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gcfishguy

Issues caching with Samsung S5

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I've had a BUNCH of Garmin GPSRs and not I'm looking hard at carrying one device rather than the nice camera, the dedicated GPS, the phone, etc etc..

Over the winter I've been working on getting a system for saving tracks from trail bike rides, etc etc. But, I just went out caching and hit a few snags.

 

SO, the magnetic compass does not seem to play well with Android caching apps. I honestly don't remember what the official app does (which I bought and paid for) but it must have acted similar because I switched to C:Geo out in the field yesterday...

 

I have gone into that secret area with all the sensors and data and my compass calibration is always the blue line with the 3, indicating "All systems go, Cap'n". I have waggled it around anyway, with no change.

 

C:Geo : For example... I go down a dirt toad, the cache is 20' off the road in the woods, 100m away. I'll still be a long ways from the cache and the needle/dial has swung around as though I've already driven past the cache...but it's still 50m down the road. I tap the magnetic+GPS selection to switch it to GPS only and it immediately corrects and points exactly where GZ is. Turn the magnetic portion back on, it swings around behind me again. Yes, I could use it with the magnetic sensor disabled, but I really like it on the GPSr units I've had, and to not have to run back and forth to get it to update when you turn around, etc,....yeah...I want that.

 

GCDroid: I open the compass screen, North is not North. It's around 10 degrees off, consistently. I compared it with my cheapie compasses and then dug out my Sylva Ranger. All the same, the compass is always around 9-10 degrees off. I'm at about 18 degrees west declination (already thought of that.

 

I don't know if the C:Geo issues are related to the 9-10 degree thing I see in GCDroid; I recently got back into caching and spent the day yesterday using my phone as a test to see if I could use it and it only. So yesterday I was out all day with C:Geo and each time I used it, it did something wonky. I was with a fairly new cacher with a brand new Oregon 700 so she was getting used to that and the caches were a series of 25 along a dirt road, so they weren't hard to find and she did all the work as she needed to get some real-time caching experience (had done all the research, but got out there and had no idea what to look for so couldn't find anything...you know, you started there too)...so, having a flummoxed phone wasn't a deal-breaker. And I didn't want to use up data to download a new app.

I tried GCDroid when I got home...I like it, but being 10 degrees off...gahh...

 

Same boat? Suggestion?

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Suggestion?

Do you have a case with a magnetic latch?

 

Here's a calibration tip: https://support.google.com/maps/answer/6145351?hl=en

This is a video that eventually shows the calibration motion:

 

Some people had luck with installing GPS Status & Toolbox, and trying out some of its settings. The old Official App was able to use this App's compass!

 

You seem to have tried this, but for reference, here's how to

, with an adventurous score in case you plan a catburglary. Edited by kunarion

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if you have the phone mounted, the compass will normally be thrown off by a combination of rattling around and or the metal surrounding it (bikes/motorcycles/dash/etc) so it's a good idea to calibrate the compass when removing it from a mount. no special apps are required, just wave it in a figure eight + ellipse a few times.

 

if you're using the compass while moving you will get erroneous inputs from the metal things you pass like gates/derricks/ore. it's better to set the application to use GPS direction as the heading and then switch to compass at slower speeds. good applications do this automatically.

 

the apps you mentioned work well, but i also use locus for recording, plotting, planning, and executing route and track records.

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I use an Otterbox case (well, 2 of them...a Defender and a Commuter) No metal in either of them..

When it swings around and acts like I've driven past the cache, it's not bouncing around or being affected by interference...It's seeing GZ in completely the wrong place. This was on a one-lane road with no large sources of metal. After this would happen, I would stop the car around where the cache was, go-to a different one, then go-to this one again and the pointer would then point pretty much where the cache was.

 

As I started in the original post, I tried calibrating the phone, and also verified in the screen where you see all the raw data from all the sensors, and I have a blue line with a 3...indicating all 3 Axis are calibrated properly.

 

The series of caches we did were essentially just placed along the side of dirt road because there were no caches there already...film cans hanging in evergreens about 10m into the woods. So I'd walk across the road and check the pointer when I got to the ditch, 10m in, pointer pointing at about my 11 o'clock. Cache buddy beside me with her new 600, shows 10m in, pointer at about her 1 o'clock. My C:Geo was always pointing about 15' left of the cache. If I switched off magnetic, then walked away and walked back to the same spot, the pointer was then dead on. So, that tells me that the GPS portion is working top notch. But the magnetic compass is what's causing the issues with the pointer.

