Other Garmin Receiver Models

This manual has been directed at only a subset of the gps models available from Garmin. This chapter will try and fill in the gap by describing a few other models and how this manual may be used to help in their use. Garmin has made many models over the years and even in this chapter it would not be possible to cover them all. I have selected a subset that includes only current models and only models with some connection to other units that are covered in this manual.

Garmin has segmented the gps market into 4 pieces, Aircraft, Marine, Outdoor and Mobile. Since this manual is targeted at handheld units it covers some units from each of the above classifications but generally the smaller units in each field. The Outdoor market is almost fully covered since without a vehicle to hold the unit they must be handheld units. Garmin also makes a few units that are merely gps engines and have no display capability at all.

Table of contents


The main units in this category include the Street Pilot, the Color Street Pilot, and the Street Pilot III. They are most closely related to the emap handheld and information aimed at that product in this manual will often apply to these units. The Street Pilot III is similar to the GPS V product.

The Street Pilot has a large 160x240 pixel horizontal grey scale display. The unit is a mapping receiver and supplements a basemap with data cartridges that are interchangeable with the emap. The Color Street Pilot is contained in similar cabinet to the street pilot and has the same style user interface. The screen is slightly smaller but boasts a full 16 color display. This was the top of the line in Garmin mobile units when it was released but has been largly superceded by the Street Pilot III>.

The user interface on these units has many more keys that on a handheld unit. This permits dedicated function keys. These keys include:

The screen display has a very limited number of pages. There is a map page, a trip computer page which includes speed, and if navigating a route page (called a road sign page). The trip computer page can be toggled to show satellite status. Most commands work like the emap of like the III family however the Street Pilot is missing a backtrack capability. The routes can use waypoints, which can have up to 10 character names, or mappoints like the emap. This is important since there are only 100 user defined waypoints. Once a route is enabled you get turn by turn instructions from the road sign page and other places. While the Street Pilot won't do automatic routing it will find a location by address or intersection or poi with the right MetroGuide maps installed and you can easily create a route just by rubberbanding the line drawn from where you are to where you want to go.

These units will run off of 12 volt power or 6 AA batteries. The Street Pilot will get up to 16 hours on a set of batteries while the color unit gets about 9 hours if you keep the screen as dim as possible or about 2.5 hours on maximum brightness. Color takes a lot of power. They all use memory cartridges for map memory (except the basemap) which are changable by the user. Memory cartridges range from 8 Megs to 128 Meg however the larger sizes (over about 32 Meg) are really only useful for the Street Pilot III since the earlier units have a limit of 50 maps.

The Street Pilot III paved the way for a new standard in portable units. It features autorouting right on the unit itself and has a 305x160 pixel color display that is 3.4" dide and 1.8" tall. It was followed by its smaller handheld brother the GPS V which also has autorouting on the unit. For a discussion of autorouting see the Autoroute chapter which describes this feature from the GPS V implementation. The Street Pilot III takes the best features of the Color Pilot and adds a more powerful processor to be able to provide routing on the unit. Like the Color Street Pilot it uses heuristics to customize its arrival time estimates when running a route based on the driving habits of the owner. Unlike any other unit in the Garmin line it offers turn by turn instructions with a human voice. It also has a capability of storing up to 500 waypoints and features a 2000 entry tracklog which makes it comparable to handhelds.

