portable GPS

portable GPS

I am going to add a portable GPS to my 172-H and am now considering the Garmin 196 or the Control Vision on the Compac
iPac.

Does anyone have any comments on these two items?  I have heard that the iPac model can be hard to see in sunlight and I would imagine that the stylus would be cumberson in flight.

Comments please.

Thanks.

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Re: portable GPS

I bought the Garmin 196 and had it one week when I went to look at a Cessna 140 (which I bought). The owner had in it the Anywhere map with Compaq. It was very easy to read in the sunlight and the stylus was not a problem even in rough air. I sent my 196 back and have been very pleased with the Compaq. I recommend it. Email me if you have any questions.

d

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Re: portable GPS

lots of old threads on this one.

Buy Garmin - I have the 295 color and it's great - Others have the 196 B and W, The batteries last  a long time and the 196 has some very good flight info available. You wont go wrong with either -and can update by the web easily.

Lots and lots of other very good features - check the threads then  buy Garmin

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Ken Wanagas

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Re: portable GPS

I have a Garmin 295 and agree with Ken regarding Garmin's usefulness; Great features and flexibility in displaying information.  What's especially nice you download new software from Garmin's website when they find a bug in it's operating system or if they upgrade the features.  Bugs in software is something we all have to live with so at least there is a way to fix it without sending the blasted thing back.  Database update is also on-line.  I am tired of repurchasing a GPS that becomes outdated.

I've never seen the compaq, but you aught to compare features and consider how you will use it.  I can't imagine that Compaq is lacking in software development.  I would definitely see them both operate before making a decision, they are not cheap!

Infrequently, I have experienced lost satellites and "funcky stuff" happening from time to time and find I need to reboot on rare occasions.  I can't believe all statellites are lost unless the military is palying games with us!  Good luck!

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Re: portable GPS

I also have a Garmin 196, I've had it about a year now and love it. 

I am also a computer professional and embrace technology and love to see change.

I was very interested in the iPAQ solutions, I own an iPAQ and after having it freeze up on my I decided to go with the Garmin.  The last thing I need is the computer locking up while I'm in flight and have to mess arround with rebooting it and getting it set back up.

  Dave

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Re: portable GPS

I had a similar experience to Dave.

I bought an iPAQ and the Anywhere Map software and found it innovative and easy to use.  However, it "froze up" on me several times while flying and the reboot times were excruciatingly long.

I finally gave up and bought a Garmin 295 two years ago, and it has performed flawlessly.

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Re: portable GPS

Interesting article in AOPA mag. recently comparing pocket-pc's vs. "dedicated" units, i.e. Garmin, etc.     It also stated that "freezing" was a common occurrence with the Ipaq's, etc. and the conclusion was to go with a dedicated unit--unless you just love to play with a stylus while bouncing around in turbulence.

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Re: portable GPS

Barry -

I haven't had ANY problems on my 295 since Garmin fixed the "bug" about 2 years ago  -

For everyone's info Garmin had a glitch that showed up only after adding WAAS to the 295 software when WAAS came in use. After many flight hours Garmin determined that the bug showed up when moving from one WAAS area to another (please read Garmin's tech explaination - its much more accurate and thorough) and the processor became overloaded somehow - anyway they reprogrammed the fix and I downloaded it from the internet and it's been great since - how many of us have added a component to our computers and later caused some other problem - similar thing, Garmins upgrade to the WAAS capability and fix (I believe they were both at no cost) were easily done online. 

On the lost satelite issue or lockup, I haven't experienced it in the 295 since then. 

I Land Survey on the ground and use Sat's a litle differently and expect extreemly accurate measurements from them - so I preplan my field data collection, which includes doing a skyplot of the Sat's for the day with 5 or 15 minute breakdowns to see which Sat's are available and above 15 degrees above the horizon and I have to work around the dead spots ( for these purposes thats 4 Sat's or less - and even 5 gives poor results or requires extended observation times - more of a problem when the ground obstacles interfere )     

The purpose of the above explaination is to say that many times Sat's have been moved or become unavailable for a while - sometimes many of them can be found clustered over another "hostile" country - so it impacts Land Surveying with few Sat's available

However The air GPS units work well on 4 or 5 Sat's and the horizon obstruction is usually not an issue.

The real point of my reply - I have the antenna mounted on that plate with the suction cup - but turned upside down (the screw for the suction cup acts like a tighten down for the plate) and slid under a trim piece at the inside top center of the windshield - the antenna is right side up and the cable is routed along the top and down the doorpost then just under the lip of the glareshield to the 295 attached at the front center of the glareshield. The reception has been excellent and I havent lost Sat's

- Maybe antenna location or relocation will help your reception or lockup problems.


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Ken Wanagas

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Re: portable GPS

I live in the Chicago area and bought a 172 in Orange County last year. Bought the Garmin 196 prior to picking up the airplane to fly home and have to tell you that it was worth it's weight in gold and then some!

