Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 3:18 pm Posts: 80 Location: wisconsin
I am looking for a gps and was wanting some feedback on what you guys would consider to be a decent unit. I am not looking for a 4,000 dollar gps but am looking for something better than a garmin pilot 3. was thinking about a 296. Let me know what you guys have experience with and what works well. Thanks.
I love my Lowrance Airmap 2000c. Like Bose headsets, the upper Garmin units have the reputation, but I've always had trouble with the small landscape oriented display. The Airmap has a wonderfully bright and big display, oriented in the correct direction for crosscountry use. The terrain and airspace alert features work great and I find it a bit easier to use than the Garmin that I had before. With a street price of $650 I don't see how you could go wrong.
I have a 296, 496, and Lowrance 2000C. They all work very well. I prefer the garmin due to the programming and menus make more sense to me. the Lowrance screen is brighter and easier to see.
The lowrance unit is large and harder to fit in a LSA cockpit
The internal batteries on the 296 are much better and last plenty long enough to fly all day. Any 496 with the XM antenna won't have as long a battery life.
RAM and Air Gizmo make nice mounts for both units.
If you fly often in one area downloading the upgraded mapsource maps makes the detail much nicer. And all the topo maps are interesting.
The 296 fuel timer is nice for switching tanks. My main complaints with the 296-496 is the V nav does not take terrain into account and will descend you through a mountain if your not careful. The garmin plugs for data transfer or charging sometimes fail and need replacing. The enter key can remove map detail and you need to push enter again a few times to get it back. No ILS frequencies on the airport data page. Nice to have on a long visual approach at night. Washington ADIZ is not displayed like on a sectional and the outer ring is easily confused with the mode C veil.
The Lowrance has too many button pushes required to get through the menus. exit is used too much. Page layouts and map choices sometimes confuse me. The flight director function is pretty vague to figure out. Colors do not exactly duplicate colors on a VFR sectional.
both have the annoying disclaimers before using the maps. Can't turn those off.
Lowrance is a lot cheaper to purchase.
Garmin weight and balance computer is great for ramp checks.
both are the best thing for VFR navigation I have ever had and I don't take a trip without one. We use a 496 for infrared survey work and it has a brighter screen with a faster refresh rate in the turns. The XM works well and weather is great. It is not the best showing snow showers but better than nothing.
I would like to see the following in future GPS units.
screen with airplane in the center similar to TCAS screen so you can see landmarks behind you during maneuvering flight. current screens all put the airplane on the bottom.
optional yoke mount or remote zoom and page buttons
ILS frequencies on airport data page
optional airspace floor and ceiling lables
AMOC list for VFR panel installation and STC using the airgizmo mount or similar.
Garmin needs a data plug that can also allow charging from aircraft power at the same time. Both use the same socket.
You cannot post new topics in this forum You cannot reply to topics in this forum You cannot edit your posts in this forum You cannot delete your posts in this forum You cannot post attachments in this forum