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Author Topic:   Garmin 498 Chart Plotter and Sounder
boatdryver posted 05-16-2006 09:41 AM ET (US)   Profile for boatdryver   Send Email to boatdryver  
After 3 trips to West Marine trying to get convinced about the chart detail provided on this G2 Blue Chart unit with "built-in" detail for the coastal US and finding no staff member knowlegable, I bought one from

West Marine price with transom mount ducer-$968+tax=about $1030 price-$850 with ducer+$10 for 2nd day air shipping and no tax.
Savings about $170.

The West Marine store declined to price match.

It took about 60 seconds for the unit to initialize and the chart display data looks to be complete. At first the display looked dim in direct sunlight but by increasing brightness it looks very good.

The first two attempts to pull the bulky (about 1/2 inch diameter) connector end of the new ducer cable through the Montauk rigging tunnel from the aft end using using the old ducer cable ended in failure due to an obstruction. I was pulling vertically from inside the console.

Then, after streamlining the taped junction of pull wire and new ducer connector and pulling horizontally from under the foreward end of the console she came easily.


Robob2003 posted 05-16-2006 11:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for Robob2003  Send Email to Robob2003     

Is the g2 Bluechart chip a detailed chart like that found on the Bluechart CD or is it just general coastal information?

I am shopping for one myself and the CD runs the price up considerably.


Bob on Tampa Bay

bsmotril posted 05-16-2006 01:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
From the Garmin units I have looked at on the dealer shelves, both the preloaded units, and chip based Blue Charts contain the same level of detail as the Blue Charts you can load via CDROM.
KillerWhaler62 posted 05-17-2006 07:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for KillerWhaler62  Send Email to KillerWhaler62     

I was also looking at the Garmin 498 for my Nauset.

Did the unit come with enough transducer cable to make the run from the console to the transom? Or did you have to purchase th eextension caleb?

boatdryver posted 05-17-2006 10:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for boatdryver  Send Email to boatdryver     
Killerwhale, the supplied transducer cable was at least 3 times longer than necessary for a Montauk tunnel. As had been done with the old one I removed, I'll be bundling up the excess with wire ties under the helm.

Robob, there is no separate chip with this unit. the clever idea Garmin had with this series is to supply coastal U. S. detail within the unit, figuring that lots of people would not have to buy a separate chip, which nowadays for me would cover Acapulco, Mexico to Washington state or something like that, mostly information I would never use.

For example, we live north of San Francisco. So far I've noticed that there is fine detail all the way through the San Francisco Bay and California delta up to Sacramento . This is 100 miles in from the Pacific, and is all navigable water charted by NOAA.

One drawback of the 498 so far may be related to screen size rather than software shortcomings: I keep the boat on Tomales Bay, which is only 1 mile wide and 10 miles long. On several zoom levels there is accurate shore outline (as opposed to the crude angular shapes you see on world charts) but no depth data shows up inside Tomales Bay till I zoom in real close, while on all these zoom levels there is full detail in the Pacific just outside the bay entrance. When I zoom in close enough for depth data, only one mile or so can fit on the screen. So to plot a course up the 10 mile long bay I would have to move the map from start to finish and hope I didn't miss any hazards as the many views whipped by. I couldn't do it seeing the whole bay with depth info. To see the whole bay on one screen and plot a course there would be no depth info. Luckily this bay is like a wide river and just by staying in the middle avoids hazards till the channel markers start.

I don't think this is a Garmin thing. I think it is either that NOAA only shows depth info on a "harbor chart" of this bay, or that the bay is so narrow that the depth numbers wouldn't physically fit till the user zoom way in.

I think BillS is right, that the details on this built in cartography is the same as a G2 CD ROM or chip.

I'd appreciate comments from anyone who can shed light on the zoom/detail issue above.


boatdryver posted 05-17-2006 10:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for boatdryver  Send Email to boatdryver     
I meant to add that the reason I chose a unit with the G2 charting is that there is tide and current information. Garmin's previous geneeration of charting doesn't seem of include this
Robob2003 posted 05-17-2006 10:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for Robob2003  Send Email to Robob2003     
Thanks for the info.

I currently have a Magellan Marine handheld which is loaded from a CD and looks like a miniature paper chart of Tampa Bay.

I will get a Garmin but am very interested in saving money if a CD is not necessary.

Bob on Tampa Bay

bsmotril posted 05-17-2006 06:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
A couple of things to look for. Many near coastal areas are covered by multiple charts. There will be a big chart for instance of the TX coast and offshore waters, and another chart for a particular bay or port. The offshore chart that also covers the bay won't have those depth details, but the port or bay chart will. You have to go into the units setup and select which charts you want to have active. Make sure to select the smallest most detailed chart for your area as an active chart.

Secondly, from the map screen press the menu Key, then choose "Setup Map" and hit enter. Then, go to the "General" tab and for the field labeled "Detail", set it to "Most". That's how it works on my Garmin, which is a different model than yours. But I've found garmins menus and screens to be very similar across multiple models, so try these suggestions out and let us know if that fixes it for you. BillS

KillerWhaler62 posted 05-23-2006 11:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for KillerWhaler62  Send Email to KillerWhaler62     
After checking out GPSonSALE with Garmin I ordered a new Garmin 498 w/internal antenna, and dual freq. tramsom mount transducer. The cost was $759.99 plus shipping. This was about the lowest price I could find that included the transducer I wanted. It looks like the prices are dropping.

It was real easy to install in my Nauset. It took about and hour and we were ready to go.

boatdryver posted 05-24-2006 12:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for boatdryver  Send Email to boatdryver     
killerwhale62 where exactly on the transom did you mount the transducer?
On my Montauk the old transducer was mounted exactly centered under the sponson and it worked well at all speeds.
This seems an unusual spot after looking at the reference section and doing a search. Where did you put yours?


jimh posted 05-24-2006 08:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I would be very surprised if there were anything about the SONAR transducer supplied with the Chart Plotter/Sounder/GPS Receiver combination device that required special mounting consideration. I would be guided by the usual recommendations for mounting a SONAR transducer on a Boston Whaler hull.
KillerWhaler62 posted 05-24-2006 10:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for KillerWhaler62  Send Email to KillerWhaler62     
boatdryver....there was nothing special about the transom mounting. Just followed the directions and cut out the template and mounted it on the starboard side of the transom just far enough from the propeller so it would not create cavatation.

Just took a 48 mile spin from north of Philadelphia on the Delaware River to Chesapeake City on the C & D Canal. Gps and sounder worked great

boatdryver posted 05-25-2006 12:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for boatdryver  Send Email to boatdryver     
Jimh, my reason for asking where killerwhale mounted his transducer is that the old one on my boat was mounted in an unusual location-centered over the "V" of the port side sponson and I'm tempted to try to re-use one of the old holes for the new transducer rather than mount it in a more conventional location, fill the four old holes, and drill two new ones in my nice transom.

What I've done is a modification of ratherwhaling's suggestion; I've used the old holes to mount a temporary piece of marine ply and mounted the new transducer temporarily to the plywood using short screws. If it performs OK I won't change the location.

KSD posted 06-13-2006 10:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for KSD  Send Email to KSD     
i have a 498 and an icom 502a.I can not get the vhf to display the position. I have contacted garmin and according to them it is connected correctly. any suggestions would be appreciated
jimh posted 06-13-2006 11:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
boatdryver--I understand your situation, but, again, I don't suspect that there is anything at all specific to the GARMIN 498 sonar transducer which would require special mounting consideration. You ought to install it as other SONAR transducers are installed. If you want to discuss the particular installation of a SONAR transducer on your hull in a specific location, I suggest you begin a separate discussion on that topic, and include a photograph showing the proposed location. But in the context of this discussion of a GARMIN 498, I don't see how that device could affect your situation.
jimh posted 06-13-2006 11:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Apparently there are many boaters who are unable to interconnect different NMEA-0183 serial data devices, particularly when different manufacturers are involved. It is also a great failing of the so-called "standard" that there is little or no cooperation with regard to connectors, color codes, naming conventions, and other important physical aspects of the wiring. In terms of a data standard, NMEA-0183 is weak on standardization of these aspects.

It is impossible to remotely diagnose NMEA-0183 problems. I do plan to author an article on this topic, but until I get that finished, let me suggest a few simple checks:

NMEA-0183 Serial Data Connections:

--Connect outputs to inputs

--Check BAUD RATE, DATA BITS, PARITY and other serial data parameters if adjustable to be certain both sender and receiver are set alike

--Check NMEA SENTENCE data transmission to be certain the sender is providing the appropriate data to the receiver

One common problem with GARMIN devices about which I have often seen anecdotal reports is improper configuration of the output serial data. GARMIN has their own data protocol. Be sure you are using the NMEA-0183 protocol.

One common problem with ICOM devices (in general) is very awkward user interface and controls. It takes careful reading of the instruction manual to properly set and configure ICOM devices. Be certain you have set your ICOM device to receive the NMEA-0183 data. Often it takes many awkward keystroke and combination button presses to properly configure. Read the manual carefully.

17 bodega posted 06-14-2006 12:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for 17 bodega  Send Email to 17 bodega     
boatdryver- I would love to see a picture of the way you mounted the transducer. Is it the 50/200kz dual frequency? What water depth have you been in with it?

