Garmin radar features, a hit and a miss?

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Sep 13, 2010

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...

Garmin_3D_radar_water_hazard_conflict_cPano.JPG ...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 ;-)


You can also overlay nav aids on the standard radar display of the 720/740 series. In regards to the color conflict with warn depths and radar display colors .... the radar displays color is selectable.


Posted by: BWPirate at September 14, 2010 10:00 AM | Reply

Thanks, Tom, but are you sure that changing the radar colors on the regular display changes the overlay color? I thought I'd tried that once without success, but could very well be wrong.

Posted by: Ben at September 14, 2010 10:38 AM | Reply

No new Panbo today, friends, as I'm on a bus to Newport. lots happening, though, and I'll see some of it at the show.

Posted by: Ben at September 14, 2010 5:11 PM | Reply

I think there would be a lot more interest in "Vision" if it were not so expensive. My current trip to the Maritimes would require 5 - yes FIVE $321 "Vision" cartridges plus a "Blind" err non-Vision card at $161 since there is no "Vision" coverage for eastern Newfoundland. So, for a two month trip I am going to drop $1766 for "Vision" rather than $161 for the actual marine charts I need. I think not.

Posted by: Roger J Jones at September 15, 2010 9:29 AM | Reply

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