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Old 01-11-2018, 02:55 PM   #1
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Garmin and Active Captain-A Cautionary Tale

When the Active Captain app was released I spoke to several members of the Garmin team at the Ft Lauderdale boat show. They assured me that the data transfer function would work with my two Garmin 7215 chartplotters. Additionally the compatibility charts for the app showed it would work. But when I got home and tried it, it did not work.

After receiving the latest app update I have tried again and find that not only does it still not work, but they have CHANGED THE COMPATIBILITY CHART to show it wonít. I am sorry, but this is ridiculous. I am NOT going to upgrade my hardware at great expense to make it work with this app. The discontinued Blue Chart Mobile still transfers perfectly, but itís lifespan is limited. Clearly Garmin could make this work with AC, but choose not to.

I am well aware that the 7215s are discontinued and that their processors canít handle the Helm function or AC software updates, but there is no reason in the world for them to disable data transfers.

Sure glad I purchased and installed the Garmin PICO adapter a few months ago. Itís now totally worthless.

Oh, and by the way, importing data into the AC app is so full of bugs that isnít going to work either. I guess I will go with another vendor next time I update electronics.
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Old 01-11-2018, 04:00 PM   #2
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Does AC still work with other apps like CoastalExplorer or Furuno TZ? I haven't used AC since I got banned some time back, so for me none of it works anymore.
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Old 01-11-2018, 04:26 PM   #3
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Does AC still work with other apps like CoastalExplorer or Furuno TZ? I haven't used AC since I got banned some time back, so for me none of it works anymore.
We just use it free standing. They still haven't taken the flash functionality into the non-flash version, nor have they addressed the complaint of it not remembering where you were. I use the flash version and that's it.
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Old 01-11-2018, 04:47 PM   #4
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We just use it free standing. They still haven't taken the flash functionality into the non-flash version, nor have they addressed the complaint of it not remembering where you were. I use the flash version and that's it.
So a browser on Windows or OSx?

I wonder how much of this is simple incompetence, vs the beginning of the end of AC as a plug-in for non-Garmin products. I expect all the non-garmin products will sooner or later become "incompatible" and stop working.
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Old 01-11-2018, 04:51 PM   #5
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Sigh. It's starting to look like my fears of how Garmin would handle AC were not misplaced. I wonder when my InReach will be declared "legacy" and no longer work?
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Old 01-11-2018, 05:15 PM   #6
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So a browser on Windows or OSx?

I wonder how much of this is simple incompetence, vs the beginning of the end of AC as a plug-in for non-Garmin products. I expect all the non-garmin products will sooner or later become "incompatible" and stop working.
On Windows and Android.

Note that the facebook page is quiet.

The regular monthly news from Active Captain, the last one was October 11 talking about the cutover to the new servers.

Seems to me the re-coding and other activities have ground to a halt. Perhaps they're finding Navionics more fun to get involved with. Active Captain is so unimportant to Garmin and that's just not good.
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Old 01-11-2018, 06:25 PM   #7
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On Windows and Android.

Note that the facebook page is quiet.

The regular monthly news from Active Captain, the last one was October 11 talking about the cutover to the new servers.

Seems to me the re-coding and other activities have ground to a halt. Perhaps they're finding Navionics more fun to get involved with. Active Captain is so unimportant to Garmin and that's just not good.

Or Jeff has thrown a tantrum and stop working, or left, or whatever.
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Old 01-11-2018, 06:31 PM   #8
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Or Jeff has thrown a tantrum and stop working, or left, or whatever.
If only... Fingers crossed for this.
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:04 PM   #9
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Buyouts where the seller stays around don`t usually work. From his posts here, Jeffrey seemed to be in a permanent tantrum, be it real or feigned.
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:12 PM   #10
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I have lived this scenario. Back in the day I owned 4 of 32 Jewelry Stores run by a group of 7 friends. We were independent but the common name earned us big discounts and allowed us to buy big ads. We all did well. Then a big firm came along and made us all an offer we could not refuse. It was all the stores or no deal. As several of the guys were older or in poor health so we all sold. I retired at 39.
Three years later the big firm closed every store and let all the employees go.
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Old 01-11-2018, 10:29 PM   #11
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Buyouts where the seller stays around don`t usually work. From his posts here, Jeffrey seemed to be in a permanent tantrum, be it real or feigned.
It could be working great but I worry that one of the Garmin people decided to eat meat.
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:04 AM   #12
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Note that the facebook page is quiet.

