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Author Topic:   Gamin Blue Chart Updates
swist posted 09-05-2006 05:39 PM ET (US)   Profile for swist   Send Email to swist  
I have a Garmin 276C chartplotter loaded with a couple-of-year-old Bluechart card for my local area. Since government paper charts have periodic updates (in the Local Notice to Mariners) and entirely new printings when the number of updates gets high enough, I went over to the Garmin site to see what I am supposed to do about keeping my card current. I didn't find anything about updates, but did find a whole new series of Bluechart cards updated to 2006. These are called "g2" cards and they apparently contain not only updates, but other features such as 3-d views, photos of harbors, etc. And they are a mere $215 a pop.

Is this my only choice? They do have a table wherein they indicate the new cards are compatible with my unit, but since the unit has no functionality to use the new card features, I would simply be paying $215 for what amounts to a 2-year update.

I'll pay it if I have to, since this is the unforgiving coast of Maine and a chart error can have disastrous consequences, but I'm wondering if anyone has any more technical information on the options here....

bluewaterpirate posted 09-05-2006 08:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Swist .....

The G2 Cartography is not backward compatable with the 276/376 GPSMap units. The new G2 charts come preloaded on the 378/478 portable GPSMap units and larger Garmin chart plotters. The newer units are backward compatable with Blue Charts.

Here's the correct web site for all their Blue Chart updates.


swist posted 09-05-2006 08:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
I went to the site as indicated above, and those updates are all CD-based. I was talking about what options one has if you have a plugin card.
bluewaterpirate posted 09-05-2006 08:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Then your options are limited to buy a new chart cartridge.

I know that some of the other chart manufacturers had programs where you could return your old chart cartridge and get a newer version for half price. I know of no such Garmin program. If you buy a Map Source CD package you get 2 licenses which means you can downlaod your entire are of interest from the CD. These CD's can be upgraded when changes become avaiable.

NOAA also has a new Online Chart Viewer that gives you access to over 1000 raster charts.


JBCornwell posted 09-05-2006 10:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
Similar situation here. GPSMAP 276C which I use in fresh water and in my vehicle.

I would not buy a preprogrammed card. The CD version gives me too much flexibility.

I just bought a couple of blank cards and load them from the computer with what I want at the time. That can be done with the programmer module but I just put the blank card in my unit and load up the maps, charts, waypoints, etc. That I want at the time. If I erase some it is of no consequence as I still have them in the 'puter and can reload them when I want them.

Red sky at night. . .

swist posted 09-07-2006 08:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
Yeah. I bought the card because I didn't want to deal with hooking the unit up to a computer, but there are some real downsides.

And a little more investgation shows that the latest non-g2 card Garmin sells is the same as mine (2 years hold). So if you go the card route it appears that you are hosed (as you usually are) when the technology moves forward. There is no incentive for the manufacturer to keep older units up-to-date as they would rather you bought a GPS476....

Riverwhaler posted 09-09-2006 08:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for Riverwhaler  Send Email to Riverwhaler     
If you have a Garmin with built in maps as I do in a GPS 192C, call Garmin tech support an they will send you a Garmin data chip that will update your maps to the latest rev. No computer hookup us necessary and you can keep the card by paying for it or send it back. This is the maps I am talking about not the operating system. To update the system follow the directions in the unit to make a transfer data chip and take it to your computer and the USB programmer. Follow directions on Garmins website to get it on the chip. Then put it back in GPS to update your unit. The procedure for doing the maps is not documented anywhere I could find.
swist posted 09-09-2006 08:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
The above procedure is apparently only for newer units that have most of the charts preloaded. It is not available to those of us who load our charts from cards.

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