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GPS Advice



 
 
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  #1  
Old November 7th 03, 09:11 AM
Angus
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Default GPS Advice

Hi Folks,

Thinking about a GPS but not sure what one to buy/ I would like to hook it
up to my pc before and after the walk to keep a log of my routes it also
needs to be accurate (is there any difference or are they all the same). I
can spend around 200

Any suggestions


Angus

--
www.amforbes.com
Landscape and Travel Photography


  #2  
Old November 7th 03, 01:53 PM
Jiffy
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Default GPS Advice

"Angus" wrote in message
...
Thinking about a GPS but not sure what one to buy/ I would like to hook it
up to my pc before and after the walk to keep a log of my routes


Nearly all will do that. Avoid Garmin Geko 101 since it has no PC
connection.

it also
needs to be accurate (is there any difference or are they all the same).


Pretty much all the same. 12 channels means they'll use upto 12 satellites
to locate your position. The better the antennae on the gps the better a
signal it will get under difficult conditions. So, under tree cover, you
might find the Magellan Sportrak with its quad-helix summat or other
antennae to work better than the Garmin Etrex's patch antennae.

Also, from April 1st 2004, Egnos will be operative. This means that if your
GPS has WAAS capability it can be accurate to about 3 metres.

I can spend around 200. Any suggestions?


Garmin Etrex - about 100, no WAAS, been around a while now
Garmin Geko 201 - about 120, newer, smaller, lighter, takes AAA batteries,
WAAS
Magellan Sportrak - about 150, WAAS, it floats, quite chunky?
Garmin Summit - about 170, same shape as Etrex, WAAS, barometric altimeter
Garmin Geko 301 - about 190, as 201 plus barometric altimeter

That's just a few to get you started. The prices I've quoted are not the RRP
but what you will pay (including vat delivery, etc) from places like:
www.gpsw.co.uk
www.gps4less.co.uk
www.redcar-fish.co.uk

All these units quoted will do what you want them to do once you fork out
extra on a PC cable. They're all waterproof too.

Key factors that may well make up your mind a
Battery life and what batteries it takes
Size and weight

For rechargeable batteries, check out www.7dayshop.com They do also sell
lithium AAs which are excellent in very cold weather.

Please let us know what you decide on and why.

Cheers, Jiffy

PS: I went for a Garmin Geko 301 imported from America. With no customs duty
(but maybe VAT to pay) it works out a LOT cheaper. Main downside is poor
battery life of 9 hours on paper (in real life I don't know as it's ain't
arrived yet). It takes AAA batteries but I've decided that's not a downside
for me as I've already got 750mah AAA NiMH batteries and they're so light I
don't mind carrying spares.




  #3  
Old November 7th 03, 02:37 PM
Paul Saunders
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Default GPS Advice

Jiffy wrote:

Magellan Sportrak - about 150, WAAS, it floats, quite chunky?


If you're interested in this one get the SporTrak Map model instead. It
only costs a little more and comes with a free PC lead, which the basic
model doesn't. The price of the lead is about the same as the price
difference, plus you get map capability as well.

Garmin Summit - about 170, same shape as Etrex, WAAS, barometric


The Summit doesn't have WAAS, it's a bit outdated now.

altimeter Garmin Geko 301 - about 190, as 201 plus barometric
altimeter


The Geko 301 is effectively the "new" Summit.

Paul
--
The October Project 2003
http://www.wildwales.fsnet.co.uk/october/october.html
http://www.wilderness-wales.co.uk
http://www.photosig.com/go/users/userphotos?id=118749


  #4  
Old November 7th 03, 03:06 PM
Jiffy
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Default GPS Advice

"Paul Saunders" wrote in message
...
Jiffy wrote:

Magellan Sportrak - about 150, WAAS, it floats, quite chunky?


If you're interested in this one get the SporTrak Map model instead. It
only costs a little more and comes with a free PC lead, which the basic
model doesn't. The price of the lead is about the same as the price
difference, plus you get map capability as well.


At about 185 definately a better buy.

Garmin Summit - about 170, same shape as Etrex, WAAS, barometric


The Summit doesn't have WAAS, it's a bit outdated now.


My mistake. Thanks for correcting that.

Cheers, Jiffy


  #5  
Old November 7th 03, 04:34 PM
Mark Cavendish
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Default GPS Advice

On Fri, 07 Nov 2003 13:53:09 GMT, "Jiffy" wrote:

Also, from April 1st 2004, Egnos will be operative. This means that if your
GPS has WAAS capability it can be accurate to about 3 metres.


Hey, don't let my "chunky" SporTrak Pro hear you say that otherwise it
may stop giving me WAAS info. You're a year out - 2003 and my STP used
the test signals prior to this - in fact I've never *not* had WAAS
(unless you count the 2 day glitch a few months ago)
Mark
  #6  
Old November 7th 03, 06:02 PM
Jiffy
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Default GPS Advice

"Mark Cavendish" wrote in message
...
On Fri, 07 Nov 2003 13:53:09 GMT, "Jiffy" wrote:

Also, from April 1st 2004, Egnos will be operative. This means that if

your
GPS has WAAS capability it can be accurate to about 3 metres.


