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Old 31-01-2010, 07:46   #16
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I have been looking at this garmin series too. One thing I noticed in the manual is that they should be mounted 2-3 feet from a compass. Doesn't this mean they shouldn't be mounted on the binacle? And yet you see that all the time.
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Old 31-01-2010, 17:46   #17
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I hear what you're saying Sluce. I read that too about the 2-3 foot distance. I don't have a binnacle. I plan to mount mine on the cabin bulkhead instead. This 2-3 foot thing, though, means that I must mount the GPS on the starboard bulkhead, as the portside contains the compass.

Would be interested in knowing if others have had problems with their compasses as a result of a GPS being placed to close to them.
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Old 31-01-2010, 20:20   #18
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Yes the Garmins will mess with the compass if mounted to close, and some others brands as well.
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Old 08-02-2010, 17:22   #19
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We purchased the 440s and generally like the chartplotter. The transducer is causing us some difficulty however, that we have not been able to resolve as of yet. Since we are in the Bahamas this is a bit of a pain.
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Old 08-02-2010, 17:56   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by witchcraft View Post
We purchased the 440s and generally like the chartplotter. The transducer is causing us some difficulty however, that we have not been able to resolve as of yet. Since we are in the Bahamas this is a bit of a pain.
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Whats the problem with the ducer?
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Old 08-02-2010, 18:21   #21
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My gps is mounted on the binnacle less than a foot from the compass. I turned it on and off a few times on the weekend sitting at the dock, and think it may have swung the compass about 1 degree. I meant to try the same thing on different points of sail when I was out, but it was a lovely sunny day and I ended up just enjoying the sail (well, motor mostly, not much breeze) and forgot. Hopefully I will remember next time out.
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Old 08-02-2010, 19:06   #22
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really like our 545. Have added both XM and connected an AIS receiver. XM gives us weather radar on the screen (and lots of tunes)
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Old 08-02-2010, 20:16   #23
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ChasD: I was thinking of getting that same unit. It says it comes with Offshore charts. Can you elaborate a bit on what that means? Thanks!

Mike
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Old 09-02-2010, 16:05   #24
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We are experiencing problems with the depth readings...the depth starts flashing when we move from deeper water to shallower water, often requiring a reboot of the whole unit to come back. At garmins suggestion we updated the firmware and have cleaned the tranducer...behavior still occuring. Causing the person at the helm to say " damn thing only craps out when it is needed" among things not printable.
We are getting better at reading the thin water, however this is not satisfactory behavior, and are awaiting further support from garmin.
We do really like the chartplotter side of things however.
Fair Winds
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Old 09-02-2010, 16:44   #25
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If you now have a thru hull transducer, an inexpensive way to find out if the problem is in the head or existing ducer is to buy a Garmin Puck transducer off ebay and attach it to a board or pipe off the stern rail. If the puck reacts the same way, the problem is going to be in the head. Or if you can find someone with the stern mount puck, borrow it and see what happens.
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Old 09-02-2010, 20:34   #26
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mikeandrebecca: can't say what it means by "offshore charts". (Not an issue for us mostly on Long Island Sound).

Only negative has been that while on my little portable Map76 we can set routes and waypoints on the laptop and dump them onto the GPS we can't seem to do this on the 545 and must construct them on the unit itself which is not as easy.
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Old 10-02-2010, 05:20   #27
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Thanks ChasD.
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:03   #28
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Garmin has suggested we reduce the gain on the sonar...then incrementally increase it. They are suggesting it is set to be so sensitive that it is getting confused. So we will give it a try, and see what happens. Garmin also wants to know what percentage of gain the problem appears.
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:53   #29
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The 4X1 an 5X1 units have a faster processor too.
N2K is a very good thing to have for several reasons; NMEA 0183 will go away, and some new N2K gadgets are very useful. Think Solid state msthead wind instruments, plug and play DSC and AIS, fuel flow calculations (will I get there?) and more all in one compact, easy to mount, bullet-proof grapefruit-sized wonder.

I can't understand someone not wanting to network their information. Being networked does not impair any function, and combining data on a single display negates a wonderland of human error. It does not free the user from understanding what everything he sees means, though.

If you are worried about single point failures, let me set your mind at ease. Internal failures are now rare. When something goes wrong with the electronics on a boat today, its 'outside the box' (having to do with power, cabling, someone sitting on the antenna, etc.) almost every time. These failures affect redundant systems simultaneously.

If I were wiring a small boat today, I would not hesitate to go with (in my case) the 546, XM weather, integrated VHF, and AIS. That would maximize bang for the buck, check all my gottahave boxes, and still be very battery friendly!

The term is Coastal, not Offshore charts. That is to distinguish them from the inland / Lake charts. G2 vision cartography is excellant, and preloaded. The G2 Vision card adds lots of pictures, autorouting, and fish-eye views, of some interest to fishermen.
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Old 10-02-2010, 11:18   #30
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Just ordered ourselves a new 546!
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