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Galaxy 10-09-2006 17:06

Seeking a tutorial for a Garmin 76CSx
I'm very new to the world of GPS and I have lots of beginner questions. I've searched this forum cannot find the answers I'm seeking. We are about to go cruising and I'm trying to figure out the following.

1. Where can I find a tutorial for a Garmin 76CSx?

2. How do I start plotting a new voyage?
When I try to chart a new voyage all of my past experimental waypoints connect together. I continue to get a message: "Make U Turn..."

3. How can I plot several waypoint (buoy to buoy) at one time?
I enter/mark to select a buoy, save it, then I have to drill in and out to find the next buoy.

This is really frustrating because before I enter/mark I can see several buoys. After I save the waypoint I have to hunt to find them again.

ssullivan 10-09-2006 17:21

Lynn (Sharon?):

I find it's better not to use these devices as chartplotters. I have one of the handhelds just like you, as well as another mounted up at the helm. The best way to use the thing is to start by turning it off. :)

Next, take a look at a chart (paper, or on your computer) to plan out your route, selecting waypoints along the way.

Make a list (or print the list from your computer) of the waypoints along the route you plan, in the proper order of your route.

Now, turn the GPS back on and go to "enter waypoint" from the Menu. Enter each waypoint from your list that you generated elsewhere (from paper charts or a computer). Now you have a list of waypoints with names you can recognize from your initial chart plotting work on paper charts or a computer.

Since you already have this list handy, you can just use "goto waypoint" on the Garmin to select each waypoint in order, as you planned them while doing your chartplotting work.

When you arrive at your first waypoint, select "goto waypoint" on the Garmin and select the 2nd waypoint. It will then guide you to the 2nd waypoint on your list.

Go on like this until you reach the end of your route.

It is the most simple way to use the device. These devices are not very good chartplotters and work better as GPSes in my humble opinion. I let my chartplotting software do the thinking and the Garmin do the gruntwork. Usually, I prefer to use the "highway" view where it shows an imaginary route on a plane that you are traveling on. It helps keep you centered on the course and alerts you to any drift in your helming ability. :)

Here is a link to the documentation for your unit. Best of luck!

Galaxy 10-09-2006 18:33

[quote=ssullivan]Lynn (Sharon?):]

Hi Sean,
I was known as Sharon (my middle name) on an other cruising BB. Some of those members are on this BB. To make life a little easier for those that know me as Sharon I include Lynn in my signature. Because my passport, ham license, and other official documents show my name as Lynn, I decided to go back to my first name.

I have printed your email and look forward to referring to it when I practice running the GPS again (probably tomorrow). You seem to have provided some of the answers I'm seeking.

I'm planning to chart our voyage on paper as you suggest. We are having a chartplotter installed as we speak, but it's not up and running yet.

Thanks for the link to the GPS manual. It is the same manual that shipped with my GPS. The instructions seem to be written for a different version, so the screens are slightly different which forces me to guess. It does not answers questions a beginner might have. :confused:

I wish Garmin or someone else would write a tutorial, it would be so helpful!

BTW, what is the difference between the GPS "goto waypoint" feature and the output of a chartplotter?

ssullivan 11-09-2006 17:21

Hi Lynn,

Well, I'm not going to claim to be an expert in how to properly use a Garmine GPS, since I do what I find natural. I explained my process in the first reply... it's a process that could be improved, I'm sure. So with that opener, I'll try to respond to your question at the end of your last post:

Forgive me if I sound like I'm starting very basic:

The chartplotter and the GPS have many similarities, but each is made for a slightly different use. The chartplotter is used to plan out a route (which is a collection of waypoints that you define on the chartplotter). It's basically like what you have always done on paper charts when you are trying to decide how you want to get from one port to the next.

The GPS is intended as a tool that you use while you are underway from one port to the next. It helps you steer the course and lets you know where you are at any given time. The chartplotters have many of the same fuctions as GPSes, and you could steer by chartplotter as well, but GPSes are primarily designed for helping you steer a straight line from one location to another. (each location being a waypoint that you define in your waypoint list) So you can think of the GPS as aiding you in the areas where you would have used your compass and dead reckoning in the past. Make sense?

So the difference between "goto waypoint" on the GPS and the output of a chartplotter is this:

"Goto waypoint" on the GPS, when engaged, puts the GPS into a mode where it comes up with a straight line between where you are at the time you press "goto waypoint" and the waypoint itself. So if the waypoint your select on the GPS was 1 mile away, and directly off your port beam, pressing "goto waypoint" for this waypoint would cause the GPS to draw a line from your boat to this waypoint. If you were underway, it would tell you to turn to port and give you a heading to follow so you would be able to arrive at this waypoint. If your course was off due to current drift or something, the GPS would allow you to see this, as you would deviate from the line that the GPS drew. You can see that you are a little to the left or right of the line as you steer. But the GPS is made to help you navigate and steer.

The chartplotter's output is simply a collection of waypoints in a certain order that you would use to define a route. As in, you might want to go from Waypoint A to Waypoint B to Waypoint C. So the output of the chartplotter is a list of waypoints that you want to go to in order, while the "goto waypoint" feature in the GPS is a way of having the GPS lock onto one of the waypoints and show you how to steer your boat to get there.

This is a lot harder to explain in writing than showing someone. It's no wonder they don't have better documentation. It's tough! :)

I hope this helps a little. The main differences are that the GPS helps you steer to a waypoint that you programmed in while you are at the helm. The chartplotter is a planning tool that allows you to choose your waypoints and figure out your route/course.

