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Lowrance AirMap 600c


Lowrance-Airmap60-0CLowrance has released a new GPS in their aviation lineup, the Lowrance AirMap 600c. This is an upgrade to the previous AirMap 500 from Lowrance. The AirMap 600c gains a a color display which is slightly smaller, but a higher resolution than that of the 500c. The color display is the biggest difference.

The chipset has also been upgraded from a 12 channel WAAS enabled receiver to a 16 channel receiver which should improve GPS signal strength and accuracy. I can personally attest that the signal strength received by the AirMap 500 wasn’t fantastic, so this will be a welcome upgrade.

Another difference is the Lowrance AirMap 600c will have the ability to use more maps, such as the Safe Flight 21 database. Additionally, Flight Terrain Awareness from Jeppesen will be available, and certainly a welcome improvement over the 500c.

85 Responses

  1. […] GPS Review recently announced the release of the Lowrance AirMap 600c. Yesterday at Sun-n-Fun I got to play with one. I’ve also previously owned an AirMap 500 so this was a good comparison. […]

  2. I purchased an AirMap 600C last week, but didn’t get an opportunity to fly with it until this afternoon.

    I’ll be returning it for a refund tomorrow.

    I had great hopes for the 600C. I spent quite some time familiarizing myself with it before flying to make sure I wasn’t too distracted by the new toy to fly the airplane safely.

    All of the features and all of the capabilities of this unit are rendered useless by the impossibility of seeing the screen in daylight. It looks great while sitting in my office, but is absolutely impossible to see in the cockpit of my airplane. And today wasn’t as bright a day as usual.

    I had the backlight on full brightness, I tweaked the contrast up and down, I tilted and panned the unit, I tried relocating it – all to no avail.

    I must say I’m terribly disappointed. I really wanted it to work well. Its got a much larger and much sharper screen than the Garmin 96C, and its $200 cheaper to boot.

    What was Lowrance thinking? Didn’t they ever test this thing in a real cockpit? In the daytime?

    Lee Jarvis - July 9th, 2006
    • I think I have a solution to your problem. When I got my first Airmap. Did you press the “backlight” button? Its basically where the power button is, but you have to press it a bit quicker.

      Lucas - May 21st, 2010
    • You need a 2000c. never had an issue even in direct sunlight

      Dan - July 9th, 2010
  3. Hi Lee – Thanks for the comments. I’ve only been able to use the 600c once, but I didn’t have the same trouble you did with the display. I found it legible from the cockpit on a sunny day.

    GPS Review - July 11th, 2006
  4. Purchased my 600c about a month ago and it is wonderful. I have no problem reading the screen even in direct sunlight. All the features work as promised. Had to tweak the settings for airspace alerts because with the degfault settings the moment the wheels were off the ground it was alerting me about airspace 50 miles away. I had a couple occasions to call Lowrance (Canada) Support for assistance when I was unable to figure something out and they were exceptional. I have no experience with Lowrance USA Support.

    Jim - July 19th, 2006
  5. We recieved our 600c a week ago. Spent 3 evenings learning how to operate it and took it flying today. We had no problem whatsoever with viewing the display in sunlight. Used it to navigate for 2 1/2 hours of flying and it worked flawlessly. I was even able to change some things enroute to compensate for changes in the route plan. Was given a direct in approach at the destination when I’d set up waypoints to the pattern entry so changed to “direct” and vertical nav. with no problems. Menus are easy to navigate and I was totally impressed with the performance from what is considered a “budget” model. This little baby is going with us from now on! We purchased ours from Sporty’s for $499 and it was well worth it considering all the items that are shipped with it.

    Robert - August 5th, 2006
  6. Thanks for the comments Robert and Jim. It seems like there could be an isolated problem with certain Lowrance Airmap 600c devices that didn’t impact the ones each of your had, nor the one I flew with.

    I used to fly with the Airmap 500 and I was always fond of it. With the addition of the color display and more sensitive GPS receiver this should be a fantastic value product.

    GPS Review - August 5th, 2006
  7. I must say I agree with Lee, Jim and Robert. I’ve been using my 600c regularly for a couple months and I absolutely adore it! Regarding the comments about the display in daylight, in addition to using it in the cockpit I also use it on a mount on my motorcycle. On the bike in bright daylight I have alsolutely no problem with the display. No need for backlight at all. Sometimes in shady conditions when light is limited I need to put on the backlight. The 600c is WONDERFUL!!

    seaquest - August 5th, 2006
  8. I’ll stand by my earlier comment that the display is exceedingly difficult to read under most lighting conditions encountered in my airplane.

    Under direct light, which is rare in my high-wing plane, readability is OK. It’s the very bright indirect lighting the predominates. In low light conditions, turning on the backlight makes the screen readable. If it’s early morning or late evening, and if the sunlight just happens to be over my shoulder so as to directly illuminate the screen, all is well.

    Another pilot friend who flys a high-wing airplane has precisely the same complaint.

    This may be true of all units, not just the Lowrance. I’d love to try a 96C in a side-by-side comparison.

    You fellows who are having no trouble, are you flying low-wing airplanes with direct lighting?

