Garmin 696

Tell us about the things in your panels and flight bags.
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lucaberta
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Garmin 696

Postby lucaberta » Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:28 am

Well, after watching Jeb on video here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qN9uXuNeggo

I decided I could not hold any longer and ordered my Garmin 695 (Atlantic edition)... Jeb should ask for commission on this sale! :D

Somehow I missed the TTFN at the end of the video... was it edited maybe? :lol:

Ciao, Luca
Luca Bertagnolio, CPL/ASEL/AMEL/ASES/IR

US States I've overflown or flown in:
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fordan
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Re: Garmin 696

Postby fordan » Fri Jan 02, 2009 10:34 am

I'm spending my time cruising ebay for 496's from owners who get 696's. :D

I was having a hard enough time convincing myself that I was going to spend 496-levels of AMUs on a portable GPS, especially since the aircraft I rent have panel-mounted KLN-89B GPSes. The 696 up the ante, and took away some features I liked (like automotive navigation). If I find a cheap 496 on ebay, I may go with it, but I'll hold off on the 696 until I can get one in my hands to play with, like at Sun 'n Fun this year.

The video was good, though, and brought up a lot of good points.

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lucaberta
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Re: Garmin 696

Postby lucaberta » Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:09 pm

I stopped using the 496 for car navigation the day that, while unloading the car, I forgot it on the roof, and by the time I discovered my snafu and went down to get it, of course it was gone... :oops: ...so now I have one 496 for the price of two... :cry:

I agree with you though, the car nav is well done, though certain features (for instance speed traps) did not work 100% OK in my case.

I understand your willingness to save money, but a 696, or maybe even a 695 if you don't care about XM, is money well spent, considering that in the US version you're also getting the AOPA info and AFD + approach plates... which we don't get in the European version.

Ciao, Luca
Luca Bertagnolio, CPL/ASEL/AMEL/ASES/IR

US States I've overflown or flown in:
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John
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Re: Garmin 696

Postby John » Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:10 pm

My first reaction to seeing the Garmin 696 at the AOPA Expo was to reach for my wallet. As an instrument pilot I decided to cross-check and verify before taking any action. I'm glad I did. The first problem was the size of the 696. Yes its nice to have a huge screen if you have room for it. In my shortbody Mooney M20C I have trouble finding a place for my Garmin 296. I've invested more than three hours fabricating holding fixtures to mount this relatively small GPS in a reasonable spot. I have a GNS430 in the panel so most (read all) of the time the 296 is left in the hanger. A second consideration was the cost of keeping the GPS data, charts, and approach plates up-to-date. The 696 does not allow you to view/use outdated charts so you must have a subscription. Because I have a subscription service for my GNS430 I figured that this wouldn't be a problem, well I figured wrong. I encourage all prospective 696 owners/users to checkout the data subscription options available from Garmin. I think you'll be surprised, I know I was.

Still, the 696 is a real sexy tool and I wanted one so I searched the web looking for owner comments. Here I found a comment from another Mooney owner who was returning his 696 to Garmin after spending a week with it. His comments focused on the same issues I had identified as potential problems. In the end I was forced to conclude that while I really wanted one the 696 was not a good match for a Mooney pilot like me.

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champguy
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Re: Garmin 696

Postby champguy » Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:00 pm

You could do a lot of flying for the price of a new toy. I wonder which would be more fun. I know it is bad for the economy, but maybe it is time to enjoy what we already have.
I have the Lowrance 600C with moving map and obstruction database and a portable battery big enough to power it. But why would I want to see the world through a two and a half inch screen when I've got a great big windshield, in full color, powered by the mighty ninety Continental and a full tank of gas.
Went to the AOPA safety foundation seminar on gps last night. My god you IFR folks with places to go and people to meet have a lot of options, and incredable equipment to choose from.
When they get synthetic vision down to portable, battery powered units, I'll go for that. Scud runner no more.
Remember, not all who wander, are lost.
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Jeb
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Re: Garmin 696

Postby Jeb » Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:14 am

Glad ya'll enjoyed the video -- I reserve TTFN for more intimate occasions.

I like the 696 -- there's a huge amount of functionality in a nice package with a great screen. The sucker is huge, though, and is somewhat redundant to my 530.

Since the 530 isn't going anywhere, the only things I'm missing are taxi charts, AOPA directory and XM Wx. I usually have approach plates for the taxi charts and don't really need an AOPA directory at my fingertips. Hence, my 396 gives me the missing gadgets for a lot less $$$.

---

As I type this, an Aztec is running up about 100 yards from my front door. Kinda foggy this morning, but it's burning off.

TTFN!

Jeb

LimaBravo
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Re: Garmin 696

Postby LimaBravo » Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:26 am

Jeb and gang, Uncontrolled Forums users,

Great video, shows a few of the 696’s great strengths!

I thought I would add and additional assessment of the 696.

Previously, I flew with the AvMap EKP IV, and loved it. I most enjoyed the huge display screen with lots of map real estate which helps with situational awareness in IFR. I have a great relationship with AvMap’s tech staff and they allowed me to highly customize the EKP’s software (some anyway) to my liking.

I resisted the 396 / 496 wave because I had comparable features and more, plus larger screen on the AvMap. ….but when I saw the 696 roll out I knew it would be trouble, because it has so so so many features, plus built in XMweather with no external third party unit rolling around the cockpit. Also, as Jeb’s video shows, most of these features are enhanced by the 696, and very pilot specific to flight.

As they say on the podcast, Garmin just “gets it”. In fact the only better pilot gear out there is the L3 SmartDeck (G1000 competition), but L3 has yet to roll out a portable. I have a lot of hours in the SmartDeck Cirrus, so I can tell you if they go portable it will be amazing. The only reason I draw the parallel is because of L3’s claim that no information or feature is more than “three clicks away”. Well the 696 is close to that claim, and is very intuitive. If you are proficient with the 696 hard IFR, or any flight condition, work load is greatly reduced with its easy to get to features similar to the L3.

Anyway, I digress, the 696 is an excellent choice if you don’t mind the cost and the amount of space it takes to mount. After 3 hours with this baby, I can’t imagine being without it, if not just for the safety and backup abilities alone.

Also the databases are no more expensive to update than any other GPS, and you do not have to update them all. The meat of the unit, approach plates, safetaxi, navdata, won’t break the bank.

Lastly, if you decide, you can fly with outdated data. The only thing that you get locked out is approach plates, and they let you fly with up to 6mos outdated. So you can get by with 2 updates per year. I don’t like it either, but I guess that might be some small safety “feature”. Ha.

~LB

PS: I really like and respect what Champguy has to say as well. Some days I feel exactly that way, especially when I wish I had some new fancy something.... Maybe today I'll just enjoy what I have ! ! :-) We are a lucky group around here....

PPS: John, I think Garmin should allow one subscription to cover ALL your units ! ! That is where I draw the line with them.

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RigaRunner
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Re: Garmin 696

Postby RigaRunner » Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:31 pm

Many thanks to Jeb Burnside for his answer on this subject in the DC Pilots forum.

He said, in part, that "The 696 has everything a 496 offers, plus a much bigger screen,
approach plates, SafeTaxi and more.

Av8or: Piper Tomahawk
396: Cessna 172
496: Cessna 182
696: Pilatus PC-12

I'm personally not a fan of the Av8or."

Jeb's full posting is available at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dcpilots/message/25363
A commercial pilot, IFR rated, who flies a Cirrus SR22 out of JYO.
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