The confusing part is that both of these devices share many capabilities. Having the Garmine GPS, it's my personal opinion that it's much easier to use a chartplotter or paper chart to determine your desired waypoints, program them into the GPS, then use the GPS to show you how to steer your boat to the waypoints.

markpj23 11-09-2006 17:49

I have the 76C model - use the MapSource software to plot all your waypoints and build your routes. Then upload them to the GPS. One trick is that in order to keep your waypoints in the order you expect to travel, number each waypoint. The 76C has the annoying habit of storing all waypoints alphabetically, so I used a number preceeding the waypoint name to keep them listed in the order I wanted them to be stored.

For the routes, again use the MapSource software. Select all the waypoints you want to use for the voyage. You can arrange the sequence pretty easily. Then it's a simple right-click to name the route and then upload it to the GPS.

I can discuss in more detail if you like - don't want to bore the rest of the forum with details so maybe PM? Either way I'll help.


Galaxy 11-09-2006 19:13

Hi Sean,
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to explain the differences between a chartplotter and a GPS. Just the right amount of detail. You are a good tech writer! It's not easy to figure how what needs to be explained or omitted. I'm gonna print this email, too.

We just might have our radar and chartplotter up and running within 10 days. Then I'll put your information to the test. I'll let you know if I have more questions. I'm sure I will!

Galaxy 11-09-2006 19:17

Hi Mark,
Maybe, you could answer one question? If things get too complicated, I'll send you a PM.

How do I start a new voyage?

My GPS still thinks I'm on my voyage to norther California and it keeps telling me to make a U turn! It continues the purple line from the old waypoint to the new waypoint. The old one is on a freeway. The new one is a bouy.


Lynx 11-09-2006 20:53

Check the local Marine stores. There is classes (free) for the chart plotters.

I have the same one, It takes a little getting use to where all the menues are and which one to use. I will get my manual and let you know

Charlie 11-09-2006 21:32

Hi Lynn:

If your GPS is pointing you NOrth it could be trying to tell you something. LOL

Just bought a 76 at Waste Marine. Could you guys please keep this post up instead of in PM's it would help me out to find out what problems I may encounter with the GPS and any tricks.

Thanks in advance Lynx, Lynn, Sean, and Mark

markpj23 12-09-2006 09:12

OK - we may end up with our own little GPS 76 user group here :D

Assuming that you've created 2 or more routes, using either MapSource or via the 76 unit itself (painful) and all routes are loaded into the 76:

Hit the Page button until you get to the Main Menu screen. The ROUTES icon is at the top middle. Select it, then choose the Route that you want to follow. All of the waypoints that make up the route you've selected will now show on the screen. Hit Enter to Stop navigating the route, hit enter again to start navigating the route.

Lynn I suspect that all of your waypoints are included in every route you've created - is that true? That's the only way I know of where the new route would be telling you to do a U-turn. The other possibility is that your ending waypoint for the route is actually first in your route waypoint list.
If that's the case then within MapSource - with the Route displayed in the Route Properties window (double click the route name to get there); you can hit the 'Invert' button to reverse the route waypoint order.

Thinking aloud - a 3rd possibility is that the active route is still the old route - not the one you want to travel. If so, be sure to select the route name you want by pressing Enter (as above).

Let me know if this answered your questions....


markpj23 12-09-2006 09:17

Sorry Lynn - time for me to RTFQ... :D

To start a new Voyage - if by that you mean start a new Track vice following a route, from the Main Menu page, select Tracks - top left corner. Then you can Clear the tracks and start a new one from there. I usually upload the tracks to my PC before I clear them from the 76, but I'm pretty anal that way for log verification...

Maybe now I've answered the question?

Charlie 12-09-2006 15:20

new dumb quesion
Hello All:

I bought a 76 as a backup until I can decide what type of Chartplotter to purchase for the binnacle. I am leaning toward a Lowrance. I assume that I need to buy a chart for the GPS as there is now only a basic map installed. Will I be able to load navigation software such as Fugawi, Map Tech, or Maxsea on to the GPS or am I stuck with buying the bluechart or whatever else Garmin sells?

If I have a Lowrance on the binacle and a Garmin handheld as a back up does that mean I need to buy two propiatory software programs? This problem is made worse b/c I will be straddling the border of Canada and the US for a year or so before I can bring the boat down the coast thru Kalifornia and into Mexico. I guess that means new Chart software for each area.

I am considering buying Maptech chartkit b/c it comes with a CD of Raster charts and a lite navigation program with it. Will I be able to use the charts and waypoints on my GPS (either the owned Garmin or the to be purchased Lowrance)

Thanks for the help

Lynx 12-09-2006 20:36

1. tutorial - I have seen several dvd's at West Marine. I hope one of them will work.

2. How do I start plotting a new voyage? - By what you have been saying, you had a voyage and want to start a new one. Right. These are called Routes in the manual. Page 31. What you need to do is start a new route. Page 34. Press Menu twice, Highlignt Routes - press enter, select a saved route - press enter. you should now have the new route.

3. How can I plot several waypoint (buoy to buoy) at one time? - I find this easiet to use my computer and then transfer the route to the GPS. The process is about the same. Page 31. Presss Menu twice, Highlight routes and press enter, Use rocker to highlight the NEW botton and press enter, it goes on for another 4 steps.

The easiest is to create a waypoint and then go to it. Page 11.

Compass - the compass changes only when you are moving. a few feet. If you just hold the GPS and turn it, it will not change.

Good little machine, A lot too it, Just takes getting to know where to go for what. I wish the manual was for marine and not road.

Let me know if this helps or you need more.

Galaxy 13-09-2006 07:23

Oh Boy, I'm really getting great answers!

Please allow me a couple of days to experiment and answer each of you. We leave in about 2 weeks, YIKES! and I'm off shopping, again, today.

And, I have to study for my Gordon West's General Ham class that is held 3 days before we launch!

Charlie, I'm so glad you are asking questions, too! We are learning together.

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