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Did you own a GPS before SA was turn off?


Guest mcb
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With all the talk about GPS and trees and accuracy in general I got to thinking about GPS use before geocaching while SA was still on. I was wondering how many of the Geocachers out there were using a GPS back when the goverment was still scrambling the timing signals from the satellites?

 

I remember a trip from OH into PA where my good old II+ manage to get 12 satellites with really good geometery and I had an EPE of 38 feet I was floored. I had never seen accuracy like that. Most of the time I was in the 60-70 foot range. Now with SA off I routinly have and EPE of 20-25 feet. With WAAS I get EPE of 5-9 feet on many occasions.

 

So where you a PRE or POST SA GPS user?

 

mcb

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Guest AngstMonger

That'd be a "pre" for me... I used a Trimble ScoutMaster for elk hunting in the Northwest (still have it) and it has a feature that I think is called "Accu-lok" or something like that. Anyway, it's basically a configurable averaging program. You set the number of points you want it to read and average, and depending on the number you enter, you get an increasingly accurate fix. I could get apparent accuracy of 8 to 12 meters in some cases. BTW, it also has an index of all the topos in the US and can tell you which topo you're on and plot your approximate position on that map within a few meters. It was a pretty cool receiver at the time, but pretty archaic now -- although the topo-position-plotting tool can be handy if you're in rugged country and want to plot a path-of-least-resistance over a very large distance...

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Guest Team JackQuest

PreSA for me too.

 

I remember taking a canoe trip a few days after SA was turned off and then downloading the waypoints and they were smack dab in the river the whole route.

 

------------------

TEAM JackQuest (8H/11F)

Jack & Cyber

www.jackquest.com

Base Camp N 40° 20.268' W 75° 37.969' (WGS84)

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Guest makaio

pre by about 5 years. We did/do lots of OHV trail mapping for the Oregon Dept of Forestry. Once SA was disabled, we retraced the trails and were pleasantly surprised at how much more accurate the track logs were.

 

Most of us who were pre also probably remember August 21/22 1999 when the week number rollover ocurred (the Y2K of GPSRs).

 

http://vancouver-webpages.com/sailBC/GPS-WNRO.html

 

Most upgraded the software to handle it. Did anyone not upgrade and have problems after 8/22/99?

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Guest Cape Cod Cache

Pre... I have a GPS48 from 98, didn't upgrade till this year. My GPS128 was a pain to upgrade, (take off boat, bring home, drag car battery inside icon_biggrin.gif )

I used to work for a 'discount marine store', I used to use a light pole in the parking lot as my display area (could see at night, didn't worry about cars and was a good reference point). I never really noticed a major SA problem, never got lost in the fog, track-back was fine, and never 'found' any rocks...

But my front step doesn't move any more in post-SA

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Guest Cape Cod Cache

Pre... I have a GPS48 from 98, didn't upgrade till this year. My GPS128 was a pain to upgrade, (take off boat, bring home, drag car battery inside icon_biggrin.gif )

I used to work for a 'discount marine store', I used to use a light pole in the parking lot as my display area (could see at night, didn't worry about cars and was a good reference point). I never really noticed a major SA problem, never got lost in the fog, track-back was fine, and never 'found' any rocks...

But my front step doesn't move any more in post-SA

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Guest Cach-U-Nuts

Had one 2 years before. We went sailing with my younger brother in the islands around Tahiti. He taught us how to navigate with a Magelland 300 so we went right out and bought one. From a sailing standpoint, if you can get within 100 meters of a waypoint then you can spot the channel markers to get you the rest of the way in.

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Very PreSA, I really feel old. Have a Garmin 55AV that I've used for over 11 years sailing, plotting routes in cars, and for aviation activites (created 2 major flight areas for helicopter training in TX).

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Guest Sluggo

Pre SA for Sluggo

 

I used some sort of Trimble handheld Differential unit in 93 when I worked for Westinghouse Hanford. (Yes, If I told you what we used it for, I would have to kill you.) I do know that the WA State Bureau of Rad Health guys were amazed that we always found it before they did.

