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Common sense needed for my Garmin GPS/fishfinder use

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Common sense needed for my Garmin GPS/fishfinder use

Old 02-28-2013, 05:16 PM
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Default Common sense needed for my Garmin GPS/fishfinder use

Need help on pros/cons for a which gps or combo to use. on my proline 24ss, i have a garmin 178c with external antenna and transducer installed and everything works great but it has the 4" color screen. I Came across a good deal on a Garmin 3205 but I did not research the unit and was bummed out when i found it did not have a fish finder. Then i came across a garmin 545s with built in antenna and new transducer and cable included in the deal. My big plan was to plug and play with the power cord from the 178c and.....no luck, they are different size cables and i'm really not interested in running a new transducer cable and power cable to get the 1" bigger screen.
so my dilemma is to:
1. add the 3205 as gps and use the 178c as fish finder (pay someone to do this)
2. take out 178c and then sell 178c and 3205c and rewire the 545s to this boat. (pay someone to do this)
3. sell 3205c and 545s, buy a small garmin handheld as back up gps to the 178c. (keep the installation fee and waste money on something else)
not interested in installing myself, if this is a 2 hour job, then it would take me 6 hours and lots of cuss words
just looking for a little common sense from someone else, obviously i don't always listen to my common sense side
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:59 PM
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Or sell everything and buy a new Garmin 740s...new pricing for March from Garmin.

Last edited by semperfifishing; 03-01-2013 at 06:41 AM.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:21 PM
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I would keep the 178 until it craps out, then upgrade. Although if you could find someone willing to pay a few hundred $$ on the 178, it might be worth it to you.
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:25 AM
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Originally Posted by bamafutbal View Post
Need help on pros/cons for a which gps or combo to use. on my proline 24ss, i have a garmin 178c with external antenna and transducer installed and everything works great but it has the 4" color screen. I Came across a good deal on a Garmin 3205 but I did not research the unit and was bummed out when i found it did not have a fish finder. Then i came across a garmin 545s with built in antenna and new transducer and cable included in the deal. My big plan was to plug and play with the power cord from the 178c and.....no luck, they are different size cables and i'm really not interested in running a new transducer cable and power cable to get the 1" bigger screen.



so my dilemma is to:
1. add the 3205 as gps and use the 178c as fish finder (pay someone to do this)
2. take out 178c and then sell 178c and 3205c and rewire the 545s to this boat. (pay someone to do this)
3. sell 3205c and 545s, buy a small garmin handheld as back up gps to the 178c. (keep the installation fee and waste money on something else)
4. - None of the above.

First, your Garmin 178C is a crappy sounder, and effectively useless as a chartplotter, even as a so-called "backup". Updated cartography has not been available for more than a year (cf. http://www8.garmin.com/maps/bluechart.html); and I'd wager that whatever chart card you're currently using in it is significantly older than even that.

The 3205 is not much better. While it supports "Bluechart g2" charts, it also uses the long-obsolete "Garmin Data Card" format for any add-on cartography. You can still get updated charts in this format (you would need the #HUS040R, "US East g2" https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?...699&pvID=38985); but for how much longer that will be the case is a very big "unknown". Further, the only sounder module which is compatible with it is the much-maligned GSD-22 https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=288; and even at that, this item is perennially "Out Of Stock" even from Garmin themselves. So even if you were to keep and install the 3205, you would then be forced into the position of throwing good money after bad, just to make it marginally usable.

The Garmin 545S is the least obsolete one in the bunch; but even it is showing its age in several important ways, even if compared only to the already-aging 546S model which replaced it. For example, it is significantly slower; the sounder is less capable; it does not support either Ethernet or NMEA 2000; and several other glaring deficiencies. Plus, as you noted, it's still only a 5-inch screen (albeit, in Portrait mode, which helps a little), which is not all that much larger than the one on your 178C. So even notwithstanding all the foregoing, you'd be going to a lot of work (or expense) to install something that isn't going address your primary gripe with what you've already got.

In short, you need to buy something reasonably modern, reasonably capable, and with a reasonably large screen; so that you can actually keep and use it for awhile before finding yourself right back here with a similar dilemma.


not interested in installing myself, if this is a 2 hour job, then it would take me 6 hours and lots of cuss words
All the more reason to not waste that installation expense on something which would be marginal at best.

If this:



is representative of your helm console, you have room for at least two MUCH bigger and better MFDs than anything you've mentioned thus far. Among the reasonable candidates:

https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=28116
http://www.boemarine.com/raymarine-e...s-map-3199-99/
http://www.boemarine.com/raymarine-e...s-map-3699-99/
http://www.furuno.com/en/business_pr...s=recreational
http://www.furuno.com/en/business_pr...s=recreational
http://www.lowrance.com/en-US/Produc...S10-en-us.aspx
http://www.lowrance.com/en-US/Produc...uch-en-us.aspx
http://www.lowrance.com/en-US/Produc...uch-en-us.aspx
http://www.simrad-yachting.com/en-US...SS8-en-us.aspx
http://www.simrad-yachting.com/en-US...ter-en-us.aspx


just looking for a little common sense from someone else, obviously i don't always listen to my common sense side
Then here is my sincere, if perhaps a bit blunt, advice: Stop scraping the bottom of the barrel trying to find some elusive "bargain" on the used gear market, especially if you're not sure of what you're doing. By my count, you've managed to "burn" yourself at least twice (or is it three times now, counting that Humminbird piece you posted about back in September?) chasing that foolishness. Bite the bullet and do the job right.


Originally Posted by bftgamecock View Post
I would keep the 178 until it craps out, then upgrade. Although if you could find someone willing to pay a few hundred $$ on the 178, it might be worth it to you.
Nobody in their right mind would pay "a few hundred $$" for a Garmin 178C at this point.




