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Thread: Earthmate not weatherproof need help

  1. #1
    VENDOR - Centrafuse veetid's Avatar
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    Earthmate not weatherproof need help

    I originally had my earthmate attached to the top of my Jeep Cherokee Sport 2001... It has been working perfect for over a month aquiring all sats... Well... Last night it rained really hard and I came to discover just how un-weatherproof it really is... I woke up in the morning and started my car and the earthmate was so wet it fryed it.. I unhooked it, shook it, and water poured out.. I was over my 30 days return with Best Buy, but I was able to get them to exchange for a new one.. "Old one just stopped working for some unknown reason" .... Anyway... Now I am trying to get it to aquire a signal inside the car and I can't.. I have tried everywhere.. Front, Back, Sides... Can anyone help suggest how I can make this thing get a signal inside my car? Has anyone found a good spot in a Cherokee for earthmates? If not how can I waterproof this thing?

    I can't get my money back for this thing so I would love to make it work, but if not what are some other GPS mouses that are 100% waterproof and safe for all weather?
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  2. #2
    Newbie STIdev's Avatar
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    Get a reradiating antenna. The cost about 70-100 bucks. I used to run my GPS in my jeep and that's what I used. In fact I still have my reradiator in a drawer somewhere because I no longer have the jeep
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  3. #3
    Low Bitrate jdaniels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veetid
    I originally had my earthmate attached to the top of my Jeep Cherokee Sport 2001... It has been working perfect for over a month aquiring all sats... Well... Last night it rained really hard and I came to discover just how un-weatherproof it really is... I woke up in the morning and started my car and the earthmate was so wet it fryed it.. I unhooked it, shook it, and water poured out.. I was over my 30 days return with Best Buy, but I was able to get them to exchange for a new one.. "Old one just stopped working for some unknown reason" .... Anyway... Now I am trying to get it to aquire a signal inside the car and I can't.. I have tried everywhere.. Front, Back, Sides... Can anyone help suggest how I can make this thing get a signal inside my car? Has anyone found a good spot in a Cherokee for earthmates? If not how can I waterproof this thing?

    I can't get my money back for this thing so I would love to make it work, but if not what are some other GPS mouses that are 100% waterproof and safe for all weather?
    I weatherproofed mine by buying some "Plasti-Dip" from Lowes, it's for dipping tool handles in and it makes a permanent coating (or pretty damned close) over anything... I took the rubber pad off the bottom, because the first time i dipped it, it started to "melt" off as it was having a weird reaction with the dip... after taking it off, it was smooth sailing from there... I dipped the earthmate, with the cable attached, into the plasti-dip... pulled it out slowly after submersing it to about 1" up the cable... hung it up for 30 min, and put on another coat. Let it sit overnight, and all was well.. I had a black rubber earthmate, working perfectly The next day, it rained.... it kept raining on and off for about a week, and it still works flawlessly... i drive it through the car washes too

  4. #4
    I'm sorry, and you are....? frodobaggins's Avatar
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    Yeah, Plasti-Dip is some cool ****.
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  5. #5
    Raw Wave rando's Avatar
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    It should work on your dash, under the windshield, unless you have some sort of metallic material (tinting, heating element, antenna) on there.

    The plastic dipping or other sealent will probably help for a while but it's possible that condensation will still eventually kill it.

  6. #6
    VENDOR - Centrafuse veetid's Avatar
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    Going to buy some tomorrow and try out.... that stuff seems like it rocks...
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  7. #7
    VENDOR - Centrafuse veetid's Avatar
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    rando: I have tried to get a single inside the car with no luck... Shakes had similiar problems with a cherokee....

    Bloody GPS don't like my windshield
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  8. #8
    Low Bitrate jdaniels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rando
    It should work on your dash, under the windshield, unless you have some sort of metallic material (tinting, heating element, antenna) on there.

    The plastic dipping or other sealent will probably help for a while but it's possible that condensation will still eventually kill it.

    I doubt it... The seal is the tightest I've ever seen...

  9. #9
    Raw Wave rando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdaniels
    I doubt it... The seal is the tightest I've ever seen...
    Just do a bit of searching on the net about weatherproofing cables and electronics. It appears to be a complex problem. Even if the coating you're talking about is truly weatherproof, you still have to question the junction between the material and the existing USB cable. Unless you dip it deep enough such that the junction is inside the car, there is a chance that water might seep in that junction. Moreover, the orginal usb cable itself is very unlikely to be weather resistent. If any of that cable is exposed to water, you can expect it to (eventually) become flooded (yes the cable itself). If flooding doesn't short out the cable first, the water will run through the inside of the cable and into the connector and into your GPS unit.

    These effects could happen soon or may take years. The good news is that your only risking a $60-$100 device.

    Another concern with completely sealing the device is heat. Anyone have any heat related issues with their dipped GPS units?

  10. #10
    VENDOR - Centrafuse veetid's Avatar
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    Well... I dipped my last night.. Letting it dry today... I will then test it out and post a picture... Looks pretty awesome.. and there is no way water will ever get in this thing.... I also dipped down the usb cable all the way into the car, so everything outside is covered with rubber....
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  11. #11
    Raw Wave rando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veetid
    Well... I dipped my last night.. Letting it dry today... I will then test it out and post a picture... Looks pretty awesome.. and there is no way water will ever get in this thing.... I also dipped down the usb cable all the way into the car, so everything outside is covered with rubber....
    If the rubber material is that good, I guess you could remove the plastic housing before you dip. That should reduce signal degradation a little.

  12. #12
    VENDOR - Centrafuse veetid's Avatar
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    worked great... I hooked it up today and received 10 sats... It looks like the extra plastic didn't hurt my signal.. I will post a picture after work...
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  13. #13
    VENDOR - Centrafuse veetid's Avatar
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    Here is a pic... Works great....
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  14. #14
    Maximum Bitrate MoFo's Avatar
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    wow..that looks good. so much better than the original yellow.

    thanks for posting a picture

    EDIT: can you post a picture of how it looks mounted on your car? or maybe give some details on how you mounted it

  15. #15
    Maximum Bitrate mobileh1's Avatar
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    The TripNav is waterproof and works great. They are so inexpensive, you can throw it away and get another one if it dies on you.

    Bottom line on interior mounted GPS units... poor reception. They work sometimes, but under anything other than ideal circumstances they perform poorly.

    Remember the antenna needs a groundplane, so mount the thing on the biggest hunk of steel you car has that faces skyward.

    The US DOT mandates that car roofs are steel. Personally I think this was to ensure that everyone has a good groundplane, but there are other theories...

    If you want it to blend in and look pretty paint it to match. If you have a roof rack then you can mount it discretely without much problem...

    Goodluck, hope it works out well... The rubberizing looks awsome! I want to rubberize my whole car!
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