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RobertFF

Compass mode all over the place

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My son and I both got the app on our iphones and gave it a go the other day. Had a blast and found 3 out of 5. We had a lot of difficulty zeroing in on finds. Compass mode seemed very inaccurate. It would point 10' west then I'd take 2 steps in that direction and it would change to 24' in another direction I get that there is a lag time for info to update and we tried standing still and waiting too. Also both our iphones were constantly pointing in different directions at the same time. Is this normal? Is there a way to get more accurate readings? Does it depend on devise or cell carrier?

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2 hours ago, RobertFF said:

My son and I both got the app on our iphones and gave it a go the other day. Had a blast and found 3 out of 5. We had a lot of difficulty zeroing in on finds. Compass mode seemed very inaccurate. It would point 10' west then I'd take 2 steps in that direction and it would change to 24' in another direction I get that there is a lag time for info to update and we tried standing still and waiting too. Also both our iphones were constantly pointing in different directions at the same time. Is this normal? Is there a way to get more accurate readings? Does it depend on devise or cell carrier?

 

That's normal.  Sometimes you'll get a very steady signal.  Depends on the place, tree cover, mineral deposits.  Once you're about 30 feet from the cache, you're there.  You don't follow it down to "Zero".  You can set the phone down on a stump or something to see if it settles out, or you could step into a clearing and see where it's pointing, that's about it.  Look at the satellite map.  Look at the description and hint.  Read the logs.  Where might a cache this size be placed, based on what you know?

 

If I'm unable to find a tough cache, I still try to get a feel for what the compass is telling me.  It may seem to "point" most often at one place.  That's where I concentrate my search.

 

Good luck!

Edited by kunarion
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Right.

 

I'll just add...

 

Some phones may be more accurate than other phones, but not by much.  Ditto between phones and GPS units.

 

And GPS reception has nothing to do with cell carrier or cell signal.

 

In other words, there's no real way to get more accurate readings.  That's as good as it gets, now use intuition and geo-sense to make the find.  :)

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2 hours ago, RobertFF said:

My son and I both got the app on our iphones and gave it a go the other day. Had a blast and found 3 out of 5. We had a lot of difficulty zeroing in on finds. Compass mode seemed very inaccurate. It would point 10' west then I'd take 2 steps in that direction and it would change to 24' in another direction I get that there is a lag time for info to update and we tried standing still and waiting too. Also both our iphones were constantly pointing in different directions at the same time. Is this normal? Is there a way to get more accurate readings? Does it depend on devise or cell carrier?

Definitely normal. I like to get close then start looking. My husband, the numbers guy, will spend 20 minutes walking in circles staring at the GPS watching for it to get closer to 0 feet. We use different phones and our distances don't always match! But they get us close enough.

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18 hours ago, RobertFF said:

My son and I both got the app on our iphones and gave it a go the other day. Had a blast and found 3 out of 5. We had a lot of difficulty zeroing in on finds. Compass mode seemed very inaccurate. It would point 10' west then I'd take 2 steps in that direction and it would change to 24' in another direction I get that there is a lag time for info to update and we tried standing still and waiting too. Also both our iphones were constantly pointing in different directions at the same time. Is this normal? Is there a way to get more accurate readings? Does it depend on devise or cell carrier?

 

Civilian GPS is only accurate to around 10' on a perfect day.  What are the odds the CO and you have perfect days placing/finding ?  :)

I haven't used the app in some time.  Does it have the "+/-" location accuracy shown on it?

Your phone may show it's within 10', but your location accuracy could be +/- off by let's say... 26'.

As Max and 99 say, the husband may walk in circles to get to "0", but location accuracy may be off by 12', where (I'm assuming...) 99 may already be standing.   ;)

 Agree with others, I put the GPSr away and start looking when it starts to drop around 25' or so.

Little difference these days  between modern phones besides bells n whistles.

 

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On 11/18/2018 at 11:31 AM, cerberus1 said:

 

Civilian GPS is only accurate to around 10' on a perfect day.  What are the odds the CO and you have perfect days placing/finding ?  :)

I haven't used the app in some time.  Does it have the "+/-" location accuracy shown on it?

 

 

I just updated my app and now the accuracy is prominently displayed!

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On 11/18/2018 at 9:31 AM, cerberus1 said:

I haven't used the app in some time.  Does it have the "+/-" location accuracy shown on it?

4 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

I just updated my app and now the accuracy is prominently displayed!

