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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
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  #1  
Old 06-24-2010
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GPS an the Compass

Just got off the phone with a Garmin tech. the last few years my 3206 garmin gps has been placed near the hatch about 5-6 feet away from the wheel. not so easy to see and hard to change screens an what not. now I've bought wire to extend the cable (20 different strands!) to mount in front of the wheel AND the 5" danforth compass. My question to the tech was "will it affect the compass heading?" The answer was "yes" and there is no way to compensate , swing , the compass to get it right. That's no fun. He says to mount it at least 3' from the compass to not affect it. Anyone else going thru this?
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Old 06-24-2010
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Chuck,

That is a Garmin 3205 on the pedestal port side and the compass right above it. The two have gotten along without interference since 2007.



I would add that newer Garmin chart-plotters apparently use a magnetic latch on the cartography card door. Not so good...
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Old 06-24-2010
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maybe the garmin tech was being overly careful. i'm going to do it tommorow, wire it up, and see if there is a difference. can alway check it against the compass on the gps!
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Old 06-25-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckg5 View Post
maybe the garmin tech was being overly careful. i'm going to do it tommorow, wire it up, and see if there is a difference. can alway check it against the compass on the gps!

Be careful if there's a current.
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Old 06-25-2010
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It has been my understanding that dc wires within 3' of a compass should be twisted and not parallel to eliminate magnetic fields that can cause compass error.
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Old 06-25-2010
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I have one of the new Garmin chartplotters with the magnetic latch (in my opinion a bad design). The literature noted the 3' recommendation. I mounted it about 20" away from my compass without any known issues.

As for considerations with the electrical look how your compass light wires are handled. I do not think most of them are twisted pairs. As long as you have the positive and negative wires very close together, touching, you should be fine for EMF.
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Last edited by nickmerc; 08-18-2011 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 06-25-2010
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Angry

If your Garmin has the older friction catch on the chart chip door, no problem. Where they went off the rails, design-wise, was going to a powerful permanent magnet for the chip door on the newer ones. Their install instructions specify 39" from the compass to try and fend off wrongful death suits.

As pointed out before, boats with binnacle mount instruments or console mounted instruments by a steering compass must be considered some sort of vanishing niche market for Garmin these days.


L
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Old 07-01-2010
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I have a new Garmin 546 plotter mounted right at my binnacle compass. This is only practical if you open up the unit and remove the internal magnet that is used to keep the SD chip door closed. Garmin was no help when I called them about this, saying this action would void my warranty. They suggested that "the inductance from the display is the main problem." That proved to be untrue and there is no compass deviation from the display with the magnet removed. Notwithstanding this curious design feature the 546 is a good plotter. The binnacle installation is ideal for many boats, and the fact you can pivot and tilt the display for optimum viewing wherever you sit or stand is a great advantage.

The magnet I removed is powerful enough to pick up a good sized wrench. I intend to fasten a strong fishline to it for retrieving tools and miscellaneous parts from my bilge.
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GPS an the Compass-plotter-binnacle.jpg  
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Old 07-01-2010
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The magnet was a really stupid idea from Garmin IMHO. Unfortunately, it won't be all that useful with retrieving parts, as most boat parts are non-magnetic. Marine grades of stainless steel, bronze and aluminum are all non-magnetic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FishSticks View Post
I have a new Garmin 546 plotter mounted right at my binnacle compass. This is only practical if you open up the unit and remove the internal magnet that is used to keep the SD chip door closed. Garmin was no help when I called them about this, saying this action would void my warranty. They suggested that "the inductance from the display is the main problem." That proved to be untrue and there is no compass deviation from the display with the magnet removed. Notwithstanding this curious design feature the 546 is a good plotter. The binnacle installation is ideal for many boats, and the fact you can pivot and tilt the display for optimum viewing wherever you sit or stand is a great advantage.

The magnet I removed is powerful enough to pick up a good sized wrench. I intend to fasten a strong fishline to it for retrieving tools and miscellaneous parts from my bilge.
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Old 07-02-2010
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When you have a 1939 wooden boat with inaccessible bilges there are always fossils that can be mined with a magnet, and this one is highly effective.

It would be really interesting to find out how this deliberate act of compass terrorism made it through the Garmin bureaucracy's design approval process. My guess would be that Garmin's marine products are now dwarfed by their consumer automotive products and they were forced to do this as a matter of cost-cutting. In fairness however, Lowrance now has a plotter with a magnet latch as well.
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