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How to Make a Nikon D200 GPS Mount and Cable

How to Make a Nikon D200 GPS Mount and Cable

This project contains step by step instructions to connect and mount a GPS to a D200 camera without having to pay the high price for an off the shelf solution. The cable created is in essence the same thing as the Nikon MC-35.
The Nikon MC-35 is $150 and is pretty much only available after special ordering it straight from Nikon with a 3-6 month wait time. Red Hen Systems offers a package that has a hot shoe mount and cable for a Garmin geko as seen here however they want $395 for what amounts to 2 special connectors, a serial adapter, and a hot-shoe mount. You can also purchase the GPS with their kit for a whopping $544. At the end I will total up what all the pieces cost me and the savings will be apparent.

There are other howto’s on the internet on how to make one of these cables however I have been frustrated about how poorly organized the information is about it. I hope to make this as clear and concise as possible. I also took several pictures that hopefully will illustrate both what I am trying to explain as instructions as well as show how easy it would be to make your own solution.

Construction of cable. This cable would be about $150 dollars and a 3-6 month wait should you buy one from Nikon. Even then you would still need a serial adapter for your GPS. This hack was harder than the first one for me because the 10 pin connector on the D200 is poorly documented. Well I am sure it is perfectly documented but that would require an NDA with Nikon. That is something I do not have. For a reference one what each pin on the 10 pin connector does I referenced this page. One caveat I found is that with the MC-21 cable I used the color coding on his chart is correct however if you are looking at the female connector the pin-out is a mirror image to what is shown there. It is for this reason I may still have one wire wrong. I do not know the long term implications of this and take no responsibility for what anyone decides to hook onto their camera. In actuality it seems that the communications between the camera and the GPS are only happening in one direction. I Think I may have the Rx for the GPS hooked to an unlabeled pin on his diagram. More on this later as it is neither here nor there at the moment. First lets take a look at what we need to make this hack work.

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