Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Garmin vision chip... Worth the extra cost?

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    SE Alaska
    Posts
    35

    Default Garmin vision chip... Worth the extra cost?

    Hi all,

    I've recently gotten a Garmin 546s chartplotter/sounder that I will be using primarily as a chartplotter. I'm debating buying a Bluechart G2 Vision chip but have not seen it firsthand. My question to anyone who's running a Garmin chartplotter with the Vision chip is whether the additional detail (satellite photos, mariner's view, etc...) is really worth the extra cost. I have a Garmin 3210 in my work boat and really like the preloaded Garmin charts, so wonder if the Vision chip will give me enough bang for the buck.

    Thanks,

    Chris

  2. #2
    Member akjeff's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Palmer
    Posts
    788

    Default

    I bought the vision card and like it tons. Great detail and I love the google earth style images for land etc.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    SE Alaska
    Posts
    35

    Default

    akjeff,

    Thanks for the info. Does the Vision chip have additional detail for aids to navigation and bottom contour, or is it primarily the ability to overlay satellite photos of land detail, harbors, etc? I was told by a guy at Garmin technical support the Alaska chips sometimes do not have the degree of detail they have in other areas, particularly the U.S. East Coast chips. He wasn't certain how much additional bathymetric data was on the Alaska Vision chip over the pre-loaded charts in the 546s.

    Thanks again for the reply!

    Chris

  4. #4
    Member JR2's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    2,129

    Default

    I bought it for my chartplotter and it was essentially a waste of the $$. It does not have much more info for PWS where I have use it. I did look around homer a bit and it seems a more detailed but no satellite photos or any of that stuff that I have figured out. Of course mine in the old Garmin Card, not the new SD card so maybe the newer stuff is better.
    2007 Kingfisher 2825 - Stor Fisk

    Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top. -- Hunter S. Thompson

  5. #5
    Member jrogers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,539

    Default

    I have the G2 Vision card, and like it a lot. Yes, many of the features I do not use, including the imagery, but the one thing I do like is the improved bathemetry for picking fishing spots.

    Here is an example of a location with the standard navigation charts:



    And here is that same area with the fishing charts:

    2009 Seawolf 31'
    www.seawolfmarine.com
    Fully Loaded

  6. #6
    Member chico99645's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Palmer
    Posts
    1,481

    Default

    I got one as a fathers day present 2 years ago and I love it. The fish eye view is really helpful when looking for a pinacle or exactly where the drop off is. I have also found that the harbors like seward or homer are very detailed.

  7. #7
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage Alaska
    Posts
    4,833

    Default

    I have the 546S and bought the bluechart G2 Vision card.

    I like the detail that it brought out compared to the standard depth charts without the card.

    How do you get the fisheye view.......I went through the menu's and can't seem to find it. I can get above water 3-d like vision but not underwater fisheye.... Anyone know the key strokes? I must be missing a menu somewhere.

    Now - if I can just get the darn thing to put me on top of fish.....LOL.

  8. #8

  9. #9
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage Alaska
    Posts
    4,833

    Default

    I must just have the Bluechart G2 and not the Bluechart G2 Vision. I will try it tonight.

    Menu/view/(fore,aft,port, or starboard)

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    SE Alaska
    Posts
    35

    Default

    Guys,

    Thanks for the responses, and particularly for the screen shots! That additional bottom contour detail on the fishing charts is exactly what I was hoping for, and would alone be worth the extra cost for my purposes.

    Thanks again for the info!

    Chris

  11. #11
    Member JR2's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    2,129

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    I must just have the Bluechart G2 and not the Bluechart G2 Vision. I will try it tonight.

    Menu/view/(fore,aft,port, or starboard)
    I am thinking that is my problem as well, have to look at it when I get home and see. I know my Plotter is from 2007 so its not on the cutting edge.
    2007 Kingfisher 2825 - Stor Fisk

    Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top. -- Hunter S. Thompson

  12. #12

    Default

    According to the Garmin website: "BlueChart g2 Vision offers the same rich detailed charting of BlueChart g2".

    I have an older unit (3210) that doesn't support the vision card. I was under the impression that I was only missing out on the 3D stuff and other extras. However my preloaded charts (G2) don't have anywhere near the bathymetry detail of jroger's second screen pic. Is this because my preloaded charts are just the basic g2 for national coverage? It looks like there is a BlueChart G2 West coast card for my unit. Will that have better bathymetry or do I need a unit with vision card support to get that?

