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Bombay Explorer 44
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Discussion Starter #1
My fourth Garmin has died. I do have one that works intermittently usually crapping out after 10 minutes or so. Of the other three one is completely dead, one switches on finds a satellite or two then switches off and the last one works fine but does not respond to the buttons.

I am thinking seriously of buying yet another one a 72 but the reliability is worrying me. I use it in a holder by the wheel, so it does get splashed from time to time.

I have a file of 400+ waypoints I can upload into it but I guess I can do it manually on a different type if I can not upload them.

I am a familiar with the operation of the 72 - 76 but guess I can learn to use something similar.

I like the simplicity of the 72 and just use the heading option plus the SOG speed function.

So is there a similar simple GPS that might be more reliable than the Garmins or have I just been unlucky with my Garmins so far and go and buy another.:confused:
 

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I take it you are not using a chip chart in your GPS . Awhile back a friend of mine asked me to order a 72 for him, he had a 46 . We got the 72 but in the mean time he got the 46 fixed, it needed a internal bat. My bud being the cheapskate that he is asked me to return the 72 ! Point is the 46 was really old , and it still works . I had a 45 never a problem with it, in tell the external batts. leaked .So I just tossed it . West had a good deal on a 76cx . hand held, once I got over a small learning curve I find it very easy to use . Then I got chart plotter fever . I wound up with a Garmin 421 and a blue chip chart, I love that thing . And to boot now I have a back up. Unfortunately I think you have had some really bad luck with the Garmins . I would give it one more try especially if you can save your waypoints . Also I got my chart plotter from GPS City.com
 

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Are you certain your current Garmin-format waypoint inventory cannot be somehow "translated" into a format usable by competitive makes? I have to believe there are PC based utilities available to translate one format to another. It is just a formatted data file.

If you can get your waypoints in an alternate format, that may make your decision easier. Some of the less expensive 4 and 5 inch Humminbirds and Lowrances sell at real-world prices close to Garmin's upscale handhelds. West maring recently had a 1-day sale with a 5-inch Lowrance with navionics Gold charts for $350... there'll probably be more Black Friday and Cyber Minday deals the next few days.
 

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Chastened
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You must be rough on your gear.
I have a 72 and a 76 for a while now, and they're still ticking.
 

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My 72 stopped "receiving" tide information two years ago. A call to Garmin tech support revealed that due to a change in the way the info was broadcast from the sattelites, the 72 could no longer interpret the data properly, so users would get an error message when trying to access it. And because the 72 had been discontinued, Garmin had no plans to do a software fix. In short, the unit worked fine for telling me where I was, but it would never give tide info again.

I would periodically look at the various handhelds for sale to maybe replace the 72, and came to the conclusion that Garmin is really the only game in town left for those. I decided it wasn't that important, so I kept the unit and had no plans to upgrade. That is, until I saw the sale Defender was having last spring on the Lowrance Elite. I decided to bite the bullet (and finally get a depth sounder too). I now have a full color, 5 inch screen chartplotter and depth sounder, and don't have to worry about carrying spare AA's anymore. I'm a happy camper.
 

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If you've gone through 4 units served by the same power source then I would be suspicious of the source. Electronics don't like spikes or low voltage.
Have you checked out Garmin's help line via internet? They've been extremely helpful to me and they have a flat fee repair service for non-warranty units. They couldn't fix my 8 year old Fish Finder/GPS unit so they sent me a new one for the price of the repair ($310).
Heck, it would have cost me more than that just to change the hole it came out of (to fit a new, different one) which was a carbon fiber panel!
 

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Corsair 24
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I got the 76cx deal at westmarine...blowout price and its rock solid, I used it for motorcycle riding too where mud, grass and all sorts of dust and crap got all over it not to mention fully waterproof, I also bougfht the hardwire kit with it

great signals...I dont use 10 percent of what it can do, basically I just use it for simple lat long and compass bearings that I switch screens to and from...

I also love the option of big NUMBERS that lets you chose what you want to see, like cmg, bearings, etc...

for motorcyle riding I used the "plotter" function since it does better with land stuf that is already built in...

x2 on older gps...they are even more bullet proof except that most have that funky stowable antenna that you kind of pointed around to get a better signal...jajaja

cheers
 

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Bombay Explorer 44
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Discussion Starter #8
If you've gone through 4 units served by the same power source then I would be suspicious of the source. Electronics don't like spikes or low voltage.
Have you checked out Garmin's help line via internet? They've been extremely helpful to me and they have a flat fee repair service for non-warranty units. They couldn't fix my 8 year old Fish Finder/GPS unit so they sent me a new one for the price of the repair ($310).
Heck, it would have cost me more than that just to change the hole it came out of (to fit a new, different one) which was a carbon fiber panel!
Hmm good point on the supply voltage. I have run them all on the same power point via the Garmin cigarette lighter cord. I think it is a pretty stable supply as I have 675 amp hours of house battery mostly fed by a solar pack and a separate starter battery. The engine driven alternator has the Balmar regulator which ramps it up slowly.

