what is the best gps device?

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RowdyandMe
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what is the best gps device?

Post by RowdyandMe » Jan 05 2014 6:41 pm

I am looking to get a gps hand held device. I know there are a lot out there. So I guess what I really am looking for is the biggest bang for my buck.
any input would be great thanks
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Grasshopper
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Re: what is the best gps device?

Post by Grasshopper » Feb 05 2014 10:43 am

chumley wrote:While it is limited to roads that appear on the "Map" layer of Route Manager
I'm off topic again, but that's ok while kingsnake is out taking notes of what else is not working like his old 60CSx for his new replacement 62s ;)

You know but don't mention that zooming into our Route Mgr- "Satellite" view layer is really the key to finding the not visible roads/old routes not showing on the Route Manager- "Map" option layers.
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")

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Re: what is the best gps device?

Post by The_Eagle » Feb 05 2014 11:52 am

@BobP
You're Killin' me Holmes....
To Klarify fore da Dence wons.
It's a bit tough to use a map, to look for land features, to find your location, when you can't see the land features.
And to point out.... you are not that far behind me whipper snapper......
Back to my Rocker with my Snuggie...
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
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BobP
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Re: what is the best gps device?

Post by BobP » Feb 05 2014 12:04 pm

The Eagle wrote:whipper snapper
Is that old guy language? :)
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Always pronounce Egeszsegedre properly......
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Re: what is the best gps device?

Post by RowdyandMe » Feb 06 2014 9:31 pm

Anybody checking out the Garmin 64?
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Re: what is the best gps device?

Post by KwaiChang » Apr 15 2014 6:07 am

I bit the bullet - a brand spanking new Garmin Oregon 450 now sits on my desk tormenting the crap out of me.....evil evil lil device......It smells my fear!! :scared:

I leave in 2 days for the southern Utah portion of my hikes before I head to the Canyon to dip down to Phantom for a nite - really could they make it is a lil harder to get a stinking bed??? Why no nice easy smeasy web site that allows you to check and see if there are openings???? Off my :SB: now

I have of course some rude crude things done so far with this evil lil toy......getting actual routes and following them is beyond me yet.....but I will take this lil boat anchor with me and see how it performs......data be darned!!
Out of all the things I've lost I miss my mind the most.....

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tibber
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Re: what is the best gps device?

Post by tibber » Feb 13 2015 9:17 am

Here is my conversation with Garmin Support starting with the most recent reply I sent. Surprisingly, I didn't hear anything further. I was wondering for those of you that care to participate, could you list your Garmin GPS product and whether or not it tracks accurate mileage on the screen while you're hiking. And actually this won't matter for day or two day trips (unless you can recharge/change battery for your phone) as we can use our HAZtraks but for those of us that spent our well-earned money for a Garmin product that doesn't work, it's an issue.
ME Jan 12
to Product.Support

Thank you for the continued bad news about the product. The other 450 I returned, like my Etrex, the chip set seemed to have broke (I don't really know about the 450 because the service dept just sent me a refurbished one and didn't say what was wrong with the other). I originally got the new 450 to replace the Etrex rather than getting the Etrex repaired.

As to your discussion regarding the somewhat accurate 450, I find it odd that the product I paid so much for cannot be as accurate as the HAZTraks app I use on my phone. I also used Map my Hike and it showed accurate miles. So I'm not sure I buy your discussion about the lack of accuracy on the 450 due to all of the factors you suggested. If that were so, in my mind, all GPS devices would be off by a certain amount of miles when looking at the screen but that is simply not the case. May I ask, are all of your consumer GPS products inaccurate as to the mileage showing on the screen? Does your competitor have the same problem?

And last I have to wonder, why do I own your product? I can use it to see where I am and use the tracking function but I would always worry about the mileage. If all of your products show inaccurate mileage on their screen, which I find hard to believe, I am surprised you still have a market. Actually, I could take a poll on hikearizona.com to see who gets accurate mileage on their Garmin gps screen vs those that don't; that would be interesting.

