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Aera 500 vs Garmin 495

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Has anyone done a comparison between these two? I am looking to upgrade and am not sure which one is better. At first glance it appears that the cost differential is not warranted.question.gif.c2f6860684cbd9834a97934921df4bcb.gif



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Yeh, I was also concerned about a touch screen in turbulence until I bought a 500, and find it's no problem.


It's not a touch screen at all, it's a 'press' screen. It takes a distinct press to register. And very well designed, in that just touching the screen causes the item to highlight so that you know you've got the right one, then you have to press to trigger it.





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Thanks for that info.


I too am seriously looking at getting a 500. It is just a financial problem standing in the way at the moment.


Though people are/seem against the touch screen, I think it is only because they haven't really used it and/or become used to it. Rather they expect it to be like the older input system. Which is kind of fair enough.


Do you have Mapsource too? I'm guessing you would. How do you find it getting the two to talk?


Have/can you swap maps? I am also "concerned" that I don't want my flight plans - or road trips - to look one way when I "design" them on mapsource then look different on the actual GPS when I am doing the trip.


I have a 96C now BTW.



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I just got back from a flight and need to correct my previous statement a bit.


The screen doesn't highlight the button when you touch the screen, only when you press, but it doesn't activate until you release the pressure. In this way you can verify if the entry will be correct before releasing. If it isn't correct then you just slide away from the button and the highlight will disappear before releasing. Works really well.


No I don't have map source or such.


I would like to have better ground maps in there, ie Explore-Oz, but don't know how to do that yet.....





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The 495 hardware and software have been around for a long time therefore proven technology (basically a processor upgrade of the 296). The AERA series is new to aviation so I'm not sure how well debugged they are.


One of the big issues with GPS units is the visibility of their screens in sunlight. I always make sure my GPS screen is very clean before I fly. The last thing I want to do is stick my dirty fingers (don't get a chance to wash my hands after preflight checks) all over the screen to use the GPS.



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Thing is,


If the 495 is "proven" I think the way new hardware roll out is buggy.


Indulge me:


The 495 has processor "x" - with its specs.


The program works, the buttons work etc.


The AERA 500 is "new".


Ok, new processor, GUI etc etc.


But why do/would Garmin change SO MUCH.


So it is a new GPS. The LAYOUT is different. The GUI is different, the processor is a newer one. Hopefully faster and more powerful.


As Garmin wrote the program for the 495, why not change it to work on the 500 and change some parts like how the GUI works, but nothing else.


Mucking about "rewriting" the WHOLE enchalada would be silly in so many ways.


Sure you can't get progress without trials and/or changes.


Alas the screen brightness is still to be tested though I hope that there would have been improvements in that field as well. Foreward rather than backward.



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icon8.gif HEADS UP - AREA 500 report from use.




I have expressed my intention of buying an AREA and recently I met another pilot with one. They had no complaints about it, so with this "extra" bit of good news, I spent $1000+ to get one with a couple of extra things to help with my setup.


I also have a 96C which is about 5 years old. It works well and I am/was happy with it until recently when it keeps re-setting itself while I am driving.


I have spent a bit of money on it with the maps. The AERA comes with its own set of maps and they are different to the 96C's - which is annoying in some ways.


Also Garmin have taken the draconian mentality that MAPSOURCE is now not their flagship. Rather Basecamp which needs a

censored.gifhot machine to work even decently.


Now, before you ask/think: "What's that got to do with it?" Although Mapsrouce still "works" with the AERA, the mapupdate is no longer there.


I use Mapsource to plan flights. It is a lot easier than doing it on the GPS. (My opinion). It still works, but there are annoyances.



Anyway, back to the GPS.

Ok, I can't compare a 495 to the AERA 500. But I can compare it to the 96C.

Granted I have only had it one day, so I am still learning. But I worked out the 96C in about a day and it wasn't rocket science.


I don't know if "you" keep logs of your trips either. I do - as much as possible. They help to support me if ever my flight log book is lost/damaged/stolen. That's a different subject.


