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Garmin 76Cx vs the 78 GPS ?

I would like to hear from any who has upgraded from the 76Cx to the 78 and can answer the following:

1. Is the Key pad the same or is there a big difference ?
2. Are the pages the same or a big difference?
3. Are setting up routes and looking up tide stations the same or a big difference?

If you could compare the two that would be a big help

Jack L


  • gpsmap78 versus 76

    The 78 series is a major upgrade over the 76Cx.
    A basic comparison is at http://www.gpscity.com/compare/76csx&78sc . A good review is at http://gpstracklog.com/2012/08/garmin-gpsmap-78-review.html

    1) Key pads are about the same. You won't notice much difference.

    2) User interface is different (an improvement IMO). While many screens are almost the same, how you access them is a bit different. Although the 78 is not touchscreen the interface now incorporates many features from the Oregon (touchscreen) interface. You will need to spend some time learning the new layout. I was very frustrated for a few days due to the differences but now prefer the new layout.

    3) I have never setup a route on a GPS, I use software like Homeport for that. A great thing about the 78 series is that you can have 200 routes with 200 legs each. The 76 has only 50 routes with 50 legs. What that means, for say, the Everglades Challenge, is that you can now have a route go from one checkpoint, all the way to the next, with plenty of legs (the disadvantage is that if you are using your old 76 as a spare, it will truncate all the routes after the first 50 legs).

    The 78 series gets a lock quicker than the 76.

    For fitness paddling, if you get an ANT coded strap, you can view your heart rate on the 78.

    There have been several times where the newer interface has been very irritating, with me failing to find what I'm looking for while on the water (and requiring a Google search later on), but I can say that for every model GPS I have used.

    Greg Stamer

  • Thanks Greg
    We didn't get any answers , so we went ahead and picked up two of them today.
    Nanci who is much quicker then I quickly figured out how most everything works, and I found a few other things.
    We are both pretty happy about how similar the two are.
    The only thing we are stymied on right now is the lighting on the date of the tides. It is snowy and next to impossible to resd, and we can't figure out how to change it. I figured I would call Garmin tomorrow

    On the routes; we are constantly navigating routes that we set up on the 76Cx, and are hoping that is similar on the 78. We'll be setting some up in the upcoming days as soon as this front passes through.

    I saw that you were entered. Will see you on the beach

    Jack L
  • Up date;
    -- Last Updated: Jan-31-13 6:17 AM EST --

    We bought two 78's and are returning them today.
    As far as we are concerned, they are not an up grade, but have degraded.
    The only thing better with them is catching the satellites quicker.
    1. The screens and read outs are smaller
    2. the north point is smaller
    3. You need a magnifying glass to read the scale
    4. If you want to find the tide, and find a station. Once you find it and hit "go", it wants to navigate you to the tide station. Instead you have to hit "menue" and then "review", (absolutey) stupid!
    5 When you finally get the tide graph, instead of a moveable cross hair to find the tide in relation to the time of day, they have fine lines at every hour, (so fine you need a magnifying glass to see them. Then when you finally locate a line, there is no time shown on the screen, and when you go to another screen with the time, you lose the tide chart
    6. the graphics are not nearly as clear as the 76Cx
    7. Final straw was changing the batteries for the first time the other day, and when I removed them, the tiny flimsy metal cover for the map chip that they stupidly put under the batteries, flipped out with the batteries. Luckily I was sitting at the table. If I was in the kayak it would have been long gone.
    If you are into geocaching it might be good, but for our use, the 76CX has it all over the 78

    I would advise anyone who is thinking of up grading: don't waste your money.
    Unfortunately they stopped making the 76Cx and no one has any to sell. We luckily scored one on E-bay which we grabbed.
    I hope someone from Garmin reads this, since they don't seem to want to answer my e-mail

    Jack L

  • 78 shortcomings

    Sorry to hear the new model didn't work for you. That said, the 78 series will only get better with new software updates, the 76 is dead.

    It sounds like the tide screen is a deal-breaker for you. I agree that if you can't read the data, you don't have the data.

