Magellan FX324 MAP

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Magellan FX324 MAP

If half the fun of any trip is getting there, then the Magellan FX324 MAP should keep you smiling. This marine chartplotter combines the position accuracy of a GPS receiver with replaceable electronic charts for worldwide navigation.

Navigation is only as accurate as your charts and instruments allow and the Magellan FX324 MAP delivers on both. It comes with a world chart built in and for more detailed features, uses Magellan's BlueNav charts. The BlueNav charts are stored on Secure Digital (SD) memory cards for an unlimited supply of maps. They include all the important navigation information such as depth contours, tides, currents, port services, and marine navigation aids. With your choice of 12 coordinate systems and 76 map datum, charts can be displayed in the format you want. And since trip information can be saved on the SD cards, returning to a favorite destination is easy. Just pop in a memory card and you'll have your previous route laid out on the chart.

By using the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) or the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay System (EGNOS), the FX324 MAP achieves position accuracy to within one meter. Or you can use its Differential GPS (DGPS) capability if you can a beacon receiver and WAAS signals aren't available. The receiver's 12 channels are updating your position every second, so you'll know exactly where you are at every moment. Other instruments which follow the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) standards can be connected to the receiver. It both accepts and sends data according to this protocol.

For displaying charts and navigation information, the Magellan FX324 MAP uses a 4.1" W x 3.1" H, 4-level grayscale LCD. Both its contrast and the backlighting are adjustable for optimum viewing with any light level. And since the receiver comes with an external antenna and the case is waterproof, it can be mounted above or below deck, whichever is most convenient.

When you want to determine your present position, the FX324 MAP gives you two screen choices. One screen shows the position in your chosen coordinate system along with your speed, your course, the position error estimate, the date and local time. And there's a data field for displaying your choice of other navigation information. The second position screen has ephemeris, tide, current and true heading data. Similarly there are two choices for navigation screens, which include your speed, course, two odometers, a configurable data field and other information.

To get to a predefined point or follow a route, you can use the first of two GOTO Screens. The FX324 MAP gives you a choice of four displays: Compass, 3-D Road, Radar, or Data. The compass display shows a graphic compass with your course and bearing to your destination and three customizable data fields. A different way of using the same data is shown with the 3-D Road and Radar screens. They both display similar strip compasses along the top of the screen with a guidance line to your destination. Three configurable data fields are also available. The Data Screen presents all the data in text. The second GOTO Screen shows the distance and bearing between two points along with a graphic compass.

Although the Magellan FX324 MAP is fairly straight forward to operate, there are a number of features it has to make it easier to use. For instance there is a simulation mode that lets you practice navigation while still at the dock. And it also makes it comfortable to use, with options for virtually every function or display. Text can be shown in your choice of 11 languages, seven aspects of chart displays are adjustable in addition to coordinates and datum, and alarms can be set to signal arrival at a destination or getting off course or dragging your mooring. There's even a Man-Overboard function to mark a position and plot a quick return. Included with the receiver are the mounting bracket and power supply cable for connection to your boat's batteries of 10 to 36 volts.