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Posts posted by Keo1

  1. [to: StarBrand] I see. So you're saying that if the antenna is a half centimeter off from being accurately manufactured, or if the quartz-clock circuitry is off by a minute or more a week, then it won't be any less accurate. And that the converse will also never be true.




    When temperatures get warmer though, I will benchmark my mailbox (at -20 to -30 F. I don't bother hiking all the way to my mailbox). This oddly accurate GPS unit has now got me curious to my assembly-line "lemon" and "gem" theory.


    I'm still curious if anyone else has reported a wide accuracy discrepancy between two well known and well used identical units. This problem exists in reviews and opinions of all other products manufactured. I fail to see how GPS units are magically exempt.

  2. There is a work-around one can do. By naming the destination waypoint with the lat./long. coordinates instead of using the waypoint label it has now, then you can display "Waypoint At Dest(ination)" in one of the data fields. Not quite what was wanted, but it's a way if that's important. You will be limited to 14 characters to label your waypoint's lat./long. coordinates though. (At least that's the limit in my eTrex Legend Cx.) Perhaps you can truncate the waypoint's label to the most significant minutes and seconds digits. It's not like you are going to walk over a full degree boundary within a reasonable amount of time very often, are you? Unless this is needed for something other than walking, then ... use a pencil and post-it-note. :) Hmmm... new marketing idea ... create a post-it-note pad (out of satellite-signal transparent material) of the right size with a small pencil-clip that handily mounts where the patch antenna is situated. :P

  3. Due to a recent post where I claimed some exceptional accuracy (and luck) when using my GPS unit, and one of the reasons I don't find geocaching all that challenging is because geocaches are so easy to find with a GPS, based on my own experience with my own GPS device. I got to wondering, should a GPS receiver be any different from the same manufacturing variables as all other devices we buy? For example, I have a camera that excels beyond what everyone else has reported for the same make and model of camera. Confirmed through tests of photos as well as audio tracks recorded with it and sent to audiophiles who wouldn't believe an audio recording of that quality came from that make and model of camera. I can now only explain this in manufacturing variables between any two units. Everything just came together the right way that day as that particular camera was going down the assembly line.


    With my GPS unit, its reporting a 6 ft. accuracy is rather common and locks onto 2 WAAS satellites at full strength and 9-10 others most times whenever there's a fairly unobstructed view of the sky. When I went looking for caches or other benchmarks (I've also used it again to locate another surveyor's benchmark for another friend this winter) it was nearly spot-on when we walked up to where it was. 2 of the 3 Geocaches were within 2 feet of where my GPS told me it was supposed to be. One being right where a friend was standing at the time and I told him he had to move out of the way (the "funny story" post of mine). 2 surveyor's benchmarks were also well within that accuracy.


    Just by luck of the draw, could I have gotten a GPS unit that excels compared to reports by all others? Are those that are always claiming that nobody should count on more than a 10-20 meter accuracy just happening to get the run-of-the-mill unit that came off the assembly line, or even one of the occasional lemons?


    The reproducible accuracy with the one I have got me to wondering. It's not my imagination, others who have needed the data from my GPS can also confirm how close it gets to the mark, so I now surmise it has to be something else. My only guess is that I lucked out and got a "gem" instead of a "lemon".


    I read that the accuracy is much dependent on the quartz crystal inside a GPS device. Maybe some just come with a perfectly tuned crystal by random chance alone, matched with other equally precise circuitry by random chance alone. Others, not so lucky. Has anyone been geocaching with a friend who always uses an identical GPS device and you noticed that yours, or theirs, was always the first to land on the cache or always locks onto more satellites more quickly or stronger?


    This discrepancy in reported accuracies by others online and my own experience with just the one I own has left me wondering "why".


    FWIW: Don't assume this "luck" has always held true for me when buying all things. I assure you that my luck in that regard is just as random as anyone else's. I also have a nice lemon-collection from other past purchases :)

  4. All you did was waste your time (and probably give your neighbors a chuckle).

    I assure you ... the chuckle was all mine when I saw that they wasted a couple thousand dollars to find out what I had already shown them. When passing by them on the road they won't even look up to look me in the eye today. LOL!



  5. Keo1 has had a GPS for a year or so and hasn't logged a single find. His total sum of posts (less thna a dozen so far) have spanned just a few days --

    And yet, when I see someone with over 2000 posts on a forum, my immediate reaction is ... "Wow, this person has NO LIFE and lives on the net for attention."

  6. A recent post of my own http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=238827# (post #18) got me thinking ... I can't be the only one that has had a humorous incident when pursuing the idea of Geocaching or when using GPS devices. With winter full upon us (where I am), and few people getting outdoors as much (it's -20 F. here recently) I thought it might be fun to share and read other's stories.


    Perhaps this has been done before? (It must have.) If so, what's the harm in another thread devoted to humor. I would think there'd be a whole section devoted to posts of that nature (I didn't see one).


    Surely someone got attacked by a flock of geese or rolled down an embankment into that icy water in the pursuit of a cache. If law enforcement was called on you while that pack of dogs had you treed, that'd be even more funny. :rolleyes:


    So? What happened, now that you are safe and sound, that makes you laugh every time you think of it or tell others?