Other Handhelds

Garmin makes two units that they call handhelds that have a very large display. These are the GMap175 marine unit and the GMAP195 aviation unit. They weigh in at a whopping 1.4 lbs, like the street pilots, and use 6 AA batteries with an expected battery life of about 10 hours. They also support a rechargeable battery pack. While they can be held in your hand you wouldn't want to carry them very far. They use a display like the one in the Street Pilot but oriented vertically. Both are mapping receivers and do have a basemap but for optional maps they only use pre-loaded cartridges available from Garmin. The cartridges are specific to the intended use of these products. Marine cartridges are available for the gmap175 that provide charts covering most waterways all over the world. These G-charts provide depth, shoreline, and navaid data. The gmap195 uses aviation maps covering distinct areas and has full jeppesen data plus Final Approach Waypoints for most airports. These units are most similar to the III family of handheld units except they have extra dedicated keys. The 175 includes a MOB key and a Mark key in addition to those of the III family while the 195 uses those keys for NRST and WPT. These keys access the nearest and full databases including all of the Jeppesen data and user waypoints. Press the WPT key twice to actually set a waypoint. There are only 256 user waypoints available for these units but this is augmented with an extensive set of navaids.

The 175 features a full feature Highway display for navigation while the 195 features an HSI navigation screen. These screens are similar to those described in the navigation chapter except that the 175 Highway display includes all of the program ability of a III series unit and all the capability of a G-45XL unit including CDI plus an edgewise compass display. Both internal and external alarm capability is supported.

Garmin also makes a smaller aviation unit called the G-92. It is physically very much like the G-48 unit and has similar specifications to all of the units the the G-12 family, except that it includes the full Jeppesen database instead of a city database. It does not provide a basemap but does provide a graphic display of airspace.

Marine Units

Besides the handheld units covered in this manual Garmin makes a line of units that are designed to be permanently mounted in a boat. They include units that are very similar in operation to the G-II+ except the display and keyboard is larger. They may or may not be combined with a fish finder. Two of the latest offerings are mapping receivers called the MAP162 and the MAP168 sounder. These units have large displays and contain basemaps similar to the ones in the III+. They have 2.5 Meg of map memory and can use the same Mapsource maps that are available for Garmin handhelds. The 168 is similar to the 162 but includes a built in depth finder that is integrated with gps operation. Both units support depth data rather than altitude as might be expected in a marine unit. They will even provide celestial data on the sun and moon and calculate the tides.

Aviation Units

Garmin makes a line of panel mount units that are dedicated aviation models. These units are unlike any of the units talked about in this manual except that they share a similar technology. In addition they make another portable unit called the GMAP295. The GMAP295 aviation unit is a top of the line portable gps receiver. It is at home in a plane and provides features that make it also useful in a car or other mobile application. The case style is similar to the Street Pilot and it has the same Color display as the Color Street Pilot. It has a full basemap and contains 2.5 Meg of memory for map loads using Mapsource maps. In addition it has the ability to use memory cartridges like those in the emap and can therefore support MetroGuide maps for street use. It supports all of the features of the III Pilot that is covered in this manual and can even split the screen to display two different pages simultaneously.


Garmin makes a line of small units that do not have a display. They can be used with a laptop or pda supplying the user interface and require external power. They can be purchased as a card or as a small mouse like box or even in a case that sets atop a pole or mast, the gps36. They share the engine technology with the other Garmin units but must be controlled only via the user port interface. Some of these units have two serial ports. The GPS35 series is a family of units that can be used in a variety of applications. Most units are intended to be hardwired or provided with a user supplied connector. The GPS35PC is designed to attach directly to the rs232 port of a personal computer and includes a cable for an external 12 volt power source. These units are sometimes used by OEM suppliers. There is one pcmcia device that uses one of these units.


Garmin makes two unique navigation receivers that are bundled into cell phones. There is one model for land use and one for aviation use. These units provide most of the functionality of a III+ receiver with the added functionality of an AMPS compatible (analog) wireless phone. In addition to being able to use the two units separately the gps position can also be sent automatically or by command from the unit. This position data can be received by a second navtalk unit and displayed on its maps or can be available through some web based services that can provide this data on a moving map display.

One advantage of a combined unit is the addition of the cellphone keypad. The gps portion of the receiver can take advantage of these extra keys to simplify data entry.

00/8/9 initial release
00/10/9 added navtalk
00/12/15 added toc for chapter

Return to TOC