  13. #13

    Default

    Just dug into this a bit more. Sounds like the 3210 doesn't support fishing charts. So basically my charts are G2 but my plotter just can't render the fancy contours.

    From Garmin:
    "*If your device uses a proprietary Garmin Data Card for expandable memory or mapping and is BlueChart g2 compatible, your device is compatible with Safety Shading but NOT Fishing Charts."

    As to the OP question, I believe you will get the same charts and detail with regular G2 for West Coast. The 546s should support fishing charts. For the bells and whistles you need the vision:
    http://www.garmin.com/us/maps/bluechart

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    SE Alaska
    Posts
    35

    Default

    Kisutch,

    According to the Garmin site, the 546s will support the "extra" detail supplied with the Vision chip, but even the guy I spoke with at Garmin customer service was not at all familiar with the Alaska chips and said he was not sure what kind of detail the fishing charts for Alaska had. I specifically asked if they had more bathymetric detail, particularly bottom coutours, than the pre-loaded charts and he didn't know. Fortunately, the screen shots jrogers posted answered that question for me better than Garmin could.

    Thanks again for all the great info.

    Chris

  15. #15
    Member JR2's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    2,129

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kisutch View Post
    According to the Garmin website: "BlueChart g2 Vision offers the same rich detailed charting of BlueChart g2".

    I have an older unit (3210) that doesn't support the vision card. I was under the impression that I was only missing out on the 3D stuff and other extras. However my preloaded charts (G2) don't have anywhere near the bathymetry detail of jroger's second screen pic. Is this because my preloaded charts are just the basic g2 for national coverage? It looks like there is a BlueChart G2 West coast card for my unit. Will that have better bathymetry or do I need a unit with vision card support to get that?
    I have the 3206 unit which is the little brother to your 3210... now I know I wasted my $$ on the G2 card. Time for an upgrade as I would really like to have better charts that what my unit offers.
    2007 Kingfisher 2825 - Stor Fisk

    Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top. -- Hunter S. Thompson

  16. #16
    Member hoose35's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Soldotna, Alaska, United States
    Posts
    2,890

    Default

    I have the 546s and the standard bathymetric map on it is pretty awesome other than the small screen. I don't have any kind of extra G2 vision card or anything, just the pre-loaded stuff.
    Responsible Conservation > Political Allocation

  17. #17
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage Alaska
    Posts
    4,833

    Default

    The Bluechart G2 gives substantially more detail in PWS, Resurrection, Deep Creek, and Katchemak.

  18. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by double tap View Post
    Kisutch,

    According to the Garmin site, the 546s will support the "extra" detail supplied with the Vision chip, but even the guy I spoke with at Garmin customer service was not at all familiar with the Alaska chips and said he was not sure what kind of detail the fishing charts for Alaska had. I specifically asked if they had more bathymetric detail, particularly bottom coutours, than the pre-loaded charts and he didn't know. Fortunately, the screen shots jrogers posted answered that question for me better than Garmin could.

    Thanks again for all the great info.

    Chris
    Did the rep tell you if the 546s comes preloaded with G2 charts? You should turn on the fishing chart feature and zoom to the area of Perry Island in jrogers picture. If yours matches then you are set. If not, then you need the G2 or G2 vision card. I think the G2 vision card only adds 3D views, satellite imagery, etc , not better bathymetry.

  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JR2 View Post
    I have the 3206 unit which is the little brother to your 3210... now I know I wasted my $$ on the G2 card. Time for an upgrade as I would really like to have better charts that what my unit offers.
    Yeah, you already had the G2 charts preloaded. 3206 doesn't support the vision features so you're not getting anything extra. Just some more recent charts depending on when you bought it. I've been considering buying a new G2 card for mine since it's now 6 years old. I really doubt there has been anything more than minor updates though. A plotter that supports the fishing charts feature is now on my wish list too.

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    SE Alaska
    Posts
    35

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kisutch View Post
    Did the rep tell you if the 546s comes preloaded with G2 charts? You should turn on the fishing chart feature and zoom to the area of Perry Island in jrogers picture. If yours matches then you are set. If not, then you need the G2 or G2 vision card. I think the G2 vision card only adds 3D views, satellite imagery, etc , not better bathymetry.
    Yes, the 546s comes with pre-loaded Bluechart G2 charts. At the moment it's still somewhere on the big brown truck between Alaska and Oklahoma, but I'll have to check the Perry Island charts and compare them to the screen shots posted by jrogers when it shows up on my doorstep. The Garmin tech did tell me the Vision chart was needed to get the fishing charts, but didn't know what kind of detail the fishing charts showed in Southeast.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •