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Author Topic:   Upgrading from 3 Plus to Vista?
Arch Autenreith posted 02-26-2001 01:51 PM ET (US)   Profile for Arch Autenreith   Send Email to Arch Autenreith  
Well, I received my Garmin 3 Plus less than a week ago. A couple notes. First, the only information available regarding MapSource CD ($90. detailed areas) downloads was that up to 25 maps from could be downloaded (1.44 MB total) on the 3 Plus. Since I didn't have a reference to how many bytes would be on any given map, as it varies from map to map, I didn't give it any more thought. Turns out that I am only able to download 3 maps (2 for where I live and 1 for Ft. Myers, FLA) before I run out of memory. To boot, I am getting the rivers and coastal CD ($70) that has waypoints, fishing areas, buoys, etc., and can't use any of them unless I delete some of the maps I already downloaded. This is my first GPS so I didnít know what to expect.
Anyhow, I called Garmin and they were very helpful. There is a new GPS called Emap Vista due March or April. Has 24 MB memory (vs. 1.44 ), has fewer parts (the technician said, therefore, more reliable), compass, something else but I forgot, rubber cover and has similar waterproof ness. And the best part, I think, is it retails for $375, which is only $75 above what I just paid for the 3 Plus. I just called West Marine and they will certainly allow me to upgrade no problem.
Can anyone add to this or comment before I upgrade?
I never seem to spend what I originally intended on anything boating-related. Why is that?
Peter posted 02-26-2001 02:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
BOAT = Break Out Another Thousand
triblet posted 02-26-2001 03:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
The eTrex Vista is $290 at .
It's a real nice unit. It has an barometric
altimeter, WAAS (DGPS via sat), a lot more
pixels on the screen. It does not have an
external antenna jack.

eTrex Legend: 8M flash, no compass, no
altimeter. Downside: ugle iMac translucent
blue case.

I thought the Vista was $340 in the new West
catalog (I got mine Saturday).

Which MapSource CD? Topo? or Waterways and

The Vista and Legend will kill off the 175.

The West catalog also has the eTrex Mariner.
It will kill off the 48.


Arch Autenreith posted 02-26-2001 05:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Arch Autenreith  Send Email to Arch Autenreith     
Sorry. As Chuck pointed out I meant eTrex Vista. Not eMap Vista. And it is the Waterways and Lights CD. I didn't bother looking in West catalog as Garmin said is wasn't available for a couple more months.
And I still haven't heard from anyone that has used the Garmin 160 fishfinder. Any reports? Or should I just go and upgrade that at the same time while I'm at it?;)
Peter posted 02-26-2001 07:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     

Do you know whether the Mapsource waterways maps have detail such as depth contours typically found on a marine chart? The sample I viewed on Garmin's site did not appear to have such. In contrast, the G-chart that resides in my 175 does. Unless or until Mapsource does, I don't believe that the Vista or Legend will kill off the 175. I note that Garmin classifies the Mapsource under land based cartography. It appears to me that Garmin's marine cartography products still rely on the G-charts.

triblet posted 02-26-2001 08:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
The waterways and lights CD does not have
depth contours. The topo CDs do, in SOME
areas, and in general have more detail,
all the same navaids, and a zillion lakes
that are on waterways and lights. Garmin has
taken a fair amount of heat about this and
I'd expect it change by and by.

Garmin's latest Marine chartplotter (the 162)
uses the downloadable CD cartography. I
don't think you'll see another chartplotter
from Garmin that uses the G-charts.

The 175 is not in the 2001 West Marine
catalog. I think it's almost history.

I had a 175 with the local G-chart. I
replaced it on the boat with a 162 last
spring. I do miss the depth contours, but
I think the 162 is a better unit. Easier to
read. I still use the 175 on other peoples
boats, but I'm going to replace it with a
Vista or Legend RSN to get WAAS accuracy
which is important for finding dive sites.

BTW, I suspect there's going to be a new
firmware load for the 162 to add WAAS
support. Garmin needs to respond REAL QUICK
to the new Standard Horizon 150 and that's
the best way to do it.


Peter posted 02-27-2001 08:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Checked out the Topo Mapsource demo at Garmin's site. For my area, the depth contours look to be at least as good as (maybe better than) what is on the G-chart and appears to have major illuminated nav-aids. However, for my area, both the Topo and Waterways Mapsources (at least that which can be demonstrated at Garmin's site) seem to lack the nav-aid detail found in the G-chart. In the Topo product, several significant nav-aids that I rely on as a source for confirmation of position were simply missing. In the Waterways product, these significant nav-aids were present but represented without any identifying description, just the general color and frequency of flash description. The minor nav-aids found on the G-chart, like channel markers for minor harbors, were not represented, even at the highest zoom-in level on the Mapsource product demo. In summary, it appears that the G-chart still more closely resembles a navigation chart than either of the CD products, at least based on the Garmin demo.
Arch Autenreith posted 02-27-2001 11:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for Arch Autenreith  Send Email to Arch Autenreith     
I'll be darned if I can find the MapSource demo on the Garmin site. Spent 1/2 hour and can't see it. When I do I'll see how accurate is is for the areas I'll be using.
Peter posted 02-27-2001 01:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Peter posted 02-27-2001 01:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Whoops. Pushed the submit button too soon. Use the MapSource map viewer on the right.
Arch Autenreith posted 02-27-2001 02:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Arch Autenreith  Send Email to Arch Autenreith     
Thanks. I see what you mean about not identifying the markers/bouys more clearly. I guess I'm not done deciding yet. However, if I spent another $1k.....;)
triblet posted 02-27-2001 02:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
BTW, if you have MapSource, V 3.06 is on
Garmin's website under Downloads, as is
4.00 Beta (don't get excited because the
most significant digit changed, there's not
much there, at least yet.) I'm on 4.00 Beta.

The earlier version fixed several little bugs
and improved the performance.

Note: if you use 64M or larger cartridges,
stay on 3.05. Apparently Garmin's license
for some of the cartography precludes
loading more than 32M. 3.06 started
enforcing this.

About the only think MapSource won't do for
me is allow me to generate Saved Tracks for
things like restricted areas, and up load
only part of the data for a map, either
geographically or by feature type (no need
for contour lines or roads from the topo


Peter posted 02-27-2001 04:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     

If you broke out another K, then you'd only have something like another K to go for a Northstar. ;)

I think, after a little investigation of the new products and the dialog that has occurred in this thread, some current cartographic GPS models from Garmin may be better than others for a particular geographic area. In some areas, the newer e-trex or other models that use MapSource as the cartography data source may be perfectly adequate for the user's needs. In my area, for the moment, the G-chart models seem to be superior for my requirements. Of course my requirements have changed somewhat since I used to get along just fine with my old GPS without cartography.

Arch Autenreith posted 02-27-2001 10:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Arch Autenreith  Send Email to Arch Autenreith     
The more I know the more I realize I don't know. Spring's just around the corner so I'll have to make up my mind soon. Good comments from all. Thanks.

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