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Garmin GPS Map 176 C

Old 12-29-2003, 07:53 AM
  #1  
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Default Garmin GPS Map 176 C

OK, I'm not totally GPS illiterate, owning a GArmin Etrek unit for a couple or 3 years I manage to find my way around OK...however,

I have a wee job to deliver a boat 120 nm down the coast in a few days time - the owner has a Garmin 176C unit fitted in it.

Owners blind in one eye and can't see out the other, Claims he can't figure out the unit much less see it while driving the boat without his glasses - and if he puts his glasses on can't see where he's going......so hates the unit and has never used it - says he can't get the pointer to leave the heart of Perth city even when he's 20 miles offshoe...

I guess this is why I get the job of delivering his 22 kevla to it's new Marina with him.

He's given me the GPS to see if I can make head or tail of it (since he claims it doesn't even work).

I switch it on at home on battery power, and sure enough it shows exactly where it is in a minimum of time right down to the street I live in.

Sooo, far as I can tell it works a treat.

Soo, I whip out my paper charts of the coast and figure I'll plot us a few waypoints so we dont get lost on our way down the coast and I can follow along on the GPS to keep an eye on the course I plot manually on the charts.

Now the thing is - (far as I can tell at least) theres no Navigational charts in this unit - only a land map (that probably came with the unit - right?).

I have the Chord with 4 pin nmea plug to go into the unit and a 9 pin paralell port plug to go into the computer, but from searching past posts on this topic, I see I have to have a chip burner and CD etc to burn my own chip which I don't have and aparrently theres no way I can download relevant charts from the net even with the chord i have.

(Besides which - I"ve looked and theres no spare 9 pin paralell port on the back of the puter to plug the damn thing into anyway unless i take out the mouse which means I'm then stuffed for using the puter to download without a mouse?

How can I tell - if there is in fact a blue chart chip of any sort in the GPS unit?

I don't want to go and BUY the chip chart for the trip - IF theres already one in the machine that I just haven't been smart enaough to access yet?

I mean - i zoom right in on the coastline where I know the destination Marina is located and the MAP (it's not a chart - no nav details) doesn't even show the marina at all....

Is there some way I can "test" to make sure the chart chip isn't actually loaded already but I've just not accessed it properly yet because I activated the unit inland and it's somehow selected the world Map automatically instead of the nav chat I want?

I figure since I have the paper charts, I could probably plot a course without any problem anyway just from waypoint to waypoint so I know that we won't hit any obstacles along the way, and the unit would keep us on track without the chart chip...so it's no bigee...but to have the charts scrolling as we went along would be a lot easier than keeping paper charts out all the way (especially if it's already in there hiding somewhere?.

I can't imagine the unit not already having at least 1 blue chart chip in it...for the local area the boat's been used in over the last 12 months since the owner took delivery of it new.

I couldn't see anything in the manual that came with it other than to say charts and Map chips were "optional extra's", nor can I see where the chip actually goes into the machine (unless it's behind that rubber strip on the back with the tiny screw just abouve the usb port plug socket?).

Sorry if these are dumb questions - i only clapped eyes on this thing lunch time today - and compared to the etrek it's a little daunting with it's menu's selection and number of buttons...

The things eating batterys at about 4 every 5 mins while i try to work it out by trial and error.

Meanwhile number 1 son picks it up - and plays it like Pac man in about 2 seconds flat naming waypoints for me and entering them from the paper charts etc..

Bloody kids and this new technology - I knew I shoulda strangled the little bugger at birth...12 months in a marine course and he reckons he knows everything.

1 last question - the manual and the menu don't have the latest Chart datums that my paper charts are printed in listed (I scrolled thru and looked it up in the manual). Can I download these software updates from garmin (assuming I can find some port free in the back of the puter to plug the blasted GPS chord into?)

I have it set on WGS 84 at the moment but the charts are in GDA 94.

