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Garmin 540s - LOADS of questions!

Old 04-25-2008, 04:39 PM
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Default Garmin 540s - LOADS of questions!

Some guy who goes by the name "Ludicrous" talked me into replacing my perfectly good 12-year old Raymarine Loran (hey, I'm old - - I still have some 8-track tapes stashed away somewhere!) with a Garmin 540s. Picked it up today. Other than being totally intimidated by the owner's manual, I've got a bunch of questions about the g2 Vision chips. First, a little background.

I live about 2 blocks from East Lake Toho and about 5 miles from Lake Toho in Central Florida. Most of my boating/fishing will be done on those two lakes, and we also will likely be making trips on the St. John's, Indian and Banana Rivers on the east coast. Very little offshore, and even then very close to shore. Most of my trips will be for very casual fishing and cruising, so I don't need a huge amount of data (think 'information overload') - - just enough to get me safely from Point A to Point B without ending up on the rocks.

If I'm reading it right, the g2 chip for my area of the Atlantic coast will show those rivers down as far as Vero Beach. I also found that they apparently have a separate chip for the inland lakes.

My first group of questions:

1. Anybody had any experience with the lakes chip? Is it worth the investment? Is the data up-to-date?

2. Who has the best prices for the chips?

3. Any suppliers who I should avoid like the plague?

4. For my type of casual use, do I really NEED any of the chips, or will the built-in functions of the 540s likely keep me happy and safe?

I'm sure I'm going to have dozens more questions once I get this puppy installed; your patience and input will be greatly appreciated!

Old 04-25-2008, 04:56 PM
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Default Re: Garmin 540s - LOADS of questions!

I recently purchased the same unit as you and purchased the G2 Inland Lakes Card.
I have found Turtlemarine.com has the best pricing on any of the Garmin Units
Since you are very close to me and are intrested in trying the card before you buy let me know maybe I can help you out.
I havent noticed that much of a diffrence with the Inland lakes card but I have only taken it out on East Lake and found it is very flat.
Old 04-26-2008, 04:48 AM
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Default Re: Garmin 540s - LOADS of questions!

I may take you up on that, once I get the thing installed.

When you say "very flat", what do you mean? ;?
Old 04-26-2008, 05:50 AM
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Default Re: Garmin 540s - LOADS of questions!

I am talking I dont see any structures when going across the lake........ I see flat bottom.
I did talk to a friend that is a charter captain and said there is only one spot that he knows of that dips down deep compared to the rest of the lake.
If you need help installing it just ask,
Old 04-27-2008, 03:51 PM
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Default Re: Garmin 540s - LOADS of questions!

Appreciate the offers, Matt... I'll let you know.

Anybody else have any opinions on whether I even NEED a g2 card for my type of use? ;?

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