I have only used the new GPS in car/pedestrian mode as yet. I don't have THAT MUCH money that I can buy it and the next day go flying.

The 96C, as soon as you turn it on logs your movement. Even if you aren't on an active flight/plan.

The AERA doesn't until you select a destination or load a plan. So if that is also true for flights, going for a quick jolly and getting it logged is probably not going to be that easy.

Scrolling and point to a place and saying GOTO HERE. Well I can't comment on that yet because even in the 96C, in car mode, you can't do it, so I haven't tried it yet.


The "SIMULATOR" function is different to get to, and though probably I only need time to learn the "new" way, it is annoying.


Where as with the buttons on the older unit - and really this SHOULDN'T MATTER - Garmin have shot themselves in the foot with how they did the meu system on the AERA.


I appreciate there are many levels of menus in the units, but they didn't do any favours to anyone with the way it is done on the new unit.


You enter MULTI LEVEL menus to change such simple things and then have to go back up through the same number of "BACK" functions. The BAD THING about it is, that when you get to the top - repeatedly pressing the screen position saying BACK, you press another function.


Yes, granted the same would be true with pressing the buttons on the older style unit/s, but for the sheet sake of where they put the area where you press on the screen, they lost credability with me.


Ok, most of you will be using the GPS for flying and probably not for driving or little.

The "Extras" you get with the driving are both good and bad.

The 96C doesn't do speed alarms in CAR mode. The AREA does. As well as SCHOOL ZONES, Speed cameras and that sort of thing.

FANTASTIC I hear you say. As did I initially.

Thing is that when you are WALKING along a street past a SCHOOL ZONE and the GPS is constantly alerting you it is annoying. Especially on a SATURDAY - and outside the time/s they are active.




Now, putting aside I haven't use the GPS for flying but rather driving and walking, again: GARMIN have shot them selves in the foot again.


I have had THREE Garmin GPS'. A 95 - Boat GPS. A 96C and now the AREA 500.

The 95 only did point to point tracks. Time = distance/speed. Anyone knows that.

But when you were going on windy roads it wasn't easy. So when GPS's morphed into navigation devices with streets, I would have thought that this problem would have been resolved. A to B via C. Distance = x. Time = distance/speed.




The AREA is slightly better as in it knows ALL the speed limits en-route and calculates a more "accurate" time than the 96C who's times I could never understand. But still the AERA doesn't take into account your actual speed and distance to go to give you the ETE and ETA. UNLESS you are in pedestrian mode. But even then, I am not fully convinced it is correct.



The unit has a LOT of potential, but the BUGS with SCHOOL ZONE alarms coming on when I am WALKING - and the GPS knows that because it is in pedestrian mode - and/or I am UNDER the 40 KPH at the time AND/OR it is SATURDAY and/or outside the times, these "bells and whistles" for which we - the end user pay - are not really helping with the credability of the unit.


I've sat with the unit in simulator mode and gone through the page setups for the screens it offers.

On the 96C you can set the alarm tones for the different alarms it gives you. In the AERA you can ONLY set the alarm as ON/OFF.

Maybe that is all you need, but for the extra effort on THEIR side - the 96C has the feature - it is a step backwards.

If the 495 has this function and you have set the alarms to the sounds you want, you won't like the AERA.




The screen.

Well, the AERA and 96C beside themselves in the morning sun. There *IS* a difference. 96C wins hands down.

Now, the 96C is running on internal batteries - as is the AERA. With NO internal light the 96C can be seen easily. The AERA needs about 50% internal light to be visible.


I shall try to get photos and post them, but at the time I was doing track comparisons between the two.


The way the AERA's screen is layed out is kind of "intuitive".

(I'm speaking in car mode here folks.... But please read on. Some things apply through out.)


With the 96C, you cycle the screens (or go via the menu) to the satellite page and it shows you the status of the satellites, blah blah.


