GPS SatNav Power Connection (2)

This is an alternative option to the full on power lead article here - for a temporary or quick fix solution or for those that just plain don't want to buy the BMW gps socket power connector!

Usual disclaimer - mess with your motorcycle electrics, without knowing what you're doing, at your peril! :-)

**WARNING** - the onboard GPS power connector supplies 12 volts (12V) and therefore is not suitable for direct connection to GPS units that require a 5 volt (5V) power supply without modification. Typically 5V systems e.g. 'TomTom One' charge/are powered via a USB type socket only but check your manual. 5V SatNav systems will require a 12v to 5v voltage regulator incorporated into the power lead (available from electrical/electronics retailers e.g. Maplins)

GPS SatNav Power Connection (2)
By ukGSer 'Johnny Dangerously' July2007
View thread for additional comments: GPS accessory socket - giving back (external link)

Today I tested out wiring the Zumo to the GPS accesory socket at the headstock, and thoguht I would post some picture of my effort to help anyone else that might be trying. I've still not been able to find any step by step pictures on t'inernet, only after pictures, so though I'd fill the gap.

As a background, I intend buying the BMw accesory socket to plug this in the future, but its going to take my local dealer about a month to get it for me. In the mean time, I want to test this socket out before my trip to the alps in august and see if there are any issues with it.

So here goes

Step 1:
The GPS socket is fairly easy to spot when looking down from the side of the tank. it has a black cap on it and is secured in pretty tight to the other cabling. To remove the cap, you need to 'unhitch' the catch on it and pull it off. I found the easiest way to to this was with a small watchmakers screwdriver. From there I pushed the black (ground) wire from the zumo lead into port 1 (ground) of the GPS socket. I then did the same with the red (live) wire from the zumo lead into port 3 (live) of the GPS socket. Note port two on the gps socket is 'speed pulse' and isn't used.

R1200GS gps sat nav power socket - wiring connections

The next picture shows a longer range view of the socket to help locate (note zumo wires hanging over side of tank panels):

Wiring R1200GS gps sat nav power socket

Step 2:
punched a couple of small holes in the cap to feed the cables through. I did this using thin nail (is that a pin?) and a hammer. Dead easy. Tried to judge the distance from the edge of the actual socket so the wires would go into the socket fairly straight without any pinching:

R1200GS gps sat nav power socket - making waterproof

R1200GS gps sat nav power socket - sealing the connection

Step 3:
Hooked up the cradle and cable onto the dash to test out the wiring, and lo and behold it worked like a treat. Ignition on, the unit powers up and runs as normal. Ignition off, and the unit stay on from about 30 seconds before prompting to use battery or switch off.

Ignition on...
R1200GS gps sat nav power socket - Garmin Zumo power

Ignition off...
R1200GS gps sat nav power socket - Garmin Zumo power off

Final Steps:
I'm going to use some silicon sealant on the top of the cap to keep it watertight and prevent the wires from pulling out. this can be seen below and is pretty cheap from maplin. I'm going to road test it then to see if it runs into any problems with vibration etc. Eventualy I'll then replace it with the BMW plug.

R1200GS gps sat nav power socket - silicone sealant


Just as a follow up, I definately have no problems with the engine running. Works as before when the engine starts my Zumo is powered by the socket. When I switch the engine off, it stays powered for about 30 seconds, then prompts for battery usage.

Looks like my BMW dealer can get the part (gps plug) quicker than I thought so I'll be changing to the correct plug as soon as I can. Had a bit of an issue with the ground wire coming loose yesterday but a generous blob of the silicon adhesive seems to hold it in place fairly well.

As a reference, the plug I've ordered is based on AndyW's article and my Dealer has quoted less than £9 for it - should make it a neat job.


ukGSer 'andyclift' - Did similar with my GS but first ran a little solder on the wire end to make it stiffer. It then makes a perfect pin to push into the socket. didn't bother to drill out the cap although that seems like a good idea. I just pushed the cap back with the wire along the edge then covered it all with self amalgamating tape.

Its run like that since march 2006 and no problems. As the socket is ignition controlled it also runs a relay through a centech panel to run other kit.

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