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Thread: GPS/Sonar/VHF Combo

  1. #1

    Default GPS/Sonar/VHF Combo

    Hello! New to the forum and love it already...
    I'm looking to buy a new electronics setup. Any suggestions on the best combo GPS/Sonar unit that interfaces with VHF radio? Obviously don't want to spend bunches, but want good package. Also if anyone has any BAD experiences, I'd love to hear about those. Where's the best place in town to buy this stuff?
    Thx.

  2. #2

    Default Combo Unit

    I have used the Lowrance LCX series for 6 years. I will not buy another Lowrance unit again. Every year I have sonar problems. Others may have had better luck. My next unit will be Furono or Navronics. I wish their warranty was by the hour instead of months since we have such a short boating season in Alaska.

  3. #3
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Can't comment as I haven't recieved it and tried it out, but I ordered a Garmin 178C last week. After I figured I'd be spending over $400 for a dedicated GPS, less than $100 more for the dual frequency sonar made alot of sense. I checked out some on line reviews of the unit and the folks that tried it seemed to like it.

  4. #4

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    I've been eying the Lowrance and Eagle color units. Definately want something with at least a 5" screen, so it looks like about $800 after buying the map card. It looks like Eagle units are not NMEA compatible though, so no interface with the GPS. Anyone have a preference?

  5. #5
    Member willster33's Avatar
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    Default

    I recently purchased a Garmin 498C with external antenna and a dual frequency transducer and I have been very happy with it. I went with another Garmin because I already had a blue water card. I can run with the split screen or just the map or depth finder. I found mine on tigergps.com and was happy with there service. Also itís a discontinued model and itís less expensive then the new models. I gave 580.00 without the card and I had purchased the card at the sportsman show in Anchorage for 145.00 Almost forgot it will tie in with my radio and the DSC.
    Any way I hope that helps some.
    William

  6. #6
    Member Akonthefly's Avatar
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    Go to the Garmin site and check out the new 545s I love mine. Ordering the g2 card soon... A little spendy but so far very worth it.

  7. #7

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    I will second the garmin 498. I also got mine from tigergps. Service was good but you may want to call them first to see if they are in stock. They have a hard time keeping their site up to date.

    Willster,

    How does the preloaded charts compare to the chip. Is the chip worth the extra $$$$.

  8. #8
    Member willster33's Avatar
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    After installing the unit I put in the chip and went out fishing and never thought to look at it. When I get home I will take it out and see if there is anything that is not the same.
    Will

  9. #9

    Default Went with the Lowrance

    I'll tell you, I fooled around with the Garmin at Westmarine, and although that blue card thingy is pretty neat (with underwater topo mapping), the buttons were'nt very ergonomic for my hands and it didn't seem "easy" enough. I ended up at Boaters World and got a cheaper price with overnight delivery than buying it at Westmarine. Thanks for all the input, now all I have to do is wire it up and go try er out!

  10. #10
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    Thumbs up Garmin 498

    I'll have to chim in with the Willster. I also have the Garmin 498 and its very sweet. I've had several models in the past and not real happy with any of them. The deal with the 498 is that there was a huge demand for them and thus they made a lot. Now, they are discontinued as they are coming out with a touch screen model. You can pick up a 498 easily for under $500 on Ebay. They are making some very good deals on them as they are now coming with the Dual frequency tranducers, internal or external ant, (your choice) and fully loaded with the Alaska maps. A fine deal. Besides, who wants a touch screen model after baiting up or cleaning fish? Good Luck.

  11. #11

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    How do you guys feel about have one unit that does multiple things instead of having a unit that does only one? So if the unit that does multiple things goes out, then you've lost most of your electronics on board. Just curious.

  12. #12
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    Default 498

    Quote Originally Posted by skydiver View Post
    How do you guys feel about have one unit that does multiple things instead of having a unit that does only one? So if the unit that does multiple things goes out, then you've lost most of your electronics on board. Just curious.
    If you carry a handheld gps onboard you can use that to get back.

    I also have the 498 however I can't seem to find where you can display time to goal or ETA. Also I don't see the Lat/Lon displayed on any page. Does anyone know how to use the 498?

    William.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by nielsenwa View Post
    Does anyone know how to use the 498?

    William.
    Owner's manual?

  14. #14
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skydiver View Post
    How do you guys feel about have one unit that does multiple things instead of having a unit that does only one? So if the unit that does multiple things goes out, then you've lost most of your electronics on board. Just curious.
    I'd prefer to have independent units, but in regards to the garmin, the sonar unit was less than a $100 adder, so it can serve as a backup unit when I put in a dedicated sonar, and I'll also have a handheald gps as a backup.

  15. #15
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    Red face 498

    Quote Originally Posted by skydiver View Post
    Owner's manual?
    its pretty basic I even bought a video from Dewey's and it covered the operation of too many units to be of use to me.
    william.

  16. #16

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    Anybody have any war stories about GPS internal antennas? I'm hoping it will work on a soft top boat...if not, i'll wire an external.

  17. #17
    Member Hookemup's Avatar
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    I thought you ordered the external version????

    Only 6 and a half hours to go.......

  18. #18
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I've heard folks say the internals work fine until it starts raining, and then reception is spotty, but I'm not sure if they are soft or hard tops.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by nielsenwa View Post
    its pretty basic I even bought a video from Dewey's and it covered the operation of too many units to be of use to me.
    william.
    The owner's manual is 122 pages. Looks pretty detailed to me. Have you read it thoroughly and played with the Garmin a lot, because that's what you're going to have to do.

  20. #20
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    Default 498

    Hey skydiver thanks for the help I was looking at the quick reference guide and not the owners manual-now I got it figured out if you need to know the eta that would be on the active route page and you need to change options to have it displayed.

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