I pulled my transducer wire through my tunnel with an electricians "fish tape" and pulled it through a plastic tube that contains many of my electrical wires, and control cables, etc. It got a bit sticky, but came with a few yanks.

The Garmin plotters are all pretty nice. I'm loving mine.

Chuck Tribolet posted 06-14-2006 09:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
KSD: please post how the wires are connected.


boatdryver posted 06-23-2006 11:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for boatdryver  Send Email to boatdryver     
Steve, sorry for the delay in seeing and responding to your request for a photo of my 498/Montauk ducer mount.


The mounting bracket is fastened to a block of starboard a la ratherwhaling's suggestion . The starboard is fastened to the transom using the four screw holes which held the old Interphase sounder. The only new holes were thus drilled into the starboard.

I haven't seen a photo showing this location in the reference section, but I used the old location which had worked for the previous owner for years.
In testing at all speeds and degrees of bank in turns it never so far has broken contact with the water. He may have put it here for maximum protection from the port side bunk when retreiving in a chop.

Out of the box it reads depth below the transducer within 3 inches of true depth in water shallow enough to stick a pole to the bottom.


boatdryver posted 06-23-2006 11:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for boatdryver  Send Email to boatdryver     
oops, this should work jpg

daluqfam posted 11-08-2006 02:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for daluqfam  Send Email to daluqfam     
Is there a difference between the Garmin 498 and the Garmin 498C ? If not.... why would a manufacturer do to add more confusion ?
Chuck Tribolet posted 11-08-2006 08:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
As far as I can tell, the only "498" that Garmin makes is
the 498C.

On some of their older products, they would make a 123 (grey
scale) and a 123C (color).


daluqfam posted 11-13-2006 02:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for daluqfam  Send Email to daluqfam     
My flats boat now has a Garmin 168 Sounder with corresponding transducer. I purchased the boat used and that's the GPS that it came with. I'm doing as much research as I can on updating the GPS and the Garmin 498 with internal antenna is what I'm leaning towards. How hard is it for a "non-boat mechanic/non-installer" to make the switch out? For the 498 to perform 100% do I need to switch out the transducer also... or is the one presently on there for the 168 the same?
Chuck Tribolet posted 11-13-2006 09:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Will the 168 transducer work with the 498? I just spent a
few minutes looking at the manuals, and MAYBE. The pinout
looks sufficiently similar that it might. E-mail Garmin,
be patient, their customer service is pretty good, but
can take a few days.

Will the 168 transducer be as good as the 498? I wouldn't
be as positive. Just a hunch. Again, e-mail Garmin.


whalerron posted 11-13-2006 11:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     

Do not use the older transducer with the 498. I tried to use the dual frequency transducer from my Garmin 160 Blue Fishfinder. Everything seemed to work ok except that for no apparent reason, the 498 would lose the bottom and not regain it for 10 minutes or so. This would happen at random times in all water depths. After many conversations with Garmin, they finally convinced me to buy a new dual frequency transducer. With the new transducer, these problems are gone.

Although the connectors are the same and the specifications appear to be the same, the new and the old transducers definitely cause different behaviour in the 498. That old transducer still works fine with my 160 Blue unit.

- ron

Chuck Tribolet posted 11-14-2006 12:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
I said MAYBE.


daluqfam posted 11-14-2006 04:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for daluqfam  Send Email to daluqfam     
Garmin's website is showing a 500series of sounders for 1st 1/4 introduction. In layman's terms can anybody tell me the difference between this new series and the 498. I did read that the 500 has a 5in.display and I believe the 498 has a 4.5. The price seems to be in the same range. (I would hate to miss out on a better product by committing to the older model if the new one out performs it.)
whalerron posted 11-15-2006 10:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     
Welcome to the world of technology. You should pick a unit which has the features you want and you should buy it. If you wait for the next better unit, you will wait forever. It's just like buying a computer. Very shortly after you buy a computer, it is made obsolete by the next model which is faster and better.
thebobber posted 05-21-2007 08:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for thebobber  Send Email to thebobber     
thebobber posted 05-21-2007 09:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for thebobber  Send Email to thebobber     
Just installed a 498 bought for $600 with dual freq. transducer this weekend on my 23 Conquest. My arm still itches from fiberglass. Here is a summary:

Since the boat is in the water I did not finish mounting the transducer to the hull yet. Used existing hole at transom. Used cord to pull to side console. The was the first obstacle. You have to get way in the side console to make sure you are pulling straight. Lots to tangle with but made it. Next went from the side console into the cabin. Not a lot of room here. Had to reach way up and push through a small opening. tried pulling through but it was difficult. Now comes the fun part. From the headline over the vacu flush toliet, up the tube (starboard) on the hardtop. Making it through the small opening at the top (that aleady has power/ground to electronics box and speaker wire) was a nightmare. I almost cut another hole. With a lot of luck and a lot of pull, I got it through. Had a little scuffing to the wire but it works fine. If I did it again I would wrap one layer of tape three feet down the wire.
Was worried that I would not have enough wire but wound up with 2 feet extra..wheh!

