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mrp

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Everything posted by mrp

  1. Does anybody have experience with the teletype mapping/routing software for the PocketPC? Specifically, I'm looking for reviews of their maps of England and Ireland.. since my parents are taking a trip there very soon, and I want to know if investing the $140 is worth it. Of the few mapping packages I've found (that have previews available on the web).. most don't have any street level detail outside of Dublin or a few other major cities. Does anybody know if Teletype does any better? Does anybody have a better idea? They have no plans to take a laptop with them, so solutions that require one (other than to load the data initially) won't work. Thanks, -- Mitch
  2. One of my favorites is Fox Box and you can continue walking from there to the beach. Not too far from that general is San Pedro Box. As for the drive, I don't really know, but I'd expect 20-30 minutes... haven't done it myself. -- Pneumatic
  3. Well as others have pointed out, it actually doesn't vary that much in a practical sense (90 km at a distance of 5000 km is only +/- 1/2 a degree, and I can't make a bearing measurement more accurate than a about 2 degrees anyway. I carry a compass, because it's handy to be able to use it for shooting bearings and checking my orientation. I don't like to have to remember the declination for my area, so I let the GPS do that, and it's a pain to switch. When I've seen bearings/projections given in multi-caches or puzzle caches, it's always been magnetic, with only 1 exception, and that used UTM grid north (which is different than either true or magnetic.) About the only time I use true north is when I'm navigating using polaris, and I don't cache at night that much. -- Pneumatic
  4. I just noticed something. Unlike the V, the 60C(S) doesn't come with CitySelect. At least.. it's not mentioned anywhere in the literature. Now.. I've already got CitySelect because I have a V, but if you don't then add $150 to the price. It's still an attractive unit, but just a little less so now. -- Pneumatic
  5. If you go to their website, you'll notice that you can only hike on trail. If you look at their hunting regulations, they don't allow stalking (walking off trail) or any type of hunting except for hunting from a pre-approved stand. Also, limited numbers of hunting permits are granted. Basically, geocaching, by it's nature involves off trail hiking, and the numbers of people who do it aren't well regulated. Also, how people approach the cache varies, and so while the way the placer intended for you to approach it might now cause too much damage, the person who is just following the arrow and bushwacking (we've all done it... some more that others) can cause an amazing amount of damage. -- Pneumatic
  6. I'm probably going to get flamed for saying this, but I think this ban is probably a good idea. National Wildlife Refuges are just that, refuges for wildlife, not recreation areas for humans (we've got plenty of that). There is relatively little land set aside for this kind of use, and it needs to be protected, or it will become trashed. To those clamorring that this is the result of power-mad politicians, I say: Have we become so policitally reactionary that any desicion with which we disagree is automatically taken as a sign of corruption and/or capitulating to the special interests? Is this what fox news hath wrought? What is the special interest here? the powerful brown tree vole lobby? How many of us really know enough about an ecosystem to avoid doing major damage? How many know how that new "volunteer" trail created by our cache will affect errosion, plant life, etc? I say: get over it. There are (usually) plenty of good places to hide caches without trashing more wilderness! -- Pneumatic
  7. The specs for both the GPSMap76 and the Legend say that the operating temperature range is good down to 5F (-15C). I suspect that they'd be okay in somewhat colder temps (though you probably want to use litium cells.. or hook them up to an external power source, though I suspect most snowmobiles don't have a 12v plug on them.) I'd still recommend the GPSMap 76 (or 76s) over the legend. The legend has a pretty small screen, and it would be very difficult to read while moving. The 76's bigger screen means that you can use a RAM mount to have it visible while riding. Keep in mind, the accuracy is only about 20-30 ft, so it won't tell you if you're in the center of the trail, only if you're roughly in the right area, and which way to turn to stay on the trail. -- Pneumatic
  8. This sounds like a classic case of multipath reception. Basically, if the receiver has a minimal solution (just 4 satellites), and the signal of one of those sats is reflecting off some other object (i.e. a nearby cliff, etc.) Then this kind of thing happens. The doppler signatures area all wrong, so the speed is screwed up, and it also usually thinks you're several hundred miles away from your actual location. This is moderately rare, and it's not something that is due to anything wrong with your GPSR. Units with patch antennas are less suceptible to this, since reflected signals are pretty weak (one reason they used microwaves, they don't reflect or refract very well.) Using an amplified antenna may make this more likely (since the weak reflected signals get amplified.) Generally, as soon as it has an overspecified solution (more than 4 sats locked), then this won't happen. It happened to a friend of mine while taking an Alaskan cruise. He was on a cruise ship in the inner passage doing about 20 kts (about 23 mph), but for 5 track points, his GPSR put in in the middle of the northern pacific. The first couple of trackpoints show him doing about 930mph (about mach 1.3), but the last two show him doing 247073 mph and 701267 mph repectively. The tracklog lists 339 miles covered in 28 seconds.. or an average of about 43,500 mph. About that time his GPSr (Garmin GPSMap 76S) finally figured out that the solution it had didn't make sense and lost lock. :-) -- Pneumatic [This message was edited by Pneumatic on November 04, 2003 at 09:37 PM.]
  9. Corrections to the Garmin line... In addition to the II+ and III+ that other have mentioned here are also: eTrex Camo, Geko 301, StreetPilot Color, StreetPilot III, StreetPilot 2610 and 2650, GPS 12 and 12CX. The GPS 76, GPSMAP 76, GPSMAP 76s, GPS 72, and probably a lot more. There ins't a GPS I or a GPS IV (that I know of anyway). you can get most of this from from Garmin's web site... -- Mitch
  10. mrp

