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Whitestone

F Y I, Garmin 296 Software

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For those of you who use venerable Garmin GPSMap 296 or any of it's "brothers" this may be of interest to you. I was running 6.00 software on my 296 and read somewhere that Garmin had stopped supporting the unit and wrote them an email inquiring about it and got this reply: The last software release for the GPSMap 296 is 6.10 which was released one year ago, in May of 2013.

 

I think the 6.00 was from 2006- 2011, can anyone confirm that?

 

So if you have any of these units you can update the software by going to the Garmin site. You have to have the Garmin WebUpdater installed in order to do this but it only takes a few seconds.

 

I don't think the same can be said for their MapSource program which is miles above BaseCamp in my not so humble oppinion... I have been petitioning Garmin to come up with a new 296 with a portrait screen (or switchable), the option of touch or buttons and a few extra features such as using up-datable VNC's as a data base instead of (or in addition to) Topo Canada V4 as well as more options for searching for waypoints (using airport identifiers or name) and a "new track" button. And more "room" in the notes and waypoint name bars.

 

Have a good day,

 

W.

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I've switched to an ipad mini. I still carry a 196 in the hat rack in case it fails but with an ipad mini and foreflight I have all the vnc charts, always up to date. Its a very powerful tool. There is a built in PDF viewer so all your flight manuals, forestry pilot manuals, radio manuals, CFS, anything you need right at your fingertips and much safer/easier than trying to manipulate maps and books while flying. All within that one app. I've used it for about 6 months (which doesn't yet include really hot days in summer) now and love it although it isn't perfect. There needs to be a track-log, ability to use UTM coordinates and couple other minor things.

 

Pretty hard to justify spending the money on newer Garmin hardware that can only do one thing and doesn't even do it nearly as well.

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..I've switched to an ipad mini. I still carry a 196 in the hat rack in case it fails but with an ipad mini and foreflight I have all the vnc charts, always up to date. Its a very powerful tool. There is a built in PDF viewer so all your flight manuals, forestry pilot manuals, radio manuals, CFS, anything you need right at your fingertips and much safer/easier than trying to manipulate maps and books while flying. All within that one app...

 

I used the trial version of Foreflight. Loved it but it uses an incredible amount of battery. 1% per minute on my iPhone :0

 

Are you on battery or do you plug in through the a/c? I am interested in going the iPad mini route (almost did) but it is the power issue that holds me back.... :(

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After spending a lot of time and energy researching what I wanted out of a GPS, and prepared to pay top dollar for it, I discovered what I wanted doesn't exist anymore. It used to be that you could get the Garmin model with full colour, VNC and topo data and marine in one unit. Not anymore, and definitely not with IFR charts/plates. Not to mention the display resolution on the 696 and the Area products is abysmal! And now that Garmin no longer has any competitors to drive R&D - at least none worth mentioning - they're not even trying to impress us. This long-time Garmin customer isn't anymore.

 

As much as I absolutely detest Apple products, and resent the fact that Nav Canada gave proprietary preference to a commercial entity that does not support multiple OS, I realized that the ipad Mini was the only platform out there that could do what I want at the present time. I wanted to be able to fly IFR/VFR - land or floats - fixed-wing or heli - all with one unit.

 

So I bought the 124 GB cellular/wifi version, along with a Dual XGPS 160 Skypro GPS receiver (since the in-unit GPS is not nearly as powerful). Incidentally the XGPS works with my Android phone. I have the Foreflight Pro US/Canada subscription. Now I am searching for a marine app with marine nav charts and then I will be all set. I have the entire IFR/VFR database for Canada/USA preloaded into the unit and I still have 89 GB available for marine and other data.

 

Plus, I have all kinds of reference documents - flight manuals, IFR handbooks, AIM - all the FAA reference materials, chart legends etc. loaded and ready to go. No more paper and heavy books to lug around!