 

I bought the only unit I have ever owned GPS III Pilot for flying in 97. It has made me a lazy navigator.

 

Also, the night we bombed (Fill in the blank, I really don't remember) in Dec/Jan of 99 I was driving to work at about 04:00 near St Joseph, MI and my normally very reliable GPS told me I was in the middle of Lake Michigan. the EPE still said 32 feet. I guess that was Mega-SA,

 

- - Sluggo

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Guest GeoForse

Pre- by several years. I remember using my mag 315 attached to a laptop and navigating the streets of LA. The "blob" that was shown on the screen covered several blocks, as I recall, but it worked great for navigation. Of course, someone else was doing the actual driving... icon_wink.gif

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Guest GeoForse

Pre- by several years. I remember using my mag 315 attached to a laptop and navigating the streets of LA. The "blob" that was shown on the screen covered several blocks, as I recall, but it worked great for navigation. Of course, someone else was doing the actual driving... icon_wink.gif

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Guest Havasu Desert Rat

Pre, 1994 to be exact. First unit was an old steam powered Magellan about half the size of a cache container. Took 10 minutes at best to get a lock, and a poor one at that. Graduated to Magellan 2000, Garmin 450XL, and now my current Garmin 12 which I really like. One of these days Garmin will come up with a unit that has all the features I want in one unit and I will upgrade one more time.

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Guest Moun10Bike

Pre for me. I got my first receiver -- a Garmin GPS 40 -- for Christmas of 1995. I've been hooked ever since!

 

Like Bob Bowter mentions, having used GPS extensively prior to the end of SA had made me much more patient with problems of multipathing and poor reception.

 

------------------

Jon (Moun10Bike)

27H/77F/3C/2S/2X

N 47° 36.649', W 122° 3.616'

www.switchbacks.com/geocaching.html

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Guest Gliderguy

Pre for me too. Had an Eagle Accunav as my first unit. It would eat 6 AA batteries in about as many hours!

 

As my name implies, I used it for keeping tabs on the home field when flying a sailplane. it was SO reassuring to know the exact mileage and be able to rough out a wind strength.

 

I finally did a few cross-country flights with it, to date my longest was 76 miles.

(the real pros can do over 1000 mile days in ideal conditions, and 200-300 mile days consistently)

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Guest thepuck

PRE-SA for me. Purchased an Eagle AccuNav Sport back in May '94. It stopped working but found the problem was a loose connection... works like new again.... even eats the batteries icon_frown.gif as fast as it use to!

 

Using a Mag 315 and eMap currently.

 

LEP

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Guest thepuck

PRE-SA for me. Purchased an Eagle AccuNav Sport back in May '94. It stopped working but found the problem was a loose connection... works like new again.... even eats the batteries icon_frown.gif as fast as it use to!

 

Using a Mag 315 and eMap currently.

 

LEP

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Wow! I'm amazed how many Pre SA responses there has been. I was expecting there to be more post SA responses. This may be due to the way I worded the subject line. Maybe the subject should have been "Did you use a GPS before learning about Geocaching?". I'm afraid most of the Post SA users don't know what SA was and probably are not interested enought to read the thread. None the less I am happy to see this many pre SA users that are up for try Geocaching.

 

Later

mcb

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Guest slick8086

I used a GPS in the early 90's, but I was in the military, so the SA thing didn't really matter. I used the MGRS of course and I usually got reasonable accuracy. I used it mostly in military training areas and roads tend to migrate and move so maps were seldom very accurate. If some one passed me coordinates that they collected with a GPS then I could find the same spot within one meter. This was with a semi handheld unit called a slugger. I think it was really SLGR or something but I can't remember now. The thing really stood up to abuse though. No maps or graphics of any kind, just two lines of text. My Garmin III+ puts it to shame in the user-friendlyness, but I'm going to have to get a better antena for it.

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Pre pre... remember Loran C? :^) Forget chartplotters and pointy arrows - "steer to the numbers". Still have an old Garmin II and like was said before, SA added a "skill factor"!

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Guest WaylandersMA

quote:
Originally posted by mcb:

Wow! I'm amazed how many Pre SA responses there has been. I was expecting there to be more post SA responses.