My box is 1/8 inch to small for the flush mount option. On the left center of the box I drilled and came down through it with the cable/antenna. Used my old raymarine 750 fishfinder mount, cut it, filed and made a mount. Drilled a hole for the cables. The unit is mounted on it from the bottom. Will post a pic if I get a chance, came out nice.

When mounting the antenna through the hardtop, flush mounted, came close to the thicker part (where the glass gets another 1" thicker.) Just enough room again..wheh 2! used threaded rod, into the antenna, and then screwed large wing nuts to secure.

I have a ray520 chartplotter with no antenna/reciever so I plan to use it for the gps and full screen the fishfinder, using the garmin for the signal.

blackdog54 posted 05-23-2007 10:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog54  Send Email to blackdog54     
I have to disagree with Jim that the location for this transducer is not different from any other. If you look at the Garmin 498 head unit instructions, they have it mounted starboard, the Garmin dual frequency transducer instructions have it mounted port.

They are VERY CLEAR that it should not be mounted midline on the transom.

I have been experiencing problems intermittently with the boat pulling to port since it was mounted on my Montauk. I suspected that the size of the transducer on this small boat is a factor. I had no such problems when the smaller transducer for my Hummingbird FF was mounted there.

Regarding the transducer cable installation, I too, used a fish tape, secured to the cable fitting, with a plastic bag over it to prevent tunnel "crud" from getting in the pin holes, followed by securing it with duct tape.

It pulled through aft quite easily. It is easier to pass up into the offset access to the interior of the center console if you are working with someone else. Time preparing and thinking about pulling it: hours. Once I got down to it: 25 min.

Regarding the 498, I have had trouble with it powering down independently. I spoke with several folks at Garmin technical who pontificated their expertise with a variety of less-than-likely causes. I finally got the supvr. of the marine product line, Brian McMann, yesterday. The 498 has a known problem with the fuse holder for the power. At speed, it loses connection. They recommend that you remove their supplied fuse holder and install an after-market one.

In the course of this conversation, Brian relayed that there are only 2 cable harnesses that are designed for the 498- a dual beam and a dual frequency, which is the one I got. There is a 3rd harness avail. from another newer Garmin GPS unit, also being discontinued, but it will not allow you to enable VHF/DSC function. There are several cables, whose pins will line up, but they will not allow you to enable all of the functions, such as MOB, anchor drag, etc. All of their pin sequencing is changing (9-pin, 12-pin, etc). I recommend that you get the appropriate transducer cable to allow you to enable all of the functionality of the 498.

Garmin also acknowledged that they have reports of problems with "pulling" on smaller hulled boats, after the mounting of the transducer, though mine did not have this problem this past weekend, I have had significant pull problems the prior 2 outings.

Additionally, on a smaller hull, placement of the transducer affects whether or not you develop a problem with the rooster tail effect.

The trandsducer comes with a very nice mounting template that I highly reccomend you use, my neighbor did not and he got rooster tail. His mounting was about 1/4" off from what the template facilitated. He has to remount now.

The 498, 492, 398 are all discontinued models. Surprisingly, replacement parts are hard to come by at Garmin. They are replacing my wiring harness and it is back-ordered for weeks. When I got to the knowledge level of the supvr. it was handled to my satisfaction. Some of the line level staff are limited in problem solving.

It is a great unit, and I have no regrets about selecting it.

blackdog54 posted 05-23-2007 10:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog54  Send Email to blackdog54     
I should have kept my mouth shut about the Garmin supvr's problem-solving skills. He overnighted me a replacement cable for the 498, but he sent THE WRONG ONE. Should be a 16-pin and I received a 10-pin.

I can look forward to 20" on hold with Garmin before the person answering the phone insists there is no Marine product Supvr. named Brian McMann, again.

blackdog54 posted 05-25-2007 10:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog54  Send Email to blackdog54     
Well, I keep getting the wrong harnesses shipped from Garmin. I now have a 12-pin, Garmin part no 010-10145-00.

There is no part number associated with the first cable they sent (no packaging) however, if someone needs a power cable, email me and I will provide the pin configuration.

If anyone can use either of these, please email me and I will mail one to you.

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