Again...the issue with looking like I drove past the cache when it's still 50m ahead, only happens when magnetic is enabled.

The pointer pointing at 11 o'clock when it should be pointing at 1 o'clock, only happens when magnetic is enabled.

 

And yes, I do understand the circle of accuracy, etc etc, and how the GPS won't necessarily walk me right to the cache... I have almost 300 finds, and I get how the direction and distance work as you approach a cache. The issue is that when I have the magnetic compass enabled, the tool is just plain incorrect. As I approach the place I already know the cache is, I can tell the pointer is NOT pointing where it should be when the magnetic compass is enabled.

 

Anyway...maybe it's an S5 thing. It's absolutely perfect if I just use the GPS portion, but I really want to be able to use the magnetic compass and not have to rely on movement to have an accurate pointer. Yeah, kinda spoiled as the the Oregon 450 and the 60CSX before that both had the electronic compass. Picky picky....I know.

It just drives me nuts when something doesn't work right.

Edited by gcfishguy

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Since you're not looking hard at carrying one device, maybe go back to carrying devices specialized for each task. Smartphones are convenient, but they are the jack of all trades... they can do it all, but not well, whereas dedicated tools are built for specific purposes and therefore do them really well. A GPS will always collect tracks and help navigate off road better than a phone will, and a real camera will alway make better images than even the best of phone cameras (owing to larger sensors and larger lenses).

 

I've had compass issues with my S6 when playing Ingress, but when it comes to geocaching, I just haven't been able to get the phone to be useful. So I just use it to access extra cache data such as logs and photos for those especially hard to find caches.

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When it swings around and acts like I've driven past the cache, it's not bouncing around or being affected by interference...It's seeing GZ in completely the wrong place. This was on a one-lane road with no large sources of metal. After this would happen, I would stop the car around where the cache was, go-to a different one, then go-to this one again and the pointer would then point pretty much where the cache was.

 

The mag compass will be basically useless inside the car. What I think may be happening is that Garmins and phones with properly-written interfaces will use GPS-only while moving faster than a predetermined speed. In Garmins, this is around 3MPH. At 3MPH, a Garmin will automatically stop using the mag compass and use GPS-only for determining it's heading. When you are walking slower than 3MPH, it will use the mag compass for your heading. I spoke to the developer of CacheSense app about this and he confirmed that he was doing the same thing. If you're still inside the car and then stop, your compass arrow will jump to a very different heading because your device just switched from GPS heading to a royally screwed up magnetic heading because of being inside the car. I see this all the time with my own devices; a Garmin and my phone. My arrow might be pointing at 10º while driving up but when I stop, it could easily be pointing to 220º. Get out of the car and move away from it, and the arrow swings back to 10º again.

 

Or maybe I'm misunderstanding your exact sequence of events. ;)

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Well, as for carrying multiple devices, yes, I agree that no jack-of-all-trades gadget will do everything as well as the devices designed for that task, but it sure makes for less crap to drag along.

I like to carry the GPS while I'm fly-fishing small rivers, streams, etc. I also like to have the phone to touch base with home. And the odd time I like to grab a pic with a trout before I release it. I got rid of my DSLRs because I got tired of dragging them around.

So, while wading small brooks and bushwhacking all day, you want to travel as light as possible. Having the GPS/phone/camera combo is really attractive.

 

I also sold my ATV and bought a small dual sport bike. I quickly found out that you really learn to bring as little as possible on a motorbike. Again, the phone/GPS/camera combo...

 

I don't expect the phone to be a DSLR. But the reason I have had 5-6 DSLR's and keep getting out of them is because I can't drag them along fly-fishing, exploring trails on the bike, etc. And I don't need the image quality, I just occasionally want to snap a pic to document something, or to text a pic of a nice trout to a friend that decided to not come fishing and stay home and mow his lawn or something.

 

Yes, each time I noticed the 'arrow indicating I'd driven by the cache' thing, I was in the car, idling along the little dirt road. The compass pointer acted as though the cache was around 10m off the side of the road beside me, but it was actually 10m off the side of the road, say, 50m DOWN the road ahead of me. As I drove past the place that the compass pointer was saying was GZ, the pointer swung to 9 o'clock, then to 8, then 7..with the same speed and acceleration as though GZ actually WAS there. I'm sure you've been going down a road watching for a cache and seen the pointer swing beside you, then start pointing back behind you...just like you overshot it... Well...that. But the distance to destination keeps counting down and is reading the correct values.

