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Old 07-11-2010, 18:43   #1
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Chartplotter Life Expectancy

I have a little Garmin GPSMAP 172C that has so far suited my needs in Maine and the Maritimes. Purchased in 2005 it went back to Garmin in 2007 for "rebuild" for a "whopping" $75. It is now going back again because of a shutdown problem and the fee is now $150. This doesn't bother me so much because the cost for an essentially new unit is really pretty cheap.
It does raise the question, as I think down the road to combining my ancient radar into a multifunction system, of life expectancy. It's one thing to have a relatively cheap GPS crap out after 2-3 years, it is quite another for a $2-3-4,000 multifunction system.
The 172 goes on the boat in May, comes off in October and is stored heated & dry over the winter.
What is your experience?
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Old 07-11-2010, 19:09   #2
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redundancy. I have an GPSMAP180 gry scale and a GPSMAP182C but I also have
Seaclear software running on a windows notebook computer with a Current US Raster chart suite. You can get Seaclear free and digital charts free too. You can download them fromm gov website or buy a DVD with charts, coast pilot, light list and bunch of other stuff for $20 from diginav.us they also sella great gps receiver plugs into your computer. redundancy
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Old 07-11-2010, 20:06   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shorty View Post
I have a little Garmin GPSMAP 172C that has so far suited my needs in Maine and the Maritimes. Purchased in 2005 it went back to Garmin in 2007 for "rebuild" for a "whopping" $75. It is now going back again because of a shutdown problem and the fee is now $150.
Regarding the "shut-down problem" have you done the system up-grades as a routine matter? Unexpected "Shut-Downs" were a symptom of an incompatibility between the older software and some of the newer GPS sats. Garmin does have software up-grades on line and one can load them to one's computer, and then to the unit itself by starting the unit and immediately going into simulator mode so that the system doesn't try to load satillite data. Once in simulator mode, one can up-load the up-graded software. There are/were a few threads on the problem some while ago that you might want to look into before sending your unit back. The 162/172/172c series units are/were pretty robust.

FWIW...
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Old 07-11-2010, 20:21   #4
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My GPSMAP 498

My unit worked fine last summer. I fired it up last week only to discover a dark display (like a night time display). I can see it well enough to see the brightness adjustment bar, but changing it doesn't make a difference. Garmin says send it in with $170 and I get a referb.
Worth it? Well, a couple of Canadian chart areas makes it worth while.
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Old 07-11-2010, 22:16   #5
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does anyone out there know anything about a c- plot pro, chart plotter, we came up east coast of australia ,hobart-coolangatta, then brisbane to about 20 miles from port villa without the slightest glinch on the plotter, why at that point did drop out with red warniing saying no gps input. it is purported to be aworld wide program. do they need more money or something? if so how can I contact them? seems a bit strange gps antena went out within 10 miles of sighting land. hope you are all travelling well, regards jpasco3
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Old 08-11-2010, 01:45   #6
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I had a Lowrance H2oC it stopped accessing satelites after around 600 hrs of use. It would locate them but not interface them. Cost $60.00 from the local agent to be told "buy a new one" this one's stuffed. Have gone for the grey scale H2o as it has a much better picture in daylight than the H2oC and I can still use the navionics chip in it.
Apparently these models have now been discontinued. I would have expected better than 600 hours from it though, Only have 45 hours on the H2o so far but hope for a longer lifetime from it than the failed H2oC.
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Old 08-11-2010, 02:03   #7
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My handheld Garmin 76Cx is 3 years old and has been on every day for our 2.5 year cruise and is fine and dandy!!

The main plotter Navman was on the boat and is 10 yeras old and needs to be replaced now..
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Old 08-11-2010, 03:54   #8
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Don't know how old my Garmin 156C is as it came with the boat 2 years ago. But it is old enough that the cable connect on the back worn out from taking the unit on/off the mount and would shutdown if you bumped it. Replace the power cable and it works fine now and you can slap it if you want. So don't how long the unit itself might last.
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:31   #9
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They don't make them like they used to--my Garmin 128 and Garmin 12 are still going strong after 12 and 15 years, respectively.
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Old 08-11-2010, 11:01   #10
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I've got 3 Garmins - a GPS76, 278, and 478. All are battery powered which I think adds to their value. The 76 lives in the ditch bag along with a few batteries. I take it out yearly and power it up. Still works.

The 278 is the backup to the 478. Neither has any charts installed as I use the GPS for lat/long and other logging and course data. I consider portability an important selling point. Neither takes up much space in the cockpit and so far (knock on wood) neither has had a problem grabbing good satellite data through the bimini.

I like the fact that I can grab one, throw it in the dinghy and go exploring or get me back to the boat. I also like the fact that if the supplied voltage gets too low, it'll beep and automatically switch over to the internal battery.

Now if there was a portable combo GPS/depth sounder recorder, that's be well worth considering. I could take the dink and map out anchorages.
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Old 10-11-2010, 04:32   #11
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software upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
Regarding the "shut-down problem" have you done the system up-grades as a routine matter? Unexpected "Shut-Downs" were a symptom of an incompatibility between the older software and some of the newer GPS sats. Garmin does have software up-grades on line and one can load them to one's computer, and then to the unit itself by starting the unit and immediately going into simulator mode so that the system doesn't try to load satillite data. Once in simulator mode, one can up-load the up-graded software. There are/were a few threads on the problem some while ago that you might want to look into before sending your unit back. The 162/172/172c series units are/were pretty robust.

FWIW...
Garmin did a software upgrade on the send back three years ago. It is not evident how a user would upgrade. The manual does not have any mention, other than NMEA in's & out's on the cable. But nothing on updating software.
Thanks guys (and gals?)
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:05   #12
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Strangely, I've discovered that chart plotters outlast the charts they're supposed to use. I've got a long discontinued chart plotter whose charts, and chart support) were eliminated in 2004. The GPS portion works well, the plotter will display the charts properly, but the data is suspect. So, I've got this nice large display configured to display the lat/long and other navigation data.
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