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Old 24-09-2010, 22:30   #1
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Garmin Format BlueChart Data Card - Purchasing Problem

Hi,

I am currently cruising in Malaysian waters and have an urgent requirement for data cards for my newly aquired GPSMAP3206 Garmin chartplotter.
Time is running out and sadly so is my patience with this matter; hence this appeal to the forum for assistance.
Over the past two weeks, on an almost daily basis I have been attempting to purchase required Garmin data cards, but with no joy whatso-ever. I have been in contact with Garmin retailers in the US, Canada, England, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia and have been informed on every occasion that they could not help me or even worse, not responded to my email enquiry. I am at the moment awaiting a reply from Garmin's Product Support on this matter.
A main part of the problem appears to be that the GPSMAP 3000 series and some others; use a proprietary Garmin format data card instead of the normally used SD or micro SD card found in most units and this is what every retailer I have been in contact with, only stocks. The online Garmin shop only sells downloads for a SD/Micro SD card.

What I am after is:
1 x area AE009R, SKU 010-C0884-10 Bay of bengal to Kupand and Minado
and
1 x area AE005R, SKU 010-C0880-10 Philippines, Java and Mariana Islands

These are Garmin format data cards for a GPSMAP3206.

If any member can assist with information with respect to supply of the required data cards, it would be well received.

Cheers and thanks
Darryl
SY Coral Kuching
Berthed briefly in Langkawi, Malaysia.

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Old 24-09-2010, 23:53   #2
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I sent them an email from my Garmin user name just asking for an explanation. Maybe if a bunch more did the same we could get Garmin back in line. Used to be a top notch firm. Once very responsive but these to be changing and the charts are expensive.
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Old 25-09-2010, 09:43   #3
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Garmin support has, in the past, been excellent so I'm a bit concerned. I've also queried Garmin with your info to see what I can find out.
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Old 25-09-2010, 20:07   #4
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Follow up

Thanks Sabray and Cptn Douglas for your assistance.

This morning (Sunday) I received a reply to one of my earlier emails, from a Malaysian company, that may show some promise. They have an "old stock - year 2008" data card for area AE009R which is the card I have an immediate need for.

I have now requested confirmation that the card is for a GPSMAP 3206 and whether they can order in the other card for area AE005R for me.

I am hoping that my thoughts of this predicament ending soon are not premature.

Thanks again chaps.

Darryl
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Old 28-09-2010, 17:03   #5
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It's worth noting that garmin have ended updates for these cards. Everything stops as of dec 2009. Hence most cards actually finished with the 2008 update.

They are getting very difficult to find now

Dave
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Old 28-09-2010, 22:31   #6
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Postscipt:

After 3 weeks of pure frustration on a daily basis, I am finally happy to announce that as of this morning I came into posession of one of my required Garmin format data cards, with the second one due to arrive tomorrow.

Impressed
My heartfelt thanks to AECO Technologies of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for taking the initiative and for proving that there are still some companies that are prepared to support what they sell.

Not Impressed
In fact ticked off is a mild way of describing my thoughts on:
a. The contacted 14 retailers in 6 countries who were only interested in selling what Garmin items they had in stock.
b. The retailers, including Binnacle.Com who did not even reply to my email request. Not very sociable behaviour.
c. And keeping the best until last: To Garmin Product Support. My "plea" for assistance was met by obvious indifference to my problem. Your silience is deafening. Why have a Product Suport Department if it is not utilised?

In Conclusion:
In no way is this post meant to be an anti-Garmin rant but a statement of the facts of which I have endured for the past three weeks, for something that should have had an immediate resolution.

My advice to all forum members is that unless you have limitless patience and way too much spare time on your hands; "Do Not" purchase a Garmin chartplotter that takes the Garmin format data cards.

My advice to Garmin is that even great products need support.


