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Garmin Trip Odometer vs Track Log


WVRadar
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I would like to use my eTrex Venture HC to track how far I am hiking, but I know there is a problem with the Trip Odometer while traveling at slow speed. Today I did two caches. The first one had a lot of difficult hillsides to navigate. When I completed the cache, the Trip Odometer showed 0.74 miles. The Track Log showed a distance of 1.02 miles.

 

The second cache I completed was on flat terrain on a wide rails to trails path. When I finished this one, the Trip Odometer showed 1.45 miles, while the Track Log showed 1.28 miles.

 

I have the Track Log setup to record by Distance, at an interval of .01 miles.

 

Does anyone know if this will give me an accurate distance reading?

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Setting the track point distance to .01 will change (generally shorten) the length of the track when compared to actual distances because you will only be putting down a track point every 50 feet. This is fine if you are on straight trails but if the trails wind and twist quite a bit the curves will be straightened out into 50 ft segments.

 

Setting the track interval to "Auto" is supposed to take care of this issue by putting down more points when you are changing course and fewer points when you walk a straight line. Setting the track interval to a time (1 sec) will give you a very dense and accurate track but because it's time based you will get track point "puddling" when you stand still and this will effect your overall distance.

 

The Odometer reading being inconsistent is a bug that Garmin is apparently working on... I don't ever use the odometer so I can't comment on how they are doing.

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It would be nice to be able to figure out how to get the highest degree of accuracy, but it may depend on what you are doing and where. I'll just add that you might take into consideration the possiblity of multi-pathing in some terrain. If in the forest and you have your track set too tight for distance or time your track will be bouncing all over the place and adding false distance.

For instance, if in the open and constantly moving time/1sec would work great, but if stopping and going Distance or Auto would be best. Lots of turns? maybe Time or Auto. If not in the open then you might want to lengthen the record intervals to avoid picking up too many false points.

 

Perhaps the best pick is just to use Auto most of the time and vary the intervals as you think best.

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the H series have a huge bug with the odometer. (although appeartly new fixes are comming soon) if you are moving less then about 1.5 mph it doesn't record distance. so the tripmeter is useless for slow hiking and can't be used.

 

but here is problem #2. if you set it to track by time or auto. your saved track will be pretty close to the actully hiked distance.

 

however setting it to distance does not. because here once again it won't record points unless it thinks you have moved. and as with trip meter doesn't record distance under 1.5mph.

 

by setting it to record distance you'll have 2 useless readings. both the tripmeter and the track.

 

if you set to auto or time the track should be pretty close, the tripmeter is still useless.

 

appeartly hardware version 2.5 (not to be confused with software version) is comming soon for the vista HCX which has claimed to fix this. other units are probably right behind.

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appeartly hardware version 2.5 (not to be confused with software version) is comming soon for the vista HCX which has claimed to fix this. other units are probably right behind.

I think you're confused. The version 2.5 you're referring to (and which has been discussed in other threads) is a GPS chipset firmware update, which is certainly software.

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Hiked a trail today using the Track Log set to Auto, with the Most Often interval selected. Terrain was a trail through a state forest over pretty hilly ground. The trail was out to one trailhead and back the same way, so I could compare the distance. On the way out I logged 2.69 miles, returned for a total of 5.41 miles. Looks pretty close, with a difference of only .03 miles. My Trip Odometer listed the entire hike as 3.62 miles.

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Okay, I didn't get to do the "big hill" today because my friend with the 60CSx couldn't go. However, I did take a hike on a mountain trail with both my Vista HCx with the new firmware and my Vista C, which was happy to get out for a change. :D

 

Here are the results. The Profile according to the Vista HCx is the first one:

 

4fcb70e6-afc3-44b1-a449-bbc1e3462622.jpg

 

The Profile and distance according to the Vista C was slightly different:

 

abd265ae-26b4-4571-9f6d-13d40183ae1a.jpg

 

Here is a picture of the two GPS units at the cache location:

 

26edbf87-07ec-4486-b548-4bcd004b48ca.jpg

 

Here is a picture of the two GPS units at the end of the hike:

 

75b2542f-a20d-47cb-b2b5-778ac0bc5a13.jpg

 

So . . . I'm confused. :D The HCx Track log reported less distance than the Trip Computer reported. The Vista C reported the same distance on the Track Log as on the Trip Computer . . . However, the difference doesn't seem to be enough, between these two units, to worry about.