    New Garmin GPS60

    It seems that the specs (specification vs. speculation) aren't consistent. Take the speculation that these units will not have european vs. north-american versions. There are 2 reasons that this is unlikely. First, the licensing of the map/routing data is expensive, and therefore will add a significant chunk to the cost. Second, if the available memory is indeed 51 MB, then the most likely use is a 64 MB chip with a 13 MB basemap. 13MB is the same size as the existing individual NA and Europe basemaps, and it's unlikely that they've found a way to fit both into the same space as one did previously (though I'd be delighted if they did). Also, the stated 30 hours on 2 AAs seams specious, unless there's been a fundamental breakthough. The little yellow eTrex only gets ~20 hours, and the color 60 is supposed ot have a larger, color screen (presumably backlit for daylight readability), faster processor and more memory, all of which take a signicant amount of power on the scale provided by AA batteries. All in all, this has the flavor of a preliminary marketing proposal/plan that got leaked. I'm guessing that it's targeted for christmas '04, and that the specs will have morphed considerably by then. -- Pneumatic
  11. I'm not sure, but it's my understanding that while MG Europe and USA support auto-routing on the computer, they can't/won't transmit that information to the V or the SP III. So, unless you take the laptop with you.. no autorouting, and even then, only with the computer. -- Pneumatic
  12. I've never gotten a good answer as to what the difference is between CityNavigator and CitySelect, other than: CityNavigator ships with SP III, CitySelect with the GPS V. CityNavigator costs a factor of 2 more if you purchase it separately. When I look at their specs, they say that, although CN is designed primarily for the SPIII, the SPIII is listed as supported by CS. The European seems to have identical coverage and (based on a cursory examination using the online map viewer) exactly the same data. Maybe there are some differences, but I haven't found any. I suspect the only REAL difference is that people who buy the SP III are seen as having a higher "pain" threshold when it comes to price. Both CN and CS use unlock codes, but I think they've gone to a single unlock model, rather than region-by-region (at least they have for CS shipped with the V.) The primary difference between MG and the C{S/N} seems to be that MG doesn't support routing data that can be downloaded to the V or SP series, so you wouldn't be able to support auto-routing while using MG maps. Since you said you don't care about that, I'd say go with the MG.. it's probably cheaper, and doesn't require unlocks. -- Pneumatic
  13. quote:Originally posted by Alan2:I think we're dealing here with technical definitions. navigation (nàv´î-gâ´shen) noun ....snip.... That may very well be the distinction they're trying to make, but isn't it ironic then that what the units says "Ready to navigate" when it has a good sat lock (but no active destination.) -- Pneumatic
  14. There are several different distances you could be talking about, I'll try to give an answer to several of them... If you're talking about distance along a track, or about the trip odometer, then the reason is most likely because when the gps is cutting corners, literally. They both measure the accumlated distances between the points measured. In the case of the odometer, this is usually pretty close to the actual mileage, since it takes a measurement of your position every second or so (unless you have spotty coverage, or have the battery saver feature on). With good reception (and without battery saver on), I typically find that these errors are less than 1%. (That can still be 2 or 3 miles over a road trip.) In the case of tracklogs, fewer (sometimes much fewer) points are looked at, and therefore the errors are larger. A saved tracklog only has about 20-50 points, whereas the active tracklog can have up to 10000, but they're often taken 15seconds to a minute apart (depending on settings). In this case a large loop of road may be completely lost, and these little errors accumlate into big errors over time. If you're getting errors in the distance to a waypoint... well.. 30 ft. off is typical, 60 isn't unheard of in some cases, but big errors (100's of feet or more) usually idicates other problems.. (transcription errors, wrong datum, etc) and huge errors are usually due to something like multipath reception (receiving a reflected signal, rather than straight from the satellites) Does this answer you question? :-) -- Mitch
  15. mrp

