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Old 18-11-2006, 23:26   #1
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Location: Whangamata. New Zealand
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Garmin chartplotter and WAAS

Hope the following may be of some help.
Recently, my wife bought the new model Garmin 292 chartplotter. We had a good play with it at home but when we took it to the boat and installed it and connected it up to the aerial, the plotter would run for between 3 and 6 minutes and then switch inself off. At first I suspected the power supply might be no good - faulty wiring, dud fuse etc but my multimeter indicated that everything was O.K. After many phone calls to the supplier and finally returning it for testing, the problem was found to be this WAAS. As far as I understand, WAAS is only operational in America and Europe, but the Garmin 292 comes with WAAS software installed and enabled by default. The handbook says that if WAAS is available, the plotter will locate the stations and use it, if its not available, then it will derive a position by satellites only.
What the handbook doesn't say is that for this model, if WAAS is enabled on the plotter but there are no stations within range, then the plotter will search, wont find any and then turn itself off. Disabling WAAS on the plotter solved the problem. The Garmin 292 is new on the market here in NZ and the suppliers are adding an addendum to the handbook about this.

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Old 19-11-2006, 04:57   #2
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Speaking of WAAS... has anyone compared the fixes between a WAAS enabled fix and one with WAAS turned off?

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Old 19-11-2006, 05:02   #3
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That really seems dumb. I have a small handheld Raychart 400 color chart plotter and it has WAAS. When the WAAS signal is lost it displays a message. Then when it comes back it just comes back. Even in places where WAAS is supported you can lose the signal. I would think the intension was s you noted and that this is a firmware bug in the plotter. Disabling the WAAS is not a problem as what it gives isn't enough to change the way you navigate. It does make the real time bearing and speed more accurate.

I would watch the Garmin web site as this is clearly something they could modify in a firmware update. You would need a PC cable to install it though perhaps a local dealer would help out if you didn't want to buy one. Garmin does release updates over time with all it's products my old GPSS 128 had one only a few years ago and that is a very old unit (still working well).
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
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