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Old 30-04-2013, 14:45   #1
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Chart Plotter had a Nervous Breakdown

All of a sudden my chart plotter decided that Tampa Bay was at latitude 32 degrees... uh ... that's not right.

I could plot a path to a waypoint, but no matter what Lat and Long I entered, it converted the Latitude to 32.xxx.xxx. It also listed every waypoint already saved as at lat 32. However, it led me to the points correctly -- they were still right on the chart.

Also, it had started randomly turning itself on and off at the press of virtually any button.

So I took it back to West Marine, thinking I would end up with a replacement (extended warranty) but lose all my waypoints.

Turns out all it needs is a software upgrade. Get it online, put it on a thumb drive, and transfer it to the chart plotter with the thumb drive. Haven't done it yet but it shouldn't be hard.

That's what they told me at the WM I went to (and their electronics guy is pretty good) -- if your Garmin starts acting weirdly, go to the Garmin website and see if you need a software upgrade.

Just passing it on in case it's useful for someone.
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Old 30-04-2013, 15:04   #2
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Re: Chart plotter had a nervous breakdown

So all of a sudden your plotter shuts down and gives random positions and West claims it needs a firmware upgrade?

But what happened with the old firmware that made it stop functioning correctly? I don't think firmware just wears out after a while.


I'm suspicious but will reserve judgement until I hear how the upgrade works out.
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Old 30-04-2013, 15:10   #3
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Re: Chart plotter had a nervous breakdown

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
So all of a sudden your plotter shuts down and gives random positions and West claims it needs a firmware upgrade?

But what happened with the old firmware that made it stop functioning correctly? I don't think firmware just wears out after a while.


I'm suspicious but will reserve judgement until I hear how the upgrade works out.

It wasn't the firmware. The software on my chartplotter is no longer compatible with the software GARMIN is using. It's a software compatibility problem. They say.

As I say, extended warranty. If that doesn't work, it will be replaced. Unfortunately, since it no longer reads the lats and longs right, I can't make a list of my waypoints before I do any of this. I think it's possible that I will lose them when I do the software update.

But either way, the warranty is still good, and I won't lose completely.
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Old 30-04-2013, 15:29   #4
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What model of Garmin is it? My old map 76's with serial connectors still works with the Garmin software. If you can connect your plotter to a computer, you can download Open Cpn and see if that software sees the GPS. If so, it would be interesting to see what location that software sees. That would also allow you to determine if it is the plotter or the software... I'd wager a happy meal it is the plotter..... But I could be wrong.
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Old 30-04-2013, 15:33   #5
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Re: Chart Plotter had a Nervous Breakdown

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Originally Posted by Snore View Post
Raku


What model of Garmin is it? My old map 76's with serial connectors still works with the Garmin software. If you can connect your plotter to a computer, you can download Open Cpn and see if that software sees the GPS. If so, it would be interesting to see what location that software sees. That would also allow you to determine if it is the plotter or the software... I'd wager a happy meal it is the plotter..... But I could be wrong.

I certainly thought it was the chart plotter. It's a 441s. I'm just going to do what they said, update the software and HOPE 1) I still have my waypoints and 2) I can now enter new waypoints using lat and long.

If it doesn't work, that's that, and I get a new one.
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Old 14-05-2013, 12:38   #6
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Re: Chart Plotter had a Nervous Breakdown

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
All of a sudden my chart plotter decided that Tampa Bay was at latitude 32 degrees... uh ... that's not right.

I could plot a path to a waypoint, but no matter what Lat and Long I entered, it converted the Latitude to 32.xxx.xxx. It also listed every waypoint already saved as at lat 32. However, it led me to the points correctly -- they were still right on the chart.

Also, it had started randomly turning itself on and off at the press of virtually any button.

So I took it back to West Marine, thinking I would end up with a replacement (extended warranty) but lose all my waypoints.

Turns out all it needs is a software upgrade. Get it online, put it on a thumb drive, and transfer it to the chart plotter with the thumb drive. Haven't done it yet but it shouldn't be hard.

That's what they told me at the WM I went to (and their electronics guy is pretty good) -- if your Garmin starts acting weirdly, go to the Garmin website and see if you need a software upgrade.

Just passing it on in case it's useful for someone.

Update:

The Garmin website is "Windows only, and I use a Macintosh.

So I have to inconvenience a friend (a friend willing to download an unknown program), put it on a thumb drive, bring it back to the boat, and hope it works.

That's what I call "more than a bit of bother."

If anyone knows of a website where Garmin supports Macintosh for chartplotter software upgrades, I'd love to see it, but what I found specifically says otherwise.

If I can find such a site, I'll amend this post, and take my criticism of Garmin regarding this down from my blog. But for now, with the information I currently have, I urge people who use Macintosh to shop around before settling on a Garmin Chart plotter.
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