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Posts posted by user13371

  1. "Pick the right tool for the job" guidance is to buy two devices.


    For geocaching and many other outdoor uses I want pocketable, long battery run-time, weatherproof, rugged, accurate to within a couple of metres. For car nav I want big screen, touch and/or voice controls, turn-by-turn spoken directions, accurate to within a city block, maybe an FM or cellular data feed of traffic conditions and alerts.


    Two different jobs, two different units. At the moment for me that's an eTrex 20 for the outdoors and an iPhone for everything else.

  2. Seldom_sn, I can see why you personally want to carry road maps of all of North America. But your emergency planning might not match Alastor09's needs of the moment:


    - expressed: new geocacher, looking for a device within tight price range, able fit a map of a city at least the size of Budapest

    - implied: would like map coverage of Hungary.


    No need to upsell there, and it looks like he's already decided on the Dakota 10. Hope he has fun with it.

  3. ...Free map from Garmin.Openstreetmap.nl requires 85 MB free space on the GPS.

    Is that for planimetric Hungary alone? What if the OP wants topo, or more countries?

    The openstreetmap one is flat, and I just spot-checked Hungary because that's what OP asked about. As that's only about 1/10 of the Dakota10's storage, I imagine a big chunk of the surrounding areas would still fit.


    Don't know for sure about topo size requirements, but Garmin's own Topo Hungary comes on a single CD and spec page lists 300MB needed on PC for a full-up installation.


    If the OP (or anyone) needs a more/bigger maps than will fit on a given device, they're stuck with swapping out for given trips on an as needed basis.

  4. ...Not sure how you did this with your Mac. When I tried to open the .exe file using Stuffit Expander, I got a message that the file was not compressed or encoded and couldn't be opened. It said "Unable to determine file format."

    Might need the latest version of StuffIt Expander? I was just able to right-click on the EXE and select "Open With..."


    PM me if you need more help on this.

  5. Ed, I don't think some programmer "had the math buggered up, or forgot to reset a register." I don't doubt the issue exists, but it's not prevalent enough for that. Look in this thread - some folks say it doesn't happen at all, even some who says it happen say it's unpredictable. While I'm pretty sure I've seen it once or twice, I haven't been able to reproduce it on demand with the methods suggested here. Maybe I don't walk slowly enough.


    The old gag "it's not a bug, it's a feature" may well be the case here. Make the GPS too willing to update your position, and the pointer can wander even when you're standing still. Make it too cautious, apply too much smoothing, skeptical of small second-by-second changes -- and you sometimes lose valid but small updates. Over- for under- filtering; either could be considered a design flaw depending on your own usage.


    I'm guessing all Garmin did on the 2.61 firmware update is modify a few cases and limits on when the GPS reports or ignores small changes. There could be downsides to that also. To me, it's a given that you can't make everybody happy - the design goal is utilitarian, just satisfy the biggest number you can. Let's see if anyone starts complaining the GPS reported position isn't stable when they're standing still, or that averaged waypoints take too long, or aren't as accurate.



    Edit to add: Ed, I wrote the above BEFORE I read a post from you in another thread saying you observed the exact side effects of the firmware change that I suggested here. So you and I are probably on the same wavelength here.



  6. I can't believe Garmin only offered the beta update in a PC executable format. I thought it was only other GPS makers who did dumb stuff like that.


    We shouldn't have to, but Mac users can work around this and install the beta anyhow:


    - Download the updater EXE file from Garmin.

    - Open it with StuffIt Expander to extract the files

    - Look for GUPDATE.GCD in the Garmin folder of the extracted files

    - Make sure you have fresh batteries in the garmin

    - Connect your eTrex 20/30 to the Mac and wait for it to show up as a disk drive

    - Copy GUPDATE.GCD to the Garmin folder on the GPS

    - Make sure to correctly put away/eject the Garmin volume from the Mac

    - Disconnect the eTrex cable (it will automatically turn off)

    - Turn the eTrex on and wait a minute to let the software update to run.


    See? Easy as pie :(


    Now to march slowly up and down the square to see if it's any different.

  7. JHolly, I did say "There ARE a few high-find-count folks commenting ..." and you're part of that group. Is it preventing you from being able to use the eTrex 30? If so, how much of an impairment is it? Engouh to make you stop using it and recommend something else? A serious aggravation you barely tolerate? Or just something you take into account and adjust your usage for?


    If you have anything on that score, it would be better than "all I can say is 'me too' " -- because practical advice from a more experienced cacher is valuable.

  8. A side observation: It used to be when I commented or complained about something around here, some folks would disregard my opinion because no matter how many posts I had, I hadn't found very many geocaches. After I got up around 500 or so, I don't hear that argument as much.


    Now, I don't want to disregard anyone's concern about this issue, but I have noticed the ones making the most comments on this seem to be folks who have found relatively few caches. There ARE a few high-find-count folks commenting also -- but the most comments are coming from low-find-count users.


