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MajBach

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Everything posted by MajBach

  1. Thanks for that input. I actually went the old fashioned route and called Garmin (after hours on-line searching). Spoke to someone right away and learned that NONE of my maps on CD will work in ANY Garmin marine unit. They must be Bluechart V2. Not even navionics works. Hello Lowrance! Just when they were about to take over the market (I was a die-hard Lowrance user - handheld and marine until Garmin made mapping so versatile and I bought a 76 CDx), they go and do something selfish and arrogant to put their competitors back on the map. If I am going to have to buy new maps, I am going with Lowrance. They did say I could use my waypoints etc from the 76 onto the marine unit though.
  2. I am still deep into it. I hate when you think you are getting close to narrowing it down, something new pops up and throws everything to wack! So far, I cannot find anything that states if the Garmin chartplotters will interface with a PC. Maybe they're not designed to but how does one transfer waypoints from the hand held to the marine unit? I thought the 60/76 series stored waypoint info withi the unit, not on an SD card?
  3. Technology is great but sometimes overwhelming. I used to pride myself on thoroughly researching something before buying and always feeling like I made an informed choice. I don't know if it's because I am getting too old or if these gadgets are just becoming too complicated, but I just don't have the time or patience to read up on the latest and greatest anymore. A colleague of mine just purchased a boat and asked me to pick out a sonar unit for him. He doesn't realize the depth of that request! I too am thinking about upgrading my 10 year old Lowrance. So, might be a good time to start researching what is out there. So, what do we want? Well, I am going to assume that my friend would want the same thing as I would want (he makes more money than I so he can afford it), and, it will almost certainly be me that programs it so I may as well shop as if shopping for one. I have always liked Lowrance - for both marine and on the road. If it wasn't for the lack of chart compatibility and versatility when I last shopped for a hand held, I would have bought the H20. Right now I own GPS76 CSx. I use it in conjunction with my Lowrance X-25 sonar; a unit I am also happy with - or was at the time. Price was an issue back then, so I want to upgrade to something better. At the time too, I decided that a handheld GPS would be the best all-around choice because I can use it for driving, boating, Geocaching etc. and I would only have to program one unit. But, I now appreciate the value of a larger screen in a chart plotter and even those dedicated driving/mapping unit seem to function better than a portable handheld. I've always liked the handhelds though for their versatility - being able to add waypoints and custom POIs from my PC etc. I haven't found (maybe haven't looked hard enough?) a chart plotter or other device that does that. But, I think my friend wants a dual unit [chartplotter, not sonar only] and I do too, despite the fact that we both have good handhelds. So, that is my first question: Do chartplotters allow you to connect to a computer to upload waypoints from other devices? Do chartplotters also have memory cards (like my 76 CSx) so that I can program the maps rather than buy cards for them? This is important to me because I have almost ALL of the Garmin maps on DVD (yes, purchased and licenced). Are there units that take both pre-programmed SD cards as well as flash memory cards? We recently acquired a new patrol boat for our detachment which came equipped with a Garmin 4208. Since I am the tech junkie of the bunch, the task of learning how to use this thing fell to me. Well, the manual is the size of the Criminal Code! I glanced under the dash to quickly ascertain if I can connect my laptop to this behemoth and upload maps/tracks/waypoints. What I saw looked more like a computer server room rather than a boat! I decided I will learn how to use it over the slow season but my point is, I would like to have a unit(s) that is compatible with everything else around here since our work and play times often overlap. If it's not possible to obtain this compatibility/versatility between the fixed boat units, our handhelds and laptops, then all bets are off and I'll look outside of Garmin. Humminbird was a four letter word when I bought my Lowrance, but they look like they have improved by leaps and bounds. As another point of interest, I would like to learn a little about the difference in transducer frequencies, i.e. advantages and disadvantages. I am quite disappointed with how easily my Lowrance loses bottom signal at higher speeds on my personal boat. I thought it might have something to do with peak-to-power or the frequency of the transducer but I have had a few sources assure me it's the hull of my boat that impacts this the most. Still, I live in deep/murky waters now (I was in shallower, cleaner waters when I bought the unit) and I would like something that is more capable. Price range? Under $1000 I know I have been long winded. Just my way of being thorough. Thanks a heap for reading to the end. All advice is greatly appreciated. MajBach Maybe ignorance is bliss?
