Garmin 478 users/owners thread

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by spidennis, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. KTRSD

    KTRSD keep the rubber side down

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Oddometer:
    142
    Location:
    NYC
    Is it hardwired on the bike? You could try it plugged in there.
    #21
  2. spidennis

    spidennis SandStorm Adventures

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,275
    Location:
    South Padre Island, Texas .... far from anything
    wouldn't it be nice if the "spot messenger" could be fitted into a 478?
    #22
  3. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod Red Clay Halo

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
    14,008
    Location:
    Richmond, Va
    I have no direct evidence. It's something I read in one of 478 threads. I've only updated the maps once on my unit. It worked, but I also had it plugged in.

    Here's a thread where it seemed to be the problem for fellow using the 276 LINK
    #23
  4. T J

    T J Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    65
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I tried loading the map updates on battery power a couple of times with no luck. Plugged it in and it worked first shot.
    #24
  5. PRW

    PRW living @ 11.5740741uHz

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,170
    Location:
    Chicago
    Greetings from stormy Denver all - crazy weather all day across CO. Thanks for all your input - it sounds like it's the AC Adapter issue. I'm very hopeful this will be the case - I'd hate to have to send it in for warranty repair/replacement. I could try and test it with bike power, but it would be very inconvenient trying to do it in the rain here tonight.

    I'll report back after I'm able to test the theory...
    #25
  6. PRW

    PRW living @ 11.5740741uHz

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,170
    Location:
    Chicago
    Thanks to all who provided advice on using the AC Power Supply when updating internal maps - it worked! There must be some timeout on the Garmin's USB when running on battery power only, though I'm puzzled as to why Garmin didn't note that in any of the instructions I could find.

    Also, what's up with Garmin's RIDICULOUS hold time for support these days - they used to be reasonably quick? I never did get to talk to a Tier-2 software support tech, after waiting over 2 hours... :bluduh

    In any case, I'm glad you guys were here - thanks again... :super
    #26
  7. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod Red Clay Halo

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
    14,008
    Location:
    Richmond, Va

    Glad it worked out for you.

    I noticed the longer than normal wait with Garmin this January, but just thought it might be due to all those new Garmin Christmas gifts.
    #27
  8. spidennis

    spidennis SandStorm Adventures

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,275
    Location:
    South Padre Island, Texas .... far from anything
    I just subscribed to the master mariner weather package and the xm everything music package, did all this over the phone with xm. It was fairly straight forward and easy. $117 including the one time hookup fees ....

    on my bike I'll have my headphones inside my helmet, but now I'm on the search for a audio wiring system for the jeep/boat/etc. .......
    #28
  9. PRW

    PRW living @ 11.5740741uHz

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,170
    Location:
    Chicago
    I've had that package for the past year. Works fantastically well - I can't tell you how many times it enabled me to avoid some very nasty weather well in advance, enabling me to alter course to ride around it.
    #29
  10. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,451
    Location:
    Newnan, GA
    I have the master mariner package right now myself, but dang the $50/month is painful. The $30 plans still give you nexrad, but they drop stuff like the lightning data, storm tracks and other things that are nice to see also when you are faced with a storm coming at you on a bike.

    It is so nice having the radar on long trips, but keeping a subscription the entire year is tough to justify. I really would have thought this technology would be much cheaper.
    #30
  11. spidennis

    spidennis SandStorm Adventures

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,275
    Location:
    South Padre Island, Texas .... far from anything
    I had a tough time trying to decide between the fisherman or sailor package, so I figured I'd see all the features in the master mariner package and see which ones I'd need based on real world usage rather than check marks on the website chart.

    I got a quick trip up to austin tomorrow in my jeep to pick up an older 82 goldwing and will give all this a tryout. I went to radio shack and got a maxell stereo fm transmitter but already know I don't like it as it takes 3 AAA batteries that I'll have to keep replacing. it was all there was and I'll have to find something better ......
    #31
  12. PRW

    PRW living @ 11.5740741uHz

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,170
    Location:
    Chicago
    You are entitled to turn it off (for as long as you wish) and on again once/year, without a reactivation charge or any other charges. In fact, during the time you shut it off, they still provide you with some basic XM data services, so it works out pretty well.