Last edited by Itteldoo; 03-01-2013 at 09:50 AM. Reason: Typos
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Old 03-01-2013, 04:50 AM
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SemperFi is right on it. Get the Garmin 740s (which I believe includes a transom mount transducer), get someone to install it for you (maybe 2hrs max at $90 an hr), put your other gear on ebay and don't look back. To make your boating life even sweeter, get a through hull transducer and you'll be able to read depth at any speed and not have to worry about breaking your transducer. Bluewater Pirate has some excellent video on here of what the 740s can do, check them out. And now that there is a newer version of the 740s, the previous generation can be bought at a good price. Or, take a chance on remanufactured gear and you're still in your "deal" mode.
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:32 AM
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the lowrance elite 7 looks very tempting
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Old 03-01-2013, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by bamafutbal View Post
the lowrance elite 7 looks very tempting
Search on here for reviews. Seems like there has been some Lowrance issues. The company ultimately stood up, but was a hassle in the interim.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Itteldoo View Post





4. - None of the above.

First, your Garmin 178C is a crappy sounder, and effectively useless as a chartplotter, even as a so-called "backup". Updated cartography has not been available for more than a year (cf. http://www8.garmin.com/maps/bluechart.html); and I'd wager that whatever chart card you're currently using in it is significantly older than even that.

The 3205 is not much better. While it supports "Bluechart g2" charts, it also uses the long-obsolete "Garmin Data Card" format for any add-on cartography. You can still get updated charts in this format (you would need the #HUS040R, "US East g2" https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?...699&pvID=38985); but for how much longer that will be the case is a very big "unknown". Further, the only sounder module which is compatible with it is the much-maligned GSD-22 https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=288; and even at that, this item is perennially "Out Of Stock" even from Garmin themselves. So even if you were to keep and install the 3205, you would then be forced into the position of throwing good money after bad, just to make it marginally usable.

The Garmin 545S is the least obsolete one in the bunch; but even it is showing its age in several important ways, even if compared only to the already-aging 546S model which replaced it. For example, it is significantly slower; the sounder is less capable; it does not support either Ethernet or NMEA 2000; and several other glaring deficiencies. Plus, as you noted, it's still only a 5-inch screen (albeit, in Portrait mode, which helps a little), which is not all that much larger than the one on your 178C. So even notwithstanding all the foregoing, you'd be going to a lot of work (or expense) to install something that isn't going address your primary gripe with what you've already got.

In short, you need to buy something reasonably modern, reasonably capable, and with a reasonably large screen; so that you can actually keep and use it for awhile before finding yourself right back here with a similar dilemma.




All the more reason to not waste that installation expense on something which would be marginal at best.

If this:



is representative of your helm console, you have room for at least two MUCH bigger and better MFDs than anything you've mentioned thus far. Among the reasonable candidates:

https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=28116
http://www.boemarine.com/raymarine-e...s-map-3199-99/
http://www.boemarine.com/raymarine-e...s-map-3699-99/
http://www.furuno.com/en/business_pr...s=recreational
http://www.furuno.com/en/business_pr...s=recreational
http://www.lowrance.com/en-US/Produc...S10-en-us.aspx
http://www.lowrance.com/en-US/Produc...uch-en-us.aspx
http://www.lowrance.com/en-US/Produc...uch-en-us.aspx
http://www.simrad-yachting.com/en-US...SS8-en-us.aspx
http://www.simrad-yachting.com/en-US...ter-en-us.aspx




Then here is my sincere, if perhaps a bit blunt, advice: Stop scraping the bottom of the barrel trying to find some elusive "bargain" on the used gear market, especially if you're not sure of what you're doing. By my count, you've managed to "burn" yourself at least twice (or is it three times now, counting that Humminbird piece you posted about back in September?) chasing that foolishness. Bite the bullet and do the job right.




Nobody in their right mind would pay "a few hundred $$" for a Garmin 178C at this point.


HOLY COW, i am my dad! all those years of wondering to myself "why does he keep on wasting money on junk, when he could spend a little more and get it new and you don't have to worry about it anymore" i guess things have come full circle...time to break the chain

FOR SALE:
Garmin 545s with NEW transducer and power cable, includes mount
Garmin 3205c with gps antenna, power cable manuals includes mount but is too big, you could cut it down to size
Garmin 178c with gps antenna and transducer
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by bamafutbal View Post
the lowrance elite 7 looks very tempting
http://www.thehulltruth.com/5382273-post22.html
http://www.thehulltruth.com/5331300-post3.html
http://www.thehulltruth.com/5316507-post2.html



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Old 03-01-2013, 12:33 PM
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10 year old boat and motors, really don't want the electronics to be valued more than the boat
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by bamafutbal View Post
10 year old boat and motors, really don't want the electronics to be valued more than the boat
Got you first dose of "Sticker Shock", eh?

What happened to, "HOLY COW, i am my dad!" and "time to break the chain"?

But seriously, the cost of even a very complete and "nicer than needed" electronics suite would not even approach the value of your boat. That said, having 10-20% of the boat's value tied up in electronics is NOT unreasonable.

Case in point: http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/cate...24+SUPER+SPORT.
Granted, these are both 2006 models; but I can find no mention of that model being made as far back as 2003; so I suspect you're exaggerating a bit there anyway. For less than 10% of those "asking prices", you could implement a basic (but very solid and capable) GPS/chartplotter/sounder system using virtually any of the systems I cited earlier, INCLUDING a good "upmarket" transducer and probably including professional installation.

Based on the photos I'm seeing in those above-referenced ads, you've got a very nice little boat, there. Assuming you plan to keep it for awhile, don't chintz out on the electronics.



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