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Older devices like Garmin GPSMap 76CSx

Does anyone still use an older device like the Garmin GPSMap 76CSx? I bought mine 14 or 15 years ago and it has sat virtually unused, so it is like new (and was not cheap). People seem to have really liked this unit, but now there are many options that are a little more straightforward to use. However, I am hoping to avoid yet another equipment purchase for a one week bikepacking tour in Spain. Can you navigate doubletracks with this unit?

The last time I was going to load Garmin US maps on it (maybe 6 years ago), they told me my unit did not have the capacity for the particular map. All I have on it now is the original US maps and a chip with US boating charts.

I know I can use my phone and offline maps, but my phone has issues and I would rather not rely on it. I also know I can step through the tutorials and do a trial run, but the process is a bit daunting to me and I wanted to ask the experience of others.


  • privet01 231 Points
    edited November 2019
    I bought my gpsMap 76csx circa 2005 or 2006. It was a backup nav that I took with me when sailing. I even would put it and a small vhf in a fanny pack when I had to man the helm alone at night just in case I went overboard. It made me feel better that I could hopefully wake someone on the boat screaming in the vhf and then give them my coordinates to get back to me. Although I realize it's likely the ocean swells would probably block the vhf since it's antenna would be so low on the water. But hey, maybe I could call an airplane on the aviation band. =))

    I do still use it occasionally. Mostly for walking with my wife or hiking. I never had anything but marine charts on mine too. Long out of date. However I find that the fields you can put on the information screens are useful FYI while on a walk. Also, I like to save my walks to my pc so I can see and compare stats from time to time.

    I've found that the tracks I record with the 76csx actually seem slightly more accurate than my phone or my bike computer, a Garmin Edge 500.

    I never got very deep in to investigating if other maps can still be put on it, but I am pretty sure that Garmin doesn't offer anything compatible. It'd be nice if an openstreet map or such could be put on it, but I'm not too hopeful. Maybe another here will tell us yea or nay on loading other maps to it.
  • Boyd 2043 Points
    I assume you're the same person who posted at GPSFileDepot?... I don't want to repeat the same thing here. ;)

    I don't understand what Garmin meant by your device not having "the capacity" for new maps. It takes a microSD card with all the "capacity" you will ever need. Now, it may not be compatible with some of the new Garmin Marine maps that have special features. I don't know anything about that.

    But topo maps, such as the Garmin 24k and 100k series should work fine, as should openstreetmap and gpsfiledepot maps. The only real limitation of your device is limit of ~2,000 map segments. If you load all of the US from openstreetmap, that would likely be a problem. But you could certainly load a pretty large portion.

    The old version of Garmin's 100k topo had over 4000 segments, so you couldn't use all of that at the same time either. But you could use Mapsource or MapInstall to install a portion of it. Garmin no longer has such a version, and the newer version of the map was created with far less segments, so you should be able to use the entire map.

    I have a 60csx which is the same hardware in a different box. These are still very functional units with good accuracy. The problem is the low resolution 8-bit screen, dim backlight and slow processor. I don't use mine anymore for those reasons, but others still seem to be content with this old hardware.
  • GaryK 0 Points
    Thanks. Maybe it was the number of segments that caused the problem, I don't remember. I did post in GPSFileDepot as well. I'm going to play around with the Garmin but it also occurred to me that Black Friday would be a good time to upgrade.
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