    (I do recall the time that my extra set of batteries in my pocket grounded out on my keys and I almost burnt a hole in my leg. But that's only slightly funny. And most of the humor is lost without the visuals of watching me jump around trying to get them out of my pocket.)

  7. Hm... If you can mark a property line as accurately as a professional surveyor, how come you've never found a geocache?

    I have. I found 3 of them at nearby lakes and woods. Instantly. Within the first 5 minutes of being where they were located. (Funny story, when we stopped at the 3rd one, my friend said, "Hang on a minute, I have to go pee." I said, "Hey! What if you are peeing on where the cache is! Don't do that!" While waiting for him to finish my GPS said the cache was right where he was peeing and I started laughing, warning him he was peeing on the cache. It was right there. But luckily up in the hollow top of the log he was peeing on. :rolleyes: ) I put something nice in the caches I had found, things another sportsman or child might like, but never took anything back. Geocaching is not my thing, apparently. Was too easy when using a GPS or something, no challenge in it. I just didn't bother logging my finds on the net. What would be the point?


    I only read geocaching forums and things of this nature now to find valuable GPS, mapping, and software information.

  8. Yes, REI is a bit expensive, almost anything I've ever bought there I know I coulda found cheaper somewhere else. But I keep going back because...

    - They have a good selection of lots of stuff and it's there when I need it.

    - They have a 100% satisfaction guarantee and liberal return policy.

    - Anything I order online can be delivered to the local store for free.

    - The local store is a 10 minute walk from my office.

    - And there's a geocache on the upper level of the local store's parking garage :rolleyes:

    I don't know about the geocache situation for all my more favorite stores (and that would only hold a one-time interest, if that). But all that you said can be said for Campmor and Sportsman's Warehouse as well as many other suppliers. Just because of your proximity to REI, it doesn't make that true for everyone else.


    This does sound like a shill's spam-convention for REI. I'm waiting for Cabela's overpaid reps to show up shilling their overpriced stuff too now.

  9. Everyone should do their homework instead of depending on places dedicated to the sale of GPS and outdoor gear. Last year I found my GPS from a well-known and reputable discount camera store I had bought camera gear from many times. For 50% the price it was being sold everywhere else (including all used ones on ebay), with free shipping too. Brand new, in box, 12V car-adapter, dash-mount, and City Navigator software included. It wasn't even on sale there.


    You might be tempted to find your "GPS cache" in the most likely spot advertised for selling GPS units, but the correct location might be many stores away from there that doesn't usually cater to the the GPS crowd.


    btw: I always find better deals and gear at Campmor and Sportsman's Warehouse than I have ever found at REI. I've not set foot in an REI store for ages. REI has turned into nothing but an overpriced yuppie's fashion store, long ago.

  10. I wouldn't expect that, and anyone who did would be making a mistake. The simple act of turning in place 45 degrees can significantly alter the coordinate solution, because your body is now blocking a different set of satellites (which are also constantly in motion). You can't make the assumption of a consistent error throughout the measurement process. That's not a real-world scenario, as any experienced geocacher should know.


    I'm aware of how my body can block certain satellites from the constellation. I'm also aware of scientific methods of measurement where you take many samples to try to attain the lowest margin of error. While doing this exercise, I knew I would be performing an action that could have legal consequences. I wanted to be as certain as possible (within reason). So, not only did I wait for a day where my GPS was holding that 6-ft. accuracy at nearly all times, but I made sure to keep the receiver exposed to those satellites during this exercise.


    As for locking in on the first benchmark, and how I subsequently stood on the final projected one ... I approached that marker, set a waypoint. Then I would walk away from it many times in random directions a good 50 to 100 ft. and try to return to the exact same spot. Sometimes traveling directly from and back to that spot. Other times I would move another random direction around that point (wheel analogy: travel away on a spoke, walk a random distance around a radomly-distant rim, then back toward the hub) and then set another waypoint. Until each waypoint I was setting was no longer changing in location. From that one then I projected the NE, the 2 N. Central, and final NW waypoints. I then used the same procedure to define where the final mark should be made.


    Of course this is not a real-world scenario to the geocacher. I doubt those who set a cache take such lengthy actions to define the original coordinates. And even then, the typical geocache's coordinates are not relative to anything else that doesn't move in the area. I bet if all geocaches were set with directions like, "Strike your waypoint over the fire-hydrant near (coordinates), then project a waypoint 338 meters 27-degrees to find the cache," there'd be lots less people doing the drunkard's-walk.


    Every now and again one can find a pin in a haystack. It says more about luck than it does about accuracy.


