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Thread: BMW Navigator III condensation problem

  1. #1
    Registered Muser Charlie_K's Avatar
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    BMW Navigator III condensation problem

    Took the first ride of the season today on my R1200RT; a quick jaunt up to the cookout at MAX BMW. It was a pleasant day for a ride; sunny with temperatures in the mid 40s. When I arrived a MAXÔÇÖs I noticed condensation on the inside of the screen on my BMW Navigator III GPS. Everything seems to work OK but I want to dry the unit out and prevent a recurrence of the problem.
    When I got home I opened the plastic case; an easy enough task, thereÔÇÖs a few small Phillips screws with gaskets around their heads. ThereÔÇÖs also a gasket that fits into grooves in the halves of the case. I didnÔÇÖt see any problems when I disassembled the unit.
    My plan is to dry the unit out, probably by leaving on a shelf above a radiator for a few days, then put it back together perhaps putting something on the gaskets to insure a good seal.
    Does anyone have any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Registered User savategreg's Avatar
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    Perhaps o-ring grease. You can get it at a scuba shop or a camera shop that sells underwater cameras. Also look for another penetration perhaps the rubber cover on the accessory port is too loose.

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    Navigator III advice needed

    I bought a slighly used Navigator III last year for use on my 2005 GS. Connected it to the factory-installed cable between the tank and fork. The unit turns on and runs for a while during the ride, then just goes off as if the key had been turned off. The plug-in is solid, and there are no obvious breaks anywhere. Any ideas? Bad cable or connector? BMW "brain"?

    As an alternative, is it possible to get a cable that plugs into the BMW accessory socket?

    I've used the Navigator in my car with the cigarette lighter plug and no problems.

    Thanks for any suggestions.

    Mike

  4. #4
    Registered Muser Charlie_K's Avatar
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    Here's an adapter from BMW connector to cigarette lighter connector. It won't give you a waterproof connection but if your car power adapter has a speaker like mine does that's not waterproof either.

    http://www.ascycles.com/detail.aspx?ID=1264

    For troubleshooting it might be better to find a cigarette lighter type connector you can wire directly to the battery and totally eliminate the bike's wiring.

  5. #5
    Honey Badger Semper_Fi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie_K View Post
    Took the first ride of the season today on my R1200RT; a quick jaunt up to the cookout at MAX BMW. It was a pleasant day for a ride; sunny with temperatures in the mid 40s. When I arrived a MAXÔÇÖs I noticed condensation on the inside of the screen on my BMW Navigator III GPS. Everything seems to work OK but I want to dry the unit out and prevent a recurrence of the problem.
    When I got home I opened the plastic case; an easy enough task, thereÔÇÖs a few small Phillips screws with gaskets around their heads. ThereÔÇÖs also a gasket that fits into grooves in the halves of the case. I didnÔÇÖt see any problems when I disassembled the unit.
    My plan is to dry the unit out, probably by leaving on a shelf above a radiator for a few days, then put it back together perhaps putting something on the gaskets to insure a good seal.
    Does anyone have any suggestions?
    Known issue with Garmin - I had a 2720 that did the same - I never followed up with Garmin as i got a Zumo and sold the 2720.

    You may want to check with them to see what they say.
    2011 R1200 GSA Smoke Grey Metallic Matt
    2009 G450X White
    IBA #35651
    Rogue Moderator

  6. #6
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    As a side note if your bike is still under warranty (I know I probably mispelled it) your GPS is also covered if you got it from a dealer, I had a Nav II and it was covered and was sent a new one when it went stupid. Worth checking on.
    Larry

  7. #7
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    As a note - Garmin has been VERY good at covering this problem even on units well out of warranty. It's worth checking with them. The fix is a new screen. Once the problem starts, it will just get worse. It's not really moisture, it's a delamination of the touch-screen that causes this. My 2720 was fixed out of warranty, and luckily my NAV-III hasn't experienced the problem.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  8. #8
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaellmcc View Post
    I bought a slighly used Navigator III last year for use on my 2005 GS. Connected it to the factory-installed cable between the tank and fork. The unit turns on and runs for a while during the ride, then just goes off as if the key had been turned off. The plug-in is solid, and there are no obvious breaks anywhere. Any ideas? Bad cable or connector? BMW "brain"?
    What condition is your battery in? And are you running other optional loads (like heated gear, extra lights, etc.)?

