Garmin announces the new GPSMAP 276Cx

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by mattebox, Oct 4, 2016.

  1. Garry H

    Garry H Been here awhile

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    I had that old 276c for over 8 years and loved it...it was replaced one when it had the back up battery die...mind you it suffered from intermittent shut downs from day one and garmin never cured that with every firmware update they did...The montana has suffered with the same intermittent shutting down and they have never cured that...
    Interesting thing Dan i was out on a trip with a mate of mine a few years ago...He was using a 550 Zumo and i was using the 276c...we both had the same mapping running. I was leading and i pulled over to sort the 276c out because it had just thrown a wobbler ...my mate says has you GPS just gone ape to because mine has...So that must have been a mapping issue

    You are right about the monterra Dan
    It is not glitch free by any means ...But it is fast and when i does crash as all Garmin units do it's back up and running in a second
    I have had a few mates buy monterra's after seeing mine in action
    I would have thought they should have stayed on the Android route because it gives you decent processing power for not a lot of money
    Plus a modern phone has screen resolution that put the 276cx to shame ( and still fast and powerful )
    In the UK you can get OS 1:50k mapping called memory map for android and IOS...On a phone or media player it is very fast..It makes the monterra look slow !!
    I use a samsung Galaxy Player 5 on my off road bike because it has very good performance and they are as cheap as chips if you wreck it
    Cant use it in the rain mind you..but it hardly rains in the UK :(

    I also have a montana and a gpsmap64s...Both of these are also quicker than the 276cx..the gpsmap64s much quicker But it has a small screen
    I still cant believe just how slow the 276cx is for the price and would not be surprised to see a hardware upgrade
    This is one of the reasons i am holding fire on one for a while because if they do upgrade the hardware unless Garmin do a free unit upgrade your stuffed
    When i see fast/decent raster map performance i will have another look
  2. JustRok

    JustRok Arctic & Antarctic Exploration

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    Understood, and never doubted @BigDogAdvetures what-so-ever

    Upon elaborating on my previous post about BigDog's "possibly updated hardware unit", could it be that the UK (& Europe) has received an exported "first batch" leaving the U.S. (which is a larger market) with newer "more recently produced" units assembled with updated hardware components? Hence the lack of US Complains...

    Far fetched; but am I wrong to suggest that most complaints are from the EU? Maybe there could be a correlation there and GARMIN UK should be urgently made aware of it?

    PS: on this topic, It's been over 30 hours now and GARMIN's Quality Supervisor has yet to return my 276cx report email. Fingers crossed.
  3. zym

    zym Adventurer

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    Hi,
    I sent an email to Garmin Europe about the problems that the 276cx has. They wanted me to send them the Garmin File of the device. I implied that i would not be possible because the file is almost 4GB insize. And they answered as i would upload the file to dropbox and send them the link. I am not sure that it helps.

    Do you have any idea?
  4. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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    Dropbox will work great for that. It's very easy to share large files over Dropbox.
    JustRok likes this.
  5. zym

    zym Adventurer

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    Thank you but my limit is about 2.5GB. I still have free account .:bore
  6. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    I get that you (and others) want this to be a hardware problem so a simple swap of the device will fix everything. If Garmin had to make two version of this device to accommodate the use of Raster/Vector-combined maps and/or Shaded Relief with Raster overlays, it's cost would be - unaffordable. I'll stick with "it's the Maps being used" and Garmin will fix the performance with software updates.
    JustRok likes this.
  7. Garry H

    Garry H Been here awhile

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    Thing is Dan unless have a crystal ball you can't be 100% sure about that statement
    Let them fix it first then buy one is the best option on a unit of this price
  8. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    @Garry H When I speculate on a topic, I tell folks I'm speculating. In this case, I don't need a 'crystal ball'. I try to tell folks what I can without violating my access agreements. If you don't want to believe the information I present, it doesn't hurt my feels.:wave

    As noted prior, the best way to get Garmin's attention is to return devices that don't work for your purposes and communicate that fact directly to them.
  9. Dazed Productions

    Dazed Productions Been here awhile

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    So, I am another one giving this a try, although still in my 10 day decision period....

    I will give another point in the board as to these units, although I have only had a small play with it to date.

    As a background, my two previous units are a GPSMAP 78s (basically a 62 in a marine housing for those not familiar with the 78) and an oregon 650.
    The 78 I use as my main motorbike unit. It has a proper 12V power input and has buttons. It has a somewhat awkward mounting system however and the primary reason I bought the oregon was as it is a physically smaller unit with a really good simplistic mounting system and I wanted to use GPS on my pushbike. Early attempts at mounting the 78 on a (off road) pushbike didn't go so well. The pushbike hardware was not able to sturdily support the off centre weight and motorcycle stuff is too heavy, plus I didn't think it would fare much better (no suspension).