I think there is something wrong with your product or at least the 450. I am so disappointed that I wasted my time, money and energy and wonder if I should buy your product again. Do any of them keep accurate mileage on the screen? Or do I have to upgrade to get accurate mileage on the screen?

My brother told me a lot about what you said regarding GPS tracking and even in the end when I said "but my apps keep track of accurate mileage", that gave him pause. He then thot maybe it's a software issue. Anyway, thank you for your advice but I do wish you would share this issue with the powers that be at GPS International. And last, if you were me & wanted a GPS product that showed accurate mileage, would you buy your product and if so, which one?

Angela

On Tue, Jan 6, 2015 at 9:32 AM, <Product.Support@garmin.com> wrote:
Dear ME,

Thank you for contacting Garmin International.

I hope you had a happy holidays as well. I apologize but I may need to give bad news in the new year. I really think the device is working as intended. We have already exchanged it once for the same issue and I believe the device is tacking on extra distance due to both GPS drift while sitting still and just the general inaccuracy of consumer grade GPS devices. Uploading after the fact will always improve the track accuracy because of the filtering that is done by those programs that is not done by the GPS. Again I sincerely apologize for any confusion I have provided information on the GPS drift and the devices general accuracy below. What you are seeing with the distance being more inaccurate the farther the track makes sense because it is always adding a little bit of extra distance with the drift and the general accuracy.

GPS drift is caused by many external factors and consumer grade GPS devices cannot account for these. GPS drift causes the device to appear to be moving on its own. It is most obvious when looking at a track or when zoomed in all the way while at a standstill.

Satellites send their signal through the atmosphere down to earth. The atmosphere distorts this signal, and other environmental factors (such as trees, hills, mountains, buildings, cars, reflective surfaces and more) can further degrade the signal.

In the past, a satellite signal weakened by the environment caused a loss of position. High sensitivity chips were created so that it was no longer a question of if you had a position lock, but how accurate that position lock would be.

Now only the weakest signal prevents the device from locating your general position, but as a result, the decrease in accuracy that is introduced by the environment causes GPS drift. In other words, the device is more sensitive than the environment allows it to be accurate.

Being mindful of the limitations of consumer GPS devices will help alleviate concerns regarding their accuracy.

Today's GPS receivers are extremely accurate, thanks to their parallel multi-channel design. Garmin GPS receivers are accurate to within 15 meters (49 feet) 95% of the time with a clear view of the sky. Generally, users will see accuracy within 5 to 10 meters (16 to 33 feet) under normal conditions.

Certain atmospheric factors and other sources of error can affect the accuracy of GPS receivers. From time to time your accuracy will drop. GPS works on 'Line Of Sight'. If the device does not have a clear view of the sky your accuracy will drop and sometimes you will lose reception altogether. This is because the GPS signal is not powerful enough to travel through most solid objects. This holds true for all GPS devices.

To ensure you receive the best accuracy possible:

Avoid storing the device in your pocket, backpack, or rucksack
Ensure you hold your device properly as its antenna is located with this expectation
If possible, navigate to an area with a clear view of the sky
Following the above steps will increase your chances of a good, strong and accurate GPS signal lock. Remember, a GPS receiver is a complement to navigation and should not be the only navigational tool that you use. Using a paper map, a simple compass, and having knowledge of manual navigation is a good, safe practice. GPS should be utilized as a guide, not as the absolute definition of what happened. This applies to any device that is not a professional survey tool.