 

Sure wish the 60CSx had also been along on the hike to see what it would have reported.

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Okay, I didn't get to do the "big hill" today because my friend with the 60CSx couldn't go. However, I did take a hike on a mountain trail with both my Vista HCx with the new firmware and my Vista C, which was happy to get out for a change. :D

 

Here are the results. The Profile according to the Vista HCx is the first one:

 

4fcb70e6-afc3-44b1-a449-bbc1e3462622.jpg

 

The Profile and distance according to the Vista C was slightly different:

 

abd265ae-26b4-4571-9f6d-13d40183ae1a.jpg

 

Here is a picture of the two GPS units at the cache location:

 

26edbf87-07ec-4486-b548-4bcd004b48ca.jpg

 

Here is a picture of the two GPS units at the end of the hike:

 

75b2542f-a20d-47cb-b2b5-778ac0bc5a13.jpg

 

So . . . I'm confused. :D The HCx Track log reported less distance than the Trip Computer reported. The Vista C reported the same distance on the Track Log as on the Trip Computer . . . However, the difference doesn't seem to be enough, between these two units, to worry about.

 

Sure wish the 60CSx had also been along on the hike to see what it would have reported.

You averaged well over 2mph at 3.3mph. The issue happens at less than 2mph. Try the same test with a slow walk for the entire distance and see what happens. Edited by TrailGators
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I don't walk slow . . . :P

 

If the problem is worse under 2 mph, then I don't think it will affect most hikers. I think the new firmware helped the problem, but I won't know for sure until I can compare it with the Map60CSx, which I am beginning to think overestimates the distance with the Trip Computer, judging from the results the other day between the HCx (without the latest firmware) and a Magellan.

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I don't walk slow . . . :P

 

If the problem is worse under 2 mph, then I don't think it will affect most hikers. I think the new firmware helped the problem, but I won't know for sure until I can compare it with the Map60CSx, which I am beginning to think overestimates the distance with the Trip Computer, judging from the results the other day between the HCx (without the latest firmware) and a Magellan.

 

You will never see the problem. The problem only happens under 2 mph. It would be interesting to see if it has been truly fixedby getting one person to walk under 2mph for a few miles. Anyhow, hiking up a steep mountains is often done at speeds under 2 mph. Especially for slow TrailGators like me. :unsure:
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Actually, I thought I did see the problem before updating the firmware the first time. My Vista HCx differed from the Map60CSx by as much as 30%. The other day, there was considerable difference between the Vista HCx, Magellan, and the 60CSx -- 5.8, 6.1, vs. 6.9 miles.
I was just trying to be scientific. To truly test the bug you need to walk in the bug's zone the entire time to see the true worst-case percentage difference. Edited by TrailGators
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Hiked the same trail I did on January 9th, although I went about halfway out and back. Moved at a pretty brisk pace on the way out then tried to walk slower on the way back. The Trip Odometer logged 1.60 miles out, 3.59 miles total, while the Track Log recorded 1.31 miles out, 3.11 miles total. It looks like the bug has been addressed, but I’m still not sure which is more accurate. Guess I’m going to have to hike somewhere that I can measure the distance beforehand with my vehicle.

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Hiked the same trail I did on January 9th, although I went about halfway out and back. Moved at a pretty brisk pace on the way out then tried to walk slower on the way back. The Trip Odometer logged 1.60 miles out, 3.59 miles total, while the Track Log recorded 1.31 miles out, 3.11 miles total. It looks like the bug has been addressed, but I'm still not sure which is more accurate. Guess I'm going to have to hike somewhere that I can measure the distance beforehand with my vehicle.
When you view your track in mapsource do you see some zig-zags?
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I didn't download the track to Mapsource, but I used the TrackBack feature when going back. Just looking at the screen I could see a lot of zigzags. Must have been getting a lot of signal bounce, because I was trying to determine coordinates for a cache placement and the readings were varying a great deal.

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Hiked on the same trail today. Was moving the entire time, except to check coordinates on a cache placement (about 5 minutes, standing in one location). The terrain is pretty hilly and I'm not the fastest walker in the world, but the Trip Computer logged it as 39:11 moving, 18:23 stopped. Total mileage was 2.14 miles. The Track Log gave the mileage as 2.04 miles. Looks like an improvement to me.

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