GPS query

General discussion about trigpoints, the TrigpointingUK website etc

GPS query

Postby alansmeaton » Sat Mar 04, 2017 4:14 pm

Hi all,
I notice some members use GPS devices, especially for anything small or buried. Just how useful are these in terms of accuracy and are they are an invaluable aid? If I enlarge the maps here I can get a pretty good idea much of the time of the area to search/prod. What if I use a GPS app on my phone? Are these as good as a cheap commercial unit? If a standalone unit is the way to go then which? The old yellow etrex or what? Words of wisdom, opinions etc please.
See you on the hills
Cootking
alansmeaton
 
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Re: GPS query

Postby MAC.HAWK » Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:05 pm

There's no simple answer in my opinion. It depends on your budget, how happy you are with the enlarged mapping you're using, if you've had issues finding remote/difficult to find trig stations and which type of trig points you're aiming to find.

Like yourself I tend to use paper maps and sometimes enlarged printouts from electronic mapping, I've also found that users on the trig-pointing website tend to be very helpful with advice in finding those difficult rivets, bolts, buried blocks and a photo print-out or two can be very helpful. However, I don't really 'do' many bolts, rivets, buried blocks etc and unless they're along the route of a particular hike I don't go out of my way to find them (basically I'm predominantly pillars & FBM's)

If you're buying a GPS you need to consider your budget and what you're actually going to be using it for - there's no point forking out £400 for an all singing all dancing model if all you want to know is the location of a trig point in relation to where you currently are, the basic (yellow) ETrex 10 will give you that for less than £90

I bought a (now ancient) old Etrex H (the basic yellow model with monochrome screen) a number of years ago and have rarely used it however it is a useful tool to have in the bag if you're in unfamiliar areas or the weather's very poor. As for accuracy, the best my old model can do is about 12 foot (or 4 metres) but that can vary depending if you're deep in woodland or in a heavily built up area - I believe the newer models get better results in such areas but a brief look across the web seems to indicate that 10-12ft (3-4 metres) is the general limit of accuracy for commercial GPS users.

If you were tempted to think of buying and old yellow Etrex model and intend to link it to a PC make sure you get one that uses the USB cable as the older ones use a serial cable which take forever to transfer data and you might not even be able to connect direct to your PC/Laptop or whatever without an additional adapter cable.

By 2020 GPS (a US system) will have a European competitive in Galileo (GNSS - Global Navigation Satellite System) which is being promoted as being able to give a location accuracy of less than 3 feet/1 metre (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-38329341 or type Galileo Project into a search engine or Wikipedia) and apparently there's been agreement between the US & Europe to combine the use of both systems.

Hope this helps!
MAC.HAWK
 
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Re: GPS query

Postby alansmeaton » Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:18 pm

Thanks,
Lots to consider. Just something I was toying with but think I'll probably just stick to maps for now. Although I prefer pillars/FBMs I am in Falkirk every Sunday morning and am constrained to one hours free time so after the pillars/FBM are done I'm having a go at some blocks etc.
Cootking
alansmeaton
 
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Re: GPS query

Postby Aqueously90 » Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:53 am

I do have an old eTrek lying about, but I tend to just use my phone - the GPS is accurate enough that lugging an extra bit of kit around doesn't really make much sense. Between the TP:UK and radar GPS Status app, I'm spoilt.
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