Sunday, February 13, 2005

A Benefit of a Short Hop

If you read any of my stories about the West Coast Road Trip, you'll see what a time I had using a GPS instead of map. It was definitely a love-hate relationship for a while. Nevertheless, once you have a GPS, you won't want to part with it or go anywhere without it.

With time, you also learn how to use your GPS with more skill.

Still, one of the weak links in the Garmin GPS is it's power cord. More than one has had to be replaced due to the connector coming apart. It is designed to hold a fuse. Part of it can be unscrewed so that the fuse can be replaced. Along with the fuse, inside the connector, is a small spring that holds the fuse against a plunger that pokes out of the connector and makes contact with the cigarette-lighter adapter.

Well, the screw bit is known to come unscrewed all by itself. More than once I've found myself returning to previous locations and searching for parts of this connector or the spring. Today, it was a good thing I had only driven a few blocks to my friend, Mindy's and back.

Arriving at her house, I took off the GPS and removed the cord going to the power adapter. I pulled the connector out of the cigarette-lighter adapter and put the coiled cords into the bike's rear box. After visiting with Mindy, I got on the bike and rode home. It was at home, when I went to remove the cords from the box, that I saw the connector had come apart again When I picked it up, the fuse fell out of the connector into my hand.

A neighbor interupted me, and a moment later I began to look for the screw and plunger. They weren't to be found in the box, amid the clothing that had also been in the box, or on the ground. Nuts.

I took things inside then rode the bike back to Mindy's. The screw part was right on the ground where I had parked the bike. Thirty seconds later, I found the plunger. But fifteen minutes of searching the pavement and I had not found the spring. I kept thinking about where I had found what parts of the connector and how the connector went together to see if I could get some insight into what direction the spring might have gone as I pulled the connector out of the adapter.

Then it dawned on me: The spring fit under the fuse. It could not have come out of the connector before the fuse did, and the fuse had been found in the box at my place with the connector.

Back to my place. I parked a few feet away from where I had previously parked, backed to the curb. The spring was not anywhere on the street. That would mean I would have to look amid the grass and the leaves. Looking at where the back of the box hung over the curb, I chose the same area behind where I had parked, previously. A few seconds later something silver glinted from between two leaves, and I had what I needed to put the connector back together.

The good news is that Mindy's was only two miles away not more.

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