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WAAS Availability for Atlanta,GA???


birdwing98

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Hi There,

 

Just purchased my first GPS, a Garmin eTrex Venture. Bought it as a demo unit. I have 30 days no risk evaluation period, so I'm trying to learn everything about it quickly.

 

My question is this: Should I be able to pick up the WAAS satelites in Atlanta,GA??? I have WAAS enabled, but the display never shows that unit is receiving differential signals. The best I have seen is about 17 foot uncertainty. That seems pretty good to me, but I would like to know if there is something wrong with the unit. I believe the claim is that WAAS will yield <3 meter uncertainty, so I am hoping for 10 foot reading.

 

I found a site: http://www.raytheon.com/products/waas/

 

that has a link to "current WAAS operational status," but the link is broken.

 

I believe I am looking for a satellite numbered higher than 33, but I have never seen one higher than 30.

 

Any ideas?

 

Thanks,

James

 

Raytheon WAAS

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James,

 

Have you tried leaving WAAS enabled and letting the GPSr sit for several minutes? If you are enabling WAAS and looking for better accuracy immediately, you won't get it. The GPSr must search for the WAAS satellite and then once it finds it, it takes several minutes before it starts correcting your accuracy. After several minutes, you should see satellite 35 displayed on the satellite page. It must show that it is receiving a signal for several minutes before WAAS will work.

 

Hope this helps,

 

KYtrex

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

A "Buckeye" is just a "Hillbilly" that ran out of money on the way to Michigan jpshakehead.gif

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Georgie is well within the range of the atlantic WAAS satellite ( #35 I think ). As mentioned, locking onto the differential information from the satellite can take several minutes. Try going somehwere with a nice clear view of the sky, especially towards the east where the WAAS bird is, and let it synch for 10 - 30 minutes. Eventually it should find the signal and receive diffferental info for all the other satellites you're seeing.

 

Don't expect a huge improvement in accuracy though. Most people that have compared WAAS to non-WAAS location have observed only minor differences.

 

I'm not lost!

I just don't know where I am.

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I have a Garmin GPS76 and it usually locks on the WAAS satellite #35, which is to the southeast, maybe 40 degrees or so above the horizon. As long as there are no major obstructions to the southeast it locks on #35 and indicates the use of the differential info with D's in the signal strength bar for each satellite. I read somewhere that there is a differential station (or whatever they call them) near Hampton, GA which is just south of the airport, so WAAS should work well around Atlanta. In an open area, the GPS76 has indicated an accuracy (EPE) as low as 8 feet, but 12 to 20 feet is more common. It seems to be more accurate with the WAAS enabled, especially in open areas. Take your GPS into an open area, get #35 locked, and let the unit download all the info it needs for the WAAS computations. This can take a while.

 

FWIW,

CharlieP

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Your link worked for me . I see something went on 10/28

DATE

 

Historical Report

 

Historical data is displayed for the last 7 days only. A broadcast signal was available except for the times noted below. Outage times reflect both scheduled and unexpected outages. Times shown in violet indicate a temporary outage was due to a GUS switchover.

 

AOR-W (PRN 122)

 

POR (PRN 134)

 

 

START (UTC)

 

STOP (UTC)

 

START (UTC)

 

STOP (UTC)

 

COMMENTS

 

10-28-02

 

18:41

 

19:26

 

18:41

 

19:31

 

 

10-27-02

 

 

 

 

 

No known outages on AOR-W or POR.

 

10-26-02

 

 

 

 

 

No known outages on AOR-W or POR.

 

10-25-02

 

 

 

 

 

No known outages on AOR-W or POR.

 

10-24-02

 

 

 

 

 

No known outages on AOR-W or POR.

 

10-23-02

 

 

 

 

 

No known outages on AOR-W or POR.

 

10-22-02

 

07:20

 

07:20

 

07:20

 

07:20

 

 

10-21-02

 

23:53

 

23:53

 

 

 

No known outages on POR.

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quote:
Originally posted by ~erik~:

I see I'm going to have to change the last digit of the latitude and of the longitude coord I post for future Atlanta area caches to some totally random number just to keep it sporting. hehe

 

~erik~


 

icon_eek.gif Heyy, not fair!!! Though I did fail to mention that it was on a blue bird day, not a cloud in the sky, and was by large pond I was about to fish. Well, the GPS was great for helping me find my way to the other side of the lake, as I don't have a boat, and there was a LOT of brush around the shoreline between me and where I wanted to go. So I just watched the GPS as I drove around the different roads there to put me where I needed to be. So far so good.

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quote:
Originally posted by ~erik~:

I see I'm going to have to change the last digit of the latitude and of the longitude coord I post for future Atlanta area caches to some totally random number just to keep it sporting.


 

[rant on] Erik, I agree with you on this ... it's something I've been threatening to do on my caches. I intend to list the "three decimal place" coordinates atop the cache page for the parking (or offset) area, and then provide only "two decimal place" coordinates for the (main) cache.

 

For those of us who have been active since "earlier days," it's really annoying seeing (some of the) new(er) folk complain about coordinates that are (gasp!) a few feet off. It appears no one told them that searching was part of the game ... or that a higher number of ratings stars means they should plan on expending more time and effort in pursuit of the cache. [rant off]

 

Sorry, back to the topic ... turn WAAS off while hunting for a cache, and on when placing a cache. The WAAS slows down the update time of most units, and the coordinates on the page are only as good as the cache placer's unit or reception at the time of placement. (So WAAS probably won't help you find caches ... but those seeking YOUR cache might thank you for having used it while placing the cache.) icon_smile.gif

 

[This message was edited by BassoonPilot on November 01, 2002 at 10:18 AM.]

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I have stated somewhere that if regular GPS ever get centimeter/inch accuracy, I will place my geocaches this way.

 

1 Hide the cache as I do now.

2 Step away from the cache in a random direction somewhere between 5 and 15 feet.

4 Get the coordinates of that spot.

5 On the cache page state that once you get to the coordinates posted you are within 15 feet of the cache, now look for it.

 

That is because I like the hunt and hope other people would do the same.

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