More Garmin, and a mouse with MOB button!


Here’s an entering Portland, Maine, screen photo, bigger here, designed to make a few points re: our discussions of the Garmin Guide To feature and the way the big units display data. This is a Combinations screen and it can have one to four windows with most anything in them, plus the Data Bar if you want. Unlike the largely pre-configured dashboard style data on a regular chart window, you can put any number in the system on that bar. On the 5212, you just touch the field to get list of choices; on the 4000 series you just punch one of the softkeys.

It’s pretty slick, though I noticed today that you can not tell if that’s True or Apparent Wind, unless you remember how you set it in the System menus. (I’d guess that Garmin is trying to keep data descriptions brief as they are translated into many languages.)  A neat thing about Combinations on the 5000 Series is that if you touch either of those windows outside the zoom keys, it goes full screen until you’re done with it.
  Garmin mouseAs for Guide To, here’s plain evidence that it does not factor in buoys, as in Red Right Return. The purple path gives the ledges off that point a reasonable berth but cuts inside the Red Bell carefully placed there to assure your safe passage around them. I’ve seen this enough in Guide To to be 95% sure that buoys just aren’t used in the algorithm. This may vex some navigators, but remember that Guide To is just a suggestion. I still like the purple path, especially in 3D. And how about Garmin’s RF Mouse as an alternate control for the touchscreen 5000’s?  It was just quietly introduced (though picked up by HardWired) along with a Remote Control that will apparently also work with the 4000 series. Hey, isn’t that an MOB button on the mouse? The phrase “We aren’t in Kansas anymore, Toto!” comes to mind…but this thing is from Kansas.

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

5 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    The “old days”:
    Judge: You sank your boat. Why did you cut inside that buoy?
    You: But Judge, everyone does it!
    You: But Judge, my GPS said it was the best route!
    There are usually very good reasons for buoy’s chosen location – wire drag, careful survey, etc. Seems like this needs to be considered if a navionics company is going to claim to have a marine specialization.
    Is the vessel’s draft a parameter that is entered into the chartplotter?

  2. ricknav says:

    A MOB Key on a Mouse Pointer?????
    This just doesn’t make sense. If you are ever unfortunate enough to need to use the MOB key on your mouse, I can guaranty that the MOB Button will not be where you thought you left it!!!
    Instead, it will probably have flown off of the chart table or the holder.
    A proper MOB button shall be bolted down on a vessel so it will be where you need it when you need it.
    The idea of a mouse is great but, don’t put your only MOB button on it.
    Also, yes the Auto-Routing feature does use vessel parameters such as height and keel depth in its calculated route plan. Not still sure if I would use it much. Call me old school.

  3. Jeff Brodeur says:

    Navionics does not have anything to do with the mapping or functionality of Garmin units.
    Not certain what you mean by “claim to have a marine specialization”? Navionics built the first marine electronic chart about 22 years ago, and is the only independent marine mapping company in the business.

  4. Microship says:

    I’m contemplating the 5212 for my new Amazon 44, and played with one in West Marine yesterday. Good interface design, but is the “Guide To” function a bit slow and/or flaky? I tried the epic journey from Anacortes to La Conner (an easy afternoon jaunt), and ten minutes later gave up… the indicator still spinning. Naturally nobody at the store had a clue. Think I was just encountering a setup problem, or inadequate indication that it was in a simulation mode? Is the 5212 ready for prime time?

  5. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    MicroSteve: Yes, Garmin’s Guide To does hang up some times, and distance doesn’t seem to be a factor; but you just have to do another Where To to unhang it. I think Garmin will be improving this and many other issues for many months to come. But the hardware is hard to fault, and it seems like there’s enough headroom for many software improvements.
    By the way, the Amazon 44 looks great; and hope you saw the nice shoutout over at Navagear:

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