 

The minute Foreflight or suitable competitor becomes available on Android, I'll be switching, but in the meantime I have the all-in-one capability I require.

 

As a side note I had been looking for a knee dock/mount for this unit, however the instructor at the flight school where I will be doing my IFR heli check ride for the FAA license ranted and raved about the RAM mount for the mini that sticks to the windshield. They use Foreflight for the plates. I'm still a bit skeptical it will hold firmly on a vibrating plexiglass bubble in turbulence, but he claims it does. So I bought that to try it out - haven't made it down for the check ride yet but so far it sticks reliably to my vehicle's windshield.

 

Cheers,

 

tin lizzie

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Oh, and to address the battery concerns, which are valid, if hard wiring isn't an option, there are some interesting choices here: http://lifehacker.com/five-best-external-battery-packs-509802431 That article was from 2013 so I'm sure there have been new products introduced since, but there will be something suitable on the market. Some of the comments were just as interesting as the products reviewed, including those about holding a charge, and the different charging requirements of the ipad mini retina.

 

Cheers,

tin lizzie

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After spending a lot of time and energy researching what I wanted out of a GPS, and prepared to pay top dollar for it, I discovered what I wanted doesn't exist anymore. It used to be that you could get the Garmin model with full colour, VNC and topo data and marine in one unit. Not anymore, and definitely not with IFR charts/plates. Not to mention the display resolution on the 696 and the Area products is abysmal! And now that Garmin no longer has any competitors to drive R&D - at least none worth mentioning - they're not even trying to impress us. This long-time Garmin customer isn't anymore.

 

As much as I absolutely detest Apple products, and resent the fact that Nav Canada gave proprietary preference to a commercial entity that does not support multiple OS, I realized that the ipad Mini was the only platform out there that could do what I want at the present time. I wanted to be able to fly IFR/VFR - land or floats - fixed-wing or heli - all with one unit.

 

So I bought the 124 GB cellular/wifi version, along with a Dual XGPS 160 Skypro GPS receiver (since the in-unit GPS is not nearly as powerful). Incidentally the XGPS works with my Android phone. I have the Foreflight Pro US/Canada subscription. Now I am searching for a marine app with marine nav charts and then I will be all set. I have the entire IFR/VFR database for Canada/USA preloaded into the unit and I still have 89 GB available for marine and other data.

 

Plus, I have all kinds of reference documents - flight manuals, IFR handbooks, AIM - all the FAA reference materials, chart legends etc. loaded and ready to go. No more paper and heavy books to lug around!

 

The minute Foreflight or suitable competitor becomes available on Android, I'll be switching, but in the meantime I have the all-in-one capability I require.

 

As a side note I had been looking for a knee dock/mount for this unit, however the instructor at the flight school where I will be doing my IFR heli check ride for the FAA license ranted and raved about the RAM mount for the mini that sticks to the windshield. They use Foreflight for the plates. I'm still a bit skeptical it will hold firmly on a vibrating plexiglass bubble in turbulence, but he claims it does. So I bought that to try it out - haven't made it down for the check ride yet but so far it sticks reliably to my vehicle's windshield.

 

Cheers,

 

tin lizzie

I use the suction Ram mount for my 296 and had it fall off once in about six years when then temp rose considerably. If you keep an eye on the suction cup suction area, shouldn't be a problem. I'll leave it glued to the glass for weeks.

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Ram mounts are crazy, i have one for my 296 and stuck it to the corner of the window last year and it stayed there all summer. I think as long as the window and the suction cup are clean it will stick like glue ! Have faith.

 

W.

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Our machines all have cigarette outlets and most usb power outlets actually work at 12 or 24 volts so I can just plug it in to one of those.

 

With some machines you have to be careful with the suction cup mounts I've seen machines with bent windows from them.

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If you leave the ram mount on for a long time in the heat they will actually warp the window. Score another vote for ipad mini with foreflight. Indispensable when I used it in the USA.

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