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Old 10-04-2008, 18:40   #1
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Garmin GPSMAP 540 chartplotter deal...

Refurb for $410.00 shipped here:

SKU:010-N0614-00 Garmin GPSMAP 540 Chartplotter (Factory Refurbished) - GetFeetWet Navigation BV5

Seems like Garmin had to repair a bunch of these and several retailers are selling refurbed units, most for around $460 plus shipping. Getfeetwet's price was by far the best I found.

Very nice unit, exactly what I was looking for. Preloaded US Coastal charts including Alaska, PLUS Explorer Charts for Bahamas! Additional areas can be added via SD card slot. 5" color screen, internal antenna.

One year Garmin warranty, same as new unit.

You can add a fancy sonar and nifty 3D SD cards etc.

They had about 50 units left when I spoke to them about 4 pm US eastern time. If you want one, I would not wait too long.
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Old 10-04-2008, 19:41   #2
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I picked up a 540S w/dual frequency transducer for $570 off e-bay about a month ago. Nice unit. I added an external antenna ($36), Garmin G2 charts ($240) and the GFS 10 fuel sensor ($144).

The Garmin interface is pretty easy to understand. Everything is plug & play. The cursor control is a little clumbsy. We'll put it to the test in a few weeks!
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Old 10-04-2008, 19:59   #3
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Yes, based on the owner's manual and quick reference guide, the interface looks very good... easy and quick.

I considered the dual frequency transducer but concluded that since I don't plan to do a lot of fishing soon, I could easily do without it. I will check out the fuel sensor... that might be something I can use.
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Old 12-04-2008, 07:51   #4
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Thanks for the heads up... they now have one less unit in stock.

I don't understand about the fuel sensor though... is it just an extension of your fuel gauge?
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Old 12-04-2008, 11:16   #5
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No, it's a flow sensor that you splice into your fuel line. It measures the # of gallons per hour and displays it on the unit. Haven't got mine hooked up yet but I'll grab a photo when we get a chance to use it.
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:24   #6
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Thanks for the tip, I was researching the 540 late last night and was still on the fence but for $400 you can't go wrong, especially with the Explorer charts for the Bahamas, so there is another $400 receipt to put into the expenses for the boat file.
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Old 12-04-2008, 13:51   #7
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Originally Posted by Oceansandmts View Post
Thanks for the tip, I was researching the 540 late last night and was still on the fence but for $400 you can't go wrong, especially with the Explorer charts for the Bahamas, so there is another $400 receipt to put into the expenses for the boat file.
Yes, at $400 for this unit with all its features it's a no-brainer, unless you already have a good chartplotter. I've been screwing around for a while now trying to create a solution for a complete cockpit nav solution (I do a lot of single-handing) and have wasted a fair amount of money doing so. I should have known that prices would be coming down, but I did not anticipate they would do so this fast.
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Old 16-04-2008, 18:08   #8
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Mine arrived today, looks brand new, I doubt it was ever installed. It will be a few weeks before I get it installed and check it out.

The deal is still active, if anyone is still interested.
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Old 17-04-2008, 11:05   #9
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Mine is waiting for me at the office.
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Old 17-04-2008, 18:30   #10
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Oh yeah! I get one and everybody jumps on the bandwagon!
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Old 10-05-2008, 13:52   #11
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Picked up the Garmin GFS fuel sensor for the 540S plotter! Yup, they got me again with the fine print! You have to have or set up a NMEA 2000 or Garmin CANet network! Other than the fact I have to wait another week to get the CANet adapter the installation is pretty straight forward. You have to install the fuel flow sensor vertically and above the max fuel level of the gas tank which will be a bit tricky on our boat but I think it'll work.

This sensor also hooks up to your fuel level sensor in your gas tank to show tank levels on the display. The best way to calibrate the unit is to start empty, fill 1/4 and set display, fill 1/2 and set, fill 3/4 and set then full. Hmmmm? That's 'nuther $300 in fuel!

Knottygirlz asked me if I "REALLY" wanted to know how much fuel we're burning and after some thought the answer was "No, not really"!
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Old 10-05-2008, 15:16   #12
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You guys may be getting one that I took back. Bought it, used it on my 12 day passage to La Paz, took it back to Worst Marine for exchange/upgrade to Raymarine A65 (spent $900 additional). Problem I had was software. With the Garmin, some features just just didn't work and depth sounder froze up. My paid professional crew spent a lot of time with the manual and near the end said "Don't take it back, I'm beginning to like it more". I asked "do you like it more or hate it less?" He admitted he was hateing it less. Not a good answer. Garmin uses Garmin software. All the others use.. Navtronics.. I think it is. Right now my boat is in La Paz, my new Raymarine is in So Cal and I'm in Brisbane. Can't wait to go play with my toys.
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Old 10-05-2008, 15:49   #13
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You guys may be getting one that I took back. Bought it, used it on my 12 day passage to La Paz, took it back to Worst Marine for exchange/upgrade to Raymarine A65 (spent $900 additional). Problem I had was software. With the Garmin, some features just just didn't work and depth sounder froze up. My paid professional crew spent a lot of time with the manual and near the end said "Don't take it back, I'm beginning to like it more". I asked "do you like it more or hate it less?" He admitted he was hateing it less. Not a good answer. Garmin uses Garmin software. All the others use.. Navtronics.. I think it is. Right now my boat is in La Paz, my new Raymarine is in So Cal and I'm in Brisbane. Can't wait to go play with my toys.
Could you be more specific about the software problems you had... which features did not work? It appears that Garmin reworked a lot of these units, so maybe they fixed the problems you saw.
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Old 10-05-2008, 16:05   #14
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Sorry, I mostly remember the frustration. This was in January and I can barely remember yesterday. I think there was a problem with heads up. We were always sailing south, so were were moving towards the bottom of the screen. There was also a hazard somwhere around Turtle Bay that would disappear when we tried to zoom in on it. But the frozen depth sounder was a biggie.
Wish I could be of more help.
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Old 12-05-2008, 07:35   #15
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Questions about this unit...it uses the Garmin G charts. I'm told by 'west marine advisor' that g charts are no longer supported by garmin. Do you just use this unit for 3 years and then throw it away?

Can this unit take a radar feed?
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