Garmin announces the new GPSMAP 276Cx

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

  1. Bill 310

    Bill 310 Poser Emeritus

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    The locking Touratech mount just arrived. First class and well made. I will be ordering some back up rubber bands for the mount.
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  2. an13

    an13 Been here awhile

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  3. Eltjo

    Eltjo Adventurer

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    when searching city's, try searching by name before entering the city name, for me that speeds up city search
  4. shu

    shu ...

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    Not sure exactly what you are asking but I think you want to zoom in and out? Just use the buttons at the top, they're marked 'IN' and 'OUT'.

    ..........shu
  5. shu

    shu ...

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    Okay, once again, so that the positive aspects of the 276CX don't get lost in the criticisms...I have used Garmin Nuvis, and cell phones and the Garmin Montana for navigation. I find the 276CX, although it has some faults, to be better than the rest of what I have used. Here's why:

    I have certain criteria that are non-negotiable for a GPS that goes on my handlebar. I have used units that do not meet these criteria and they're not for me. YMMV.

    1. The screen must be big and bright and easily read under any/and all weather conditions. This is paramount. When I ride into a roundabout, or turn up a rocky trail, at some point the sun/sky will glare the screen- it must remain readable at all times to be useful for me. The 276CX meets this criteria, where most of the other devices I've used do not. (The Montana was good at this also.) If a GPS becomes unreadable under bad weather conditions, it's not for me.

    2. The unit must be waterproof. I've tried sealing units, putting them in plastic holders or in the map pocket in a tankbag. for me a GPS has to be waterproof.

    3. The cradle/mount must be trouble free, and strong. It must reliably hold the GPS under terrible, rocky trail conditions and provide trouble-free, waterproof and vibration proof power to the GPS. (The 276CX uses the same proven cradle as the Montana- extemely reliable.) If a GPS depends on a USB connection for power, I won't choose it: I've messed with that before.

    4. It must be glove friendly. I have trouble with phone touch screens and gloves. Even while walking, I have to remove my glove to operate a cell phone. The touchscreen on the Montana was fairly usable with gloves, but I still made plenty of errors hitting the small zoom buttons and arrows. Running through the menus to find, for instance, a category under "Food", I would often touch the wrong spot, or hold the screen a second too long and my search would go in the wrong direction and usually, backing out of the menu would yield other touch errors, such that I would have to begin my search over again. Frustrating, but usually workable, given enough time.

    I find the buttons on the 276CX are much more glove friendly and usable on-the-fly. It is still slow and kind of a pain with winter gloves, but better than the Montana was in the same conditions.

    Those are my current 'non-negotiables' for a GPS. Your favorite device may be faster, search better, have a better data base, etc, but if it doesn't do 1-4 it's not for me.

    Now to some things that I really like about using the 276CX.

    5. Searches a) along the route, b) near my destination, c) near my current location, or d) near the pointer on the map screen. One of my cheap Nuvis did all of these, but my expensive Montana did not. I'm happy to be able to do this again. However, since the Nuvis didn't meet criteria 1-4, I was happier with the Montana- I used it for 5 years.

    6. Zooming in and out using buttons. Wow! What a difference this makes in the utility of a GPS. On the 276CX it is so easy to zoom out, pan across the state, zoom back in and find a library, restaurant, hotel; Hit 'enter' and go. I won't underestimate this feature.

    In comparison, even sitting on the couch trying to accomplish the same goal on the Montana was frustrating. Doing it on the fly, with gloves on? The Montana zoom for me was difficult and I rarely tried to use it. Zooming in and out on a cell phone map is a dream come true, sitting on the couch. I love Google maps- but that little screen, on the handlebar, with gloves on? I guess some people can do it, I can't.

    7. Menus. Operating a GPS on-the-go requires that a quick glance at the screen provides you with enough information to visually find a menu option and then select it. The Montana and Nuvis are not too bad, you learn for instance, that if you punch 'Food' , you will find 'Fast Food' on the 3rd set of screens as you scroll down. Doable with a quick glance. But with gloves on, I inadvertently select the wrong options fairly often.- those arrow downs can be hard to hit accurately.

    On the 276CX menu, after selecting 'FOOD', you get a list of 7-8 options at a time, not just 4 like the other Garmin touch screen units. A quick glance tells you Fast food is the 6 or 7th choice down. Now you click the "DOWN' Button 6 times, without looking at the screen. Next glance tells you that you missed by one click. Click again, and hit enter. This is a pretty error free sequence.

    After a little while, you remember the search sequences and can do them on the fly with very little need for looking at the screen. For example, to detour: Hit NAV; DOWN ARROW 2 or 3 times to the Detour choice- check the screen. Use DOWN ARROW again if you missed, then hit ENTER and ENTER again (for the screen that asks how far around you want to detour) and the Unit will route you on a detour. Except for the one screen check, it can all be done without looking- just like typing without looking at the keyboard.

    There's more about the 276CX that I like. This is just some of it.

    Use your Montana if you like, or use a cell phone. I'm not saying that those are bad options- just that I find the 276CX to be more useful.

    .............shu
  6. shu

    shu ...

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    [The 'slow processor' argument comes up often enough that I would like to address that issue a little, as well. I copied my post from another thread, because I think it should show up here when someone reads this thread, trying to decide on whether the 276CX is worth buying. Sorry for the duplication if you already read this elsewhere.]


    As far as phones thrashing the 276CX, the much talked about 'lagginess' is not an issue when actually using the unit on your handlebars. It's much like maligning a motorcycle that has a top speed of of 130 mph because you can now buy a motorcycle that will go 200 mph. In practice, for me there is no difference: both bikes go faster than I want/need to go.

