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Garmin 176c vs 176 vs 276c
 
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louismcc
Link to this postPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2004 2:02 pm    Post subject:  Garmin 176c vs 176 vs 276c

Seeing Walker's GPS plot of a beat on TTOL gave me another 'justification' for purchase of a GPS. Having a plot of all or a portion of a cruise would probably help with DIF upon our return.

I'm looking for something to take down to the BVI that also functions well for automotive usage since I drive a lot more than sail in the BVI. Based upon comments to my post on TTOL I was thinking about one of the Garmin units I list above and I have some questions.

With the current rebate the 176c is about the same price as the 176. Is that a good deal? How does the readability compare in bright sunlight and at night (for driving)? How does battery life compare?

Do the featers of the 276c such as the increased resolution make it worth the wait and money? I can't decide if rechargeable batteries would be a plus or a minus on a BVI charter.

Any other thoughts?
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walker
Link to this postPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2004 2:38 pm    

Louis: I really cannot give an honest comparison of the 176/276 line, other than what is available on Garmin's website. I think that the 176C had problems with battery life. The color display was a real battery eater. However, if you use the external power cord, that's not an issue.

I run my 196 on internal batteries just about all the time, except when it is in the airplane, so bettery life is a concern with me. I can usually do an entire BVI trip on a single set of 4 AA's.

They have the rebate on the 176C because they are trying to get rid of them so that they won't be competing with the new 276C.

My personal choice would be to hold off and get the new 276C. I think it is worth the wait.
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louismcc
Link to this postPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2004 2:15 pm    

Since the 176 appears to be the marine version of a 196, then I would suspect you think it is a better choice than the 176c because of battery life? Is the readability of the 196 in bright sunlight and night ok? Is the gray scale contrast pretty good?

It appears I can get a 176 for $450 as opposed to the estimated $750 for the 276c. Since our next BVI trip is July I imagine availability will be an issue and I doubt the price will be significantly below their estimate.
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walker
Link to this postPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:28 pm    

I chose the 196 over the color 295 model because the 295 model was a couple of years older than the 196. In the couple of years between the introduction of the 295 and 196 quite a number of new features were introduced. Also, the battery life in the 295 model was quite short. I think the expectancy for a set of AA's was only about 4 hours. I get 16 hours or more on the 196.

Garmin just released a new 296 aviation model, which has a color display and even more features than the 196. If I were buying today, I would go for the 296. However, I will stick with my 196 for a while. The 296 is a whopping $1695. If you think things are expensive for boats, try airplanes!

The marine equivalent of the 296 is the new 276C.

The 196 display is very readable, even in bright sunlight. I do not know how a color display would be. I would expect it to be good.

$450 for a 176 is a good price. $750 for a 276c is also a good price. (At least compared to the 296C).
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walker
Link to this postPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 4:30 pm    

I just read a posting on an aviation forum from a fellow that just got his new Garmin 296 GPS. It has the same color display as the 276C. He also has a 196 like mine.

His quote:
Quote:
I just received my Garmin GPSMAP 296 today and the color display is fantastic.

The contrast from the 256 color display makes the displayed information much easier to read than the Garmin 196.
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louismcc
Link to this postPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 11:45 am    Post subject:  The toys have arrived

I ended up ordering the 276c from computers4sure.com for $635. Gpscity kept slipping their arrival date from its original 04/12 to 04/30 so I had little confidence in any date they gave me. Gpsnow was out of stock. Computers4sure had 8 when I placed the order. They also had MapSource Americas CD for $109.

The automount kit isn't available yet as best I can tell. I bought the various components, with the exception of the cigarette lighter / speaker which doesn't seem to be availble yet, from gpsnow.

Haven't done anything with it yet but turn it on, but the screen resolution and brightness is great.
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