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Old 04-19-2004
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GPS question

I would imagine that you may be seeing the effect of a lot of techology in one handheld unit. I think that the electronic compass in the Garmin is more suited to overland "Orienteering" than precise marine navigation.

The price of a good fluxgate comapass for one of the modern integrated navigation/information systems is more than the entire 76S! I have a nice Autohelm/Raytheon hand bearing digital compass that is very accurate but was about $150 or so. Add on all the features of the 76S and, well, they had to scrimp somewhere!

Even my two trusty 7" Danforth Constellations, zeroed to within a degree of each other, move whenever ANY ferrous metal or electronic device comes near them.

Just remember that if you turn off your 76S compass, the resulted calculated heading will be over the ground, which means with a beam current, you may be off 10 - 20deg from your magnetic heading. And if you are not moving, you won''t get any heading reading at all.
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Old 04-22-2004
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GPS question

For anyone who became interested in this discussion.... I finally got in touch with a knowledgeable person at Garmin. It took several calls and a lot of time on hold. Basically he told me that the electronic compass feature on the Garmin 76S and a couple of other Garmin units are pretty much for walkers but not for sail or aviation use. In other words, one can use the unit to obtain heading over the ground when moving (just like any other GPS) but the compass is not great for obtaining direction steered. In order for the electronic (fluxgate) compass on the Garmin 76S to work well the unit has to be held flat and not be around any metal or magnetic fields, both of which are pretty common in a cockpit. He suggested disarming the electronic compass (which I cannot figure out how to do) or at least changing the factory default setting so that the unit utilizes the GPS to obtain heading at low speeds and not the compass (easy to do and the instructions in the manual are straightforward).
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Old 05-10-2004
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GPS question

You might try downloading the manual and then doing the search for words or combinations of words to disable the compass. The compass decreases battery life by almost 50%. I often us my GPS 12 get the boat headed in the right direction and once that happens I use the old compass to steer and turn off the GPS.

Next Milwuakee GPS Seminar is Jne12th see it at
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Old 05-30-2004
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GPS question

Most GPSs have the option to show true heading or Magnetic (this is done automatically as they know where they are). Which way have you set your default?

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