 

Yep, as Max and 99 said, the accuracy is shown in the app - as can be seen at the very beginning of the OP in the recent Release Notes thread about navigating with the app.

 

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On 11/17/2018 at 7:27 PM, kunarion said:

 

That's normal.  Sometimes you'll get a very steady signal.  Depends on the place, tree cover, mineral deposits.  Once you're about 30 feet from the cache, you're there.  You don't follow it down to "Zero".  You can set the phone down on a stump or something to see if it settles out, or you could step into a clearing and see where it's pointing, that's about it.  Look at the satellite map.  Look at the description and hint.  Read the logs.  Where might a cache this size be placed, based on what you know?

 

If I'm unable to find a tough cache, I still try to get a feel for what the compass is telling me.  It may seem to "point" most often at one place.  That's where I concentrate my search.

 

Good luck!

Thanks for this. It's good advice. I'll try the tips.

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Two similar threads for this problem so I am posting in the one that has more replies at the moment.  ;-)

I logged on here today due to similar problems wondering if others have been having them too.  I am very familiar with bounce, the accuracy of GPS, how to work around it as outlined above, etc.  However, I have recently noticed a HUGE difference in the amount of bounce while using the app.  We spend winters in the desert where there is no interference from tree cover, etc.  Occasionally there may be some mild bounce due to rock structures, minerals and so on, but not much.  So it has been very frustrating lately to be experiencing massive swings in location when nearing GZ.  I will be closing in when the needle jumps and points in an opposite direction, and not just 10 or 20 feet which is normal, but 80-120 feet.  And when I try heading in that direction and start getting close it will all of a sudden jump and start pointing in an even new position.  This happens over and over and I can tell you as someone who is geocaching for the third winter in this desert location that this is not normal activity and something with either Apple or the app has changed.  Not sure what to do about it, I just wanted to chime in on the problem in case a developer or someone who has a fix sees this.  Thanks. App version 7.3.0, iOS 12.1.2, iPhone 8 Plus.  

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<this is a Copy of a post I made in a similar Thread in case some Cachers have Notifications to this thread enabled>

 

I too started having this problem a while back --- don't remember exactly when --- where my iPhone SE will get me right to GZ but then suddenly send me 25-160 feet away, with the Compass changing directions.

 

This Weekend, when the same thing happened, I opened up my iPhone's Compass App with the Geocache App still running --- I have the "Background App Refresh"  option in the iPhone's Settings set to ON  for both WiFi and Cellular --- which started spinning wildly but soon got its bearing.  When I switch back to the Geocache App its Compass was then working fine.  Has anyone else also found this as a fix?

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4 hours ago, dersucher2016 said:

<this is a Copy of a post I made in a similar Thread in case some Cachers have Notifications to this thread enabled>

 

I too started having this problem a while back --- don't remember exactly when --- where my iPhone SE will get me right to GZ but then suddenly send me 25-160 feet away, with the Compass changing directions.

 

This Weekend, when the same thing happened, I opened up my iPhone's Compass App with the Geocache App still running --- I have the "Background App Refresh"  option in the iPhone's Settings set to ON  for both WiFi and Cellular --- which started spinning wildly but soon got its bearing.  When I switch back to the Geocache App its Compass was then working fine.  Has anyone else also found this as a fix?

 

The OP for this thread is about distances of 10 to 24 feet.  Every device I’ve ever used will at times randomly point to various nearby spots while close to GZ.  And holding the device still or setting it down can then make the reading more stable.  In this case, it’s not an unusual effect, and the app or GPS is doing as well as one may expect.  But if some setting helps, go for it.

 

Edited by kunarion

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Fwiw, a friend suggested that I try Cachly.  We went out this weekend and while geocaching app continued its wild spinning, Cachly led me right to all of the caches we were looking for.  Ymmv. 

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<this is a Copy, as well Jan 28's above, of a Post I made in a similar Thread in case some Cachers have Notifications to this thread enabled>

 

Well I downloaded the latest version of the App, went out Geocaching today:  STILL THE SAME PROBLEM!!!  My workaround is still the same as I posted on Jan 28 above.  An improvement on it is to occasionally switch between the Geocache Navigation/Compass and the iPhone's Compass.

 

Better yet, if you're able to navigate with just the iPhone's Compass, keep the iPhone's Compass App in the Foreground (on top), occasionally checking the Geocache's Navigator/Compass for distance and direction confirmation.  Yes, this is all a royal pain. but less so than having the current Geocache App Bug take you in an up-to- 125' diameter Wild Goose Chase.

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