  4. I agree with this method and it is the one I have used in the past in the Great Lakes. Generally, the smaller maps are more detailed. BUT, I've noticed on the BC coast there are American and Canadian charts of the same area. Which one is used by the unit in this case? Further, there are charts with significant overlaps with different copyright dates. I'd rather take the one of less detail if it is 10 years newer. I thought there might be an easier answer. Still curious to know how the GPS decides though. How does it know the level of detail on the smaller maps?
  5. Been awhile since I have been here. I'm sure this topic has come up before but I can't seem to find the answers so far. I'm taking a trip to the west coast soon ans am programming my 76 Cx with some marine charts. Problem is the overwhelming number of charts there are. In many areas, there can be over a dozen different charts for the same area. I have figured out how to get MapSource to show only one specific chart for any particular area but given the hundreds of charts for an area as small as Vancouver-Victoria-Seattle area, I can't realistically go through them all. So how do you decide? Even more confusing is how does both Mapsource and the GPS unit decide which map to show? For example, if I am looking at an area on Mapsource that has 5 charts overlapping the same spot-each one with different details, how does it decide which one to show? I know from experience it doesn't combine the info. Same question for the GPS unit. How does it determine which chart to show? In mapsource, I can least tell it which one to display, I can't do that with the GPS unit though. Thanks in advance for your help. MajBach
  6. Same with my Hondas. However, I have been in American cars that show as much as 15 kph too slow. Keep in mind that worn tires will cause your speedo to over-read. Also note that the odometer and speedo are independant of each other; how, I do not know. My ex's 2000 Civic showed an intriguing error on her speedo: accurate below 80 kph and then off by as much as 15 to fast by 110kph. It wasn't a fixed error nor a percentage of the speed. Interestingly though, her odometer was dead on always.
  7. Freakin 'A'!! Not like you were going to use the cassette anyway, right?
  8. Just the name of the Channel Marker.
  9. Speaking of adhesive discs...I was just looking on-line for non-Garmin equivalents. I am so impressed with the performance of the discs, I have several other applications I would like to use the material on. Plus, the nearest store that sells Garmin stuff from where I live is $40 in gasoline away. Anyone know what the 3-M equivalent tape would be?
  10. Hi again. I haven't had my unit connected to Mapsource in awhile and today I found something weird. When I downloaded the data, the tracks listed in Mapsource didn't jive with the ones on the GPSr. Specifically, the first three were correct but the next 21 were the same as the third one in name, size etc. The last one was the track that was listed as the fourth track on the GPSr. Whats going on here? I also thought there was room for only 20 saved tracks too.
  11. I have found that there is a BIG difference when selecting 'nearest containg' and 'find by name'. One appears to not use distance as a cut-off. Regardless, I find it unusual that the search results are different when searching for the same thing. TO elaborate, one search will not show the same stores even within the cutoff distance. Perhaps has something to do with what maps it searches under when there are more than one in memory. Looks like my original question was answered, lakes do not show up in searches except perhaps in Topo 2008.
  12. I do have Geographic Palces. A submenu also allows to choose from water features or land or both. Regardless, I am unable to search for a lake; even US lakes. Have you other success?
  13. Hi all. I was traveling home yesterday trying to locate a respectable size lake several hundred miles/kms from where I was - didn't even have a general idea. I did eventually find it ( There was a convenience store listed as a POI in the database with the same name), but the GPS would not locate it when I did a search using any parameter such as 'All POIs' or 'Find nearest' or 'Find by name'. The lake was named however on the map. I then experimented by doing searches for much more signifigant lakes using all three maps that are installed but still could not locate lakes (or rivers), even when they are clearly marked on the map. Am I doing something wrong?
  14. MajBach