On the AERA's screen you go to what is called the "main page" and in the top left corner there is a bar graph of the satellites' signals. You have to press and hold that area to get the page.


All well and good. I have small fingers and it still took me SEVERAL ATTEMPTS to get that screen. If you have big fingers: Forget it. (Well you may be lucky)


I appreciate that this graph can't be on every screen giving quick access to that page - but who needs it on every page anyway. It is just remembering WHERE it is. Same goes for putting it into simulation mode.



Gimmics I've found.

The AERA has a "neat function" called "screen capture". Fantastic! I can do a screen capture of the GPS screen. Well, if you have problems it would be nice to do to send in the information and show GARMIN the problem.


Ah, but!


You go in, activate the function and you get a little "icon" of a camera on the screens. Pressing this icon, it takes a picture.


When on the MAP screen, the icon isn't there. Brilliant! If anything, that is THE page you would need it on.


Ok, so that aside, I played with the "Screen capture" and pressed the ICON. Picture taken and saved in...... Oh somewhere. It was too quick for me to read.

Buggered if I can find it though.


There is a "My stuff" folder you can find in the menu somewhere, but it isn't in there.

Sure, RTFM. But one of the reasons I like/d GARMIN was that their GPS units were so EASY to use.


Seems they have forgotten that and gone for the new CRYPTIC methodology insteady.




Tracking. This is fun.

Ok, so I am walking and not flying.

Let's get back to the basics of a GPS. It helps you NAVIGATE.

Navigate: Get from "here" to "there". It isn't difficult! People used to do it WITHOUT a GPS. So: With a GPS, it SHOULD be easier - right? WRONG!



I am in a new city/town/what ever. I want to go somewhere. I tell the GPS and it works out how I am supposed to get there.


I start walking there.

(I will go over the DRIVING option next)

Now, the reason I am taking the GPS with me is that I am UNFAMILIAR with where I am going and need help NAVIGATING there.....

Although the GPS (now) can't tell me headings in DEGREES and has been limited to"

N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW.... Yiech. (cringe) It will have to do.


So I am walking down a quite wide street. I see the street on my GPS screen with a little CAR ICON on there showing where I am and the ubiquitous PURPLE line telling me where to go.


Let's say I the street is going East/West.

I start crossing the street North/South.

Remember this is an EXAMPLE situation. In a situation where I needed it for real, things are different.


So I start walking North/South across the road keeping a general Easterly direction.

What is the GPS doing/showing on it's screen?


A very slow moving car going EAST.


There is NO north/south indication at all!


My 96C on the other hand is showing my movements quite clearly.


So, if I am RELYING on the AERA for A CLEAR INDICATION OF WHERE I AM GOING: It is NOT in the race. It is giving me INCORRECT information.





Well, that is a cear cut example.


Say I am walking somewhere where you had multiple options and you took the wrong one, or got dis-oriented and was walking in the wrong direction. Remember I was 50+ degrees off course and the GPS didn't show any indication of this at all, where as an older model DID!


I don't know what it would be like in the bush. Yeah, probably the wrong model, but I'll get back to that in a second.



Now to driving and navigating.

I drive to an airstrip. Finding it on the map was ok, and scrolled to it, zoomed it and somehow got the GPS to route me to there.


The roads are accurate - as I saw when I finally got there, but.....


As I got closer, it was yaping on about "continue off road for xxxx meters" and drew the purple line indicating where to go.

Granted it wasn't EXACTLY where I wanted to go.

I turned down a different turn and the car ICON *JUMPED* from one part of the map to the other where I was.


Hang on! I didn't really JUMP/TELEPORT. This to me is indicative that the GPS is trying to predict where I am going or "locking me to the roads it knows".







BUSH WALKING. From before.

Ok, so the AERA is not a good GPS for bush walking.

You will have to buy another one - won't you. It will be appreciated by GARMIN a lot I am sure.

Yeah, we all have EPIRBs/ELB.

