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Tui Chub

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Posts posted by Tui Chub

  1. It's nice to have a compass that works when you're not moving, as for being worth 50$ more, that depends on you and what you're using it for. I use mine for work where I may have several hundred sampling sites and I'm carrying alot of gear. It's nice to be able to stop and get a reading then proceed to the site. I've also got a Dakota 20 with a 3-axis compass and don't necessarily find it better than the Vista HCX 2-axis compass.

  2. The MAHA 204GT above charges batteries in pairs. That means that charging stops when one cell is fully charged. However unless you have two cells that differ greatly in capacity it is not usually a problem. For that reason, I always label my batteries and pair them up when that's the only charger I have.

    You're right the MAHA 204GT charges in pairs. If you're only charging 2 batteries at a time you can put them in every other slot. I personally have the MH-C401FS which can charge 4 batteries independently but cost over twice as much.



  3. If the weather EVER clears around here and I'm back from vacation, I plan to do a serious comparison test between a unit with the SiRF iii, v1 Mediatek and the ST Cartesio. Yeah, they'll all be in different units - no getting around that - but I really do want to establish some solid baseline data about both accuracy and repeatability of these three. I've seen some of the strange tracks that stationary handhelds produce, and have already done some preliminary work while trying to set up the test methodology, and I think there may be some surprises when it's all said and done.

    I'll be looking forward to your tests.

  4. I understand they want to make money to repay their costs for updating them, but at the same time, they do not discount the GPS when I buy it and it has one year old maps on it.

    I don't know about you but my 765t was heavily discounted when I bought it in mid Dec '09. It was a couple day sell at Best Buy for $149, it then went up to $199. Both prices are well under the list of $349. I haven't registed the unit yet. First I was waiting for the 30 day return policy of Best Buy to see if I liked it. And now it looks like with a recent map update it would be a good time to do so. It currently has 2010.1. I admit I was waiting for the 60 days.

  5. You can rent a satellite phone for about $50/week. If my life depends on it, I'd rather have two-way communication. With SPOT - imagine that you hit 911. Now you wait. Did the call get through? Do they really know where you are? Do they really know what your situation is? How long do you wait before you realize you may not get rescued?


    With a sat phone, YOU KNOW the call got through, THEY KNOW what is wrong, YOU KNOW what the rescue plan is.


    That's my $.02.

    Roger that, HUGE 2¢!

    I have friends in this organization which owns a Globalstar satellite phone which the members may borrow.



    Which one had with him when he broke down south of Mexicali on dirt road in a remote area.

    It was the club members which bought the required front suspension part at a Toyota dealer in the LA area,

    brought it down to Mexico, picked up a local mechanic in a nearby small town with his welding stuff

    and got them out to the breakdown.

    Took several days and all ended well without the involvement of any governmental or formal rescue agencies.

    Satellite phones are great but there are limitations. I'm going to speak about my experience with Globalstar (I'm not familiar with Iridium). I have a Globalstar sat phone at work. We typically pay for 500 mins for a year. The phone does not receive a signal under heavy tree cover. You need direct line of sight to the satellite so if you're in a slot or deep canyon you may not get a signal (this is not like gps where you have 30 or more satellites, generally there's only one). This is a problem with Globalstar, they are having satellite problems and are leasing time off of other satellites and thus do not have 24 hour coverage. You need to go to their website and enter the lat lon of where you'll be and the time window you want to talk and it'll post the available times. I recommend a minimun of a 15 min window, I found that the satellite may not appear untill 5 mins after the stated begin time though it did disappear at the end time.




    You can only get a little over two days of times starting from when you enter the info on the internet. It'd be nice if you can say from when to when. If you're aware of these limitations then the sat phone is a great tool. If I were to do this again I'd take a look at Iridium, they're more pricey but I believe more reliable. If it weren't for the price of a new phone ($1500) we'd probably switch to them.

  6. Here's another very helpful tool put together by Leszek Pawlowicz over at Free Geography Tools called G-Raster. It allows you to take publicly available map sources and convert them into compatible KMZ files for use on your Garmin Colorado, Oregon and Dakota.


    You can convert the following formats:


    * GeoTiffs: TIFF images with embedded geodata

    * MRSID imagery (file extension .sid or .mrsid)

    * NOAA BSB imagery (file extension .kap)

    * ERDAS Imagine format (file extension .img

    * JPG imagery (”Big JPEG”) generated by the free program USAPhotoMaps.

    * General graphic files with geodata in worldfile format for the UTM coordinate system (e.g. JPG with .jgw, BMP with .bpw, GIF with .gfw, TIF with .tfw).

    * General graphic files with geodata in worldfile format in any coordinate system.



    Looks like a great tool. When I have time I'll try it out on some NAIP imagery for Nevada.

  7. I won't look up the legalese that you agreed to by using Maps or Earth (or pretty much any such program) but using the imagery outside the program and removing the copyright/attribution information is prohibited.