    Lee Jarvis - August 6th, 2006
    • Hello, Lee

      It’s been a couple of years since your comments here, but they are still quite relevant. I bought a 600c earlier in the year and had exactly the same problem you describe. My screen was so dark it was useless without the backlight on. I returned my unit to Lowrance and was sent a replacement after abouit 6 weeks delay. OK, I thought, finally I’m fixed. Wrong. The new unit also did exactly the same thing. You can see, I share your frustration.

      Did you ever arrive at a fix? I’d appreciate anything you could tell me.



      Brian - September 15th, 2009
      • Were you wearing polarized sunglasses? This will darken if not completely hide the screen.

        Greg Castello - February 24th, 2010
  9. I’m flying low-wing about 3/4 of the time although i was flying high-wing when I demoed the Lowrance AirMap 600c. Thanks for your comments, Lee.

    GPS Review - August 6th, 2006
  10. I am flying a Cessna 172 (high wing). I’m not saying that the display is perfect under all lighting conditions. Direct sunlight and backlit in low light conditions are ideal where in between conditions do tend to reduce the contrast. However that is pretty much common with anything that has a colour LCD display. My Dell Axim pocket PC is rendered unusable in these conditions. My previous GPS (Garmin Etrex Legend C) is very bad and switching to the Lowrance 600c was quite an improvement.

    Jim - August 6th, 2006
  11. I am on my second Airmap 600c,,, the first would only function for limited amounts of time before emitting a buzzing tone and crashing to a blank white screen (it was only 1/2 hour old), the batteries had to be removed to make it stop..(all buttons non functioning),,,,the replacement unit has also done this,,,although not as often. When the menu button is pressed twice and airspace info selected, it will lockup, emit the buzzing tone and reboot itself…not every time,,, but about 50% of the time…..On other occasions it will crash when the exit button is pressed (when exiting the airspace info option) There seems to be something in the software that makes it unstable.. This is unacceptable.

    I have no faith in the unit and wont fly with it,,,so I cant say how the screen would work in bright sunlight..the funtions of the unit were promising,,,,But it wont be getting another try with me…..To bad too, my airmap 100 still works perfectly

    David - August 17th, 2006
  12. I replaced my 96C with this. The 96C had the best LCD screen I’ve seen. It looked better in sunlight!.

    In Europe the default base map is very poor and the map create software doesn’t cover Europe with any more detail then the base map. So I sometimes fly for 30 miles without any accurate indication of ware I am. If I put a freedom map card in the unit I loose terrain awareness, as Lowrance do not produce a freedom map / terrain card.
    The Jeppesen database does not cover ATZ or MATZ something that is every ware in the UK. And without accurate detail, This can be a problem. Also It’s not compatible with Jeppesen FliteStar.

    Solution I’m putting it on e-Bay and going back to Garmin.

    Les - September 1st, 2006
  13. I just encountered a problem similar to Les # 11 above. The set starts goes bright then dull, no keys will work and the set keeps going on and off until I remove a battery. Looks like I may have to return my 600c for repair, although I do like the way it works in flight. Sunlight has been a minor problem but some numbers such as the scale etc are just too small to read in flight.

    Joe Scoles - October 5th, 2006
  14. Please note: I am adding to my comment above; Lowrance support is excellent and their Tecks are very knowledgeable. I spent an hour on the phone this morning and the Support person walked me through every possible solution including re-installation of my created map. The problem is resolved now. The Teck was unsure but it appeared to be a glitch of some sort, probably associated with adding a created map via map create 6 which hopefully will not re-occur. Any GPS can have problems, I think Lowrance has the best support compared to any other electronic product I ever purchased. I hope to get long and satisfactory service from my unit and I have no hesitation in working with support to iron out such glitches if this problem re-occurs. I could not have resolved this problem without the technical support and expertise.

    Joe Scoles - October 6th, 2006

    JAVIER MIGUEL - October 15th, 2006
  16. For comment 15 and sunlight problems, be sure you have the backlight up to full bright and mid contrast set. Obtaining the backlight from the power/light button is tricky as this button does 2 functions. In fact I also find the Pages button must be firmly pressed and held for a couple of seconds to get the pages menu to come up on my set. Lowrance has packed a lot of information into this little set and it is expecting a lot of the little menue buttons to keep up with all these functions. I have no problem now either in my car or in my 170 and hopefully this GPS will be reliable.

    I understand the Aviation Consumers magazine did a review of this GPS. It might be interesting to see what the Aviation Consumer has found. In any event do contact teck support if you cannot solve the sunlight problem.

    Joe Scoles - October 15th, 2006
  17. I too ran into the problem where the GPS shuts down and restarts and the only way to stop it is to take the batteries. like #11. I just got it for my birthday and was very suprised when I took it in my car, I wanted to play with it while moving, and it freaked out. This happened last night. I cant get to the lowrance website because it has crashed….hmmm. I hope this isnt a trend.

