Dr. Tamil, selamat pagi.
I think I figured out another way to monitor the CUSB voltage. I just added a small 12V/5mA bi-pin lamp to it and you see below. At 5.78VDC, the light will have a weak orange color rather than a bright white color. The minute the light turns a bright white, it's time to toss it off the road and use my backup 4AA battery pack. :D
Nice idea. I'll pass it on to the rest of the hardcore fans over here! Time for another visit to Pasar Road, KL's area for electronics.
65$ and without a charging adapter? :O
DanT's solution can't be beaten :)
I must agree, DanT's solution is very impressive! I really like the pictures shown here.
It is worthwhile to mention that the PDCT-GE (connects most modern Clie's directly to a Garmin Etrex) and PDCT-GA (connects most modern Clie's directly to most other Garmins) are in-stock and can be purchased by any interested GPS owner. With no further ado, they can be up and running with a Mapping program on their Clie! Generally speaking, any order goes out the next day and we do ship FedEx.
Our charging cables have not been cited with any issues of voltage spikes. If anyone can cite a test which can be performed with readily available equipment to prove the protection of our cigarette lighter adapter, I volunteer to run the test and publish the results here.
The charging cables are in stock as well. They work with all modern Clie's with a serial port. The part number is PDCT-M9CLA-6 and it's on this page:
Hey, I'm back from a cool trip.
First of all, to pccables.com, thanks for the links. Just a comment, I think if you can make a Y cable, that can charge both Clie and eTrex via a cigaret lighter, plus connect both Clie and eTrex directly, not via RS232 (DB9 serial port), that would be a good product line to have. I looked to your company, pc-mobile.com, and other websites, none of them have this type of adapter. That is why I ended up making out my own cable.
BTW, I did about 1100 miles roundtrip with that home-made Y cable and it works perfectly. Even the CUSB adapter maintain the 5.78 VDC for the whole 17-hour round trip. So may be drtamil just get a defective one.
Here are some of my trip notes:
1. StreetFinder GPS ribbon maps (2MB = 550 miles)
This app tracked my trip very well (see Figure 1), even at speed of 127 MPH (see Figure 2). The only problem with it was the display kept turning itself off after 20 minutes. I tried to set it on all the time with AlwaysOn or set it on for 480 minutes with Atool!, but none of them worked. My temporary solution was to turn on StopWatch DA to run timer on the background and popup its window (see top-left corner of Figure 1) every 15-20 minutes with a flick of a finger via Easy Launch hack and tap the screen again to send it back to the background. That seemed to help reset the internal timer in the StreetFinder. I was a happy camper since. The yellow XXXX was my car position moving southwest direction along HWY75. I tell ya StreetFinder rocks!
2. Garmin eTrex Vista
I decided to test the shortest route (outbound, Figure 2), through hill-country back-roads, versus the quickest route (inbound, Figure 3), which is 22 miles longer, through major highways, but with less traffict lights, picked by TripMaker of StreetFinder. The quickest route won by 45 minutes even with maximum speed no faster than 87.6 MPH. As you can see the overall average speed of inbound trip (including stop time) was about 8 MPH faster than the outbound one. On the other hand the outbound trip was a lot more fun. :D
What's the charging voltage required by the eTrex (and the allowable variation?) I recall attempting to obtain some serial/charging cables for the eTrex from Garmin and they were more difficult to obtain than just the serial pigtail alone. Does pfranc have a eTrex connector with all pins present for sale, or did you get your eTrex connector somewhere else?
Depending on the charging voltage required by the eTrex, it might not be too tough to make a Y cable as you describe.
The no load voltage is 3.8VDC, but the load voltage (once the plug is connected to GeV) is 3.2VDC. I use 2 of 1N4148 diodes in series to drop the USB 5.7VDC to 3.8VDC. The diodes are small enough to cram inside the eplug. I got the idea of dropping the USB voltage using diodes from Larry's eTrex USB Data + Power Cable 11/26/2001 article in pfranc.com/usb/etrex.htm. It works fine for me.
