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GPS for Nikon - Inexpensive Garmin to MC-35 cable

IntegrityPhotos

Deerfield, US
1253 posts

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IntegrityPhotos Registered since 26th Apr 2006
Tue 18-Mar-08 10:34 AM | edited Wed 20-Feb-08 12:06 AM by IntegrityPhotos

With the various options available for imbedding GPS data in the EXIF of images, I chose to continue to use a full featured Garmin GPS unit rather than a dedicated unit like the N2-diGPS. This is so I can use it for tracking way points, and maintaining a visual readout as I hike various terrain looking for panorama vistas, etc. But rather than carry the bulky proprietary Garmin Serial Interface Cable, I found an alternative that's 1/2 the price and provides the opportunity to cut it to length. With the serial interface cable cut to less than one foot, the entire length with the MC-35 10 pin adapter from Nikon is less than 2 feet.

To achieve this, I first obtained a Garmin Data Cable, with the 4 pin round connector for my old GPS 12Map and new GPSMap 60CSX, for about $18.00. Then I obtained a cheap DB9 serial cable with at least one female connector (it could be male to female or female to female), for about $2.00. Following the schematic below, I cut and spliced the two together, after confirming the connections with an ohm meter and my original Garmin Serial Interface Cable. While the soldering is a little tricky, since the wire sizes are very small, by using needle nose pliers to hold the two wires twisted together, it provides a heat sink that keeps the soldering iron/gun from overheating the insulation and causing a possible short. As long as you have an ohm meter to check the serial connector pin to wire locations, the only other tools needed are the soldering iron/gun, needle nose pliers, wire stripper/cutter (can use pliers if it has cutting jaws, but be careful!), and electrical tape and/or heat shrink type insulation.

Needless to say, as with any do-it-yourself project, there's risk in damaging your electronic equipment, including the GPS and your DSLR. I don't warranty any of this information for your use, and you do so at your own risk. With this disclaimer said, here's a schematic of the wiring method I used for making a shorter version of the Garmin 4 Pin GPS to Nikon MC-35 serial connector cable:

Click on image to view larger version


Attachment#1 (jpg file)

OldPhotos
"If everyone possesses some measure of this intangible quality called creativity, photography is unprecedented as an outlet for its expression." - Ansel Adams

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