Around-Oz: Living the Dream!


GPS Device for Both Land and Water
Garmin GPSMAP 276C

This is a very interesting gadget as so many motorhomers also are heavily into boating. This unit solves land and water navigating in the one compact unit. The technical name is a "Chartplotting Receiver". A bit tricky, but it seems to be the discontinued StreetPilot 3 repackaged with a few more bells are whistles such as the snazzy mount. Be careful when shopping, as the cheapest prices quoted on the net start at just $1300.00, BUT this is for a BARE unit with no mapping. By the time you add maps, leads and mounting bracket etc. the price climbs to around $2000.00 and beyond. Nevertheless you would be hard pressed to find a more fully featured unit.

It certainly looks the business and lots of attention has been paid to effectively water proofing the unit. The latest Garmins are tending to go down the "touch screen" path however the 276C uses sealed pushbuttons - probably a good move as salt water on a touch screen may not be a good idea. One unique feature particularly great for fishing enthusiasts is viewing celestial information. Future predictions can be made simply by entering the date. Complete info on tides and sun and moon information. The unit has an inbuilt rechargeable Lithium L-ion battery.

Screen dump courtesy of Johnny Appleseed in Melbourne

The screen shots above and below are pretty self explanatory. We liked the rotary compass rather than the more common ribbon type. It ever provides exact info on course heading to steer to. The 276C does far more than just navigate. You can connect a "sonar" sensor for depth measurement. This can even activate an alarm to alert for shallow water etc. It also connects to other distress signal equipment and can send as well as receive distress calls with position information. We liked the way the screen can be split to show marine navigation and a sonar view of the bottom. The unit is auto routing on land. Simply enter the start and end addresses and in no time it comes up with a route. The shot in the middle below is part of a route list. This can be downloaded to your laptop if you wish to make modifications such as adding "vias" etc. and then dumped back to the 270C for later use. Routes can be assisted with voice as well as visual prompts. Plenty of user reviews on the Internet - just do a search in Google. We feel this is the best way to analyse any purchase. You can download the manual in full colour PDF format. This runs to a whopping 136 pages - more than double the land based only 2610.

Screen dumps courtesy of Johnny Appleseed in Melbourne


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