    New Garmin GPS60

    The only thing that appears to be missing is an SD card slot. 51 MB (64MB - 13MB basemap) sounds like a lot, but I know that at some point I will regret not having more, and with SD cards as cheap as they are now (and getting cheaper), it would be a big selling point if only they would implement it. -- Pneumatic
  16. You can get answers to this (and many other questions) at www.gpsinformation.net. To get you started, it will answer questions like Is it safe to use my GPSr on a commerical airliner and which airlines allow for their use. -- Pneumatic
  17. quote:Originally posted by elmo-fried:You know, as nice as USB would be, even bumping the serial port up to 115K would be a great start (vs 9.6K). Serial ports are easily capable of doing that. For map uploads it usually does go up to 115kbps, but that pretty much swamps the poor little processor and it's unable to do anything else. Even at 115K, it takes almost 40 minutes to upload 19MB. I shudder to think what it would be like if you had to use 9600bps to upload maps.. it would take forever. -- Pneumatic.
  18. It used to be that there were springs on both sides on the top. This was changed for a coupla-three reasons. First, some people found it confusing. Usually the spring tells you where the negative end is supposed to go, and that could lead you to install one of the AA cells backward. There has also been at least one reported case where the spring on the positive terminal slipped sideways and ended up shorting the positive cap with the negative body of the battery, which got very hot and nearly caught fire. (I think if you search on this forum for "flaming etrex" you can find it.) There have been some reports of problems with vibration causing momentary loss of contact with the batteries which causes the unit to shut off. I think the change might have helped fix that (somewhat anyway). -- Pneumatic Update -- Markwell [This message was edited by Pneumatic on September 27, 2003 at 03:10 AM.]
  19. quote:Originally posted by Laogai:http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?ID=80828 is still open to the public 老盖 --- Konfuzius sagt: Die längsten Wege sind unbekannte Abkürzungen. Danke, Ich denke daß Ihnnen Ruhestätte ist noch gut weil es einnen Platz hat. (Entschuldegung, Ich habe das meistens mein Deutsch vergessen) Leider, diese Buggen war nie in Deutschland. :-) in English Thanks, I think that your graveyard is still working because it has a location. (Excuse me, I've forgotten most of my german). Sadly these bugs were never in Germany. :-) --Pneumatic
  20. Thanks for the quick response Jeremy, Maybe there should be two distinct pseudo-locations. One (maybe called "in-the-ether" or some such), for bugs that have gone (hopefully temporarily) missing, and another for bugs that have been retired or are confirmed dead (were in a cache that was consumed by a wildfire, etc.) -- Pneumatic
  21. I was mourning the loss of two more of my travel bugs (Power Blimp and Casey Squared) and was hoping for closure by logging them in the Travel Bug Graveyard just like I did with poor old Mervin, but when I try to make a log for the graveyard, the travel bugs don't appear on the log form the way they do for the "real" caches. Now I agree that you normally wouldn't want bugs logged at "locationless" caches, but in this case, it's the only way I can get them out of the list of bugs in my posession. I think this in an unintended consequense of recent improvements in the site (and they're great improvements, but this is a "bug" (pun intended)). -- Pneumatic [This message was edited by Pneumatic on September 25, 2003 at 08:17 AM.]
  22. mrp