The 196 is simply awesome and the features are excellent. We used it to plan our route the night before, then used that information to file the flight plans the next day and a few minutes later were on climbout activating the route for flawless navigation and an extraordinary amount of useful information - especially considering the various military and civilian airspace we had to deal with on our flight back to Chicago. We went from Orange County to Chicago in 4 days - 15 hours of flying and more with planning at night in the hotel and arrived at destination still on the same set of 4 AA batteries that we started the trip with!

Much of the information that you find helpful isn't really what you think about when you first look at the unit. For instance selecting any airport along your route to see airport information, frequencies and other airport related data. Viewing the sunrise/sunset times for any airport in the data base - GREAT for planning early morning departure times or long flights to destinations with terrain that you're unfamiliar with and you want to plan your arrival prior to sunset.  Or how about hitting the "Nearest" button to display the Center ATC freq closest to you for flight following.  One of the other really great features is the runway feathers that help you plan your alignment to a strange runway when the visibility is less than perfect.

I could go on and on but let me suffice to say that the more you use it the more you'll like it!

Regards

Ron

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Re: portable GPS

<HTML>I purchased the 295 over two years ago along with an extra plug for downloading updates and had it hardwired so that I use aircraft power with the batteries being there for backup only. I also play with it at home with  it plugged into a voltage reducer. The basic antenna works great while yoke mounted.</HTML>

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Re: portable GPS

garmin 196 is a great unit .i own one since a few months .
its the gear of the year  in the ad free magazine, AVIATION CONSUMER,this month edition

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Re: portable GPS

Ken,

Thanks for the tip. 

I've downloaded the software update about a year ago when you or someone else mentioned it.  It did work better.  I'll try a different antenna location. Loosing all satelites is a rare event. 

I've also noted that the problem may be geographic.  I've experienced funny stuff happening when flying south of Richmond, VA.  The last problem I experienced was just SW of Patuxant, AFB.

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Re: portable GPS

Ken,

Thanks for the tip. 

I've downloaded the software update about a year ago when you or someone else mentioned it.  It did work better.  I'll try a different antenna location. Loosing all satelites is a rare event. 

I've also noted that the problem may be geographic.  I've experienced funny stuff happening when flying south of Richmond, VA.  The last problem I experienced was just SW of Patuxant, AFB.

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Re: portable GPS

I see.

Barry,
There could be a very real reason you could "loose" reception of some or all Satellites in a few specific areas - especially near military or other such installations.

I am remotely aware of some testing along those lines - but I don't know any specifics.

I still keep my vor's running even though I use them less every day, and continue to write down times and distances at some waypoints or landmarks along the way - Thanks for reminding me of those "special" geographic areas.

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Re: portable GPS

I see.

Barry,
There could be a very real reason you could "loose" reception of some or all Satellites in a few specific areas - especially near military or other such installations.

I am remotely aware of some testing along those lines - but I don't know any specifics.

I still keep my vor's running even though I use them less every day, and continue to write down times and distances at some waypoints or landmarks along the way - Thanks for reminding me of those "special" geographic areas.

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Re: portable GPS

Cheap GPS

For my money, I bought a Garmin Pilot III with a moving map.   It is very compact and does not require any accessories.  The display will turn sideways, wherein you can just velcro the unit on your dash above your Art. Horizon and it works great.   Not as fancy or as large as others, and is B&W, but best bang for the buck.  You can get a data cable or cigarette lighter plug if you wish, but don't need to worry about antenna mounts, control wheel mounts, etc. Great little VFR tool.  Usually sells under $500.  Sometimes you can find a deal on a used on on Ebay for a better price.  They can also be updated.

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Re: portable GPS

Cheap GPS

For my money, I bought a Garmin Pilot III with a moving map.   It is very compact and does not require any accessories.  The display will turn sideways, wherein you can just velcro the unit on your dash above your Art. Horizon and it works great.   Not as fancy or as large as others, and is B&W, but best bang for the buck.  You can get a data cable or cigarette lighter plug if you wish, but don't need to worry about antenna mounts, control wheel mounts, etc. Great little VFR tool.  Usually sells under $500.  Sometimes you can find a deal on a used on on Ebay for a better price.  They can also be updated.

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Re: portable GPS

This just  in---Lowrance is replacing their Airmap 100 with a new larger unit to compete with the Garmin-196.  Check it out at Lowrance.com--it is being released in August.  Maybe a little competition will be helpful in keeping ALL pricing down.  ALSO<>you can now get an Airmap 100 for $299 (formerly $599--a great buy if you need a smaller unit).  I have one--works great, has obstructions database built in, never needed the ext. antenna, never loses lock (12 ch. recvr.), just a solid little unit.  A lot of bang for the buck--but small screen!

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Re: portable GPS

This just  in---Lowrance is replacing their Airmap 100 with a new larger unit to compete with the Garmin-196.  Check it out at Lowrance.com--it is being released in August.  Maybe a little competition will be helpful in keeping ALL pricing down.  ALSO<>you can now get an Airmap 100 for $299 (formerly $599--a great buy if you need a smaller unit).  I have one--works great, has obstructions database built in, never needed the ext. antenna, never loses lock (12 ch. recvr.), just a solid little unit.  A lot of bang for the buck--but small screen!