    I hear you though, $50/mo. is hefty. But IMO, if it saves you from hitting some nasty shit even once/mo., it's well worth it, if you do significant amounts of long-distance riding/touring.
    #32
  13. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,451
    Location:
    Newnan, GA
    Yeah, I did that last year and changed it to what they call "End of Season". I think I waited till about March to turn it back on this year.

    If it was about $20/month including all the storm tracks and stuff you get in the $50 package, I wouldn't even think of turning it off. But as it is, $50/month = $600/yr. Its nice to have and does pay off, but still something you think about paying for each month. I've got a 2 week trip my wife and I are doing going out to the West Coast starting next week, but once we come back from there I'll probably at the minimum drop it down to one of the $30 packages.
    #33
  14. Ozz

    Ozz Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    410
    Location:
    Monterrey
    Can the Marine maps be removed from the 478's internal memory? If so and if you do, can you upload a new map provided there is enough memory or would you still have to use a memory card for the new map?
    #34
  15. spidennis

    spidennis SandStorm Adventures

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,275
    Location:
    South Padre Island, Texas .... far from anything
    I just started using the nextrad weather radar on my garmin 478 and just love it! Upstate NY is pretty wet this summer season and the 478 with the weather feature is getting a real workout! My mom is always obsessed with what the weatherman is gonna say, but now it's instant info for her. I can see basically what's gonna happen for the next few hours, then I just have to forcast (guess) what the green patches are gonna do as they approach for later on in the day. I'm keeping the 478 in the house since I'm not traveling right now and it's on 24/7 . It's nice to look at right before we're wanting to go out in the boat .... man this technology is great! someday everyone will have this at their fingertips and the weatherman will be history! I got the full package to start out with to figure out which features I need or not, then I'll step down to the 30 bucks a month plan ....... Nexrad, man that's cool!
    #35
  16. _DreamRider_

    _DreamRider_ Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    150
    Location:
    MD
    I am new to gps, all I have used is the one in my car. I just bought the 478, and I think I might have bought one too advanced for my first one, and I just don't have the patience to spend countless hours reading through forums to just understand the basics. Before buying I tried calling Garmin with a few pre-sales questions and they said there was a 30 minute wait. This alone made me not want to purchase it, but I didnt see an equivalent from any other brands. I have never purchased anything where there was a 30 minute wait just for a sales question. Anyways, here is what I dont understand.

    I started by installing the Mapsource, then connected the unit, I search the maps, and the roads in my area I know are not there, just the main highways, lil discouraging, then I go to Utilities>>Unlock Map, thinking I have to unlock the map because all the backroads are not showing, and I get an error message "cannot start unlock map wizard", discouraging again.

    So, I try to transfer data from gps unit to mapsource on pc, using the software and receive a message that the gps unit does not have a data card, so I cannot transfer. I cant find a card on the gps, check the manual, and it shows where a slot is for a spare one, but not the main one, feel stupid. Also, there is nothing in the manual that shows anything about creating routes on your PC and transferring to the GPS, discouraging again.

    Would it be asking too much to just open some map software, click the roads you want to ride, create a route and transfer to gps? I am planning a trip, TAT, end of August, and its taking a lot of time, getting things ready and I just dont have the time to sit and spend hours trying to learn just basic stuff on a gps.

    I want to look at maps on my pc, create routes, and transfer to the gps, don't I need City Navigator? Do I have to purchase this separately?? I cant believe a $600 GPS would not come with the capability to create routes on your pc.

    I bought the 478, over the zumo 550, 660, mainly for 2 reasons, I would like to be able to track, and I would like to be able to get gps routes from others that might be routes that are not on roads that are on the map, I thought the 550/660 wouldnt be able to handle this. I alos prefer the buttons over the touchscreen.

