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Garmin GPSMAP 196 (Americas)
- 18 customer reviews.
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Garmin GPSMAP 196 (Americas)

The GPSMAP 196 is a versatile navigator for air, land, and sea.

This WAAS-capable unit has detailed moving map graphics, HSI steering guidance, a Jeppesen database, and all the other pilot-friendly features you'd expect from Garmin. You'll be amazed at the exceptional resolution and contrast on this unit's 12-level grayscale display, and its lightning-fast processor makes for extremely fast map redraws and scrolling.

Situational awareness gets a boost from built-in land detail that includes political boundaries, cities, interstates, roads, rivers, and lakes. Steering guidance is clearly presented through a graphic HSI with VNAV, with extended runway centerlines to help orient you to the runway. An automatic logbook also calculates your flight time and automatically records departure and arrival locations. When used with Garmin's free logbook software—FlightBook—this feature makes light work of maintaining your logbook. Your flight information will be stored in the unit and can be downloaded to this exclusive GPSMAP 196 Flightbook software at any time.

The GPSMAP 196 compromises nothing in its versatility, going from cockpit to land to water. In fact, it offers some of the same features found in expensive in-dash car navigation systems, including auto routing. In addition to the built-in Garmin basemap, the GPSMAP 196 accepts most of our MapSource(R) products.

Features include:

  • Unique panel page graphically displays flight information
  • Logbook feature automatically records departure airports, arrival airports, and flight time, all of which can downloaded to free Flightbook software
    Extended runway centerlines display on a moving map
  • Split-screen moving map and HSI display
  • Three distinct modes: Aviation, Land, and Water
  • Turn-by-turn automotive routing
  • Advanced scrolling feature reveals detailed information when rolling the cursor over the built-in basemap.
  • Large (3.8-diagonal) 12-level grayscale display in a slim package
  • Fast processor provides map redraws and scrolling at over twice the speed of previous aviation portables

Package includes:

  • GPSMAP(R) 196 receiver
  • Americas Datbase Autoroute
  • Free single Jeppesen(R) update
  • Yoke mount
  • Dash mount
  • PC interface cable
  • Cigarette lighter adapter
  • Remote antenna with suction cup mount
  • Owner's manual
  • Quick reference guide


List Price: $595.00
Now: $549.00

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Lowest Price Guaranteed: If you find a better price elsewhere on this product we will match that price and beat it by 10% of the difference.

Buy With Confidence!  Purchase today and you can return it in the original condition through Friday, May 23, 2014!  Our return policy.

Have a question about Garmin GPSMAP 196 (Americas)?  Ask your question and see previous Q & A about this product.

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Customer Reviews For Garmin GPSMAP 196 (Americas):
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Tuesday, April 09, 2013
OK! To destination not what I want.
by Last airplane from Fort Collins CO USA 

Pros: Good size for a light sport airplane.
Cons: The simple features are not up front. I don't program myri8ad destinations.
Review: Likes the size, mounts, battery life.
Poor documentation, terrible index.
The pages are OK, but I like a page with basics: course, time, eta, and such. I do not like the maps.
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Sunday, December 09, 2012
Simple and Clear
by Thomas from Sherrills Ford NC USA 

Pros: Simple to use, easy to read
Cons: serial cable
Review: Everything works as stated. It all makes sense. I love the black and white screen. You can see it clearly from any angle. I wouldn't want to leave home without it. I can't understand why they supply a serial cable. That boggles the brain. Everyone on earth will have to convert the connection before updating. Why?
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Monday, January 09, 2012
Please study this product carefully before buying.
by James from Milton FL USA 

Pros: Map is easy to read in sunlight.
Cons: Overpriced, not enough memory, cable adaptor required.
Review: It does not have enough memory onboard to get a full database update now. It's price is still too high for what you get. If you are flying in an open cockpit and need something you can see in sunlight it is good for that. The color units are not. The Garmin people were very nice and helpful so that made it easier to get the partial update for my area. You need to purchase a cable adaptor to connect to your computer if it's a new computer.
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Friday, December 02, 2011
This is a great little GPS.
by Ron from San Diego 

