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New Satellites


yellow-bird
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Not yet. GPSr's have to be designed specifically to use them. Eventually we will have GPSr's that use GPS, Glonass, Magellan and maybe even other geolocation satellites as other countries implement them. GPSr's are radio frequency receivers. They listen to a narrow band of frequencies transmitted by the US GPS system satellites which transmit specific data in specific sequences. Other satellite systems will transmit on different frequencies and quite likely different information as well.

Thus, we'll need NEW equipment to take advantages of this. It's extremely doubtful that firmware upgrades will make new systems available. It will be a "forklift upgrade".

Think of it from the manufacturers point of view.

Would they prefer you bought new stuff at a PROFIT for them, or build equipment that will only require a firmware upgrade at a COST to them?

 

So keep waiting and you'll find that within the next few years, you'll be able to buy more expensive GPSr's that will pick up more satellite systems.

It's inevitable. Garmin has started it. The other manufacturers MUST catch up and try and surpass them to remain competitive.

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I think you'll find more GPS + GLONASS capable receivers coming along sooner rather than later. The Russian Federation plans to put a 25% import tarrif on any GPS enabled devices which are not also GLONASS capable - with effect from the start of 2012. This means that GPSRs and mobile phones will very soon be coming out with dual (GPS + GLONASS ability). For more information see here...

Link to GPS+GLONASS on Spirent website

 

The benefits of GPS+GLONASS receivers are spelt out in more detail here...

GPS+GLONASS benefits

Edited by RamblinBear
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I can confirm that the eTrex 20 receives Glonass signals. Although I can't find any details in the owner's manual, I think the orange bars are GPS and the black ones are Glonass. I'm currently receiving about eight birds from each system. (Indoors! Not too shabby...)

 

Any chance you can post a screenshot of the "Satellites" screen from your eTrex - I'd like to see how Garmin have implemented the addition of GLONASS? Thanks.

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eTrex x0 = Teseo II

Montana = Cartesio+

 

The Cartesio+ has 3 times the CPU-power of the Teseo II but lacks the ability of GLONASS-Support.

 

I notice the Cartesio has Galileo support though. Is this for the EGNOS support? Or is it for navigational purposes?

 

Galileo is the European GPS-System (GLONASS the Russian System).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_%28satellite_navigation%29

 

EGNOS is the European DGPS-System (in the USA called WAAS).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EGNOS

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Any chance you can post a screenshot of the "Satellites" screen from your eTrex - I'd like to see how Garmin have implemented the addition of GLONASS? Thanks.

Here you go:

 

60dbdc4c-9b51-4356-b9f0-7ff9815b8551.jpg9aad72bd-9621-42cb-b4ac-009afebd28ae.jpg

 

Can anyone think of a situation in which you'd want to use "GPS" mode instead of "GPS + Glonass" mode?

Edited by Wintertime
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I can confirm that the eTrex 20 receives Glonass signals. Although I can't find any details in the owner's manual, I think the orange bars are GPS and the black ones are Glonass. I'm currently receiving about eight birds from each system. (Indoors! Not too shabby...)

 

Based on the picture you posted, you are correct that the orange bars are for GPS satellites. GPS use PRNs 1 - 32.

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can you set it for Glonass mode only?

The only settings I've found so far are the ones you see on that screen, but I have yet to find thorough documentation for the device (the owner's manual only partially does the job), so who knows?

To use GPS satellites only, go into Device Setup -> System.

You can also show multi-color satellites instead of scheme shown in screen shots above.

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GLONASS is up and running, and I am very excited to read from the GLONASS+GPS enabled devices how it is behaving. According to this review http://www.gpsworld.com/gnss-system/receiver-design/consumer-gpsglonass-12359?page_id=4 posted elsewhere on the board and to wikipedia, the combo will sensibly increase both fix time and - most important, at least to me - accuracy.

That, combined with WAAS/EGNOS should boost the accuracy by a HUGE extent. I'd love to read from the owners though!

 

(side thought. With the upcoming Galileo European system I wonder if geocaching is going to become too easy. We will be able to track down spots with one feet of accuracy in some years!)

 

Thanks everybody (and best wishes for the upcoming new year)

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(side thought. With the upcoming Galileo European system I wonder if geocaching is going to become too easy. We will be able to track down spots with one feet of accuracy in some years!)

 

You don't need a very accurate reading. Just follow the cachers paths (only works on very popular caches of course).

