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Garmin 176 questions before buying

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Old 11-23-2002, 07:14 PM
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Question Garmin 176 questions before buying

........or should I say, give to Mrs Clause for "the list". And I've been looking at the 176 along with the 76s, just that the 176 has the larger screen, and comes with a nice mount. Here are the questions. (also WestMarine has the 10% deals now)


1) Am I correct in that I will need to also purchase a memory chip, and if so is the 16mb enough?

2) Any idea on how long the batteries will/do last? (Like can i make a day out of a set?)

3) Any "hidden gotchas" if I load up a FishingHotspots (to get much more lake detail).......like can you load up multiple enhanced "stuff" on the chip.....or each time is it all wiped out. (like lets say i want to load up the local lake........and oh-by-the-way......some detail for a road trip).

..........and in general any comments on the unit. THANKS!!!!!


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Old 11-23-2002, 07:51 PM
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I can't answer you questions on the 176 but check the price at www.gps.com

They have always been the best price when I need GPS or software and the service is great.
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Old 11-23-2002, 10:01 PM
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Price. Give me a call. I'll beat anyones price. Ask Thrillseeker...he bought one from me.

Or you can go to my online store...just give me a call.
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Old 11-25-2002, 08:28 AM
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Yes, you need to buy a chart or map chip. The 176 is BlueChart compatible. I've found that batteries do not last nearly long enough, so I run mine off a cig lighter cord. Haven't checked out all the bells and whistles because I haven't forked over the big bucks for the chart chip yet. (The detail on the included basemap is very rough.)
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Old 11-25-2002, 08:51 AM
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Jana.........How do you like yours (176) so far though? No doubt Garmin has a "racket" with all the extras you need to buy to use the things. (like the Fishing Hotspots CD you can preview online has superior detail as compared to the base map you get.....from what I've seen in the store). But, in the fine print it looks like you only get to "unlock" one region.

So did you get the BlueChart chip, or the memory chip to load up the CD's with. (if so which size was the memory chip).

...and thanks for the input.


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Old 11-25-2002, 08:57 AM
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If you are going to download a lot of maps from the CD's, buy the 64K chip.
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Old 11-25-2002, 09:01 AM
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I purchased Garmins Mapquest software for my 176. You can select detailed maps to download to the unit.

A nice feature that mapquest has for travelers is the Auto Route feature. The software determines the best street route from one point to another. The 176 does NOT support this feature. You must manually create your highway route before downloading it. When you download routes or detailed maps to the gps, the maps previously stored are removed. Routes downloaded to the unit remain.

Try www.gpsdiscount.com. Good prices, top notch service.
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Old 11-25-2002, 09:03 AM
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The mapsource program uses pre-defined blocks that you select with the mouse and save to the chip, the size of the chipis dependent on how many you choose, I can have all of S.E. Michigan on one 64Mb Card. It depends how far you will be traveling. If you are confined to a small aera get a smaller chip. You can see from the Mapsource program exactly how much space you need on the chip as you select the blocks. Get the program first and unlock your aera then buy a bigger chip if required. Be aware the memory Garmin sells is very expensive, I think that is where they make all the money!
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Old 11-25-2002, 01:13 PM
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Aside from the "racket" with the extras (for that reason, I haven't yet bought a chart chip), I like the 176 pretty well. Right now, I mostly use it as a speedo, so I really like the page with the screen divided in 4 panes - the numbers are nice and big. Sometime before next season, I'm going to buy a chart chip for it. I think I only need the Gulf Coast chip, so I'll probably go that route rather than the CD and chip burner.
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Old 11-25-2002, 01:56 PM
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Thanks for the extra input!! Think the 176 will be the one. (plus it comes with a very nice mounting bracket). The 76S was also on the list, but I like the larger display. (plus the profile will mount nicer the way my dash is layed out).

Oh.........heres a reply from Garmin today on some of the questions. (In particular the one I had on combining inputs).

** FROM GARMIN **

1. You would need a data card...the unit cannot hold MapSource detail without the reprogrammable data cards.

2. With the Fishing Hot Spots Version 4.00 CD, you get a coupon to unlock one region of choice. All the lakes in that one region will be unlocked to your unit should you choose that region. You would likely choose Region 11(GA, FL, AL). With that, you could access any of the lakes in that region...from Weiss in Alabama to Sidney Lanier in GA.

3. Every time you load "new" maps, the "old" ones already on the card are erased and replaced...that is automatic. BUT You can load MapSource maps from multiple MapSource products to a 176 at once and have them all there in the unit at the same time. All you have to do is select the maps from each product and transfer them all to the unit in the same MapSource session.

The only caveat is that where detail from different products overlap, one MapSource map's detail will take precedence and will "cover" the others in the unit...the maps will not blend, in other words. With the latest unit software, you can easily turn off the dominant maps to let the "lesser" ones show through at any time...and where there is no overlap, it works fine...both display great at once...nothing special at all is needed.

Just so you know, the Fishing Hot Spots Version 4.00 CD also comes with general coverage of the rest of the US via a US Recreational Lakes "bonus" product--right on the same disc as the FHS detailed lakes. It has general coverage very similar to what you can see by viewing US Roads & Recreation via the online MapSource Map Viewer:
http://www.garmin.com/cartography/mapSource/

I do NOT suggest Roads & Recreation for this unit...for road and street detail, MetroGuide is a better choice...but the "Recreational Lakes" bonus coverage on the FHS CD will have quite a lot of road data, as well as general coverage of many lakes.

Of course, with the Viewer, you can see the basic detail for the detailed FHS lakes, too.

Thank you again for your interest in GARMIN GPS.
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