Yes, I get the ePlug from pfranc.com. I like the design. It has enough room to cram the diodes and larger cable outlet for folded cable to come out (see my car GPS setup). The cable outlet is split so that makes assembling very easy.
I also use pc-mobile.com ePlug. It has a better design that pfranc's eplug but it is too small for my folded cable to go through the strain relief. However this plug is ideal for small cable connecting just the Clie and GeV w/o power. I use an old mini headphone cable for that just like the ones made by pc-mobile (see my hiking GPS setup).
As far as voltage range, the following link mentions that eTrex is happy with voltage range of 1.5-6VDC. If the the incoming voltage drops below 2.8VDC, supposedly the eTrex has converter chip that can start drawing power from the 2AA batteries than from the external power adapter. http://pfranc.com/projects/g45contr/emap/assemb.htm
I forgot to mention that you can get the ePlug in Bavaria area from Hans, Pfranc of Germany (see the link below). That's probably cheaper and better suited than the pc-mobile.com if you want to modify the Clie CUSB charger thick cable. Good luck! Let me know how the project goes. ;)
ePlug from pc-mobile (2-piece plug, on top) versus pfranc's (3-piece plug, on bottom)
Well, I buyed
- four diodes (too cheap for only two :D ) - 0,20€
- an ePlug (small) - 15€
- a Garmin eTrex - 150€
- PC interface cable for applications on the notebook - 15€ (eBay)
- Clie car charger (3in1) - 15€ (eBay)
The eTrex came yesterday and I'm so happy with it ;) (Geocaching is quite fun!)
The charging adapter and the PC interface cable may come tomorrow....
I had to look for the ePlug in a lot of stores in Munich - no one knew or had it. Finally a grimly shop owner found one in a box on the floor.... lol. He took 15€ from me for such a simple plastic connector! :rolleyes: Buying it online and paying for shippment would not be cheaper so it buyed it.
But when I look at your picture of the ePlug I guess that I will get a problem with the folded cable. I'll see.
I write a report when I'm starting the "challenge"! :D
:cool: It must be your lucky day.
Diodes are cheap in here too. I have to buy a pack of 10 for $1.00 :rolleyes:
I think your plug layout is better than mine. Since the PWR pin is the furthest pin fron the cable entry point, you may have enough run space to layout those diodes flat on one side of the plug case and cover them with electrical tape to insulate them away from the other pins. My plug looks more like a short block where I have to zig-zag the diodes and insulated them with electrical tape (pretty messy and crammed space).
If the entry hole is too crammed for 8 wires (4 wires folded in two), you may end up soldering 4 wires externally, tee off (branch off) from the existing 4 wires, then lay those 4 new wires on the split conduit. Then use a larger "blue knot" to seal off the solder joints. In USA we have color coded the larger wire T connector to yellow, so you'll have a "yellow knot". ;)
One more tip for ya. If you use vb code of "imgn" and "/imgn" (in brackets) instead of "img" and "/img" when you paste images to your posts, they will appear vertically instead of horizontally. It would be easier for us to read notes by scrolling up and down the page rather than left to right. ;)
Thanks for the new tips, what would I do without you? ;)
I hope that the cables will come tomorrow so I can start.
Please excuse this off-topic post.
This is an extremely cool thread, but my heart stopped when I saw a "Scotch Lock" being used for a splice.
I have found these splices to be unreliable over time especially in applications where the splice sees flexing or vibration.
So many times I've seen intermittent contact with these things that my company has banned their use in the vehicles we build for Law Enforcement.
If at all possible, I would replace that with a good solder splice or some other method, even a crimp one, if done with the proper crimpers.
If someone else has had better results with them, I'm open to hearing about it, but I just wanted to throw my experiences with these things out there.
Obviously you did not read my previous posts in this thread. The "Scotch lock", or "blue knot" as I call it, is not for splicing or crimping. Somewhere in my previous post I mentioned that I removed the metal splicing piece and use the plactic piece for clamping a folded cable. Basically, I drilled through both end of the "Scotch lock" to the diameter of the cable, fold the cable into a U shape, lay the cable over on both sides of the "Scotch lock" tracks, then close the clamp down.
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