    The NAV-III will turn itself off with voltage drops, even where the voltage isn't reaching 0. Dunno what the exact number is - but mine does this usually after starting the bike, comes on, turns off, if I rev the bike to get rid of the glowing charge indicator, it comes back on. I suspect there is a low-voltage shutdown function designed to protect the electronics from a "brown-out" sort of condition.

    As an alternative, is it possible to get a cable that plugs into the BMW accessory socket?
    Well, almost.. On a normal Garmin GPS, the factory cable just goes in the back like the one from the BMW cradle to the GPS does. Problem is - the BMW cradle connection is needed for the buttons on the cradle to work, so, you're sorta stuck with a working cradle or a direct connection for an accessory plug connection. Or cutting the end off the BMW cable (which I don't suggest since it also carries a distance/speed travelled signal to the GPS, used for when you loose signals in tunnels and such..) and feeding it with an accessory plug.

    Thing is - I don't think it will behave any different if it's a low voltage condition.

    I've used the Navigator in my car with the cigarette lighter plug and no problems.

    Thanks for any suggestions.

    Mike
    Try this - when it shuts down, shut off any extra electrical loads you have on the bike and rev the engine a bit. If it turns back on, chances are good it's dropping out due to low voltage.... If that's the case - the low voltage will be the same at the accessory outlet.

    Mine did this repeatedly on my old battery. With a new fresh battery in my bike, the voltage seems to stay up high enough that it doesn't do it anymore.. at least very rarely does it do it.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  9. #9
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    Mike - I have a 2730 (just got it, I'm "frugal") and I have the exact same problem with a NEW bike harness. I'm sure the problem is between the unit and the plug-in because the other end is wired direct to the battery and I've checked for voltage several times. I've had no problem using it in the car or in the house. I think I will call Garmin Monday. BTW, when I was shopping I saw a couple of comments about loose plug-ins being a problem.
    This is a bit of a thread highjack, so sorry for that. I appreciate having the information about the potential screen problem.

    Dave in Cedar Falls, IA

    Quote Originally Posted by michaellmcc View Post
    I bought a slighly used Navigator III last year for use on my 2005 GS. Connected it to the factory-installed cable between the tank and fork. The unit turns on and runs for a while during the ride, then just goes off as if the key had been turned off. The plug-in is solid, and there are no obvious breaks anywhere. Any ideas? Bad cable or connector? BMW "brain"?

    As an alternative, is it possible to get a cable that plugs into the BMW accessory socket?

    I've used the Navigator in my car with the cigarette lighter plug and no problems.

    Thanks for any suggestions.

    Mike

  10. #10
    Registered Muser Charlie_K's Avatar
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    Follow up - Problem Solved?

    After disassembling my Navigator III I left it in a warm dry place for several days. I put it back together using silicone lubricant on the gaskets and found another problem; when I attempted to update the maps my computer didn't detect the GPS connected to the USB port. Thinking I might have dislodged something I opened the cases again. The USB port is on the back half of the unit, it connects to the circuit board in the front half via two sets of springy conductors that are pressed together when the unit is assembled. They looked OK so I cleaned them with electronic connector cleaner and put everything back together again. It now worked fine.

    Today was my first cold weather ride since the repair; 37 degrees and torrential rain. I normally avoid riding in these conditions but the bike was scheduled to get new tires and a state inspection at MAX BMW so off I went. The GPS worked fine and there was no condensation inside the screen when I got home. I hope I've solved the problem.

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