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Garmin GSD 20 background color

Old 08-11-2004, 11:49 AM
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Default Garmin GSD 20 background color

This is more of a gripe than looking for an answer. I've had the 2010C plotter for some time now and am very happy with it. I just recently added the GSD 20 sounder as a backup to my older Furuno 581 sounder.

Most likely because I'm used to it I prefer the blue background on the sonar screen. When I went to the blue screen on the option list I got black or so I thought. I was about to contack Garmin about this problem until I just happened to view the screen at an extreme angle and did indeed see a dark blue/midnight blue background. In fact when looking at the screen directly it is black. I contacted Garmin asking if there was any way to lighten up the background. At this time no. I was told that it would be reffered to engineering/design.

I was just wondering if anybody else has this gripe. If so contack Garmin and maybe with enough feedback they will give us a real blue background option in the future like they show in their advertisement pictures. Also I must admit that what has been said about the GSD 20 as being only adequate is absolutely correct. Garmin has a long way to go to catch up with Furuno or Raymarine. It is good as a backup but not as a primary.
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Old 08-11-2004, 05:36 PM
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Default RE: Garmin GSD 20 background color

I have the 2006C and was thinking of adding the GSD 20 as a backup as well. Do you feel it was woth the $ ?
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Old 08-11-2004, 07:57 PM
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Default RE: Garmin GSD 20 background color

As a backup yes. For the $200 or so it's relatively cheap. I have a jumper wire to connect the Garmin to the Furuno xducer cable. You can't run both at the same time, but then why would you?

The Garmin has some nice features compared to my older Furuno, but it cannot compare to the resolution and quality of the Furuno on how it graphs fish and bottom structure. As I previously stated and as others have said, it is adequate for a backup but not quite ready for Prime Time.
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Old 08-11-2004, 08:47 PM
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Default RE: Garmin GSD 20 background color

Jerseybred-
What software version do you have? I think my 2006c has an option for a blue screen, but I just got new software. Call garmin for the update and they'll send it out free. Also, have you tried the "daylight" screen (it is also with the new software) my .02 worth. Hope it helps.


Chris
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Old 08-11-2004, 09:18 PM
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Default RE: Garmin GSD 20 background color

the biggest gripe I have with the 2010C I own is that when you reduce the screen intensity for night running, the button lights reduce as well! I wish they would stay lit at full intensity. Garmin tech said "good point-I'll refer it to engineering..."
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Old 08-12-2004, 08:00 AM
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Default RE: Garmin GSD 20 background color

I just installed my GSD-20 and took it out this last week. I actually prefer the black background to the blue because it gives a better contrast... but that's just my personal preference. I went out with the purpose of playing with the electronic settings, but these fish kept showing up all over the place so I had to grab a jigging rod and do some "catching" instead of just playing with my new toy. (stripers, blues, and trout)



Overall, I was happy with it's performance and I continue to play with all the adjustments to find what I like the best. I have a Furuno unit side by side so the advantage is I can keep adjusting because I know what it's suppose to look like (smile). I read the manual a couple of times to figure everything out, but I missed the section about "Calibrating Water Speed". So while drifting it would read great, but while underway it would not. Only after I got back in did I find the section that talked about it, so next time out I'll make more adjustments. I do get some slight interference (small vertical lines) when the Furuno unit is turned on but you can still see everything and is more of an annoyance than anything. I also need to slighly lower the transducer because at higher speeds I tend to loose bottom but lowering the unit should fix that. [b]Once I have all the settings dialed in (Gain, Noise Rejection, etc.) to what works best for me I will post my results.

Thanks, Fishing-Rod
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Old 08-12-2004, 08:45 AM
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Default RE: Garmin GSD 20 background color

You can download any Garmin update at http://www.garmin.com/support/download.jsp . Unfortunately, with the 2006/2010 you have to either have a memory chip programmer or a way to hook your computer up to the NMEA ports. Normally that involves buying Garmin's AC adapter with serial port cable. You could also wire into the back of the Garmin while it's installed on your boat and use a laptop.
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Old 08-12-2004, 01:44 PM
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Default RE: Garmin GSD 20 background color

Onebadhabit - 8/11/2004 7:47 PM

Jerseybred-
What software version do you have? I think my 2006c has an option for a blue screen, but I just got new software. Call garmin for the update and they'll send it out free. Also, have you tried the "daylight" screen (it is also with the new software) my .02 worth. Hope it helps.


Chris


Onebadhabit

Thanks for your input. My software is 5.10. I told Garmin this and asked if any updates are available that would correct this. Their answer was no, not at this time. I know there is a latter version out now, but I don't believe it address's this problem. In any event it was not mentioned by the Garmin technician.

Question for you guys. How light is your blue background? In their literature it shows a sky blue like the color crt scopes. Mine is actually black and if you look at almost a 180 degree angle to the screen then you can see that it is indeed blue, but a midnight blue or almost black. Maybe I don't have something adjusted right? I am still playing with it trying to set it up. What is the daylight screen? Are you talking about the backlight intensity of the screen? If so this is not my gripe, but the darkness of the blue color. I did try adjusting the backlight, but it had no affect on the color. Maybe I'm just missing something here and you guys can steer me in the right direction.