With Best Regards
,
Mon, Dec 22, 2014 at 9:46 AM, ME wrote:
>>
I adjusted the distance setting as you suggested but unfortunately, we ran into the same issue of too much mileage on the screen for both hikes! On Day 2 hiking the Arizona Trail, I happened to check at the 6 mile mark and the Garmin read 6.45. As we remarked while sitting on a log, we don't really care what the mileage is on Mapsource, we need it to be accurate now. It is so discouraging.
>>
As you can see from the track I attached from the Garmin for Day Two Arizona Trail hike, the total hike was 11.7 miles on Mapsource and 11.79 on HAZtraks vs 12.55 on the Garmin screen.
>>
Even on the 4.5 miler the day before the screen was off by 1/2 mile too. Screen showed 4.72 vs the accurate 4.4 on Mapsource and vs HAZtraks 4.471. And as usual the stop time was a bit more but I don't care about that. I did notice the elev was also off between HAZtraks screen and Garmin's.
>>
I've attached documentation for you including the live tracks from Garmin via the desktop for both hikes. The Track 20 tagged on some driving but if you take that off you get the accurate live track.
>>
I hope you can resolve this issue. It's quite discouraging to know I can't count on the Oregon 450 and have to take two instruments to get me where I'm going accurately.
>>
Thank you again for your time,
Angela

>>
On Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 12:06 PM, <Product.Support@garmin.com> wrote:
>>
Dear Angela Romain,

Thank you for providing that information. In order to submit the information to the engineers for review we would need the gpx files. Preferably from the device directly. To access this information please follow the steps below and attach two or three of the gpx files with track information.
Regarding something you could try to possibly make it a little more accurate would be changing the amount of time the device drops track points. This would hopefully increase the accuracy provided you stay moving. One of my fears here though is the device is still performing within the accuracy limits for the most part here. The device is consumer grade and is never guaranteed to be more than accurate to within 30 feet in the best conditions. Plus or minus 30 feet adds up over time. That is why you can see this accuracy being off. You can try to control the amount of time or distance the device drops track points by changing the Track settings:

1. Power on device
2. Select Setup
3. Select Tracks
4. Select Record Method (change to Distance)
5. Select Interval (Change to 0.01 mi)
>>
This should put the record method at one of it's more accurate points to drop track points every .01 of a mile.

With Best Regards,


>> Original Message ...
>> >> >> From: ME
>> >> >> To: Product.Support@garmin.com
>> >> >> Subject: Re: GRMA_Outdoor Oregon? 450 Repair Request confirmation,
>> >> >> Sent: 12/17/2014 9:26 AM

ok, after the re-boot I took it out with me on a 5.8 mile hike. I did not stop except to check the GPS to see where it was in relationship to my HAZtraks. This time the mileage on the Oregon 450 wasn't totally out of control but as usual 1/4 mile over on a hike of this mileage. If I do longer mileage, it gets off by at least 1/2. I painstakingly took pictures of the GPS along the way so that I could show you. Even the stopped time is off significantly on the screen but not so much when I upload the route.
>> >> >>
Here are my notes:
Garmin .92 miles19:54/1:25 stopped
HAZtrks .837 miles 18:24/.06 stopped
Garmin 2.12 miles/ HAZtrks 2 miles
Garmin 3.17 miles/ HAZtrks 3 miles
Garmin 4.21 miles/ HAZtrks 4 miles
Garmin 5.25 miles/ HAZtrks 5 miles
TOTALS:
Miles - Garmin 5.95 miles/ HAZtrks 5.66 miles
Total Time - Garmin 2:14 stopped 18:39 minutes/ HAZtrks 2:10, stopped 8:29 minutes

After upload to hikearizona.com the Garmin said: 5.73 miles stopped 11 minutes
and both were very accurate in AEG with Garmin at 837 and HAZtrks at 839.
>> >> >>
I can point out these differences on many of my trips as I have kept track.
>> >> >>
Having accurate mileage is so important. For example, this summer I separated from the group and ended up getting temporarily lost. Keeping track of my mileage was critical to me finding my way and being 1/4 to 1/2 mile off in a non-trail situation could have resulted in continuing to be lost. Sometimes my mileage is off by at least 1/2 mile and I don't know where it picked up that extra 1/2 mile.
>> >> >>
One hike the Garmin said 10.42 on the screen but uploaded with 9.8 miles. There are a few times when the screen and upload have been close too but more times than not, the screen number is not accurate by 1/4 to 1/2 mile.
>> >> >>
If you have any suggestions, I would be happy to try them.
>> >> >>
Thank you again for your time,
Angela
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.

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BobP
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Re: what is the best gps device?

