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Old 03 September 2004, 18:50   #1
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Chip or CD for Bluechart?

Hi all

Just got hold of a cheapish Garmin GPSMAP 176C off ebay which I plan to use in the boat and car.

Its already got a 128MB card plugged in and has all the UK covered with downloaded streetmaps. Works very well in the car with an external antenna. Can be a bit distracting though until the novelty wears off!

WITHOUT starting the old debate about US sourced GPS's I'll admit it originates from the US, the previous owner only ever used it in a car with the downloaded maps.

The basemap does not of course cover the UK so I need a Bluechart to cover the south coast.

Your opinions please on the choice between buying a chart CD to download onto the existing additional chip or buying a pre-programed chip to swap in when on the water. Its all new to me so I'd appreciate some help.

The set came with loads of extras like external antenna, several mounts etc but is missing its original antenna, anyone know where to get one.

Also I've not looked very hard yet at connecting it to my VHF, looks like two wires, is it realy that simple?

Thanks

Nasher.
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Old 03 September 2004, 19:29   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nasher
missing its original antenna, anyone know where to get one?
That bit's dead easy - get on the blower to Garmin and they'll help (prob. in your phone book, they're in Romsey) - get the part number and get searching, they'll tell you the number for one of their major dealerships who carries a range of spares. (eg. Marine Superstore at Port Solent). HTH!

(Got this from an earlier post... Garmin's 'phone no: 01794-519944 )
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Old 05 September 2004, 03:48   #3
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If you're up to speed with a PC I recommend the BlueChart CD. A bit slow sometimes to download to the GPS, but you can swap your road and marine maps as often as you want and you also get the computer prgramme so that you can plot your routes and save your tracks from the comfort of your living room. Also, with the CD you can download a second map set for another GPS so if you ever buy another, you'll already have the map software. You have to register/unlock the CD data so it will only work on the specific GPS that you register it for. (You have to enter the serial no). Worth getting a second blank data card though. You only need a small one for the Marine maps, but it'll make it very easy swapping between road and water.
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Old 05 September 2004, 05:34   #4
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what type of cards do Garmin use? I take it you connect a reader up to the PC via usb and download? Also what capacity are the Garmin cards?
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Old 05 September 2004, 12:31   #5
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Hi

I've been coming down on the side of the CD so will probably go for that, should be able to get the extra info on the Data Card thats already with the set as its a 128MB.

To answer Codprawn's questions, the set is supplied with a data cable that connects to a PC and the cards come in 16, 32, 64 and 128MB's.

Nasher.
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Old 05 September 2004, 16:26   #6
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I think you're making the right choice Nasher. I bought a 188C a year ago and it's a long story, but I ended up with a South Coast chip and also the South Coast CD.

As long as you have the interface cable, you can sit at home on those long winter nights and program next years cruising routes, downloading to a blank chip when you're ready.

This effectively makes the pre-loaded chip redundant.

Having used both, I would not bother with a pre-loaded chip next time round.

Regards
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Old 06 September 2004, 00:30   #7
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Nasher,the 176c is great but you will need an elastic band!!Thats what I use anyway to hold the power plug in when going through choppy seas,always assuming of course that you will externally power it,it doesnt last long with batteries.
I too have the uk land coverage CD,I find it works great in the Cherokee but I sometimes have difficulty getting a signal in the Citroen Picasso even if I dangle the remote aeriel out of the window
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Old 06 September 2004, 14:49   #8
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Just one word of warning. Whenever you load maps onto a chip it overwrites all the data already on there, so you can't just add extra maps to what's already loaded unless you have thoses maps on your pc and reload them along with the new maps. I also thoroughly recommend the USB card programmer, it shaves hours of downloading time. Well not quite hours, but reduced download time from 30mins to about 4 or 5 for me. The other benefit of the chip is that you can easily transfer new waypoints to your GPS without having to take your PC to your boat. Similarly you can save track data from the GPS and display it on your PC at home after your trip.
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