORTANT because if this is a Nuvi device, it may not be the appropriate choice - in a "motorcycle" environment.

Please REPLY using the box below and the SEND button.
If you see ANY requests for "additional services" - such as a phone call - please understand that these are OPTIONAL and sent BY THE SITE AUTOMATICALLY (and not me), and I am NOT available by phone at the moment. Feel free to DECLINE (close) any such offers, and continue in this text/chat form.


Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I am told the cable on the bike was used to trickle charge the battery, it is connected pos/neg to the battery with a 7.5 amp fuse in line. The opposite end has a two prong round connection, one male and one female.The Garmin nuvi I have had for some time, 255W nuvi, barcode No. 1WM810779, I use it all the time in the car.The question is: can I use the existing cable if, I can find the right connection from the Garmin to the two prong existing cable
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I was very clear either you answer by text or cancel this program
Expert:  Greg A. replied 4 months ago.

Hi again,

I suspect you are seeing popups from the site. As mentioned in my first note:

ANY requests for "additional services" - such as a phone call - please understand that these are OPTIONAL and sent BY THE SITE AUTOMATICALLY (and not me).

Those can be closed or ignored.

Back to the issue:

What you will need is come kind of "power adapter" that is modified for your particular installation.

This is because ALL of the Garmin Nuvi units come with "cigar lighter" adapters - that are designed to be used INSIDE a vehicle (relatively safe and "vibration free") environment.

So I suspect the easiest solution would be to connect a "lighter socket" in such a way as it will attach to the trickle able - to supply 12 volts @ 7+amps.

Then you will need to get a standard Vehicle Power Adapter for the device (we can look one up), and use it to power the device.

NOTE: This is NOT a "pretty solution" - unless you find a good way to mount the lighter socket and dress the cabling of the vehicle adapter to wherever you mount the device on the motorcycle.

Do you have a mount for the bike yet, and in particular a mount that will protect and cushion the device when in use?

Please let me know if that sounds like a workable solution, or would like to discuss other options.

Thanks, ***** *****


Expert:  Greg A. replied 4 months ago.


DO NOT ATTEMPT to connect 12V DC directly to the device - at any time!!!

These device MUST be supplied with power through an appropriate power adapter.


Expert:  Greg A. replied 4 months ago.

Here are the major components you would need for this "project".

Vehicle Power Adapter for Nuvi 255W (Amazon search results).

"Bare wire" Cigarette Lighter Socket Plug Connector Adapter (Amazon listing)

OR something similar

That would be wired to the trickle cable with a mating connector OR perhaps wired to the battery directly, and would need to be mounted somewhere that is protected from any weather (mostly moisture).

As mentioned earlier, this may NOT be "pretty", but would get the job done.

Also, as I mentioned in my FIRST response, there are IMPORTANT considerations when trying to use a Nuvi in a "motorcycle" environment.

The Nuvi line are not really designed for exposure to the element - like the Zumo line of devices - which are designed specifically to be used on a motorcycle.

I suspect you are on a tight budget, but would recommend at least looking at the motorcycle specific devices, to see what they cost and the features they provide.

Search results for Garmin motorcycle GPS (Amazon search) - look specifically at the "Zumo" models

Please let me know what you find and if any of these solutions will work for you, or if you would like to discuss this further.

If this has helped answer your question(s), please take a moment to rate MY service level (5-star is my goal) so that I get credit for my time helping you with this question.
You should see some "stars" (and SUBMIT button) to do that, but please let me know if you do NOT see them (you may have to REFRESH your screen) or can not use them.

Thanks, ***** *****
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Expert:  Greg A. replied 4 months ago.

Hi again,

I see it has been a few days and I haven't seen a response on this page, so I just wanted to follow up to see if you have any more questions concerning this issue OR if the issue was resolved?

I look forward to any further questions or results that you may have.

Thanks, ***** *****
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