Installing GPS on Pedestal - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 13 Old 10-16-2007 Thread Starter
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Installing GPS on Pedestal

I'm mounting my Garmin 276C GPS on the steering pedestal, and need suggestions on how to run the power/data cable. I would appreciate a general description of how to install it, but especially am concerned with these issues:

1) How can I secure the cable inside the pedestal so that it doesn't swing loosely and get tangled in the steering mechanism?

2) The cable supplied by Garmin is only about 3 feet long, and the tiny wires are too weak to withstand much swinging around and even it's own weight. How can I splice the wires so that the splice will be strong enough to support the weight of the cable inside the steering pedestal?

3) Should the splice be inside a junction box or similar device to prevent fire, in the event of a short?
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post #2 of 13 Old 10-16-2007
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GPS on steering pedestal

I am struggling with the same problem. I acquired an older boat whose PO thought it was adequate to run the power/data and antenna cables through the cockpit locker and then jump over to the pedestal. This winter I will reroute the cables through the pedestal.

I had planned to stick the cables at several locations to the inside wall of the pedestal using silicone goop. I have not tested this, but it should hold -- there is no force on the cable inside the pedestal.

I don't have the problem you have with splicing since I start with a very long cable.

I would ask Garmin to sell me the bare connector or, better yet, a long cable. Then you can route it to someplace where a junction box will not get in your way. Garmin lists a power/data cable for the 276 [Part Number: 010-10513-00] but they do not specify a length. Send them an email. They are very responsive.

Hope this is helpful..
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post #3 of 13 Old 10-16-2007
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You may want to consider placing the wiring in a flexible conduit tube. You could then attach the conduit tube to the side of the pedestal if it is a box or clamp it to the main tubing of the pedestal. Also add one or two other wires... you will need them at some time and if not the right gage can be used in place of attempting to fish a line through installed conduit. Rule of thumb is that splices are better when junction boxes are used... However in marine environments this is often counter productive and a well crimped and soldered connection that is shrink wrapped works best.

You may want to consider making up a quick dis connect plug between the GPS and the pedestal... I know of one 478 that walked away one day while some friends were off the boat for lunch in a marina. Make it easy to remove and securely store when not in use.

I use a 478 as back up and will be installing at least power quick disconnects in the cockpit some place when I get back to the boat.

I prefer a sailboat to a motorboat, and it is my belief that boat sailing is a finer, more difficult, and sturdier art than running a motor.... Jack London
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post #4 of 13 Old 10-16-2007
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What type of disconnects are you using. I have an Icom 504 that just has wires and no disconnects like the 502 had.
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post #5 of 13 Old 10-17-2007
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Call me crazy

I just installed my 478 on my pedestal by disconnecting the compass light wires and utilizing it as the power source for the GPS. Since I've only had to rely on the compass once in two years, yet I count on the GPS every trip, it seemed an ok trade off. The wiring was simple then and there was no need for an extended cord. Here's the crazy part, I'm thinking of removing the compass altogether and just using my handheld, if I need it.

Good luck!
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post #6 of 13 Old 10-18-2007 Thread Starter
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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.
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post #7 of 13 Old 10-18-2007
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Typical is to run all wires up the pedestal guard, entering a Navpod or similar case to the instruments, the stock feet work okay but seal with a good grade of clear caulk. Raymarine & AH wheelpilots spec. a dedicated 7 amp power supply (if I remember right) while in practice they don't draw that much I don't see a circuit for the binnacle light as being adequate for that load. I'd put a dedicated power circuit to the AP, if it & your instruments (Tri-data, etc.) are AH or Ray you can supply power & interconnect them with "Seatalk" cables. It's typical for compass or binnacle light to be a part of the running light circuit. The GPS power supply cable only has to reach to the bottom of the Navpod to enter thru a rubber grommet with a "drip loop".
Never thought of the compass as being redundant, interesting.
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post #8 of 13 Old 10-18-2007
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I would never recommend the compass as being redundant or unnecessary to any number of electronic instruments. The compass is basic equipment and a good sanity check (Reality Check) pardon the inside pun.

I prefer a sailboat to a motorboat, and it is my belief that boat sailing is a finer, more difficult, and sturdier art than running a motor.... Jack London
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post #9 of 13 Old 10-22-2007
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I am going through the same thing, however, I have a Garmin 440s, and unfortunately, it requires a combo power / transducer cable which has a connector which is 3/4" wide. Drilling a 3/4 hole in the pedestal guard isn't going to leave me with enough metal on the guard.

Thus, I think my only option is to go into the pedestal.

I heard the comment from Edson, but let's face it, they have an agenda. Keep the pedestal empty, so that nobody complains when their cable gets beat up by the steering mechanisms. Or whatever. They support running transmision cables, as an option. I don't have that, so there must be room.

I'm going to run the wire in a conduit. But not clear on how to attach conduit to (pedestal) wall without machine screws. Any suggestions?

Finally, what's a good way to route the cable from the pedstal, up about a foot to my newly installed shelf, mounted between the pedestal guard rails?
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post #10 of 13 Old 10-22-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geary126 View Post
I'm going to run the wire in a conduit. But not clear on how to attach conduit to (pedestal) wall without machine screws. Any suggestions?
I'll repeat the suggestion I made in an earlier post: blobs of silicone or RTV
every foot or so along the conduit on the interior of the pedestal. You should make sure that there is no oil film on the inner wall from lubricating the steering chain. If there is, it has to be removed before the silicone will adhere.

BTW: a good place to exit the pedestal would be where the binnacle light switch is. You don't really need the switch -- just hardwire the binnacle light to the running light circuit.
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