Garmin GPSMAP 78sc at high-end of new line of Garmin handheld GPS devices

Garmin GPSMAP 78sc

The Garmin GPSMAP 78sc represents the high-end in the new line of handheld GPS devices from Garmin aimed for marine use. The other devices in this line are the GPSMAP 78 and GPSMAP 78s. It features rubber side grips that make it easy to keep a hand on the device while keeping it out of the water at the same time.

It has a 3-axis electronic compass that is relatively accurate in any orientation. Garmin GPSMAP 78sc comes with a transflective 65k colour display and features a combination of a case and a weight that floats on the water. It supports wireless data exchange with other Garmin wireless devices.

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Garmin GPSMAP 78sc

About 20 hours of run time can be expected from the 2 AA batteries of the Garmin GPSMAP 78sc. It offers quick satellite acquisition, not only because you are on a boat clearly out in the open but also because it uses HotFix for fast satellite acquisition. HotFix is a software patch applied to live running systems.

The 1.7 GB of onboard memory of the Garmin GPSMAP 78sc includes a micro-SD card slot. It comes with a built-in worldwide base map with the addition of the Garmin Blue Chart g2 maps for the U.S. coastal waters. These maps support Garmin’s systems of Custom Maps and Birds-Eye Satellite Images.

Garmin GPSMAP 78sc – Electronic Compass

The Garmin GPSMAP 78sc system can only provide information about its own location, with an accuracy limitation of within 10 meters from the spot you are currently standing.

The Garmin GPSMAP 78sc cannot provide either speed or direction information at its core. However, it can derive speed and direction with a history of where it has been. Having a GPS reading from two locations and the time from each reading, it can determine the average speed and direction between the two readings.

In order for the Garmin GPSMAP 78sc to determine direction, you need to be moving. It cannot determine what direction you are facing if you are standing still. Without movement, the GPS would normally show the last recorded direction.

An electronic compass, on the other hand, does not rely on GPS signals for direction determination. It does not rely on movement to know your direction. The downside of using an electronic compass is, having to cram additional hardware inside the GPS leading to a more expensive unit and shorter battery life for the unit.

Outdoor and recreational enthusiasts have to make a decision of how important this feature of the electronic compass is. Alternatively, they can always determine and confirm the direction they are heading by comparison of a track log to the map, or by simply walking a short distance while doing a compass watch.

Garmin GPSMAP 78sc – Satellite Acquisition

In order for a GPS device like Garmin GPSMAP 78sc to determine your location, it needs to listen to the GPS satellite network. In order for it to listen to the network, it helps the GPS device to predict where to listen for the signal. In order for it to predict where to listen, it helps the GPS device to know where you are.

A good, clear view of the sky makes satellite acquisition of a GPS device like Garmin GPSMAP 78sc faster and quicker. While buildings and trees have noticeable impact on the satellite acquisition performance of a GPS device, overcast skies do not. External antennas can assist your GPS device in its satellite acquisition.

It normally takes 20 minutes for a Garmin GPSMAP 78sc device to find a signal, although, it often takes less. Once it does find your location, it is best to have it sit in this location for about 30 minutes. When a GPS device is turned on with a signal, it downloads almanac data from the satellites. This data will help the device find the satellites much faster in the future because it is better enabled to predict where to listen to for the satellites. Moving your Garmin GPSMAP 78sc device a large distance, i.e. more than 100 miles, where it was last used, will make your GPS device take a longer time in its initial signal acquisition.

It is recommended to check for software updates for your Garmin GPSMAP 78sc device. Some manufacturers offer updates on a periodic basis that helps the GPS device in its acquisition of almanac data from the satellites.

Birds-Eye Satellite Images

The Birds-Eye Satellite Images supported by the Garmin GPSMAP 78sc offers you the addition of satellite imagery to your maps without having to do map building. These maps are high-resolution, sub-meter colour images capturing the world in brilliant clarity and detail. These maps cam be stored in the internal memory of your device, or in SD-cards.

For a one-year subscription of $30, you can use the Garmin BaseCamp software to transfer maps with satellite imagery to your unit. The subscription, though, is applicable only to one device and subsequent downloads are locked to that one device.Try Garmin GPSMAP 78sc now!

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