    While I agree that the final 2-inch error this time was lots of luck, but even if I set that property marker off from where it should be by 6-feet it would have been a d*mn-sight closer to reality than the 150-feet of property they had taken all these years. :rolleyes: One can increase their chances of finding a pin in a haystack by removing as much of anything that looks like haystack but not pin, knowing you are leaving the pin still behind in the remaining haystack. You can increase your luck by using methods to increase your accuracy. (see above) Game-hunters (pun and analogy apropos) do it all the time with their tracking methods, weapons, and traps since the beginning of human history, no GPS nor satellites were ever required to find their "cache". Trappers have to be accurate to within a few yards or feet, or in the case of arrow or bullet, a few inches--still, no GPS required. Similar accuracy required by pirates who wanted to return to collect their buried booty, cache direction and distance relative to a local rock or tree that would not change. If a required tree was lost in a storm, however, then all bets were off.

  11. If they're that insistent about land they could also move the pin. You might want to take a bearing from 2 permanent points on your property and squirrel it away for good measure. Permanent monuments are a heck of a lot more substantial that a rod in the ground, even 6 feet.


    The official benchmark on the SE corner of my property, far in the woods, comprises of not only a cement-post marker but many pieces of re-rod around it with surveyor's markers on that, from those in the past that no-doubt confirmed its location but also used it as their official benchmark. Apparently it's a rather well known marker that is at the crux of 4 sections of Range and Township for 4 townships. I doubt my land-robbing neighbors even knew of its existence because it's nowhere near their land. Nor would they have gotten away with moving that benchmark. We're not talking about overly bright people here. They didn't even know what a GPS was for when they complained (called the sheriff even) where I put my re-rod to mark my NW corner.

  12. 1. You could have done the same thing with great accuracy with a compass and a tape measure or a piece of string of a known length, using the same technique.


    Nope, wouldn't have been as accurate. Without accounting for the rise and fall from the land I would be off. As what happened the first time I did this many years ago, exactly the way you suggest. I even used two pieces of re-rod about 6ft, each as my end-point markers, trying to keep the string (actually, an unstretchable length of wire 100 ft. in length) level between the two stakes between each leg of measure. I guess, according to the GPS measurement, and the official surveyor's mark now in place, that I was sill off by 15 ft. the first time I did it your way, even when accounting for magnetic declination discrepancies on my orienteering compass.

  13. You got lucky. But thanks for the interesting read. I have also used consumer grade GPS to locate property pins, and I could get close enough to make the search much easier. But 2 inches?


    Yes, only 2-inches off. Surprised the @#%& out of me too. I too agree I got lucky because I was working with a 6 ft. margin of error that day. I waited for when a 6 ft. accuracy from the satellites was in strong force at almost all times, a "good GPS day", if there is such a thing. The surprising thing was, I thought the GPS unit was showing me a spot about 15 ft north of where I had always thought that corner was too. Even I thought it was in error. That point giving me back even more land than what I thought I had all these years. I said to myself, what the heck. If anyone disputes it we can all bring our GPS units out to double verify each other's best guesses, and I can blame the GPS unit I had used. And if I was wrong? Too bad, they took 150 ft. into my land for the last 20 years. They deserved to lose a little this time. If they got it officially surveyed one day I wouldn't dispute it. I did a little happy-dance when I saw how close I was to the exact mark. What's that word? Vindicated, I believe. :)


    I wonder how close they would have come to your back porch had you not stopped them..... Some day you'd be having to say "excuse me" to one of them on your way out the door. Sheesh.


    LOL .... probably!

  14. Last year I got myself an eTrex Legend Cx. I was surprised that often the margin of error would drop to only 6ft at times. Well, this year I thought I'd try to put it to some good use. I have had a land dispute with my "neighbors" for over 20 years. I was never going to make a big deal out of it, but they kept cutting further and further into my land, clearing away my meadow as each year progressed until they had slowly taken possession of an acre of land or more.


    I knew there was an official benchmark on the SE corner of my land. So I took my GPS there on a clear day, and set a way-point off of that. I then projected my property boundaries from that, going 1/8th mile north, 1/8th mile west, 300 ft. south, then another 1/8th mile west again. For that is the corner and property line that is in dispute with the "neighbors". Keeping in mind that this projected NW corner way-point is now over 1/4th mile away from the official one. To be as certain as possible where that NW corner was, I walked to and from that point many times, to get a good average from all directions, until each time I always returned to the exact same spot. (Having used the same method to remove as much margin of error as possible when setting the first way-point off the official benchmark.)


    I got fed up with them taking my land, so I planted an 8 ft. length of re-rod into the ground on that exact spot a good 5 feet deep so they couldn't easily pull it out this time. Well, they got all upset. Later this year I notice a surveyor's marker on that corner of their property. I guess they paid a hefty fee to have their land surveyed (in the thou$ands). I went to go check the official surveyor's mark to where I had placed my own. I was off by 2 inches, to my side even. That's one pricey lesson they just learned, and lost 2 more inches of their land too. I bet that surveyor was surprised on how accurate my mark was. Even more funny, the people north of them lost about 20 ft of their property line that they thought was theirs all these years too. That was a pretty powerful hunk of re-rod I sunk into the ground that day. :)


    Now, I wouldn't suggest everyone start using their GPS units to do official surveying work, but I thought some of you might like to know ... it might not be a bad way to see just how accurate any old survey work was done. There might be some surprises for all. :huh:

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