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Author Topic:   GPS + Sounder Set Up
SeaHag posted 07-02-2003 11:36 AM ET (US)   Profile for SeaHag   Send Email to SeaHag  
Obviously from my previous post I'm getting ready to pull the trigger.Of the users of GPS/Chartplotters:

1) Who, in addition to a GPS/Chartplotter, has a sounder (defined as a fishfinder with bottom contour, etc.)?

2) Is it a separate unit or is it integrated into the GPS unit?

What are the pros or cons of an integrated unit versus a stand alone. I'm thinking along the lines of a Garmin 182, 162, or NavMan 5500 combined with a (for example) Garmin 160 blue.

Comments?

Signed Overwhelmed.

Buckda posted 07-02-2003 02:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Hi SeaHag -

I'm a newbie to this topic as well, but went ahead and pulled the trigger on a GPS/Sounder combo the other day. I've been agonizing over the decision, but am planning to attend the North Channel rendezvous and do not feel comfortable putting that many miles under the hull without knowing where the heck I am.

I went over the whole thing in my head a million times, but the bottom line (in my opinion) is that the biggest drawback to a combo unit is that if one part goes bad (i.e. sounder), then you're left with only the GPS, or if the GPS goes bad, you're stuck with an expensive fishfinder.

For me, the decision was a little easier because of my boat...I have a 15 with limited space...did not want to drill too many holes in the console (I agonized over the first hole!)... and did not want two units cluttering my console when I could get away with one.

So I purchased the Garmin168 GPS/Sounder combo unit. So far so good... but I'm still figuring out how to use it fully.

I'm sure other more experienced persons on this forum will give you excellent advice and personal accounts of their experience with their units.

Hope this begins to help...

Dave

kingfish posted 07-02-2003 03:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
I have a Garmin 235 Chartplotter/Sounder and I like it because of the limited space on the deck of my console. In fact I have two of them; I installed a similar unit in our Sportcabin boat in Canada, so I can interchange chips. I think the current version of that unit would be a GPSMap 232 with a GSD20 Sounder Module.

Chuck Tribolet has made good points about the fact that with everything in one unit, if one goes down they both go down; I have a backup GPSMap 76 and a backup VHF radio, but if my GPS/Sounder does go down I don't have any way to read the bottom. I have chosen to accept that risk in trade for the convenience of more space on my console.

kingfish

rsgwynn1 posted 07-02-2003 04:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for rsgwynn1  Send Email to rsgwynn1     
I have the Garmin 168C gps/sounder. This is the second summer I've used it. I have no complaints at all though it's clear I'll have to take a refresher course every season to remind myself how to work it. It's great if you have limited console space--no larger than a depthfinder.
ratherwhalering posted 07-02-2003 06:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for ratherwhalering  Send Email to ratherwhalering     
I have the GPS 162i and the Fish Finder 160. They match well, and I have two screens to look at. The Fish Finder 160 has an optional speed/depth/temp transducer all in one unit, so there are no extra holes for the speedo. The GPS internal antenna has worked flawlessly...again, no extra holes or wiring. They work well together, the speed over water from the Fishfinder will display on the GPS, and the Volts will display on the Fishfinder. I think this is the most economical package with two screens. The displays are a kinda small, but you know that going into the deal. I don't go too far off the coast, so for my purposes, they are more than enough. The Garmin support has also been good to me.
SeaHag posted 07-02-2003 06:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for SeaHag  Send Email to SeaHag     
ratherwhalering ikt's interesting you say that because that is the package that I was leaning most towards for the reasons you listed.
ratherwhalering posted 07-07-2003 12:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for ratherwhalering  Send Email to ratherwhalering     
These units are a good combo. You may also want spend the extra bucks and buy the Garmin 260 Blue...The 160 is nice, but in retreospect, I'd probably go with the 260 because it has a better screen and detail. I beleive the operating system, casing, and transducer are the same.
doobee posted 07-09-2003 08:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for doobee  Send Email to doobee     
Combo units are OK if you don't have enough room on the console, but if you have room for 2 or more displays, you're better off with each unit in its own box. If you have an equipment failure, or need service, you don't lose both instruments at the same time.
triblet posted 07-09-2003 10:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
Another reason for separate units is if you use both at the
same time, it's better each on a whole screen than on half of
one. I use both when I'm looking for a particular piece of
structure to dive.


Chuck

First Thought posted 07-10-2003 11:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for First Thought  Send Email to First Thought     
I much prefer two units than a combo. Combos generally do not provide the same level of performance or options as two dedicated units. Screen resolutions are not as crisp or detailed simply because there is less room and so there are less pixels and amount of pixels are one of the main determinates of resolution. This is really magnified when you are in zoom mood or trying to tune up the gain on your finder for target detection or bottom composition. Also, if I'm in less familiar water, which is often, a bottom machine is more important than the GPS,to me. I can carry charts and navigate by compass and landmarks if my GPS goes out but I cann't see under the water to tell depth and even the most updated charts are unreliable for depths outside of known channels or reported shoals and underwater obstrutions. Depths outside channels are based on general information or special reports and are not regularly monitored or updated, so you run in those waters based on your knowledge and bottom machine. And if you think your GPS won't crash at the worst possible time, think again, it is just a matter of time. Then you send it in for repairs and have neither. Just my opinion.
SeaHag posted 07-14-2003 10:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for SeaHag  Send Email to SeaHag     
thanks for the responses. I went with a 162 external and a 240 Blue. The detail on the 240 is nice, much more defined than the 160. It wasn't finding fish that I was after but more the bottom contour and the depth. Even at WOT the 240 is live. Sweet unit so far.

The 162 was a compromise in that it gives all and more that I want but it is in a smaller unit as compared to say the 182. I got so caught up in the particulars that I overlooked the basic needs.

The combo is synergistic in that together they are better than alone.

ratherwhalering posted 07-15-2003 12:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for ratherwhalering  Send Email to ratherwhalering     
Don't forget to connect the NEMA(Sp?) wire, it is nice to have the speed over ground, speed through water, and water temp, all on the GPS screen, when fishing! I think you'll like that set up, I do!
SeaHag posted 07-15-2003 09:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for SeaHag  Send Email to SeaHag     
so you are saying that I can connect the NEMA wire from the fishfinder to the NEMA Wire on the GPS?
TightPenny posted 07-17-2003 04:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for TightPenny  Send Email to TightPenny     
I too have the Garmin GPSMap 235. Great unit, crappy mount, but the numbers are big enough to read without my glasses.

I ended up mounting it on a starboard mount bolted to the console. It is a permanent mount and hasn't moved since I put it on.

jimh posted 07-17-2003 05:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Please note the the organization the promolgates the standard for interconnecting marine electronic devices is the National Marine Electronics Association. That is abbreviated NMEA.

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association is abreviated NEMA, and they have nothing to do with marine electronics.


[url]http://www.nmea.org/pub/0183/[url]

jimh posted 07-17-2003 05:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Please note the the organization the promolgates the standard for interconnecting marine electronic devices is the National Marine Electronics Association. That is abbreviated NMEA.

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association is abreviated NEMA, and they have nothing to do with marine electronics.


http://www.nmea.org/pub/0183/

ratherwhalering posted 07-24-2003 03:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for ratherwhalering  Send Email to ratherwhalering     
Yes, the Fishfinder NMEA (thanks Jim) output for the Fishfinder will plug into the NMEA input for the GPS. The 162GPS will then display speed through the water and water temp.

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