Garmin 378 / 478 Question

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by JoeB, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. JoeB

    JoeB Husky Adventurer

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    I am trying to decide whither to purchase a 378 or a 478. I have heard that if you down load a topo map to a data card, that the 378 only alows you to display the topo map or the city navigator map and that the 478 over lays the topo map onto the city navigator map.

    Can anyone confirm that this is the difference between the two units?

    JoeB
    #1
  2. Xeraux

    Xeraux Archvillain

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    Get the 478. The hardware is identical, but the firmware is better.

    The 378 has a problem with loading routes from your computer to the 378.
    #2
  3. Gros Buck

    Gros Buck Beef = Packed Vegetables

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    378 and 478 hardware is identical.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    378 come with fresh water maps AND City Navigator.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    478 come with salt water maps AND City Navigator.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    The 378 have the very annoying bug that you cannot download a route previously planned on a computer. It will only take the starting waypoint and the ending waypoint and recalculate - gods knows how - anything in between. That means if you wanna do New-York to <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on">Los Angeles</st1:City> via <st1:City w:st="on">New Orleans</st1:City>, the 378 will ignore <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">New Orleans</st1:place></st1:City> and re-calculate his own route.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Garmin have repeatedly said they will not address that issue. I cannot believe they sell a $1000 GPS without the option of downloading routes. If you need route, avoid the 378.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Finaly, buy a prolonged warranty. Garmin products - read my lips: all of them - is JUNK The certainty is it will break. The question is: is it gonna break within the first year it is warranted or just after the warranty ends ? i.e. Sooner than later. For example, their junk cable to connect power to the GPS. I have to replace those 2 to 3 times a year !!!

    Good Luck

    Paul jr oO 8
    #3
  4. 9Dave

    9Dave Bazinga!

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    Opinions are like........

    I've had my 376 for 3 riding seasons and have kept it firmly mounted in a Touratech MvG while on the bike. Zero problems with the GPS.

    I did have a problem with the car cord (with speaker) which Garmin replaced without question or issue.

    I think you will find the majority of users have an opinion different than yours.

    I do think the 378 is an ill advised purchase for motorcycle use. Get the 478, 376, or 276 if you want good track handling.

    Dave
    #4
  5. Gros Buck

    Gros Buck Beef = Packed Vegetables

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    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    I&#8217;m happy to hear you have no problem with your GPS. However, I'm a member of 1 motorcycle club, and post regularly on 3 forums. Two of them being oriented mostly off road ...<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    On my local BMW club, most people have Zumo 550 without any problem. They however ride in "ideal" condition like nice weather bike riding, and bikes (i.e. GPS mount) that sleep in garages ... Or they do not ride that much at all. Those GPS have few problems ...<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    In my circle of close off road riding friends we have around 15 Garmin GPS. We all bought those GPS within the last two years.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    My 378 have been replaced three times. The power cord, if you unplug it on a daily basis, will break very quick. Inevitably. Because the design is bad. And the construction is also bad.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Zumo base have connector pins that are not tin coated or cadmium coated and are well known to melt under galvanic corrosion. Kio, a friend of mine, changed it&#8217;s base three times, and the GPS three times as well within 18 months like me. KIO rides mostly paved road, but pretty often under heavy rain &#8230;<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    For the rest of my friends, none of them have their original GPS. All of them have been replaced without exception. Many of them more than once. Whether it's Zumo, 478, or like me 378. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    6x's or 7x's do not seem to be that much fragile though.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    By the way, my 378 still have problems recharging the battery, and the antenna is still mess up pretty often &#8230; I gave up on that and live with it.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Paul Jr

    P.s. Touratech bases won't protect your GPS more than a simple RAM mount.
    #5
  6. JoeB

    JoeB Husky Adventurer

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    Yes, Yes
    I was going to get the 478 anyway, but still the question of how the topo map is displayed on the 478. Is it displayed over the city navigator map or does it have to be displayed seperatly? Do you select one or the other, or do they both display at the same time?

    JoeB
    #6
  7. Steve W

    Steve W Old Grouch

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    You have to pick which one you want to display. If both are turned on or enabled in the Map Info screen, the unit will default to CN. You have to turn CN off to see the Topo mapset. That's how it works on my 478 with Canadian Topo loaded on a Garmin memory card.
    #7
  8. Gros Buck

    Gros Buck Beef = Packed Vegetables

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    You have to select one or the other ...

