Author Topic: Anyone in Nepean or Barrhaven willing to test something with me?  (Read 2594 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

BlackRose67

  • Big Time Cacher
  • *****
  • Posts: 589
Over the last week or so I have visited a fair number of cache sites, and at quite a few of them, the location of the GZ has been quite off from the posted coordinates.

I know caches drift over time, and GPS accuracy in general tends to be variable, but I am wondering if there is something wrong with my GPS.
The device (Garmin eTrex 20) indicates accuracy of 3 metres, and there have been times in the past where it has zeroed out while I was literally standing on the cache or beside it.
I've also had times where I've been standing still, letting the GPS settle, only to have it send me 10 metres in the wrong direction and then correct and send me back where I was (good exercise, not so great when trying to find that elusive 35mm film canister).

I'd like to meet up with someone and compare devices and see if my device is acting up, or whether it's normal.
My device also has GLONASS capability and that doesn't seem to be of much use either.  
Sometimes enabling GLONASS throws it off by another 5 metres.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that the other night when I had found Lost in the Jungle (http://coord.info/GC3R8WB) I noted that the cache was a fair distance from the posted coordinates.  bluelamb03 had also noted it the same that night, and he has a much better GPS unit that I do.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2012, 14:43:49 by BlackRose67 »

CocaColaCacher

  • Sr. Cacher
  • ****
  • Posts: 326
I am in Barrhaven if you want to do a test sometime.  I have an Oregon 450 and an etrex legend.

bluelamb03

  • Administrator
  • Big Time Cacher
  • *****
  • Posts: 1636
  • Good hunting everyone!
I wonder if it's a function of your antenna.

The big antenna on the MAP60 family coupled with the proper chipset means I can get and hold signal in circumstances where Oregon's and your eTrex perhaps don't do as well. I distinctly remember the poor performance of my old eTrex Legend and how elated I was with the 'new' MAP 60's performance. I've heard bitter complaints from Oregon users in poor reception areas....

Blue -
Without shared stories we are strangers.
- Sheila Mendonça


royfran

  • Full Time Cacher
  • ***
  • Posts: 162
Tell me about it... I find myself swearing at my old eTrex more and more when it starts bouncing around under tree cover.  Problem is I don't know of any local dealers that stock the Map6x (I've checked the Canadian Tires, The Source and the like, but is there a place that specializes in handheld GPS?)

marvin_gardens

  • Full Time Cacher
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
Royfran,

Sail has MAP62's and LeBaron carries quite a few GPSs.  The church of walmart may still have them as well.

CocaColaCacher

  • Sr. Cacher
  • ****
  • Posts: 326
I like a GPS with the magnetic compass, it makes geocaching easier.  With my etrex, the arrow only worked when you are moving so it made it tricky at the GZ to narrow down where to look.  With the magnetic compass you can stand and turn with the arrow pointing where you need to go.

BlackRose67

  • Big Time Cacher
  • *****
  • Posts: 589
CocaColaCacher, I'll send you a PM to see when would be a good time to meet up somewhere (Cresty Family perhaps?).  I'm just over on Longfields.

bluelamb, it could very well be related to the antenna, since it is a small unit and everything is internal.
The updated eTrex models are using a new chipset (Teseo II); one that supports GLONASS - I'm not sure what else is different about it. 

For a while, the firmware seemed more like a public beta than a finished product, but the last update issued seems to have resolved a lot of the issues (and spawned updates to other models for the same issue).

The updated eTrex models still exhibit the pointer problem of the original line; the compass pointer only works when you are moving, and it seems to do a 180 degree turn when you stop.  The eTrex 30 has a 3-axis compass, the 10 and 20 do not. 

A small consolation; the small arrow on the map points in the direction you are pointing the GPS, with a line towards the cache, even when stopped.
A lot of times I forget to look at the smaller arrow and look at the larger compass pointer and the distance reading on the geocaching dashboard.

My frustration looking for the caches "Smoky Horntail" and "GAG16 - Candy is waiting for you" is what led to me posting this.