Review: I used my 196 to fly the Aircoupe I bought in New Orleans area to San Diego. The 196 worked perfectly! Concerning Kenneth's problem with the serial connection for updates; buy a USB/Serial adapter from here, Fry's or some other electronics store. I used it to "convert" the serial connector to a USB to update my database.
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Sunday, November 13, 2011
mexico is basically an outline
by Rocky from Kelso WA USA 

Pros: It has a bigger screen than my Pilot III
Cons: see above
Review: I'm in Mexico and cities such as Hermosillo (1 million people) is marked with a dot but the airport isn't marked at all. This is an AOE (airport of entry) with airline service and all of that stuff.
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Tuesday, January 04, 2011
new to me
by Kenneth from Stockbridge GA USA 

Pros: new
Cons: serial port connection
Review: Still learning.  Don't like the serial port PC connection...nobody has them anymore.
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Entry Level GPS Does Everything Very Well
by David from Casa Grande AZ USA 

Pros: Great value for the price. Easy to use.
Cons: None.
Review: This GPS may not have all of the latest options, including a color screen, but it does work very well with a generous amount of features. The different pages are well thought out and keeping your logbook up to date is simple. So far it has proven reliable and and easy to use. If you are a new student pilot - or a weekend general aviation pilot - this may be all you need.
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Saturday, September 18, 2010
Better Than I Expected
by Eric from North Branch MI USA 

Pros: big enough, bright easier to use
Cons: powering down after a short time. update cable doesn't fit.
Review: This is my second hand-held Garmin GPS. It performs better than the first one and better than I expected. Easier to use, bigger and brighter and the mounting devices are simple and well thought out. I like that it also can do marine and automobile - even though I haven't tried it yet. Don't like it partially powering down (to conserve energy?) as it's harder to read and need to push something to power up. Comes with a cable to connect to a serial port - that doesn't. Have to get more parts from computer store to connect it.
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Thursday, August 26, 2010
Excellent little device
by Aaron from Renton WA USA 

Review: This is a great little GPS with most all the features of much larger and more costly systems. The Black and White screen is nicely backlit, and very readable in everything from direct sunlight to black-of-night. The buttons are easy to find and easy to use. The database seems extremely complete with tons of frequencies and facility information, even including tide stations! (important if you like flying into beach landings). It is so packed with features, be prepared to spend some serious ground-time with the manual, studying it and learning how to do everything. I'm very glad I got this over a larger and more expensive model.
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Wednesday, April 07, 2010
This is a great GPS
by Sonex driver from Dodge Center MN USA 

Review: This GPS is everything the reviews said it would be. The display is bright and easy to read. In aviation mode it can't be beat. I am not real impressed with the land mode, but I didn't buy it for the land mode anyway.
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Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Garmin hits a homerun
by Mark from La Porte IN USA 

Pros: Ease of use
Review: Used it on a trip down to Danville, Ky. Great product for keeping us out of Class B air spaces and a Restricted Zone. Very easy to use in the plane and in the car. Loved the different panel pages you can chose from.
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Just what I anticipated
by Timothy from Smithfield VA USA 

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Exactly what I needed
by Bob from Fargo ND USA 

Pros: Easy to read. Battery life great, 15 hours +.
Cons: color screen would be nice. Worth the extra price??
Review: Excellent back up for any aircraft. Perfect for small aircraft without much other nav equipment. Has all needed info in the data base to replace 50 pounds of books & paper .
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Monday, November 30, 2009
Excellent GPS Unit!
by Pilot Guy Rob from Madison, WI 

Pros: Easy to use, see, and understand, enhances safety
Review: I am a low hour pilot (70 hours) and found the 196 to be an easy to use and reliable unit. It was my instructor's. I liked it so much I convinced him to sell it to me. He upgraded to the color unit. Nice to know exactly where you are and where the airport is. Don't see the airport? Just fly to it on the GPS, it will appear. Right runway? The runway numbers show on the map so you are sure you are approaching the correct one. Safety is enhanced for many reasons including the "nearest" button.
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Better than what I expected
by Rick from Alachua FL USA 