    What is happening on my GPS is when both City Navigator AND Topo Canada is selected, only CIty Navigator shows on the screen.

    Paul Jr

    P.s. buy an extended warranty (from a reliable supplier) dude. Thank me later ...
    #8
  9. Steve W

    Steve W Old Grouch

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    I'm going to muddy the water a bit more, apologies in advance. :D If Topo is going to be your primary destination for computer generated routes, and if you can live with the recalculation bug in CN and if you have even the slightest interest in inland waterways then you might want to look at the refurb 378 at getfeetwet.com. A 378 with a GXM 30 XM antenna and a 3 year extended warranty is currently ~$100.00 less than a refurb 478 elsewhere. $250 less if you drop the GXM 30. The 478 is a better all round unit but......... I'm just sayin
    #9
  10. garandman

    garandman Wandering Minstrel

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    The new Nuvi 500 comes with city and topo maps. I have one on order, haven't gotten it yet to try.
    #10
  11. Lurch II

    Lurch II Been here awhile

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    Had mine for two years, no problems. Takes routes from the computer. Love the screen. Have ridden in most conditions and my experience with Garmins has been excellent, from my original through the SP3 and now a Zumo and the 478.

    For those who have problems with the cable, try a little dielectric grease on the connection - makes it a bit easier to remove. I haven't broken a caqble yet since I started doing that - also keeps thing from corroding.
    #11
  12. JoeB

    JoeB Husky Adventurer

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    OK, Thanks guys, I have my answer.

    I had my garmin street pilot om my drz 400 for 5 years, and it never had a problem, but I will get an extended warantee on the 478.

    Again, thanks
    JoeB

    Isn't Adventure Rider a wonderful resource !!!!
    #12
  13. Gros Buck

    Gros Buck Beef = Packed Vegetables

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    I've done that, but not anymore because since I remove it often, the grease traps sand in worsening the problem.

    If I was always in a "clean" environement I would continue to grease it.

    The best thing to do is to cut the powere cable anywhere, weld/install a new connector and disconect there, not directly on the GPS.

    Paul Jr
    #13
  14. Gros Buck

    Gros Buck Beef = Packed Vegetables

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    Well I was having lunch to night with a friend that had its Third Zumo in 18 month ...

    Guess what ? his GPS base was replaced under warranty after - euh !? - few days of operation. He told me to night he gave up on Zumo's base.

    His bike sleeps outside ...

    Paul Jr
    #14
  15. RiverRat

    RiverRat Endless Chores

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    After 2000 miles on a drz the internal battery vibrated off of my 478. I attribute this to the RAM mount transmitting vibes to the gps.
    #15
  16. Gros Buck

    Gros Buck Beef = Packed Vegetables

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    Oups !!!

    I forgot to mention I use rubber band 1/4" wide on each side of the screen to secure the GPS on the RAM mount craddle. A picture of my set-up unfortunately without the rubber band ...

    Paul Jr

    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. TomW

    TomW Long timer

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    My reliability experience has been different, although I agree that the power/audio connector on the '276 family of GPSs sucks. I'm a Garmin GPS junkie, I suppose (III, III+, V, '176, '276, '376, '378, '60CSx...so far), and I wouldn't keep coming back if I had frequent bad experiences. (No, the bike doesn't live inside all the time, and I do ride off pavement occasionally.)

    I've yet to have one fail, including the power plug. I use a short power cable with a BMW powerlet plug on the other end so I don't need to wear out the Garmin plug (it's routed to the aux power jack on the fairing). Between that and the Touratech mount I've had zero problems over -- what? -- ten years? Knock wood.

    Cheers.
    #17
  18. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    Just had to send my hardly used 478 to Garmin today. Having memory errors. :pissed
    #18
  19. Gros Buck

    Gros Buck Beef = Packed Vegetables

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    Tom, if I understand you well, you had maybe 10 GPS in the last ten years ? :eek1 :huh

    If it is so, no wonder you did not have much reliability trouble !!! :lol3

    Paul Jr
    #19
  20. TomW

    TomW Long timer

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    Good point; however, I give the 'old' ones (V, '276) to my brother. Most of them are still in use. I'm using one or more of the '376, '378 and '60CSx on a more or less daily basis. The III+ is working fine at 10 years old (spent several years as my first GPS on the bikes); I carry it as a backup sometimes. The '376 is three years old and is my favorite on the bikes.

    Cheers.
    #20