    Garmin Legend and WAAS

    quote:Originally posted by Prime Suspect:This is how stuff like "I heard Legends don't work well with WAAS" gets started. I don't know why the poster worded it this way, but it's very misleading. A Legend won't have any more difficulty getting and mantaining a WAAS signal than any other good, consumer grade GPS. The poster (that would be me) worded it that way because he has both a Legend and a GPS V. He has had no luck getting sustained, useful WAAS signals in any real-world situations, only when standing still for long periods in an area with an exceptional southwestern view. His V is somewhat better at holding WAAS lock, and can get usable WAAS signals if used in a place with relatively low obstructions in the southwest or southeast, probably because the Quad helix antenna is better at picking up signals low on the horizon. In all seriousness, I am a big fan of the legend, but it does have some problems, and it's WAAS implementation is one of them. I suspect that the patch antenna just doesn't perform well enough on satellites near the horizon for it produce useful WAAS corrections in this part of california (38 deg N). If it were being used further to the south and in some place with better horizons (say.. on the coast near the catalina islands) it might be very useful, but the poster said that he is in Canada (known for being far to the north, I'm guessing between 48.5 and 49.5 degrees N), and that leads me to believe that he may very well have problems. In contrast I've heard from at least one person in Texas who claims that it works great there. Next time I'm in Texas I'll try it out. -- Pneumatic [Edit.. I stand corrected.... Niagra falls is only about 43 degrees north lat] [This message was edited by Pneumatic on September 20, 2003 at 03:07 PM.]
  23. quote:Originally posted by GeckoGeek:I wonder if you really get that much or if the unit only thinks you can put it in but in fact it gets hosed since the memory isn't there. According to what I've read, you can't upload anything, either Maps or POI. The 1MB of memory is completely inaccessbile, but you do get the nice features of the recent legend firmware... larger active tracklog, more points on routes, more waypoints, etc. If you don't use the uploadable POI data, then you aren't really losing anything. Of course, it's possible that this will work with some ventures and not with others... there may be more than one type of venture.. manufactuers often have multiple version of a product that appear identical on the outside. And you do risk making the unit completely unusable if this fails.. so it's a bit risky. -- Pneumatic
  24. mrp

    Garmin Legend and WAAS

    Getting WAAS to work with a legend is problematic, but here's how it can be done (if at all.) First, you're going to need a place with VERY good visibility on the southern horizon. From Niagra, the main bird will probably be straight south, but I'm not sure. Next, if it isn't already, enable WAAS (Menu->Setup->System). Go to the Satellite page, and look at the last two Satellites listed. They should be cycling through the known/potential WAAS sats (numbers 33 through 48 or so.) Set the unit on a nice flat surface (maybe inclined slightly to the south), and wait.... and wait... 20 minutes is probably good (this is only necessesary once). Once it finds ONE of the sats, it will download the WAAS almanac (sort of like the first time you turned the unit on it took a while to find any sats and then download the almanac for the regular sats). Once it has the WAAS almanac, it will know which two WAAS sats are most visible from your location, and they will appear in the sky view on the top half of the screen. Here in California, I can (supposedly) see #'s 35 and 47. Once it's picked those two, it will begin to download ephemeris and correction data. As ti does, you will see a 'D' appear in the signal bars of the sats for which it has correction information. Once it has correction information for 3 or 4 sats, it will have a "differential solution", and will use that. Here's why I say it's usually not worth fooling around with the legend. The correction information is very time sensitve, and while I've heard that they should be valid for a minute or so, when I lose the WAAS sat, the "D"'s disappear within 3 or 4 seconds. Also, when it has corrections for at least 3 sats, it will use those sats to the exclusion of sats with better geometry, and so accuracy often goes DOWN durring spotty reception (which is all I can ever get with the legend.) Other limitations: WAAS uses a fair amount of processor power, and so map updates become slower, and battery drain increases slightly. Whether or not it has lock on the WAAS sats, it will always reserve two slots of the 12 channel receiver to try, and so other sats can't be received on those channels. (It's rare to see 12 sats you can receive, but in my experience, receiving usable WAAS signals is rarer). My GPS V does a slightly better job at receiving WAAS, but only slightly. I've been fooling around with some tests. I've gone back to school to get an MS, and there's one place on campus with an excellent view of #47, and so I've been enabling WAAS and waiting for it to get corrections for as many sats as possible (usually waiting 1 to 2 minutes), and then marking the location of a particular post in the ground. As a control, I have been marking the same post without WAAS emabled. With WAAS, I get a Std. Dev. of about .7 meters. (About .5 in each of the Lat and Long directions) Without WAAS I get a Std. Dev. of about 2.5 meters. Elevation isn't nearly as good, but also improves with WAAS. S = 7.0 ft. (2.1 m) with, and S = 14.2 ft. (4.3 m) without. This is from about 11 measurements with WAAS and 13 measurements without. [This message was edited by Pneumatic on September 20, 2003 at 01:34 PM.]
  25. I read a few days ago in the Yahoo Etrex forum, that somebody has loaded Legend firmware into a Venture. You lose the POI, and you can't upload maps (becuase the venture doesn't actually have any memory), but you get the additional active trackpoints (up to 10000), and more waypoints, and more legs in routes, etc. They guy claims he has also backgraded it to Venture firmware. I don't have a venture, so I can't try it... but I'd love to heard reports. Has anybody here tried this? -- Pneumatic
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