Post by BobP » Feb 13 2015 11:24 am

Never rely on an electronic device to keep you from getting lost.

My garmin 60 was always off. 5 miles due to drift etc. No matter if it was a 5mile hike or a 30 mile hike. But once the active log was saved, it corrected most of that drift. My garmin Fenix seems to be pretty accurate.
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tibber
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Re: what is the best gps device?

Post by tibber » Feb 13 2015 11:35 am

BobP wrote:Never rely on an electronic device to keep you from getting lost.

My garmin 60 was always off. 5 miles due to drift etc. No matter if it was a 5mile hike or a 30 mile hike. But once the active log was saved, it corrected most of that drift. My garmin Fenix seems to be pretty accurate.
I was trying to get found. ;)

But what good is it when you're done with the hike? and why are HAZTraks and MapMyHikes able to keep accurate mileage while hiking then?
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.

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Re: what is the best gps device?

Post by chumley » Feb 13 2015 12:30 pm

Funny that Garmin seems to be telling you that a "consumer-grade" GPS device has certain limitations that can't be overcome.

That's all good and well, but then I suggest they look for other markets to get into because just like the market for "consumer-grade" cameras has taken a huge hit, the consumer GPS market is going to smart phones. It's just a matter of time.

Garmin simply can't compete when charging $500 for a device that has a display that is horribly inferior to a smart phone, doesn't offer nearly the options of maps and imagery that phone apps provide and can't provide superior GPS reception and tracking. It also doesn't make phone calls, get email, or browse the web. The app store infrastructure available for smart phone development opens up endless possibilities to address the specific needs of each individual consumer according to his or her preferences, and that's something that Garmin simply can't compete with.

The standalone GPS is a dinosaur and Garmin knows it. :M2C:
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Re: what is the best gps device?

Post by neilends » Feb 13 2015 1:58 pm

I think you're right that the market is going to change radically for these guys.

To your point, I've started using my smartphone more for day hiking, to log miles, than I used to. But I still want and have a strong GPS device (I use a Garmin 64 with the GLONASS thingie) for hiking trips in unfamiliar areas or longer distances, plus a map of course.

I have no opinion on whether a Garmin is more or less accurate than my smartphone. I just use them for different purposes. Garmin is probably going to be shoved out of the market for casual day hikers who are simply logging miles.
"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." --John Adams

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Re: what is the best gps device?

Post by RowdyandMe » Feb 13 2015 2:03 pm

I am waiting for a gps device that will let me send text. Its coming
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Re: what is the best gps device?

Post by nonot » Feb 13 2015 2:54 pm

Distance is subjective.

Lets say you watch an ant walking across the beach. A bird flying high above observes the whole thing as well.

So how far does the ant walk?

You say the ant walked 1000 ft, because you measure the distance between 5 large rocks that the ant passed by, and added those 5 things together.
The bird says the ant walked 800 ft, because the bird is observing from high above and didn't watch closely, and basically saw where the ant started and the ant ended.
The ant says it walked 2000 ft, because it had to take detours around all the little pebbles and shells and litter on the beach.

Who is correct?

They all are.

If you are quibbling over 20% of the distance, the device is working fine, your perception of how different distance should be measured is different than the manner the computer is calculating it.

If the device is off by 5 miles on a 5 mile hike either:
-the device didn't work correctly
-you stopped for an hour and the randomness of GPS posititioning artificially inflated the distance, as while you were not moving, the GPS recorded a bunch of points that indicated you were moving, and added an extra 2000 points * 13 ft each.
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

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Re: what is the best gps device?

Post by nonot » Feb 13 2015 2:55 pm

Perhaps Joe would share the HAZtracks algorithm? I would be interesting to know how he decided to calculate it.
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!

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Re: what is the best gps device?

Post by joebartels » Feb 13 2015 3:37 pm

some of my previous responses
Interesting conversation. I've programmed anti scribble code into HAZ Tracks. If you compare a lunch break to any Garmin you will see the difference in scribble. On the same token there are check points HAZ Tracks requires while hiking before recording a point. Since I've been using these devices for almost twenty years I've fine tuned HAZ Tracks for "hiking".
Garmin is designed for a wide variety of activities. Running, hunting and biking are likely the majority. Hiking is more talked about and tried once by people than actually done.

