Whether you boat on small inland lakes or prefer ocean voyages, the Magellan
FX324 MAP Color can give you reliable guidance. This rugged GPS receiver
is waterproof and has a large color display to make charts and navigation
information easy to read. And when displaying text you even have a choice
of 11 languages.
Instead of a locker full of charts, the Magellan FX324 MAP Color uses
Secure Digital (SD) memory cards to store electronic maps. It comes with a world
chart, but to get greater details for a specific area, you'll need Magellan's BlueNav
charts. The BlueNav charts replicate the information of paper charts with
depth contours, marine navigation aids, and tide data. Listings for marinas
and port services are also included. You're able to adjust the scale
and the SD cards let you easily switch from one chart to another.
The memory cards also let you save your routes and other navigation information
for return trips. And you have a choice of 12 coordinate systems and 76 map datum.
The first step of a trip using the FX324 MAP Color, is to plot your route on the
chart screen. Then once you're under way, you can monitor your progress on one of the
three other types of display. Two Position Screens have text displays which show your
position, speed, course and a data field with the navigation data of your choice.
There are also two text Navigation Screens with speed, course, two odometers, and
a customizable data field. The GOTO Screen helps you stay on your course with a
choice of four displays: Compass, 3-D Road, Radar, and Data. The Compass display
has a graphic compass along with bearing and heading information. A strip compass
image is used for the 3-D Road and Radar displays with a pointer to keep you on track.
Along with the set navigation information the Data display shows, there's an area for
showing your choice of additional trip information. And this type customizable data field is also available
with the other displays.
Each of the four types of screens can be displayed by pushing a single button. This makes switching
back and forth easy and immediate with the Magellan FX324 MAP Color. Its alphanumeric
keypad is laid out like a telephone's for convenient data entry. The large directional
key is similar to a computer's mouse for making menu selections and marking locations. And the Menu button
shows the screen for configuring all the receiver's function options. The
16-color LCD measures 4.3" W x 3.1" H, and has adjustable backlighting for accurate
readings day or night.
Supplying GPS navigation data for the FX324 MAP Color is a 12-channel
receiver. It's Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) and European Geostationary Navigation
Overlay System (EGNOS) capable. This results in accurate position readings to within
one meter. You can monitor the GPS satellites with the receiver's satellite status
screen. It shows which signals are received, their relative strength and the
Dilution of Position (DOP) and Circle of Probable Error (CPE). The DOP indicates
the accuracy of the position calculation and is a function of the satellites position.
CPE is a measurement in meters of how far off the position reading may be.
Although the Magellan FX324 MAP Color comes with an internal antenna, it also provides you
with an external one. This gives you the freedom to mount the receiver below deck or anywhere else
you choose. The receiver can input and output data using the National Marine
Electronics Association (NMEA) protocol. Most navigation instruments use this protocol, so you could
connect the receiver to such things as a sonar or an autopilot. The unit comes with an adjustable mounting
bracket and a combination data and power cable. Power is supplied by the boat's batteries
with an allowable range of 10 to 36 volts.