There is nothing wrong with the black screen. I will probably get used to it. As I said I'm just used to looking at a sky blue screen for the last 30 years.
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Old 08-12-2004, 02:00 PM
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Default RE: Garmin GSD 20 background color

Fishing-Rod - 8/12/2004 7:00 AM

I missed the section about "Calibrating Water Speed". So while drifting it would read great, but while underway it would not.Thanks, Fishing-Rod
Hummm, I thought this just had to do with an accurate water speed reading so I didn't read it. Does this have anything to do with how the fish are displayed on the screen?
This was one of my other issues that fish weren't accurately displayed. Although I do see some, I also notice that there isn't much color on your display of the fish, mostly red and white. You said you have a Furuno also so you probably know where I'm comming from with this. I also don't care for the image displayed of bottom structure when in the bottom lock mode. I guess I'm just spoiled. Like I said for the money spent it is an adequate machine for a secondary but not for a primary.
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Old 08-12-2004, 02:24 PM
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Default RE: Garmin GSD 20 background color

From page 20 of your owners manual:
-Map
--General
---Map Colors
---- For Shade or For Sunlight

Color adjustments:
I was also playing with the side color bar adjustments which change the colors on whatever is shown on the screen. So how I adjust Gain, Noise Rejection, Color Bar all affects on how it's shown on the screen. Photo shown was still a work in progress, will post settings once I get them the way I want.

Water Calibration:
From what I can understand you can calibrate it to the paddle wheel on your tranducer (if equiped) or your GPS, but it won't display right until you choose one or the other. I'm going to calibrate mine to my GPS to give me an accurate reading whether running or drifting.

Thanks, Fishing-Rod
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Old 08-12-2004, 05:34 PM
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Default RE: Garmin GSD 20 background color

fishing-rod

Thanks for the info. Like you I'm still playing and learning this unit. What you say about the speed calibration is interesting. All this new fangled stuff. I'll look into it. All my manuals are on the boat so I'll recheck the sunlight/shade settings. I don't think this is the answer as the screen is fine except for the SHADE of the blue background, but then who knows. Just curious, how light or dark is your blue background?

I am aware of the color bar adjustment. I was messing with it also, but couldn't get it to what I felt was right. I guess it's right what they say about teaching an old dog new tricks. I have altered some of the setting to manual control from auto or normal position.
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Old 08-15-2004, 08:57 AM
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Default RE: Garmin GSD 20 background color

Went down to the boat yesterday and played with everything.

Background Color:
Yes, the Blue color is dark compared to the Furuno. But I prefer the Black color for more contrast so it's not a big deal to me.

Gain & Noise Reduction:
So far I've found the the the Noise Reduction should remain about 10-15% below the gain. This ratio seems to allow me to still see smaller baits in the water column and good definition of fish on the bottom. For example in mid-depth water of 35-45' the gain would be 75% and the NReduction would be 65%, but in shallow water 8-10' the gain would be 35% and the NReduction would be 25%. I'm still experimenting and the deepest water I have close to my home port in the Chesapeake Bay is around 100' so I'm unable to experiment on deeper offshore wrecks. But overall I'm happy with the display I'm getting while drifting but still trying to solve a problem witht the display while I'm underway (see below). My plan is once I get the settings dialed in is to use the GSD-20 at 50khz for a broad area scan and my Furuno at 200khz for the detailed scan on the bottom.

Coolest Feature:
The Garmin has the ability to save a waypoint of a good structure/wreck even after you've passed over it. On my Furuno I would have to be directly over the spot and then stop and enter the waypoint but on the Garmin you use your pointer on the depthfinder page and mark the spot and Garmin remembers your track and water speed and than calculates where exactly that spot is on your track... kinda cool.

Display while underway:
My biggest frustration so far... Is the very poor display while underway. The display shows nothing but thin (1pixel width) verticle lines while my Furuno shows the pods of bait for example. It still reads bottom, I have the scroll rate at 100%, and have calibrated the water speed so I don't think thats the problem... does anyone have any suggestions???????

Overall:
If you have space or budget for a single combo unit, the Garmin is a great chartplotter and the GSD-20 is a nice fishfinder and works well (as soon as I figure out the above problem). But the Furuno is a better fishfinder with just an average chartplotter. But if you have space or budget for 2 units, the Garmin is the much better chartplotter and the Furuno is the better depthfinder.

Thanks, Fishing-Rod
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Old 08-15-2004, 01:09 PM
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Default RE: Garmin GSD 20 background color

Hey jersey......I have the GSD20 on my 2010C and just to the right of it is my 600L Furuno and they each have their own transducers hung off each side of the transom. Both work just fine at the same time either trolling on at cruise. In fact, I rarely only run one of them at a time.

