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Northstar 550i GPS / Plotter - opinions?

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Old 05-09-2008, 10:27 AM
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Default Northstar 550i GPS / Plotter - opinions?

Anyone have one of these by chance? Like - dislike - why? I need a GPS / plotter that can accept C-Map Charts, has to be a smaller unit, built in antenna and color. I was looking at this one and the SH 180i, and can't find any good pros & cons anywhere.

Thanks,
Mark
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:41 AM
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Livorsi catalogs it and makes a matching bezel for it. It's very popular- assumably for a reason. I have one here in the box awaiting installation so the best hands-on I can give you is that it looks nice.
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:53 AM
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lol! Thanks Chris - it is a good-lookin' unit, and like the size and the U/I - esp. the fuel mgmt. and Smartcarft interfaces.

Hope the install goes well for you.
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Old 05-09-2008, 12:26 PM
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I just went through this exact deal. I stopped at Consumer marine electorinics and they are large distributors for the brands. consumermarine.com They are located here in NJ and they told there is no comparision to the Garmin. So I bought the Garmin and a little cutting and welding made that bezel fit the Garmin.
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Old 05-09-2008, 01:42 PM
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I used this one in a test boat. I really liked it but I had problems with it on hot sunny days. The screen would eventually black out so bad you couldnt see it anymore.
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:52 PM
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Northstar makes a reliable product but the GUI isn't as friendly as it could be. The command a ridiculous price IMO.

Garmin is probably a better choice for the average performance boater.

If you run by yourself a lot and need more reliability go with Northstar + a backup.
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:59 PM
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I saw the 550i on Ebay today for $375, BIN.
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Old 05-09-2008, 03:01 PM
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Well, I am kind of limited to the Northstar or the Standard Horizon as I need C-Map capabilities... The Garmin version of the lake chart is ok - but not as comprehensive as the C-Map version.
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Old 05-09-2008, 03:06 PM
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Heres mine havent used it yet but it looks good.


Got a great deal from kirk at Elite Marine, Inc.


David
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Old 05-09-2008, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wodster69 View Post
Heres mine havent used it yet but it looks good.


Got a great deal from kirk at Elite Marine, Inc.


David
Did you paint your faceplate?

I think Livorsi offers them in custom colors- I suppose all you lose on painting it is the Northstar logo.

Also, I've been considering dropping the analog speedo and using the readout on the GPS. Curious why you kept yours.
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