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Discussion Starter #1
Quick question for those that spend the large sum of cash for a Zumo 550. I heard it comes with a power wire that connects directly to the battery. In fact the wire itself is said to have an "inline fuse" in case of a surge.

Is there any issues with directly connecting to the battery? I know a lot of people try to "hook into" an existing power line that will only turn on when the bike is on.

I ask because if you directly connect, it technically "always" has power. But its not like it should be using the power if the GPS is turned off or is taken off the bike, right?

Just trying to understand if that is a risky situation.
 

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There's little point in wiring something with such a small current draw directly to the battery. If you tap into a wire on a switched circuit, such as the headlight, the positioning lights (the little bulbs on either side of the headlight) or the tail light, the zumo will come on with the key and turn off with the key. When you turn off the key the zumo will ask you if you want to stay powered on and you'll have 30 seconds to say yes or no, or if 30 seconds passes it shuts down automatically. Wherever you decide to get power, yes, make sure you have a fuse of an appropriate rating between the power source and the zumo. The fuse is designed to blow if too much current surges through the wire. Better to destroy a $1 fuse than a $600 GPS.
 

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...Zumo 550. ...connects directly to the battery...
I had a Zumo 550 hooked directly to the battery on another bike and had no issues. The nice thing is that if you stop for gas, it stays on.

If you have a concern re battery drain, install an automotive relay and have the power come from the battery and the relay enable device power when the taillight running light comes on (with the key).

standard relay pinout:
30 Power in (battery)
87 Power out (to Zumo)
85 Ground
86 12v trigger for relay (taillight wire)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
There's little point in wiring something with such a small current draw directly to the battery. If you tap into a wire on a switched circuit, such as the headlight, the positioning lights (the little bulbs on either side of the headlight) or the tail light, the zumo will come on with the key and turn off with the key. When you turn off the key the zumo will ask you if you want to stay powered on and you'll have 30 seconds to say yes or no, or if 30 seconds passes it shuts down automatically. Wherever you decide to get power, yes, make sure you have a fuse of an appropriate rating between the power source and the zumo. The fuse is designed to blow if too much current surges through the wire. Better to destroy a $1 fuse than a $600 GPS.
Yeah Its just I dont know how to properly do what your saying, which is to "Tap into a wire". And without properly knowing the procedures, im always worried about surging the entire system by mistake. This is why im asking if it really is a big deal or not.

Is this esentially what you guys use to Tap?

 

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Discussion Starter #6

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If people are using a "Tap" style connector, as seen above, are you guys easily able to identify a postive and negative wire to tap into? Can anyone take a picture of which wires they have tapped to?
Sorry - NO picture, but I just installed a Nuvi 550 several days ago.

I removed the RIGHT side fairing, then located the wires that go to the right-side running light and disconnected them. Then I removed the running light along w/ its wires (maybe 3 to 4" long) and then used a 12v probe on the OTHER end of the wires in the harness to determine which side is HOT - seems it was NOT the wire w/ 2 colors (which was brown/yellow?).

Then I gently removed insulation over 3/4" on the "... the running light along w/ its wires...", and soldered the red Garmin wire to it. At the OTHER end of "... the running light along w/ its wires (maybe 3 to 4" long)..." I again bared 3/4" of wire from the NEGATIVE (2 colored) wire and soldered the black Garmin wire to it (QUITE a ways apart as it's REALLY BAD practice to have 2 or more joints in close proximity to each other!), then taped EACH joint w/ electricians tape followed by running MORE electricians tape around the whole 3 to 4" of wire.

The fuse is on the Garmin red wire, and I just tidied everything up in there with wire-ties, 'buttoned' it all back up, and "Bob's yer uncle"!

To "...gently remove... insulation over 3/4"..." I use a box-cutter and carefully bare wire over the 3/4", then remove the remaining insulation in prep for the soldering gun. I am a FIRM believer in NOT using taps IF I can figure a way to solder.... :goodluck:
 

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Yeah Its just I dont know how to properly do what your saying, which is to "Tap into a wire". And without properly knowing the procedures, im always worried about surging the entire system by mistake. This is why im asking if it really is a big deal or not.

Is this esentially what you guys use to Tap?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sGbES2_Tg0
Tap connectors are are the spawn of Satan. Well not really but they are notoriously unreliable and a very frequent source of electrical problems. This is because they have a blade that breaks the insulation and forms the contact. The contact surface is very small so it forms a high resistance connection. Also they are prone to issues from corrosion and vibration.

Suggest soldering if you want the most reliable and durable connection.
 

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How to solder page: http://www.mediacollege.com/misc/solder/

I solder every connection I can, and even add solder to certain crimp-on spade connections.

If you google for this: solder vibration crimp
you will see some discussions of how vibration can damage solder connections

I've read some stuff on the ironbutt.org site and in their mag about crimping with good crimpers being a good thing. I can't crimp well, myself.
 
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