Garmin/Craig Cushman Chat 6/18/03

Chatman - Ladies and Gentlemen, a warm Walleye Central Welcome for Craig Cushman of Garmin!!!!
Chatman - Weeeeee!
Stuart Smally - Clap, clap, clap, clap!!!!
RoyGPA - Clap, clap, clap!!
work2fish - Welcome!
Craig Cushman - Thanks to you all, if you can put up with my bad typing, no one will get hurt
jake - Thanks for coming tonight Craig!
Chatman - I am so glad we were able to schedule you Craig!
work2fish - I have a Garmin 168 and have three questions to ask which I can spread out during the chat.
Chatman - Why don't we start off with a little background on you and Garmin Craig?
Craig Cushman - No problem, let's have some fun talking about GPS and fish-finders!
work2fish - I'll wait for your background info, sorry...
GWH - Do Garmin's color Locators fade out in sunlight?
Craig Cushman - Sure Chatman, I've been in the industry for many years now and have worked for a few other companies. Garmin is truly the best I've seen. It's a fast growing company that is bent on making the best electronics possible. We're only 13 yrs old and have already surpassed the wildest dreams of the owners Gary and Min (GARMIN
Chatman - So that's where the name comes from?
work2fish - Okay my first question is, are there plans to integrate the Garmin 168 sounders with the Minnkota Universal Sonar?
Stuart Smally - Craig, who's Min?
Craig Cushman - The 186 should already work with the Minnkota system.
jake - One more question Craig, a competitor has a record feature on their units. Does Garmin have any plans to make this available on their sonar units?
work2fish - Since it is compatible with the 240 sonar, right?
Craig Cushman - Stuart, Min is Dr. Min Kao. He worked for NASA, helped put GPS in place, and is co founder of the company.
Chatman - Ahhh! I knew Garmin's roots were aerospace/military, but wow right from the top!
Craig Cushman - The record feature is being evaluated. Many think it cool, but we're not sure how many use it. Would you like to see it in the next products?
Guest - I have a 182 with an internal antenna, can I get power cord and mounting bracket to use in my other boat? I don't really need two units. In fact maybe I don't need two boats!! LOL!! Thanks.
Craig Cushman - You sure can Guest, just see a retailer to order the kit or go on www.Garmin.com under accessories.
Chatman - That's a great question, how would a guy go about getting accessories or replacement parts?
Chatman - Whoop, a day late and a dollar short for me again!!! LOL!!
Craig Cushman - I'd first check the local dealer, they can order it or you can order accessories(only) from us. Either way it's usually the same price. 
GWH - Does the color on Garmin's fade, like other units?
jake - Yes Craig, I'd like to see it in the next upgrade. I'd like to be able to chart my trips to record seasonal trends.
Chatman - GWH, fade as in over time or in sunlight?
GWH - Fade as in full sunlight on the screen?
Craig Cushman - No! And that's something we're proud of. Ask a dealer or one of us at tourneys to show it to you in the sun. It's beautiful but the high quality screen may cost a few bucks more. You get what you pay for I guess.
Stuart Smally - Way cool!
work2fish - My second question, I've increased my gain to +5 and removed the noise reduction yet I don't see the suspended fish that I see with my Lowrance LCX-15. In a side-by-side comparison with the LCX-15, it seems to track the bottom just fine. Do you think I have a defective unit? It's about 3 months old?
Craig Cushman - I'm not so quick to say defective. Check the transducer angle on the transom/in-hull. Even being a bit off can effect the performance. Finding bottom is easy, fish are harder so try the angle a bit.
Stuart Smally - Is it possible the two may be interfering with each other or maybe the one is overpowering the signal of the other?
work2fish - Well, I did turn the LCX-15 off during the test.
Craig Cushman - If your seeing straight vertical lines or 45 degree lines then yes one is interfering with the other. It might happen in water 30' plus.
work2fish - I am using a Minnkota 65AP u/s so it is hard to adjust the angle of thetransducer.
Chatman -transducer cone angle is really important to get proper fish marks. I have had two units off the back of the boat and one transducer had to be aimed at a slightly greater angle than the other to get it to work.
Craig Cushman - It could be the transducer? It is tough to tell. It's not typical of that unit.
Chatman - Is it a puck transducer?
work2fish - I also tried both the u/s transducer and the Garmin that came with the unit.
work2fish - Yes, it is a puck transducer.
Chatman - Is that an integrated transducer in the trolling motor?
work2fish - I've tried both the Minnkota u/s and the Garmin puck.
Craig Cushman - Pucks can be effected by the thickness/quality of the spot on the hull. I have seen 1 inch of movement make a huge difference.
work2fish - Ok, I can try moving the puck around on the hull before I opt for a replacement. Thanks.
Chatman - Craig, in general, is it possible that placement on the motor housing will effect performance? Or could there be noise interference?