    The oregon has a significantly better display (3" 240x400 vs 2.6" 160x240) and is significantly faster (map redraw and searching). I now use the oregon for pushbike and also for walking navigation abroad and rental car use. It is much smaller to carry (mainly as the 78s is always in its holster but also the length) although I believe the 78 is actually lighter. The Oregon and 78 have different software, and to be honest I expected to find the 276cx a closer relative of the oregon than the GPSMAP78 but the opposite is true. The oregon software has some great features including shortcuts (go home, turn backlight off etc). One issue is that the oregon does not do 2-small datafields in map mode and does not do transparency like the 78, so although the unit has a larger screen, less is usable than on the GPSMAP 78. The oregon has working speed camera alerts (beeps and brings up a banner). I never got them to work on the 78 (can see them on the map but no banner and if it beeps I can't hear it on the bike).
    I occasionally use the oregon on the motorbike for short journeys (battery powered only). I choose to use it as it is easier to chuck in a bag. The issues are the screen needs to be locked (otherwise the rain starts pushing buttons) and I don't find touchscreens a good fit for bike use, requires far too much looking at the screen.


    To the 276cx
    The software seems to have some holes and some nice features:
    -The weather map works fine for me (others reported issues). Quite a nice feature. Took a while to realise that you have to pair the unit to your phone twice.
    -First time all the notifications came through from my phone it crashed the unit, think it was too much. Was working nicely on the ride in this morning though with note of emails coming in. Can't do anything about them but lets you see whats happening!
    -Had real issues with a tempe sensor, flaky but works intermittently. No idea why, seems to be suddenly working again now.
    -I can't get speed camera notifications to work (like my 78). the POIs are all loaded and appear on the map.
    -With a city navigtor map loaded to the internal memory (I found this to make a difference on my other units sometimes)and map redraw set to fast I find performance fine. The unit is tracking me correctly and turn-by-turn is well timed. I would say better than the oregon (so quite a bit better than the 78). Track up and set to 120m fixed scale.
    -with the GB OS maps loaded, yes performance is an issue but as I have used these on the 78, I think its usable for me. Caveat- I havent tested this moving yet!
    -Speed of searching and menu operation is miles above the 78.
    -I really don't like the loss of profiles and shortcuts. Both the 78 and 650 have profiles that are user configurable.

    -I was really concerned it would be too large and heavy a unit. It is certainly not a small unit and I won't be using it as a handheld unit or on the pushbike. It may well replace the 78 but not the 650. In some respects, due to its smooth shape it is easier to carry around than the 78. The 78 I can't carry in a breast pocket (needs to get carried in helmet), the 276cx I can. It does look a bit large fitted on the KTM 525 and blocks the clocks a bit.
    -When you take it out of the box, the lack of weight of the unit itself is good but the battery is if anything too heavy for a unit that will be used more or less soely on a vehicle with power. Battery life appears to be good from what I can work out. I might try and make a half capacity lithium battery long term. After a 2 hr journey today the battery was over 90%
    -The mount has pluses and minus's. The 78 is a pain. The 650 you can zip tie a £2 Chinese mount to virtually anything. The 276cx is great in that it is quick to attach/detach and can provide power with no additional action required. The minus, its expensive and attaching it is less easy. I found that you can't zip tie it with normal ties but you can with metal zip ties. On the zx9r I think I will drill holes in the top yoke and screw the mount to that. The KTM its currently zip tied over the top of the 650 mount to give it required spacing- long term it needs a custom mount. Note the mount does have the standard ram mount hole spacing, so it is easy to fit a ball on the back of the mount. The security bolt and keyring driver is a nice touch.

    -Screen size and layouts. The 4 corner overlay is nice looking but I ended up finding the data fields too small/low contrast considering that I need the speed to be my main speedo on the KTM. 4 corners might work on the zx9r.
    -The map layout is missing the ability to have different displays when you are navigating. On the 78 I have two small data fields when navigating for example but one large when not.
    -Despite the screen size, the font of a 'large' data field on the 276cx is much smaller than on the 78 and 650. the box is the same size but the font is tiny. I can have a larger speed display on a map on the smaller devices which is kind of crazy.
    -The 78 is really a fine unit for navigating to waypoints, following tracks etc. It is painfully slow to use for planning a new route (i.e. panning around etc). It is virtually unusable if you want to search for a new address or POI from a map database (almost better to get your phone out, find it in mobile basecamp and send over a new waypoint)
    -The 650 really adds a searching capability to me. You can search for addresses reasonably. Moving around the map is a bit more bearable.
    -The 276cx has 12x the pixels of the 78 and 5x that of the 650. The screen size sugest that it should be a lot more useful for ad-hoc planning and routing but it is yet to be tried by me.
    -Some have commented on resolution but really for the actual viewing distance it is usually used in, I think its a high rez screen. Not like the 78, which is pixelated. The scale is a bit different on this one. On garmin you get a x metres per notional bar length. 78-11mm, 650-8mm, 276cx 7mm. This length is different so whereas I leave the 78 or 650 on 120m generally, I end up on 80m on the 276cx for approximately the same scale map. I suspect this is tied to pixel pitch.

