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External Antenna Broke Off Inside Gpsr


Thrak
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I purchased an external antenna for use in my truck. I only used it maybe 4 or 5 times and when I pulled it out the last time the connector came apart -- leaving the end of the antenna cable still inside the jack. The darn cable just completely broke off.

 

I can see the end of the cable in the jack on the GPSr but I can't get hold of it with anything to pull it out. If I could get it out I should be able to get a MCX connector at Radio Shack or somewhere like that and repair the cable but, as it is, I'm dead in the water here since I can't get the darn jack out of my unit.

 

I'm not sure what to do or if there is a place to get this repaired or what. I'm going on a trip from CA to MT next month and would really like to have the antenna available.

 

Any advice?

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I took out the screws I can see and it didn't want to come apart. It's designed to float so there is likely a seal inside that will be ruined if I do get it apart.

 

On a further note I went to Radio Shack and discovered to my horror that it is now a stupid phone store. It's still Radio Shack but no longer an electronics parts store. I called the other RS here in town and was told they are the same way now. Where in heck is one supposed to go for electronics supplies now?

 

I'm pretty peeved that the dang cable came apart on me in the first place as well. $40 or so shot for defective stuff that has screwed up an expensive GPSr. :laughing:

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I just got through sending email to Glisson asking for help. I can't believe their cable came apart like that.

 

I don't know if I could do the glue thing - you'd have to use superglue or something and that hole is SMALL. Getting glue in the jack would ruin it for sure. Additionally the connector kind of "snaps" in when inserted so it would have to be pretty strong glue to withstand the pulling force needed to remove the jack.

Edited by thrak
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I purchased an external antenna for use in my truck. I only used it maybe 4 or 5 times and when I pulled it out the last time the connector came apart -- leaving the end of the antenna cable still inside the jack. The darn cable just completely broke off.

 

I can see the end of the cable in the jack on the GPSr but I can't get hold of it with anything to pull it out. If I could get it out I should be able to get a MCX connector at Radio Shack or somewhere like that and repair the cable but, as it is, I'm dead in the water here since I can't get the darn jack out of my unit.

 

I'm not sure what to do or if there is a place to get this repaired or what. I'm going on a trip from CA to MT next month and would really like to have the antenna available.

 

Any advice?

You should be able to remove it with a small needle nose pliers...you don't say which GPS or which antenna..or if part of the Plug/jack is still in the unit. Don't do anything drastic (like glue if it runs down into the unit), with some info you should be able to remove it.

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I have some pretty small, electronics type needle nose pliers but can't get hold of the thing with them. I had hoped there might be even slimmer ones at Radio Shack but they don't seem to sell electronics parts or tools anymore. :laughing:

 

It's a Garmin GPSMAP 76CS. The jack is still inside the unit and there is a very short piece of plastic cable visible sticking up inside the hole. In order to get pliers on it they would have to be extremely small and have straight jaws - most needle nose pliers get "wider" the farther from the tip you get which forces the jaws closed when inserted into the tiny little hole where the thing is stuck. The antenna is made by Glisson and has the straight (180 degree) plug with an MCX connector.

Edited by thrak
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I have some pretty small, electronics type needle nose pliers but can't get hold of the thing with them. I had hoped there might be even slimmer ones at Radio Shack but they don't seem to sell electronics parts or tools anymore. :laughing:

 

It's a Garmin GPSMAP 76CS. The jack is still inside the unit and there is a very short piece of plastic cable visible sticking up inside the hole. In order to get pliers on it they would have to be extremely small and have straight jaws - most needle nose pliers get "wider" the farther from the tip you get which forces the jaws closed when inserted into the tiny little hole where the thing is stuck. The antenna is made by Glisson and has the straight (180 degree) plug with an MCX connector.

Well first off something is not right here...it's my understanding that the MCX connector on the 76CS and the 60CS which I have is a threaded connection...in fact I can see the external threads on the jack in the unit...I also can see in the ID of the connector body in the GPS, an insulator which is White with a copper contact in the center. If I didn't know better it sounds like you are just looking at the Garmin connector and the Gilson end is not there.

 

So, you would be un-threading, then lightly pulling to remove the Gillson plug. You might want to doulble check to be sure the Gilson plug is still attahed and post back as it appears if the gilson plug were still attached, it should be very easy to turn and remove with a pair of tweezers or small pliers.

 

I definitely would return the unit to Garmin before opening it up.

 

Again, don't do anything drastic with brute force...this thing should come off very easily if it's still attached.

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Well first off something is not right here...it's my understanding that the MCX connector on the 76CS and the 60CS which I have is a threaded connection...in fact I can see the external threads on the jack in the unit.