Craig Cushman - The trolling motor can interfere with the transducer slightly and effect the performance.
work2fish - I e mailed someone at Garmin and was told that the 168 is not compatible with Minnkota's u/s, so that's when I tried the puck.
work2fish - In fact, the u/s cable does not mention a Garmin 168, only the 240.
Chatman - I have had to put a 1/8 strip of rubber between the motor housing and the puck and hose clamp on some trolling motors to kill interference.
Craig Cushman - Hmmmm, all of ourtransducers including the 168 are the same and connect the same way. Which leads me to believe it will be Ok.
work2fish - I thought it would be since the 168 sonar is supposed to be similar (or the same?) as a 240.
Craig Cushman - It is the same sounder with a GPS mapping unit, built in.
work2fish - Ok, thanks for giving me some new things to try.
work2fish - My last question, are there plans to integrate a Minnkota autopilot with a future Garmin unit? I would like to draw a line on the screen and have my trolling motor follow that line.
work2fish - It seems like it could be done?
Craig Cushman - Have any of you guys seen the new FF320C in stores yet up in Minnesota and Wisconsin?
Craig Cushman - Great question, lame answer. I'm not sure. We talk with those folks all the time and if the anglers ask for something we can discuss it. I made a note of it to talk with our guys.
Stuart Smally - No I haven't Craig, they must be that new?
Stuart Smally - That'd be a real neat feature work2fish!!!
Craig Cushman - The FF320C just came out about three weeks ago. It has the same size screen as the 188 but it is just sonar. Full color, dual or single frequency. It's really sweet!
Craig Cushman - If you get to an RCL tourney, check out Scott Fairbairn, Jim Bell or Sheldon Miedingers boats. They're loaded with color!
Chatman - What is the price point on that unit Craig?
Craig Cushman - It runs for $799 in most shops.
work2fish - Re: the Minnkota/Garmin course plotting, I think there may be a few hurdles to overcome such as what zoom level you are in when you draw the line (the unit could just pick the exact center of that line to navigate from, maybe?). It also has to compensate for the GPS error and ignore any perceived variations in course that are within the limits of GPS accuracy.
work2fish - Btw, are the GPS accuracies going to get any better than WAAS?
Craig Cushman - The zoom shouldn't matter much. We can do this with pilots on large powerboats and I think the transition could be made. It's a great idea that I'll pursue.
Craig Cushman - I may open a can of worms here but what's everyone preference on mapping?
work2fish - Underwater?
Craig Cushman - Yes sorry for the confusion.
Chatman - Preference as to???
Craig Cushman - Yes, what you carry with you either in paper form or electronically.
Chatman - Ahhhh...
Craig Cushman - It's always such a hot topic on Walleye Central, I thought everyone would ring in with a preference.
work2fish - I personally haven't messed with it much because, from what I've read, the current electronic, underwater maps aren't very accurate. Also, I live in Colorado and we don't seem to be as popular with the map companies for whatever reason. It's definitely something I'm interested in exploring, though.
work2fish - Craig, what do you feel is the best?
Chatman - I always have a Hotspots paper map and a plotting unit that had map detail. I really want to add contour lines to my next GPS/mapping unit.
Craig Cushman - Yes Colorado, North Dakota, Montana etc., all get passed over when it comes to maps, don't they?
Todd_NE - I can't say the Garmin maps I've had through Fishing Hotspots have been all that great, especially shorelines, etc.
Craig Cushman - Before I even had it on my GPS I liked the FHS maps. Some are old and lakes & rivers change. I would like to see some updated however I have yet to find a company that is doing as good a job as them on the whole country.
RoyGPA - Software, Oziexplorer, home made maps and a 6 year old Eagle Expedition here.
work2fish - I think this mapping technology is forcing the underwater maps to be more accurate than ever before, would you agree?
Stuart Smally - I agree!
Craig Cushman - Yes, the companies are trying hard to update, and I think with the satellite imaging that can be done, we'll see some real accurate maps come onto the market.
Chatman - If the Great lakes would hold their water level it would be even easier!!! LOL!!
Swede - I heard rumors of EC sending up their own satellites here, covering Europe.
work2fish - That would be great, I work in the field of atmospheric sciences and use satellite data regularly. It's amazing what they can measure with those things! (Water vapor, for example!)
Swede - Craig, do you guys know anything bout it?
Craig Cushman - Yes the system will be called EGNOST to counter our WAAS and Galileo to be their GPS system. It's got troubles, though, getting all countries to agree.
Swede - Thanks Craig!
Craig Cushman - Garmin watches it intently and will be compatible with that system when it comes on-line.
work2fish - So, do any of the Garmin units use removable media? I know my 168 doesn't. It really makes loading waypoints or other map data much easier since you don't have to bring the unit to your pc to download stuff. Maybe the more expensive units do?
Blazeorange - Craig, I have a Garmin GPS 12 that I use and love. I was curious though, can it be hooked to an external GPS antenna? I don't have the owner's manual readily available to answer this question. Thanks. 
Craig Cushman - Yes, all of the 180/280 and 2000 series products do. We use Mapsource as the planner on a laptop, like your 168, but transfer the mapping to a card.