 

I'm a two GPSR post SA.

 

The reason why there are so many pre SA stories is these old farts like to tell "back in the old days" stories. icon_smile.gif

 

I do remember (back in the good old days) going on a long-line swordfishing boat (at the dock) and being shown Loran C. I couldn't see having to do math while being tossed around.... icon_frown.gif)

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Guest WaylandersMA

quote:
Originally posted by mcb:

Wow! I'm amazed how many Pre SA responses there has been. I was expecting there to be more post SA responses.


 

I'm a two GPSR post SA.

 

The reason why there are so many pre SA stories is these old farts like to tell "back in the old days" stories. icon_smile.gif

 

I do remember (back in the good old days) going on a long-line swordfishing boat (at the dock) and being shown Loran C. I couldn't see having to do math while being tossed around.... icon_frown.gif)

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Guest Hounddog

Your question about Pre SA GPSing raises a point I've been thinking about for quit some time.

I had (and still own) a Magellan 300 for about 2 years before SA turn off. During this time I just had great fun basically just playing with it. I took it on planes, trains and automobiles and had a lot of fun, (you haven't had fun with your GPS until you have taken with you on an airline flight) but I always hoped for the day it would become more accurate, and it finally arrived. When Geocahcing was born I continued to use the same unit with it's new found accuracy and it has never let me down in both finding and stashing caches.

Now to my point. I wonder if the sport of Geochaching could survive if the American military decided to switch SA back on. If so what modifications could we do to keep the game going. Is it possible it could continue at all or would the whole thing just die, maybe go dormant until the next time it was switched on again.

 

Interesting thought and hopefully a problem we won't have to encounter.

 

Hounddog

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ated in places like the coasts and where major navigation needs existed. Try running a barge train down the muddy Mississippi in the fog without an accurate bearing and you'll quickly realize that "close enough for SA work" won't cut it. :^)

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Guest hgmonaro

I used my GPS while fishing pre SA and never really understood why the manual mentioned how inaccurate it should be, cause it always seemed to get us very close to our intended spots. The front door at home always was within a few meters whenever I checked it (maybe is was consistantly inaccurate!).

 

Whilst fishing it came in handy one day when a fog rolled in and visibilty was down to a hundred meters or so. We were several miles from the ramp. We knew roughly what direction the ramp was (we were in a bay, but one big enough that we wouldn't have wanted to head off in the wrong direction) but having that little pointer show us the way was a real relief!

 

I guess if SA was turned back on, more clues would be needed to locate cache's (take 30 paces due East, look South and there's a big tree...)

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Not only PRE, but I was using a GPS back when SA was off 10 years ago in order to support the Gulf War effort. Mmany many troops were carrying civilian "off the shelf" GPS units since the military units (PLGGRS I think) were not in production long enough to provide sufficient number of units needed for combat.

 

I was using then a "ProNav 100", which was bought out by Garmin becomming the "Garmin 100" which had no database, no maps, 100 waypoints. The line was later expanded with the Garmin 100 AVD/MRN (aviation/marine units).

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Heh - I used one back in '98 - but given the fact that I was on a small inflatable boat at sea level, and it was constantly telling me I was 100m above (or below) sea level - I really couldn't get enthused enough to buy one - until March this year when I decided I wanted a new toy to play with and I remembered reading about SA being switched off and that a new pastime had sprung up around it..... some new-fangled thing called Geocaching or something like that icon_wink.gif

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Heh - I used one back in '98 - but given the fact that I was on a small inflatable boat at sea level, and it was constantly telling me I was 100m above (or below) sea level - I really couldn't get enthused enough to buy one - until March this year when I decided I wanted a new toy to play with and I remembered reading about SA being switched off and that a new pastime had sprung up around it..... some new-fangled thing called Geocaching or something like that icon_wink.gif

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I owned and used a GPS during the SA years. Found it really useful once. Most of the time it was just extra weight. Couldn't retrace your steps. You would be 100 to 200 feet away. Kind of hard to do when you're in woods with lots of undergrowth.

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