Am I crazy to buy another Garmin GPS - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 11-25-2013
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Am I crazy to buy another Garmin GPS

My fourth Garmin has died. I do have one that works intermittently usually crapping out after 10 minutes or so. Of the other three one is completely dead, one switches on finds a satellite or two then switches off and the last one works fine but does not respond to the buttons.

I am thinking seriously of buying yet another one a 72 but the reliability is worrying me. I use it in a holder by the wheel, so it does get splashed from time to time.

I have a file of 400+ waypoints I can upload into it but I guess I can do it manually on a different type if I can not upload them.

I am a familiar with the operation of the 72 - 76 but guess I can learn to use something similar.

I like the simplicity of the 72 and just use the heading option plus the SOG speed function.

So is there a similar simple GPS that might be more reliable than the Garmins or have I just been unlucky with my Garmins so far and go and buy another.
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Old 11-25-2013
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Re: Am I crazy to buy another Garmin GPS

I take it you are not using a chip chart in your GPS . Awhile back a friend of mine asked me to order a 72 for him, he had a 46 . We got the 72 but in the mean time he got the 46 fixed, it needed a internal bat. My bud being the cheapskate that he is asked me to return the 72 ! Point is the 46 was really old , and it still works . I had a 45 never a problem with it, in tell the external batts. leaked .So I just tossed it . West had a good deal on a 76cx . hand held, once I got over a small learning curve I find it very easy to use . Then I got chart plotter fever . I wound up with a Garmin 421 and a blue chip chart, I love that thing . And to boot now I have a back up. Unfortunately I think you have had some really bad luck with the Garmins . I would give it one more try especially if you can save your waypoints . Also I got my chart plotter from GPS City.com
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Old 11-25-2013
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Re: Am I crazy to buy another Garmin GPS

Are you certain your current Garmin-format waypoint inventory cannot be somehow "translated" into a format usable by competitive makes? I have to believe there are PC based utilities available to translate one format to another. It is just a formatted data file.

If you can get your waypoints in an alternate format, that may make your decision easier. Some of the less expensive 4 and 5 inch Humminbirds and Lowrances sell at real-world prices close to Garmin's upscale handhelds. West maring recently had a 1-day sale with a 5-inch Lowrance with navionics Gold charts for $350... there'll probably be more Black Friday and Cyber Minday deals the next few days.
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Old 11-25-2013
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Re: Am I crazy to buy another Garmin GPS

You must be rough on your gear.
I have a 72 and a 76 for a while now, and they're still ticking.
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Old 11-25-2013
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Re: Am I crazy to buy another Garmin GPS

My 72 stopped "receiving" tide information two years ago. A call to Garmin tech support revealed that due to a change in the way the info was broadcast from the sattelites, the 72 could no longer interpret the data properly, so users would get an error message when trying to access it. And because the 72 had been discontinued, Garmin had no plans to do a software fix. In short, the unit worked fine for telling me where I was, but it would never give tide info again.

I would periodically look at the various handhelds for sale to maybe replace the 72, and came to the conclusion that Garmin is really the only game in town left for those. I decided it wasn't that important, so I kept the unit and had no plans to upgrade. That is, until I saw the sale Defender was having last spring on the Lowrance Elite. I decided to bite the bullet (and finally get a depth sounder too). I now have a full color, 5 inch screen chartplotter and depth sounder, and don't have to worry about carrying spare AA's anymore. I'm a happy camper.
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Old 11-25-2013
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Re: Am I crazy to buy another Garmin GPS

If you've gone through 4 units served by the same power source then I would be suspicious of the source. Electronics don't like spikes or low voltage.
Have you checked out Garmin's help line via internet? They've been extremely helpful to me and they have a flat fee repair service for non-warranty units. They couldn't fix my 8 year old Fish Finder/GPS unit so they sent me a new one for the price of the repair ($310).
Heck, it would have cost me more than that just to change the hole it came out of (to fit a new, different one) which was a carbon fiber panel!
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Old 11-25-2013
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Re: Am I crazy to buy another Garmin GPS

I got the 76cx deal at westmarine...blowout price and its rock solid, I used it for motorcycle riding too where mud, grass and all sorts of dust and crap got all over it not to mention fully waterproof, I also bougfht the hardwire kit with it

great signals...I dont use 10 percent of what it can do, basically I just use it for simple lat long and compass bearings that I switch screens to and from...

I also love the option of big NUMBERS that lets you chose what you want to see, like cmg, bearings, etc...

for motorcyle riding I used the "plotter" function since it does better with land stuf that is already built in...

x2 on older gps...they are even more bullet proof except that most have that funky stowable antenna that you kind of pointed around to get a better signal...jajaja

cheers
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Old 11-25-2013
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Re: Am I crazy to buy another Garmin GPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by fiberglass1 View Post
If you've gone through 4 units served by the same power source then I would be suspicious of the source. Electronics don't like spikes or low voltage.
Have you checked out Garmin's help line via internet? They've been extremely helpful to me and they have a flat fee repair service for non-warranty units. They couldn't fix my 8 year old Fish Finder/GPS unit so they sent me a new one for the price of the repair ($310).
Heck, it would have cost me more than that just to change the hole it came out of (to fit a new, different one) which was a carbon fiber panel!
Hmm good point on the supply voltage. I have run them all on the same power point via the Garmin cigarette lighter cord. I think it is a pretty stable supply as I have 675 amp hours of house battery mostly fed by a solar pack and a separate starter battery. The engine driven alternator has the Balmar regulator which ramps it up slowly.

Does anyone know if the 12 volt Garmin supply lead has built in surge protection?

If not is there a good surge protector around that will last in a marine environment.
.
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Old 11-25-2013
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Re: Am I crazy to buy another Garmin GPS

I've gone through 2 Garmins. Hard use over many miles. Think they are excellent kit, but decided to move on to a Furuno GP 32. Fixed mount, large screen. A bit more spendy, will see how it does for a few years.
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Old 11-25-2013
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Re: Am I crazy to buy another Garmin GPS

I have to agree with the other posts. Garmin H/H GPSs are pretty reliable . If it is a low voltage issue, try keeping AA batteries in it. All Garmin GPSs have an internal automatic transfer switch which will use external power if provided but if voltage drops or gets turned off, it will automatically transfer to the batteries. Also, there is a voltage gauge in the data menu, if it reads lower than your house bank's actual voltage, you may have a bad or over crowded ground which will mimic a low voltage problem and turn the unit off. Good luck.
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