    Blake - October 29th, 2006
  18. Reply for Blake,

    Try and get a Lowrance Teck on the phone and I think this will be resolved
    for you. Lowrance should publish cause and corrective action for this
    glitch or issue a software corrective update for owners.. This would be a
    very serious problem if it happened during flight. My GPS 600c has worked OK
    both in the car and in the aircraft since the Teck Support resolved that
    glitch and I sure hope it does not show up again, particularly after the
    warranty expires. Generally I like this little box as it sure has a lot of
    uses and is very fast to lock onto satellites compared to other makes I have

    Joe Scoles

    Joe Scoles - October 29th, 2006
  19. I pre-ordered my Airmap 600c. I was excited about the features for the price. Unfortunately this is a lower quality product with disappointing quirks. It’s frozen up and had to reboot in flight. It loses and reaquires signal often, and during one flight it never reaquired signal at all. The accessories are cheap. The cigarette lighter adapter lost the middle electrical conductor after 3 flights. The Antenna mount screws are easily stripped and have to be held in place with tape. Lowrance said they’d repair the unit but it’s been frustrating waiting on hold for great lengths of time. I still haven’t spoken to a person on the phone.

    Michael - November 6th, 2006
  20. I just bought the airmap 600C today. Without the backlight, the screen is just impossible to read, whatever the light conditions. I tried to change the contrast and brightness but without success. Very disappointing.
    Also, after 2 hours, the unit suddenly shut down and started a sequence of reboots / shut downs that I could stop only by removing the batteries. I tried again 30 minutes after, and the problem was still there.
    I will bring it back to the shop tomorrow. Maybe I will get a Garmin 296C although it is far more expensive.

    Yves - November 15th, 2006
  21. Just an update on our unit. We purchased ours at the end of July and first flew with it at the beginning of August. We’ve never had any of the problems others have experienced with the unit. In direct sunlight, the contrast makes all the difference. Set correctly, you don’t need the backlight. The backlight is adequate for most ilghting conditions, although I could wish it was a bit brighter occasionally.

    Never have had a glitch during operations. No problems with the cord so far, but I don’t keep plugging it in and taking it out either. The included antenna locks on in about 15-20 seconds after the unit is turned on and we are out of the hangar. I mounted it at the base of the windshield just above the glare screen, and this seems to work fine in our Beechcraft.

    All in all, we’re very happy with the performance of our unit so far. Planning on updating the database in January and we’ll be doing that every 6 months. For the money, you can’t beat the features. We originally were going to buy an Avmap EKPIV, but decided on this unit for cost and space considerations. It’s performed as advertised and has definately met our expectations.

    Robert - November 15th, 2006
  22. I have used the 600c for over a year now and for the price most functions are satisfactory. The Antennae connection at the set is definitely not of aviation quality. It tends to fray and break right at the connector ferule.
    This might be an isolated case but I have to press and hold the Pages button for 3 to 5 seconds before the window will come up. This is a bit of a nuisance. Otherwise the set has performed satisfactoily and is easy to use.

    Joe Scoles - November 23rd, 2007
  23. I winter in Barbados and would like to use my 600c for driving around the island. Does anyone know of a map that could be installed for Barbados road and street navigation?

    Thanks, Joe Scoles

    Joe Scoles - December 24th, 2007
  24. I’m looking for Barbados road software as well – and Antigua, if available. I’ll be ethere next week (April, 2008) and it would be nice to have that available. I’m from Barbados, so I don’t really need it – but it would be nice!

    Jim Lynch - April 7th, 2008
  25. My 600c started life well, it’s now 8 months old and only works in 40 minute stints before loosing position. Rarely will it regain a position, Remote antenna or not, seems to need 24 hrs to recover it’s composure, maybe navigating is a bit too much for the Lowrance 600c.

    Dazza - April 26th, 2008
  26. Another update. We’ve now had the unit 1 year and 8 months and haven’t had any real issues with it. We’ve updated the maps every 5 to 6 months. Great little navigator for the money still. The only issue we’ve had with it is that the antenna case is distorting. That’s really my fault, as we left it on the glare shield when parked outsited at fly-ins. We use window covers, but they don’t keep the heat out of the antenna. Started to take it down after we noticed the distorted case. Doesn’t seem to have affected it much. Maybe slightly slower to lock on, but still locks in pretty quick once we clear the hangars.

    Robert - April 27th, 2008
  27. I am on my second 600c Airmap. I catorgorize this system as a piece of ****.
    I fly professionally. This unit fails me on every flight.
    I update it software firmware and Jepp Dbase and still it fails!
    Works fine for the way out to dest. than reboots constantly and will not get past the law disclaimer screen and locks up. The SD card is a loose connection and the updates do not fix a thing. Do NOT buy this product. Do yourself a favor and spend the money for a Garmin.

    Stephen - June 24th, 2008
  28. Have had 4 Lowrance GPS for aircraft since 1996. 600C is the last. Terrible update system for this model with terrain awareness. Apparently have to be a Computer Tecky to use the half written instructions and your computer to update. Wrote to the main man and info slid down hill to their work force. Was contacted several times to give them ideas. Then nothing. Their new instructions are no better than the old ones. I still can’t figure it out. If I can buy another brand I will and try to get some one to load this one for carring in the truck. They had a good product and dropped the ball on the update issue. What a shame. Seems to be a good product. Would not recommend this product to pilots if you need it current. Buy a Garmin or one of the new companies emerging.

