• Mobile App For Android Now Online!

    Download it here. The app is searchable in the Google Play Store under Sailboat Owners.

    Sorry iPhone/iPad users, we are still waiting on Apple. :(

    Click the X in the upper right corner to make this go away

Chartplotter Replacement

Status
Not open for further replies.

JOEPUT

.
Jun 2, 2004
6
ODAY 30 Warwick RI
I am replaceing my chartplotter , Which is beat one with an internal Antenna or one with an external Antenna. Any thoughts on this is apprecated.
 
May 11, 2005
3,431
Seidelman S37 Slidell, La.
Internal/External

I have had one of each. Both Garmin units. I can tell no difference between the internal and external antenna. Both have been mounted under a bimini. I am not of the opinion that the external is only needed if the plotter is to be mounted where there is some interference, and you need to mount the antenna in another location.
 
Sep 25, 2008
5,515
Alden 50 Sarasota, Florida
There is generally no reason to buy one with an external antenna unless you intend to mount the unit in a location shielded from the sky. If you intend to mount it in the cockpit under a bimini, the internal antenna type will be fine.
 

Tim R.

.
May 27, 2004
3,626
Caliber 40 Long Range Cruiser Portland, Maine
I know the higher end Garmins only have external antennas. So part of the answer may be to ask yourself which features you want. For example: I do not think there is a Garmin that would allow you to add a radome and have an internal gps antenna.

So I would shop for features, not antenna type.
 
Jan 3, 2009
821
Marine Trader 34 Where Ever I am
Joeput, We have used the Standard Horizon unit for some time now. Has everything we need in a plotter. is very dependable, user friendly and priced considerably lower than the competition.
 
Sep 26, 2008
566
- - Noank CT.
Here is my 2 cents

O.K. for what it is worth, both will work under ideal conditions, BUT, under poor conditions ( very cloud conditions,storms, etc) I would prefer to have the better of the two styles reading as many of the satellites as possible. IMHO the external mounted (as high as practical with a unobstructed view of the sky) would be best. After all that is when you want the most accuracy as possible and don't want to guess about reliability. Unless you are positive that the internal antenna has a true unobstructed view of he sky go with the external mounted model. Just my opinion....
 
Feb 6, 1998
11,096
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
I run both..

I often run both side by side (same brand). The external antenna definitely performs better, usually has better satellite strength and often pics up satellites that the internal antenna model does not.

That being said the internal antenna model is still very, very reliable it's just the external antenna, according to my plotters GPS info screen, performs better.

 
Jan 3, 2009
821
Marine Trader 34 Where Ever I am
we have run our Standard Horizon, under the hardtop with side curtains down in gale conditions with zero visibility in the rain and the internal antenna never lost the signal nor gave us anything but exact positioning. How do I know, because it positioned us between 2 buoys that we could not see until the rain stopped about an hour after the storm started.
 
Nov 28, 2008
26
Helms 24 Cedar Point
May be a stupid question, but why not buy a unit that has an internal antenna and has the option to connect to an external antenna as well? That way you can always add the external later if your not satisfied with the internal.
 
Oct 22, 2008
3,502
- Telstar 28 Buzzards Bay
Unfortunately, most larger chartplotters are either or.
May be a stupid question, but why not buy a unit that has an internal antenna and has the option to connect to an external antenna as well? That way you can always add the external later if your not satisfied with the internal.
 
Nov 6, 2006
8,508
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
Joe, I am happy with the internal antenna in the Garmin 545. It has the capability for an external if desired. Mine is mounted outside under a Bimini, and has not lost signal in storms.
 
Jan 20, 2009
15
Endeavour 32 Fredericton, NB
We will be buying a chart plotter before the coming season when we will be cruising Maine and Nova Scotia. Cost is an issue. We are looking at either a Standard Horizon 180(i) @$385 or a Garmin 440 @$449.

The Garmin has a $60 external attenna that we can later if needed. The 180 comes with either an internal or external antenna - choose either.

The Garmin comes with all US charts - we still need to buy one additional region for our nearby Canadian waters at about $130. C-Map charts for the 180 will cost 2x$179 for eastern Canadian and eastern US waters.

The Garmin has a 4 inch screen, the Standard Horizon has a 5 inch screen. Not sure how screen quality and resolution compare.

I'm leaning toward the Garmin since its cheaper with the charts included and there is the option to add an external after the fact. I do wish its screen was bigger.

I'm wondering if anyone could compare these units from direct experience. Also, am I missing any other compelling products in this price range.

Any other thoughts?

Paul
 
Jun 8, 2004
550
Macgregor 26M Delta, B.C. Canada 26M not X
Eyes in the Sky

May be a stupid question, but why not buy a unit that has an internal antenna and has the option to connect to an external antenna as well? That way you can always add the external later if your not satisfied with the internal.
Unfortunately, most larger chartplotters are either or.
That is unfortunate about the larger models but my little Garmin 76cs has both options. It works fine in the cockpit but as soon as I take it below the fiberglass hatch impedes the reception so an external antenna might be a nice to have but not totally neccessary.
I do have to ask though; how many sattelites must be displayed for an accurate position? My little unit can display up to 13 bars representing 13 sattelites shown in concentric circles on the display page. On those days (when 13 sattelites show) I am sure more would show if my unit had the capacity. They have many eyes in the sky here at 49 degrees north in the PNW. (potential smuggling). I would speculate that 3-4 sattelites would suffice and that a few extras might add to accuracy but I am skeptical about the need for 13+ sattelites. I guess government paranoia gives us great coverage along the 49th.:)
 
Oct 22, 2008
3,502
- Telstar 28 Buzzards Bay
The newer SirfSTAR III chipset makes satellite acquisition far faster, and has a better ability to stay "locked-on" than the chipset in the older Garmin 76CS. I have a 76CS that I've owned for years, and it's solid unit, but can lose signal far more easily than a SirfSTAR III based unit.

You need at least four satellites to get a solid position lock. This is especially true if some of the satellites you're locked on to are relatively close in alignment to one another... with nearly tangential circles of position.
That is unfortunate about the larger models but my little Garmin 76cs has both options. It works fine in the cockpit but as soon as I take it below the fiberglass hatch impedes the reception so an external antenna might be a nice to have but not totally neccessary.
I do have to ask though; how many sattelites must be displayed for an accurate position? My little unit can display up to 13 bars representing 13 sattelites shown in concentric circles on the display page. On those days (when 13 sattelites show) I am sure more would show if my unit had the capacity. They have many eyes in the sky here at 49 degrees north in the PNW. (potential smuggling). I would speculate that 3-4 sattelites would suffice and that a few extras might add to accuracy but I am skeptical about the need for 13+ sattelites. I guess government paranoia gives us great coverage along the 49th.:)
 
Status
Not open for further replies.