Garmin GPSMAP 162

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Garmin GPSMAP 162

The Garmin GPSMAP 162 is a GPS chartplotter that fills the void between cheaper handheld receivers and color units costing over $1,000. This 12 channel receiver has the same GPS accuracy as more expensive units and is made for the person who wants a simple navigation solution.

The Garmin 162 weighs 1.3 pounds and its 4.63" H x 6.0" W x 2.75" D size allows for convenient mounting anywhere. Its support bracket can be removed for flush mounting and since the case is waterproof, getting it wet isn't a problem. And with its external antenna, getting good GPS satellite signal reception won't be a problem.

Built into the Garmin GPSMAP 162 is a basemap which details cities, roads, and lake and ocean coastlines to 20 miles. The unit also has 2.5 MB of memory for storing more detailed map data from Garmin, using a computer for the transfer. An important consideration when buying this or any GPS receiver, is its memory capacity. Because there are less details on a marine map than on a land map, the map files are smaller and require less memory to store. But if you plan on saving land maps, or multiple marine maps, be sure there's enough storage for what you want.

For displaying the map of your choice, the GPSMAP 162 uses a four-level grayscale display. The LCD screen measures 4.2" (diagonal) and with adjustable contrast the image is easily visible in bright light conditions. The built-in backlighting is also adjustable, for readings after the sun goes down.

Using a positional keypad and data entry buttons, it's simple to plan your route. And with a capacity for 500 alphanumeric waypoints and comments, extensive trips can be made. The track log automatically stores your turns as waypoints, so even unplanned trips have a record. And using the TracBack feature, it's easy to retrace your path from the track log.

A simple menu system lets you display the screen of information or chart you want, at anytime. Also, the Garmin GPSMAP 162 allows setting various audible alerts, such as when you're nearing a certain waypoint or you're a predetermined distance off course.

Standard with Garmin's 162 receiver is its Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) and Differential GPS (DGPS) capability. As with other DGPS receivers, a radio beacon receiver is also required for operation. But the WAAS functioning is ready to go and delivers position accuracy to within 3 meters virtually every time.

The Garmin GPSMAP 162 comes with a battery power cable and can run off DC power of 10 to 40 volts. An AC power adapter is also included, as is a PC interface cable for downloading map data from a computer.