Pros: Lots of good info and real accurate
Review: I am a new pilot and this was right on the price and gets me to where I want to go. I love having it as a backup with lots of info for a new pilot. When you are a new pilot you worry more about engine failure and this product gives me options of places to land.
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Monday, August 03, 2009
The Handheld for Me
by Bill from Ormond Beach FL USA 

Review: This is the replacement for a GPSMAP 195 that Garmin is no longer offering repair service for. After my experience with the 195 I found the 196 easy to use. This is an affordable, user friendly hand held for the occasional small airplane GA pilot. I would like to have easy to find instructions for using the yoke mount and updating the data base.
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Tuesday, May 05, 2009
by Benjamin from Butler PA 
Review: Great product for GA. Get the GPSMAP 296, it's worth it.
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Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Its an excellent navigator ..
by Eggert from Kissimmee FL USA 

Pros: Easy to use and has features to please most of aviatiors.
Cons: Doesn't have a colour screen
Review: It's exactly what I had imagined and even better. I love the big screen and the backup instruments that can be displayed. The info that can be retained from it is also very handy in the air.
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Previous Customer Questions For Garmin GPSMAP 196 (Americas):
Ask Your Own Question
On Saturday, August 31, 2013 a customer asked:
Does 196 work in dash8,Q300
A: This is a portable GPS unit so it would work in any vehicle/aircraft as long as the antenna can see the sky.

On Sunday, January 30, 2011 a customer asked:
Does this system primarily run off of battery? Internal, AA's, 9v?
A: The Garmin GPSMAP 196 is powered by four (4) AA batteries the provide anywhere from 4 to 16 hours of life.  We recommend the Sanyo eneloop rechargeable batteries to provide long life and fast, easy recharging.

On Friday, January 21, 2011 a customer asked:
I live in Alaska. Is the Alaska database included?
A: Yes, this includes the North, South, and Central America.  All of Alaska is covered with the included Jeppesen NavData datbase.

On Saturday, October 02, 2010 a customer asked:
can the 196 run off cig plugin power (12v)?
A: Yes, the 12v cigarette lighter adapter (included) will power the unit.

On Monday, January 25, 2010 a customer asked:
Is 496 a newer model that will be equal to 196? Do you have a phone whre I can call to order? this is my work e-mail.
A: Yes, the 496 is much newer than the 196.  The 496 was first introduced in July 2006 and the 196 was first released in July 2002.  After the 496 came the 696 in October 2008.  And, most recently, the Garmin aera series in November 2009.  You can reach us by phone at 1-877-314-7575.

On Wednesday, January 20, 2010 a customer asked:
Does the 196 update the displays as fast as the 496...?
A: The 496 will have a faster refresh rate than the 196.

On Tuesday, April 28, 2009 a customer asked:
what do you need to make the 196 gps wass capable
A: The Garmin GPSMAP 196 is WAAS capable.  A WAAS-capable receiver can give you a position accuracy of better than three meters (10 feet) 95 percent of the time. And you don't have to purchase additional receiving equipment or pay service fees to utilize WAAS.

On Saturday, April 18, 2009 a customer asked:
I live in Hawaii. Is the Hawaii database included with the 196? Thanks.
A: Yes, Hawaii is included.

On Thursday, February 05, 2009 a customer asked:
In order to upgrade our 196 we need to download to our pc. Is there anyway we can use a USB connection? Not sure if we have a serial connection on our pc.
A: The PC interface cable that is included does require a serial connection.  However, you can buy a Serial to USB adapter at most electronics stores.

On Wednesday, January 21, 2009 a customer asked:
I have a crop dusting operation and I need a gps that I can put lat longs in and fly to that waypoint. can i do that with the 196?
A: Yes, absolutely.  The Garmin GPSMAP 196 allows you to create up to 50 custom waypoints.



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