Garmin Disk or Chip? GPS Which is better - SailNet Community

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Old 03-09-2007
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Garmin Disk or Chip? GPS Which is better

Which is better, to buy the Garmin chips or to buy the disk with the unlock codes and download the information onto the chip? I like the disk idea because I presume i can make back up chips....but it costs for the down load software...also the disk seems to be better priced than the individual chips...on the other hand, the blank chips are not cheap....one other thing, do I have to buy the garmin chips or will any chip do? Thanks, Tim la vida nueva
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Old 03-09-2007
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I believe the Garmins use a proprietary chip in their bigger chartplotters, like the 192C. The handheld 76CSX uses a miniSD or microSD, which is not proprietary, and a good deal less expensive for it.

I haven't priced it with the newest BlueChart G2 software. Which chartplotter do you have?
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Garmin CD rom is better than data card

If you purchase a Garmin preprogrammed data card and something happens to it, i.e. accidentally program over it, Garmin will not replace it. If you buy the CD Rom and blank data cards which are either proprietary, SD or MicroSD depending on your unit, you can program only the areas you want on the card from your CD rom and then reprogram another area on there if you go elsewhere. The cost is a little better I believe using the CD rom. You can also make a copy of your CD rom and store the original in a safe place so it doesn't get beat up from use. Can't do that with the preprogrammed data cards. I've just been going through this exercise trying to decide which to get for my 276C. In my mind there's no question.
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One thing about the chips vs. the CD. The chips will work in most Garmin chartplotters that can accept that type of chip... the CD downloads are locked to specific chartplotters via the serial number and unlock code. However, you can use each chart you unlock from the CD on two different chartplotters IIRC.

P.S. SD Cards are nice because you can Write Protect them... you can't do that on their proprietary cards... the microSD cards can be, depending on whether the adapter you use to fit them in an SD slot has the WP slider or not.
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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.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Blue charts

I've got the CD and the unlock code for my 276C--bought from Garmin. I load what I want on my 256mb blank chip. I also bought the Texas coast chip on eBay. I often reprogram the blank chip for highway use and then change back when I'm on the boat. Bought City Navigator and the unlock code for that too. While I'm into the system for a bit more money, it has proved to be very flexible.
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I have the 276C as well, which I primarily use in my truck, but have the local charts loaded on it as well. Nice little unit...
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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.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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