On the original question, I use the white background as it seems a little easier for me to see with my brand of polarized glasses. BTW, the Furuno runs in the default color set. Typically I use the Garmin sounder for bottom contour and graphic of temperature........the Furuno is a better fish finder......but then it should be since it cost me 3X what I have in the GSD20 as an add-on.
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Old 08-16-2004, 09:25 AM
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Default RE: Garmin GSD 20 background color

Thanks guys you pretty much affirmed my observations. I tried the white background, but didn't like it. I am using the blue, but is is virtually black as it is so dark. I agree that it does have good contrast. I can live with it and most likely will get to like it. I am just annoyed that since the blue background is so dark, black in fact, than why even offer it as an option?

Fishing-rod, thanks for your settings. All my fishing/diving is in the ocean at depths from 60 to 190 feet. Like you I have found that gain at about 75% is good for deeper water. I have been leaving the noise reduction in "normal" setting. I also agree on how the display graphs fish when at speed, just thin streaks. I also don't like how bottom structure is shown when in bottom lock mode. I usually run split screen. I'm still experimenting, but if anyone has figured out the best combination I would sure appreciate hearing it. Like we all seem to agree, the GSD 20 is a decent backup especially for the price but it doesn't compare to Furuno or Raymarine. Yes I do like the bottom coordinate feature, pretty neat.
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Old 08-16-2004, 12:09 PM
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Default RE: Garmin GSD 20 background color

I just talked to Garmin Tech Support about the scroll speed and they told me that the Calibrated Water Speed and the Scroll rate are independant and NOT related. So the poor display as described above while underway is the best it's going to get. The Tech guy was very helpful and pleasant there just wasn't anything he could do for me today. He did however put in my request for a better (scroll speed relation to actual water speed) request for software update in the future.

Thanks, Fishing-Rod
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Old 08-18-2004, 06:39 PM
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Default RE: Garmin GSD 20 background color

Fishing-Rod

Thanks for the info. In all honesty I think Garmin has a pretty good unit especially for the price. This is their first entry in sonar. The first units are always going to have teething problems. If they take all the gripes and incorporate them into the next unit they will probably be on par with Furuno. Lets's hope they can upgrade with just a software update. Most likely we will have to buy another unit. At any rate I am somewhat satisfied, especially for the price. Afterall I am comparing it to a $1200 unit.
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Old 08-18-2004, 06:43 PM
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Default RE: Garmin GSD 20 background color

It's not really Garmin's first sonar, they've been building standalone fishfinders, and combo GPS/fishfinders for some time. They've just never tried to go for the high-end of the FF market before.
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Old 08-19-2004, 07:18 PM
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Default RE: Garmin GSD 20 background color

Just an update. I was in a West Marine tonight. I looked at the other Garmin fishfinders along with Raymarine and others. All had nice blue backgrounds. There was no mistaking the blue. All were a different shade but a pleasant blue just the same not a blue that is so dark it is literally black. Granted all were displaying in simulater mode. Come to think of it I haven't tried mine in simulater. Unfortunately they did not have the GSD 20 linked up with the 2010C chartplotter. Maybe I just don't have something adjusted right. I'll sure check this weekend for sure. So, I'll ask again, if anybody has the GDS 20 linked with their 2010C or 2006C what is the shade of the blue background?Is it definately blue or so dark that it is black? Thanks again.
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Old 08-19-2004, 07:25 PM
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Default RE: Garmin GSD 20 background color

jerseybred, I reread some of this thread, and just have to ask. Are you defining "catch up to Furuno or Raymarine" in terms of whether you like the shade of blue in the background?
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Old 08-20-2004, 03:27 PM
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Default RE: Garmin GSD 20 background color

dwh

I'm referring to how the unit interpits what it sees and how it graphs. The Furuno and Raymaring show fish much better while you moving. I am unable to distinguish bait from gamefish. Like fishing-rod stated all you get on the Garmin is thin streaks. I also feel the Furuno has more color in what it sees, although this might be me and not having it set up properly and I am still adjusting the settings.

Besides fishing I am heavy into scuba diving, in fact I run charters. Consequently I need good bottom defination for some of the small lumps and snags I put my divers on. Some of these bumps don't come up more than 2 feet if that. I am a strong believer in the bottom lock function, especially when it's bumpy. The Garmin does a very poor job defining structure when in bottom lock mode although it does ok when in regular mode.

The reason I am concerned about the blue background is if there is something wrong or whether Garmins idea of blue is actually black. When I contacted Garmin about this and explained to them like I did here about the SHADE of blue actually being black they told me it was normal and nothing was wrong. I find this hard to swallow. Why offer blue then? Just offer the white and black background, doesn't make sense.

I am not really slamming the unit considering the price. I wanted a backup unit and that's what I got. It does not compare to Furuno or Raymarine in how the software interpits what it sees. I do realize that I am comparing a Mercedes to a Kia. Both do the same job, but let's say one does it "better".
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