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MacBandit

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Everything posted by MacBandit

  1. At this point I would be willing to bet that the hardware and software of the 60c/s and 76c/s are exactly the same except for the size of storage memory.
  2. Averaging was a technique used back with Selective Availability (government mandated signal "fuzzing") was active. By averaging the signal over time, one could get a better position reading. This could work because of the random nature of the errors introduced by SA. SA has been turned off for years now, and there's no need for averaging. The type of errors encountered aren't of the random nature that SA had. Any benefit of averaging will only occur after many, many hours. Actually that's not true. The part of the SA being off for years. They turned it back on right after 9/11 and say they plan on leaving it that way.
  3. I'll let you know if I get it working. I'm waiting for my 60cs before I really try though.
  4. Yeah, tell me about it. I had tires on a used car I got that were larger than the manufacturer recommended. According to the timing method between mileposts the speedometer and the odometer were fairly accurate. Now I've put the correct size tires on it and my speedometer reads about 10 mph high. I've called around and it will cost several hundred dollars at a speedo shop to fix this. I have to assume that now my odometer is off as well. Also (to bring this back to GPS), in these timing instances I saw that the two GPSr's I was playing with at the time were reading very accurate speeds (a Garmin eTrex Summit and a Magellan GPS 315). Check your odometer as well but typically it's only the speedometer that reads optimistically. The odometers are typically all but right on. If you're wondering I do have some experience in this field as motorcycle repair is my profession.
  5. Thanks everyone. The thoughts on auto-routing trails are primarily for fun but they could be used in practicality given a few variables. One many local parks and heavily hiked places in my area have hundreds of interweaving trails. Given that if you were to go on a overnighter you could use it route yourself automatically without research to any number of objects within this area. The only thing that would make this useful is if the software took elevation changes into account and let you choose the difficulty of the hike for the route.
  6. Depending on how you connect the batteries, either the voltage adds or the mAh adds. Not both. Typically batteries are connected to add voltages. Connecting them in parallel is not always a good idea because the strong battery tends to end up charging a weak one and you loose power. Thanks, duh elementary physics. I'll have to take some time to recalculate.
  7. Here's a page with all you could ever want to know about GPS and how it works. I thought I knew it pretty well but I read this and now I realize that I didn't really know anything. The whole system is far more fascinating then I could have ever guessed. http://www.trimble.com/gps/index.html
  8. True but you can still auto-route using the standard basemap though it isn't all that detailed.
  9. Thanks for the help everybody! I just bought one. I'll post with performance if I find anything worth noting. Sounds good I'm sure from my own experience that you will be very satisfied. Also don't be alarmed when they email that it's shipped from Hong Kong.
  10. Check out the PC-Mobile Re-radiating antenna. It will fix all your reception problems with the Vista. I have a Vista as well and it works very well. You can check out this thread where we have been discussing it. http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php
  11. Actually it's to protect the manufacturer from lawsuits from new car owners complaining about tickets due to the speedo showing a lower speed then they were actually going. So all manufacturers seem to over compensate to a degree. This goes for cars and bikes.
  12. I was reading a thread recently about auto-routable with the 60c and someone mentioned that they were able to auto-route with the new Topo software. I'm wanting to confirm this and if so what version the software is. I suspect the person was actually auto-routing with the built in basemap and didn't realize it though I hope I'm wrong. It would be cool to be able to auto-route a trails found in the Topo map software.
  13. The amplifier for the PC-Mobile unit would be very small and light were it not for the 3 AA batteries in the case. I suspect it would work fine with 2 or 3 button cells, or AA lithiums to save weight. 2 would probably do the job, as the voltage is higher. I haven't done anything with it as, unlike the antenna, I carry the amp on my belt, not on top of my head. Thanks for the reply. I suspected that the unit could be greatly reduced in size if one wanted to change the battery compartment. My reasoning for this is two fold the antenna needs 2.5-5 volts to work correctly but only 12mAh of current. So even when you take power loss of the amplifier into the equation due to inefficiencies even a watch battery should be able to power it if it were a multicell type with 2.5-5volts. Just so everyone knows a typical AA Alkaline battery outputs around 2800-3000mAh so the current draw isn't the issue just the voltage. I just looked it up and a typical 3v watch battery can be had at up to 280mAh so that should do it. Though if you take in to account that they say you can get 100 hours or so off a set of batteries and use 2500mAh x 3 batteries that would get you a total draw of 75mAh so a watch battery could probably only power the unit for about 3 hours or less. Another option though would be to go to a single 6v battery about the size of a typical computer clock battery those should output around 3000 or more mAh and could be had in a rechargeable form. I might have to look into this. It could be that the board inside the amplifier unit is as large as the case in which case size saving would not really be worth attempting.
  14. The V takes a BNC. I'm not sure if that's because it's older or because it was intended for "fixed" applications rather then hand-held use (but it works well that way) If you know what model you're interested in, check. Garmin has it listed on the specs page under "interface". But don't sweat it too hard. You can get adapter cables if you guess wrong. I suspect it's just because of it's age. I just spent some time at the Garmin site researching and it seems all the new products use the MCX connector. All the older products say StreetPilot III and older are BNC. Also I just found out that Garmin sells an MCX to BNC adaptor so that the older units can use there new external antennas which are apparently MCX only.
  15. The 60c also has an auto-routable base map. As for antenna I highly doubt it. It's seems to be turning out that the 76c and 60c are the exact same units except one is physically larger and has a larger amount of memory also they chose to only provide the Geocache software on the 60c other then that I think they are identical in every other way.
  16. I believe all the current Garmin GPSs that accept external antennas use the MCX connector. The 60c most definitely does. Your lowrance sounds like it has the BNC connector. If you order the PC-Mobile antenna I would most definitely order the one with the MCX connector it will be most compatible with future GPSs that support an external antenna and for those that don't you will always have the re-radiating amplifier that you plug the antenna into.
  17. Thank you for sharing your information on registration.
  18. I like the ability to project waypoints. For example if I'm trying to figure out the name of a geographic landmark I can point at it with the GPS and then project a waypoint a guesstimated distance away to find the landmark I'm looking at. This can also come in handy when Geocaching. Say you get to a point and then have to go so many feet in a certain direction from that point. With the compass you can find the exact direction without moving and then project the new waypoint the exact distance away in that direction.
  19. If you were to still own the unit could you call Garmin and unregister a unit?
  20. MacBandit