    Bill - June 28th, 2008
  29. I agree with the latest post that the 600c is difficult to use. This is my second year using the 600c with some success but not without concern that it could break lock at a critical time inflight. I suggest Lowrance should take a serious look at the software, get all the bugs out and ship us a revision for our early 600c model. I put a 1G chip in mine and have downloaded both Canadian and American maps for areas I need to fly. So far this seems to work OK.

    Again, my message is to Lowrance; “Please clean up the software and I think there would be less complaints”, with exception of the sunlight problem, although keeping it brightly lighted enables me to live with this.

    Fix suggestion, if Lowrance could link the ON/OFF switch to correct all spurious problems at least then we would have a positive method of getting it back in sync.during flight. We do this with computers that go haywire all the time! In flight is no place to fool around with a balky GPS, it has to work perfectly all the time.

    (see my previous comments)(Hold ATP and Flight Navigator Licence)

    Joe - June 28th, 2008
  30. I saw a lowrance airmap 600c and I wan`t buy it, But my sigle question: Is this a good idea or a good purchase?, or I need to check another mark of gps?

    Noel - October 22nd, 2008
  31. Just got a 600c and after a couple of days playing with it (walking & driving) I was getting both used to the navigation structure and options…. then hit the ‘cycling’ problem (reboots constantly and will not get past the law disclaimer screen and locks up), with my unit this persists even after leaving the unit all day with batteries removed/swap of memory cards etc…. so far I’ve tried to power it up over 50 times with no joy (tried

    I’m going to contact Lowrance during the week (i’m in Scotland) can any of the pilots who have had this sugest the best person to contact in their technical department?

    Murray Hay

    Murray - November 16th, 2008
  32. For Murray Hay – I have published several comments (above) about the 600c.
    I made a suggestion to Lowrance that they should get the glitches out of the
    software and send an update to all owners but I guess they will not attempt
    to do this.

    A Lowrance rep at Oshkosh last year told me the way to get out
    of this situation of continuous rebooting was to simply press and hold down two keys simultaneously for a couple of seconds. I
    think one was the on/off but I cannot remember the other key to press and

    I don’t want to experiment with my 600c since it is working Ok at this time. I suggest you
    press and hold the on/off and work your way through each of the other keys
    until one of them might eliminate the problem as/ or after you release both
    keys together.

    Also call the USA factory for Teck Support and insist that
    they give you the exact procedure to get out of this lock up you are
    experiencing. Lowrance should have put this procedure in the manual or at
    least sent everyone an update sheet.

    Let us know via a post if you have success finding the combination to get
    out of lock up or continuous rebooting. You have nothing to lose by trying this

    Good Luck,

    Joe Scoles

    Joe Scoles - November 16th, 2008
  33. Thamks Joe

    As you can see in the YouTube video (at about 5:00) it was a case of press & hold ‘PWR’ & ‘FIND’ to enter the program mode.

    This lets the unit again to be switched off (press & hold PWR) etc. as normal… however as yet in my unit it has (I don’t yet have the software & cable to up-date/re-instal) not sorted the problem… but is a step forward…

    When I’ve emailed Lowrance with this information I will let the Forum know what solutions/help is provided.

    Murray Hay


    Murray - November 17th, 2008
  34. Ok I’ve found out a user fix ‘Reset’ (from Lowrance website) this is called the ‘Soft Reset’ it states that this does not delete your GPS Data.

    1) Turn off the unit (use the PWR & FIND trick to get the PWR off button working again if stuck in a ‘cycle’)

    2) Press and hold the ‘PAGES’ key

    3) Press and hold the PWR key.

    4)Release both buttons when the USA map appears.

    So far this has re-booted (to working OK) my unit on a quick test… I will report back on any further issues (if there are any!)

    Murray Hay

    NB ‘Hard Reset’ (Wipes your waypoints&trails)

    From off Press & Hold ‘ZIN’ & ‘ZOUT’ Wwhile you then press & hold PWR….

    Tone will sound… then release buttons and IMMEDIATELY press ‘FIND’….

    While pressing ‘FIND’ a higher tone will sound… unit resets…

    Switch off then back on.

    Murray - November 17th, 2008
    • Thank you, thank you, for taking the time to post this on the WWW! I had no idea why my 600c was suddenly stuck, when it had worked fine the last time I fired it up. In fact, it also was working with the SD card from my 500 unit, but not with its own. Weird, huh?

      Juanita - June 28th, 2009
  35. I have an Airmap 100 and never had a problem with it, for the money it was a great product. Last year I upgraded to the 600c and was expecting the same type of experience. DO NOT BUY this product. The chances of you having issues are high based on numerous reviews on the net. You are better off spending more money on another product then throwing $500 away. I am sending my unit back and they are charging me $150 for another warranty. I figure I will take the chance and try and spend some additional money to try and get a working product, but I may have just lost $700. I will never buy a Lowrance product again.
    The unit will boot but will never seem to be able to acquire enough satellites to work. It has worked intermittently for me but will always fail in flight. It is a liability to try and use if for navigation.