Cheers and beers
Darryl
SY Coral Kuching
Langkawi
Malaysia
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Old 29-09-2010, 01:03   #7
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Yikes! Too late - I recently purchased a Garmin 3205 - same series, a bit smaller screen. I guess I better start right away trying to round up all the chart cards I might need for my cruising! Sounds like I can't count on getting them on a just-in-time basis. Hate the idea of buying cards I might need rather that go without.

Ciao,
Margo
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Old 29-09-2010, 01:32   #8
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Darryl,

Just found a bunch of these garmin cards (bluechart g2) on TigerGPS.com. And the prices are discounted compared to the garmin site.

Have you tried there?

Margo
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Old 29-09-2010, 02:34   #9
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Thanks

Thanks Dave for the feedback, it's appreciated.

Margo, thanks also for the TigerGPS website with discounted cards. I have checked it out and bookmarked it for future reference.
The price I paid for the cards here in Malaysia was USD $175 each, which to me is a fair price, considering in desparation, I was starting to contemplate replacing the chartplotter with one that took the more common SD or Micro SD cards.

In preparation for my journey down the Malacca Straits to Singapore I have had the main chartplotter interfaced with the radar, VHF DSC and AIS. Not being able to easily purchase the required G2 data card was not even considered to be a potential problem. Thankfully (touch wood), it has all come together.

Cheers to all

Darryl
SY Coral Kuching
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Old 29-09-2010, 05:25   #10
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Interesting situation you found yourself in. Ever consider just getting paper charts? If I understand some of the previous post, you now find yourself with electronic charts with data that is two years old.
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Old 29-09-2010, 06:51   #11
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In Reply

Hi Efraim,

Thanks for your input and eye for detail.

I do have a full set of paper charts for the area, but I must admit it would be more than 2 years since any corrections were made to them.
The importance of me getting the data cards was not just for the chart information displayed which could have been taken from the paper charts, should the requirement have arisen.

Anyone who has transited through Singapore would know the importance of having AIS interfaced with an operational chartplotter. With literally dozens of ships approaching at any one time, from almost any angle, many at 20 plus knots. It is very helpful to be able to have this form of electronic navigational assistance to identify and track targets on a chartplotter; albeit even one with a 2 year old card.

Cheers and thanks for your thoughts.

Darryl
SY Coral Kuching
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Old 08-10-2010, 06:22   #12
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Yes, can't be too careful in busy sealanes........
I reckon just having a GPS these days is 'magic'...

I got one for Windwalker in 1995 (about $1000)to go to Cuba for 6 months from Virgin islands...& all of my paper charts were dated 1960....& ran aground quite a bit but no big problems.......echo sounder & eyes are the best IMO

Sailing in 1983/4 from Oz via sth. Africa in ferro cement...it was a 'miracle' to find St. Helena after nearly 3 weeks at sea.from Capetown....using a Sextant & tables.

After leaving St. H. My girlfriend took our only chart of South Atlantic topsides to see where Rio was etc....then went back below to me to make lunch...

So chart blows overboard She cried & cried & thought we were doomed!

Luckily I found an old school 'Atlas' & plotted D.R.from noonsights for 2 weeks to Recife....My girl thought I was Capt. Cook hahahaha..
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Old 08-10-2010, 07:23   #13
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Margo
Doesnt your plotter come with the built in charts? The bluecards may be nice but I have survived very nicely with out them
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Old 08-10-2010, 14:02   #14
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chart cards needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by motion30 View Post
Margo
Doesnt your plotter come with the built in charts? The bluecards may be nice but I have survived very nicely with out them
Hi Motion,

Yes, the plotter I have includes Bluechart g2 for all of the US. Unfortunately, not for the Bahamas and rest of Caribbean, Cent. Am. and no Mexico.

I figure I'll need 2 maybe 3 additional chart sets (cards) to get me to California, the end of my current cruising plans.

Ciao,
Margo
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Old 08-10-2010, 14:27   #15
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Margo
So you plan is to head back home to San fran? That will be a great experience How long to expect the voyage to take?
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