Garmin GPSMAP 276C

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Garmin GPSMAP 276C

The Garmin GPSMAP 276C is a GPS unit that helps you navigate equally well traveling by boat or car. With the variety of maps available from Garmin, this chartplotter can find where the fish are biting or get you to the fish market in any town.

The GPSMAP 276C operates in two ways, Marine Mode, which is the default, and Automotive Mode. The separate modes allow you to maintain different customized settings for each. The information you want is called up by a menu and shown on the 3.75" (diagonal) 256-color display. The screen is easy to read in bright sunlight and has adjustable backlighting for low-light conditions.

With the Garmin GPSMAP 276C, you always have a choice of the information displayed. When in the marine mode, you might choose the navigation chart with complete position data, or the compass page, if you simply want to maintain your heading. In the automotive mode, the route page shows each turn to be made and might be your favorite display when traveling around town. Either mode can make use of the autorouting feature which automatically calculates the path to your destination.

The 276C comes with a basemap for the Americas, Europe, or the Pacific. Garmin's selection of marine charts let you choose either BlueCharts for offshore boating, or Fishing Hot Spots for inland waters. Since the maps are stored on memory cards you're free to use a variety of map data to create and store custom maps. And this unit supports National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) external sources. So with its two serial interfaces you could monitor boat speed, water depth and temperature, and set alerts for when certain events are sensed.

Special features for the Garmin 276C receiver, in the marine mode, include the Course Deviation Indicator (CDI), Man OverBoard (MOB), and celestial information. CDI is a pointer on the compass display that lets you know if you're off course and the direction to steer to return to the proper heading. MOB is for emergency situations to immediately determine the route back to a certain point. The celestial information includes a graphical tides chart, sun and moon rise and set times, and the best times for fishing and hunting.

For land use, an optional automotive kit makes the GPSMAP 276C even more useful. The kit includes MapSource City Select software, a data card, a friction mount, a 12-volt power adapter, and a speaker. With this combination you get turn-by-turn directions with voice prompts.

Common features for either mode of the Garmin GPSMAP 276C include storage for 3,000 waypoints and 50 reversible routes. The receiver is both Differential GPS (DGPS) and Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) enabled. In addition to the built-in antenna, a remote external antenna can be used for difficult reception situations. A USB interface allows for fast map or software transfers. The device is powered with a rechargeable lithium ion battery good for 5 to 15 hours of use. And for in home operation, there's also an AC adapter.