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Loren :)

Do I need to upgrade my GPS unit?

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I have an old magellan meridian marine gps unit. I am wondering if it is just as accurate as the newest GPS units?

I don't want to do anything fancy. I just want to know about its accuracy as compared to the new units.

Loren

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Newer GPSrs may determine their position faster and update changes in position faster than older models, and then you get less of the "drunken bee dance" where it points one way and then when you get there it points the other way.  The firmware provided by the company for the device also may improve the situation.  For Geocaching purposes, if a GPSr can lead you to a particular point in a reasonably consistent way, you're good to go.  To try this, set a waypoint outdoors somewhere.  Check it in various conditions and times.  This way you get an idea about what the GPSr is telling you.  You've found some caches, so you should already have a feel for its "accuracy".

Here's a Forum post, with some discussion of firmware updates:

In case you wish to wade into the tall grass on accuracy testing, here's a page about it: http://gpsinformation.net/mgoldreview/map-gold.html

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Nothing has really improved as for as speed and accuracy in the last decade.  A Meridian is as good as anything out there.

There only "real" change that has happened is the addition of the Glonass system.  This has not improved accuracy, but under some conditions can improve lock in situations where few GPS satellites are visible.

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Thanks for all the great information. This is exactly what I was looking for. As long as I am out in the open with plenty of satellites locked on and in no hurry I am good to go.

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Remember, the "drunken bee dance" is a problem for geocachers - that was created for marine use, which seems to be Loren's case. The famed Magellan "overshoot" was compensation for moving inertia. A boat has more inertia and less nimbility than a human walking in the woods.  In terms of accuracy and sensitivity, most marine models are on external antennas with a clear view of the sky and distances of dozens of meters tend to matter little. While the new units DO have better sensitivity and the increased mobile constellation can lead to better precision, upgraded maps/marine charts would be the better reason to upgrade from an "old" unit...duly recognizing that shore lines and marine hazards change relatively slowly, while fuel and food options do.

Magellan has all but abandoned GPS completely and their marine chartplotters in particular have been dead for a long time. If you're happy with what you have, you're going to have to look away from Magellan anyway. 

Good luck and enjoy yours while it lasts.

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I agree with Red90. I have old meriplats and a color one. They work well, just be patient with the overshoot. Just stop about a hundred yards away from ground zero and let it settle down then continue your course and you will be there...

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On 11/21/2017 at 7:15 PM, Team Lucky said:

I agree with Red90. I have old meriplats and a color one. They work well, just be patient with the overshoot. Just stop about a hundred yards away from ground zero and let it settle down then continue your course and you will be there...

Correct.

I became a Meridian " junkie " and have multiples of each model including the blue cased unit mentioned. Only the Platinum model had the three axis compass ( one of the first to have one ). I would recommend upgrading to the latest firmware after which all Meridians behave pretty much the same. These units have the best cases of any I have seen and about 14,000,000 caches can be loaded as waypoints in files of 500 or less. While caching around the country I would find locations where the Meridian would not work ( I would try several ) but an Oregon 450 or 60 CSx would do fine. I never found out what caused it....maybe a jammer that only the Meridian was susceptible to. Because of this, paperless caching, and other features I moved on to the Garmin 62S and 64S but because the cases fall apart on these ( I think salty sweaty hands as my wife's does O.K. ) I am now using a Garmin 78S...its actually a marine unit but has a great case without the rubbery shroud of the 62-64.....it has a more ergonomic button arrangement then the 60 series and has paperless caching, 3 axis compass, etc......if you ever make a change I highly recommend it.

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