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Combo GPS-FF Users

Old 04-02-2003, 12:46 PM
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Default Combo GPS-FF Users

I'm buying electronics for a new boat and was wondering what are the pluses and minuses of a combo unit. Cost is obviously less, is quality as good as separate units? How easy is it to swich from one screen to the other? What have been your practical experiences when using it for fishing?
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Old 04-02-2003, 01:12 PM
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Default Combo GPS-FF Users

Personally, I found the split screens (nav/ff) too small for me, and I was constantly switching back and forth to the full screens. Maybe it's just my eyes.


Having the dash room to do it, I now have my original dual function LCX15MT that I use for navigation and a Furuno 582L color sounder for fishing/running. My Lowrance is rigged with a puck in the sump for back-up in case I hammer my external Furuno transducer when offshore.


This set up works very well for me.
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Old 04-02-2003, 01:46 PM
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Default Combo GPS-FF Users

I agree with Nimrod. I have a combo Plotter/Radar, and added a second display because I couldn't see enough in split screen mode. If you start with a unit that is networkable you could always try it, and add the second display if you are not happy. Just be sure to take this into account in the initial install.
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Old 04-02-2003, 05:29 PM
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Default Combo GPS-FF Users

I agree with Nimrod a bit also. I was going to put two different combo units onboard, still might. Space and $$$$$ always the issue of course.

I have a JRC 500F and am pretty happy with it. The trouble with combo units is that no manufacturer really has the best of both navigation and fishfinding.

Just like the ole saying here on THT.

GPS - Garmin
Fishfinder - Furuno
Radion - Icom

So you have to weigh which is more important to you. Navigation or fishfinding ablities.
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Old 04-02-2003, 06:45 PM
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Default Combo GPS-FF Users

I have a Garmin 238 and have no problem with the split screen. The display is big enough for me even with the screen split. The other units that have a small display would be too small for me also so it was a compromise. I could not fit two units in the space i have and the 238 fits perfect. I am very pleased with it so far.

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Old 04-02-2003, 08:51 PM
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Default Combo GPS-FF Users

and how you're going to use the units, and obviously available mounting space is a factor. I have a Garmin GPSMAP185 and I don't have a problem with the split screen. But that is partly from the fact that I don't have a large boat (19') so I can't be but so far from the screen. And I fish mostly inshore, so I'm really not using the nav screen much.

There is something to be cautioned against for putting all your eggs in one basket, so if the combo unit fails, you've got your wits and your compass for navigation. If I ran a lot out of sight of land, this would probably be my biggest concern.
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