    Chris - November 30th, 2008
  36. I have an airmap 600c.I live in canada and called for tech support and it was terrible.I had an issue with the terrain awarness data.They just said buy another card.They were not going help!.

    aaron - December 24th, 2008
  37. Here it is 2009 and I am still trying to get the AirMap 600C updated. The only ones that answer the phone at LEI want to sell you new cards at $35 for aviation with no Terrain Awareness or $100 for Terrain with no update. To send the unit in for an update one must have an RA. But they want answer the phones, at least in the 30 minutes I have held, several times. Their download by computer is just too complicated. Do Not Buy One of These GPS unless you are a computer scientist. Much better units on the market also with easier down loads and larger screens. Glare is also a problem in a Bonanza.

    Bill - January 13th, 2009
  38. For all of the mixed reviews of the Airmap 600c here, it goes to show that the quality of this unit is very spotty. My experience has been horrible. When I first received it in 2006 I thought it was great, then noticed the glare problems in the cockpit. Yes, the screen is readable in sunlight, but only if you tilt it so nothing bright is reflecting back at you. After a few months it started locking up, so I stopped using it for a while. Then the past year I started using it as a hiking GPS since it was unreliable in the air. Sure enough, it stopped acquiring a position fix even though it showed 7 strong satellite signals. Sadly, it’s too late to return or get repaired under warranty, and now it’s nothing more than a paper weight. Lowrance wants $150 just to look at it, which is half the price of a new unit from Sporty’s. If you take a chance with this GPS, you’re only playing Russian Roulette. Spend the extra money and get the Garmin.

    Matt - January 19th, 2009
  39. I just purchased my Airmap 600C GPS and cannot see the screen while in flight, even though I have changed the contrast screen/brightness screen to no avail. Also, I have had the same problem as some of the others have spoken about. It keeps re-booting itself over and over again until I take out the batteries. I have tried everything possible to remedy the problem to no avail. My next purchase will be a Garmin, not a Lowrance.

    Steve - February 28th, 2009


    Fred - March 23rd, 2009
  41. I too have a problem with the 600C finding satellites, and very quickly, but now does not calculate a position. I’ve tried everything to resolve the problem but no go. I have always been a loyal Garmin user. Took a shot with this one but it wasn’t not worth it.

    Rob - May 22nd, 2009
  42. 600c — I am now using a 1 G good quality SD card with a large map section covering the area I fly. I also installed the new flight data at Oshkosh last year and will do so again this year. From all of the comments posted it seems that some people have got a bad set and others seem to work ok. I have had no further trouble with mine since the original posts I made after the purchase, in fact I have grown to really like the set and the many options it offers. Lawrance might be well advised to pay attention to this site and check their quality control on the production line more closely. All of the posative suggestions should be made available by updates from Lowrance to thier customers.

    Joe Scoles - June 29th, 2009
  43. #40 has it right. I wanted a smaller unit that wouldn’t be too big for my Supercub’s interior. Don’t do it. This thing is not good and customer service makes you wait a real long time before they treat you badly. I’m now $700 into this thing and don’t even have it. Go and buy a Garmin.

    Dave - July 2nd, 2009
  44. Just purchased a 600c, so far, so good. Have not had the reboot problem. For those with difficulty reading the screen, check out your sunglasses! I had a special pair of sunglasses made for flying that are not as darkened so that I could read inside the cockpit and this helps view the lcd screen. Call Lowrance tech support if you have a problem, I have found them helpful with the software transfers, but be prepared to hold at least 30 minutes. I will update this post when I have had more experience…

    Mike - August 6th, 2009
  45. Was able to try out the 600c on a commercial flight for about 15 min. before the stewardess made me turn it off. Locked on within a couple of minutes using the remote antenna, and correctly (it seems) gave our airspeed at 502 knots and alt. at 39232 feet. All modes worked correctly, screen was easily readable, and battery life appears quite good. Not great for ground navigation, but good as a backup on ground if your directions fail you- it has many poi which is a plus!If you are lucky enough to get a working unit, it seems like this is a decent piece of equipment ….

    Mike - August 10th, 2009
  46. LEI-Extras sucks. Tried to download a Jep update, computer timed out, could not unlock card as per their vague instructions. My terrain awareness got erased along with my Jep database. Now I’m screwed, nedd to buy a new terrain card for $ 99.00 ( 89.00 at Aircraft Spruce ) plus $ 15.00 shipping, guess they never heard of USPS flat rate shipping. Once I get the new card, I have to attempt to load another Jep database for $ 35.00. I think I now own a $ 499.00 paperweight. BUY A GARMIN I was told by a pilot shop employee that Lowrance is no longer making the aviation units. Guess I’ll have to take up boating to appreciate their procucts.

    Doug - August 18th, 2009
    • Doug, is your card really toast? I just noticed this post, sorry, but I backed up all the files on my card and can send the terrain awareness to you, and whatever else I have. There is, too, a file called Jeppunlock.exe I know what you are talking about–same thing happened to me when I first tried to update mine, but the tech walked me thru it.

      Juanita - September 6th, 2009
  47. Update. Just flew in a Piper Cherokee on a bright sunny afternoon. I turned screen brightness all the way up and set it at midcontrast…screen was easily readable at these settings, though not excessively bright. I could see why some folks wearing dark sunglasses may have difficulty reading it (my sunglassses are lightened on the bottom for reading in the cockpit).
    Re. battery life, I tested it with screen at these full bright settings continuously with duracell rechargable batteries: Unit lasted 2 hours before batteries gave out. I would guestimate it would last 4-5 hours on these batteries if you toggle backlight off and on as you need it. overall, I am still pleased with the Airmap 600c (and no, I am not a Lowrance employee).