No, the connection is not threaded. The external threads are just for attaching the nut that holds the MCX jack to the GPS case, but they play no role in the connection to the antenna cable. The antenna connector fits inside the part of the jack that's threaded on the outside.

 

thrak:

Is this the straight or the right-angle version? I'm looking at my Gilsson connector and trying to see how yours broke apart.

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Well first off something is not right here...it's my understanding that the MCX connector on the 76CS and the 60CS which I  have is a threaded connection...in fact I can see the external threads on the jack in the unit.

No, the connection is not threaded. The external threads are just for attaching the nut that holds the MCX jack to the GPS case, but they play no role in the connection to the antenna cable. The antenna connector fits inside the part of the jack that's threaded on the outside.

 

thrak:

Is this the straight or the right-angle version? I'm looking at my Gilsson connector and trying to see how yours broke apart.

It's the straight in connector. It seems to have just come apart and left the end of it inside the GPSr. This picture isn't very good but it will give you an idea of what happened to the cable. (Sorry it's so blurred.)

 

mcx-jack.jpg

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Might consider holding a sewing needle at a shallow angle to the GPS , and under magnification, lightly hammer the needle into the brass piece or plastic piece. Then grasp the needle with needle nose pliers and pull whilst keeping pressure against the needle into the brass/plastic.

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My advice is to call Garmin.

Good advice except for the fact that you can only call them M-F from 8-5. I work 9 hour days and can't call from work. I only have a 30 min lunch break and that isn't enough time to go home and call from there and deal with it. I guess I'll have to wait until Friday and call them since that is my short day but I really hate waiting that long. I am very afraid this is going to cost me money and time to send the unit to Garmin and I need the dang thing for an upcoming trip so I can' just send it off to Garmin and not know how long it will take to get it back. This is a new GPSr and a new antenna. I'm really not at all happy.

 

I don't think I should have to pay anything to fix it either. Glisson manufactured the defective item that came apart in my GPSr. As far as I'm concerned THEY broke my unit and should fix it - as well as give me a new antenna. (Yeah, right. Fat chance I'm sure.)

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I have a couple pair of electronics tweezers that would get it out. Look at places that carry specialty electronics tools. You might be able to get a pair for $5

 

Alternatively try wedging a needle into opposit sides and the lever the barrel up to whre you can grab it with a needle nose.

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I have the right angle connector on my Gillson -

 

I believe they are basically constructed the same -

 

from your photo it looks like the outside shell came off the coax -

this is the part that locks into the connector on the gps.

 

Do you have a pair of small hemostats? Or an extra pair you could grind down small enough to grab what is left inside?

 

Someone mentioned a needle - what about two of them crossed and used as levers to lift both sides at the same time? don't recommend hammering them in but the points might give you enought grab to get it out.

 

Just a thought.

 

cc\

Edited by CompuCash
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I finally tried with a pair of very small crochet hooks. I can't get anything and am afraid that I'm probably messing up the inside connection at this point. I'm giving up and I'll call Garmin on Friday. Hopefully they will repair the unit for me for a fee. It obviously isn't a warranty repair.

 

I'm hoping it can be fixed and returned to me before the 17th of next month because I am supposed to leave for a two week trip to visit my daughter in Montana at that time. (I live in California.) If they don't think it can be done in that time then I'll take it without the external antenna and just grumble about it.

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Give Garmin a call early in the morning (8 am Central is 6 am Pacific). That's usually the best time to get through quickly anyway. Have you gotten any response from Gilsson yet? They may have experience with the problem although yours is the first case like this that I've heard of. And I agree that they could be held accountable.

 

Trying to get a purchase on the inside of the broken connector with a sewing needle or similar tool seems like the best bet. The right-angle connector is a bit different since it has a little cube with the cable going in one side and the connector coming out the bottom with a couple little slots in the side of the cube so you can put your fingernails in and ease it out of the jack.

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Thrak,

 

I feel your frustration, and if I lived in California, I'd be happy to bring my tools and pop out that blasted plug for you.

 

It appears that even though the stub of the antenna is still there, the gpsr should still work on it's built in antenna, am I correct??

 

Two thoughts come to mind:

1) A miniature drill and tap. Once tapped, a 2-20 or 4-40 (or smaller) screw could be inserted and use pliers to pull it out.

2) Do you have any small fish hooks in your tackle box?? They could be used instead of a needle, but be very careful as they are usually high carbon steel and could break easily.

 

Always use proper eye protection when attempting something like this...

 

A ham radio buff/electronic tech may have seen this before and could offer a solution.

