New Garmin 66i

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by Hich76, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. Hich76

    Hich76 Been here awhile

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  2. TrevorG

    TrevorG Adventurer

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    I heard the 66 had some software issues, this device looks awesome but I'm going to wait for some reviews to see if those issues have been resolved.
    #2
  3. jeremy_283

    jeremy_283 Been here awhile

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    To my knowledge and Garmin's (that's what they said at least) I am one of the first users of this 66i and one of the first to experience an issue. That issue is that the microSD seems to be sensitive to cards. Not sure if it is software related or my device.

    My 4GB card formatted with Mac or Windows works either way

    the only 32GB card I had (of 3) that worked with the 66i only worked when it was formatted with Windows but not with Mac

    This was all done in FAT32 format.

    Also, this morning as I was typing in an address for an address search the device powered down, twice. I probably won't bother to bring that to Garmin's attention as so far it is so rare it is not an issue. My GPSMAP 78 would lock up from data intensive operations. I've come to the realization that Garmin products are just quirky in some aspects.

    The external memory issue was the big one but I now have that resolved. The device is awesome and I definitely feel it was a good purchase. I also now don't have to worry about lugging around a navigator and a satellite communication device separately.
    #3
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  4. CrazyCooter

    CrazyCooter --Crazy MoFo-- Supporter

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    My annual subscription to the SPOT X is ending this month and seriously considering jumping to Garmin for ease of messaging even though I hardly use the feature. I'll be keeping my SPOT Gen 1 so I will be covered by both sat systems. SPOT has hinted through a survey they sent out that they too have a new bluetooth smartphone pairing device offering on the way.

    Get the 66i, go for the old skool Inreach, or wait for SPOT? Hmmm
    #4
  5. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

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    "go for the old skool Inreach" gets my vote.
    The other two: One is new so no track record and it's Garmin new; the other doesn't exist, yet; and it's Spot, which doesn't have the greatest track record.
    #5
  6. CrazyCooter

    CrazyCooter --Crazy MoFo-- Supporter

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    Yes thinking of jumping from SPOT for sure now......Not only did the fees go up 25%, there is a $25 fee for downgrading plans! Makes the Garmin plans look better already!

    Maybe go for the mini for now and deal with he shorter battery life and just charge enroute.
    #6
  7. Joe167

    Joe167 Adventurer

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    I don't currently have a Spot or Garmin, but I think I may be buying the 66i. I'm a little anxious about it, but I heard that the software will have continual updates avail via wi-fi.

    Hey CrazyCooter, I apologize for the bad news, but Garmin has a similar fee for downgrading plans as well. An exert from their site: "a $24.95 fee applies to changing to a less inclusive annual plan."
    #7
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  8. Joe167

    Joe167 Adventurer

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    I bought the 66i a week ago because it has texting, wifi, bluetooth and birdseye view. I updated the software by connecting it to a desktop with a usb cable. It couldnt update software via wifi as I had hoped it would. That took a few hours to figure out. The birdseye is great, but you need to know exactly what area you need to download because it is very memory intensive. It does have a micro SD memory expansion slot for this purpose. Im planning to buy the sat subscription today. Hope to keep you posted.
    #8
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  9. Drtbkdav

    Drtbkdav Now Happy again!

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    :lurk
    #9
  10. Joe167

    Joe167 Adventurer

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    Update: I bought the safety level annual satellite subscription and sent a test message to my GF. It worked! She received an email and a text with my message and a link to a webpage where she can see my location on an interactive, zoom capable map. Pre written messages are unlimited, so I set up these three: leaving for a ride, delayed but doing well, and I'm back safe. Custom texts are $0.50 each after the first 10, which are free. Haven't ventured out with it yet though. I hope to use it a bit in NM early next month on my search for single track. I also bought the rescue insurance for $18 per year. So far so good.
    #10
  11. Hich76