Say you are going somewhere and have a forced landing. Typically near/in tiger country.

The idea is to get out of there safely and quickly. Gee, a GPS would be nice. Oh, wait a second. I have one! Oh, but it is a AERA, and it isn't that good because it wants me to be near a known road/track/etc before it can work.

Sure you can put it in "direct to" mode, but I am only explaining things as I see them.


My 96C has been "bush" and is ok for that kind of thing. It has a good map (aus topo) and though it can't have the WHOLE of oz in it at once.... You get where I am going?


The AERA's "base map" is nice. It gives alarms when you get close to the ground when flying - as does the 495 - but the air map wouldn't be of much use when you are needing it to bush bash back to civilisation. You switch it to CAR mode.

The AERA's car map is LESS detailed than the one I have on my 96C.


Yeah, yeah, I paid for the increased detail map, and sure it costs money to get that data, etc etc etc.


Hell's bells. Using the same map on BOTH GPS's WOULD be nice. I don't know if I can yet.


Anyway, I think not many would be reading this post this far in.


And probably I am stating to lose the main message by now anyway.


Thing is: The AERA isn't as good as it is claimed. I've found many disappointing things with it already.


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Thanks, good detailed report. There was a comparison here last week,


The Powered Sport Flying Radio Show


seemed to have same conclusions, with addition that the Aera has no compass safe distance, pretty bad for use in anything that uses a compass as primary navigation.....


I'm having enough trouble upgrading to a pilotIII from my failing GPS90; there are some things the 90 does better and I had to reinstall it by the time the display is completely unreadable I'll have learnt how to sort the replacement





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I don't know what "Compas safe distance" is....


More "bitching":


The manual:


It is written for the 510/550 with pretty well ONLY the air mode covered.


There is nothing about car mode/walking mode.


"Waypoints" are not mentioned and how to look at them to edit them etc.


I'm working on that kind of now.


The AERA's other "Claim to fame" is that you can edit the "Points of interest" - these are quick access points which are sort of handy.


You can serach for (for instance) chemists, shops, car repair places, petrol stations, etc.


You can add your own.


You have to download an extra program and there are problems with it I am encountering. You are supposed to be able to add your own ICONS to the points, but I still can't get them working.


The unit also has the facility to do a "Tour" for you. So you can set it up to basically take people on a tour with turn by turn instructions and a talking guide. Sounds fantastic, but you have to use the same program as the Custom POI, and I can't get that working, so I don't hold much belief that the "Tour" mode will work either.


I worked out where the "Screen shots" go if/when you use that fuction.


They go to a directory - funnilly enough called "Screen shots" - which can ONLY be accessed from a PC!


When you plug the GPS into the 'Puta you get TWO new devices: The GPS, and the memory card - if you put one in.


In the GPS is a swag of directories and one is the "Screen shot" directory.


Anyway, this is a quick drop in and I don't really have much more to add about the GPS as I have hardly used it since the last post.



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Oh, something else:


I have Mapsource - as I keep saying - and used that to make the POI file.


I was getting no where with the file and POI Loader - the program to make the POI file for the GPS.


I decided to load Mapsource and start again.


Something had corrupted the maps in Mapsource. I had to do a REPAIR install on it to get it working again.


Annoying as !!!!!



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The Aera 500 has a speaker built-in and it will "pull" a magnetic compass anything up to 30 degrees off-course if it's mounted too near. (I know, I saw it happen) Hence the requirement for a "Compass Safe Distance" with many items of avionics. A figure of about 1.2-1.5 metres is fairly normal for such a distance with equipment containing even a small loudspeaker.


Get the 495, it is a true aviation GPS. The Aera 500 is a land-based GPS with delusions of aviation.



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The Aera 500 is a land-based GPS with delusions of aviation.

This could be why Clear Prop is selling so many Avmaps now - last week 3 GeoPilots and 1 EKP IV



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Yeah, bad news for Garmin.


