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  #1  
Old 02-15-2007
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Garmin Chartplotter Antenna?

Were are looking at either a new Garmin 545 or 540 chartplotter and I am not reading anywhere is there are internal of external antennas. The internal antenna looks like the easiest way to go but will it have trouble getting signal through the canvas bimini top? Thanks.
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I have an older Garmin Chartplotter, the GPSMap 192C, with an internal antenna, and it works fine, both inside the cabin and under the bimini. Unless your bimini is made of mylar or some other metallic foil, it should work just fine. I believe that both units are made in both internal and external antenna forms, as were the older units.
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Spring is getting near and they still have not been released yet....
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I have the Garmin 498c chart potter with the internal antenna. It to, works fine.
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Antenna Malarchy

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,

Bill
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Oooop's

P.S.

My partner was scrolling thru the displays with her hand positioned over the antenna and it lost it's signal and gave us a message.

Operator error, bless her heart

Fair Winds,

Bill
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Quote:
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,

Bill
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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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.

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We were first looking at the 498 as well, but the new 2007 stuff in 3d looks great, we need one by mid april do you think its worth the wait and the extra cost to get the fancy graphics and 3d?

Scott
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Scott... no problem getting a signal under your bimini.
The 2007 stuff does look great but will knock you back some major bucks. I guess I would say that a lot depends on your cruising plans. If you are gonna be taking off for new poerts and new horizons...then the new fancy stuff can be helpful and the potential integration with future stuff is worth thinking about since my guess is you plan to hold on to your new beauty for some time. Otherwise...I'd just go for the discontinued stuff as it is still pretty damned impressive and does everything you need to safely navigate.
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Old 02-22-2007
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Why the Garmin 545?

Out of curiousity, why are you looking at the new Garmin 545? I, too, am considering the Garmin 545, although I've not seen it in person. I am thinking that its smaller size couple with a bright, vivid screen might make it especially well suited for my smaller 28' boat (a J/28).

Thanks, Bob
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