    While I prefer the way tides were presented on the 76 with the moving cursor, it's just not a deal-breaker for me. On the 78 tide graph, the text area above the graph scrolls up and down, to give the time of the highs and lows for the day in fairly large text. You don't need to change screens.

    BTW, once you use the find button to find the tide or current you want, you can just move the cursor slightly to select the tide/current icon, and then press enter to see the tide/current info. Or you can just press menu/review point.

    I do have trouble with fine print on the currents screen. I agree Garmin should provide a method to make the print larger. I talked to Garmin support and suggested that this should be configurable like other text items, and should allow scrolling. If they really wanted to be fancy they could implement a cursor-controlled "magnifying" glass that enlarged the area beneath it.

    FWIW, I don't have the same experience on your other points, e.g. screen sharpness, etc. I'll share my thoughts below, in case someone is debating on whether to get the 78.

    I haven't had any issue with the "chip clip". It's similar to how a SIM card is held in a cell phone. Did you have the clip in the locked position? Did you catch it with your fingernail? I prefer the chip under the batteries as it is a more watertight location than the chip slot on the 76.

    I haven't tried to email Garmin support, but I have never had to wait when I called them directly.

    My old, beat-up 78Cx is collecting dust. If you need it cheap for a backup, send me email back-channel. For a back-up I got a regular 78 (my primary is the 78sc). I need the much-improved route capability of the 78 series and prefer it over the 76.

  • I have both the 76cx and the 78sc
    I like the 78 much better. The screen is brighter, it acquires satellites much faster, the road routing (my main use) is much faster with the newer cpu, the memory capacity is 20x more, and you can download satellite pictures and maps.

    I do agree that the tide graph is a little harder to read, but that's not a big issue for me. I don't do much salt.

    The 78sc model also has all the marine Blue Charts built right in. They are amazing, even though I don't use them much either. In addition to the blue charts, I can fit in both the road maps and topo maps for the entire eastern half of the USA and Canada.

    The 76cx served me well for 8 years on the road, in the boat, and on the trail, but I find the 78sc much better with lots of improvements. With Energizer Ultimate lithium batteries, my 78 stayed on continuously (light off) for five days on an Adirondack trip last summer.
  • You hit the nail on the head Glen
    -- Last Updated: Feb-02-13 5:15 AM EST --

    the 78 probably is great for the road, but it is supposed to be a marine GPS.
    When we initialized our new 78's they wanted to navigate us up Rt 1. - Go figure that. When you bring up a tide station and the prompt is "go" and you click on "go" it automatically wants to navigate you to that tide station. Who in the hell wants to navigate to a tide station?
    They are probably great for the road and land but for our use as far as we are concerned it has regressed from the 76Cx.
    Several days ago, we did a thirty five miler putting in a route. It was an out and back route, and we put in our points and programmed it for that. We turned around about fifty feet before the turn around point, and the thing never recognized it after five miles, and kept wanting us to go back. The 76Cx would recognize that after a few hundred yards, and then recalibrate sending us to the rest of the points for the return.

    Jack L

  • teething and setup
    I disagree. The 78 series IS designed for water. Both the 78 and 76 series are pretty mediocre for the road, IMO. I have a Nuvi for the road (voice instructions, etc).

    I have been using the 78 for night routes in Mosquito lagoon and have been very pleased with the operation.

    With the 78 when you come to the end of a route you have to go to the route planner and select "Reverse Route" option to return. If you plotted a route there and back, depending on what options you have set, you may need to get within a (configurable) proximity to the point, otherwise the GPS will not realize that you reached it and will keep directing you there. There are options for how the unit routes you to the next leg. You can set it to Automatic, Manual (which allows you to select the next leg) or by a certain distance.

    You can choose to have the unit lock to a road, or not. I turn this off. If you choose the marine profile (profiles are new to the 78), it will set the options as you would expect for marine use. There are different profiles for marine, automotive, fitness, etc.

    There are a lot of new and different features. It takes awhile to sort it out.
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