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zebadee86

Garmin Etrex 10 accuracy

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Hi

 

I recently purchased a Garmin Etrex 10.

 

Surprisingly the mobile app has proved more accurate every by 30ft or so for every cache I Have visited so far.

 

Are there some settings I'm missing out or something I can do to change this?

 

Thanks

 

Dave

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My new ETrex is on the mark. In setup, system, make sure WAAS is enabled. In setup, position format, you should show WGS 84.

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Three meters is about the limit of consumer GPS under ideal circumstances. If the cache was placed with ideal circumstances (clear view of the sky, good equipment, coordinates averaged over time, the user didn't mistype the coordinates when placing it on the site, etc.) and you're searching with ideal circumstances, even then 30 feet isn't totally unexpected. If you have, like, trees or you're in an urban canyon, or a real canyon, or a third of the sky is obscured by a mountain, or the person took coordinates with their phone while standing over it and averaged them for four seconds, or whatever, 30 feet is quite reasonable.

 

I once heard someone say "The GPS kept sending me ten feet this way and twelve feet that way and it was difficult because I kept tripping over this hollow stump..." At some point, you put the equipment down (I often hang mine in a tree...) and just start looking.

 

Welcome to geocaching and good luck!

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I love my simple little Etrex 10! It's been pretty much right on for me. The moderator gave you some great tips. I would only add two things. First, make sure you have the latest software installed. You can do this by downloading the program "garmin express," hook up your GPSr and check if there are any updates. Second, the GPSr will only give you a good direction to go when you are actually moving. Direction won't be accurate when you are standing still because you don't have a magnetic compass in the Etrex 10. Since compass direction is only accurate while you are moving, you need to do what's called a "drunken bee dance," moving back and forth across your ground zero point. So try out these tips and I'll bet you can reduce that accuracy number down to 10 feet or better at times!

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On the "you have to be moving" compass thing, it's true that this model doesn't have one, but you can work around that. Get a flat map compass (easily under $10USD) so you always know where north is. Now spin your GPS "N" to match the direction the compass is pointing. Now your arrow points you to where it thinks the destination coordinates are. You have to hold it parallel to the ground for this to work well.

 

I did this for years with a cheapo Suunto before integrated 3D compasses were common. Kept it clipped to the case holding it and it wasn't THAT much of a hassle because I'd sight the direction to leave the car while still moving. Only during the last few dozen feet when the going got slow would I care. Usually knowing "30 feet that way" was enough that I'd walk and start looking and then unclip the compass for this after coming up empty to narrow down the search a little.

 

I can't say I _miss_ those days, but I found a few thousand with that basic technique....

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