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Thread: Garmin Chart plotters warning

  1. #1
    Getting the hang of it

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    Default Garmin Chart plotters warning

    I'm writing this with clear purpose to warn people of buying Garmin echoMap chart plotters.
    I'm sorry that it appears to be a long post but I'd like to describe all issues I got from device and Garmin support as well.
    Last year I bought Garmin echoMap 75sv unit in Radioworld, Toronto. I heard before that this is a nice store with knowledgeable stuff and very competitive prices. I agree with that but it seems that they are affiliated with Garmin mostly, even though they sell all kind of stuff from different vendors, they promote Garmin products more than the others. I was mildly pushed toward to Garmin unit though the guy told me that it is a little bit slow because it has sonar Side view feature... Then he described how nice and advance this side view feature is and I was convinced.
    The first minute on the water when I turn the unit on I was just shocked what crap did I buy. It was not a bit slow. It was ridiculously slow. I measured it: if I downscale from 200m to 1.2km it takes 45 sec to load the screen completely. It is just painful on the water. When moving the chart it is jumping over and you have to stop and then adjust and then move again...
    The software is crappy in all aspects: it doesn't have the on screen keyboard but rather the line with all characters and to compose a word for the landmark you have to go back and forth along the line of 38 characters.
    Overall this unit's software reminds me the first computers in early 90s. Same slow and same awkwardness.
    Honestly, I don't have big experience with chart plotters but I can't believe this is normal. I have Garmin handheld GPS unit for 10 years and this is a really nice unit in all aspects. It is fast, has on screen keyboard and seems like they foresee whatever you might need and it's available. I just cannot understand how it could be that 10 years later the same company makes the unit which is at least twice more expensive with so much downgrading features.
    Ok, I spent last summer with this crap on the water just blaming myself for the bad choice, but then this winter I decided to play a bit with the unit at home. And then I thought: it is 21 century now, Garmin is a leading company in these electronics... It cannot be a normal thing, I probably got just a bad unit.
    I called Garmin support. 2 hours waiting time.... “You need to update the software”. OK, updated. Didn't help. Called again. 2 hours waiting time... 1.5 hours talking. Finally the guy said: it appears you have a bad unit, we will replace it. I sent it back and got another one, refurnished, in 3-4 weeks. Plug it in, instantly got a massage: “Transducer is not supported”. Call Garmin again. 3.5 hours (no kidding, seriously!) waiting time. While awaiting played with the new unit. Still slow on the charts but faster than the old one. OK, at least something better but transducer doesn't work.... When the support guy replied, he was obviously puzzled. “Check this, check that...” Actually nothing to check... “OK you have a bad transducer, send it back we will give you another one.” I started to argue: it's impossible, the ducer was working three weeks ago and I did not touch it for this time. Finally the guy was pissed off and just hang up without goodbye. Nice service!
    I went to Garmin support website. At this time the chat support became available. I sent them a video of the screen update and transducer problem. The guy on the chat said two things. The slowness of the unit is normal. Transducer is not working, send it back.
    I still was not convinced.
    Drove to Radiworld, asked them to check: connect my unit to another ducer and my ducer to another unit. I wanted to see. No, they did not allow. I had to leave the unit and the ducer in the store for a day. Then they called me: the ducer is not working, we have to send it to Garmin. Will take at least 4 weeks. OK.
    And now this week I was near the store and grabbed the unit (while transducer is expected to come two-three weeks later, hopefully). Played with it at home and noticed that the charts are not as on the PC and on the old unit. Updated the map. And: voila! Transducer error is gone, but the speed unit become slower. Generally, after 1.5 months of struggling I got what I stared with: badly slow unit, but now have to wait until they send back me the new or the same transducer (which of course was fine)
    By the way, I also checked some US fishing forums and found that there are numerous issues with Garmin plotters. I wish I read it before.
    Now just warning. Stay away from Garmin.
    Last edited by MarkD; April 6th, 2019 at 02:54 PM.

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