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Old 07-11-2004, 09:12 PM   #1
jcasisa
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GPS / Map Upload question ...

Hey all,
I have a Garmin GPSmap 168 Sounder and so far have been very impressed with the device. I am now looking to upload some of the coastal maps in preparation for some bay fishing. I usally fish out of Port A and was wondering what 'region' y'all use down there. I got on Garmin's website and from what I understand, I have to buy the America's Maps and then I get to 'unlock' only 1 region. Could some one that has done this clarify this for me?

-Thanks
John
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Old 07-11-2004, 09:31 PM   #2
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What you need is the America's Blue Chart CD. It comes with a coupon to unlock one region. I chose the Morgan City to Brownsville region. It should cover just about all you will need. While checking out the map, I've browsed Lake Calcasieu to Baffin Bay with no problem.

Does you GPS use a memory chip? If so, you can buy the chip I've just described and just plug it in.

Note: My experience is based on a GPS 176 which has the provision for a memory data card. I bought a 32 meg card from GPSGeeks in California and downloaded my maps to it from the CD.
Hope this helps.
Good luck
Mike
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Old 07-11-2004, 09:39 PM   #3
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Recognize this area?

here is an example.
Mike
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Old 07-12-2004, 11:34 AM   #4
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32meg enought for more?

Mikey: I just bought a Garmin GPSMap 176 and am learning it now. Is the 32 meg card you have full when you loaded the Bluechart for TX coast? Reason I'm asking is that I might want to acquire & load some lake maps and am wondering if it would be better (cheaper) to get 2 cards or just one big enough memory card? Any advise?

Also, if you buy the card already loaded, then how do you hook the GPS up to your computer to input waypoints? i.e. what software do you need to transfer waypoints from computer to GPS. Hope you understand what I'm trying to ask.

ps..I am ask you more "dumb" questions while I'm trying to figure this thing out!

Howard
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Old 07-12-2004, 06:31 PM   #5
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Howard, the waypoints are stored in the GPS built in memory, not on the data card. At least that is the way I see it. I had a list of waypoints created before I got my data card.

If you buy the data card with the desired region on it, your stuck with that data. You can't alter it without losing the data...and you would be out of luck.

I uploaded all of the maps from Lake Calcasieu to Baffin Bay with no trouble at all. I really don't know how much memory is left on the card, plenty I'm sure. But, I don't know if I can upload more. I believe the GPS will only show one at a time. But don;t quote me on that one. It does show the base map (which is built in to on board memory) and the Garmin blue chart map. Someone else will just have to chime in and tell us if it will display a lake map as well as a coastal map.

But hey, it doesn't take long to download or upload the maps, gps coordinates or routes/tracking info. I've got separate maps saved on the PC so I can switch back and forth on the same card.

I am using the software that came with the Garmin Bluechart CD to upload/download data via the cable that connects the GPS to the PC. I bought one from GPSGeeks that has a 12 volt DC power supply so I don't run my batteries down. I guess that's tqice I mentioned that company but I had a good experience buying from them - easy to talk to, shipped right on time, got what I wanted. Thats #1 in my book.

Holler if you have more questions.
Mike
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Old 07-12-2004, 08:36 PM   #6
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URL for GPS Geeks?

Mikey: I tried "gpsgeeks.com" but no luck. Tried to goggle it but no luck.

I hope someone adds more info re: my question because I'm just starting to understand this thing. Thanks for your help.

Howard
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Old 07-12-2004, 10:03 PM   #7
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Howrd...I got my 176 before they had removable cards and loaded the blue charts on it so you should be ok to get some other stuff on there.
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Old 07-12-2004, 10:28 PM   #8
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It is best to get the Blue Charts CD. When you purchase it, you will get one coupon that allows you to activate one region. Regions are fairly large (geographically speaking). You can purchase additional regions and add them as you see fit. One region typically takes about 16Mb for the entire region. You can load only portions of a region as necessary becuase a region is typically comprised of many smaller maps. If you have a larger chip, you can load multiple regions on the chip and as you cursor around on the map, the GPS will move around as required. I have two regions loaded covering the gulf from Brownsville to Mississippi. The memory is fairly inexpensive. Go for a little bigger chip so you can have multiple regions loaded at the same time, otherwise you need to buy multiple chips or reload with maps as you change regions. The advantage of buying a Bluecharts and a chip, as compared to buying a pre-programmed chip, is that you can upload new maps as they are updated. I just went through this. If you have a pre-loaded chip, you are stuck, or dependent on spending money for a new one. Most of the GPS' have a serial cable for loading the maps directly. You can also buy a USB programmer (very similar to what you use for a digital camera for downloading photos) for about $30 that allows you to program the chip and then put the chip in the GPS. I have both he serial cable and the USB programmer and I prefer just to use the serial cable. Bluecharts is only maps; You will also get Mapsource, included with the Bluecharts if you don't already have it. Mapsource is the software used to manage (upload/download) the GPS waypoints, maps, etc. On most units, waypoints are stored in the GPS memory, not the memory chip, although some like the 182C allow you to copy waypoints to/from the memory card. The 182C has "save to card", "merge from card", and "replace from card". Also, when you activate a region, you will actually specify the GPS to be used (serial number). Garmin allows you to use a region in up to 2 GPS units. I have maps loaded in a permanent unit and also a handheld for backup.

Also, you should go to www.garmin.com and check for firmware updates since they post them regularly. They also post updates to the Mapsource software as well.


I hope this helps.
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Old 07-13-2004, 05:46 AM   #9
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OOPS! Sorry Howard, it is GPSGeek.

Here's there add on ebay.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...709418197&rd=1

Mike
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