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Old 09-01-2010, 08:23   #1
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Garmin GPSMAP 440s and 540s

Just wondering if anyone has had any experience with the Garmin gpsmap
440s or 540s.

I'm looking at the following versions:

440s w/ US Coastal Marine Charts and thru-hull transducer for depth/temperature ($550 total) or the 540s version($585), which is bigger with a 5 inch screen.

http://www.boatersworld.com/product/MP63499226.htm?utm_medium=cpa&utm_source=Shopping


Many thanks,
Roscoe
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Old 09-01-2010, 08:29   #2
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I have the 540 and am very happy with it
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Old 09-01-2010, 08:44   #3
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Roscoe, we have the 555s (Euro version of the 5xx series) and it is a superb little bit of kit. Sits on the helm in place of a compass and has Easy AIS connected up to it. Screen size more than adequate for busy waterways coastal hopping. Built in GPS ariel and advantage because its one less wire and widget to go wrong. Had a Garmin 188c previous but external ariel cable connection via BNC plug was a weak link.

We also have a Raymarine C80 under the sprayhood but rarely use it, the Garmin is really simple to use. Has a nice feature than the display dims automatically as it gets dark, (little clear plastic widget on the front which I only noticed as dawn came up and the screen got brighter.

Just wish we could buy them for the prices you pay, ours was $840 and that was at a boat show special price.

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Old 09-01-2010, 09:19   #4
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I am looking at these models also and found good prices at gpsonsale.com

They currently have a $100 rebate special going on untill July 4th.

441s w/ transducer $530 - $100 = $430 (this is the newer series which has a better antenna)
540s w/ transducer $500 - $100 = $400
541s w/ transducer $680 - $100 = $580

I have been watching the garmin models and prices for about a year now and I think they are just about in my price range now. I will prob get the 441s. Do you see anything wrong with these models on this site that I am missing?

Garmin GPSMAP 441 and GPSMAP 441S
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:58   #5
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I have the 545, and have been very happy with it. It's now discontinued, (replaced with a 546) you could probably get a great deal, on any existing inventory.
I didn't need the s model..already had depth.

Built-in antenna and pre-loaded maps.
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:26   #6
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We have the 540 and think it is wonderful. It also has the xm radio with it ,we like that as well. David
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Old 09-01-2010, 18:08   #7
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Thanks for all the help fellas. Sounds like there are a lot of satisfied customers with the gpsmap series.

Bright Eyes . . . thanks for pointing out the sale prices on these different versions. On account of your references to the newer series, I have taken a look at what's out there. It appears from the GARMIN website that the 440s and 540s have been discontinued. They are not listed as current products for sale. Instead the 441s and 541s are listed. Here are the spec sheets for the old and new versions:

440/440s

https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=8055#specsTab

441/441s

https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?...28755#specsTab

540/541s

https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=8059#specsTab

541/541s

https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=28739#specsTab


It looks like one of the big differences between the old and new is that the new is NMEA 2000 certified. Bright Eyes, you mentioned the antenna being better in the new version. Do you know more about this? Also, are the transducers thru-hull or transom mount? The website does not say.

Thanks for your help,
Roscoe
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Old 09-01-2010, 18:57   #8
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I have the 545S. Good unit. Chips are a lil' pricey but if you shop around they can be had for <$200. The base maps included are virtually useless. I had a helluva time getting it networked. Their proprietary network (can't remember what it's called) with other Garmin devices, Smart Transducer & Fuel Flow thingy. Followed the instructions to the letter and spent many hours on the phone with tech support. Eventually gave up on that.

The larger screen of the 545 is nice. Added an external antenna which improved things a lot.

Would I buy another one? No.
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Old 09-01-2010, 20:16   #9
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I have the 440s with all US charts and Bahamas too. Paid $439.00 for it two years ago. Look for them on thefind.com and do a search.
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Old 10-01-2010, 05:42   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davisr View Post
It looks like one of the big differences between the old and new is that the new is NMEA 2000 certified. Bright Eyes, you mentioned the antenna being better in the new version. Do you know more about this? Also, are the transducers thru-hull or transom mount? The website does not say. Thanks for your help, Roscoe
We have the P97 transducer (I think) anyway its "in hull" oil filled type although you could fit any of the Garmin transducers as the GPS has the standard plug to connect them by. Quite a powerful sonar unit which gives good deffinition of the bottom. We opted for the 555s over the 550s which has more pixels so gives clearer picture. Do you need NMEA 2000? I prefer not to link instruments together unless there is a real advantage, instead prefer them as stand alone units.

If Garmin have recently changed the model numbers there should be some bargins about at this time of year for the slightly older models. Found the standard chart excellent, even shows my marina down to the pontoon on the UK version.

Pete
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Old 10-01-2010, 06:09   #11
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I bought the model 420 on the internet for $239. Same as the 440 without charts. Bought the chart chip for the Pacific from Oregon to Costa Rica for $125 on Ebay. The chart chip has satalite photos, birds-eye and fish-eye viewing.
I have been using this unit for two years. It is solid and reliable. Easy to opperate. For me the 4" screen is big enough as I always use paper charts for plotting and detail.
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Old 10-01-2010, 07:05   #12
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Liam, it seems you're talking about the BlueChart g2 Vision card, which has those capabilities. I didn't think these types of cards covered that big of a range. Based upon the list I have, the BlueChart cards cover only small stretches of the coast, for example, Norfolk to Charleston. Are you talking about another type of card?

Pete, I hear what you're saying about NMEA 2000. Why pay for that when you are aiming for the security of having a stand-alone instrument, i.e., one not linked to a network. If the network fails everything fails, right?

I've looked more closely at the specification sheets. Here is a summary of the handful of differences (the 540s and 541s have the exact same):

440s 441S

NMEA 0183 2000
HighSensi Receiver No Yes
Waypoints 1,500 3,000
Routes 20 100
Track Log 10,000 points; 20 tracks 10,000 points; 50 tracks


I guess the High Sensitivity Receiver was what Bright Eyes was talking about in terms of the better antenna for the 441s and 541s models.

Roscoe
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:29   #13
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Blue Chart G2

Yes, I have the G2 Chart chip. For some reason the west coast chip does cover a huge area. I had also noticed that the East Coast area consisted of more smaller area chips. I wonder why they did that???
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Old 11-01-2010, 08:26   #14
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Garmin Differences

Yeah the high sensitivity receiver on the 441/541 series is what i was talking about having a better antena. besides having more way points and the new series (441,541,546) being on a new network, the main differences are:

440 - basic
441 - better antena
540 - larger screen
545 - larger screen and better resolution, more pixels
541 - larger screen and better antena
546 - larger screen, better antena, and better resolution, more pixels

and ofcourse the "s" means depth sounder.

On the gpsonsale.com product, I believe the transducer was transom mounted. I am not too familar with the pros and cons of transom mounted vs thru hull mounted. Other than the transom mount seems easier and cheaper to install. Any one have opinions about transom mount vs thru hull mount?

(dont mean to highjack the thread, but that is an important question for both of us)
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Old 11-01-2010, 15:26   #15
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I'm glad you asked Bright Eyes, because I have wondered the same thing. It is my understanding that thru-hull transducers in general are better than transom-mounted versions, because the latter, depending on conditions, may not always be in the water. I guess the trade off is that there is one less hole in the hull with the transom-mount version.

All of the above concerns aside, I don't I know if the Garmin transom mount transducers have as good reputation as the Garmin thru-hull versions. Anyone else? I would be nice to save money by opting for the transom-mount version that comes with the "s" package.

Roscoe
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