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Old 12-04-2014, 08:05   #1
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Garmin 8500 Black Box System vs 8215 MFD


I am waiting for my new Grand Banks 43EU and I plan to use dual Garmin Glass displays at both stations, probably dual 15" in the Salon and Flybridge.

When researching the Garmin products, I can do this one of 2 ways:

I can buy the 8500 Black Box, plus 4 GMM 150 Displays - MSRP $6,000 for the Black Box, plus $7,500, per display; plus all the other stuff; or

I can buy 4 GPSMAP 8215 MFD's - MSRP $6,750, per MFD, plus all the other stuff.

Am I missing something, or is Garmin seriously overcharging for the Black Box system. Unless I want a larger display 17" or 19", I believe the 8215's do pretty much everything the black box system does, and give me much more system redundancy. The screens and the MFD's are pretty much the same size (MFD's are about 1" deeper) and look almost exactly the same. They also have the same resolution. Setting up the MFD system may require a few more parts since we are not running everything to one Black Box, but not much. Once finished, it should operate exactly the same, and be a full network system.

I would even guess that the 8215's would refresh faster that a black box running 4 displays.

I'm thinking that maybe Garmin is marketing the Black Box system for much larger main helms, where someone would the 17" or 19" screens, and the 15" screens are designed for the second helm. That way, you would be forced to use the Black Box System. Otherwise the pricing really doesn't make any sense.

Agree or disagree. I'm about to start ordering parts and would like some feedback.

MV WOLFPACK is offline   Reply With Quote


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