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Sgt_Strider

Is the Garmin eTrex 30 the most accurate GPS? Also questions about the unit.

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Please do not publish the info, yes he's from ST.

 

Well, I won't use the precise quotation.

 

Is this formulation ok?

I got info that the sticky problem is caused by some kind of software filter (aka static navigation, see explained e.g. here), which is trying to prevent so called "position wandering" (as can be seen on e.g. GPSMap 60CSx).

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Today, 10 or so power cycles over the course of an hour -- typical start & stop, lots of lurching about, searching in a 40' radius...

 

If I ever need it to figure out how to walk home from a bar at 2AM, I'm calling Garmin for a ride.

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Today I did some caching with my new eTrex 30. It seemed highly accurate on some caches. It was downright awful on another. In fact it was over 300 feet off. I could tell I was walking too far and the distance to the cache just was not changing, so I pulled out my iPhone 4s and it walked me right to the cache. I think GLONASS had something to do with it, I turned it off (GLONASS) on the eTrex and sure enough it settled in. The area I was caching in had some decent tree cover, although almost all the leaves are down. It was also very rocky.

 

I was highly surprised by this. This may have been a fluke, but I will be testing the unit out more.

 

I found the same thing on my 20. I'm leaving glonass off now... And having a much better experience.

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Strange, I have GLONASS on and my 20 is very accurate, took me almost on to top of all the caches I did today :)

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Hi, after some tests I've found out that this sticky problem seems to be dependent on type of batteries used in GPSr, see the discussion here:

http://garmingpsmap.wikispaces.com/message/view/home/43408702

 

Did anybody noticed something similar or could someone who is annoyed with this sticky issue on his/her GPSr try to test it with different sets of batteries?

 

Thanks, Zdenek

I have noticed some sticky behaviour with my Dakota 20 and white Eneloops. I have two theories:

1) it sticks only after it has announced that you have reached your destination, about 50 feet before GZ

2) when the Eneloops are fully charged, there seems to be no problems. Only when 2 or 3 out of 5 bars are showing the Dakota misbehaves.

 

Dakota (20) doesn't see Glonass satellites (I believe). And due to my location in far north (60+ degrees), I have disabled WAAS/EGNOS.

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Hm. Will try with GLONAS off next time.

 

As for sticking as you approach GZ, that's when I tend to slow down. Mine (Etrex 20) seems to go 'sticky' when moving slow as mentioned above. Seems to fit. I don't think it's the actual location, but the velocity over ground that matters.

 

I've seen the battery comments elsewhere... I've tried NiMH, NiCd, Alkaline, all in different states of charge, as well as an external battery pack plugged into the USB port -- and seem to get the 'sticky' problem regardless of the power source.

 

I have noticed recently that it's particularly bad at one cache in a small valley... Multipath perhaps?

 

C'mon, Garmin. Get this straightened out.

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Hm. Will try with GLONAS off next time.

 

As for sticking as you approach GZ, that's when I tend to slow down. Mine (Etrex 20) seems to go 'sticky' when moving slow as mentioned above. Seems to fit. I don't think it's the actual location, but the velocity over ground that matters.

 

I've seen the battery comments elsewhere... I've tried NiMH, NiCd, Alkaline, all in different states of charge, as well as an external battery pack plugged into the USB port -- and seem to get the 'sticky' problem regardless of the power source.

 

I have noticed recently that it's particularly bad at one cache in a small valley... Multipath perhaps?

 

C'mon, Garmin. Get this straightened out.

 

I guess that sounds right. Just as I'm slowing down a bit and really focusing. Then it locks at a distance away (60, 70ft). And stays locked until I walk well past the cache and it will flip and say its 100 ft behind me. Try gps and waas on, glonass off. See if it clears up. Mine is quite well behaved this way.

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Strange, I have GLONASS on and my 20 is very accurate, took me almost on to top of all the caches I did today :)

 

No problems in the woods? If not, what software version are you running?

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I'm an embedded device (of which the eTrex is) hardware engineer and I can safely say the whole white/black enerloop issue is pure coincidence/myth. All digital devices such as a GPS use regulated power supplies and are not prone to any battery issues until the batteries are so low the device will no longer operate properly. The current consumption in a device with 20+ hour battery life, like the eTrex, is really low and doesn't come close to taxing the batteries in any way so long as they're not on their last breath.

 

Likewise the theories discussed here about different battery types effecting the GPS receiver are also not based on fact and are pure layman's conjecture. From the perspective of GPS radio signals, a battery is a battery. All these theories seem nothing more than a few anecdotal uncontrolled experiences in the field blown way out of proportion. It's like saying my GPS screws up on a full moon and failing to realize it was raining that day and my GPS isn't waterproof. The problems had nothing to do with the full moon.

 

More significant is the "sticking" issue appears to be a yet another Garmin firmware problem. And the problem has been well documented, for too long now, in enough different products, there's really little excuse for it. Garmin needs to get their act together or someone else is going to steal their once loyal customer base.

 

Garmin is rather well known for firmware problems and it seems to be getting worse. The fact is older Garmin devices often work far better than newer ones. With every passing year, my experience with more than half dozen different Garmin hiking and auto GPS units is each one is worse than the previous one in terms of bugs and firmware stability. I've talked to a few Garmin employees at a trade show and have been told "people are not happy" within Garmin. Apparently there have been staff and budget cuts and fewer people are being asked to do more work. If that's true, it's no big surprise the quality of the firmware, and perhaps even hardware, has suffered.

 

I've tried a couple newer models, but I'll be keeping my Vista HCX until Garmin can demonstrate they have something that's both genuinely better and at least as bug free. That might be a long time, and possibly never, given their current trend.

Edited by gpsgeekoid

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The fact is older Garmin devices often work far better than newer ones.

 

Yup. My blue Legend works when the Etrex 20 freezes.

 

But I -do- have fun watching people argue that the batteries affect the GPS. :)

 

I sent yet another email to Garmin... Still no reply. I'm starting to think they don't like me.

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