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...the combo will sensibly increase both fix time and - most important, at least to me - accuracy.

 

Perhaps for the vast number of users within the urban jungle scenario yes, but if you read the article @ GPSWorld it mentions that under most normal conditions outside of the urban jungle, i.e. 9 or more satellite locks from GNSS, GLONASS is mostly redundant.

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...the combo will sensibly increase both fix time and - most important, at least to me - accuracy.

 

Perhaps for the vast number of users within the urban jungle scenario yes, but if you read the article @ GPSWorld it mentions that under most normal conditions outside of the urban jungle, i.e. 9 or more satellite locks from GNSS, GLONASS is mostly redundant.

 

Well, everyone is different, but of my six caches, five where in a urban jungle and close to walls, and only one in the wild.

The "wild" one, moreover, was in woods, and that article didn't tested it in such an environment. According to wikipedia, though, "In indoor, urban canyon or mountainous areas, accuracy can be greatly improved over using GPS alone".

I don't really care very much about indoors, but I do in montainous areas. There are natural canyons, too.

And about foliage, [this new supercool SkyTraq chipset] "is capable of continuous accurate navigation in difficult urban canyon and deep foliage environments". This is of course a press release, but it's still interesting. Here's the source of this latest claim: http://www.skytraq.com.tw/news/news2011-8-19.html

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When Garmin finally hammers out the firmware (1 yr?), and in certain conditions, GLONASS may be a benefit. I'm just not sure "HUGE benefit" is what you'll see in real world tests with a small, patch, eTrex antenna over something GPS only having a quad helix or larger patch.

 

In that GPSWorld atricle on consumer glonass I never saw mention of the brands/models of units or even if an over the counter consumer unit was used. It was likely a mockup using a consumer Tesio II receiver hooked up to an antenna to make all things equal between GPSS only chips and GPS/GLONASS chips. In other words a test of the chips themselves without variation in antenna or firmware. Throw differences in those two categories in the mix and you may have very different "real-world" results.

 

We all know the eTrex has a smallish patch antenna. What are the effects of antenna design vs a quad helix on say the 62? Only real world, real scenario tests will convince me and base on what I've seen so far, a huge benefit using GLONASS hasn't been observed... yet.

 

Admittedly I've been a grinch on the new GLONASS addition to the etrex line. It reminds me, a bit, of the sales tactic of higher mega-pixels in digital cameras. Camera manufacturers kept racing each other to implement more and more pixels and while the salesman would tout a higher pixel count to the average consumer, frequently that didn't translate into a better camera.

 

The next big jump in accuracy, at least for North America users, will probably be the implementation of the next generation of GPS and the consumer units that will be able to receive the L2 data along with L1. Ionospheric errors will be a thing of the past.

Edited by yogazoo
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Throw yet another GPS system into the mix.

 

China Activates Homegrown GPS System

by Mike Wall, SPACE.com Senior Writer

Date: 28 December 2011 Time: 11:21 AM ET

 

China has switched on its own satellite navigation system, marking a big step forward for a nation eager to reduce its reliance on the West for key strategic technologies.

 

The Beidou system — whose name translates as "Big Dipper" — began providing positioning and navigation services on Tuesday (Dec. 27), according to state news reports. The emergence of Beidou should make China far less dependent on the GPS constellation, which is operated by the United States military and is currently the world's dominant satellite navigation network.

 

"Countries build their own systems because owning an independent satellite navigation system is important to economic development and national security," said Pang Zhihao, deputy editor-in-chief of the publication Space International, according to the newspaper China Daily.

 

Beidou currently consists of 10 satellites and covers a swath of the Asia-Pacific region from Australia in the south to Russia in the north. The system is accurate to within 82 feet (25 meters) and now serves China and surrounding areas on a pilot basis.

 

But those specs will all change. China plans to expand the satellite constellation and its coverage, making Beidou a truly global system. Six more satellites are due to launch next year, and the nation envisions having 35 in the constellation by 2020, according to China Daily.

 

Beidou's performance will improve as the constellation grows. The system should be able to pinpoint locations to within 33 feet (10 m) when the six additional satellites are lofted in 2012, officials said.

 

China now joins the U.S. and Russia as the only nations to have operational homegrown satnav systems. Europe is also developing its own network, called Galileo, which is slated to start offering some services in 2014 and become fully operational in 2020.