    Mike - September 7th, 2009
  48. Hello,

    Well, I don’t work for Lowrance but I have used my unit successfully for 2
    years now. First I took out the chip Lawrance provided and downloaded a new
    data base onto a 1 gig card. I lost the terrain part but I never used it so
    no problem for me. I set the backlight to its fullest or brightest possible
    and I always plug it into external power via the cigarette socket. Do not
    use any other means of plug in as you will blow the unit. The provided plug
    reduces the voltage to 3V. I normally use the “compass overlay” panel when
    flying as it has everything needed, GS Alt Dist etc. Try it. I find the zoom
    feature works best on that window. If you can get it working and just use
    the Pages and find windows it should be everything you need. I would and did
    insist that the Lawrance Teck help until it sets up to your satisfaction.
    Direct sunlight is always a problem even on the Garmin’s so try and keep it
    free of direct sunlight which is no problem in my Cessna 170. A sunlighted
    cockpit is no problem for me since the map is very well back lighted.

    I hope this helps, and yes make a copy of the various re-set procedures as
    found in the blogs and keep it in your cock pit just in case. Mine has never
    required a re-set with the high capacity card. Any good quality 1g card
    should be ok. Download right from Jep to this card then download the map
    sections as per the maps you may have purchased separately.

    I think this set was never made to operate much with th3e back light off so power it reotely and keep it well lighted and you should be able to enjoy most of its many features.



    Joe Scoles - September 15th, 2009
  49. I purchased a 600 c a year and a half ago. I fly a two seat light sport aircraft. I really liked the unit and had no problems untill two days ago. I put a cigerette lighter in my plane to use the provided power cord. First day it worked fine.Second use my screen went blank and dont work with batteries either. Called customer support. The informed me they no longer service this unit at all.However they do still sell the new units.I guess they think pilots are wealthy and can throw the old ones out and buy a new one.Looking at garmin now.

    Eugene Roll - September 26th, 2009
  50. Eugene,

    It is unfortunate that Lawrance would not help you. However, don’t give up as it would appear that your set is not getting power from the on/off switch source. The manual does not detail a trouble shooting procedure for this or whether a fuse is located inside the set. Take your set to a good computer teck and ask to have the reason for no power to the circuit investigated. A good shop may locate the problem. Also, the cord supplied could have been defective and allowed more than 3 Volts into your set. In this case something would be burned out on the circuit board and probably not worth fixing.

    Also, try the Canada number 905 629 1614, not free but very inexpensive to get an opinion. I have found Lawrance Canada very good as they also sell fishing and units for boats, a large market that needs a good reputation.

    Don’t dispair, I have a Garmin 90 from the 90’s era that will no longer display much on the screen although it works and locks onto satellites ok. Garman is of little help with this either. It makes me wonder if their newer products will have failing screens as they age? Good luck,


    Joe Scoles - September 27th, 2009
  51. I’ve had my unit since Christmas, ‘08. It has experienced all the problems reported above, namely complete lockup requiring a hard reboot, cycling reboots requiring hard reboots, intermittent lockups leading to soft reboot, and glare problems in my Cessna 182.

    Customer service was accommodating and provided a replacement data SD card. The replacement card seems to have solved many problems. The unit talks to the card frequently so a bad card leaves the unit in a loop, requiring the reboot.

    You can force an overload lockup and reboot with this method:
    Terrain Awareness ON
    Two Map page
    Select Resize option from the Menu
    Hold down or rapidly press the UP or DOWN buttons until the unit locks
    up and reboots. This lock up always occurs within a couple of seconds.
    The unit always reboots 10 seconds after lock up.
    Apparently the cpu can’t keep up with downloading all the TA data. Software problem?

    So I just leave TA off. Never had an operational problem in flight.

    The display backlighting is way too bright for night use. I would like to see it dim down to almost nothing at the last stop. Not zero at the last stop but almost zero. The PWR/light button can turn the backlight on and off so the dimmer shouldn’t turn it off completely.

    Setting and using routes is the preferred method. However, a couple of glitches:
    __You have to be careful to include a new waypoint in the route before using it as a diversion if intending to continue to use the route later. Other wise the route is deactivated and must be reactivated through the menu system. It would be nice to have a warning message pop up that the route will be turned off or that you could add the new waypoint to the existing route.
    __If you Find your Destination and select Runway extension with navigation guidance, that guidance becomes a new route and wipes out the old one. I would prefer the same assistance as above to be available here as well.

    Glare: I tried a protector/ anti-glare lens. Just made the otherwise excellent screen a little fuzzy. So I found a better place to mount the unit (left of the instrument panel).

    I bought another antenna from GPSGeek and mounted it in the back window. Seems to perform better than the included antenna and is far enough away from the radio stack to eliminate RF interference.

    So, overall, it’s a winner for me.

