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mojoputter

GPS always on..?

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Just hooked up a new depth finder with gps. A buddy of mine tells me that I need to remember to unplug the power from the depth finder when the boats sitting in the garage because the gps is still on when its plugged in but turned off, and this can drain the battery. I told him he's full of SHEET but he swears by it. Has anyone heard of such nonsense..?

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We've have an extra switch wired in to prevent this.Tried to find what was drawing without any luck,the toggle switchs was easier.I don't think this is a common problem though

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I would not so quickly dismiss the battery-drain claim as nonsense.  It's entirely possible that the unit could draw some power even when not powered on explicitly.  The car-stereo that the previous owner installed in my boat draws quite a bit of power (don't remember the exact amperage draw) even when it's "off", and so there's a toggle switch mounted next to it now!  There's a reason many boats have a nice little "master power" switch installed on their accessory feed -- to prevent this type of parasitic draw from ruining your next starting attempt!

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If you have a "master" power switch that you have to turn on in order for your gps to turn on, then you are OK provided its an internal GPS antennae. However, if its a GPS puck, you will need to make sure that you have that connected to the same master power OR some other switch to cut power to it or it will drain battery even when the GPS itself is off.

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If it's a Lowrance, they do typically have a constant draw if they're wired directly to the battery. It's a low draw, but could theoretically drain a battery if it's sitting a while. I have the GPS puck on my Jon boat wired through a switch panel so there's no draw unless I'm turning the switch on to turn the units on, but depending on how your boat is wired you may want to run it either through a bus bar powered by a master power switch, or add a toggle switch if you're concerned about battery draw. 

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My boat did not come with a master power switch but I installed one at the battery.  Google Blue Sea Systems Battery Switch - or you can find similar products.  This is a good thing to have no matter what electronics you have and you don't have to worry about a surge while charging.  I didn't use one until I added a NMEA network which will kill the battery if left connected over time.

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My boat did not come with a master power switch but I installed one at the battery.  Google Blue Sea Systems Battery Switch - or you can find similar products.  This is a good thing to have no matter what electronics you have and you don't have to worry about a surge while charging.  I didn't use one until I added a NMEA network which will kill the battery if left connected over time.

​Yep, the NMEA is another parasitic drain of a battery. Good advice for someone who doesn't have a master power switch for sure. I have my NMEA connected to the master power so when it is turned off the NMEA is turned off as well.

Added security with the battery switch though.

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I would not so quickly dismiss the battery-drain claim as nonsense.  It's entirely possible that the unit could draw some power even when not powered on explicitly.  The car-stereo that the previous owner installed in my boat draws quite a bit of power (don't remember the exact amperage draw) even when it's "off", and so there's a toggle switch mounted next to it now!  There's a reason many boats have a nice little "master power" switch installed on their accessory feed -- to prevent this type of parasitic draw from ruining your next starting attempt!

​Agreed.

I don't think that it is the GPS that is draining the battery, It's just the locator in general. The reason I say this is everytime I turn my GPS on, it always is searching for satelites. If it was always on, it would have a fix.

I also had to have my accessories connected to a power switch so my batteries won't drain after sitting a few weeks.  I also had them place the radio on the same switch.

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​Agreed.

I don't think that it is the GPS that is draining the battery, It's just the locator in general. The reason I say this is everytime I turn my GPS on, it always is searching for satelites. If it was always on, it would have a fix.

​Clown, do you have a unit with internal GPS? If so, I do not believe those stay on when the unit is off, but if it were an external puck, those for sure do NOT turn off with the display unit.

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Good info...yeah I have an internal.

Edited by ClownColor

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Just hooked up a new depth finder with gps. A buddy of mine tells me that I need to remember to unplug the power from the depth finder when the boats sitting in the garage because the gps is still on when its plugged in but turned off, and this can drain the battery. I told him he's full of SHEET but he swears by it. Has anyone heard of such nonsense..?

​One way to know if your GPS is on or not when you have shut it off. Is if it comes up already with your position right when you turn it on. If it starts searching for a position right away when you turn it on, it was off.

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I traced my power draw to the puck and it does drain the battery even with the power cable disconnected from the head unit. I ended up putting a switch on it like others have mentioned. Even with my puck powered all the time it still would have to search for position each time the unit is powered on so they are not all the same. I have a Lowrance unit if that helps.

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​One way to know if your GPS is on or not when you have shut it off. Is if it comes up already with your position right when you turn it on. If it starts searching for a position right away when you turn it on, it was off.

​Not exactly.  The GPS antenna is just that...an antenna.  It doesn't have the ability to lock onto satellites.  The head unit does by using the GPS antenna/puck.

The NMEA network (which the puck is connected to) requires continuous power applied to it and that's what draws down the battery unless a master power switch is installed.  I don't know if this is unique to just Lowrance, but it's a quirk that's been around for years.

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​Not exactly.  The GPS antenna is just that...an antenna.  It doesn't have the ability to lock onto satellites.  The head unit does by using the GPS antenna/puck.

The NMEA network (which the puck is connected to) requires continuous power applied to it and that's what draws down the battery unless a master power switch is installed.  I don't know if this is unique to just Lowrance, but it's a quirk that's been around for years.

​I wasn't talking about a "pucking" unit! Punk!

Where's those darn Emoticons when you need one?  ;-)

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The newer Lowrance units, when you "turn them off" just go to sleep and continue to draw some power.  I don't know how much.  You have to go to some effort to turn them all the way off.

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The newer Lowrance units, when you "turn them off" just go to sleep and continue to draw some power.  I don't know how much.  You have to go to some effort to turn them all the way off.

​Almost every electronic is this way. To turn thing's completely off you need them on a switch or to unplug them. We don't notice in our homes because it is such a slight power draw. But on a boat that can sit for a few weeks, it will be a drain on the battery.

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