    If you screen grab a local park and tweak it for your own GPS, would I expect to get my knees capped for it? No. Would I expect the publisher of a program that made it easy to do this in bulk or that was redistributing that imagery to arouse attention? Definitely. There are freely usable sources of referenced maps out there. Imagery is rather more rare to find free to reuse.


    Imagery maybe easier than you think (at least in the US). The NAIP program by the Dept of Agriculture has 1:12,000 Color Imagery for most of the US. You just need to find it.


    Here's for Nevada.


    Nevada NAIP


    Here's California.


    California NAIP


    These are very large files.

  8. After installing 24K Topo for the SW. Should there be a new choice in the drop down box in Mapsource on my computer for just 24k Topo? If so, it's not there.

    I have the same problem. See if you can find it in the BaseCamp program. Mine shows up (both 24k West and Southwest) in BaseCamp but not in Mapsource. Anybody know how to get them to show up in Mapsource?

  9. Hmmm, reading back through this, I'm a little confused on the trail data. Currently, I don't have a copy of TOPO 2008 to compare with again as I sold that when I got the 24k southwest. I do have the older version of the 100k product. Based on everything I saw when I had both though, I'm curious in what areas was the trail data better on 2008 than on the 24K maps? I've found areas that were the other way around, but never noticed any areas where the 2008 maps were better. The older 100k of course were far worse than both, so it doesn't even come in to play.

    I've found the same with the 24k West. Many more trails with the 24k than the 100k 2008. Here's an example.


    Below is the 100k 2008 topo.


    You can see the Pacific Crest Trail going through Castle Peak.


    Below is the same area with the 24k West.


    Again you can see the PCT through Castle Peak but just to the left you can also see the Hole In The Ground Trail. If anyone has any other areas that they want to contrast between the 24k west and 100k 2008 I'd be glad to show them providing you give me the coordinates. I also just recieved the 24k southwest but I'm not too familiar with it.

  10. There are many more POIs for stores, restaurants, etc on the City Nav maps.


    I would disagree with that. Just did a quick check. Used Mapsource with 24K west and then changed to CN 2009. Did a find nearest features and the first 15 (that's as long as the list is) were exactly the same. Nothing is missing from the 24K maps.

    You're right, in Mapsource checking both City Nav v9 and Topo 24k West provided the same POIs. The only thing I can say is that when I used my eTrex Vista HCX with Topo 24k West in Monterey Ca, I got less POIs then my StreetPilot 2610 with City Nav 2009 at the same location. Maybe it's a gps thing. I have both maps on my Dakota 20. When I get a chance I'll test it out. I left it at work and it's being used out in the field this week so it may be a while.

  11. Orienteering,


    Are you saying the Topo 24K features auto-routing, similar to City Navigator? I am trying to decide whether to upgrade from Garmin Topo 100K to the 24K----any big difference?

    The auto-routing is similiar for roads but you can also auto-route on the trails that are included with Topo 24k. The POIs are different. There are many more POIs for stores, restaurants, etc on the City Nav maps. I have all the Topo 24k west with City Nav v9, Topo 2008 (except those cover by the 24k Topos), Inland Lakes and Blue Charts for the wesern U.S on an 8GB card in my Dakota 20.

  12. After a week of compairing the Dakota 20 and the -40 I have come to the conclusion that the -40 is more accurate by 10 to 15 feet. I took them both caching around the county and set up waypoints in my yard. I checked them last night and this morning. I let them sit out in the sun for an hour before I retested them this morning. The -40 would 95% of the time take me to the waypoint and the Dakota was off by at least ten feet. I even put in coords the same on both and showed the Dakota was off by 12 ft. I think the Dakota might be going back and I might get another -40 for me.

    How did you set up waypoints in your yard? Really, the only way to measure accuracy is to use a know benchmark. You can find one in your area (in the USA) by using the NGS datasheet.


    NGS Datasheet Link


    I have found the Dakota 20 to be very accurate.


    My NGS Test

  13. I don't have a 60csx available but on my eTrex Vista HCX I can delete all waypoints or only those with a specific symbol. I'm sure if the Vista can do it the 60 can. Here's what I do on the Vista you'll have to figure it out on the 60.


    Go to the Main Menu

    Select Find

    Select Waypoints

    Press the Menu Button

    Select Delete

    You should then see All Symbols followed by the different Symbols being used on your GPS, you can then delete All or by Symbol

  14. Great comparisons. I'm surprised you got all three units to zero out on distance to destination. I rarely manage that with one unit, let alone 3 on the same day. I've taken all three of my units to benchmarks a couple times now, but haven't taken all three at the same time, nor done any proper documentation, or testing other than getting an idea, or impression of how they perform.

    It is curious that all three zeroed out. Looking at the tracklogs and waypoints I wouldn't expect the Vista and Edge to, they seemed to be off. Only thing I can think is there's some filtering going on i.e. if the unit is within so many feet then show the distance as zero.

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