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Old 02-27-2008, 01:49 PM   #1
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Default Crossover GPS Unit

Anyone have any experience or read any reviews about crossover units?

I want to get one I can take back and forth between the car and the boat.
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Old 02-27-2008, 03:46 PM   #2
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sorry to say i really can't comment on the latest gps's....I have a magellen 410 and it works both city and water...has roads...bouys....hand held and works really really well...sorry they stopped making it cuz it's rugidized too....
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Old 02-27-2008, 09:50 PM   #3
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I love my Garmin 76CX. NMEA0183 allows me to connect it to my DSC VHF radio and my fishfinder/depthsounder. You can see (kind of) in this picture how I can use the fishfinders' display to view GPS information and waypoints. This overcomes the problem of the small screen on the 76CX.

I use my GPS in the boat, in the car and for hiking/geocaching. This is a great unit for me.

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Old 02-28-2008, 04:16 PM   #4
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My boat came with a Garmin 276C. It is a nice unit and I am very satisfied with it.

Although the 276C is capable of operating in auto or water modes, I haven't tried it in auto mode because it requires the purchase of the optional automotive kit which contains the street data and car mount, etc. And I can buy a stand alone automotive GPS for the same or less price as the optional auto kit for the 276C would cost me. Granted, the car unit would be an entry level model, but that is all I would need.
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Old 02-28-2008, 07:05 PM   #5
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I guess the use of road maps is becoming a lost art!! :?
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Old 03-01-2008, 02:17 AM   #6
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I think you are right about that. Paper maps, and charts for that matter, aren't long to live.
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Old 03-07-2008, 02:35 AM   #7
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This question can go many different directions. GPS devices run the gamut from small watch size units to large screen integrated devices.

I have two units, have tried them both in the boat and car. Having a marine based unit with the correct software is the key. I have land-based software in my Street Pilot III, but still get lake boundries without any 'chart' data. My other unit is a Garmin eTrex Vista (color) handheld. It has the US topos loaded. Actually has some marine data for larger lakes.

Long story, here's the short.....

Best unit would be a marine compatible unit with a good quality screen bright enough to see in any condition, and be integrated with your depth transducer.

And it is all about what you are willing to spend/afford.

Ok, I rambled on and really added nothing of value other than I wish I had a better unit myself
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:48 PM   #8
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thanks for the input everyone!

I ended up getting the new (ish) Garmin Colorado 400c handheld. The 400c (‘c’ for ‘coastal’) comes pre-loaded with Garmin’s Bluechart g2 Coastal Chart meant for coastal marine navigation which will be my primary use for this unit. They have a 400i (inland lakes and rivers), 400t (topography) and a 300 (which doesn’t come preloaded). They are all the same except for their preloaded maps and you can get the other maps on a SD flash card.

The Colorado series is Garmin’s newest handheld. Aimed at being powerful yet more user friendly then their other handhelds. I was somewhat surprised when I opened the box and started reading the owners manual how vague it was. A brief summary about each function without any detail. Many assumptions are made such as the ability to choose ‘normal’ GPS mode or the ‘WAAS’ mode. Well, being new to GPS units…WTF is WAAS? Ok, so Google tells me it’s a good thing I guess. I would expect a sophisticated device to have a detailed user guide or at least a ‘quick start’ along with a detailed version.

Familiarizing myself by digging into the menu and options I’m impressed with how configurable it is. I’m a little disappointed that it doesn’t auto-route from a marine perspective but only from the automotive perspective in which I would need routable cartography. So I will need to create my marine routes manually via waypoints.

I read online to make sure your map datum is up to date which I assume it is on such a new unit. The only option for map datum on the 400 is to change to different countries. By default it is on ‘user’. Whatever that means (the manual doesn’t even mention it).

I’m going to pop for the city maps so this unit will become a dual purpose device. They want $139 for it on SD media (I’ve found it for $119 at an online GPS store).

I guess I’m pleased with the unit. A couple of early form factor issues; battery life is estimated at 13 hours. Make that more like 2. I’ve burned through four sets of batteries just scrolling through the menus with the backlight on. I have the 'marine kit' ordered (mount and 12v power supply). Also it crashed multiple times prior to the firmware update. After the update it is more stable but I have had it crash a few times. I’ve read this is common on this unit. Hopefully future firmware updates will improve that. The stats are slightly better then Garmin’s 76csx but with one exception, the 76csx floats, mine sinks. Both are IPX7 waterproof (up to 1m of submersion).
The MapSource software that came with the unit I found to be clumsy and old fashioned. Plus they make you lock/unlock maps and keeps giving me an error when I try.

this unit wasn't cheap either, although it will probably be half of what I paid in a few months. Never fails.

So at this point, I know where I am, I just need to figure out where I’m going.
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Old 04-01-2008, 08:58 PM   #9
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Thanks for the update and great report on the new Colorado series.
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