 

Beidou began taking shape in 2000, when the first satellites for an experimental version of the network were launched. Beidou is designed to be compatible and interoperable with other satnav systems, Chinese officials have said.

 

The United States' GPS system currently relies on 24 satellites. It became fully operational in 1994.

 

You can follow SPACE.com senior writer Mike Wall on Twitter: @michaeldwall. Follow SPACE.com for the latest in space science and exploration news on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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Throw yet another GPS system into the mix.

 

Wow.

They are changing the world above our heads without most of us even noticing that.

 

Anyhow. Back to practical stuff. :D

 

Has anybody messed with GLONASS (that is, now, fully operational just like GPS is) + GPS at the same time?

I'd love to read some test made in woods, specifically.

 

I also guess that also the chipset sensitivity could be an issue, too.

 

Thanks!!

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About chipsets and real world, it looks like the Iphone4s boasts a chipset that offers GPS+GLONASS too. According to wikipedia, that's the fifth Iphone generation and sales only started on November 11, 2011.

 

Any Iphone 4s users here?

 

EDIT:

it is mentioned in another thread here and the owner says that there are HUGE improvements in satellite's system. Here's a video linked in that thread about iPhone and GLONASS:

 

Here's the user's post:

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=286076&st=50&p=4911606entry4911606

 

Addendum. THIS video is very interesting, too:

Edited by TOPONI
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I don't trust anything an iPhone user says regarding GPS or GLONASS because we're not talking about iPhones. It has been reported that the GPS positioning in the previous models has been lousy so maybe they simply fixed the GPS which could be observed as a huge improvement but having nothing to do with GLONASS. What kind of antenna does an iPhone have? What chipset firmware? What chipset? Where's the tracklog or positional comparison?

 

"Real-World" comparisons of GPS units:

 

http://gpstracklog.com/2011/10/garmin-etrex-20-review.html

 

and

 

http://www.takeadventure.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=372

 

Neither conclusion is anywhere close to a HUGE improvement. In fact it's subjective whether there is any real positional improvement at all in these tests. Granted, it doesn't appear that they used real challenging conditions which is where GPS+GLONASS should show it's best improvement over GPS alone.

Edited by yogazoo
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I posted a GLONASS type question the other day. I found while using BOTH I was more than 150 off from a cache, when my buddy was ~10 away with a Venture HC.

 

edited to add a link

 

Thread

 

I turn off glonass in the woods... I have much better luck. I think garmin has some work to do.

 

Do you mean that DISABLING glonass in your garming gives you BETTER accuracy?

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I posted a GLONASS type question the other day. I found while using BOTH I was more than 150 off from a cache, when my buddy was ~10 away with a Venture HC.

 

edited to add a link

 

Thread

 

I turn off glonass in the woods... I have much better luck. I think garmin has some work to do.

 

Do you mean that DISABLING glonass in your garming gives you BETTER accuracy?

 

No, accuracy is about the same on or off. My 20 doesn't lock up under heavy tree cover with the glonass turned off. On my unit, geocaching under heavy cover is much improved with the glonass off. So, I just leave it off all the time now.

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And as I've posted elsewhere I run 2.50 with GLONASS on but WAAS/EGNOS off and it's putting me (literally) right on top of caches, and that includes a few yesterday in woodland. I'm well impressed with the way it performs :):)

 

Hmmmm ? Never tried that config... My brain pointed straight to the new tech as the issue. I will try it. Thanks

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Well, it is probably a bug in the way GLONASS is handled in your device.

I can't see how getting MORE satellites available overall could give a worse result.

 

It's not a lack of usable Sats... My first thought was lack of Sats until I opened up to see many strong sat connections. The device has the goods to work with... Just can't keep them all straight it seems. I'm quite sure it's just fresh software to blame. ( and that's a good thing )

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And as I've posted elsewhere I run 2.50 with GLONASS on but WAAS/EGNOS off and it's putting me (literally) right on top of caches, and that includes a few yesterday in woodland. I'm well impressed with the way it performs :):)

 

This is what I was expecting. And, if you enable WAAS/EGNOS, it get worse?

Thank you so much.

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Not sure whether it gets worse but I did some experiments a while back and concluded I wasn't seeing any real world difference with WAAS/EGNOS on. That coupled with known problems on some models of the older Etrex due to WAAS/EGNOS and the impact on battery life (albeit not huge) meant that I could see no sense in having it on :)

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