Join Date: May 2002
Thanked 52 Times in 50 Posts
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I have an electrician friend who is running a wire from my electrical panel specifically to supply power to the GPS. I emailed this question to the tech folks at Edson, and received a reply yesterday afternoon. Edson said the wire should be not be run up through the steering pedestal, because it could conceivably interfere with the steering mechanism. They recommend running it up through one of the stainless steel tubes that guard the steering pedestal. Those tubes are set on hard rubber bases. There is a set screw that goes through each base that holds the steel tube in place. Remove that set screw, and you can completely remove the tube. Drill down through the middle of the rubber base, through the cockpit floor, and run your wire up through that hole. Then drill a hole through the steel tube at the appropriate location, run the wire through it and protect the wire with a rubber grommet. Then connect your wires and reinforce the connection, so the little wires won't break.
Edson also said they sell "stainless guard feet 310ST-100-125, which are pre drilled for this purpose and provide gaskets to seal up around the feet." I couldn't find a price for them on the internet, but suspect they're expensive, and believe the existing feet will prevent most moisture from reaching the hole in the floor, and caulking should take care of the rest.
kjsailingspring, the PO of my boat tapped into the compass light to supply power to my autopilot. My compass light is still connected and is working. The only minor drawback is that, in order to use the autopilot, I have to turn on the compass light. That's no big deal, and I could correct it, if I thought it was worth the effort. I don't see any reason why you couldn't connect your compass light, so that both the GPS and compass light work off of it. Nevertheless, I agree with you that the GPS gives you the same information, and the only benefit of the compass light would be to provide redundancy.