Thanks for clearing up the term. I didn't parse it correctly and thus my confusion.


On a side note, someone I know mounted their 196 just beside their compas and was wondering why it never showed the correct heading.


40 cm was far enough for that model.


Back to the AERA 500.


More tests are happening and I am finding more "annoyances" with it in land mode.


Still haven't had good enough weather and time to take it up flying.


Am compiling a better report and am going to take piccies too.


And maybe even a couple of short videos just to help drive home the annoyance factor.


Don't worry, Garmin Australia know me now. They have passed it on to their aviation people - but I'm not holding my breath.



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Here are some pictures from the computer and GPS showing differences between what the GPS says and what the user gets.


(That is the first two.)


Then there are screen comparisons between the AERA and 96C


I'll leave it at that for now.


I have more data/screen shots which show problems with their support programs too.


(Mapsource and Basecamp)


WHERE the problem is, is unclear so for now I shall hold off on that part.


I am also going to upload a video to youtube soon, but what I thought I had and what was made are different, so again, that shall have to wait.













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Get the 495, it is a true aviation GPS. The Aera 500 is a land-based GPS with delusions of aviation.

I strongly support that comment.


The x96 series have a tested and proven track record.



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As much as I seem to be disliking Garmin, I am simply showing things I can see.


Alas the x95 series are probably "old tech" now and the touch screen GPS is the way of the future.


There is no problem with that as such but simply the software implimentation of what they can do and HOW they do it.


GARMIN have taken a severe step BACKWARDS with some of the functions/features on their new "bees knees" portable GPS.


If "we" complain enough and show them the failings, then maybe - just maybe - they will be addressed and fixed.


If we remain quiet we can't expect them to be fixed, as no one is telling them of the failings.


If you want to, you can watch a 4 minute comparison of the 96C and the AERA 500 when I found problems with the new one.


The link:





Be warned:


I call it as I see it.


(no bad language, but I don't hold back with how it isn't doing what it should.)



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Guest davidh10

I own an Aera 550, purchased back in March. It is the only GPS I've ever owned, so I cannot make comparisons. I've been interested to see the reviews in this thread and offer some comments / corrections. Realising that the review was for a 500, and lacks a few 550 features, your milage may vary, as they say.


Since purchase I've been using it on the road (over 10,000 kms), in the air (about 30 flights) and off the road (bush) on maybe 15 occasions.


There is a separate manual for Automotive Mode and Aviation Mode. They are separate books. The books are written to cover the 500, 510, 550 and 560 models. Included in the pack are both manuals plus quick start guides for each mode. The aviation manual is much thicker than the automotive one, but all are downloadable from the web site, if per chance you didn't get one in the pack. There are things about the operation that you have to find out through other means than the manuals.. For instance FD indicated accessing the Satellite Page from Automotive mode by selecting and holding the signal strength indicator. I don't recall that in the manual, and had thought it was only available in aviation mode, where it is a Tools-->Satellites menu selection. So the manuals could be better written.


The GPS does record track as soon as it is turned on, but the default display mode hides it. Just turn track display on. In fact this has been my primary usage of the GPS in flying...to see where I've been (locally), whether my circuits are rectangular, turns about a point are regular and concurrent, track onto final is within expected angle tolerance, count number of landings for the log, etc...


In automotive mode, ETA is updated periodically, but not that often. It certainly updates it every time you stop at a service station and turn it off / on, but during a continuous trip it only occasionally updates ETA and it is not obvious what criteria it uses to do so. I've found the estimates are not bad at all (on trips ranging from 60 to over 300km) It does not take into account traffic delays, traffic lights, etc and it certainly isn't a real time update that noticeably changes when you drive faster or slower.