Hey, don't let my "chunky" SporTrak Pro hear you say that otherwise it
may stop giving me WAAS info. You're a year out - 2003 and my STP used
the test signals prior to this - in fact I've never *not* had WAAS
(unless you count the 2 day glitch a few months ago)
Mark


Err, we're still in the test phase. Note this from
http://gpsinformation.net/waasgps.html
"Europe's EGNOS system (compatible with WAAS but for operation in Europe) is
in the test phase now and is transmitting a "do not use" flag. Magellan GPS
receivers ignore this flag and use the signal anyway (for what it is worth),
but Garmin receivers honor the flag's intent and will not use the EGNOS data
as long as the "do not use" flag is set."

The April 2004 date for official launch is widely stated. For example:
http://www.pocketgps.co.uk/egnos.php

So be careful with the current Egnos signals otherwise you could be Waasting
your time!

Cheers, Jiffy






  #7  
Old November 7th 03, 06:41 PM
Dominic Sexton
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Default GPS Advice

In article , Jiffy
writes
"Mark Cavendish" wrote in message
.. .
On Fri, 07 Nov 2003 13:53:09 GMT, "Jiffy" wrote:

Also, from April 1st 2004, Egnos will be operative. This means that if

your
GPS has WAAS capability it can be accurate to about 3 metres.


Hey, don't let my "chunky" SporTrak Pro hear you say that otherwise it
may stop giving me WAAS info. You're a year out - 2003 and my STP used
the test signals prior to this - in fact I've never *not* had WAAS
(unless you count the 2 day glitch a few months ago)
Mark


Err, we're still in the test phase. Note this from
http://gpsinformation.net/waasgps.html
"Europe's EGNOS system (compatible with WAAS but for operation in Europe) is
in the test phase now and is transmitting a "do not use" flag. Magellan GPS
receivers ignore this flag and use the signal anyway (for what it is worth),
but Garmin receivers honor the flag's intent and will not use the EGNOS data
as long as the "do not use" flag is set."


ESTB (EGNOS system test bed) is a reduced capability test version of
EGNOS giving corrections in Europe. The "do not use" flag has been
switched off hence Garmin's can use it now. However tests have shown
that it currently gives little or no improvement in accuracy. With ESTB
at the moment there is no integrity monitoring and the "corrections" can
actually reduce accuracy.

IIRC the ground segment (GPS receivers used to monitor inaccuracies so
that corrections can be made) is incomplete at the moment. That means
the corrections are not as good as they are planned to be.

The April 2004 date for official launch is widely stated. For example:
http://www.pocketgps.co.uk/egnos.php


Indeed the schedule can be seen at:

http://esamultimedia.esa.int/docs/eg...b/schedule.htm

So be careful with the current Egnos signals otherwise you could be Waasting
your time!

That is so bad I decided to leave it in!

--

Dominic Sexton
http://www.dscs.demon.co.uk/
  #8  
Old November 7th 03, 06:50 PM
www.amforbes.com - professional photography
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Posts: n/a
Default GPS Advice

Ok thanks for the info - loads to think about and a few sites to visit.

Is the idea to leave the thing switched on when I am walking and then upload
it to my pc.

Do they come with maps built in or do I need to buy that later?

What about these american ones that have the 2 way radio built in - are they
any good?

Cheers

Angus



--
www.amforbes.com
Landscape and Travel Photography
"Jiffy" wrote in message
...
"Mark Cavendish" wrote in message
...
On Fri, 07 Nov 2003 13:53:09 GMT, "Jiffy" wrote:

Also, from April 1st 2004, Egnos will be operative. This means that if

your
GPS has WAAS capability it can be accurate to about 3 metres.


Hey, don't let my "chunky" SporTrak Pro hear you say that otherwise it
may stop giving me WAAS info. You're a year out - 2003 and my STP used
the test signals prior to this - in fact I've never *not* had WAAS
(unless you count the 2 day glitch a few months ago)
Mark


Err, we're still in the test phase. Note this from
http://gpsinformation.net/waasgps.html
"Europe's EGNOS system (compatible with WAAS but for operation in Europe)

is
in the test phase now and is transmitting a "do not use" flag. Magellan

GPS
receivers ignore this flag and use the signal anyway (for what it is

worth),
but Garmin receivers honor the flag's intent and will not use the EGNOS

data
as long as the "do not use" flag is set."

The April 2004 date for official launch is widely stated. For example:
http://www.pocketgps.co.uk/egnos.php

So be careful with the current Egnos signals otherwise you could be

Waasting
your time!

Cheers, Jiffy








  #9  
Old November 7th 03, 08:00 PM
druidh
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Posts: n/a
Default GPS Advice

I can't make up my mind about this one either. My "lighweight" half
says Geko 301, morepractical half says Sportrak Map. At least it can
also be used in-car (which the Geko is too neat for) and uses AA
batteries which I already carry for my DigiCam (and it has better
battery life anyway).
  #10  
Old November 8th 03, 12:18 PM
Joe
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Posts: n/a
Default GPS Advice

Hi Angus
Just a few thoughts having recently upgraded from a Summit to a Vista.
Try to see a working example before buying. The Higher resolution Vista,
Venture & Legend screens have quite small text and can be difficult to read
if your eyesight is not excellent. In my view, the larger the screen the
better.
Currently in the south UK, WAAS is not much use, especially under tree
cover, but may improve next year when fully up and running.
The battery drain on the Vista is high compared with the Summit. Use 2200mh
rechargeables if possible and carry spares. The smaller AAA cells on the
Gecko range have been known to give problems.
For hiking use, the track scale range is greater on the Vista (down to 20
feet units as against 200 foot units).
In built mapping can be useful for matching roads to footpaths etc. (The
main reason for my change).
Remember to think about what software you will be using either now or later.
(Can be expensive).
Good Luck


 




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