I wan't to be able to load in my own waypoints for this trip manualy and name them etc - using lat / lons from the paper charts of the route, and it might be handy if the GPS and paper charts were all talking the same Chart datums..

Wheres Kerry when I need him, he knows all about this stuff?

Oh yeah, and to top it off the Garmin website seems to be down, it times out when i try and get any info on this unit.

Seems like a neat unit all the same colors are noce and very bright once you turn the backlight on (owner hasn't figured that out yet!...which is one reason he can't see it while out on the water).

Cheers!



*
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Old 12-29-2003, 09:37 AM
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Default Garmin GPS Map 176 C

Hey Trouty!

On the 176C... here goes...

To check if there's a blue chip installed. Pull open the rubber protector sleeve on the bottom and if there's a chip - then yes, you have a chip installed. If not, then no. There's no internal burning on a 176C. I'm looking at my 176C as I type and if you place the unit face down, with the antenna to your left, the rubber sleeve will be facing you adjacent to the antenna. DO NOT undo the screw, just pull the access port open from the thin part of the unit towards the back (right next to the access part there's a chassis screw and a notch where the base mounts) . It will fold towards the screw.
The 176C has a basic land/water map previously installed that is very basic with basic mapping installed which shows major roads/highways. It sound like that's what you're seeing now...

As for your waypoints, the easiest way is to turn the unit on, get to the "searching mode" and then press "Menu" - set it to the "start simulator" and this will stop the unit from searching and allow you to better move around. Push "Page" until you get the map and then start mapping. You can do this by moving the cursor to where you want, push "enter" and it's pretty self explanatory from there. You can rename, mark, edit and all that good stuff as you do it... Bear in mind that the coastline is not accurate to actual position, it is close though. When I say close, it's within a few hundred yards. With the chip installed, it's detailed accuracy is withing 2-3 feet and it shows everything (depth, buoys, markers, channels - just like a map)

I don't have good luck on the batteries either, set it to "battery mode" in the System tab of the main menu under "system mode" - wait, you can either do battery or simulator... Not both.. Go with simulator..

You can download the manuals from Garmin also if you need more help.. Oh, the webiste is down, Sorry!

Post up any more Q's, it's really an easy unit to operate once you get the basics down...

I'm taking a pic for ya... Gimme a few...

Chris

2003 Sea Fox 195 Bayfisher -125 Merc Saltwater
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Old 12-29-2003, 09:52 AM
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Default Garmin GPS Map 176 C

Here's a pic of the chip port open with a chip installed.




And here's how it looks with a chip installed. It gets even more detailed, the more you zoom in.



If your map doesn't look like this, you don't have a chip installed... If it's just a rough looking sketch, that's the base map installed on the unit.

2003 Sea Fox 195 Bayfisher -125 Merc Saltwater
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Old 12-29-2003, 06:05 PM
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Default Garmin GPS Map 176 C

Fantastic reelwork, problem solved - theres no chip in it.

Owner assured me that port was where the computer download cable went in (which like a dummy, I now realise is in fact where the chip goes in!).

I'll make enquiries about a chip today...no doubt they will be bloody expensive!

Although the data would make plotting the course a whole lot simpler (than taking it manually off paper charts with lat / lons).

Worst case scenario, thats what I'll do.

One last question tho - how can i download the latest Chart datums software from Garmin?

I can't seem to find a port onthe back of the puter to take the 9 pin paralell female garmin chord plug???

I have printer scanner modem screen mouse etc all plugged in but non of those ports seem to take the garmin plug?

Cheers & thanks again, I owe you one.

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Old 12-29-2003, 06:30 PM
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Default Garmin GPS Map 176 C

Trouty,

For GDA94 use WGS84, same thing in practice.

Cost of mapping on chip will vary depending on the scale(s) of charts that might cover your area. CD with 1 unlock code is around $330, then you would also need a blank card etc etc.

