External battery for Garmin 510 and Moon light

leicaman

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Sep 20, 2012
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#1
Hi all
I am thinking of possibly doing a long ride later next month (Otsuki 13.0). I realise that this ride will probably take around 20 hours. This will mean both my Garmin 510 and Moon Xpower300 will run out of battery. I have been looking on Amazon for an external battery that could potentially charge the devices whilst on the go. Does anyone have any experience of charging Garmin devices or lights from an external battery? I was looking at something like this
http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/...&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=463376756&pf_rd_i=489986

this

http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/...&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=463376756&pf_rd_i=489986

or this

http://www.amazon.co.jp/Anker-大容量モバ...one4S-Wi-Fiルータ等対応/dp/B0067UPRQ4/ref=pd_cp_e_1

I always get my Volts mixed up with my amps etc. Would these batteries be able to charge my Garmin and my Moon light (The light has a mini USB port. The charger it comes with has an output of 5V 700mA). I don't fancy running out of battery halfway up mountain in the pitch black so having some way of charging the devices is a must.

Also, does the garmin still function fine when being charged and on the move?

Cheers

Mark
 

rommelgc

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#3
I have an Energizer battery pack. Without "modification" I can't charge my Garmin 705 on-the-go with it. My Garmin will stop recording and show the charging screen. Then I bought a Montbell solar charger (MOBILE POWER PACK #1124444) for charging my phone. It contains a cable set which, to my pleasant surprise, allowed my Garmin to record and charge at the same time. I think the cable set can be purchased separately as MULTI CONNECTOR CH CABLE SET #1124491.

I won't try to explain all the technical mumbo jumbo because @joewein has it figured out.
 

leicaman

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#4
Mark, @joewein when he recovers will be you best bet to get an informative answer.
I was kinda thinking the same

I have an Energizer battery pack. Without "modification" I can't charge my Garmin 705 on-the-go with it. My Garmin will stop recording and show the charging screen. Then I bought a Montbell solar charger (MOBILE POWER PACK #1124444) for charging my phone. It contains a cable set which, to my pleasant surprise, allowed my Garmin to record and charge at the same time. I think the cable set can be purchased separately as MULTI CONNECTOR CH CABLE SET #1124491.

I won't try to explain all the technical mumbo jumbo because @joewein has it figured out.
That's interesting. I just tried my Garmin 510 with a long extension cable outside on the balcony. If the device is recording then I plug the mains adapter in then it charges while still recording. Is this only a problem when you use external battery packs or is it possible that Garmin now supply cables that your can charge on the go with? Thanks for the link btw.
 

joewein

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Oct 25, 2011
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joewein.net
#5
@leicaman, if the external charger for the light supplies 700 mA at 5 V then any USB battery with a specified output of 1 A = 1000 mA will be fine. Batteries that specifically support running an iPad off them will have enough output, as the iPad is a pretty demanding current user. The 5 V is common to all USB devices, so don't worry about it. As long as it has a USB plug or socket, it uses 5 V. It's only the A, mA and mAh values you need to be concerned with. The mAh value tells you how long the battery can sustain a given current.

Different Garmin device behave differently when plugged into a USB power source. The Garmin 500 can't normally record while charging, while the 800 can. I have not used a 510 and don't know how it behaves. Do you have a laptop that you can use as an outdoor USB power source with the 510 Garmin cable as a test?

The regular 500 can be made to charge and record at the same time with a host mode cable. The cable Garmin supplies with the 500 is not a host mode cable. A fellow brevet rider showed me the host mode cable he got in Akihabara for a few hundred yen. I made my own using a host mode plug that shorts pin 4 and 5 (I think it was) on the mini-USB connector. A host mode cable probably costs no more than a host mode plug, so I think it's the way to go.

The unassisted Garmin 500 lasts only about 16 hours, but at the pre-BRM921 last weekend I kept both the Garmin 500 and the Samsung Galaxy S3 phone going for two days without access to a wall socket, using a single 8000 mAh USB battery pack. I made a single 47 hour Garmin recording for the whole event. Whenever the Garmin went down to about 30-50% of charge state I connected it via the host mode cable to the USB battery in the handle bar bag. Twice I connected the phone via its micro-USB cable. The time needed to recharge is relatively short compared to the battery boost, such as 1 hour for 10 hours of use, that you don't really need an external battery with two output ports. I simple switched the USB cable (mini host mode for Garmin, micro for phone) that I plugged into the battery port (USB-A) and then turned on battery output. I left both cables connected to the Garmin / phone at the non-battery end.

One thing I found tricky with the 500 was that if, while recording, the USB power cable pops out due to vibrations or shock from the road, the Garmin may sometimes shut down. This may be specific to the 500. I had this happen to me on two previous rides. I solved the problem by attaching rubber bands to the cable which I hook around the 1/4 turn lock Garmin holder, so there is always tension to pull the cable up into the socket (two bands so that even if one band tears nothing bad will happen). I had absolutely no problem then.

About capacity, 5000 mAh is plenty for most long rides. Most Smartphone batteries are in the 1400-1600 mAh range, while the Garmin 500 has something like 800 mAh, so you're talking about adding an extra 3x-6x of battery life (about 10-20 less in practice due to voltage conversion losses). The 510 has a somewhat larger battery than the 500 I heard, but not that much more and I was told it charges more slowly.

8000 mAh is better than 5000 mAh, as it can draw charge from a wall socket more quickly if you have limited time access to a wall socket. Charger output permitting, a beefier battery can gobble up more juice per minute from the wall than a weaker one. It also keeps more charge in reserve as the battery ages and gradually loses capacity.

The primary downside of more capacity, besides cost, tends to be weight, as mAh values tend to be roughly proportional to cell weight, but we're only talking something in the order of 50 g or less for a comparison of 8000 and 5000 mAh.
 
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jdd

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Jul 26, 2008
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#6
@leicaman...

Do you have a laptop that you can use as an outdoor USB power source with the 510 Garmin cable as a test?

...
Okay, the first thing I did was get out a lawn chair (where I now sit).

Test results: Apparently, my garmin 500 will not work with a laptop as its external power source.

I took both outside, turned on the garmin and let it locate its sats, and then 'started' a ride. Then I plugged it in to the laptop with the garmin cable. The timer stopped and it defaulted back to the mode that it usually is in when I plug it into the laptop and want to upload a ride.

Plugged into the laptop like that, no buttons work. Press this, that, or whatever, and it seems to stay in a mode that I would judge to be: "I am connected to a PC, and am not otherwise usable as a GPS device."

***

Phase 2: Laptop put aside for a moment, and instead a couple extension cords and the wall wart that came with the garmin 500. Still no luck. Plug it into that before turning it on, and it just behaves as if it were plugged into the wall--none of the side buttons seem to work at all, not even the screen light button. Unplug it all and start up the unit as if going for a ride--fine, then press start, time starts elapsing, but then when I plug it in, the same thing happens as when plugging it into the computer USB port--it seems to default to charging mode.

***

Also, with the laptop, I think I tried plugging it in before pressing 'start' for a ride, and the same thing happened--default to plugged-in mode.

***

As long as the chair is out, and it's a nice night, is there anything else I should try?
 

leicaman

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#8
Thanks for the replies guys. I have tried my 510 with an extension cord and it worked fine. I pulled the cord out a few times and all it does is tell me that it has lost external power but still records. I'm guessing Garmin changed the way the 510 acts when being plugged in to an external source. Think Ill get an 8000mAh. My light has a 2600mAh battery so I think 8000 will be ample.
Thanks again for the replies. Much appreciated.
 
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