 

Take a look at the Amphenol MCX specs. There's a cutaway view/diagram and dimension of this connector. Perhaps you might be able to visualize a solution.

 

Again, I feel your frustration and hopefully I given you some clue in getting that little buggar out.

 

Regards,

- Mitch -

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Thrak,

 

I woke up this morning with an idea. Dental Pick. Yep, a "real" dental pick.

 

When I visited my dentist for my regular cleaning, I asked him one time about what he did with his dental picks when they got dull. He replied that he sent them out for occasional sharpening and the eventually, when they got too thin for resharpening, he set them aside. I asked him if I could have one and he handed me a box and said "take your pick". (no pun intended) :D

 

Took two, and they have been the best little tools I've ever kept in the toolbox. Naturally, I ground one end off as they are double sided. (Remember to practice good eye safety).

 

I think that's just the ticket to solve your problem.

 

Regards,

 

- Mitch -

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Last night I tried very small crochet hooks my wife has - no luck. I called Garmin this morning at 6:30 AM my time -- 8:30 AM their time. I received the BEST customer service I have had in a long time.

 

I spoke with a tech guy and told him what had happened. I also freely admitted trying to get the thing out and said it is possible that it is now screwed up in the unit as well as having the plug inside. I said that the only way I could see to fix it at this point is if I took it apart. He told me NOT to do that as it would void my warranty. When I replied that I didn't see this as something that would be covered under warranty he said, "Oh, I think we can do that for you." </boggle!>

 

He gave me an RMA number and said there should be no problem not only covering the repair under warranty but that there was no reason I shouldn't have the unit back in plenty of time for my trip to Montana on the 16th of next month. I didn't think customer service of this type existed anymore. What a great way to start the day. :D

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It's a bit late now, but I recommend a drop or two of a thin oil in the antenna connector. Doesn't harm anything, but makes it a lot easier to remove the plug from the socket.

My Gillson connection is so snug that I usually have to use my Leatherman to unplug it. (I have the 90° connector). After reading about thrak's problems, I am definitely going to try some 3 in 1 oil on the connector before re-attaching it.

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So glad to hear that, thrak.

 

Sorry you had to go through this with your brand new GPSr, but I'm happy it is going to turn out okay.

 

Now I wonder if Glisson will come through for you on a replacement antenna . . .

I sent an inquiry to Glisson two days ago asking for advice on removing the broken piece and if they had any insight into why the thing would have come apart in the first place. I immediately received an auto response but haven't gotten anything from an actual person. Doubt that I will.

 

I'm wondering if there is a place to buy another end that I could use to repair the cable on my brand new but now useless antenna.

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It's a bit late now, but I recommend a drop or two of a thin oil in the antenna connector. Doesn't harm anything, but makes it a lot easier to remove the plug from the socket.

Have you actually done this with no ill effects?

Petroleum based oil is not usually recommended around rubber (and some plastic) parts. I've got the antenna with the right-angle plug and to get it out I have to use pliers.

 

I'm considering using a drop of electronics lubricant to see if it makes removal easier.

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It's a bit late now, but I recommend a drop or two of a thin oil in the antenna connector. Doesn't harm anything, but makes it a lot easier to remove the plug from the socket.

My Gillson connection is so snug that I usually have to use my Leatherman to unplug it. (I have the 90° connector). After reading about thrak's problems, I am definitely going to try some 3 in 1 oil on the connector before re-attaching it.

 

don't use oil -

 

oil collects dirt

 

if you feel you must lube it get some spray silicone

spray it on a tooth pick or cotton swab and use that to lube the PLUG

not the socket.

 

for those of you who want some dental picks check out this link

four for $5

 

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Disp...temnumber=90664

 

cc\

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Last night I tried very small crochet hooks my wife has - no luck. I called Garmin this morning at 6:30 AM my time -- 8:30 AM their time. I received the BEST customer service I have had in a long time.

 

I spoke with a tech guy and told him what had happened. I also freely admitted trying to get the thing out and said it is possible that it is now screwed up in the unit as well as having the plug inside. I said that the only way I could see to fix it at this point is if I took it apart. He told me NOT to do that as it would void my warranty. When I replied that I didn't see this as something that would be covered under warranty he said, "Oh, I think we can do that for you." </boggle!>

 

He gave me an RMA number and said there should be no problem not only covering the repair under warranty but that there was no reason I shouldn't have the unit back in plenty of time for my trip to Montana on the 16th of next month. I didn't think customer service of this type existed anymore. What a great way to start the day. :D

Please keep us updated on this,and if you get it back in time for your trip.

