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#11412469 - 02/13/16 07:12 PM GPS question
Puro Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 02/13/13
Posts: 50
I had a Garmin GPS/Chartplotter installed last May. I went out last week and the GPS wont stay on. As soon as I turn on my aerator the gps turns off. Also, it may stay on while I'm driving but I'll drift an area and when I turn the motor back on the GPS turns off. I bought a new battery already and didn't fix the problem. I noticed the GPS is connected to the fuse panel. Is it better if the GPS is connected straight to the battery? Any suggestions?

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#11412998 - 02/14/16 05:43 AM Re: GPS question [Re: Puro]
seekfishing Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 11/24/15
Posts: 20
It sounds like your fuse panel is bad or the unit is bad. direct connect power and ground to the battery and see if it works properly if it still shut off you have a defective unit.
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#11413152 - 02/14/16 08:23 AM Re: GPS question [Re: Puro]
smooth move Online   content
Pro Angler

Registered: 10/14/12
Posts: 877
Loc: bayou vista,tx
sounds like the fuse box has some corrosion issues and you're not getting a consistant voltage to the gps. could also be the connection at the battery. i went through the same problem. i hooked my gps to one of the trolling motor batteries and the stereo to another and the depth finder to another( i have separate depth/gps because i like the whole screen) this solved the problem for me. by the way, i've never run my batteries down and i leave the instruments on all the time while in the boat. be sure to have a fuse in line. good luck.
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#11415131 - 02/15/16 10:16 AM Re: GPS question [Re: Puro]
TroutSupport.com Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/10/10
Posts: 1298
Loc: Entire Gulf and Atlantic Coast...
Fuse box, corrosion, or bad battery. Mine does something similar if I don't charge my batteries while on the water by switching the pergo to charge that second house battery which it runs off of. If my battery drops below 12 volts it'll still crank the motor, but the GPS won't stay on.
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#11488036 - 03/19/16 06:29 PM Re: GPS question [Re: Puro]
Puro Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 02/13/13
Posts: 50
I bought a new battery and it was still doing the same thing. The gps was connected to the switch panel so I wired it directly to the battery and it fixed the problem. I wonder if the switch panel is bad. Thanks for your responses everyone. Happy fishing!

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#11589648 - 05/08/16 09:30 AM Re: GPS question [Re: Puro]
Puro Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 02/13/13
Posts: 50
Ok I fixed the gps about 2 months ago by wiring it straight to the battery. It was previously wired to the busbar. But now all my other components dont work(livewll, bilge pump, nav lights, horn). My connections at the attery seem to be clean, does anyone have ang suggestions? Boat cranks fine all day though.

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#11589674 - 05/08/16 09:51 AM Re: GPS question [Re: Puro]
Flippin-Out Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/25/15
Posts: 1564
Loc: Magnolia, TX
Find the open circuit (blown fuse, tripped breaker, corroded wire).

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#11589817 - 05/08/16 11:51 AM Re: GPS question [Re: Puro]
DFW-fisherman Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 04/01/11
Posts: 1197
Loc: DFW
There is probably a badly corroded, or burned, connection at the switch panel. Most likely it is the wire that is supplying power to that panel, from the battery. If you can get access to it, touch each terminal and try to wiggle each one. If you don't find one that is discolored/burned/corroded then follow the main power wire back towards the battery (in the area of the switch panel) till you find that point. It is there somewhere! Patience and persistence will pay off.

Tip - use a mirror and strong flashlight to help spot those hard to reach areas.

Let us know how it turns out. Good luck! thumb

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#11591038 - 05/09/16 07:53 AM Re: GPS question [Re: Puro]
TroutSupport.com Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/10/10
Posts: 1298
Loc: Entire Gulf and Atlantic Coast...
Originally Posted By: Puro
Ok I fixed the gps about 2 months ago by wiring it straight to the battery. It was previously wired to the busbar. But now all my other components dont work(livewll, bilge pump, nav lights, horn). My connections at the attery seem to be clean, does anyone have ang suggestions? Boat cranks fine all day though.


Your outboard is probably not connected to the bus bar so it will be different. It could be a bad bar or something else is drawing the current, or it could be cracked leads or just about anything. If that many items aren't working off the bar, get a new one and rewire everything from the bar + and ground.
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#11595997 - 05/11/16 07:10 AM Re: GPS question [Re: Puro]
Olhipi Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 07/14/14
Posts: 201
Loc: Dayton,Tx
You have a. Ground Issue check the grounding on the Switch bar ( corrosion ) for sure .
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#11596143 - 05/11/16 08:27 AM Re: GPS question [Re: Olhipi]
Flippin-Out Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/25/15
Posts: 1564
Loc: Magnolia, TX
Originally Posted By: Olhipi
You have a. Ground Issue check the grounding on the Switch bar ( corrosion ) for sure .


