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GPS Nuvi 50 - Garmin Upper Midwest


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I got a Garmin Nuvi 50 for Christmas. I started looking into it and saw the lake map software for it. I am looking for someone who has played around with using a Garmin Nuvi 50 and the Upper Midwest lake map either chip or software. I would like to hear pros and cons. Just trying to see if it is worth the $99.00 for the software/chip. The screen is huge so I am having some high hopes for it besides being used in my vehicle.

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My experience with the newer Nuvis is with the Nuvi 40 ( about 2 years ago ), the owners manual covers the 30,40 and 50 so I imagine they are all very similar except for screen size.

Is it worth the $99? absolutely, viewing the Upper Midwest Fishing Guide data will be great, you'll love the large screen, you should be able to zoom down to 80 feet with the Nuvi ( handhelds get down to 20 feet ), I recommend getting the MicroSD card, that way if you ever get another Garmin device you can swap it between them ( if the other one accepts the MicroSD card ).

2 cons to the Nuvi devices when you use them 'off road ' no deal breakers, just things you should be aware of.

The first is the missing screen below, if you have a waypoint you want to get back to, it's kind of a pain to get back to ' THE SPOT ', the only 2 Nuvis that had this screen were the 500 and 550 ( no longer made ) so you have to either rely on looking at the map ( this is where the tighter zoom comes in handy ) or using the navigational arrows that only count down 10 feet at a time instead of 1 foot increments.


The other I found, which might not be a big deal to most people, is that you cannot erase your trip log ( tracks ) without erasing the whole device, waypoints, custom settings and all. The previous Nuvis you could do this on but I don't know why they didn't bring it to the new ones ( hopefully this has changed with firmware updates and someone can fill us in ). If you like looking at your tracks and you fish the same area, you know how ' busy ' the screen can get with your previous tracks.

If you plan on using this device on a 4 wheeler or snowmobile, plan on having a external power source, internal battery life is ok at best, especially if you have the screen brightness turned up.

Nuvi's can do pretty much everything the Garmin handhelds can do ( except the Birdseye Satellite Imagery ), topo maps, snowmobile / atv maps and other free stuff.

Register you Nuvi at my.garmin, you'll get free updates and I highly recommend downloading the free Basecamp program if you get the Upper Midwest Fishing Guide, that way you can view the lake card contours on your desktop or laptop, manage waypoints and plan trips.

If you plan on driving around the lake and fishing the contours you see on the lake chip, you'll love this setup.


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I've got a Garmin Quest and the Fishing Hot Spots. I've actually got two copies of the Hot Spots maps. I already had one copy and then bought the Quest from a friend who also had a copy he have me. They are on a CD and not an SD card. Had to install using the Mapsource software, which is now the base camp software. I've only taken my quest with me once on the ice. Mainly because the hot spots maps are off by about 30 yards on the local lake I fish. I can mark a way point and it shows I am standing on shore, even though I am about 20 yards off shore.

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Thanks for the replies. This is great information. I was trying to decide to order the micro sd card or the DVD. So you can take the card from one unit to another? I thought I read somewhere that you can't do that. I must have gotten bad intel. How hard was it for you to learn the Basecamp software? I downloaded it and started to poke around. I suppose it makes more sense with a the chip loaded.

Again thanks for the information. I will put it to good use.

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No problem swapping that card between different Garmin devices, I've got 2 Nuvi's and 2 handhelds that can use the UMWFG data card and it works in all of them.

One other tip, if you purchase the UMWFG data card, there is a file on there that has a .img file extension. You can COPY ( do not CUT or you will probably wreck your data card ) that file to another SD Card or USB flash drive. All this will do is allow you to view the lake contour data in Basecamp without having the original card inserted in your computer, you can not use it in another Garmin device, it doesn't work that way.

OOPS: Wrong info on the UMWFG, you have to copy the contents of the chip, not just the .img file...... sorry.

Basecamp is pretty straight forward BUT there is one item that doesn't show up that I think should be there by default. In Basecamp you can set different levels of detail on the map you are viewing, it could be ANY map. To get the detail level to show up in your toolbar, follow this:

Click on VIEW


Put a Checkmark next to DETAIL VIEW

Now you'll see it in the upper left corner.

I'm sure there are a ton of videos on you tube for Basecamp also.


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