1) Why you picked out the GPS you did.
I was looking for a good mapping GPS receiver with a
larger display to use in a car. I've got a Garmin 12XL that I originally
got for hiking, but quickly found I used it more driving. I finally
decided to bite the bullet and get a good mapping unit, and decided on the
Garmin GPSMAP 276C.
I also went ahead and purchased the
automotive kit at the same time, which includes the Garmin City Select software,
a 128MB memory card, bean-bag mounting, and cigarette plug adapter with a
2) What you like about your choice.
I am delighted with the sharp, easy to read color
display. Although it looses some contrast in direct sunlight, it still
remains fairly easy to see. Anything less than direct sunlight and it is
as good as anything I have seen.
3) What you do not like about your choice?
This is my first experience with a mapping GPSR, so I
don't have a basis for comparison, but so far I have found very little to
complain about with the 276C. However, the Garmin car
cigarette plug with the little built-in speaker is a potential weak point.
The plastic cap that holds the fuse in place is threaded so that it screws into
the main body of the plug, and the wall thickness of the plastic threads is too
thin to provide sufficient strength to withstand the stresses of insertion and
removal from the car's cigarette outlet. I am now on the second car plug
after only about 2 weeks of use.
4) Your experiences in using your GPS receiver.
I received my 276C with software version 2.5, and I
quickly stumbled upon the bug that Garmin described in their update section of
their web site (but I had not read). This bug causes the unit to shutdown
every time you go to the map page, and can even get into an oscillating
situation of powering on then off continuously. I installed the newer
version 2.6, and did a system reset (which is QUIT + ON) and haven't had any
5) Does your GPS perform as you expected.
After installing the newer software, it has worked
flawlessly. The front end electronics seem to be a little more sensitive
than the 12XL, subjectively, because it seems to maintain a lock under
conditions that the 12XL could not usually handle.
I had the 276C determine
routes to locations I was already familiar with, and found that it seemed to
pick very good routes consistent with routes I normally use.
6) How is the manual?
fairly good. It should have included the system reset sequence, but
Garmin's support provided that for me after an email request.
7) Other comments.
experience with it has been in the Automotive Mode. I have not used it at
all in the Marine Mode.
The autorouting function seems to
do a good job. The unit has several nice features such as high and low
tides, sun and moon, hunting and fishing times. (Not very useful for
driving, but still neat.) The GPSMAP 276C is a very new entry to the
market, and few software bugs can be expected. It looks as if Garmin is
patching them quickly and posting software updates on the website just as
quick. Just be sure to update from 2.5 to a newer version as soon as