Connecting a Lowrance LCX-15 to a Garmin GPS

Discussion in 'Fishing Electronics Review' started by mrc, Dec 1, 2006.

  1. mrc

    mrc New Member

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    Guys,

    My father-in-law has a Lowrance LCX-15 fishfinder and my wife is wanting to get him a GPS to hook up to it. I have a Garmin Etrex legend that I really like and will probably get him one of those IF I can find a cable that will allow it to be connected to the fishfinder. I don't mind making the cable myself if I have to but I really need to know what type of GPS connector the Lowrance unit has. Anyone have one of the fishfinders and know what kind of connector it has? Or better yet, does anyone know where I could just buy a pre-made cable?
     
  2. GMC FishHauler

    GMC FishHauler New Member

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    1,335
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    Waco, Texas, Un
    i dont know but if u find anything be sure to post it, please.
     

  3. jim

    jim New Member

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    2,579
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    Jacksonville NC
    I dont have my unit in hand but I believe the GPS is a 2 pin twist in connector cable.Go to Lorances website and look for accessories.You might just want to buy him the GPS module for his unit instead of going through the cable pain.LEI has all the accessories,and the module should cost about the same as an E-Trex.:smile2:
     
  4. mrc

    mrc New Member

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    I've checked on the lowrance gps module. It's $100 bucks more than the Garmin Etrex legend unit. I'll try to see if I can just get the connector for the Lowrance off of their website and see if I can make my own cable. Thanks!
     
  5. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

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    You better call Lowrance first - the tech support number is on their web site.

    I doubt that just any old consumer GPS device is going to interface with their units; you probably need to buy the LGC-12W GPS unit that is intended for use with your model of sonar. Yeah, it's expensive. There's a used one on eBay now for $150.
     
  6. duxsrus

    duxsrus New Member

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    SW Ohio
    I may be able to steer you in the right direction here.

    Best I can tell from looking at Lowrance's web site is there is an LCX-15CI and an LCX-15MT and after downloading the manuals for both of those it looks like the power cable should have bare wires for NMEA inputs already. It says to use the Orange as (+) and shield as (-).

    Now for the GPS, Garmin makes a data cable that terminates in bare wire exactly for this purpose. However, it is not a powered cable. As in you will have to continue to use batteries in the GPS. IMO, that's not the best solution. I have done this next solution with another brand of sonar. I bought a generic Garmin power cord off of Ebay, such as this one:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Power-Cable-fr-Garmin-eTrex-Legend-Vista-Summit-Venture_W0QQitemZ120058311378QQihZ002QQcategoryZ58045QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem#ebayphotohosting

    I took apart the cigarette plug and found the remaining two wires going to the gps plug and extended them through a small hole I drilled in the cigarette plug plastics and then extended those wires to the MNEA input wires on the sonar's power cable. Then I hard wired an inline cigarette lighter socket under the dash so that the gps is powered off the boats electrical system and also feeds the sonars NMEA input.

    If this doesn't make any sense, PM me.

    I don't believe you will find a "pre-made" cable to interface the two devices you're trying to. What I did was actually very simple.
     
  7. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

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    Are you sure those are for NMEA input and not NMEA output?
     
  8. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

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    1,569
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    north carolina
    heres a picture of mine. hope it helps. mine lcx15-mt. the pictures are little burry but i hope it helps. looks to be a 4 pin plug.
     

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  9. duxsrus

    duxsrus New Member

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    1,014
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    According to the manual, the LCX-15 has two com ports wired to the power/data cable. COM 1 is duplex NMEA, COM 2 is an NMEA output only. The Orange wire is COM 1 - NMEA Input, the shield is signal ground. Pages 7-9 of the pdf manual explains all of this. Just a side note, the NMEA com port(s) must be setup in the fish finder to work. It goes on to explain how to do that.
     
  10. mrc

    mrc New Member

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    Thanks guys. By looking at the manual, it's a simple wiring job. My biggest problem is going to be finding the correct connector. I've got a few at work that I'll just go and try out. I was hoping that someone might know where I could buy one pre-made so I wouldn't have to drive and hour and a half to test it. Thanks again! I'll let you all know how it goes!
     
  11. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

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    2,554
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    I'm not sure you need a connector, based on what Duxrus is telling us -- the power cable for your sonar unit should already have the wires you need available to you, so there's nothing to plug into the sonar.

    You do need a connector to plug into your eTrex for sure - I'd just buy one of those on eBay; it's far cheaper than buying the cable from the manufacturer, and they all use a custom plug that you won't find in your junk box.

    Good luck - let us know how it comes out.