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Garmin GPSmap 276C 63 Cent Floppy Antenna "Fix"

My aging GPS has recently been suffering from FAS (floppy antenna syndrome). That is, the BNC mounted external antenna needs a little Viagra to stand straight up and continue pointing to the sky like it should. Over time, the plastic that provides a little friction between the GPS case and the antenna itself tends to wear due to vibration, allowing things to get a little sloppy. You'll know if your GPS has this problem if the antenna falls over to the right and looks like the photo below.

I've seen this problem solved with a rubber band (you know who you are), but I had a better idea. I figured a properly sized O-ring placed over the business end of the BNC connector on the GPS itself would cause enough extra friction with antenna to keep things pointing north. The BNC connector on the GPS is shown below.

Off to the hardware store I went to get an O-ring that fit the approximately 5/16" diameter of the BNC connector above. I came up with this:

I slipped it over the BNC and tamped it down to the base as shown in this photo.

Thinking this would do the trick, I aligned the antenna and popped it back in place. My thinking wasn't right - never really is. The antenna was still as loose as when I started. OK, maybe two O-rings would do the trick if they're stacked on top of each other. After a convenient stop back at the hardware store later in the day (they love me), I procured yet another identical O-ring and immediate stacked it on the other. STILL no success. What?!?

It was then I realized that the antenna's connector slips inside the BNC on the GPS and not over it. It would take quite a few O-rings stacked to provide enough friction to get the job done. It was at this point that I fished the 2nd one back off the BNC and tried something different.

Take Two:  I placed the O-ring loosely over the end of the antenna's connector and lined things back up to reattach the antenna to the GPS. As I pressed the antenna into place, the O-ring is forced up and onto the BNC in a manner that it doesn't align perfectly, but provides just enough resistance to make things a whole lot tighter. Success!!

No more floppy antenna! So, for 63 cents (just one O-ring if you try it), I managed a cheap, effective solution. Because I bought two, I ended up with a spare that I can fish off the BNC connector in case I ever wear this one out. Try it!

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Reader Comments (2)

Yes. I do know 'who I are'. Thanks for the shout out even if it was in a back handed manner. ;->
BTW...... The project is looking great.

February 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMr_Ed

I couldn't resist. I'd be glad to try to refine this hack a bit more on your 276C.

February 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterBrian Young

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