I just checked the logs and someone found "GAG16 - Candy" today and also reported the cache is about 6 metres off from the posted coordinates, so that is promising.

I don't think the GPS has taken any hard knocks. I'm not sure if that would cause an issue if it did.

BlackRose67

  • Big Time Cacher
  • *****
  • Posts: 589
Royfran,

Sail has MAP62's and LeBaron carries quite a few GPSs.  The church of walmart may still have them as well.
MEC also carries the MAP62 ($295). 

CocaColaCacher

  • Sr. Cacher
  • ****
  • Posts: 326
CocaColaCacher, I'll send you a PM to see when would be a good time to meet up somewhere (Cresty Family perhaps?).  I'm just over on Longfields.

I'm sure we can meet at my Cresty cache this week, it is only a couple of blocks from my place and the kids have wanted to go check it anyways.  It is hard to commit to a time until Wednesday as I have the work pager until then and has been beeping with some sort of regularity.

Anyways, you need to take in to account that the cache you are looking for likely won't be where your GPS zeros out.  If it is an older cache, such as Smoky Horntail, that the GPS's "back in the old days  ;) " weren't as accurate so using your new +/-3m GPS looking for a cache that was placed with a +/-10m GPS (or worse, a smart phone) doesn't really help much.  Even with new caches, when you take in to account the +/-3m best case senario still can leave you with +/-6m easily between two GPS's.

I found at first when I was caching that I had my eyes glued to the GPS and followed it blindly to the point where one day I actually had my head hit a cache hanging in a tree as I walked past looking at my GPS.  (that 'knocked' some sense in to me  ;D), did this for the first 100ish caches and a few time since  ::).  The next phase I went through was the "now that I know all where caches are hidden" phase where I would get to the GZ and blindly walk directly to the spot where I would hide it and again walk right past the cache hanging on a tree, did this for the next couple hundred caches.  Now I use the 10m circle where I don't rely too much on the GPS within 10m and don't automatically sprint to the closest hide.  I like to walk in slowly looking at all the options and vector in from a few different directions if I am having trouble with signal bounce.  I also found caching with some more experienced cachers helped as well.  A few geomob outings would be quite educational (and they are fun as well ;D).
« Last Edit: July 30, 2012, 07:54:52 by CocaColaCacher »

BlackRose67

  • Big Time Cacher
  • *****
  • Posts: 589
I had broken myself of the habit of having my eyes glued to the GPS, only to start doing it again recently.
I had to do that when I was using my smartphone last year to find caches....talk about lack of accuracy!!!!

I only have just over 200 finds so far, all solo finds, and still have lots to learn, but that's the fun of it. 
One of these days I'll figure out how to get out with the geomob.

I never even noticed the date of when Smoky Horntail was published...wow that's been around a long time.
I'll have to revisit that one again soon, while things are still dried out.

kirok

  • Administrator
  • Big Time Cacher
  • *****
  • Posts: 690
  • "To boldly find what no cacher has logged before!"
    • Binthair Challenge
Re: Anyone in Nepean or Barrhaven willing to test something with me?
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2012, 20:17:30 »
Not to be seen as bashing the 62s (again), but my experience has show me that despite it having an antenna that LOOKS like the one on the 60CSx, it most certainly WORKS like the antennas in the Oregon series.  In a recent trip to Toronto, my 62 was giving me such poor performance that I could not find a single cache in the downtown core.  One cache had me at 50 meters off, while I was standing at GZ with the nano in my hand, and my trusty 60CSx (which I also carry as a spare for just such occasions) had me at 3 meters with 5 meters accuracy.   Most recently, last week in fact, we spent 4 days in new york city.  After walking out into Times Square and having my 62 tell me I was a block away, I returned to the room and swapped out to my 60CSx and used it the entire time.   The only time the 62 came into play was to read cache descriptions and hints, as I did not have them pre-loaded into my iPhone.  Now, in Cape Cod this week, that was better.  The 62 had no issues navigating the clear skies and open roads.  No killer sky scrappers to get in the way of the sats.