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Old 06-03-2023, 03:28 PM   #1
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Garmin Navionics Plus vs Vision plus

8612 sxv user here, cruise the PNW and hope to do more in Canada. I'm looking at upgrading my G3 chart, and see 3 options: upgrade to newest G3, which I'm not really considering, or make the jump to Navionics Plus, or Navionics Vision Plus. For my area I am not sure the satellite imaging and graduated shading are worth the added expense of the Vision option. Very grateful to hear opinions. For my area, The Alaska/Canada map would suit my purposes. Right now the Vision Plus version is on sale for $150 if I buy a card from Garmin, or do a download. If I upgrade through Active Captain, it's showing $250. Could I purchase via download to my PC, and simply move those files to a 32GB sd card, and use that as my "Active Captain" card in my MFD? If that worked, it would appear to save me $100. I don't want to invite glitches that would make me wish I just downloaded from AC directly. Thank you for your insights and advice on these two Navionics products
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Old 06-03-2023, 05:01 PM   #2
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Our Garmin MFD is a generation older, 7612xsv.

I'd describe the option to change to the newest G3 charts as merely an update, not an upgrade. (And I've done that for ours.)

Our G3 charts need to be on a separate mini-SD card, and the card stays in one of the slots. I think I could update via ActiveCaptain but can't think of any reason to try to do so.

Much easier/faster to download the newest G3 charts to the home computer -- using a real hi-speed Internet connection -- using Garmin Express... and then schlepp the mini-SD to the boat. Straightforward.

Can't speak to either of the Navionics options; our MFD is too old for those. The Garmin Express download process might be the same, though.

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Old 06-03-2023, 09:59 PM   #3
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I have two 923xsv units and Navio ics Vision+. I always tend to buy the physical card and thats what I have now. So far I havent used the high resolution relief shading. Seems better suited for fisherman in areas that has real under sea terrain. Here in the Gulf coast of FL we have almost no terrain, just gradual slopes of sand. But also due to that fact I do like the high resolution satellite image overlays.

But I feel like your are probably correct on your particular needs. Unless you are looking for fishing spots?

I put in the card and it loaded fine. Then I did updates without a hitch. Now when the phone AC app is open it updates automatically. I have done about a dozen updates and never had an issue.

So far everything just seems to work. Half the time I dont even know whats going on..lol.

I did do the updates a few times using the AC designated card just to try it. Seems ok too.
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Old 06-03-2023, 10:08 PM   #4
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Im a little confused about the process of downloading. Can I simply put an SD card in my pc reader, buy the product online then download it directly to my sd card? If so, why does Garmin Express exist? Or. Do I have to use Garmin Express to put the downloaded files onto the SD card? Thanks
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Old 06-04-2023, 05:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpstan View Post
Im a little confused about the process of downloading. Can I simply put an SD card in my pc reader, buy the product online then download it directly to my sd card? If so, why does Garmin Express exist? Or. Do I have to use Garmin Express to put the downloaded files onto the SD card? Thanks

I had to use Garmin Express. Don't really know why, but suspect there's some mini-SD Card "formatting" (or maybe just labelling) going on when using Garmin Express. And then Garmin Express was also the avenue used to make the purchase.

Even before getting to a stage about updating charts and software (two separate things), I had to use Garmin Express to "register" our products. That meant downloading the application onto our ship's laptop; creating a Garmin Express "account;" finding product and serial number info within the MFD menu system; entering MFD, radar and sounder details... and E Voila!...

After that, Garmin Express tells me if there's a software update or a chart update available... and then handles the purchase, negotiates the download activity, loads the mini-SD card with whatever...

IOW, I got the software update -- and bought the chart updates -- through the Garmin Express process.

Don't know why Garmin does it all that way... and don't actually know whether Garmin Express applies to their latest and greatest products.

-Chris
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Old 06-04-2023, 10:54 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ranger58sb View Post
I had to use Garmin Express. Don't really know why, but suspect there's some mini-SD Card "formatting" (or maybe just labelling) going on when using Garmin Express. And then Garmin Express was also the avenue used to make the purchase.

Even before getting to a stage about updating charts and software (two separate things), I had to use Garmin Express to "register" our products. That meant downloading the application onto our ship's laptop; creating a Garmin Express "account;" finding product and serial number info within the MFD menu system; entering MFD, radar and sounder details... and E Voila!...

After that, Garmin Express tells me if there's a software update or a chart update available... and then handles the purchase, negotiates the download activity, loads the mini-SD card with whatever...

IOW, I got the software update -- and bought the chart updates -- through the Garmin Express process.

Don't know why Garmin does it all that way... and don't actually know whether Garmin Express applies to their latest and greatest products.

-Chris
I believe Garmin Express does apply to the latest and greatest products. I see GE as an alternative to phone or wifi based updates by way or the SD card. In addition it is also the only way to do certain firmware updates on certain products (as far as I know). For instance I bought the GHC100 wireless camera. It doesn't work that great. But doing more research, apparently there is an update to the software for the camera. The only way to do that update, at least per the Garmin instructions, is to go to GE, enter the SN and download the update onto an SD card. Then put it in my SD card read on the boat and it should update the GHC100 camera for a fix.

As for registering, I cant remember how I registered my initial 923XSV. But once that chart plotter was registered and set up with WIFI, I just started hooking stuff up either via the network cables or NMEA2000. Once powered up, the original 923XSV would recognize any new component hooked up, such s the second 923XSV, the GHC50 Ap controller, GT15 transducer etc and would add it to the list of components in the system. Then when I would go on the boat with Active Captain app open and the wifi coupled to the Garmin system it would automatically detect whether the various items needed updates and then ask if I wanted to do the updates. I am assuming it registers and updates everything on the Garmin network including most new items.

I am still learning about it and have not devoted much time to focus on it yet. Mainly because it has just worked for the most part. Anytime I came to a stopping point I usually just searched google or youtube and found the answer. One such topic was how to do updated via cell phone at the boat. At first I could not get it to work right. Did a search and found some basic instructions from Garmin and then followed that and now its been working great. The issue was my misunderstanding of when hooking up to the Garmin Wifi it always tells you you are coupled to the Garmin Wifi -without Internet. I always assumed that was the wrong direction due to the statement "without internet". How could I do updates without internet?? But of course that little add on statement is just the smartphone saying the wifi network you are coupled to has no internet...not that the phone its self has no internet via cellular.

Sorry for the fractured explanations. Networks and wifi are not my strong suit. I just muddle thruough
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