    Yes, you may notice a slight lag when sitting on the couch panning the maps, but if you use your GPS traveling- often changing plans and looking for locations en route while you are riding- then in actual use that lag is insignificant; because no matter how fast (or slowly) the unit redraws, you are not watching it. You glance down, poke a button or two, (instruct the GPS to take a couple of steps in your operation), then your attention goes immediately back to the road. When next you glance at the unit it will be sitting there, ready and waiting.

    As for the lag when sitting in a restaurant or on the roadside, planning a route, we are talking about a matter of another second in the redraw- very easy to deal with. We are not talking about the kind of delays you had waiting for the internet at your desktop with a dial up connection.

    The other place where there is a slight lag on this unit is in the position of the vehicle icon. Again, in the real world of riding, if I am going 60 mph and my turn is coming up, when the GPS tells me I have 100 meters to my next exit/turn, I am not going to be looking at the screen anymore. I'm not one of those people who drives into the canal because my GPS told me to. :hmmmmm A slight lag in position doesn't matter.


    I well know that there are those who find this minor slowness to be intolerable in this day and age. Obviously there are those of us who find this to be a very serviceable GPS.

    I waited quite a while before buying, but I have no regrets now. I thought I might want to hang on to my Montana- just in case- but I have now sold it. I am pleased with my choice. YMMV.

    ..........shu
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  7. SteveAZ

    SteveAZ Long timer

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    These have long been near the top of my complaints with montana. I value these features so much, especially the combination of the two that I never understood the montana not having these and it makes the usability go way way down. I think a lot of the montana users never had these features and never understood why I complained about their lacking....
  8. Karlten

    Karlten n00b

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    ELTJO I don't get you mate... I enter the search by name then I type the letters of the city and wait and wait and wait :confused
  9. Eltjo

    Eltjo Adventurer

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    Karlten, from your map screen, hit find, hit Cities, enter, hit menu, hit enter Find by name, spell the city for searching. I don't know why, but this in between step makes it much faster
  10. SteveAZ

    SteveAZ Long timer

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    Guessing here...

    When it's searching by distance it has to scrub them by determining how far they are and it's got to start by things that are close so it likely does a larger region "mask" but it still has a ton of names it's computing distances on.

    When searching only by name it just goes through the list of names, no calculations involved.

    When you start entering a name with the "conventional" search vs. search by name it's still computing distances so still slower than just searching by name.

    Just a guess... :deal
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  11. khpossum

    khpossum poster

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    I can not replicate any speed advantage using the "by name" method. What does happen though is that it lists all kinds of cities all over the world from the built in Worldwide DEM Basemap, although I have it disabled. The search results include include other loaded but disabled maps. Odd. Using the Name Method also means that if you have a partial name entered that it will list all names with that partial name alphabeticly. For instance searching for Limon and I enter Lim it shows all cities that start with Lim alphabetically, and not related with what is close. Not using the Name Method will show the close cities first that start with Lim, as it should. Does this point to the issue with the search function? Does it search all loaded maps instead of just what maps are active?

    I did notice another setting I don't understand. It does not seem to make any difference in speed, but it must be there for some reason: When on "Find" and the "Cities" highlighted, click the menu button and there is an option "Enable Auto Arrange". I have not been able to figure that one out. Can't find it in the manual either. You would think it has something to do with how the find results are displayed, but I don't see a difference in my trials.

    So, no further clarification on the issue, just some observations / obfuscations.
  12. shu

    shu ...

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    Auto Arrange actually doesn't have anything to do with how results are displayed. It lets you re-order the list of find topics. If you enable Autoarrange, everytime you select an option, eg : Cities, Fuel, Waypoints, Recent, etc, it will move to the top of the list. After a while, you have a custom order of items with the most frequently used items at the top.

    I used Auto arrange while sitting on my couch, until I had the list looking the way I wanted it, then I disabled auto arrange, so it would stay like that. I prefer to have things in the same place everytime so I can find them easily without looking while riding.

    .........shu
  13. khpossum

    khpossum poster

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    Excellent, thanks.
  14. shu

    shu ...

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    Do you actually have and use a 276CX?


    .............shu
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  15. khpossum

    khpossum poster

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    Well, that makes your post incredibly helpful and really contributes to the conversation. Thanks!
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  16. CLANTECH

    CLANTECH Cruising Southern Africa

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    I have the 276 Cx and have been using it extensively in Southern Africa and in Switzerland.
    I have can only support what was said before; excellent for following tracks or drive in the bush/desert. But as soon as I have to use in built up area (cities) with routing to a location the lag is really an issue. In Switzerland i even prefer my old 276 over the new 276Cx since the calculation is ridiculously slow for a modern unit.


    Hanging around, planning my next trip.
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  17. SteveAZ

    SteveAZ Long timer

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    There are morons that haunt this thread trying to evangelize their smart-phone little girl giddiness to folks looking for something that's use case doesn't even remotely resemble that of a smart phone use case.

    Prolly has a vested interests in the phones LOL....
  18. Jeff@TheQuadShop

    Jeff@TheQuadShop TAT survivor

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    I actually really like using my iPhone as a GPS but this 276cx looks like a great unit and has me intrigued. I really don't care about routing through a city, I only use GPS's for track logs.
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  19. Karlten

    Karlten n00b

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    Yeah mate thats what I did and do but still lousy searching time - garmin? Fix?
  20. radmann10

    radmann10 Fred

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    I'll stick with my Garmin Montana, it works well for me!