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  #11  
Old 10-29-2013
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Re: Handheld GPS differences

I've used the 78SC as my main chartplotter for a year, using a car suction mount. It works very well but as others have already mentioned in this thread, the small screen on handhelds means you are constantly zooming in and out. Zoom in to see small details like buoys, out again to see where you are.

Then I replaced it with a 5" chartplotter. I'm afraid that this was a huge improvement.

I still keep the 78SC as a backup.

I think you should check out Ram mounts, and I'm confident you could find a way to mount a 5" plotter - some mount it in the salon, so it hinges out into the companionway for use.

I used a Ram mount to mount mine above and aft of the compass.
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  #12  
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Re: Handheld GPS differences

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Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
Then I replaced it with a 5" chartplotter. I'm afraid that this was a huge improvement.
I had the same experience.

On my Catalina 25 I used a Garmin Oregon as my chart plotter using the free charts available for the Seattle area. The display is about 2.5" and it was mounted on the companionway bulkhead.

The display was small enough that I often reverted to using an iPad running Navionics to navigate with and left the Garmin handheld just showing me numbers (speed, current time, etc).

On my newer Pearson I have a helm mounted plotter with a 7" screen. It also has a number of transducers: speed, depth, wind. The 7" screen is a great size that makes navigation on the plotter a lot easier.

I still have paper charts and also carry a Nexus 7 tablet with Navionics running on it. The Nexus 7 is a great backup, it has a built in GPS chip and the 7" screen is mostly usable in bright sun. It's not as good as the real chart plotter though, and battery life is terrible when running Navionics. It does double duty as a remote (in cabin) display for the plotter when I'm anchored.

The price difference between a basic 5" plotter with depth and a handheld with charts isn't that great these days, so I'd just get the 5" plotter at a minimum.
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  #13  
Old 10-29-2013
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Re: Handheld GPS differences

I can't imagine relying on only a handheld GPS even color with a map chip. Even a 5 inch chartplotter is too small to see the big picture. I find my older 5 inch Garmin fine for navigation, but only after I have used my paper charts to plan the days trip and selected the waypoints.
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Old 10-30-2013
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Re: Handheld GPS differences

For me a big difference is the resolution.
The Oregon is 240 x 400
The GPS Map 78SC is 160 x240

More is better

I have an older version of the Oregon the Colorado and use it everytime I go out.

I couldn't even imagine putting up with the GPS Map resolution.

The higher resolution devices look like an Iphone the lower resolution devices look fuzzy in comparison but then I'm getting old.
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Last edited by davidpm; 10-31-2013 at 01:39 AM.
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Old 10-30-2013
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Re: Handheld GPS differences

I've got a Garmin 78 with the Garmin charts mounted in the cabin on a swinging mount so it swings out to be visible from the cockpit. This is a nice overall setup. I think it's especially important to have it wired into boat power so I can use it all the time. This has been a new addition this season and it's been great.

For route planning I use the iPhone with navionics.

Though I agree with a comment earlier that a larger chart plotter isn't much more in price. The question is whether you have a good place to mount it.
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  #16  
Old 11-08-2013
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Re: Handheld GPS differences

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
For me a big difference is the resolution.
The Oregon is 240 x 400
The GPS Map 78SC is 160 x240

More is better

I have an older version of the Oregon the Colorado and use it everytime I go out.

I couldn't even imagine putting up with the GPS Map resolution.

The higher resolution devices look like an Iphone the lower resolution devices look fuzzy in comparison but then I'm getting old.
This x 100! This was the first thing I noticed about some garmins and why I hated garmin at first. I picked up a 600$ bike one and it had the same screen resolution as the $300-400 78 series and I thought I stepped back in time! I thought I was hallucinating or something.

I was at circuit city and this salesmen walks up wearing one sequined glove and parachute pants while the stereo department is playing a-ha

"Take on me..take meeeee onnnn!"

Someone comes looking for a couple of woofers for his thunderbird, pretty in pink was on their tvs and people kept whispering about the ussr, and I just set it down and ran.

A different day I saw they had garmin oregon or Montana and a magellan explorist that have nice screens. I might be missing something though because it seems literally 90% of sailors have the gpsmaps 72,76 or 78 series which is the same as the super popular 62 series except the 78 floats and the buttons are on top. I think if I was convinced those two series were as good as everyone says I would go 62 for the buttons on bottom. I'm more used to that. But I still don't get the low res screen. What am I missing that people get these over the oregon for the same price?

To addtess Alex's point about cost. They are about the same, especially the more expensive handhelds like the oregon 650 or Montana but what I was thinking would be better about the handheld is that I could take it around the boat and sit wherever I liked using it, it wouldn't get stolen as easy because it's not fixed in the cockpit , and I could most importantly take it hiking or biking also.

Take you for example. With your oregon, you can anchor at Rosario on orcas and take it up mount constitution and track your miles and elevation. Or if you are in desolation sound, you could take it in your dinghy if you wanted to go somewhere like prideaux to squirrel cove to get supplies. unless you have a really expensive dinghy it probably doesn't have its own. A handhrld is more versatile.
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Old 11-08-2013
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Re: Handheld GPS differences

OK, answer us this: Can/will the Oregon accept the marine maps? If it can, I'd have to agree, why would someone NOT want the higher res screen?

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Re: Handheld GPS differences

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Originally Posted by Dave_E View Post
OK, answer us this: Can/will the Oregon accept the marine maps? If it can, I'd have to agree, why would someone NOT want the higher res screen?

Dave
Touchscreen concerns me although some quick research suggests it's resistive. Does anyone know for sure?

Resistive should continue working with gloved hands and after getting soaked. Capacitive probably will not. I wouldn't rely on a capacitive device.

I was in rough conditions (11' seas) trying to use my iPhone once and it soon stopped working when it and my hands were soaked. However the old Garmin with real buttons worked like a champ and carried us though the day. That's why I went with the 78 when I upgraded.
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  #19  
Old 11-08-2013
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Re: Handheld GPS differences

I have a Garmin 421 with a Blue chart chip . It is a fixed mnt. chart plotter . Screen is easy to read . The 421 is silly easy to use. I got a good deal on it from gpscity.com . Garmin was having a rebate on their Blue g2 charts . Buy the 421 ($300.) and the chip chart ($200.) . So my total cost was $300. Free shipping .
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Re: Handheld GPS differences

The oregon takes g2 blue charts, the same charts the popular 78 series uses.

Resistive? I'm not sure. There is something to be said for buttons, I just don't think any of them have the pretty screens.

Has anyone used a magellan explorist? They use navionics for marine charts instead. I'm not sure which is better. Garmin is far more popular.
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