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To Color Or Not

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I am looking at upgrading my GPS. I was recently given a new 76S. Howevr after reading this site and looking at larger color units for my boat I am wondering if I should trade this one for a color unit. I know I will not get any more acuracy but my old eyes that now need reading glasses do seem to pick things easier in color.

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Night Stalker just picked up a 60CS. His observations mixed with mine are this.


The screen in sunlight is better than my GPS V. Out of the sun in normal shade it was a toss for visibility. In twilight the color background of the maps gave you less contrast to see the map by (meaning turn on your backlight) than a monochrom GPS.


At night he said the map switched colors to something much easier to work with and that switch was automatic by the GPS 60CS. I didn't get to see that work.


Overall I'd call color for visibility a wash. Some parts are better and some aren't. However if your own eyes have an easier time with color then why not? It does give you an excuse to upgrade.

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On the water the color units do seem nicer. They distinguish depth by color. My delema is that I have a brand new in the box 76S. Do I take it out and use it or sell it and buy a color from the start. I have been using an old Garmin 12 for the last ten years.

Edited by zcoyote12
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I had a 76s that I bought new, used for a few years and sold in a heartbeat for a 76CS.


I loved the 76S.


I like the 76CS even more!


Yes, the color is better IMO than the greyscale.


Don't forget the 76CS also jumps you from 24Mb of mapping memory to 115Mb and adds Autorouting.


If $ is not the issue, sell the new 76S locally or on ebay and place an order for a 76CS from TVNav.com (they know gps and are a small family business, one of the owners will answer the phone, great service and low prices).

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At night he said the map switched colors to something much easier to work with and that switch was automatic by the GPS 60CS. I didn't get to see that work.

It doesn't have to switch to a night time view if you don't want it to. You can pick from several color schemes on the 60cs and pick the ones you like best. You can have it switch from a day to night color scheme or just keep the same one all the time.


Personally, after using a Legend and then buying a 60cs, I prefer the color screen.

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I like the color screen with topo maps. On my III+ I couldn't tell if that line on the map was a path, road or stream.


With color screan on my 76c, the streams are blue and the roads are red so I am doing a lot less driving in the water.

Edited by bnolan
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I have both Bluecharts and Fishing Hotspots on a large-screen 4-level gray (GPSmap 162), high-resolution eTrex (Vista) and a 256-level color unit (GPSmap 60CS).


There is no doubt that the contrast of the color unit makes it easier to see than either of my other two units when using Bluecharts or Fishing Hotspots.


I'm less impressed by my color unit when looking at roads or topo maps. Garmin really needs to change the default background on terrestial maps less yellowish-brown and more white.

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You can buy a 16 MB blank data card for between $20 and $40 (on ebay) and the USB card programmer for another $45. I have US007 and it has 90 NOAA charts and only takes up 9.21 MB so it would easily fit on a 16MB card.

The good thing about this set-up is that you can put other, unlocked Mapsource maps on your 188C.


You still migth be better off just buying the pre-programmed cards outright and saving your second unlock codes for your next GPS, maybe the next generation color handheld.

Edited by Rubberhead
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buy bluechart on cd - it gives you the right to load the software on up to 2 unique gps units that YOU own.


for the 188c (make sure you check out the 178c also - has a 10000 point track log as opposed to the 3000 points on the 188 and more colors also) buy a blank memory card as rubberhead suggested. check the bluechart cd package for the region you're interested in and then the number of megabytes required. buy a memory card that meets this requirement and install. you will likely need the usb card programmer to program the memory card unless you can find someone with the ac/pc adapter used by garmin's gps/sounder units. with this adapter you can program the card once inserted into the 188 (or 178).


use your second unlock code for your 76cs and you're all set.


try to get the new bluechart v6.5 just announced. if you can't find the new version (may not be shipping until 8/1/04) and have to buy 6.0 you'll be entitled to the 6.5 upgrade for free by contacting garmin.

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Thnaks guys. Aguy up at Bass Pro mentioned geting the CD and they using a blank chip. I might have to get some help with the CPU stuff but that should be do able. I am suprised by the enhabcements of the 178 The 188 is a higher end model according to Garmins charts and price.

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