    Hich76 Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the update and info. I most likely will be buying the 66i too. I use a Montana 680T along with my trustworthy 62sc now.
    #11
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  12. asphaltman

    asphaltman n00b

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    I just got a 66i and could not get it to read the 32g card I had in my 66st....so I reformatted on a Mac several times to FAT... The 24k maps loaded on the card and base camp saw the file, but the 66i never could read it. Multiple attempts to reset and re download the file. Tried a brand new 32g extreme card and it downloaded and was read by the device with no problem. So now my concern is this a software issue that could be corrected or a potential hardware problem. I’d hate to get past the return window only to have another problem... It sucks these are so buggy right out of the gate.
    #12
  13. rickypanecatyl

    rickypanecatyl SE Asia adventure tours

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    I noticed on their website Garmin says the 66i has NMEA interface... Does that mean it can use the same reliable 4 pin, waterproof NMEA connector for power that the 60CSx had but we lost with the 62 & 64?
    #13
  14. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

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    Go to Garmin's site for the 66i and download the owners manual. Should help. I've often looked through an owners manual before finalizing a purchase decision.
    #14
  15. ramz

    ramz Professional Trail Rider Supporter

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    Nope. Doesn't have it. It has a micro USB port.

    From the manual:

    Serial Interface Settings
    Select Setup > System > Interface.
    Garmin Spanner: Allows you to use the device USB port with most NMEA 0183-compliant mapping programs by creating a virtual serial port.
    Garmin Serial: Sets the device to use a Garmin proprietary format to exchange waypoint, route, and track data with a computer.
    NMEA In/Out: Sets the device to use standard NMEA 0183 output and input.
    Text Out: Provides simple ASCII text output of location and velocity information.
    MTP: Sets the device to use Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) to access the file system on the device instead of mass storage mode.

    :ricky
    #15
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  16. rickypanecatyl

    rickypanecatyl SE Asia adventure tours

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    I just picked one up... a few thoughts and a question.

    My question - anyone know what micro sd card works best in it? The owner's manual doesn't say... I know earlier ones couldn't read BIG cards (I think above 16 or 32GB) so was wondering if that is still true?

    I didn't research enough before getting it and when it comes to batteries and waterproofness I found some good news and bad news.

    The bad news is:
    1. It can't run on AA batteries like I wrongly assumed.
    2. It appears they've succeeded in making it able to NOT read non Garmin maps; 3rd party maps that I was able to transfer via mapsource to my Oregon/60/62/64 of areas like Syria and Myanmar (which Garmin doesn't have anyways) don't work on the 66.
    3. The rubber flap to protect the micro USB port that charges the battery isn't a very tight fit. I hope I'm proven wrong on this, but as Garmin units have added bells & whistles and extra functions the quality... particularly the robustness has gone down. By design, it's far easier to make the battery compartment waterproof on the 60/62/64 models with the O ring and locking D-Ring required to open it. From looking at both the design and the lower quality, it's obvious that needing to lift the USB rubber cover each time to charge the batteries will mean it wont be waterproof for long.
    The good news:
    I didn't realize it has contacts for external charging in a mount so it looks like if I get their mount I won't have to keep lifting that delicate rubber flap protecting the micro USB port. I'm considering putting some kind of gorilla tape over the USB/SD card flaps and charging it that way if it works...
    #16
  17. wilsonjw42

    wilsonjw42 Long rider Supporter

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    I haven't purchased one (yet)...waiting to see if the REI 20% off coupon in November works (sometimes they limit certain items). In the meantime, I agree about reading the manual (though it's as sparse as the rest of the Garmin manuals).

    There's a lot of good (and current) information here.
    #17
  18. advNZer?

    advNZer? Long timer

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    how are you loading the non garmin maps onto the 66?
    #18
  19. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    just looking at YouTube reviews now... gee, it's not so great. Wireless connectivity to other devices is still in the dark ages , it's buggy as hell, and every reviewer complains about the software being very dated/Buggy...

    Screenshot_20191108-033314.png



    I guess everything is normal in Garmin land
    #19
  20. ramz

    ramz Professional Trail Rider Supporter

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    What is "WordPress connectivity"?

    :ricky
    #20
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