    In planning the TAT, I have to spend many hours transferring routes from paper maps to gps (I have no idea why I cant just buy the gps files), theres no way I could do this in Mapsource, I only see the main highways, so is my solution to just buy City Navigator, would this take care of my problem? or should I just send this unit back and get the zumo that comes with the software for my pc, and seems to have a much less learning curve.


    Thanks for any suggestions or advice.
    #36
  17. _DreamRider_

    _DreamRider_ Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    150
    Location:
    MD
    I am new to gps, all I have used is the one in my car. I just bought the 478, and I think I might have bought one too advanced for my first one, and I just don't have the patience to spend countless hours reading through forums to just understand the basics. Before buying I tried calling Garmin with a few pre-sales questions and they said there was a 30 minute wait. This alone made me not want to purchase it, but I didnt see an equivalent from any other brands. I have never purchased anything where there was a 30 minute wait just for a sales question. Anyways, here is what I dont understand.

    I started by installing the Mapsource, then connected the unit, I search the maps, and the roads in my area I know are not there, just the main highways, lil discouraging, then I go to Utilities>>Unlock Map, thinking I have to unlock the map because all the backroads are not showing, and I get an error message "cannot start unlock map wizard", discouraging again.

    So, I try to transfer data from gps unit to mapsource on pc, using the software and receive a message that the gps unit does not have a data card, so I cannot transfer. I cant find a card on the gps, check the manual, and it shows where a slot is for a spare one, but not the main one, feel stupid. Also, there is nothing in the manual that shows anything about creating routes on your PC and transferring to the GPS, discouraging again.

    Would it be asking too much to just open some map software, click the roads you want to ride, create a route and transfer to gps? I am planning a trip, TAT, end of August, and its taking a lot of time, getting things ready and I just dont have the time to sit and spend hours trying to learn just basic stuff on a gps.

    I want to look at maps on my pc, create routes, and transfer to the gps, don't I need City Navigator? Do I have to purchase this separately?? I cant believe a $600 GPS would not come with the capability to create routes on your pc.

    I bought the 478, over the zumo 550, 660, mainly for 2 reasons, I would like to be able to track, and I would like to be able to get gps routes from others that might be routes that are not on roads that are on the map, I thought the 550/660 wouldnt be able to handle this. I alos prefer the buttons over the touchscreen.

    In planning the TAT, I have to spend many hours transferring routes from paper maps to gps (I have no idea why I cant just buy the gps files), theres no way I could do this in Mapsource, I only see the main highways, so is my solution to just buy City Navigator, would this take care of my problem? or should I just send this unit back and get the zumo that comes with the software for my pc, and seems to have a much less learning curve.


    Thanks for any suggestions or advice.
    #37
  18. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp REMF

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2002
    Oddometer:
    8,783
    Location:
    Nebraska
    OK, you need to calm down.

    You need a City Navigator NT DVD to get the maps on your computer. I think I've heard that you can just ask Garmin and they will send you one for free since you already paid for the maps which are pre-installed on your GPS (yes it's ridiculous not to just include it). You will then have to go through the unlock deal. It's been a long time since I've bought any maps so I'm not sure how it all works these days.

    You shouldn't need a data card unless you are loading additional maps to the unit, like Topo.

    If you have the maps on the computer you certainly can "open some map software, click the roads you want to ride, create a route and transfer to gps", I do it all of the time. You didn't give yourself much time to figure it out before your trip.

    From what I understand, the guy who came up with the TAT doesn't want to put himself out of business by selling easily copied/shared GPS files of the route.
    #38
  19. ckgdrums

    ckgdrums Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Oddometer:
    34
    Location:
    Wichita, Ks.
    You get a free CNNT2010 download from Garmin with the purchase of your new 478. Register your gps with them, and IIRC, you should get an e-mail with a link to download your new map. Then follow the directions for install on your 478 and PC and you should be good to go.