    Canada - best maps

    I have all four and there are trade-offs for each. I find Metroguide Canada the one I use the most as it is most accurate (I have seen roads mis-labelled or out-of-position on City Select or N. America). It also has the most rural info - including roads and water bodies (even the smallest streams) and Parks etc. Topo Canada is quite close to MG Canada in roads and water bodies and landmarks but is missing all the bells and whistles, like businesses and services. City Select and City Nav have a more updated coverage of urban areas and POIs. There are many new subdivisions in it that are not on MG Canada but the coverage doesnt extend as far north nor are the back roads and water bodies as complete. Personally, if I was stuck with only one, I would select MG Canada.
  15. MajBach

    Canada - best maps

    I have all four and there are trade-offs for each. I find Metroguide Canada the one I use the most as it is most accurate (I have seen roads mis-labelled or out-of-position on City Select or N. America). It also has the most rural info - including roads and water bodies (even the smallest streams) and Parks etc. Topo Canada is quite close to MG Canada in roads and water bodies and landmarks but is missing all the bells and whistles, like businesses and services. City Select and City Nav have a more updated coverage of urban areas and POIs. There are many new subdivisions in it that are not on MG Canada but the coverage doesnt extend as far north nor are the back roads and water bodies as complete. Personally, if I was stuck with only one, I would select MG Canada.
  16. Again, I dont not own a S model. I actually have a portable consumer barometer I purchased for a $1 on a clearance table at a hardware store over 10 years ago. I've never seen anything remotely similiar since. I've had it up to 10,000 in an aircraft and it was surprisingly accurate. I've really never had 'use' for ti, just a toy andthis is why i dont need one on a GPS. I don't know how they work on GPSrs but any barometer I've used needs to be calibrated daily or more for accuracy. I also am unaware as to how a regular GPSr determine altitude but have heard they are not reliable/accurate. On my 76 Cx, I had overlaid track logs onto topo maps and have found the readings to be as accurate (or more) - with the exception of the odd obvious spike as ANY aircraft grade barometer. So, even if I did own a GPS with a barometer, I would still likely use the sattelite determined altitude.
  17. Don't know if this tells you anything you don't already know. Straight from the manual. Remeber the days of SA? *SIGH* POSITION PINNING When using a GPS receiver at extremely low speeds, it can have trouble determining your course over ground, or direction you’re travelling. This is due in large part to SA, or selective availability. SA is small inaccuracies purposefully put into the GPS satellite’s signal by the government. This cause wide variations in the track display and other navigation displays when using the unit at slow speeds. If you’re using this receiver without DGPS and stop, the position pinning feature locks the present position indicator on the plotter until you’ve moved a short distance or exceed a very slow speed. This prevents the “wandering” plot trail seen when you’re stopped with position pinning turned off. This also affects the navigational displays. The easiest way to see the effects of S/A is to stand still with the GPS receiver turned on and watch your plot trail with position pinning turned off. You’ll see the present position change, speed increase and decrease, and a random plot trail on the plotter’s screen. If you wish to turn the position pinning feature off, press the MENU key, then highlight the “GPS Setup” label and press the right arrow key. Now highlight the “Pinning” label. Finally, press the left arrow key.
  18. MajBach

