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Author Topic:   Garmin 545s Known Malfunctions
kwik_wurk posted 01-26-2009 04:21 PM ET (US)   Profile for kwik_wurk   Send Email to kwik_wurk  
I am about to buy a used Garmin 545s. Are there any known bugs with a Garmin 545s, a 50 and 200 Hz [kHz?] transom-ducer and a SW [south west?] Canada chip? Anything I should look for?

I plan on powering the unit up with a car battery and alligator clips (with in-line fuse). I have several Garmin units and I am comfortable navigating around to check various functions.

ConB posted 01-26-2009 07:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for ConB  Send Email to ConB     
If the unit has had all of the Garmin up dates it is a good thing. The Garmin website will tell you how many up dates there have been. I like my 540s.


Chuck Tribolet posted 01-27-2009 11:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
With Garmin, their updates are cumulative, so you only need
to install the latest one.

Make sure the unit will see the satellites.

Note that the sonar probably wont work out of the water.


jimh posted 01-27-2009 08:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I don't recommend operating a SONAR transducer when it is not immersed in water.
towboater posted 01-27-2009 09:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for towboater  Send Email to towboater     
the 545s high res screen is really nice, easy on the eyes from normal reading distance, accurate. Lots of fun options. Worth the money.

There are a couple of minor things I don't like.

1. I like to remove it and use the same unit on several different vessels I own or stow it in a lock box. The pin connector has held up to many connect/disconnects but even now I still have problems lining up the pin with the plug and locking it down. Connecting a cable coax in a tight spot you cant see is easier.

2. I maneuver around quite a bit and when I back, turbidity will kick the sonar out. This is normal on every sonar Ive owned but this Garmin seems to take FOREVER to reset itself even tho I am running in clear water. This may not be a problem for most, the turbidity in my area is pretty bad depending on runoff. Adjusting the gain will reduce the kicking-out factor a little but it still takes a long time to reset.

Again, minor [problems]. NO MALFUNCTIONS within 2 years of daily use in fresh and salt water. Go for it.


Liteamorn posted 01-28-2009 06:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Liteamorn  Send Email to Liteamorn     
I love mine, I do get annoyed at keystrokes involved to navigate this unit once it's up and running. I feel it takes to many keystrokes to enter and navigate to a "MOB". I use it to mark fishing spots and where I start my drifts.
Chuck Tribolet posted 01-28-2009 06:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
How many key strokes to do MOB? On my 162 it's two. Press
and hold something (I know where it is), then enter to start


kwik_wurk posted 01-28-2009 07:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for kwik_wurk  Send Email to kwik_wurk     
Well I bought the unit. It was really clean, looks to have been mounted inside a cuddy.

It powered up just fine. Forgot a bucket so never tested the transducer. (oh well)

It has some extra G2 Vision cards that I will use on other my boats and/or sell. (Also has an extra GA 29 antenna.)

It needs firmware updates, and that's about it.

(The transom transducer is huge. Almost a small trim tab. This is going to require some fresh holes in the transom. I wish we could shoot-thru on BWs.)

jimh posted 01-28-2009 08:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Did you discover any malfunctions?
towboater posted 01-29-2009 03:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for towboater  Send Email to towboater     
Almost all of my river navigating involves dead reckoning or follow the previous track lines.
I will double check MOB setup tomorrow Chuck.

I tried to change my CW username to MOB, Jim never answered my request. Probably already used anyway.


Liteamorn posted 01-29-2009 09:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for Liteamorn  Send Email to Liteamorn     
Towboater, I had the 162 and later the 168 and the MOB function was indeed 2 keystrokes on those units. The 545s utilizes 3 or 4 (it's been put away for the winter for quite a while now)I hit mark, scroll down to mob,, select, and I believe navigate to MOB, select. At that point it puts the screen in full gps mode even if I was in split screen with the sonar. I then have to go into the menu to get it back to split screen.
In Route mode it gives me a countdown to my final destination, instead of each leg of the route.
Before the latest update it only gave me the estimated time of arrival with no option for time to destination. The funny thing is when you get into the tide information instead of telling you what time the next high tide is it gives you the time until the next tide , so when it says high tide-7:05 it means the next high tide is seven hours and 5 minutes away.
There have been no "malfuntions" with my unit, just minor annoyances. The screen is brilliant, easy to read and I can see buoys and other hazards on it day or night.
I suggest doing a search here for the member "Bluewater Pirate" He has made many informative tutorials on these units and other Garmin units, his articles are a must read. He knows more about these units than most of us EVER will.
bluewaterpirate posted 01-29-2009 10:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
It's two key strokes on the 400/5oo series chartplotters. Depress the Mark button located on the right side of the unit, when the menu opens you have two choices press Back to go back to the chart display or press MOB to designate the waypoint as a MOB point. If you press MOB you display will give you a track back to the MOB point until you choose to stop navigating to it.


Liteamorn posted 01-29-2009 10:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for Liteamorn  Send Email to Liteamorn     
I won't argue with you Tom, you are the guru. I always feel like when I think I have set my MOB I'm one keystroke away from navigating to it. I just seemed quicker on the 162/168.
kwik_wurk posted 01-29-2009 01:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for kwik_wurk  Send Email to kwik_wurk     
No malfunctions on the unit.

I am trying to get my hands on a DC power supply so I can play with it at home.

In the boat house I have a AC -> 12 VDC power supply and it is great for powering things up and testing/calibrating equipment. (Especially when testing wiring.)

Chuck Tribolet posted 01-29-2009 08:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Radio Shack (Tandy in Canada I think) will have a power
supply. You want one that's about 13.2 V, not 12V.


jimh posted 01-29-2009 09:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Just what part of Canada is the SW of Canada?
kwik_wurk posted 01-30-2009 01:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for kwik_wurk  Send Email to kwik_wurk     
Oh, depending on where you put the center of your map it could be anywhere.

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