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What GPS to buy?

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Old 12-31-2009, 06:18 PM
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My wife bought me the Northstar Explorer 550 for Christmas and I was hopeing there is a way to be able to use it between now and spring to get use to it but I don't know if there is a way or not. My gps has a purple bezel on it and it comes with a white cover so I'm guessing you can get different colors. Question does anyone know if you can hook a battery pack or something to the wires and use it or would that mess it up?
you can use a lighter adapter,yellow and black wires on the ground side and the red wire on the positive side.

just got done installing my Northstar 550
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Old 12-31-2009, 09:43 PM
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boatnt that looks great. Did you have to redo your dash to make that fit or was that already like that? I would have to redo my dash to try and do something like that. Have you played around with the gps yet? Were there already inland maps preprogramed?
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:03 AM
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had to move 3 gauges too the other side,other then turning it on I have not played around with it,

this is what the dash looked like
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Old 01-01-2010, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by STUCK View Post
My wife bought me the Northstar Explorer 550 for Christmas and I was hopeing there is a way to be able to use it between now and spring to get use to it but I don't know if there is a way or not. My gps has a purple bezel on it and it comes with a white cover so I'm guessing you can get different colors. Question does anyone know if you can hook a battery pack or something to the wires and use it or would that mess it up?
Yes and No and maybe...

Bezels- If you go to Livorsis website thet have an excellent selection of bezels for the Northstart unit (and not many others)

Yes- You could wire the power to it and it will be just fine.

NO (it wont work yet though)

You would still need an antennae to get satellite acquisition although you could use a temp stubbie on a suction cup.

Maybe- you may also need a heading sensor.

I think this 550 unit though the the unit itself is the compass and heading sensor.

In other words for the unit to orient itself a stable mount (directionally) must be maintained or "North" moves around. (this is brand and model specific)

You need to do a compass alignment on the water and insure your mount or position you wish to use it in doesnt really move too much if at all.

If the update were instant (like a compass spinning under your hand) it wouldnt make a difference but the device has to compute the maps position relative to this and the display has a lag. Therefore it moves in chunks on a unit like this.

The more info you ask it process- the slower the update will become.

Some MFGRS offer options here with an upgrade to a fluxgate compass which can supply directionally stable compass inputs accurate to 1 degree. This degree of precison is more than enough to establish a functioning autopilot.



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Old 01-01-2010, 03:54 PM
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I returned my Garmin 476, I didn't think it was a good value. Waiting for something better to come out, maybe the 600 series from Garmin...
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Old 01-01-2010, 04:11 PM
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I returned my Garmin 476, I didn't think it was a good value. Waiting for something better to come out, maybe the 600 series from Garmin...
I think Garmin makes a great product.
Have you seen the 5K series with the touchscreens?
They are an excellent product.

UD

Last edited by Uncle Dave; 01-01-2010 at 04:14 PM. Reason: another phukin spelling error
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Old 01-01-2010, 04:20 PM
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Take a look at the Garmin 640. It has touch screen and portable between Boat and Car. Can use the Bluewater software with it. Only prob is updating the software online. Be sure to remove the Bluewater chip before updating. If you dont update sees two GPS and doesnt know what to update.
I have one in my boat and I run the same waters. If you want to see install let me know.
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Old 01-01-2010, 10:21 PM
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Take a look at the Garmin 640. It has touch screen and portable between Boat and Car. Can use the Bluewater software with it. Only prob is updating the software online. Be sure to remove the Bluewater chip before updating. If you dont update sees two GPS and doesnt know what to update.
I have one in my boat and I run the same waters. If you want to see install let me know.
I'd love to see some pics of that install.

I'm looking at the Garmin 551S at the moment, combo transducer and chartplotter with 3D Nav view and I believe it is also AIS compatible. I like the Sat Photo overlay and zoom function for marinas and complex waterways so you have a pictorial reference. I think I saw that Garmin 640 at the Sydney Boat Expo in August. Looked great alone but I'd love to see it mounted.
My problem is the Garmin 551S is $1'299 down under!
And then I have to buy the update map areas for northern Australia because I'm in Darwin now! How much are they up there?
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Old 01-02-2010, 04:09 PM
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I'm installing a Lowrance HDS5. I like the interfaces and overlay maps it offers.

http://www.lowrance.com/Products/Mar...nition-System/
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Old 01-02-2010, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by tjvelocity View Post
Take a look at the Garmin 640. It has touch screen and portable between Boat and Car. Can use the Bluewater software with it. Only prob is updating the software online. Be sure to remove the Bluewater chip before updating. If you dont update sees two GPS and doesnt know what to update.
I have one in my boat and I run the same waters. If you want to see install let me know.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PT5DUnv3hVs

Heres a brief video review of the 640, nice crossover, if a bit pokey.

UD
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