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post #7 of Old 02-15-2007
Telstar 28
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Originally Posted by Bill Mc
I recently purchased a Garmin 489 and heard all about the external vs internal debate that is all the rage at my dock. I was told my Bimini would block the signal and a wet Bimini is worse. I heard that a my signal stength would be diminished and take more time to aquire a signal but I got such a deal on my unit $500.00 +tax Brand new in box that I decided to take the risk. Presently I have not installed it on the boat, However I hooked it up to a deep cell 12v battery in my living room and it was sleeting outside and I still recieved 8 satellites with strong signals and the unit states that the present accuracy is 19 feet. me thinks it will work just fine under canvas compared to 1/2 plaster, 6" insulation,3/4 plywood and 3 layers of shingles.

Disclaimer: I could have a defective unit that doesn't know it's not suppose to work under those conditions. Now back to couch sailing with my GPS till it warms up outside.

Fair Winds,

Nah, you probably have a defective unit that only works when stationary and in a building... once you mount it in a boat, it'll fail miserably. In theory, the water in a wet bimini will attenuate the signal some...but unless it is really pouring, I don't see it being an issue. I had mine working in torrential downpours, where visibility was basically nil, and we were all hiding inside the cabin due the the strength of the rain and wind... and using the GPS to double-check for anchor drag—worked just fine. Primary check for anchor drag was two different ranges, but not always clearly visible.

Most GPS units don't work in my building, since the building is old and has plaster and lath construction with chickenwire mesh embedded in the plaster. Can you say faraday cage. Makes getting radio, tv and wifi signals really tough.


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Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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