You can buy a much more expensive GPS receiver than the Garmin GPS 72, but it's unlikely
to deliver any greater accuracy. This durable, compact handheld comes in a waterproof
case that floats, making it ideal for land or water navigation.
Like any good modern GPS receiver, the GPS 72 is capable of processing
Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) data. Its regular GPS position reading
is accurate to within 15 meters. But with WAAS, the error is no more than 3
meters. The receiver is also Differential GPS (DGPS) ready, so if you have
a DGPS radio beacon receiver, the positional accuracy is rated to be within 5 meters.
Since the Garmin GPS 72 is a go-anywhere receiver, the 4-level grayscale
screen is made to be viewed under any condition. The high-contrast LCD is
naturally easy to read in bright light. And since it's also backlit, readings
in the dark are problem free. Even the keypad has backlighting, so you won't have to
fumble over the keys.
The GPS 72 comes with a marine database that includes navigation aids and
major cities. Its 1 MB of memory lets you replace this with a different
selection of navaids, cities or points of interest from Garmin's MapSource
products. And you have your choice of coordinate systems for the
map data. With its loran TD conversion capability, boaters with previous
loran fixes can have them changed to GPS readings. Or current GPS coordinates
can simulate loran readings.
Up to 500 waypoints can be identified by name and symbol with the GPS 72. And
even if you're not following a pre-determined route, the automatic track log
records your path. So no matter how you reached your destination, you can
retrace the route you took any time later. The receiver has capacity to save up to 10 of these tracks.
While on the way to your destination, the Garmin GPS 72 has a trip computer
to give you progress updates. This includes your current speed, distance traveled
and how long it's taken. Alerts can be set to sound an alarm if you're off
course, near a certain waypoint, or at a specific time. And for mariners, there's
an anchor drag alert if you're drifting at your mooring. Built-in information
pages supply the best hunting and fishing times, tide tables, and the sun and
moon rise and set times for any date and location.
The Garmin GPS 72 receiver is powered by two 1.5v AA batteries. There's also
an optional cigarette lighter power adapter for use in vehicles. Or with a
power/data cable the receiver can be run off of any DC battery of 8 to 35