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Thu, Nov 02, 2006

Garmin Delays WAAS Upgrade Once Again

New Receiver, Software To Blame

Are you waiting for the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) upgrade for your Garmin 430 or 530? You'll have to wait a little longer.

Garmin has announced another delay for the program to make its 400- and 500- series navigation systems WAAS capable. The avionics manufacturer blames a major software rewrite, and changes in key antenna and receiver components.

Garmin initially announced its intention to offer a WAAS upgrade for older avionics in June 2003. That statement said upgrades would be available by the end of 2004. WAAS consists of a system of satellites and ground stations that provide GPS signal corrections, giving pilots up to five times greater position accuracy.

The avionics manufacturer says complexity of the project has increased, as well as the R&D investment to design, build, and certify the new WAAS-enabled GPS antenna, receiver, and associated software.

"In spite of these challenges, Garmin is still committed to delivering WAAS capability to our existing owners, as previously promised," the company told ANN.

Garmin says it doesn't have a new estimated delivery date as of yet... and it won't penalize those choosing to cancel an order already placed.

The company says customers opting to upgrade their boxes to WAAS will enjoy a faster processor, TSO C146a approval, and a one-year warranty -- regardless of how old your system is.

It will also mean a lighter wallet, to the tune of $1500.

FMI: www.garmin.com

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