    M. Albert - October 6th, 2009
  52. Hi guys. I see a lot of complaints about the Lowrance 600c being difficult to see and it has problems catching the satellites. Has anyone used the Garmin 96c before? How does it compare to the 96c? Easier to read? More reliable (does’nt switch off in mid flight or catches satellited quickly?)
    I am deciding wether to buy the garmin 96c or lowrance 600 as they are almost evenly priced. Your comments please guys.

    Pavit - October 6th, 2009
    • Yes, I own both. The garmin 96c may be slightly more readable, but the map draw refresh rate is painfully slow. It does pick up satellites better without a remote antenna, though I have not lost the signal on the airmap when using the remote antenna. The Garmin does NOT have terrain, but the data numbers are larger in some fields and thus easier to read.
      Bottom line: You cannot go wrong with either unit in my opinion. If not for the slow refresh rate on the Garmin, that one may have the edge. As it stands now, it is a coin toss.

      Mike - October 6th, 2009
      • Thanks for that Mike. I want to use the 96c in East Africa or rather Africa for that matter. Do you know if I should buy the Atlantic version and once I buy it, will I have to pay for additional software installations? I cant seem to get anyone to advise me on this. The agents near me are not very helpful unfortunately.
        Comments from anyone regarding this will be very helpful.

        Pavit - October 7th, 2009
  53. I’ve been using my 600c for over two years now. No problems except for a one-off a few weeks ago when the terrain turned red all over, despite me being at 3,000 ft. Wish it had MATZ and ATZ though. They litter the chart in my neck of the UK but don’t exist on the database.
    I’ve had a stab at updating online but gave up. Found it far too confusing.

    Don - October 22nd, 2009
  54. I have a 600C, Doesn´t work, dont´t lock satellites so….., I friend of mine have the same problem.

    and yes i will never buy again lowrance and is my recommendation too

    Leonardo - March 13th, 2010
    • I made the mistake of buying a 600C also. It has the same problem, will not lock up to satellites or loses lock shortly after power-up. When I called to get it repaired, the company will not even fix it, no support at all! I will never buy Lowrance again – they do not support their products or customers!

      Jon - March 24th, 2010
  55. For Jon

    Here is what I found works ok for my 600c. Get rid of the terrain awareness screens. Just download the main maps that you use all the time into a new fast 1 or 2 gig chip. I dropped the terrain feature as it takes a lot of power. The result is my 600c has worked satisfactorily for the past 2 years for normal VFR navigation. As for the picking up of satelites, check your ant. It may have a fault so try another one. If you go to Oshkosh this summer, go and corner one of their reps and be firm, you might get some help that way.

    Good Luck, Joe Scoles

    Joe - March 25th, 2010
  56. As i reported before I have a 600c in my junk drawer as lowrance said they no longer repair them.I found out by two sources they are ending their avionics division so buyers be ware you are not going to get any support in the near future.I bought a Garmin 500. cost a little more but a great gps.My original letter is number 49
    Gene Roll

    Eugene - May 24th, 2010
    • Eugene,

      thanks for the info. I have had mine in the junk drawer for two years and flying again and thought pay teh warranty and see if it might work, otherwise it was a $500 paper weight. Just does not seem right for a company not to stand behind a product. I have trusted them over the years with previous products and well just got burned.

      Ernest - May 24th, 2010
    • Any of you gentlemen with non-functioning units willing to send them to me?

      M. Albert - May 28th, 2010
  57. Just a note to say that my Lowrance 600c has performed flawlessly during my trips so far this summer. I like the compass overly page the best for general navigation and I make sure the screen is fully lighted. I always use aircraft power to the set.

    The downside now is the fact that Lowrance no longer offers support and I could not get anyone at Oshkosh to update my Chip to the latest maps. I enquired at Jeppeson and they said they no longer update the Lowrance sets. I am not sure of this but I think it is just a matter of updating the chip to the latest map and this should not change the built in software. There may be other implications but this is definitley a downside if we are no longer able to update the map data. Joe Scoles

    Joe Scoles - August 5th, 2010
  58. On the basis of a magazine review and a visit to try a unit at a local dealer, I bought a 600C about four years ago, just after they came out in the UK. So did my regular flying partner.

    On a recent flight, I too, found that the unit had lost position, only ten minutes after departure, and that the display had frozen.

    With both units available in the aircraft, we were able to swap things around and ascertain that my RAA3 aerial, as supplied, seemed to be the cause. Whilst I would not wish to rely on it, the unit seemed to work perfectly well once the antenna was disconnected! Reconnecting it to either unit would cause each to lose the satellites. Using my friend’s antenna, however, on both units, caused no problems. We even tried repositioning the antennas to see if that made a difference. It didn’t.

    I contacted Lowrance by e-mail asking if the antenna could be replaced, either directly or with an equivalent, or repaired. They were no help whatsoever, merely telling me that the antenna was obsolete and that electronics had moved on rapidly in recent years! They ended by saying that they hoped that they could help me in the future!

    Hilarious! (You can guess my response!)

    I then discovered, during my frantic web searching for a possible solution, that there no longer appeared to be any aviation GPS units on their website (something which they didn’t mention!) and then, by accident, came across your website which, on the basis of the various posts, seems to have confirmed my fears.

