Get XM Weather on your chartplotter.
I added a Garmin GXM54 weather antenna. It requires a monthly subscription and integrates weather within the Garmin chart plotter.
It provides basic weather forecasts, wind direction and speed. Animated precipitation, as well as local weather conditions. It also displays marine weather forecasts. This is not the equivalent of windy.com, predictwind.com or the various other weather app's available on your phone. But what if you don't have adequate cellular/LTE service? I didn't want to rely on being within range of a cell tower.
The GXM54 also can provide XM radio which is nice. However, to get XM music to the stereo the Garmin chart plotter must be powered on to receive the XM signal and to select the channel. It passes the XM signal over to the radio via the auxiliary input port on the radio. This is not ideal in that the radio will consume about 7 watts, the chart plotter will consume an additional 23 watts.
I will be installed a dedicated XM radio antenna on the top of the mast and ran that cable directly into the back of the stereo. This lets me utilize the stereo's "XM Radio", select channels on the stereo directly. The chart plotter won't be required to listen to XM music.
The GXM54 antenna I bought online and spent about $650. Installation from up on the mast down into the boat, and around to the helm is probably one of the longest cable runs on the boat. It's at least 4 hours of work.
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Last updated 9/3/2023