 

Maybe it's the metal in the car.....I'll give it another try and pay more attention to the results. I mean really..I can see the cache on the map, the distance is reading correctly, so if I know that the pointer is going to be wonked under those conditions, I can use the other info to get pretty close to the cache. I'm just one of those people that wants stuff to work the way *I* want it to work. I also go through the house, correcting the time on any clocks that are off by more than around 30 seconds. Does it matter? ...only to me.

 

And I noticed that CGeo has the option to tap the screen at any time/speed and select either GPS and Magnetic, or GPS only. Did I happen to think to do that while I was seeing the funky overshooting thing happening? No, I did not. Again, I was out with a new cacher and I was mainly letting her practice the navigating, helping her learn what to look for, etc etc...so when my redundant unit went screwy, I didn't dedicate a whole lot of time trying to figure it out. I just put it away and let her practice with her Oregon 700. (Which has now given me GPS-envy and has me wanting a newer unit...dammit)

 

I had been out of caching for a while, but am getting back into it...I think maybe I just assumed that with the advances in smart phones lately, they would be able to step right into a dedicated GPSR's shoes. It's looking like they're still "a workable alternative if you don't have an actual GPS unit"...

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I think maybe I just assumed that with the advances in smart phones lately, they would be able to step right into a dedicated GPSR's shoes. It's looking like they're still "a workable alternative if you don't have an actual GPS unit"...

Yes, a phone can definitely replace a GPS unit. (We have a whole recent thread on the subject.) I've dumped my old Garmin without remorse, the unit of which I've often said, they'd have to pry it out of my cold, dead fingers. How times change.

 

Average phone + killer app = dusty, forgotten Garmin.

 

Of course, as a forum community we'll never agree on this.

Edited by Viajero Perdido

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I dunno, fly fishing + dirt bike, I think I'd rather have the garmin than the phone with me. I know there are rugged waterproof cases, but I'd feel better with the garmin's ruggedness. Besides, the places that I fish, the phone is of no use.

 

If the OP has one of the garmins with a camera, then he's all set.

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Yes, a phone can definitely replace a GPS unit

 

I just called AA and UA and they told me, they are not going to replace their GPS receivers with cellular phones.

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Besides, the places that I fish, the phone is of no use.

Must be your app. The places I hike, all I need is sunlight back at camp to charge the phone for the next day's caching. Cell service entirely optional.

 

And if that ruggedized Blackview phone I ordered months ago EVER arrives, I'll have the ultimate Garmin killer in my hands...

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I dunno, fly fishing + dirt bike, I think I'd rather have the garmin than the phone with me. 1) I know there are rugged waterproof cases, but I'd feel better with the garmin's ruggedness. 2) Besides, the places that I fish, the phone is of no use.

 

If the OP has one of the garmins with a camera, then he's all set.

 

1) technology has matched on at a pretty good clip since the days of protective cases. we don't need cases anymore: :-)

 

2) sweet! i just found someone that didn't know maps easily downloaded in seconds, updated weekly (or sooner!) and free! :-)

just like stand alones, we've had offline maps for quite a long time now. we can even use those old Garmin maps if you want to hang on to the past. :-)

 

you can always turn off the phone portion, and still use the maps/camera/GPS/music/etc , while you're fishing if you like. even shoot underwater video of the catch and release ! :-)

 

i figure if you're already dirt biking to the fishing hole, you're pretty far ahead of the game. :-)

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Well, I thought it was in this thread that someone mentioned Locus Maps Pro...but maybe it was in a different thread. Anyway...I started playing with it a few days ago, my Oregon 450 is now in its original packaging, about to go on Kijiji for sale.

 

I used the free version, used it a day, then THREW my money at the full Pro version. Everything the other apps didn't do right, this one does. Everything I wanted to do but the other apps didn't, this one does. Eats PQs for breakfast, I have 12000 caches, hundreds of waypoints, and hundreds of tracks adding up to thousands of KM....it slows down a little bit when I zoom out far enough that all that junk is being displayed (little slow on the re-draw..haha) but once you zoom into a level that you would actually use, it regains all its speed and works like a charm.

 

Imports data slick, exports data slick.... Grabbed offline maps for my province and the two neighbouring province with the 'Locus Coins' so I have offline maps for 3 provinces. And they didn't require an afternoon of fiddling with little rectangles and file after file... 3 provinces, 3 maps, easy-peasy. For fun I opened Mapsource, selected about 150MB worth of topoCanada tiles, created a mapset, renamed it to whatever I pleased, and dropped the .img into the maps folder. Holy...it works!

 

Sold, 5 times over...

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