I recently discovered that the strain relief on my Garmin external power cable had failed.   The wire was still okay but it wouldn’t be for long if I didn’t do something about it.  While thinking about how to fix this problem I realized that the underlying issue was there there isn’t enough of the connector to allow me to grasp the solid part in order to remove the connector from my GPS60CSx.  Instead I’ve been pulling on the wire which has caused it to fail.  What I needed to do was add a pull-tab to the connector so that I wouldn’t be pulling on the wire.   The following is a description of how I went about doing that.

Completed Pull-Tab

Completed Pull-Tab for Garmin GPS 60CSx external power cable

To begin you will need something to act as the pull-tab.  I used part of a weather cover for a CATV connector.  You could also use the washer from a garden hose.  I choose a rubber fitting so that there was some give in the event the pull-tab hit something hard.

Roughen surface of connector

Roughen surface of connector to create a better bonding surface for the adhesive.

Rough up the top of the connector.  The adhesive will bond better if the surface a bit rough.  You don’t have to be too aggressive at this stage.

Tape bottom of connector to prevent glue from leaking onto bottom of connector

I was solving two problems when I did this project.  First I was trying to fix the crack in the strain relief and second I was adding the pull-tab.  The elastic in the picture above was used to keep pressure on the strain relief once the glue was applied.  I used Loctite Sumo Glue which expands when it cures.

clamp connector and pull tab

Clamp connector and pull tab as this glue will expand when cured.

I needed to clamp the connector and pull-tab so that I could maintain the correct alignment.  The adhesive I used will expand when it cures and this can cause a few problems.

adhesive expands

The Sumo adhesive expands. Make sure you tape off any exposed surfaces.

You can see in this (slightly out of focus) image that the glue expanded considerably where I tried to fix the strain relief.  Luckily I had taped off the bottom of the connector.  That is the part that inserts into the GPS 60Csx.  Any glue on that part would have made inserting the connector into my unit difficult.  I trimmed off the excess adhesive using a sharp knife.  You have to be very careful if you are going to use a knife as a slip could slice the cable and that would ruin the whole project.

apply marker to cover

The adhesive dries white so I used a marker to color it black. This gives it a little better finish.

I finished things off by colouring over the white adhesive with a black marker.  Coloring the adhesive really helps to give a clean finished appearance even when there is a little glue seepage.

Finished connector

Finished connector inserted into GPS 60CSx

Finished pull-tab on the connector inserted into the GPS unit. piece inserted.  Now if only Garmin had thought of this!

Loctite Sumo Adhesive

Here is what the bottle looks like if you are looking for Loctite Sumo Adhesive.

You can find higher resolution images in my Flickr photostream – mycachemania


I have been writing the cachemania blog since 2008. I'm interested in the development of geocaching and the many ways that people play the game.

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