Cards can also be purchased with required chart but that could be anywhere from $170 to around $280.

Really for the exercise in mind I'd concentrate on using Lats/longs from the chart, shouldn't be that many of them for 120 odd mile. At least this way you have some background based on how you run the Etrex.

Failing that if heading south, then just keep Australia on ya left

Cheers, Kerry.

I never get lost, everybody tells me where to go!
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Old 12-29-2003, 06:40 PM
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Default Garmin GPS Map 176 C

Trouty, the "pc link" actually connects to the 4 pin receptacle behind the antenna.

So, the chip goes underneath and the connector goes behind the antenna. This is the same receptacle as the hard wired power supply and nmea outputs.

Now, for the chips and charts.. You have 2 options, you can buy the Bluechart CD which means you will also need to buy a chip to load the data to, or you can buy the preprogrammed bluechart chip itself that is for the area you want.

In my opinion, it is cheaper to buy the pre-burned chip than to pay for the Bluechart CD & Chip and all the other stuff. That's just my .02 on that, but I can see where the CD and the ability to burn from chip could come in handy as well as plot courses on the PC then burn it to the GPS. To me, the unit is really pretty easy to operate and once I run a track, I save the course as a route and I'm done.

As for coverage of the pre-burned chips, my chip for Texas, covers from Morgan City, Louisianna to the border of Mexico including all inland bays and waterways and offshore. The europe maps ought to be the same...

Chris

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Old 12-30-2003, 04:41 AM
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Default Garmin GPS Map 176 C

Thanks fella's,

The advice is great even Kerrys tongue in cheek keep Australia on th left rule ain't as silly as it might at first glance appear, and is the method used before GPS was invented.

I have the unit on wgs84 already so should be good to go I think.

I found out (from owner today) that the unit is a replacement one (the fist failed apparently) and when returned for warranty it had the chart chip in it - but the replacement was sent without the chip - owner is now chasing up the chip...

In the interim,I'll read the manual and enter manual waypoints for a safe course, should do the trick.


Thanks to all - Was thinking of buying one of these units, to replace my etrek (which although supposedly waterproof wasn't) but now I'm not so sure...they are a little small and fiddley and thats sitting at the table - it'd be worse on a moving boat - maybe the full sized chart plotter is the go for old pharts like me with phat phingers syndrome who look at the world thru glasses like Mr Mcgoo.

IMHO Garmin (and other electronics manufacturers) need to get away from the miniaturisation "fad" with the actual user interface controls and screens on GPS...most of us old phogies can't be bothered with diddly fiddly small shyte...it needs to be BIG and easy to both SEE and USE!

Cheers!

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Old 12-30-2003, 07:03 AM
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Default Garmin GPS Map 176 C

IMHO Garmin (and other electronics manufacturers) need to get away from the miniaturisation "fad" with the actual user interface controls and screens on GPS...most of us old phogies can't be bothered with diddly fiddly small shyte...it needs to be BIG and easy to both SEE and USE!


But trouty, they do make the bigger screens. You have your choice when you put down your money. Oh, I'm now 58 and I just absolutely love my 176C!
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Old 12-30-2003, 09:18 AM
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Default Garmin GPS Map 176 C

Yeah,

But, i'm thinkin, surround sound, skyglobe type Plasma screen, with foot pedals and lever controls like a bulldozer - maybe then I could operate the bloody thing!!!

I don't give a rats ass what miniaturisation they put inside it, long as i can git at it with my phat fists to make it work!

If I gotta squint and hold it at arms length to SEE the button let alone whats written on the damn thing ...well - it's a lost battle I'm afraid...

My damn arms just aint long enough to see like I used to be able too.

All i wanted for christmas was a bloody great magnifying glass on a string round my neck!

Cheers!


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Old 12-30-2003, 10:30 AM
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Default Garmin GPS Map 176 C

BIFOCALS. Get em, wear em, get used to em.
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