    Now, I wonder why Lowrance no longer supply aviation GPS units? Could it be that they have had more problems than they would wish to admit to and have decided to quietly leave that bit of the market to superior competition?

    I have yet to contact the dealer who sold me the unit, a proclaimed importer and loyal supporter of Lowrance products and a critic of Garmin for their relatively \overpriced\ ones! I’m hoping that he may have an RAA3 lying around as I have no intention of spending another several hundred pounds on a GPS for want of a remote antenna for a unit barely four years old!

    If I was prepared to do so, I certainly wouldn’t consider another Lowrance although they seem to have already solved that potential option for me themselves!

    Keith Miles - September 4th, 2010
  59. I’ve had my 600c for 6 months (bought it used). It’s been working fine, until a couple of weeks ago, when I was halfway between SC and SD in my Cessna 120. I turned it on just before takeoff, after a fuel stop, and it was working (satellite lock and current position were fine). Shortly after takeoff, it lost the satellites, and the dreaded “?” started flashing on top of the little airplane on the map. I never ragained a satellite lock, for the duration of the flight. I tried disconnecting the external antenna, which didn’t help. Once in SD, I swapped out tmy 600c for a friend’s, and my external antenna worked fine with his. His external antenna did nothing to help my 600c work.

    Any ideas???



    Ed Grossheim - October 4th, 2010
    • Try a reset: Try soft reset first and if that don’t work try a hard reset. Soft Reset (Does not delete Data) Hard Reset (Deletes stored data)
      AirMap 600C Soft Reset:
      1. Turn unit OFF
      2. Press and hold the PAGES key
      3. Press and hold the PWR key
      4. Release both buttons when the USA map appears

      1. Turn unit OFF
      2. Press and hold the ZIN&ZOUT Keys at the same time
      3. Press and hold the PWR key
      4. A tone will sound
      5. When tone is sounding, release buttons and immediately press FIND.
      6. While pressing FIND, a higher tone will sound
      7. The unit will reset. Turn unit OFF and back ON.

      Dan - October 4th, 2010
      • Way to go Dan! Ur tip just (soft reset just saved me $60 and endless waiting on LEI. Thanks mate

        Henry - April 4th, 2011
      • Hey Dan, thanks for the tip. Been searching a long time to find the solution and your soft reset did the job. I am in Zimbabwe and had to do a GPS Initialize once the USA map appeared to locate my current position but the GPS locked on almost immediately. Thanks again. John

        John - December 21st, 2011
    • The 600 has a couple of correctable problems.

      1. Some of the supplied SD cards are bad. Try remounting it but ultimately see if Lowrance will send you a new one. If you see the SD symbol flashing away in the lower right hand corner longer than necessary, that’s a clue.

      2. There’s a bug with Terrain Awareness, so turn it off.

      M. Albert - October 4th, 2010
      • If re installing the SD card don’t help you will not get anotherone for Lowrance. They are out of the aviation business so updates or replacements are out of the question. You may be able to find one on Ebay though.

        Hard Reset fixed mine but try soft reset first

        Dan - October 4th, 2010
  60. Well, I tried the soft-reset… nothing. Tried the hard reset… nothing. Changed out the card for another… nothing.

    It’s an expensive paperweight.

    Thanks for all your help.


    Ed Grossheim - October 5th, 2010
    • Sorry to hear that. I thought the hard reset would get you started. Do you get the map but no GPS positioning?
      Lowrance customer service may give you some insights even though they don’t sell them anymore.

      M. Albert - October 5th, 2010
      • I get everything except satellites. 🙁 I’ve tried a known-good external antenna, again with no change.

        Ed Grossheim - October 5th, 2010
        • Could be a bad antenna port, i.e. loose or broken pin or loose wire on the backside of the port inside the unit.

          Dan - October 5th, 2010
  61. Wow, I’ve just discovered this site. I’ve used an Airmap 500 for the past 5 years & its been flawless. It appears that the 600c may not be so good. I’ve now been offerred a 600c at a reasonable price, but it doesn’t have the 12 volt power lead. As it appears to be different from the 500 which has only 4 pins, can anyone supply me with a 600c power lead, or even a cheap complete 600c with the lead?
    Also, is the remote antenna the same as used with the 500?
    Thanks for your help

    John B
    South Australia

    John Birrell - October 18th, 2010
  62. Note for John B South Australia. I purchased the $19 ant from the web site as listed below this note. It is excellent and they will send a much better connector than the original. Be sure and phone them and discuss the connector in order to get the right end piece. Also I think the ant from your 500 will work, just try it but it must have the same connector.

    Use only the Lowrance external Power Connector or you will damage the 600c. I have a spare that I purchased with my set but I think you could locate one on the internet if you do a good search for it.


    I hope this is some help,it is a great piece of equipment but don’t overload it and use a new fast 1G chip for best performance.

    Joe Scoles

    Joe Scoles - November 10th, 2010
  63. Note that LEI is providing data updates, but only until July.


    M. Albert - April 4th, 2011

    RON - September 7th, 2011
    • Have you read any of the other 60+ posts here? That post you replied to was from 2006. Lowarance has been out of the aviation game for a long time now and Jeppeson, the one who made the cards, does not make them any longer.

      Dan - September 7th, 2011

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