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Old 1 Jun 2010
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GPSMAP 278 Problem connecting to Laptop

Hi folks,

I'm having a problem with my GARMIN GPSMAP 278 in that when it is set to Automotive mode and navigating to a destination it stops producing a GPS signal to my laptop when it issues directions on the screen. I wondered if any other users had experienced this problem.

It works fine in marine and automotive mode when not navigating to a destination, it only stops when I approach a turn and it gives the next set of directions. It is as if the effort of doing turn by turn directions is a little too much for its small brain! When it issues directions on the Garmin screen I get a GPS communications time out message on the laptop and have to remove the USB cable for the laptop to re-sync with the GPS. I have tried it in NMEA 0183 mode and Garmin data transfer mode with the same result.

Does any body have a work around for this? My current thoughts are to return the laptop on to a GPS dongle and use the 278 as a stand alone.

Your thoughts are always welcome.

As an aside, has anybody else experienced the same problem with other types of Garmin GPS Map units i.e. the GPS MAP 60 CSX?


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Old 2 Jun 2010
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Location: Whangarei, NZ
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I have never used my GPS in this kind of setup. However, the 278 is an older unit. I owned a GPS V, which I think is older still. This had problems with routing any city map, simply because it couldn't handle the masses of data in modern street maps. I.e. the CPU is too slow.

Perhaps yours can navigate, but in doing so puts the output port on a lower priority and so the connection is lost?

If you have a dongle, why not use it? What's the advantage to use a routing GPS *and* a laptop at the same time?

Europe to NZ 2006-10
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Old 4 Jun 2010
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Have had that problem only when I tried to marry the 278 to a ASUS PC that was too just slow to cope with the constant data streaming from the 278.
My 2pence= dump the PC use the 278 C alone
Fantastic unit- one of the best real navigators out there. (shame it does not use Micro SD'sd then it would be perfect!
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Old 7 Jun 2010
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Hi Peter,

Thanks for the information, I've spent plenty of time puzzling over this one. The solution has been to get a new USB dongel for the laptop and run it that way.

Re the advantage of running a laptop and a 278 together, I've found I like the wider map view that I get from the laptop, while letting the 278 do the micro nav. I have to fiddle with the 278 less this way. Some would argue that I'm being greedy running both, but I've found that both have their time and place.


Your bang on the mark reference the 278, it is a great bit of equipment, and it is a shame about the SD card as I've not long ago paid a arm and a leg for a Garmin memory card, ouch!

Thanks for your thoughts guys, sorry it has taken so long to get back to you.


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