    GPSMAP76

    George, I may have given you some bad advice. When I read 76C 76 Cx 76 CSx etc. I lump them all into the same unit as mine, as 76 Cx. I assumed you had the same unit as I but it looks like you had the older one? Without the x functionality? I am pretty sure that the pre 'x' series were different internally from the ones that do have the x capability. This might explain the slow redraw. Remember, mine DOES have the x and I do see some slow redraws but neve blank screens during panning. At full detail an low zoom (wide angle) on a complex map, the max redraw for me is maybe 6 seconds and is easily recitified with declutter or detail level. Did you say you already ordered the new one? Congrats. If not, reconsider the S functionality. Great for hikers and perhaps geocachers but a bit of a battery hog and I have read other disadvantages with it. I myself have no need for the sensors, I rely on more elaborate instruments if I need that info (boat compass or aircraft altimeter) Happy sailing.
  19. So, how do I enable this on my 76? I'm sorry, but I still say you are being subjective and not 'hearing' what I am saying. Two units, side-by-side being used while on foot. Signal strength IS NOT an issue here - at least not in my examples - because it happens 99% of the time; it is speed, not location (granted, location can pronounce the effect)related. During a standstill, one unit -with 'Pinning' set to 'ON' shows zero movement while the other unit consitently shows and records erratic movement and speed. On the first unit the bearing to target remains unchanged, on the second, it constantly changes. Begin walking and the unit with the Pinning function continues to show no speed BUT periodically updates the change in position and heading [accurately] and the bearing to target changes accordingly. The other unit without pinning becomes even more erratic with map orientation and zoom levels possibly changing UNLESS a fast paced walk is achieved. To me, the more desirable of the two observations is obvious. When I used my old unit with pinning, although it never showed a speed, the distance travelled and heading/bearing were almost always accurately displayed and the recorded track was entirely accurate without the star pattern of wandering even though the unit said I had a speed of zero. If however, I turned off pinning, I would see the same result as the Garmin - maybe less actually since it ignored the weaker signals and had a slower update period. The point of 'too many complaints' is completely moot. It's a toggle function. Don't like it? Turn it off. Once again the real issue is being ignored: useability. Who cares about the science behind it. I'd rather just hear an admission from a 60CSx user that IT IS an undersireable effect and that there has been shown to be a solution to it in other models or mfg's. Again, I will say that I am happy and impressed with my Garmin but sure, there are some things on it I miss from the Lowrance. I give myself credit for being a long time Lowrance user and crossing over to Garmin - sometimes it's hard to change from what you are used to. But, if I was a die hard geo-cacher, as many here are and it's their sole purpose for buying a GPS, I WOULD NOT recommend the 60/76 line.
  20. Excellent info...as usual. The first few times I used my unit for routing I kind of didn't like how the ETE etc. barely changed when there was a sudden change in speed - like stoplight, traffic jam. I kinda thought 'that sucks - how arrogant a GPSr to assume how fast I WILL be driving'. But after watching the 'Time to next' and 'ETA at Destination' numerous times I give in to admitting this method to be far more useful...and, indeed, accurate. I am amazing at how the unit predicts my arrival on a two hours trip to within a minute or so from the start point.!
  21. Now it's starting to make ME laugh--reading users justify an UNACCEPTABLE problem simply becuase they own that unit. As if to convince yourself that you made the right choice and didn't let impulse at all influence your buying decision. Think back....way back. I'm not trying to insult anyone or state the 60/76 is a bad line on GPSrs. I didn't know it would wander until I owned myself. But in my opinion, this problem is unacceptable because it is fixable. Other units don't do it, and other brands with 99% the accuracy and reception don't do it. Modern Lowrances might have track smoothing or whatever; I've never heard of it. My OLD one had 'Pinning' which eliminated it AND the reception was 99% as good at the 60/76 - it was just much slower to get the lock. When pinning was on, the unit would not register a speed or direction when stationary but it would show a bearing to target. It was amazing for geocaching although you wouldn't think so until you used it. My 76 wanders in the best of conditions - in open fields and on the water. When I first used it for a geocache in Ottawa, I was almost tempted to return to my car and get my GM100 because the wandering of the 76 while on foot was so bad as to make the 'Track up' feature unusable because of how annoying it was to watch the map rotate. Sure, if I was hunting Geocaches in the basement of someone's house or in canyons where other GPSrs couldn't get a lock, I'd prefer using the 60/76, but 99% of the time I am in areas where reception isn't an issue. I just believe this characterisitic deserves voicing a loud concern over since it would appear to be something that is fixable in future generations.
  22. I thought, perhaps, that that information might remain with the software and not get transferred - like waypoint categories - and only of use within Mapsource itself.
  23. I'd skip it. The compass is only accurate when held level to the ground. Tough to do on a moving boat. Save your money and get a gimbaled compass. I agree. YOu should have a compass on the boat, no?
  24. MajBach

    gps map 76s

    Have you looked at TOPO USA? Apparently there is a new version out. You can go to the Garmin site and actually look at the map via a web interface. Peter I concur. The topos for Canada have a great mixture of trails and urban features. Even campground trails are on mine.
  25. Do the speeds you can set in the options in Mapsource get transferred to the GPSr as preset speeds?
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