    Is it possible that experienced, high-count finders - even those who notice and acknowledge that low speed filtering and static navigation can cause problems -- just don't care? Because they know that's a reasonable limitation of the equipment and know how to work around it?


    I used to have a Magellan SporTrak Pro that had the most amazing low-speed awareness. I could walk along and the position numbers would tick off second by second. I could stop moving and in a second or two it would report it was averaging my position. I could then slowly move the GPS from one hand into the other -- and it would STOP averaging and try to update. I had no idea how it did that but I was amazed and thought it was the coolest, best thing in the world And it had to be accurate within a distance smaller than I could move my hands apart, right?


    Erm, not so much. Go read old threads on those devices and you'll read about the "sling-shot effect" -- and arguments that sound like the looking-glass version of this "sticky" argument. Some folks insisted it was terrible and made the GPS unusable, other said it didn't exist, other said it existed but wasn't a problem because they knew what to expect and how to deal with it.


    The numbers reported by a GPS are best-guess from the math it's doing. My old SporTrak and my new eTrex used different somewhat maths and different ways of guessing, each imperfect in different ways.


    Go out and find some more caches. Instead of complaining about the limitations of the GPS, learn what to expect and how to work with it. And after a few hundred outings, if it really and truly is impossible to use -- then return it, eBay it, get rid of it -- and go buy something else.

  9. ... have been geocaching through the app on the iPhone ... would like a proper GPS for better durability and battery life...

    Just buy a GPS and a premium membership.


    It isn't very time consuming or difficult to load your GPS weekly or daily with thousands of geocaches near you, before you leave the house. And you'll still have your phone with you most of the time anyhow, right? So you could check any time you wanted to see if there was something nearby that you didn't load onto the GPS.

  10. ...6000 miles ... is the minimum altitude for the GPS satellite constellation.
    Yep, Navsats are located from 6,000 to 12,000 miles up.


    I think that reference you have is wrong, or at least imprecise and vague. Try Wikipedia instead: Global Positioning System, Space Segment.


    "Navsats" as a general class of objects (any satellite used for some navigational purpose) might include more than just the GPS constellation though.

  11. ...I didn't want to be confused with "Endura Expert", who was an employee of Lowrance and a certified expert,....
    I *knew* there was a "real" Lowrance employee around here somewhere, but your name came to mind first :)


    Is there a Lowrance hosted forum somewhere, akin to what Garmin and DeLorme have?

  12. Hey, I get that on my phone even without GPS enabled! You wanna know why? Because it sees our wifi here at home, and the Borg collective knows quite well where this wifi and its associated IP address is... :P
    Yes, the majority of phones now are location awre, whether they're "only" phone, or phone+wiFi, or phone+wifi+GPS. And many offer services that let you track them down in cases like this.


    What surprised me was the apparent accuracy of this location.info.


    - WiFi is turned off on my phone at the moment, because I never use it at the office..

    - And in any case, neither the Borg Collective, no Skyhook, nor Google seem to know the coordinates of the WAP's in our building -- we've checked in the past for other reasons.

    - I wouldn't expect cell tower triangulation to be that precise. A city block, maybe. The exact office within a building that covers a city block? Better than I expected.

    - Even with GPS turned on and sitting by my window, I wouldn't expect that kind of accuracy inside a building and within in an urban canyon.


    Of course, any single reading is anecdote, not evidence. Those times when your GPS puts you within "0ft" of the cache don't mean the GPS is perfect, it just means you got lucky that time. But after I get to the office today and make my rounds through the building, I might check at some other desks to see how lucky it would be when I'm further inside and away from a window.

  13. On my commute home tonight, I made a couple of stops. In one store I wanted to jot down a note to myself so I reach for my iPhone and ... it wasn't there. Most likely pI left it on my desk, but I wasn't sure. Got home, logged on to iCloud and clicked on Find my iPhone. With relief I saw it was still at the office, and I'll get it in the morning.


    But here's the good part: The circle of probability for the phone's location covered the entire city block. But the center of that circle, the green dot labeled "Lee's Phone," was spot-on. Close enough that you could definitely find my office within the building, and probably find my desk from it.


    Admittedly it's a window office. But I work on the 3rd floor of a 10 story office building, and my window looks out to another tall building across the street. Lousy for multi path and less than 20% clear view of the sky.

  14. ...make sure that you go to www.dickssportinggoods.com on that 3rd one. Attempting to get there by "shorthand" will land you on a website you might not want to see...

    Oooh, good point :D

    I didn't even notice or think about that when I typed it.


    ANYHOW... maybe Google is Spark's best friend?

    Google Maps, Outdoor Supplies near Cedar Rapids IA: http://g.co/maps/628sx


    Hmm, someone already mentioned Gander Mountain, didn't they Gander Mountain Store #142 shows up in that search and their own website gives the store's coordinates.

  15. Visit the websites of any retailer that has physical stores -- most of them have a "store locator" link prominently placed on their front page. I'm partial to REI but don't know how close any of their stores are to you.







    Those are the ones that come to mind immediately. Hit their websites and call the local stores you find first to see what they have in stock.

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