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Weather & Accuracy


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Have you ever noticed that coordinates always seem to be more accurate on days when the weather is a light drizzly rain?

No. Some folks would claim just the opposite. Or that their GPS works better/worse when the wind is blowing. Some people claim when the tree leaves are wet, reception is worse. There may be some truth to that, but I haven't really noticed it, myself.


Usually what it comes down to is how the sats happen to be positioned at any particular time. They're always moving around, and sometimes you get a better triangulation geometry, and sometimes worse. Weather is less of a factor. I think atmospheric ionization probably plays a bigger role than weather.



Edited by nincehelser
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Big wet trees can cause issues with multipath but it takes some analysis to prove it and no handheld can really do that.


Space weather is much more imposing and variable but the earth weather really isn't an issue.


GPS is a very dynamic system and conditions change from day to day, moment to moment, location to location etc etc. Many of these things are taken into account with regards accuracy spec but many things are also beyond the control of the system custodians and must be managed by the user.


Cheers, Kerry.

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For me, I have noticed satellite geometry has more of an influence on gps accuracy. Below is a graph for a 24 hr. period that shows pdop values near my house. Obviously, if you were caching around 1:00 pm, you might have a more difficult time zeroing in on the cache location. Of course, placing a cache at that time may be the reason a few days later the first finder notes his coords were off from what you posted.



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So, I go out today to verify all the stages of a newly placed (not approved yet) multi-cache, and my GPSr is doing this kabuki dance all over the freaking place. I knew I had issues when I got to the parking area, and the needle (while walking, not stationary) was pointing 180 degrees from the first stage at .13 away! As I walked toward the cache, the distance went up, then all of a sudden blew down to about right, but the needle was still bouncing all over the place (about 200 feet away).


In fact, the crazy little Garmin did not settle down after an hour.


Anyone else getting some freaking GPSr behavior today?

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Wednesday, about 4:15 PST, My GPSr was acting strange. Upon turning it on, it thought it was 300 miles away. I haven't been more than 90 miles away in the past year. When it would get a sat lock, it would shut off. I tried changing the batteries. No difference. About an hour later, it worked fine. It cost me a FTF!

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