Garmin International is to release a portable aviation device that delivers colour topographic mapping and terrain advisory information. Thanks to its 256-colour, high-resolution (480x320-pixels) TFT transflective display, the GPSMAP 296 makes it easy for pilots to view and interpret navigation data in almost any lighting conditions. Fans of Garmin's pilot-friendly monochromatic GPSMAP 196 and colour ful GPSMAP 295 will notice that the GPSMAP 296 takes legacy innovations from these products and adds several significant features. For instance, the GPSMAP 296 offers terrain cautions and alerts, Sectional chart-like topographic data, a built-in obstacle database of the U.S., and a transparent navigation arc view for course, speed and distance information. The unit also features USB data transfer, faster processing speed, and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack. 'Terrain awareness really sets the GPSMAP 296 apart from other aviation handheld devices,' said Gary Kelley, Garmin's director of marketing. 'The GPSMAP 296 allows pilots to see in vivid colour not only where they're going, but also where potential obstacles lie along the flight path - providing useful information that can help them avoid controlled-flight-into-terrain (CFIT) accidents.' In Terrain mode, the GPSMAP 296 combines inputs from built-in terrain, obstacle and electronic flight databases to give pilots a vivid depiction of proximity hazards that require their attention. Pilots benefit from this technology in a number of ways: Terrain/obstacle alerting. The unit offers a configurable look-ahead warning function that provides the pilot with additional time to make critical decisions regarding the flight path. Configurable buffer zones. The pilot can set the minimum limits to receive terrain cautions. The unit then presents potential hazards in yellow (to indicate ground proximity of 500-1,000 feet) and red (to indicate ground proximity of 100 feet or less). Obstacles database. Users can view the elevation or relative altitude of any obstacle (towers, buildings, etc.) within the unit's built-in database. Pop-up alerts. Terrain proximity cautions and alerts pop up as digital thumbnail images in the lower left-hand corner of any page whenever a potential hazard conflict looms ahead. Topographic data is depicted as shaded contours in Sectional chart-like detail. An extensive Jeppesen database is overlaid on the topographic mapping to help the pilot see their flight path in relation to nearby navigation aids, special-use airspace and obstructions. Garmin's innovative GPS Panel Page migrates to the GPSMAP 296 from its predecessor, the GPSMAP 196. The Panel Page depicts GPS-derived groundspeed, altitude, turn rate, course, heading, and vertical speed in a presentation similar to an Electronic Flight Information System. Garmin realizes that pilots are also motorists and many are active mariners, so the GPSMAP 296 is designed to move seamlessly between an aircraft, vehicle or boat. At the press of a button, pilots have access to the unit's Automotive and Marine modes. On land, the GPSMAP 296 has built-in automotive capabilities including automatic route generation, turn-by-turn guidance, and voice prompts that simplify navigation in unfamiliar settings. A built-in basemap provides the user with a worldwide database of major cities and national borders, as well as highways, thoroughfares, rivers and lakes for the Americas, Europe or the Pacific Rim. The optional Auto Kit includes two mounts, a cigarette-lighter adapter with speaker output, a 128-MB data card and a MapSource City Select CD-ROM for detailed mapping and address lookup capabilities for cities in either North America or Europe. On the water, the GPSMAP 296 offers a worldwide marine database and U.S. tide data. When coupled with the optional Marine Kit (64-MB data card and MapSource BlueChart CD), the unit displays such information as depth contours, inter-tidal zones, spot soundings, wrecks, navaids, port plans, restricted areas, cable areas, anchorages and much more. Other specifications of the GPSMAP 296: Detailed basemap: General map data including highways, major roads, river, lakes and borders WAAS accuracy: WAAS-capable GPS receiver for enhanced lateral/vertical guidance Crisp display: High-resolution (480x320 pixel count), 256-colour TFT display (3.8 inches diagonally) Powerful processor: Operates at 200 MHz for fast map drawing, turn-by-turn route calculation and guidance Long battery life: 5-15 hours, depending on backlight setting Battery: Rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack Multi-platform navigation: Automotive and Marine modes for easy navigation in a vehicle or boat; accepts data from Garmin's MapSource CD-ROM products (City Select for driving, BlueChart for saltwater and Recreational Lakes with Fishing Hot Spots for freshwater applications) Languages (text/voice): 15/11 Waterproof to IEC 60529 IPX-7 standards (submersible in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes) Lightweight: 12 ounces Routes, Tracks, Waypoints: 50 reversible routes (300 waypoints each), 15 saved tracks (700 trackpoints each), TracBack technology, 3,000 waypoints with graphical icon identification The GPSMAP 296 is expected to be available at the end of April 2004. The suggested retail price of the GPSMAP 296 will be AUD$2,760 (inc GST) and the unit ships standard with a yoke mount, automotive mount, cigarette-lighter adapter, AC adapter cable, USB-to-PC interface cable, low-profile remote GPS antenna, carrying case, free Jeppesen update certificate, Trip & Waypoint Manager software, owner's manual and quick-reference guide.For more information see www.garmin.com or call Chapman Avionics on 07 3860 0711 or email Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org
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