    Upgrade Advice

    My Garmin Etrex Vista also has the Sun/Moon page identical to the one shown for the 60C in the middle of the photos above. Not in color on the Vista of course.
  21. Have you tried reducing the size of the amplifier?
  22. To answer the questions about the PC-Mobile Re-Radiating antenna I love the thing. The links for the sales site and review have been kindly posted by someone else just about this post. Thank you. As for real world use it's super-fantastic. Even out in the plain open I usually get no more then maybe 6 sat locks with my Etrex Vista when I turn on the Re-Radiating amplifier I will in most cases instantly pick up another 3-5 sats. Also I haven't had very good luck with WAAS were I live and with the antenna I can get 2 WAAS sats now sometimes simultaneously. My previous best all time accuracy was probably around 12 feet. My best in the few days I've been using the antenna is 6 feet with 2 WAAS sats driving down an east west road with tall thick trees on both sides of the road. Without the antenna I get no sats at all in my living room of my house. With the antenna I can get 5 locks and 20 foot accuracy in the same place in my house. The results are incredible and instantly verifiable. All I have to do is turn the amplifier on or off and I can watch the sats come and go on the display instantaneously. Also with the antenna I got a lock 265 miles from my home without having previously turned on the GPS so it was completely disoriented. When I turned it on with the antenna already on I got a position and lock within 20secs. The $50 for the re-radiating antenna is the best purchase I think I have ever made when it comes to GPS accessories. Also the Antenna and the Amplifier are separate pieces and the antenna has the proper connection to plug into most Garmin units including the 60CS I have on order.
  23. You can always get a large washer and stick on the inside of your clothing say a hat or the shoulder of your coat and then the GPS antenna on the outside will stick to the washer through the clothing using the magnet. As for extra wire just loop it up and use a couple bread sack twist ties. As for a model to recommend I've been using the one from PC-Mobile and it's fantastic and cheap. I have the re-radiating setup hooked to my Etrex Vista and I've gone from 3 to 5 sat locks to 11 with all of them at 75% to 100% strength.
  24. The Quad Helix antenna in the Garmin 60s is know where comparable to the Patch antenna found in the Etrex series. It is far far better. On a side not though you can get a battery powered external antenna with inductive cable that will give the Etrex GPS as good or better reception then any stock GPS out there. I've been using one with my Etrex Vista for a week now and I can't believe my signal strength. I've been getting 10 sats nearly full power in the woods. I've even gotten 11 sats including 2 WAAS sats giving me 6 foot accuracy in the middle of a clearing with tall tree cover on both sides of me. Check the antenna out it's fantastic. Also when you get a new GPS if it has an external antenna hookup you can use just the antenna portion of this setup. http://pc-mobile.net/gpsant.htm
  25. Yes email them. I did on the same problem. I emailed them twice. Second time was to show them an exact comparison with the 76S with the same hike. I figured it uses more than twice the points than the 76S. And that is with the 60CS set at least and the 76S set at most. Changing baro settings, or setting the points to distance,etc. just doesn't cut it. The auto mode on the 76S gave good results with all settings on auto. Capt. My 60c performs almost exactly like my V when I take them out together. I bet the barometer is more sensitive on your 60cs, it isn't calibrated correctly or was self-calibrating with GPS elevation when you were making the track, or the 60cs is taking more points on purpose to create a better plot for viewing. Have you actually taken a look at the points that were plotted? If the position or elevation didn't change between points then you have a legit complaint about Garmin's track plotting algorithm. Otherwise, that's how the auto mode is supposed to work. i.e change in elevation or position (the degree of change effected by the least,most settings) causes a new track point to be plotted. In the end, more track points is better than not enough and if you're worried about filling up the track log then use the time or distance method. If still unsatisfied, let me know if you want to sell your "faulty" unit. It's a problem with the barometer in the 60cs. It will plot points until memory is full when sitting still. This is because the barometric pressure is constantly changing so it's saying your elevation is changing as well but we're talking in inches not feet. They need to update the software so that the elevation plot is limited to a certain amount of change in combination with not ploting points unless you are moving.
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