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Thread: Garmin 176C

  1. #1
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    Question Garmin 176C

    Hi Blokes,
    Quite some years ago I purchased a Garmin 176C, I used it for out bush travel and creating my own tracks etc. I unfortunately have not used it for some years but am now planning on getting up and running again for future bush trips, however I have found the base map that was installed on it when I bought the unit a "bit"? too basic.
    I was was wondering if there was any way of up grading the basic map on it to say something like the Australian topo's, maybe 250,000 - 100,000 and 25,000 scales.
    I was thinking of using a data card that fits my 176C to fill the bill, I have not got though. I have been told by Garmin that the cards are no longer available and maybe I could pick up a second hand one, if so are there any bright young computer people out there that can advise me on how to go about loading the mentioned maps onto this card so that it works with my 176C.

    Patrick M

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  • #2
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    This is a dinosaur you have, uses the old Garmin Data Card.

    Unfortunately that old beast has a card size limit of 128MB, which is near useless with any topo mapping.
    Since you don't even have a card & the cost of them being prohibitive, $130 second hand refurbished with bluechart maps.
    I would think you would be better off getting a new or second hand GPS or a smart phone & load the appropriate mapping you want to the new device.

    Maybe Surething has some intel he can share that may help.
    Cheers, Tiny
    "You can lead a person to knowledge, but you can't make them think? If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.
    The information is out there; you just have to let it in."

  • #3
    Surething's Avatar
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    Let's get the terminology clear first. A basemap is 'built-in' and it's loaded on a special 'region' on your plotter [rgn3], if you bought the plotter new in Oz it'll have a Pacific basemap which is actually a highway map for road use when teamed with an automotive on-road/off-road detail map which indeed does go onto a proprietary Garmin DataCard for use by your 176c because only the basemap can be used internally. If you used the plotter before in the bush it must have had some kind of auto map on a DataCard, maybe only a MetroGuide or a CityNavigator or more likely an actual off-road trail map like a Garmin Topo or 3rd party off-roader.

    Although they are as sound as a bell, those chartplotters are old. I think they were first released 15 yrs back or more. Second-hand Garmin DataCards are expensive and the largest made was 512MB, a couple of US ebay sellers flog them for ~AU$130-160 posted. Modern Garmin topos are only available in *.img format for immediate use in a navigator/plotter. Some older ones were made as PC data versions so that using MapSource or BaseCamp you could just load smaller .img files. Your plotter will actually use a chart up to 2GiB-1byte in size, that's the FAT16 limit. There was a mob in Russia who sold 2GB chips to put into a WAAS datacard shell, around US$100 was the price, maybe they still sell them. You might be able to pick up a tiny 32 or 64MB WAAS card cheap to use as a shell, or even a 'dummy' display card with no chip.

    So short story: If you've got an IMG file small enough to fit on an available datacard, make a Garmin root folder and place the map named only gmapsupp.img (x:\Garmin\gmapsupp.img) then provided the map was either legally purchased for the device or properly unlocked it will work.
    Last edited by Surething; 20-02-18 at 09:27 AM.

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