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Discussion Starter #1
Any comments on this version. I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on one of these and want to make sure it is a good purchase. I have read a few threads here that discuss older versions but wasn't sure about this iteration of the 76C.

I know I will need to buy the $100 BlueCharts, anything else I need to know about it?

Thanks in Advance
 

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Telstar 28
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Umm... Never heard of the GPS 76CXs... there's a nice GPSMap 76CSx... which I recently bought and think is a pretty good unit. It was bought as a replacement for an older 76CS that is being given to a friend's son.

Having the BlueCharts on it would be a great addition, if you're getting it at the right price. Mine was only $160, so I am getting the charts. However, if you're paying closer to retail, it might not make sense to get the GPSMap 76CSx, since for the price of it and the BlueCharts, you can get a Colorado or Oregon with the entire coastal or inland US charts PRE-LOADED. This would give you significantly more chart area coverage for about the same money.
 

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I have the 76 CSx as a backup GPS. Its a decent unit as a second GPS for my boat...my Raymarine Plotter + Raystar is my primary. $100 is for Bluechart and one region...if you want to use it for land navigation, you'll need to get Garmin City Navigator NT as well. Thats more money. What I like about it is that its rugget, it floats, and it hooks up nicely with my Mac (running Parallels for all the software). Also, my version of the 76Csx has micro-sd cards for storage. While the box said 128 mb storage card included, a nice surprise was that I had a 256 mb card. Even then, I went to Office Depot and picked up a 2 gb card for $10 and use that now.

What I *DONT* like is that with a lot of maps, the unit can be slow to load up. Also, the menu navigation is a bit clunky...definitely not an iPhone U/I at all. The screen is old technology so a bit grainy/not as bright as you'd like. Most of all, though, is I dont like (nee...HATE) garmin's software! Mapsource no longer works under-way, so its fine for just planning purposes, but if you want to track progress on your laptop, you're SOL. For that, you have to run nroute. But then nroute only works with the last generation of Garmin products (Bluecharts 2008.5). Nroute does NOT work with City Navigator 2008 NT! Also, its tough to interchange waypoints between Garmin and Raymarine. It can be done...but again, lots of hacks.

You can do all sorts of hacks to get around compatibility of maps as well as vendors, but why Garmin took away the ability to do planning *AND* tracking from Mapsource is a bloomin' mystery to me.
 

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Garmin 76csx

I bought one during the winter and have been using it this season. Practial sailor reviewed the handheld gps units earlier this year, pick up a copy if you can, that may help.

Overall I like it. It is a major upgrade from my b/w magellan, although both do about the same thing except... I like the color maps with the depths and navigation aids loaded in. It FLOATS! It is very adaptable and you can configure screens how you like. Plenty of different screens/views to navigate by. You can buy a road map card and use it in the car.

Some things I don't like is the fact the screen isn't any bigger than my old magellan, but the unit itself is larger and almost too big for pockets. The buttons are hard to press, I'd prefer softer buttons. Figuring out all the features takes some time. I'm still messing with it. I need to buy all the software/accessories so it works with a mac.

I'd say maybe now if I didn't have it, I might go with a larger touch screen model since prices have dropped a lot. In the end they all do the same thing. I bought the csx for the price, detailed color mapping, and floating feature.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Umm... Never heard of the GPS 76CXs... there's a nice GPSMap 76CSx... which I recently bought and think is a pretty good unit. It was bought as a replacement for an older 76CS that is being given to a friend's son.

Having the BlueCharts on it would be a great addition, if you're getting it at the right price. Mine was only $160, so I am getting the charts. However, if you're paying closer to retail, it might not make sense to get the GPSMap 76CSx, since for the price of it and the BlueCharts, you can get a Colorado or Oregon with the entire coastal or inland US charts PRE-LOADED. This would give you significantly more chart area coverage for about the same money.
sailingdog,

You are correct, I left off the correct nomenclature for the unit.

I read a lot of bad reviews about the Colorado and Oregon on WM website. Some said they felt it was not as good for marine use as land based. In addition there seemed to be some other technical problems. I have considered the Colorado, but after reading negative reviews I hesitate.
The GPSMap 76CSx has tons of favorable reviews.

If I could find one on fleaBay for under $200 I'd be doing ok. I would definitely want the US Charts and I think they are $99 at WM right now.
 

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The Garmin 76C is generally pretty highly thought of, but, to me, the unit is too big for its screen size and its screen size is too small. After fairly extensive on-line research, I think I'm going with the Lowrance H2OC. I'd prefer to stick with Garmin, being as we've got a Garmin I really like on Abracadabra, but their units are either all too big, screen sizes too small, or they're too expensive. Plus Garmin often really rear-ends you for charts.

Jim
 

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Mapsource no longer works under-way, so its fine for just planning purposes, but if you want to track progress on your laptop, you're SOL. For that, you have to run nroute. But then nroute only works with the last generation of Garmin products (Bluecharts 2008.5).
I run nRoute (ver. 2.7.6) on a Vista laptop using Americas BlueChart v4.01 and BlueChart Americas v9.0 (both relatively old maps). I also use the Garmin GPSMap76s (LINK) black and white screen as my GPS (very old).

The only trick and slight PITA is you have to save your Mapsource file with your routes, waypoints, etc. as a Garmin GPS Database Version 2 file (not Database Version 3 file) for the nRoute to import it. Then connecting the GPSMap 76s to the laptop shows real time mapping and lays down track information on the laptop.

I agree though, why not leave all the functionality in Mapsource (the way it used to be) so you don't have to monkey around with the nRoute program.
 