Take that into account. Then take into account people are very forgiving on saying they did more. Tell them they did a foot less and all hell breaks out.

You are welcome to post whatever. It's also okay with me if Garmin never figures out hiking ;)
I'd estimate of the likely ten thousand Garmin employees... two hike as much as we do :lol:

That said. HAZ Tracks is pretty dialed in on mileage as long as you are not in a canyon. Garmin does better than cell phones in canyons. They are much better at elevation in the field too. HAZ Tracks does all sorts of sliding calculations to compute the horrible elevation cell phones produce.
In simple terms HAZ Tracks is between the bird and the ant, leaning on the bird side.
Hike Arizona it ROCKS!

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Re: what is the best gps device?

Post by RedRoxx44 » Feb 13 2015 4:09 pm

I just tried to turn on my Delorme which I've had for years and used like 3 times and it is dead as a doornail despite trying several sets of batteries. Gonna be a costly paperweight. GPS is just not for me, will still be paper maps, and maybe I can find a compass which is not broken or lost in my house. I think my Sat phone of course has GPS , but guess where it is, sitting on a shelf in a closet. :sweat:

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Re: what is the best gps device?

Post by CannondaleKid » Feb 13 2015 4:26 pm

@tibber I have to say I'd be pretty ticked off by Garmin's responses because I believe they are missing the point completely.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't your complaint about TRIP COMPUTER DISTANCE and NOT the actual GPX file TRACK DISTANCE?

They are telling you things like the general inaccuracy of consumer grade GPS devices because they assume your complaint is about the TRACK DISTANCE, which should be accurate to within 16 feet on pretty much all the newer Garmin units.

But again, that has nothing to do with the TRIP COMPUTER DISTANCE, which uses a faulty algorithm to calculate trip computer distance from the actual points.
In fact, it is WORSE than earlier Garmin's... which was my complaint to them. ](*,)

My 76CS and 76CSX's with the default automatic settings were never read more than 9% too high, and with the settings I used they were within 2%.
But my 62ST with the default automatic settings will read 19-21% too high, and no better than 9% high when set to record a point every 10 seconds.

To me Garmin is just sticking their collective head in the sand first by not comprehending the triplog computer issue and then doing nothing about it.
:M2C:
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Re: what is the best gps device?

Post by The_Eagle » Feb 13 2015 4:29 pm

CannondaleKid wrote:But my [Crappy] 62ST
Thanks a lot.... Now you're going to wake Kingsnake up. :D
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Re: what is the best gps device?

Post by CannondaleKid » Feb 13 2015 4:39 pm

It'll really make kingsnake's day now, won't it? :bdh:
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Re: what is the best gps device?

Post by Sredfield » Feb 13 2015 10:55 pm

CannondaleKid wrote:My 76CS and 76CSX's with the default automatic settings were never read more than 9% too high, and with the settings I used they were within 2%.
What were those settings? I have two 76CSX's, one nearly brand new.
Shawn
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Re: what is the best gps device?

Post by chumley » Feb 13 2015 11:10 pm

neilends wrote: I've started using my smartphone more for day hiking, to log miles, than I used to. But I still want and have a strong GPS device (I use a Garmin 64 with the GLONASS thingie) for hiking trips in unfamiliar areas or longer distances,
GLONASS is an equivalent system to GPS. One was launched by the US DOD and the other was launched by the Soviets and now run by the Russians. They do the same thing. Modern smartphones are able to receive both GPS and GLONASS positioning signals just like those fancy standalone GPS devices. (Basically it gives you 48 positioning satellites instead of just 24).

The fact is that the hardware in a Garmin isn't terribly different from that in a quality smartphone. Increasingly the software is the difference. Garmin has a single software option. Smartphones have dozens (or more) software options (via apps) that interpret the data received and display it in the way that best fits the desire of the individual user.
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