In automotive mode, I've noted that the track is recorded on the nearest road that is within a proximity to the actual position... If you are used to vector drawing packages that use "Snap to" modes to correctly locate a click that is in proximity to a grid point or a vertice, then this is very similar and is like "Snap to Road". So it will not record your movement from one side of the road to the other, but just the progress along the road. Indeed, when you turn off a freeway on an off ramp and you are not following a route, it will show you progressing along the freeway until it realises you are actually on the ramp, then the track will snap back to being on the ramp. It probably only takes a hundred metres, which at highway speeds is a second or two. When off the road (in bush land for instance), this Snapto ceases and you can see a track that shows you walked in a 20m circle if you did so along the way.


I've also been using the Aera for GeoCaching and it works a treat. When you get out of the car and take the GPS, it automatically creates a waypoint at the car and marks it with a car icon, so you can find your way back to it easily (or even do a DirectTo). The waypoint is automatically deleted when you put the GPS back in the car (switch from internal to external power by placing in the GPS mount). The AERA works fine in the bush, off roads and tracks. I've actually used it in this way.


If you really want to bush bash with the AERA, you would use automotive mode and buy the extra "topo map overlay". My son has it on a Garmin Nuvi and it does add the contour lines that would enable you to have more detail about whether the track ahead (in the bush) was likely to be navigable or a cliff face. I haven't felt the need at this point. The AERA's battery life is not really intended at orienteering, but for the typical bush walks that a family might do on a picnic outing (ie less than four hours off external power), it is fine. I've used it on walks of up to an hour and a half off the road at this point.


Waypoints are easy to add and edit, although there is a bug in the Aera firmware (as loaded when I purchased it) which prevented selecting a waypoint in an aviation route. This has been fixed if you have updated to the latest firmware. In automotive / pedestrian / bicycle mode you can add waypoints directly on the GPS, by dropping an XML file into a specific folder in the GPS filesystem (from your PC) or from such web sites as Geocaching - The Official Global GPS Cache Hunt Site which has an "Load to GPS" feature. Once you obtain such a file it is easy to work out the format and craft your own (XML being a special format plain text file that is human readable). I haven't tried dropping XML files in aviation mode at this point. {Plugging the GPS into your PC, it mounts as two removable disk drives. One is the GPS filesystem and the other the optional GPS memory card.}


I don't have MapSource or BaseCamp and therefore cannot comment on their interoperability. I use AirNav VFR, and initial investigation suggests that there is no native support for communication with this new range of GPS units. AirNav VFR exports both a route file and a waypoint file, both in OziExplorer format. AFIK this format is not supported by the Aera GPS. In terms of upload, AirNav VFR relies on the G7toWin application which is bundled with it. Having said that the version currently bundled is dated April, 2009 and there have been several new releases since that date.


With regard G7toWin, the supported devices page at its home site tells us that newer Garmin GPS units like the Nuvi do not use the Garmin Interface Protocol of previous units, but present a disk drive and require files to be placed in the GPS filesystem. Some support has been provided but testing has only been conducted on a couple of units. It further warns that "..even correct use of the program may cause corruption of the GPS filesystem." Possibly just a disclaimer, but if the filesystem layout differes between GPS units, and it does between the Automotive only Nuvi and the Aviation / Automotive dual mode Aera series., then the liklihood of support without a specific support statement is unlikely. I will raise this with Sentient Software.


I insert routes manually, including adding "User Waypoints", where no other suitable waypoint already exists. It seems to have the waypoints identified in DAP RNAV, in addition to ADs, but it does not appear to have "Tracking Points" or VFR Approach Points". Reg ADs seem to be all there, but ALAs may not be present. For instance YMBT and YFDN were absent and I had to add user waypoints. Again I have not looked exhaustively. YYWG had some incorrect information until I reported it, but has been corrected two updates ago (this is in the supplied Jeppesen Database).


I've also tried the VNAV feature once, and it works ok. This feature provides a notification of the point to commence descent and an indication of whether you are above or below the glide slope. This can guide you into the circuit height for joining, but automatically disables at 500ft AGL to prevent anyone attempting to use it to do a GPS guided landing. You have to set this mode up with the desired ending height above ( Waypoint / MSL...) the distance Before / after the reference point and the desired descent rate. Lastly, the feature needs to be turned off or on as desired.


