Garmin 4208 or 3210 chart plotter? 4208 may have too much gimicktry... - SailNet Community

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Old 02-02-2009
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Garmin 4208 or 3210 chart plotter? 4208 may have too much gimicktry...

Hello,

I am putting together my electronics package.

I will be adding chart plotter with sattelite weather feed, AIS and maybe radar.

The 4208 or 4210 -latest garmin stuff has a lot of features but I don't think I need them. I am used to the older stuff as well so I think I may try to find a 3210 instead.

Anyone have an opinion or experience on these things?
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Old 02-02-2009
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xort has a spectacular aura about xort has a spectacular aura about xort has a spectacular aura about
bought a 3210 last summer. works great altho we don't have any of the bells & whistles, only plotter. well, we have the radar but haven't run the wiring yet
The plotter is very nice but all I can compare it to is small handhelds

I think I'd go for the bigger screen if you have the room for it

Last edited by xort; 02-02-2009 at 06:54 PM.
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Old 02-02-2009
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I've got a 3206 and I love it. It has more features than I need and is upgradeable (is that a word?) with radar, weather overlay, whatever you'd like to add down the road.

As I understand it, the big difference in the two lines (32xx/42xx) is that the 42xx is NMEA 2K and the 32xx is the old tried and true NMEA 0183.

Others will be able to shed more light, I'm sure.
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Old 02-03-2009
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I have the 3210, and I've played with the later models. The one thing I find easier to use on the later models is touching the screen to get information or to set waypoints, but I don't care for the screen being cluttered with touch buttons. The 3210 screen scrolling feature would be better if it was a ball mouse, but I've read that there are problems sometimes with the ball mouse on the Raymarine plotters.
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Old 02-03-2009
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Chartplotters

I have dual 3010's on my 45' sloop, one up at the helm and one down at the nav station. With the GMS port expander there isn't anything it can't do. There is even a remote available for it,(can't imagine why). With 2 plotters one will automatically go into slave mode. The touch screens have issues being in direct sunlight down here in Florida. I have been using the 3010's since 05' and have about 10,000 miles on them without a problem. The XM weather works as far as St Thomas and with the up graded Gsd 22 the sonar works better. I don't know what you will get for spending the extra money on a 4 series system. Good luck in your choice.
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Old 02-03-2009
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Nmea 2000

Hello,

If I were buying any electronic today, I would insist on NMEA 2000. It is much easier to connect things, no need to cut and splice, etc. So if the newer unit supports NMEA 2000 and the older unit doesn't, that would make my choice easy.

Barry
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Old 02-03-2009
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All the connections on the 3 series are LAN connections except for power and the GPS. I guess that is the right terminology.
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Old 02-03-2009
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I chose 3210 specifically because it has the "old" Garmin interface which I find much clearer, easier to use and more flexible. New interface is aimed at, how shall I put it, people who don't really navigate well, I guess.

NMEA 2000 in my personal opinion is a protocol that is a "solution looking for a problem", and is not useful at all on a sailboat. (That and serial protocols are considerably more resilient in face of marginal connections and variable power conditions often encountered on a boat than Ethernet).
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Old 02-04-2009
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Nmea

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Originally Posted by brak View Post
NMEA 2000 in my personal opinion is a protocol that is a "solution looking for a problem", and is not useful at all on a sailboat. (That and serial protocols are considerably more resilient in face of marginal connections and variable power conditions often encountered on a boat than Ethernet).
Wow, I could not disagree more.

With NMEA0183, you need to solder, crimp, twist, or make the electrical connection some other way. You need to figure out which device is the sender and which is the receiver. If you want to connect multiple devices, or send the same data to more than one device (like having speed displayed at the helm and down below) you need yet more things.

With NMEA2000, when you want to connect two devices, you just connect them with twist lock connectors. There is no soldering, crimping, or other things that can go bad. If you add another device later, you just install a T connector and you're done. It doesn't get easier than that.

Barry
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Old 02-04-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryL View Post
Wow, I could not disagree more.

With NMEA0183, you need to solder, crimp, twist, or make the electrical connection some other way. You need to figure out which device is the sender and which is the receiver. If you want to connect multiple devices, or send the same data to more than one device (like having speed displayed at the helm and down below) you need yet more things.

With NMEA2000, when you want to connect two devices, you just connect them with twist lock connectors. There is no soldering, crimping, or other things that can go bad. If you add another device later, you just install a T connector and you're done. It doesn't get easier than that.

Barry
I think you are mixing up specific details of physical interface and protocol implementation. There is nothing that prevents equipment manufacturers from providing a uniform serial connector - but generally speaking this was not done for historical reasons.

The ethernet cable requires connectors simply because ethernet signal will be lost using the kind of connections that are often result from manually made "crimps, solders" etc. Just that fact alone should tell you something about resilience of protocols in face of real world conditions.

The same goes for adding devices. While the ethernet connection is deceptively simple in appearance, there is far more going on under the hood. Essentially your devices must act as network bridges to move traffic around.

I am sure that both the sales methods of manufacturers and the "packaging" they use make NMEA2000 appear "easy" and more user friendly, but as a technology it simply isn't so.
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