Thursday, August 17, 2017

Updating our GPS and Nav System

Garmin Update - long overdue

We have a Garmin GPSMap 741xs which came with the boat, but we have upgraded the system to a NMEA 2000 Network that includes a GMI20 Instrument and GND10 wind data input along with a Garmin Wireless Wind transducer, Garmin Depth/Speed/Water temp transducer and already had a GMR18 HD Radar. BUT - the software version was that from 2014 - Time for an update.





Here's the process that we followed:
  • Downloaded the Update from Garmin to our PC (We had to login to our Garmin.com account to get this)
  • Insert a FAT32 Formatted 4GB Micro SD Chip in the card reader of our PC
  • Run the program from the folder where the update was saved
  • The program requests the Chip ID (just pick it from the list) and then it installs the update software and data into the chip.
  • On the Boat, power up the GPS, Radar, AIS, NMEA 2000 network (On Eximius, we just turn on the Nav Instruments Breaker and that powers up the GND10 and GMI20 as well as the NMEA 2000 Network)
  • Once the GPS is running, then insert the Chip into the GPS card slot.
  • The GPS recognized the Chip and offered the option to Update the System (which in our case was from 3.80 to 6.6 - as I said, Long overdue)
  • Once we confirmed the option, and the note that we should not power down anything until the update was complete - The update began.
  • The program on the Chip updated the GPS, Radar, GND10 and the GMI20, it seems there was no update for the AIS. The whole process took about 10 minutes after which the GPS shutdown and rebooted.
  • Once rebooted, we removed the Chip - All done!
What we got in the update:
A whole bunch of features that are really cool.
  • Windward Route To Laylines - these are really useful when you know the location of a destination. It displays the Laylines on the GPS Map so that we can steer towards them for optimal speed to a windward mark. They are real time dynamic, so they change as the wind changes, very cool. But you do have to know where the mark is located or at least have a pretty good idea so that it can be entered as a way point.
  • Boundary Markers - At least, we know they are part of the upgrade but we did not get to test them out yet, that will be the next navigation how to. But they are really useful. The concept is that we can mark out an area(s) on the chart and then set our preference of either Stay within or Stay outside. eg. We could mark an area around the tip of a peninsular that had a shallow area that we wanted to avoid. Then we would create a Boundary around that area and take the option to stay outside (eg. alert if entering). Alternately, we could create a boundary and set the option to stay within (eg. alert if leaving) 
  • There were several other minor updates, they just improve the reliability of the system. 

So now we have a bunch more techy stuff to play with on our next trip. Peggy loves this stuff - and you know the old saying - Happy Wife = Happy Life 😁

See you on the water.

Paul