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Garmin Map176C - First Impression

Old 01-14-2003, 02:54 PM
  #1  
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Default Garmin Map176C - First Impression

When I was trying to make up my mind on whether or not to get the 176C, I could only find a couple of people who couldgive me first hand experience on the color model in bright sunlight. Their opinion was enough to convince me to get the color model. I read the review on Joe & Jacks website, but there were some things I didn't find there. I am not going to repeat the information I found there (Richard Wilson did an outstanding job on his review and if you are thinking about a 176 you need to read it). Also I am a long time user of the Lowrance GM100 (actually an Eagle Mapguide Pro). I have experience at modifying maps (Using OziMC) and for the lake I frequent, the shorelines were at least 10 times more accurate than Lowrance as well as including contour lines. Since OziMC would not work with the iFinder, I changed to Garmin. I must say to date I have been well pleased with Metroguide. There was one subdivision that was not mapped. My solution was to create a track of all of the streets in the subdivision, upload the track to the 176 as a saved track, check display, and Ureka I can see the roads on the 176 display.

How good is the color screen? First, I almost always operate the unit with external power. With this in mind, power draw with the backlight on is irrelevant. In daylight and anything but direct sunlight, I need the backlight to see the screen, but with the backlight, all I can say is \"Oh Wow!\" I found that if the sunlight is directly on the screen you cannot tell if the backlight is on, but the screen shows very well. If fact I would say it is easier to see the screen than was my eagle (mono screen) under the same conditions.

Problems: My first problem was importing all of the waypoints I had in the Eagle and putting relevant Icons with each waypoint. I was very disappointed that Garmin does not have a Symbol for a turn. If fact my wish list would include both a right and left turn symbol. I also found that there are 56 symbols for waypoints that are available in Mapsource that cannot be selected by the unit. If the waypoint symbol is changed in Mapsource and downloaded it will show up correctly on the GPS. I also found 11 symbols that just does not download to the GPS.

After this, I went to work on Routes. Now I have been using a GPS and Routes for 5 or 6 years. I have a number of routes setup like I want. While trying to import the routes, Mapsource Autorouting wanted to change my routes. Once I found to click tab for direct routing, it worked like I wanted - no additional turns. (Could not find explanation in the manual.)

I saw a post in sci.geo.satellite-nav with a problem of missing a waypoint in a route and the Unit would not go to the next waypoint (not a 176). This is not a problem with the 176. As soon as you get past the waypoint and anywhere near the course to the next waypoint, the GPS will switch to the next waypoint. It will also accurately determine where you are if you start a route somewhere other than the beginning.

I did not see in Richard's review anything about \"Lock to Road\", but if you are using MetroGuide, the unit will lock to the road it thinks you are on. This can be turned on/off in Map Menu - Other Tab.

I have not tried the WAAS as I have not been on the water since I got the unit and the Southern sky is to often
blocked while in vehicle.

Screen updates are almost instantaneous. Unit definitely has a fast processor.

I have Metroguide USA, and Blue Charts with region 12 unlocked. I have a 64 meg memory card. My Map set at the present time includes all of the charts surrounding Apalachicola Bay, FL (From St. Joe Bay to Apalachee Bay Total less than 1 meg.) Also All of Georgia except for the Augusta area and the extreme NE corner. All of Florida north of West Palm Beach and the SE 1/3 of Alabama. Total of all of this is 59.9 megs. I think I should have enough room when I unlock the East Coast for St. Augustine, Fl and Sebastian, Fl. and add the needed charts.

Would I buy it again if I knew what I know now? You bet! Would I recommend it? Absolutely!!! I would not call it a handheld (although you can use it that way) it is more like the smallest of the fixed mount units.

PLEASE NOTE: I have not checked the accuracy of the Blue Charts. My waypoints in areas covered by Blue Charts seem to be in the correct places. Detail is excellent. Accuracy of Metroguide in my area seems to be excellent IF the roads are present. In an answer to a E-mail to Garmin Cartography I got the impression that an update to Metroguide is on the way. Please, he did not say this and my impression may have been wishful thinking. He also did not give any indication as to when it would happen if it happened.
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Old 01-14-2003, 06:48 PM
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Default Garmin Map176C - First Impression

Please post the URL for the review on Joe & Jacks web site.

Thanks!
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Old 01-14-2003, 08:46 PM
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Default Garmin Map176C - First Impression

I have a 176 and a relative has a 176C they are great units IMHO..Glad u like it..
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Old 01-15-2003, 06:18 AM
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Default Garmin Map176C - First Impression

Great review! One of the Garmin GPS Map units will be my next toy.

Also, I second the request for a link to the website.
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Old 01-15-2003, 10:56 AM
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Default Garmin Map176C - First Impression

StreamWeaver24, ask and ye shall receive

Joe Mehaffey and Jack Yeazel's GPS information website.

http://gpsinformation.net/
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Old 01-17-2003, 05:19 AM
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Default Garmin Map176C - First Impression

Email Garmin about your request for the icons. You'd be surprised how many suggestions like yours are included in incremental firmware releases. Also keep an eye on Garmin's downloads pages for firmware updates.

I know it's too late, but a tool like EasyGPS could have helped import your waypoints.

Enjoy your new toy!

"Kiss my ass, I bought a boat, I'm going out to sea" Lyle Lovett
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Old 01-18-2003, 10:49 AM
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Default Garmin Map176C - First Impression

Squid, thanks will get that E-mail off this weekend. Didn't have to much problem importing them, the problem came in that the Icons don't match
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