    There may be something I'm missing about your map download, but that's what I can recall from memory.

    Good Luck
    #39
  20. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,451
    Location:
    Newnan, GA
    DreamRider, you have a fine GPS there and yes a little bit of a learning curve, but most of what you are experiencing right now is just some basic annoyances getting your GPS and your software on your PC synched. You would have the same learning curve with Mapsource even if it was the Zumo you bought.

    and I can tell you from experience, the 478 is one of the best GPS's to have for doing the TAT.

    There are several good threads here on ADV that explain all the things you need to know about navigating around Mapsource, routing tools, waypoint tools, drawing tracks, loading routes, etc. Go spend some time reading them, and it will greatly help and much better then reading the manual or talking to a Garmin Sales Rep.

    First off, what disk did you use to install MapSource on your PC? Was it a particular version of City Navigator like City Nav V8 NT or was it called something like "Trip and Waypoint" manager? If it was City Nav, then you should be on your way to having the detailed maps on your PC once you unlock them. If it was just something like Trip and Waypoint Mgr, then you don't have any detailed maps on your PC yet. The first thing you need to grasp is that MapSource is just the "gui" part of the interface that allows you to communicate with your GPS. Other then the basemap of interstates and highways, it really includes no "detailed" maps. Mapsource is the part of the program that allows you to send/receive data like waypoints, routes, & tracks between your PC and your GPS.

    Now on to memory. The 478 comes preloaded with the entire US on internal memory. It does have a data card slot which uses Garmin's proprietary memory cards where you could load additional maps like Topo, but its not necessary. Most likely your GPS came with City Nav v8 pre-installed on its internal memory and its already unlocked for your GPS. Now here's the tricky part, in order to show the detailed maps on your PC that you have on your GPS, you have to have the DVD to install the "City Nav v8" data source inside Mapsource. You can't just copy the maps from the GPS. If you got the actual DVD with City Nav v8 on it, you then have those same maps on your PC if you installed them right, you just need to unlock them. You only need a unique unlock code for your GPS which it already has. Your PC can use the same unlock code as many times as it wants. There is a way to get the unlock code from the GPS using Mapsource.

    City Navigator v2010 NT is the latest version of City Nav available for your 478. As posted above, if you bought this 478 new or refurbished, you should be eligible for a free upgrade to 2010 when you register your GPS on Garmin's site. This is the "data" source for your GPS and also the same datasource your MapSource on your PC needs to show detailed roads. You can load several data sources on your PC and switch between them inside MapSource. I have like 8 data sources ranging from topo, to roads & recreation, to Metroguide, to several versions of City Nav. I only have to open MapSource once, and then I can use the drop down box to switch between them. Now keep in mind, your GPS will only have 1 basic data source loaded on its internal memory at any given time. It probably has City Nav V8 right now, but as mentioned, you could upgrade it to 2010. If you wanted to use other data sources like Topo or the older Roads & Recreation, etc, those would need to be loaded onto a separate memory card you would need to buy. BTW, those data sources don't require unlocking, so you don't have to go through all that. Their map data is much older, but it also shows much more data off road which the city nav stuff lacks.

    If you didn't get a DVD with your GPS, then getting the maps to your PC might be difficult unless you could get a hold of that particular DVD with the same exact version of City Nav. However, if you are offered a free upgrade by Garmin to move up to City Nav 2010 NT, then by all means, take that. You'll have 2 options to either download it from their site which will update your GPS (and I think your PC too) or order the DVD.

    I can't recall if the online update updates your PC also, but if it does, that is probably the cheapest and quickest option, although some people like to have the DVD on hand in case they want to load the City Nav data source on several PC's which is just fine. As I said, only the GPS requires one unique unlock code. You can use that same code on any PC as many times as you want as it doesn't have any checksum included in it.

    Once you get your PC and GPS supporting the same map data source, then you are well on your way to be able to learn how to use this GPS and set yourself up for the TAT.
    #40