The regular monthly news from Active Captain, the last one was October 11 talking about the cutover to the new servers.
Thanks for mentioning that. My last newsletter was on November 1 and I was just about to make a post asking if others had same experience. I actually checked the AC web site to see if I was still signed up for it and there was no change. Perhaps Defender yanked their sponsorship. Wish they would tell us something to explain the black hole.
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:39 AM   #13
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Does AC still work with other apps like CoastalExplorer or Furuno TZ? I haven't used AC since I got banned some time back, so for me none of it works anymore.

Still works with MaxSea TimeZero on a laptop. And MX Mariner and Plan2Nav on Android tablets. At least as of the last time we updated markers on all those, a couple weeks ago by now.

My Furuno MFD (pre-TZ) is older than any wireless capabilities, so I can't get AC markers to that... but never could, anyway.

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Old 01-12-2018, 07:22 AM   #14
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AC posted some time back that the newsletters were finished and that Defender would do a separate monthly special. I get it every month
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Old 01-12-2018, 07:42 AM   #15
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.......... nor have they addressed the complaint of it not remembering where you were. I use the flash version and that's it.
I was wondering about that. There doesn't seem to be a place to ask for help and Jeffery banned me from the AC Facebook page because I disagreed with him on something and had the nerve to post it.

Jeffery is a great programmer but he should leave PR to someone else.

BTW: I only use Active Captain on a PC so I've never tried some of the things mentioned here but I have noticed that many of the marina markers (and I would assume the other markers like hazard markers) are misplaced by what appears to be several hundred feet. Not a big deal for a marina but it makes the hazard markers unreliable.

Also, in many cases, restaurants with no overnight docking are marked with marina markers. This is a PITA when looking for marinas. I mentioned this to Jeffery and he told me I didn't have to use Active Captain if I wasn't happy with it.
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Old 01-12-2018, 07:54 AM   #16
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Garmin and Active Captain-A Cautionary Tale

Iím going back to relying more on Salty Southwest Cruisers Net and the Waterway Guide.
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:11 AM   #17
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Iím going back to relying more on Salty Southwest Cruisers Net and the Waterway Guide.
They are good but printed information gets out of date pretty quickly. Also, you don't get marina rates and user reviews.
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:17 AM   #18
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AC posted some time back that the newsletters were finished and that Defender would do a separate monthly special. I get it every month
If they are finished with the newsletters, wonder why they still have a profile choice to sign up for them.

Haven't received anything from Defender.
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:27 AM   #19
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Iím going back to relying more on Salty Southwest Cruisers Net and the Waterway Guide.
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They are good but printed information gets out of date pretty quickly. Also, you don't get marina rates and user reviews.
AC is going to get out of date pretty quickly too, if people take a "wait and see" attitude about Garmin's ownership. Its independence from big for-profits was what led to AC,'s success, IMO.

I, for one, am not thrilled doing free research, analysis and writing for Garmin. They already get more of my money than I think they've earned.

I may be biased. I've been involved in other volunteer programs where I put in a lot of time and effort, only to have the results of those efforts sold to some faceless MegaCorp for top dollar.
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:31 AM   #20
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On another note. . .we recently installed the new Garmin app with AC integration, chart, maps and helm interface on an Android and an iPad. We had two rather simple but me not able to sort out issues which resulted in two calls to Garmin support. Both reps were very patient, got me through both issues and all is working well now with our 7610's. New is always a challenge and in both cases we found a small item that was not in their support notes which they were glad to add and move on to the developers.
No complaints here.
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