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Old 26-05-2020, 08:23   #1
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ONWA GPS

I need new charts in my GPS, As I dont have any for the area I sail in,
My GPS is a Garmin 186C, Yes its old and discontinued,
The card in it is Garmin only, and I cant put any other type cards in it,
So Charts for it are unavailable, Or Preloved,

I have been looking at ONWA GPS and charts are included,

Has any one used these ONWA Chinese GPS and charts,
Are the charts up to scratch and reliable,

For the price of them, They are only a few hundred more than a Chart and I still have my old small GPS, 4 or 5 inch inch screen,

Where for $642-00 AUD I can have a brand new 8 inch screen GPS with Maps included,

Thanks in advance, Brian,
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Old 26-05-2020, 08:39   #2
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Re: ONWA GPS

I looked up on the French sailors forum "Hisse et Oh" and the experience of the users of Onwa plotters with integrated AIS is excellent. The only minus is that it is not NMEA2000, but NMEA0183 compatible.

I have no personal experience with this materiel and only found out it existed because of your above question.
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Old 26-05-2020, 10:58   #3
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Re: ONWA GPS

I have the Onwa kcombo AIS transponder with fishfinder. Sounds great all for under $600 if you shop around. However, this unit is highly unreliable. I have been repairing and nursing my unit along for a few years now but I would regard this thing as a piece of junk, not to be relied on in any way whatsoever. Having a $600 AIS transponder (inside your boat) might work OK, but the GPS looses satellite so often you cannot rely on that either. The one good thing I can say about it is you can get service and parts from Onwa even in the U.S with no problem. I have a direct email contact who is every responsive to any questions or problems. Unfortunately that will not keep the unit working or make it reliable.....
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Old 26-05-2020, 11:05   #4
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Re: ONWA GPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailormed View Post
I looked up on the French sailors forum "Hisse et Oh" and the experience of the users of Onwa plotters with integrated AIS is excellent. The only minus is that it is not NMEA2000, but NMEA0183 compatible.

I have no personal experience with this materiel and only found out it existed because of your above question.
Thanks for that, Thats good to know, Their prices are excellent,

I only found out about it by cruising Fleabay looking for GPS maps and New GPS units,

They do appear to be very good units, and include a lot of extra;s,

There is another chinese brand, Looks very good quality also, But their maps dont seem to cover the area I sail in, Even tho its says it has world wide maps included,

Cheers, Brian,
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Old 26-05-2020, 11:12   #5
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Re: ONWA GPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by skkeith View Post
I have the Onwa kcombo AIS transponder with fishfinder. Sounds great all for under $600 if you shop around. However, this unit is highly unreliable. I have been repairing and nursing my unit along for a few years now but I would regard this thing as a piece of junk, not to be relied on in any way whatsoever. Having a $600 AIS transponder (inside your boat) might work OK, but the GPS looses satellite so often you cannot rely on that either. The one good thing I can say about it is you can get service and parts from Onwa even in the U.S with no problem. I have a direct email contact who is every responsive to any questions or problems. Unfortunately that will not keep the unit working or make it reliable.....
Thats also good to know, Until yesterday, I didnt know they even existed,
Thank you, Brian,
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Old 26-05-2020, 11:24   #6
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Re: ONWA GPS

Iíve got an ONWA KP38 as a redundant plotter. Itís a backup to the ray marine axiom plotter.

The ONWA is good for what I need it to do. That is stay inside out of the weather at the nav desk. Itís power consumption is minimal, the controls are simple, it displays AIS targets as fed from the radio.

The charts are the equivalent of CM93 that youíd use with OpenCPN. If thatís enough for you then itíll work fine with the free charts.

I donít have any confidence that it would last if mounted at a helm. The plastic has that cheap feel, I doubt itís very UV stabilized. I also donít have high confidence it would survive long in a driving rain.

Every once in a while the unit needs to be rebooted immediately following a startup, it wonít look for satellites (firmware hangup?), occasionally it needs a reboot after several hours of operation (astronomical speed reported followed by loss of position, firmware again?).

All in, it does what it says on the box, accept it for what it is. Donít pretend itís a big brand type of unit.
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Old 30-06-2020, 21:10   #7
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Re: ONWA GPS

Well I bought an 8 inch ONWA GPS, About $600-00 AUD delivered, Built in K Maps, and a remote Antenna and 10 metre cable,

Had it mounted temporarily in the boat along with my 5 inch Garmin GPS,
It has identical maps to the Garmin, They both use the same Govt Hydrographic maps,
It takes 30 seconds to start up, Instant Auto locater of the boat,


It has a seperate Chart Slot that can be loaded with OpenCPN or Navionics, Etc, Downloaded into a Micro card into my laptop and the put into the Onwa GPS slot,

No driving round in circles like the Garmin needs,
I dont need glasses to read it, Like I do with the garmin,
Its very clear and clean and easy to read,

Speed, Direction, Depth, Chart, Identical to the Garmin,
I had the remote ONWA antenna beside the Garmin Antenna and no interference on either GPS's,
The ONWA has both cursor and boat position and speed on the front page,
I dont have to change pages to get the boats Position like the Garmin does,

I Came into the Yaringa Marina after dark which has no channel lights working, No problems,
23 channel lights are missing, or not working,

I followed both the channels in with the Onwa and Garmin GPS and didnt hit anything or run aground,
Im Very pleased with the Onwa GPS, 1/4 the cost of a new Garmin,
It was working for about 6 hours and I had no problems with it,
It didnt even flicker once,

I ran aground 6 month ago and had to spend the night on the boat in Westernport bay as my Garmin GPS wasnt working at the time,

I could see the Marina, But couldnt find the channel in, at night, Low tide,
At low tide the channel is four feet deep. Everything else is above water,
I did report it to the Marina at the time, But nothing has been done to the channel lights yet,
Luckily I have LED spotlight bars on my top spreader, So I can see the unlit channel markers in the dark.
One of which I almost run over with my boat as I couldnt see it in the dark,
My spreader lights have paid for themselves, By avoiding hitting the channel marker pole with my boat, and the resulting damage to my boat,

I have made a new bracket for the Onwa to sit on, It swivels around so I can sit in the salon in comfort and see it,
I just have to stand up and look around every ten minutes or so to see if any boats are approaching, Or any thing else that might be out there,

Rocks, Reefs, low ground, are all shown very clearly on the Onwa GPS screen,


Cheers, Brian.
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