From the info provided, there is no compelling technical reason to declare he has a grounding issue. It's a 50/50 toss-up. An issue with EITHER the Ground feed or Positive feed from the battery to the boat's distribution panel or common Ground point will cause the described symptoms. Please provide the technical reasoning for why this is so sure to be a grounding issue. Also, I believe you intended to say "bus bar"? I'm not aware of any component called a "switch bar".

That the outboard starts is not surprising; it has its own dedicated power connection to the starting battery and therefore doesn't depend on getting power from any other wiring in the boat. It sounds as though everything that was "stock" in the boat has no power. This means that the failure is almost certainly at a common point between the battery and the power/ground distribution points.

There is probably a larger (red) wire on the battery that takes power to wherever the fuse panel is located. Ignore the one going to the outboard. The boat's power feed wire should have a fuse or breaker near the battery if properly built. That fuse or breaker could be blown/tripped, and that would cause the described issues. You did not mention finding or checking this.

Equally important is the Ground connection. (Losing either main feed means no power.) Again, ignore the black wire going to the outboard. There may be a hefty black wire running from the battery to the console where there may be (hopefully) a bus bar. All those connections should be clean/tight. There is no breaker/fuse on the negative.

If your boat appears to have individual ground wires on the battery for bilge pump, livewell, lights, etc., then Ground is not your issue. (Most boats don't do this, though.) You're looking for a point in common for all the things that are failing.

All connections you find/inspect must be clean/tight. If you see greenish blue crud, you need to get that cleaned up.


Edited by Flippin-Out (05/11/16 08:30 AM)

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#11596185 - 05/11/16 08:44 AM Re: GPS question [Re: TroutSupport.com]
Flippin-Out Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/25/15
Posts: 1564
Loc: Magnolia, TX
Originally Posted By: TroutSupport.com
Originally Posted By: Puro
Ok I fixed the gps about 2 months ago by wiring it straight to the battery. It was previously wired to the busbar. But now all my other components dont work(livewll, bilge pump, nav lights, horn). My connections at the attery seem to be clean, does anyone have ang suggestions? Boat cranks fine all day though.


Your outboard is probably not connected to the bus bar so it will be different. It could be a bad bar or something else is drawing the current, or it could be cracked leads or just about anything. If that many items aren't working off the bar, get a new one and rewire everything from the bar + and ground.


There is no problem with something "drawing current" in his issue. "Drawing current" (when not intended) is aka a short-circuit. Short-circuits drain batteries. He's got a good battery, and the outboard starts, so no need to bark up the totally unrelated "short circuit tree". Nothing else is "drawing the current". The problem is an OPEN CIRCUIT meaning that what WANTS to draw power can't get any at all.

When a boat has loss of power to multiple items, the problem is rarely a failed bus bar. In fact, in working on and tinkering with boats for 40+ years, I've never seen a bad bus bar. Suggesting he may need to replace one is a 1000:1 long shot that would likely waste money and not fix the issue. Consider a bus bar is typically a flat piece of brass with screws or studs and nuts. Sometimes they can get some corrosion, but not often due to where they are typically placed, and that can be cleaned.

The most COMMON defect for a failure as described is a failed cable that makes the power/ground connections from the battery to the fuse panel and bus bar. Any one or more of the terminal connections on the power/ground feed can be corroded to the point that high resistance prevents current from flowing as needed. As my other post mentions, there could (should be) a fuse or breaker for this circuit that could be bad. Last on the list and very rare would be a bus bar or fuse panel itself.

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#11599764 - 05/12/16 03:14 PM Re: GPS question [Re: Puro]
Puro Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 02/13/13
Posts: 50
Thank you all for taking the time to respond with suggestions and tips. Flippin-out, thank you for the detailed response, it makes a lot of sense what you have explained. Maybe I didn't have to re wire the gps straight to the battery. It's probably just a bad ground of power connection to the busbar because the busbar doesn't look corroded at all. I will check it this weekend and update everyone. By the way it's a 2011 Blue Wave STL with 35 hours, it's not like the boat has been abused or in bad shape. Thanks again. That's why this forum is awesome.

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#11614875 - 05/20/16 01:07 PM Re: GPS question [Re: Puro]
Puro Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 02/13/13
Posts: 50
Ok so I replaced the positive and negative connections at the bus bar and still nothing. I did a light test and I am getting light at the busbar. So I don't know what to do now. Any suggestions? I can't seem to find any fuses in the lines.

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#11855705 - 09/29/16 11:26 AM Re: GPS question [Re: Puro]
Puro Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 02/13/13
Posts: 50
It's been a while since my last post but replaced the circuit breaker fuse coming off the battery and it fixed 2 out of 4 switches. Should I replace the other two rocker switches or would that be a waste of time?

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