Garmin radar features, a hit and a miss?
Here's a nifty feature I'd never seen before. I had already realized that if you click on a nav aid when making a route on a Garmin MFD, the waypoint gets named after the aid. I find that useful, even if I first came across the feature years ago and think other current MFDs and charting programs include it (anyone remember which ones?). But I was darn surprised yesterday morning to see that the Garmin 7212 can overlay the nav aid's complete icon and label on its standard radar screen, if desired. I like that a lot...The radar used in these screen shots, incidentally, is the GMR 604 xHD I installed last May. It's quite a power house -- though I think Garmin has a ways to go optimizing it (like adding target expansion and maybe true motion) -- and I intend to write more about it soon. But today's feature notes apply to all Garmin MFDs and radars, I think.
And here's the miss: It seems that both the radar and the hazard (depth) colors you can overlay on the Mariner 3D screen are both painted in red, and hence they tend to mush together a bit, as you can see below. Which is a shame, as I like both overlays and the goal of this form of charting, I think, is to paint everything important in distinct bold colors so you don't have to do as much interpretation. In fact...
...when I put 3D Mariner in "Classic" mode (and if I'd turned off the range rings), I'd be looking at a chart with no distracting numbers at all on it. This screen shot also shows how well the hazardous depths feature, here set at 16 feet, works. Of course, you need a g2 Vision card to get 3D Mariner, but the Perspective 3D view seen at right in the top screen is available to all Garmin users, radar overlay included. Then again, I know that many of you don't care much about 3D charting anyway... though I hope to wear you down ;-)