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Discussion Starter #1
Well after pricing things out I wonder if I need the new 3d garman .
From what I read the 3210 does tons more than I am used to. I know I can add the $450 extra satellite photos later if I go with the 4210, but I think I may never need it. I can get the 3210 with the weather and a digital depth for the same cost as just the 4210 alone. Any one use the Garman 3210 and what do you think about it. Thanks again
 

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Telstar 28
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Four major differences between the units... First, the 4210 has NMEA 2000, the 3210 does not. Second, the 4210 has higher resolution, 800 x600 vs. 640 x480. Third, the 3210 has fewer soft keys, five running along the bottom of the screen, where the 4210 has eight of them along the right edge of the screen... Fourth, the 4210 can do autorouting for an autopilot... but I doubt this is all that useful on a sailboat.

Remember, either will take NMEA depth data off your existing depthsounder, if it outputs NMEA 0183....so unless you need a fish finder, that doesn't matter too much.

Also, the Weather XM service requires you to pay a subscription fee, and has coverage limited to mainly north america and the caribbean.
 

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i just got a 4210 on my boat. the resolution is really quite amazing. It means you can still see detail while zoomed out as compared to the 3210 and so can see a greater area around you. I was wondering which to get just as you are and then I saw the 4210 in action and was hooked. Go check it out before you make up your mind.
 

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Barking Dog
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The 4210 is now shipping with an NMEA 2K GPS 17x antenna and all on the necessary NMEA 2K cables, T connectors and power connector. If you don't already have a NMEA 2K network started, this unit is a great way to get you into the game.

And you can mount the GPS 17x antenna below the deck.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the advice everyone, SD you never fail to impress me thanks for the detail. Kindofblue, under the deck! Thats good to know.
 

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Sea Slacker
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I have 3210 (which I chose for a number of reasons, primarily because it is a last Garmin device with "previous generation" software).

I'd like to note that number of "soft keys" is pretty irrelevant in my own use of the device. Most of the time even the keys that are there (5 of them) are not all assigned. some screens use 2, others 3 - I don't think I ever have seen all 5 used (and of the ones assigned perhaps one option is actually useful).

4-series Garmin devices provide (provided a year or so ago when I looked at them, anyway :) ) less flexibility in controlling exactly what information you see. instead of being able to select each data item (i.e. VMG or BTW or whatever), you select general types of information instead (navigation, blah) and device "knows better" what kind of numbers you should see. To me that was unacceptable. YMMV. May be that had been improved (but my recent experience with a Garmin handheld shows otherwise)
 

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Grasshopper
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I think another difference between the two is the data cards they accept. I have the 3210 and it takes an older version data card that know one else uses but Garmin. I believe the new plotters use a SD card that is much easier to get, and hold more information.
 

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Telstar 28
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This is correct. The 32xx series use the proprietary GARMIN flash memory card, the newer Garmins use either a MicroSD or SD card.

I think another difference between the two is the data cards they accept. I have the 3210 and it takes an older version data card that know one else uses but Garmin. I believe the new plotters use a SD card that is much easier to get, and hold more information.
 

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My take on this question is that it's a question of screen real estate and resolution.

I think you should choose the largest screen with the highest resolution that will physically fit and look appropriate for your boat. In this idea, the 4200 series is the better choice.

My reasoning here is that when I am transiting a narrow and twisty channel, I can zoom in enough for the Garmin to be a true secondary navigation source (channel markers, if present, are always #1). Having used a 3210 prior, I can tell you this will make a difference.

The other consideration is anti-glare coating. I think the new gen Garmins have a better coating, but this is my speculation.

Good luck with your purchase decision.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I am so confused. But thanks for all your advice and taking the time to explain things.
 

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Sea Slacker
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My take on it:
1) higher quality graphics, NMEA 2000, less user control, target user is not very savvy and not interested in customization - 4xxx series
2) not as high quality graphics, no NMEA 2000, more user control, target user is a decent navigator and interested in customization - 3xxx series

bells & whistles vs. functionality :) that's my take on it. plus - there is no way back, once Garmin phases out 3xxx series it's all the "new" stuff from then on. So I sure hope to keep mine for a long time. If it goes and cannot be repaired - it is off to Raymarine for me. I will most definitely not buy a new Garmin unit with the type of software they are using now.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My take on it:
I will most definitely not buy a new Garmin unit with the type of software they are using now.

Could you give me some more detail on that. Thanks Al
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Can, and how difficult would it be to hook up the high def radar from garman to the raymarine?
I have read lots of great things about the garman radar, but not much about the raymarine. Any thoughts? Thanks again
 

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Sea Slacker
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Could you give me some more detail on that. Thanks Al
Pretty much what I already said - not enough configuration by user, pre-defined screens and data output, lots of configuration and information detail removed for the sake of what appears to be essentially "dumbing down" of the unit. It is clearly a matter of personal preference, but for my taste new Garmin software is essentially useless (and I do not exagerrate). I can't live with configuration where I only get to chose "more navigation info" and "less navigation info". YMMV
 

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Tundra Down
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What is the problem with the Garmin network vs the NEMA 2000 network? Nothing could be simpler than Rj45 plug and play connections linked via a high speed switch. It is limited to those components available to the Garmin network but they are more than adequate for any of my needs. With AIS I am feeling there isn't a need for radar to avoid ships and the charts and my depth sounder keep me out of harms way with the bottom. Radar is still an option with the Garmin network. Data input using the Garmin chips is a small issue. I will use Garmin chips. It isnt like I have movies I want to input. Data is a small file and a couple of Garmin chips will provide all the storage I could want if reproducing navigation solutions is my goal.

I guess I could use some good advice that explains why there is really a need for the more "advanced" 4xxx. I will concede that higher resolution could make things look clearer but I have never been in a situation where the 3xxx resolution put my boat at risk. I do like the tweaking I can employ with the 3xxx.

Tundra Down
 

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Grasshopper
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The only 4000 versions I've used are the demos at WM. I don't care for the touch screen aspect of the 4000's, as it takes up screen real estate to view charts...but it is a little easier to work with. I invested in the whole Garmin 3210 system with radar a couple of years ago (before the 4000's came out), so if my 3210 dies I'll probably go with whatever Garmin is plotting with that my radar and accessories will still work with. I'm used to using the 3210 (I know my way around the interface), and the charts look good enough to me. Garmin is still updating software and charts to be used in the 3210 and GPS (end of May Garmin should have all charts updated for 2009 for $75.00), so I don't think they have plans on fazing out support for the 3210 yet.
 

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Telstar 28
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Don't believe the 4xxx series has touch screen. IIRC, that's the 5xxx series.

The only 4000 versions I've used are the demos at WM. I don't care for the touch screen aspect of the 4000's, as it takes up screen real estate to view charts...but it is a little easier to work with. I invested in the whole Garmin 3210 system with radar a couple of years ago (before the 4000's came out), so if my 3210 dies I'll probably go with whatever Garmin is plotting with that my radar and accessories will still work with. I'm used to using the 3210 (I know my way around the interface), and the charts look good enough to me. Garmin is still updating software and charts to be used in the 3210 and GPS (end of May Garmin should have all charts updated for 2009 for $75.00), so I don't think they have plans on fazing out support for the 3210 yet.
 
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