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I've used the 76CSx and the Colorado. The 76 is slow and clunky compared to the Colorado, but the Colorado is a power hungry little monster. Note that the 76's use 4 AA batteries and the Colorado uses 2 AA, so someone might want to time them both to failure and divide the 76 by two. I'm wiring a 12vdc socket in the companionway to feed the Colorado on an adapter. The Oregon is fun to play with in the store; nice touch screen... Colorado needs no purchase of additional maps... Colorado has tides and current info... I can see the screen in daylight without backlighting. Zoom is Way Faster than 76's... Not sure if it floats though.
 

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We have a GPSMap 76--B&W--that we've had since it first became available in early 2001. It has proven to be a very robust device and came in very handy during a race to Key West a few year ago when the ship's primary GPS device packed it in. A worthwhile addition is the cigarette lighter power cable. We obtained one and cut off the cigarette lighter insert plug and replaced it with a waterproof 2-prong connector that connects to a matching outlet we have in the cockpit and it has endured some very rough weather without fail. We routinely carry the device in the "bail-out bag" for our inflatable and sailing dinghy and it has proven very valuable in that use as well.

Lastly, with the optional power/data cable, it happily "talks" to our Dell lap-top running nROute and is able to receive positioning signals while sitting on the edge of our Nav table without an exterior antenna.

FWIW...

s/v HyLyte
 

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*snip* Note that the 76's use 4 AA batteries and the Colorado uses 2 AA, so someone might want to time them both to failure and divide the 76 by two *snip*
Not true...the 76CSx I have runs on 2 AA batteries. The rechargeables I use last a full 8 hours of use.
 

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I stand corrected. Thanks. I borrowed that one for a weekend last year before I bought one of my own. They say you memory is the second thing to go...
 

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I have a 76csx and used it as my primary while chartering for a year and a half - now that i have my own boat it is the backup. I think it is a great unit for a handheld. Its size is due to the fact that this version floats so they had to allow for more air inside the case to achieve that. The non floating versions are smaller but then they dont float. Otherwise they are pretty much the same unit. I can confirm that it takes two AA batteries and is good for 8 hours at least. Also, the blue charts come with one region already paid for (as I recall) so if you only need e.g. the Chesapeake, you will get that with the initial purchase. Additional regions of course cost extra.

there are cheaper black and white versions but i found their screens much harder to read.
 

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The CSx is also supposed to be faster at locking onto the satellites. I have on, and an older e-trex vista and the bluechart america. This weekend I will be putting it through its paces for the first time, experimenting with anchor watch, and shallow and deep water alarms.

I also use it on my laptop with the nroute program.
 

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I have one. I like the ability to modify every display to show the measurement that you want to see. You can also setup which pages get displayed with the page button.

The next thing I plan to do is get an output cable so I can run it to my DSC VHF radio.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks all.
I'm getting a greater appreciation for the 76CSx, but I'm also intrigued about the Colorado.
 

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The 76CSx is a better unit IMHO, and has the ability to mark a MOB event, which the Colorado appears to be lacking.

Thanks all.
I'm getting a greater appreciation for the 76CSx, but I'm also intrigued about the Colorado.
 

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The 76CSx is a better unit IMHO, and has the ability to mark a MOB event, which the Colorado appears to be lacking.
The problem with the 76C-series is the screen is so small, esp. compared to the over-all size of the unit, which is relatively large.

I don't get it: How can these GPS manufacturers come out with all kinds of small, hand-held GPS' suitable for automotive use, with larger, usable touch-screen displays (I'm thinking of The Admiral's TomTom One, but Garmin and the others have similar units), and not be able to come up with a relatively affordable marine unit that'll do the same on the water?

Ok, so an automotive, consumer unit like the TomTom One isn't marinized, doesn't have much battery life and probably won't tolerate much of a beating. Fine. Marinize it, beef it up structurally, increase the battery life and add charts. They (Garmin, Lowrance, etc.) can't do that for, say, double the price? :rolleyes:

I think I'll somehow have to stumble around the lake w/o one of these until one of the GPS manufacturers gets their act together.

I'm beginning to wish a Japanese manufacturer would enter the market, since the U.S. ones appear to be terminally stuck in the last century. :(

Jim
 

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That is one reason I got the Colorado. It fits in my life-jacket pocket.

The main reason however is that the Colorado has all the charts for us coastal. Unless you only want one small area the 76 will be hundreds of dollars more costly.

I agree there seems to be arbitrary disadvantages tacked on to every model.
There is a set waypoint option which can be used for cob, not a quick.
 

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The main reason however is that the Colorado has all the charts for us coastal. Unless you only want one small area the 76 will be hundreds of dollars more costly.
Yeah, noticed that while researching the Garmin cross-overs. Garmin really bends you over for charts.

I agree there seems to be arbitrary disadvantages tacked on to every model.
It's almost as if none of these companies are looking at what the others are making, and even that they're using whole new engineering teams for some of their products that don't even bother to look at the rest of their own product line.

There is a set waypoint option which can be used for cob, not a quick.
How stupid is that: To have a marine GPS without a MOB/COB button? Hello?

The latest one I looked at (after this, I decided to simply give up) was the Garmin Oregon. Spendy, but interesting. Then I saw some pictures of the Oregon in the bright sunlight and side-by-side with a 76C. They must be joking! Their reasoning for a display that's essentially worthless in bright light (and mind you: The display is the keyboard on the Oregon--so even if they thought to provide a quick-and-easy MOB/COB "button": Good luck finding it): Extends battery life. Uh, here's a thought: Give the end-user the option of setting brightness/contrast.? Let the end-user decide what's the best compromise between readability and battery life? (Just guessing, mind you, but I'm thinking their logic ran something like this: "If we artificially restrict brightness/contrast, we'll be able to claim really good run-time on batteries." :rolleyes:)

Jim
 
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