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Discussion Starter #1
Looks like these won't be out until Mid-January according to some of the gps stores. The only place I can find that claims to have them is Amazon - then is says 3-5 weeks for delivery.

In any event, I've done some spec comparisons.

This looks like a 500c with:

1. 640x480 resolution vs 320x240 on 500c. :D
2. Add Satellite images :)
3. Add Marine mode & maps - in case your GW floats I guess. :shock:
4. Add FM modulator :D
5. Add Picture viewer. :|
6. Subtract 5gb of storage space. 600c has 30gb but only 5gb is available for mp3 etc. 500c has a 20gb drive but 10 of that is free for mp3 storage etc. :(

500c prices have already gone down - I've seen them for $450. The 600c looks like it will go at about $650. I think this makes the 500c an even better bargain. I wonder if the 500c will go down anymore between now and January?

Now I'm considering giving my 500c to my wife, buying a 600c for me and getting a 500c for my business.
 

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Chiefxs said:
...This looks like a 500c with:

1. 640x480 resolution vs 320x240 on 500c. :D
2. Add Satellite images :)
3. Add Marine mode & maps - in case your GW floats I guess. :shock:
The latest 500c map data upgrade includes this data for both inland and off-shore maps.
5. Add Picture viewer. :|
This was added to the 500c with the latest firmware upgrade (for free)
6. Subtract 5gb of storage space. 600c has 30gb but only 5gb is available for mp3 etc. 500c has a 20gb drive but 10 of that is free for mp3 storage etc. :(
Obviously, Lowrance has determined that we'd rather have the satellite images than the disk space for user files.

I wouldn't trust Amazon's shipping dates on this unit yet, they had a similar report for the Zumo which took longer than Garmin projected as well.

(edited to remove the inappropriate FM modulator inclusion in the firmware upgrade :oops: )
 

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Yes, imagine the satellite pictures from GoogleEarth with your maps' road and POI data overlaid on top of it.



I used to find this representation very handy when navigating on our boat and would use a chart book that included aerial pictures of the area to help interpret the flat, 2D data into a realistic environment.

The new high-end Garmin Marine units will also have this technology next Summer.
 

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The latest 500c map data upgrade includes this data for both inland and off-shore maps.:
Off-Shore maps?????? I've seen the inshore (coastal and bay) maps that are pretty neat with lights 'n stuff, but I guess I've missed the offshore maps. Are these "real" charts with depth? OR just water with lights and bouys?

4. Add FM modulator - This was added to the 500c with the latest firmware upgrade (for free)
Does this mean a FM radio??? Hmmm, I'd just as soon the forgot about all the MP3 stuff and focused on GPS and charts.

Ken H>
 

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KenH said:
... Off-Shore maps?????? I've seen the inshore (coastal and bay) maps that are pretty neat with lights 'n stuff, but I guess I've missed the offshore maps. Are these "real" charts with depth? OR just water with lights and bouys?
Ken, don't you remember this thread? 8)

... Does this mean a FM radio??? Hmmm, I'd just as soon the forgot about all the MP3 stuff and focused on GPS and charts.
The FM modulator means that it's easier to get the music out of the unit and play it over your car's FM radio. They must've talked to a lot of owners like you because the new 600c will have 'only' 5GB of of free storage space for your music and other files. The other 25GB are reserved by Lowrance for the maps and other operating system files.
 

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Yep, I remember "that thread" Jon, but it only talks about "inshore" maps, not offshore - OR did I miss something? Understand, when I think of "offshore" I tend to think of water over 50 miles from the nearest land.

I notice now in the original thread, there are some depth contours shown that I have not seen in my maps. I suspect I have not turned on the correct functions yet. Tonight I WILL be playing around with that some more.

Thanks for all the work you do Jon.

Ken H>
 

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OK, expalin how you add an FM Modulator by upgrading the firmware?
 

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KenH said:
... Understand, when I think of "offshore" I tend to think of water over 50 miles from the nearest land...
The marine GPS manufacturers tend to break them up in two categories: inland charts are for waters you would typically trailer a smaller boat to, for fishing, etc.

The 'offshore' maps are for the coastal waters - these are accessed by selecting the NauticPath mapset from the 'map mode' button.

I'm not sure where you're worried about (I'm not sure where there would be shoal areas 50 miles off-shore that you'd need depth contours) but I zoomed in on the islands just West of California and they're shown just as you would expect (contours, depths, real time tide and current data, etc.)
 

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Rastoff said:
OK, expalin how you add an FM Modulator by upgrading the firmware?
Yes I'm curious too...... Please expain the meaning of this "FM Modulator"???
 

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My bad!! (bad copy and paste in the quote process) I've since edited the original post to remove the FM modulator 'firmware enhancement'. Obviously, you need hardware to provide an FM transmitter in the unit, not just a firmware upgrade.

I'm sorry for the confusion...

(For those who are unsure of the meaning, an FM modulator is used to broadcast the audio output of the unit (voice & music) over an FM frequency which allows you to tune your vehicle radio to the matching frequency and hear your GPS over the regular FM radio output. This is particularly nice in a car that doesn't have an AUX audio input.)
 

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You are correct Jon, a FM modulator sure would be nice.

On the marine info, I found the Nautipath info.

