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Guest fly

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Hi All


Can anyone inform me as to the pos and neg aspects of the garmin 196 gps unit.


Also can a 196 be powered from a 12v cigarette lighter connection.


Thank You ......FLY



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I've only used a Garmin296 for a 1 hour flight in a friends trike and researched the 196 as well.


The first obvious thing is the greyscale display, ie, no colour. This may or may not be an issue.


The other thing is that it's computer connection is via Serial Cable only, compared to the 296 having USB cable connectivity.


Whether or not this is an issue for you depends on how often you would want to connect it to your computer. Also since I've not tried the 196 yet I don't know if the relatively low speed of the serial connection would be an issue or not.


On the good side it does have some useful functions, I have seen the 196 advertised with a 12v cigerette lighter power cable, and they are roughly half the price of the 296.







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The 296 also has 12V 24V cigar power supply that automatically charges the battery if it is low as well as running the GPS. If the external aircraft 12V fails the internal GPS battery takes over depending on what options you set up.





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The good thing about the 196 and 296's is that they come with all of those accessories for free. The 240 volt adapter, 24 volts (accepts up to 30+ volts), a couple of mounting brackets, USB cable etc.


The serial cable is not really an issue speed wise and if requried you can buy a USB to serial converter at most computer shops if required.


Even though the 196 is grey scale it is easier to read in sunlight than the colour 296 version. The screen is less reflective. The 196 is ever so slightly larger in size than the 296, but the brackets are interchangeable.


The 196 is easy to update as the changes are released.


One thing is that you would definitely need to use the 12 volt cable as you need to use the backlight all the time otherwise you can't see the screen properly.


My 2.2 cents worth inc gst.



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GPS 196


Just a point, our works has installed a few, the cigar lighter cable has a small current limiting resistor inside. If you for any reason wire them direct to a panel, just remove the current limiting resistor and install in series. I think it was about 100ohms. Obviously to prevent boiling the internal battery.


Nice toy, on a trike they have tendencies to interfere with certain radio frequencies, namely 124,8 which is the South African general frequency !! caused us some hassles to say the least. I believe also 130,35 and 127,00 also.





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If I can add too that my 296 interferes with my XCom radio, in particular when using the 296's external aerial to the point where the radio becomes almost unusable. I use an aerial extension lead for the GPS with the little aerial off the back of the GPS - works perfectly.


If the high powered (large) 296 external aerial was placed over a metre from the radio, things would improve.



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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Vince Clegg

Yes a 196 comes with a 12 volt charger. At this stage I don't have any negatives, all positives.Everything garmin.com say it will do, it does.


Just don't rely on GPS entirely and become a goto pilot.



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