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Radio Shack! Oh, you optimist. MCX connectors are NOT standard stocked items in most electronics stores. I had to buy mine online (and pay more for shipping than the connectors cost). They are also tricky to attach to the cable if you're not used to doing very small soldering work.

 

Here's were I got mine:

 

Fleeman Anderson and Bird

 

I recommend NOT getting the right angle connector, repeatedly plugging it in and pulling it out of the GPSr puts a moment on the connector that eventually breaks it.

 

Be careful stripping the coax, if you nick the conductor, it affects performance.

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Radio Shack!  Oh, you optimist.  MCX connectors are NOT standard stocked items in most electronics stores.  I had to buy mine online (and pay more for shipping than the connectors cost).  They are also tricky to attach to the cable if you're not used to doing very small soldering work.

 

Here's were I got mine:

 

Fleeman Anderson and Bird

 

I recommend NOT getting the right angle connector, repeatedly plugging it in and pulling it out of the GPSr puts a moment on the connector that eventually breaks it.

 

Be careful stripping the coax, if you nick the conductor, it affects performance.

There are 2 Radio Shack stores in my town. BOTH recently underwent a dramatic change in focus. They are now essentially PHONE STORES! The shelves and racks of parts, connectors, power supplies, etc. are gone. They have a large round kiosk in the center of the store and sell phones and phone plans.

 

There are some shelves with items like blank CDs (very limited) and things of that sort but as far as being an electronics parts store it is a thing of the past - at least here in this town.

 

Since you say you purchased an MCX connector is it safe to assume you did so for the same reason I need one? I looked at the site you referenced and, under their "special connectors" section I found the right angle MCX connector but not a 180 degree connector. Since you reccomended NOT getting the right angle connector can you tell me what actual part number you ordered? It's annoying to have this brand new antenna and have it be useless.

Edited by thrak
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I recommend NOT getting the right angle connector, repeatedly plugging it in and pulling it out of the GPSr puts a moment on the connector that eventually breaks it.

I've had the Gilsson antenna with a right-angle connector for over a year and have connected/disconnected it well over 100 times. There's a little metal cube that makes the right angle and it has two grooves in the sides. Fingernails fit nicely in those grooves and let you pull straight out on the connector with no torque that could damage it, nor are you applying any strain on the cable.

 

The right-angle bend also lets the antenna cable lie flush against the back of my eMap where it's out of the way and unlikely to get snagged in a way that would exert force on the connector.

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I did get the right angle connector from FA&B. I wanted to shorten my cable, as I was shipped a 9' cable in place of the 3' cable I ordered. Turns out it would have been cheaper to buy a new antenna than to replace the connector.

 

If you do a search for MCX connectors you'll find a number of e-sellers that will ship them, the problem if finding one who'll ship less than a dozen.

 

Typical price is $5 to $7 for the connector and $10 - $15 shipping. Then you have to do the microsurgery to solder on the new connector. It's hardly worth the trouble.

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I received a couple of replies to my inquiry to Glisson. One said to be aware that in order to properly install an mcx connector you not only needed to do very fine soldering but also need a specialized (and fairly expensive) crimping tool.

 

The other asked about the damage to the antenna and when if I had purchased it within the last three months. When I explained the damage and that my GPSr had been sent to Garmin for repair and that I had purchased the antenna THIS month I received the following reply:

 

[begin cut and paste from email]

Dear Sir,

 

Thank you for your prompt reply! At your convenience please return the antenna + a copy of this email via USPS First Class Mail to:

 

Gilsson Technologies

RMA: AC083005MG

2576 Barrington Court

Hayward, CA 94545

 

A replacement + a reimbursement of your shipping back to us will be issued as soon as we receive the defective antenna. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Thank you and have a super day!

Kindest Regards,

GPSgeek Team

 

[End cut and paste from email]

 

I'll send it in tomorrow and keep my fingers crossed for the promised replacement!

 

Almost time to go home and have a beer. :unsure:

 

pint.gifpint.gifpint.gifpint.gifpint.gifpint.gif

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Thought I'd post an update on this.

 

Garmin took my GPSr as a warranty repair and it is on it's way back to me via 2nd day delivery. It will be here tomorrow.

 

I sent the antenna to Glisson and just got email notification that a replacement has been sent out and also notice from PayPal that Glisson has refunded me the amount it cost me to ship the thing to them. Wow!

 

While I'm not happy that things went wrong in the first place I am extremely pleased at the response from both vendors.

 

I'm taking tomorrow off since I only work 4 hours on Fridays and Monday is a holiday so I'm looking forward to finding a few caches over my 4 day weekend. I sure hope the GPSr arrives early in the day - it's guaranteed delivery by 5:00 PM but I can hope for morning. :P

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