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Observations & Questions

 
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reklawpete
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Joined: May 06, 2008
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 9:37 pm    Post subject: Observations & Questions Reply with quote

I bought my Active10 at the NEC and have 1.16 installed. I am generally happy with it and it is admired by fellow walkers. I have noticed the following:
    it sometimes does not show my current position - realised that I have jogged the joystick so need to check that I am in gps and not planning mode.
    it sometimes freezes - for instance when I have jogged the joystick into planning mode it will sometimes but not always go back to gps mode so I have to remove the batteries and get the satellites again.
    At the end of a recent walk I put my Active10 into the boot of the car, thinking I had switched it off. I was surprised to find that it had recorded my 30 miles journey back home so it had no problem in maintaining a signal despite being in the boot
    when getting my boots on and talking to other walkers it is easy to forget to press 'Start' so that during a walk I cannot compare current mileage with other walkers. With my old Garmin GPSIII you simply switched it on and it started recording when I started walking. I would prefer an option like this in Active10. What is the point of having the Start\Stop function?
    At the end of a walk on Saturday I looked at the screen which said 7.88 miles and told the other walkers with gps. I then looked at it again in about half a minute and the reading had changed to 8.04 miles! Can anyone explain why this happens when I had not moved from the spot? Also when I converted the trail to a track it changed to 8.01 miles.
    4 other walkers had gps - Garmin Extrex or Garmin Vista. Theirs all read varying mileages from 7.4 to 7.7. Is my Active 10 giving the accurate reading? We never agree the mileage. Does anyone know why even with the same machines Garmin Extrex the readings are different? It has become something of a joke with those walkers without gps!
    I spoke with Richard C-O over a month ago and he said his technical people had said the online planner should be ready in 2 weeks but he thought a month was more realistic. It is now over a month so I wonder how much longer we will have to wait?
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mikealder
Pocket GPS Moderator
Pocket GPS Moderator


Joined: Jan 14, 2005
Posts: 19638
Location: Blackpool , Lancs

PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Knocking the joystick is one of my pet hates with the device, it is too easy to put it in planning mode, I have asked that a deliberate press of the joystick should be required to prevent this inadvertent mode switch - perhaps such a feature/ functionality will be made available at some future point.
Changes in distance when converting a trail to a route are because the device will remove some of the recorded points to reduce file size, this will have the effect of reducing the distance by a small amount.
All GPS devices will differ in the mileage at the end of a walk, the difference could be down to sensitivity or even the set-up of the device, a recorded interval of 10 seconds will produce a different values to that using 1 second updates.
The Active10 is a quality device which works well in the field, once it attains a signal I have never had problems with loss of the GPS signal and I don't get too hung up about trip distances, the legs usually let me know what distance I have walked! - enjoy the unit and what it offers - Mike
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Physicist
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Joined: Nov 08, 2007
Posts: 57
Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your car is a hatchback with a large rear window your Active 10 may well get an adequate signal to maintain navigation. If it is a traditional car with a long boot it is most unlikely that the signal strength will be adequate (electromagnetic waves will just not pass through metal....as you can easily verify by trying to send a message to a mobile phone that is wrapped in kitchen foil).

Different GPS manufacturers have different procedures for dealing with loss of signal. If the unit is intended for car sat nav then when the GPS loses signal (as when the car goes into a deep tunnel) the set and the display usually assume that the car is continuing to move at the same speed as when signal was lost (not a bad approximation). Alternatively - and this is more likely with modern sets - it will assume that you stay on the road; you will only get misinformation if the road divides below ground.

So Satmap has had - like all GPS manufactures - to decide how to handle loss of signal. My impression is that the display is 'optimistic' in saying that signal is being maintained under conditions (signal strength 'excellent') that tax even a Garmin 60 CSx, such as in a deep tree-covered ravine. My reason for suggesting this is that if I switch the set off in such taxing conditions it will often fail to acquire a fix (despite the 'excellent' signal rating before I switched it off).

The only true test as to whether a set is using satellite information is to switch it off and let it try to get a new startup fix in the same location. If it fails the set is using parameters determined when it lost signal such as your velocity when the signal was lost. There have been times when I have deliberately done a U-turn under difficult conditions and the Active 10 has showed me continuing to move in my original direction. It doesn't usually matter that much since when I get into more open country the correct route resumes. I would rather however that it beeped at me like Garmins and told me the signal had been lost rather than giving me a false sense of security when it is not in fact receiving any usable data from more that three satellites. So I do take with a pinch of salt all statements that the A10 never loses signal; I will only believe it if you can confirm that it will acquire a new lock after being turned back on in the same taxing location.
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