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Re: portable GPS

This just  in---Lowrance is replacing their Airmap 100 with a new larger unit to compete with the Garmin-196.  Check it out at Lowrance.com--it is being released in August.  Maybe a little competition will be helpful in keeping ALL pricing down.  ALSO<>you can now get an Airmap 100 for $299 (formerly $599--a great buy if you need a smaller unit).  I have one--works great, has obstructions database built in, never needed the ext. antenna, never loses lock (12 ch. recvr.), just a solid little unit.  A lot of bang for the buck--but small screen!

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Re: portable GPS

This just  in---Lowrance is replacing their Airmap 100 with a new larger unit to compete with the Garmin-196.  Check it out at Lowrance.com--it is being released in August.  Maybe a little competition will be helpful in keeping ALL pricing down.  ALSO<>you can now get an Airmap 100 for $299 (formerly $599--a great buy if you need a smaller unit).  I have one--works great, has obstructions database built in, never needed the ext. antenna, never loses lock (12 ch. recvr.), just a solid little unit.  A lot of bang for the buck--but small screen!

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Re: portable GPS

I have a Garmin 196 in my 172H.
I'm very happy with it - had it 6 months now.

Tony

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Re: portable GPS

Pacific Coast Avionics has a sale ongoing now for the used Garmin 195 (predecessor to 196).  It has virtually all the features of the 196 for only $430. 
I used it on our latest trip from central Tx to NC, Dauphin Island, and return, and it worked like a charm.  Kept us clear of all TFR's, Restricted areas, kept us updated on local frequencies and airport data as well as special use airspace on the flight up the Outer Banks to Kill Devil Hills.  Great unit, if you don't mind a yoke mounted unit. (It's a vertically viewed screen, but larger than 196 or 295 screens.  All other features are comparable.)  Complete with remote ant, updated database, batteries, yoke mount and warranty, only $430.

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Re: portable GPS

I beleive the 195 and 196 are totally different under the hood.  The 196 is based on a new processor and enw technology, whereas the 195 is based on some older stuff Garmin did.

One thing I really like about the 196 is when I am scrolling around on the map there is NO lag when the screen pans.

The 195 has only a 4 shade grayscale display, whereas the 196 has 12 shades of gray.  The 195 has a 240 x 160 pixel screen and the 196 has a 240 x 320 ppixel screen.

For me, these three features alone make up for the price difference, you can go to Garmin's web site and do a comparison right online to see all the differences.

Dave

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Re: portable GPS

Here's the comparison from Garmin's website;

Product Comparison
   


                                 GPSMAP 195      GPSMAP 196
Receiver                      12 channel         12 channel
Number of Waypoints   250                  1000
IFR or VFR                  VFR                   VFR
Jeppesen database       Full                   Full
Aviation Database        Americas,           Americas,
# of Routes / # of waypoints per route     
                                  20/30                50/50
Basemap                  Americas Land       Americas Autoroute
Moving Map                  Yes                   Yes
Additional map options  Cartridges         CD ROM

Instruments Page         No                        Yes
Battery Life            10 HR (6 AA)             4-16 HR (4 AA)
Display Size                3.6 x 2.4            2.27 x 3.02
Built-in VHF Comm.      No                         No
Display type                 4 level Gray        12 Gray
Built-in HSI                  Yes                        Yes
Pixels (H x W)            240 x 160              240 x 320
Unit Weight               1.4 lbs.                     1.5 lbs.
Unit Size (H x W x D) 7.6 x 2.9 x 2.1        3.4 x 6.18 x 2.25
Screen Orientation       Vertical                     Horizontal
WAAS capability           No                             Yes
Voltage Range            6-40                          10-40
MSRP                       $949.00                    $1049.00

The major differences from a practical standpoint is the 196 has a better video,  and a horizontal screen orientation.   The WAAS might be useful finding a fishing hole, but 3-meter accuracy vs. 10 meter accuracy isn't all that important in aviation.  The MSRP doesn't matter now.  The ACTUAL STREET-price for the 195 is $430 as I mentioned, and $889 for the 196, so for half-price the 195 is virtually the same capability unit.  (That 195 video is pretty powerful as it is.  It zooms in to 1/10th mile or out to 2,000 miles, and shows all kinds of detail.)  I'm not sure the 196 needed more than 250 user waypoint memory, but I guess it's nice to have if you do a lot of fishing/hunting.  The additional map options are not something you'd use in an aviation database, only in a search for which hwy exit turn-off to use to find an Olive Garden.
  The chief reason to buy a 196 over a 195 in my experience is if you prefer not to use a yoke mount.  I personally don't like yoke mounts and prefer to mount a portable GPS on the glare-shield. But that price diffference is huge.

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