Garmin GPSMap276Cx review - GIS centric - beware
I had a chance to review the latest Garmin and have repeated it here. Just so you know, many Ologists use Garmins for simple point, line, poly generation and geotagging of photos. This is a GIS centric review and with an Alaska focus (we fly, boat around with few road systems).
- Being listed as a handheld, I think its a bit big to carry around in the hand, but since many of you are in planes, boats, atv's, a larger screen aides in mapping. Its ideally mounted and powered by external power sources.
- Has external antenna port (have to buy antenna separately).
- Can connect to PC using Garmin Serial which is what DNRGPS, MXGPS, and a Windows 10 laptop will prefer.
- It is listed as either a Marine or Automotive for USAGE. It is not capable of loading aviation maps.
- Not a touch screen - uses buttons on the side which is good for Alaskan's. Nice, bright screen, ruggedized and buttons in the familiar layout make this a good device to transition from older 296. Wish all the buttons were a bit bigger though.
- Fast startup, and quick Time to Hot Fix.
- Does NOT come with WAAS or GLONASS enabled. You must do this. I would set both on for any job, never would i use any garmin w/out these enabled.
- Swappable battery (i would buy 2 for field work) or can be powered by 3AA batteries! Has power cords for connecting to battery, and Mini USB/USB for charging. Seems reasonable on power, so conservative use with an extra battery should last at least 4-5 days of 8 hour days (lights, bluetooth, wifi off).
- Waypoints, 10,000 limit.
- No Camera
- Has Bluetooth and WIFI. These drain batteries, but you could get weather for instance with WIFI.
- POI - same with all other units - can replace with our NPS POI very easily.
- Micro SD card sold separately, but necessary if wanting to display GIS maps as background.
- Tracks .
- 20,000 active tracklog points. That translates to 10 hours flying at 1 second interval! or 75 hours at 5 second intervals (like on the ground)
- Like all Garmins, Track management is key to collect lines and polys effectively. When left on Tracks page, you can toggle Start/Stop which creates new line segments
- A nice feature of press and hold ENTER/MARK takes you to the waypoint page. You can store a point, then the screen switches back to tracks page without stopping the active track. This is almost like Nesting a point feature.
- Sadly, no PAUSE button, which could pause tracklog when stopping.
- The highest interval rate with Distance is 10 meters, when metric display is set. When statue units are selected, only 52 feet rate is possible (1/100 of a mile).
- I would suspect imagery from GIS would work well as a backdrop into this Garmin. I would prefer the MNDNR Export to image add in. Get it from here. https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/mis/gis/tools/arcgis/index.html&source=gmail&ust=1544916277723000&usg=AFQjCNFhUSzVyznqlVjK6HWtJwNp-K4Dc w"> https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/mis/gis/tools/arcgis/index.html Again, have not evaluated fully, but it should work.
- Works seamlessly with DNRGPS latest version, and MXGPS as well as our own https://irma.nps.gov/DataStore/DownloadFile/482668&source=gmail&ust=1544916277723000&usg=AFQjCNH3eEORagYCVpwCklnD2OsGEZQyh A">GPX plugin to ArcGIS tool.
- Excellent compass. Calibration of compass is straight forward. Good large screen, however you have not fine tuning of compass to switch over from GPS to magnetic like the Map76CSx. Blackbox on this one.