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Where to get the Garmin eTrex connector and how to assemble it ...

On this page I briefly show you where to get a Garmin eTrex connector and how to assemble it. This text is based on the connectors by pFranc.

pFranc (Larry) designed his own eTrex connectors for both the rectangle shaped Garmin connector and the round Garmin connectors.

pFranc has an interesting phylosophy called "sharehardware", where you can buy connectors. Buying does not mean PAYING MONEY. Larry rather sees buying as a trade. You can for example trade money for the connectors, but also reference on your website (as I did), other funy stuff, etc. So either trade or spend money - it's up to you.

pFranc can be found in several countries!

Note: Read the disclaimer!

Garmin eTrex family

New model Garmin eTrex connector

Below you will find the connector pinout of the more recent Garmin eTrex connector. It is being used with the Garmin eTrex family (standard yellow one, Venture, Legend, and Vista).

Garmin eTrex connector

You will need this info to hook your eTrex to a PDA or PC.

The pin layout is as shown below;

pin 1
Powersupply (+ 3 Volt)
pin 2
RXD (Data IN)
pin 3
TXD (Data OUT)
pin 4
GND (-)

Tip: If you're busy with an eTrex connector anyways then you might want to consider adding external power for the eTrex aswell. Use a 3V powersupply and connect it to pin 1 (+) and 4 (-) of the eTrex connector.

pFranc Assembly

The pFranc-connector comes as a do-it-yourself assembly kit.

pFranc eTrex connector kit

In the kit you will find 3 plastic parts, one screw and a metal strip with pins on it.
Gently bend the individual pins so they break loose from the rectangle piece of metal, so you will end up with 4 of these:

pFranc eTrex Connector - Pin

After breaking the pins loose, we will need to bend them.
I used a flat screw driver for that purpose.

pFranc eTrex Connector - Bending the pins

First lay the pin, with the bended part facing down, in the plastic piece with the four square holes (picture 1).
Next use a flat screwdriver to hold it in that position (picture 2) and gently use your nail to push it up as shown in the three images above (picture 3). Repeat this step for all four pins.

Now get your wires and connect (solder) them on the pins you just did bend. After doing so, gently push each pin, one at a time, through the plastic piece with the large rectangle opening as show in the image below.

pFranc eTrex Connector - Push the cable trough

Now we need to put the pins in the proper position in the plastic piece we just used for bending the pins.

To make things a bit easier on you, use a needle to hold the pins in place. The illustration below shows you how.

pFranc eTrex connector - Keeping the pins in place.

Do this for all four pins.

TIP: While you're at it, make a note which color cable you placed with what pin. If you're nor sure what the pin numbers are, then take a look at the image at the beginning of the page.

After completing this for all four pins, gently move the two pieces of plastic together until it becomes one.

pFranc eTrex Connector - Move the two pieces together

Do not yet remove the needle! The needle is good for some stability while assembling the connector.

Now we need to place the "hood" over the connector. It's tha last piece of plastic which we gently put over the cable. Make sure that the cable do not make any kind of shortcut here!

pFranc eTrex Connector - Finished ...

After putting that together, gently rotate the connector and insert the screw in the hole (on the side where the pins stick out). Do not use excessive force when tightening the screw. After that you can remove the needle and your eTrex connector is finished.



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