    So I suppose I have another angle. I regularly use a device that could be described as unusably slow, so this is a step up, and I can see how someone can describe it as fast. I can also see how someone could describe it as slow!

    A few queries:
    Those who tested with GB OS maps, did you try with them loaded on the device or only on cards? (and was this the same on the other devices)
    Has anyone tested cards of varying speeds and do they make a difference? (is the bottleneck card, processor or a combination?)
    Has anyone got speed warnings to work?
    Has anyone got voice prompts to work? (I have not been able to test this moving. I couldn't pair it to a bluetooth headset. I paired it to a bluetooth speaker but got no noise out of it with the unit static (but activating routes etc).
  10. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    ...left for those with GB OS Maps.

    I have tested many µ-SD Cards in the 276Cx. As long as the card is a SDXC level card, it makes no difference which (speed) Class of card you use. Garmin typically never implemented the fastest data interfaces (SD Card, USB). You will always get somewhat better performance if you can load your maps to internal-storage.

    No. Another one of the Custom POI features that has yet to be enabled in the software.

    Yes, but only through the Audio out cable in the AMPS Rugged Mount using a wired headset. As of v2.80, Audio Device Bluetooth Discovery and Pairing needs a lot of attention from Garmin.
  11. Dazed Productions

    Dazed Productions Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the response!

    I know garmin never used to do fast card interfaces, but I could at least hope they had improved! Oh well, at least it saves me some cash in cards.

    Shame on the POI. Its odd, I heard some of the earlier GPSMAPs did them, but my 78 doesnt and now this. I might investigate trying to turn the speed alerts into proximity alerts and see if that works....

    I had a quick go with the wired headset but I think I had the volume down. . . I will try again at some point as I am curious as to what it does!
  12. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

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    Thank you to all contributors for the input here. Just speaking for myself, I'm thankful to learn what's going on with this unit without having to sell a kidney to get one, only to find out it won't suit. Thanks again for sharing your experiences.


    Now, is it just me, or is anyone getting the vibe that this is turning out to be a Note 7 for Garmin?
  13. chris_sav

    chris_sav Adventurer

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    Well most people seem to have found a "Galaxy" of problems!:rofl
    AugustFalcon and JustRok like this.
  14. lasvegasrider

    lasvegasrider Wayward Traveler

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    I am resurrected from death. I want to find a program that will allow me to use my 276c with some mutation of Garmin or alternate maps. I will be dead soon enough - I would like to know where I may die as I endeavor to arrive.
  15. Garry H

    Garry H Been here awhile

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    If you are going from a dinosaur from the past the 276 will seem quick....But certainly not if you have a modern higher end unit
    I could not try GB OS on the unit's memory because it is locked to the card..But i did try the same test with OSM and found it slightly quicker running off a class 10 micro sd card
    But as Dan said the difference is barley noticeable

    Data trasnsfer is very very slow from the PC to the card in the unit but much quicker to the internal memory not sure why this is ? ...So you need to remove the card for a decent size transfer

    Voice prompts worked fine in my car mount

    Try using next turn pop up in city nav and see how you get on with that..I found it unusable
  16. chris_sav

    chris_sav Adventurer

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    All my tests were done on the flash memory without a USB card, but plenty of space in internal memory as I know filling that up will slow things to a crawl. None of my experiences involved the OS raster maps, just the supplied topo (which was the worst) and TalkyToaster OSM maps.
  17. JustRok

    JustRok Arctic & Antarctic Exploration

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    Hello all,

    12:00 Today (GMT TIME) is 3 Days since I sent my above report direct to Garmin UK Head Quality Supervisor. I also included a link to this forum and suggested they see it constructively.

    While having NOT heard back, I sent a reminder email today requesting the plan of action.

    If I do not hear back by Monday I will have to escalate matters and change my approach.

    Fingers Crossed and have a great Friday the 13th under this full moon
  18. JustRok

    JustRok Arctic & Antarctic Exploration

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    Further to my recent post, GARMIN HAS JUST REPLIED AND UK QUALITY SUPERVISOR HAS DISTRIBUTED MY REPORT TO THE RELEVANT DEPARTMENTS!

    Many Thanks to GARMIN and the gentleman who is dealing with our current unit issues.
  19. chris_sav

    chris_sav Adventurer

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    Derrrrr. Am currently trying to resurrect 'erselfs P.C. from a catastrophic crash on a power outage last evening via a USB bootup to drive a restore, so had USB on the mind. I meant of course micro SD.


    Good to hear Garmin are on the case (says he hopefully!) if they get the 276CX working properly I'd buy another.
  20. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

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    I hope that the folks with the ability to change things do read this thread. It's clearly populated by very knowledgeable users, folks with a lot of experience, and not prone to hyperbole. That has made for some very thorough discussion, testing, and assessments.

    They started with @DRTBYK as their beta tester, and ended up with a lot of bang for their buck. Unfortunately for them, it hasn't resulted in glowing reviews and sales. Looking at it like any scientist, they should take heart that more has been learned through mistakes than through successes in scientific history. :D
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