Have I found anything that annoys me. Yes; a couple of things, but they don't come to mind at the moment. Most of them relate to learning to understand the turn by turn directions in automotive mode. I find that I need to look at the map as well as listen to the directions. I am getting to know the quirks, and now seldom get the dreaded "Recalculating.." message after making an incorrect turn. This may just be getting used to using a GPS rather than a paper map. Am I happy with my purchase. Yes.


Below is a picture showing it mounted in my Trike.


Note: This site interprets the link as a video, but it isn't, so just click on the title of the frame below to see the picture.


Geocoin over Flight Instruments on Flickr - Photo Sharing!



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(second attempt to reply)


Your video link doesn't work.


Yeah, the "bugs" I found may only be because of changes done in the GPS, but it seems strange. Their previous two GPSs I own are EASY to use/understand.


I was told that clicking on the "signal strength graph" in car mode is how you get the satellite page. It worked - once!


I am not set to give GARMIN a bad name, simply stating problems with HOW they have done things compared with what the GPS's potential.



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Guest davidh10

No problem FD;



(second attempt to reply)


Your video link doesn't work.

t isn't a video, as noted under the frame... I'll move the note and highlight it. Just click on the title in the top edge of the frame to open the picture. I've reported this behaviour to Ian, but guess he has other higher priorities at the moment, so each time I post a link to a picture that does not end in a file, I put the note with it.


Yeah, the "bugs" I found may only be because of changes done in the GPS, but it seems strange. Their previous two GPSs I own are EASY to use/understand.

Yep. Just thought I could correct a couple of things and add some more..


I was told that clicking on the "signal strength graph" in car mode is how you get the satellite page. It worked - once!

I can confirm it works for me. Thanks. I didn't know that:thumb_up:


Takes between 2-3 seconds while applying pressure AKA mouse down and does not give any visual feedback that you have selected anything. In IT circles, this is called an "Easter Egg". Funtionality that is not documented and usually only discovered by trial and errorthumb_down


I am not set to give GARMIN a bad name, simply stating problems with HOW they have done things compared with what the GPS's potential.

...and I'm not trying to defend Garmin, but like you, just presenting my experience.







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I shall have to try it again tonight - time premitting. So I press and hold the graph for about 4 seconds - right?


Anyway TTYL.



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Guest davidh10

Compass Arc Display on Aera 5x0


One thing that mystified me a little when I first bought the 550 was that I could not seem to turn the compass arc display on. Sometimes it would be there fleetingly and other times not at all. All this on the ground. No problem in the air.


I've come to realise that this display overlay is apparently only enabled if:-


  1. You have enabled it in the settings and;
  2. The GPS's air-switch is activated.


There's quite a few functions that are tied to the air-switch and / or a "ground speed of >35kn". The manual is very unspecific.


I suspect this is the same for the 49x series as well. Having also used a 495 during training, I'm aware that it has an air-switch and captures actual flight time between take-off and landing. I've been told that it also looks at altitude or VSI in some manner in conjunction with ground speed.


That has a ring of truth, given that last night I had a 27kn head wind at circuit height and ground speed of 30kn. The airborne functions continued to operate, proving that it is not just ground speed dependant.


One of the other things I was testing last night was just where the GPS locates YYWG. Having read that some GPSs use the aerodrome datum point. At least for YYWG, overflying at 3,000', it appeared to be directly over the threshold of RWY19 and was co-incident with the guide line presented (during DirectTo navigation) for a final approach on that runway. This seems to tie up with the YYWG published DAP for RNAV.


With respect to the guide line. That is another difference between the 49x and the 5x0 models. In the 49x, it is an approach arc, not a guide line.


What I do find a bit irritating is that the manual is focussed almost exclusively on showing how to perform settings, but provides very little information on the actual behaviour of the GPS. This latter information seems to have to be derived from use and observation.



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