Warren MN - How much memory do you expect to be able to access?
Craig Cushman - And, for you guys that fish many lakes, you should see how our mapsource will help out. Just download all of your waypoints and track lines to the computer and use it to catalog all of your info. 
Craig Cushman - Warren, right now we go to 128mb which will hold our entire FHS CD, over 300 lakes!
Warren MN - I design maps for Fugawi, will they still work with my maps? 
Chatman - There is information on your mapsource on the Garmin website, isn't there Craig?
Warren MN - Craig you won't transfer the maps but you can transfer any waypoints or planned routes and then transfer the days travel back?
Warren MN - That's the usual rule.
Warren MN - My Devils Lake map is 700mb.
Craig Cushman - Mapsource and FHS can be seen on Garmin.com under cartography. You can even go onto our map viewer and see all of the FHS maps available on our GPS units.
work2fish - So can I draw a track on my pc using mapsource and then set up the unit to steer me through a trail (manually, of course)? That may work for me in some cases...
Chatman - Can you list the Garmin web site address Craig?
Craig Cushman - On the color units you can color code the route or track line. That helps decipher tracks from day to day.
Craig Cushman - Sure Chatman, www.Garmin.com
Chatman - I just get there from the banner ad on the message boards and I have not really looked at the address. Thanks.
Warren MN - What are your expectations on the WAAS reception?
Craig Cushman - It will only get better! There is due to be another bird in the sky sometime in the coming year and that will improve things even more. The specifications call for 3 meters, 95% of the time. And it will get there, everywhere in the United States!
Warren MN - I hope I'm not asking things that have already been covered. I didn't know you were here and got in late!
Swede - And in Europe Craig?
Craig Cushman - It would be the same when EGNOST goes on-line in the future.
Swede - Ok, thank you.
eyebanger(oh) - Craig? Who controls the signals from these satellites?
Swede - I've got a Lowrance unit now but, I am switching to Garmin. 
Craig Cushman - I've been getting an average of 7 feet on my GPS here in Kansas, how about you guys up north?
Stuart Smally - Gee, to the casual eye....this technology seems to sound more and more confusing every day! But after using it, it is amazing how we used to fish when flashers were the thing!
Craig Cushman - The Department of Defense owns them, and controls them. Actually you own them and pay for them each April 15th!!
Chatman - Ah, the tax man! Finally some of my tax dollars going to work for me!! LOL!!
work2fish - Stuart, I agree, it is incredible technology and has helped so many things.
Warren MN - What about the EGNOST?
eyebanger(oh) - That means they could alter the signals to fit their needs in case of war, right?
Craig Cushman - EGNOST is paid for by the European countries.
Warren MN - I'm thinking group control = oh fun!!
Craig Cushman - Sure but they've said they won't need to. They operate on the other channel which delivers amazing accuracy!
work2fish - All the trademarks on the mapping products are also a bit confusing to me. Mapsource, Hotspots, Bluechart. It takes a lot of time to figure out what each one does and is.
Chatman - Wow, the hour is slipping away fast! Has Craig Missed any questions tonight?
irishwebs - Craig I not sure if this was asked but will Garmin have access with GPS and their electronics in near future to receive weather or other data files?
Chatman - Ask now or you'll have to wait till next time!!! ;-)
Warren MN - How accurate are the new GPS's with speed?
Chatman - Actually that would be a great thing, a small weather radar terminal for in the boat!!
Craig Cushman - As to mapping, we work with Fishing Hot Spots to bring you the maps, Garmin owns Mapsource to help use maps on your PC and we make our own Bluechart maps of oceans and the Great Lakes.
irishwebs - Yes, that would be fantastic for incoming storm reports. 
Chatman - Like in The Merc. National this year!!
irishwebs - Yes that would have helped a lot.
Craig Cushman - Ah, technology. Things you see today will be old in two years. It moves that fast, did I duck the question fast enough?
Chatman - Sure did!
Chatman - LOL!!
irishwebs - Craig is there going to be data input from weather or other sources in the future?
irishwebs - So are you saying this is a possibility in next 2 years?
Chatman - Well lets wrap this puppy up.
Craig Cushman - Whew! ducked it again!! Really, the technology exists now, we'll have to see where that falls in development. 
Chatman - Ladies and gentlemen a warm round of applause for Craig Cushman of Garmin!!!
work2fish - Thanks a lot, Craig!! It was nice chatting with you... Mike Daniels.
work2fish - Clap, clap, clap!!
irishwebs - Thank you Craig! 
eyebanger(oh) - Thanks Craig!!
Swede - Thanks Craig, clap, clap!!
walleyechaser24 - Thank you, Craig.
Craig Cushman - Thanks everyone I enjoyed it!!!!!
irishwebs - Cya!! 
Stuart Smally - Clap, clap, clap!
Chatman - Anytime Craig, glad to have you here!!
Warren MN - Thanks Craig, 
Craig Cushman - Let's make it a regular thing!