I have IWay 500C, Version 1.7.0, Build JR1400C. NAVTEQ NAVSTREETS, Q1-06 V1.1

That is the system sent to me by Lowrance on a DVD 2 or 3 weeks ago.

Here is how I get to it - ALL from stock IWAY screens.

1. MENU (hardware) button on right side of display.

2. Main Menu - touch screen button upper left corner.

3. Naviation Mode - touch screen button 3rd from top, on right side.

Now the screen has two options - a "dot" for the normal "Turn by Turn" and a "dot" for "Straight Line" and when this is selected by touching with finger, I now find the drop down has the 3 options you mention. I see Mobile Bay has all the depths and other neat info.

THANKS for the advice Jon. and BTW, it does show depths out to at least 50 miles - BUT you must be down on the 1.7 mi scale to see the depth numbers. As you said, not much use for offshore, but it is NICE for inshore use. The ICW does not show depths, but since the controlling depth is 12 ft (to Panama City, FL), no problem. The bays where the it really shines - and up to 15 to 20 mile offshore. Heck, I won't have to dig out my notebook computer (Have not used paper charts much at all since '99)

These are actually "Charts" instead of maps. They show about 15 miles north of Mobile up the Tenn-Tom waterway just like the regular chart does, then you have to switch back to standard mode to see the rest of the river. On standard mode, the center of channel is shown for the rivers, Tenn-Tom waterway, Tenn river, etc. This thing is NEATO!!!

Thanks again Jon,

Ken H.
 

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On the 600C, I like the idea of seeing the actual birds eye view of routes, but only a little bit. When using any photo-visual mapping service (like google Earth, or Micro$loth's,) it's handy for 'after action analysis' to see where I've been. It helps a little bit during planning once in a blue moon because you can see nearby terrain features you might not have known were there. However, I can do both those while connected to the web and don't see much use in having it real-time. Of course, if I HAD it real-time, advantages may become obvious. I wish they would install a larger hard drive so we can carry all our current songs (for those that have filled up their units.)

Are there any significant improvements to the software? Liike more routing functions (reverse, grouping, etc.?)

The FM modulator is not important for me due to the loss of music fidelity. However, if it was strong enough for all the bikes in the group to hear it (that wanted to) then that would be handy. :)

I *do* like the increased resolution of the screen!

<thinking out loud>
 

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David M. said:
... However, I can do both those while connected to the web and don't see much use in having it real-time. Of course, if I HAD it real-time, advantages may become obvious...
Sounds like the same argument some would have made three years or so ago about mounting a GPS on a bike...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
David M. said:
The FM modulator is not important for me due to the loss of music fidelity. However, if it was strong enough for all the bikes in the group to hear it (that wanted to) then that would be handy. :)

I *do* like the increased resolution of the screen!

<thinking out loud>
Well, I really can't tell the difference in fidelity from the XM. Believe me, I've been an audiophile for a LONG time... so what you are saying isn't lost on me. But traveling down the road even in my wife's luxury car, I can't hear a great difference between the FM modulator and the direct connect.

As to resolution... I build websites and have dealt with computer graphics for a while now. Resolution has always been a big deal. BUT...

Looking at the 500c for about 7 hours today, I really am not sure the difference in resolution is going to be a major selling point for me. I can see how it would be of benefit when using the new sat. images, but I'm not sure if it will be that significant for the standard GPS.

The fact that we lose 5gb of space on the drive is bothersome to me as well.

Bottom-line... if I used the logical/analytical side of my brain, I would buy another 500C at the much reduced pricing I am seeing right now and forget about the 600C. But, I suspect I will buy a 600c anyway. (and another 500c for my business.)

Maybe there will be some new stuff not indicated in the specs that I won't be able to live without.

Cheers.
 

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Chief of excess, re fm modulators:
It seems to me that most of them are quite limited bandwidth. I can't give you freqs because I never measured them. However, deep bass is noticeably lacking, while cymbals and and high sopranos are completely lacking in overtones. Further, they seem to clip at relatively low amplitudes, almost as if they're compacting 9not the exact term but my brain isn't working right. where the sounds are all the same volume level) the sound. It's a bigger difference than between live and the normal 16/44 CD.
If your modulator happens to be a really good one, you got lucky, as far as I'm concerned :).
There is a point of diminishing returns on a bike, thanks to wind noise and etc. So not a great deal of the subtle nuances can be heard anyway. However, we can go way beyond transistor radios and derive some musical pleasure even while riding a motorcycle.

re screen resolution:
With the 500c and just map viewing, what we have is entirely acceptable. Where it would suck badly is photos and photo overlays aka satellite imagery. But bear in mind that most sat imagery isn't real hi-rez up close anyway (at least the stuff we can buy.) So it's a good tradeoff.

If, however, they get the route and waypoint software functions right, I might have to switch.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
David M...

You are right, I've heard FM modulated "music" that simply sucked - in any environment. Since neither of us have heard the modulated music from a 600c on an Goldwing, we can only go by past experience.

Assuming a clean frequency, the xm via fm modulation in the car works perfectly fine for me. If the 600c produces similar sound quality I'll be happy.

Hearing, like taste, varies dramatically between individuals. Each of us will have to determine if this is suitable for us.

Cheers.
 

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Plus, the compression used by sattelite radio when broadcasting the signal is very high.....thus a very noticable reductionin fidelity. :cry:
 
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