Does anyone know if the 12 volt Garmin supply lead has built in surge protection?

If not is there a good surge protector around that will last in a marine environment.
.
 

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I've gone through 2 Garmins. Hard use over many miles. Think they are excellent kit, but decided to move on to a Furuno GP 32. Fixed mount, large screen. A bit more spendy, will see how it does for a few years.
 

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Resail man
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I have to agree with the other posts. Garmin H/H GPSs are pretty reliable . If it is a low voltage issue, try keeping AA batteries in it. All Garmin GPSs have an internal automatic transfer switch which will use external power if provided but if voltage drops or gets turned off, it will automatically transfer to the batteries. Also, there is a voltage gauge in the data menu, if it reads lower than your house bank's actual voltage, you may have a bad or over crowded ground which will mimic a low voltage problem and turn the unit off. Good luck.
 

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Resail man
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As far as a surge protector, the answer is yes. It does have one. Any Garmin that uses that particular cigerette plug has a built in surge protector.
 

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It does sound like you are tough on your GPS's. I currently have three Garmin's, two of which are handhelds. The oldest handheld is 16 years old, and the newest handhled is 10 years old. Both of these units have worked reliably. I do keep all three of them out of the sun when not in use, putting them below when on the hook or back at the dock.

I did have a screen go bad on the older unit roughly 16 years ago, and was amazed at Garmin's service on that. They have a 'reconditioning center'. For a fixed fee (something like $40) you can send in your old unit and get a reconditioned unit back. That reconditioned unit has worked for the 16 years since and was just used this fall by a friend who borrowed it for a trip he was making.

My boat came with a Raymarine GPS which I never liked and was delighted to swap out when my boat was hit by lightning a decade ago.

Jeff
 

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Corsair 24
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As far as a surge protector, the answer is yes. It does have one. Any Garmin that uses that particular cigerette plug has a built in surge protector.
does this apply to the hardwire kit? I dont have the ciggarette adapter, so far I only use batteries...especially on the bike


wonder if I should refrain from hardwiring it in the meantime? ive had it for 3 years now:)
 

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I found it best to buy any Garmin product form a large store which has it's own warrantee, as I found Garmin's warrantee quite useless.
 

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You must be rough on your gear.
I have a 72 and a 76 for a while now, and they're still ticking.
I'll second that.

I have sailed many thousands of miles with a 72 and before that a 76 (same thing) and only on my very first unit back in probably 1999 one of the buttons broke off which was then a known problem (rubber membrane was too thin) and subsequently modified. My unit was replaced with a new one no questions asked.

Since then I have added two 72 units for redundancy, one is 3 years old and still in it's factory packaging. They never seem to give any problems. But to be fair, mine have an easy life. They only get switched on twice a day when I want to update my position on the paper chart (sorry I still use those :eek:). The rest of the time they're cozy in the chart table.
 

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you should buy a sextant clearly gps's dont like you. but seriously i carry two handhelds as backup and i have a standard horizon chart plotter. My standard horizon is below deck in my nav station so i can't cmment on how it holds up outdoors, but i will say the handhelds which is all i had before i installed the chart plotter while very waterproof and foolproof run thru alot of batteries, like you should buy stock in duracell if you use one constantly
 

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Bombay Explorer 44
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Discussion Starter #17
Well I guess I must be doing something wrong but the failure mode is not consistent. From left to right.

1 Totally dead. It shut down on passage and nothing I did raised a beep or anything on screen.

2 Still works but usually goes to a blank display with a black vertical line after a few minutes. Does not respond to power off button, but unplugging and plugging in will restart it.

3 On connection it powers up without use of the on button and finds satellites and displays a position. Does not respond to any button input.

4 On power up it finds a satellite or two then shuts down.

5 Yup I am crazy I bought number 5 today. So far so good!
<a href="http://s1300.photobucket.com/user/TQA2/media/TyrellBay018_zps2373f42f.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1300.photobucket.com/albums/ag94/TQA2/TyrellBay018_zps2373f42f.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo TyrellBay018_zps2373f42f.jpg"/></a>
PS Yes I do still have a sextant and about once a year I shoot the mid day sun for old times sake and calculate my position.
 
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