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Old 08-02-2008, 08:25   #1
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Garmin GPS Cable Splicing?

As Garmin has been notably spare with assistance, I am hoping one of the Electrics wizzards here can give me some guidence.

We currently have a Garmin GPSMap 162 at our helm station and a 2006C at our navigation station, below deck. While good, the display on the 162 is not in color and is fairly small and my better half insists that we replace it with something our aging eyes can view more easily. (For my part, the 162 doesn't have quite as much memory as I'd like so I'm generally okay with that.)

A potential replacement I have found is a 172C that I can obtain fairly inexpensively. However, the power/data cables for the 162 and 172C are quite different and re-running the new cable would be quite difficult. Since the 162 cable is in-place and works well, I'm wondering if there is a way to splice the plotter end of the 172C to the existing 162 cable and, if so, how? I've been given differing opinions on the matter.

As an extension of the foregoing, an acquaintence suggested that I consider replacing the 162 with another 2006C display as he maintains that all of the brains of the 2006C are actually in the antenna and that our existing 2006C antenna is capable of feeding both the existing and a new display to be located at the helm station. Again, however, the power/data cable would need to be spliced.

Any suggestions/observations will be appreciated!

s/v HyLyte
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Old 08-02-2008, 09:44   #2
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Why not just hook them both up and have an extra one?
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Old 08-02-2008, 12:36   #3
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Without doing all the work for you if you go to the Garmin web site you can download any Garmin manual. They will show what the cable connections are for and what color is what. For the most part power and wires will be the same but the plug styles vary.
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Old 08-02-2008, 14:16   #4
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Paul--

Thanks for the note. Can one simply spice the wire like any other? I seem to recall being told that "data cable" cannot be spliced in the conventional manner (i.e. "butt-spliced").

svHyLyte
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Old 08-02-2008, 15:40   #5
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Paul--

Thanks for the note. Can one simply spice the wire like any other? I seem to recall being told that "data cable" cannot be spliced in the conventional manner (i.e. "butt-spliced").

svHyLyte
I connected my Garmin up to other units using an old phone cable I had. Worked perfectly. As long as you connect the sends to the receives, etc. you should be alright.
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Old 08-02-2008, 15:55   #6
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It's not like fibre optic cable. The NMEA signals are pretty forgiving and then you have the power. I would heat shrink the splices to seal out moisture.
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Old 08-02-2008, 16:18   #7
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I have cut and spliced many Garmin GPS power and data cables. Once the wires have been identified, I twist, solder and shrink wrap. While the current convention is to use butt connectors, I prefer to solder. I have seen far to many butt connectors fail and have seen 60 year old solder joints that are still intact. Either will work. It is a matter of preference.
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Old 08-02-2008, 18:45   #8
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HyLyte, with these tiny wires the typical butt splices will be way larger than you really need. There are telephone company ("telco") splices in smaller gauges that are better suited to smaller wires, you should be able to find them online. I'm guessing (since I don't have one at hand to look at) that the individual wires in the Garmin cable are something like 22AWG size, very close to the 24AWG of telco wiring and proably within range of their splices. The telcos also make "button" splices for these wires, pre-filled with silicon jelly and you just crush them with a plier to join the wires inside, unlike a conventional crimped terminal lug.

Soldering may simply be easier.<G> Wrapping the finishing job in some self-fusing butyl tape to waterproof it is still recommended, and soldering may be simpler than chasing down crimps for you. And perfectly good enough in this case.
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Old 10-02-2008, 08:26   #9
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HyLyte, with these tiny wires the typical butt splices will be way larger than you really need. There are telephone company ("telco") splices in smaller gauges that are better suited to smaller wires, you should be able to find them online.
Hellosailor's got the right idea. You need "Scotchlok" connectors.
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Old 10-02-2008, 09:18   #10
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Just don't confuse them with the traditional "Scotchlok" connectors, which are WAY bigger and meant as "Y" taps for larger wires.
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Old 10-02-2008, 14:43   #11
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Just don't confuse them with the traditional "Scotchlok" connectors, which are WAY bigger and meant as "Y" taps for larger wires.
These are the only ones I'm familiar with - first saw them back when I used to work for an independent telco. They were used for butt- or y-splicing telephone wire. Just how big are the ones you're familiar with?

Back to HyLite's original problem - even the small scotchlok's I referred to might be a little large for your application - unless your GPS is mounted in one of those pod-like enclosures (the common name escapes me right now)...
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Old 10-02-2008, 17:21   #12
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Fifth up from the bottom, a grey connector is shown. That's what most audio shops know as a Scotchlok connector, designed to allow a "Y" to be added inline without cutting the main wire. Red/yellow/blue color coded, no gel filling, and probably about 1/2"-3/8" long and high and wide.
(They're also specifically not recommended for vehicle installations, as they are a "guillotine" connection and they'll cut through wire after extensive vibration.)
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Old 10-02-2008, 17:27   #13
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I have NMEA 0183 running all over my boat. I use crimp connectors for it all the time. Just keep in mind that like all electrical connections, the connector has to be made suitable for the environment. If it is subject to moisture then it has to be made absolutely water tight. I dip all my crimped wire in Tef-Gel first which absolutely stops corrosion.
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Old 11-02-2008, 05:03   #14
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I wouldn’t recommend the use of Insulation Displacement Connectors (IDC), such as the (guillotine or piercing type) “Skotchlok” telecom connectors.

“Red” Crimp Butt Splice is designed to accept a single #22 to #18 AWG wire in each end. For wires smaller than #22AWG, you can insert both conductors into one end.
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Old 11-02-2008, 05:21   #15
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Another very good crimp splice is the "enviro" splice. Basically a crimp splice (in different sizes) with an associated heat shrink tube that has a hot "glue" insert at each end of the heat shrink tube. Provides a strong mechanical strength with an enviromental seal. Might not be perfect under water but pretty good anywhere else. The aviation industry uses them everywhere including jet engines bays; keeps out all sorts of oils, fluids, kerosine etc in all sorts of temperatures. You will need to buy the correct crimping tool. Available anywhere that sells avionics supplies. Good enough for Boeing....
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