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GPS? It's what they don't tell you?

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  • GPS? It's what they don't tell you?

    Just wondering how many gps users out there have trouble getting a strong, any signal ,when you need it most? Planing a trip to the north slope and I am wondering if it's worth packing the weight, backpack hunting?? I have had trouble on the east coast ane they don't seem trustworthy to me, I always carry a compass. We have tried diffrent brands and at times, same thing not enough signal!! Anybody out there had any experience , good or bad? Thanks in advance. Bill.
    ; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 1 SAMUEL 2;30

  • #2
    location

    is key. gps signals are inherently weak ; and standing under trees or near buildings will only degrade the signal more. my garmin works great given the right chance. i also use a centimeter grade dual frequency gps sensor for work that we have to be vigilant about the location, which also relates to the handhelds.

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    • #3
      I never had trouble getting a GPS signal while up on the slope or out on the tundra. GPS is a good tool but like other tools can fail. A compass and map should always be used and if you do carry a GPS, I always do along with the compass, carry a set of spare batteries. Learned that the hard way too.

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      • #4
        gps

        I haven't had any problems using my handheld on the slope, works well if you're doing the 5 miles. luck

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        • #5
          GPS info

          The GPS system has 24 birds (4 backups) in a Polar orbit, ie the further north you go in the U. S., the more satillites are in view of your unit. So, Alaska is a good place for GPS. The signal is line of sight, and since the birds a few thousand miles, about 11K, out in space the signal is weak no matter where you live. Like they say, trees, buildings, mountains etc can block you out of service volume, in other words, your unit won't be able to trianglulate your position. Good luck.

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          • #6
            gps

            I have owned 2 Garmin in the past 5 years and neither was worth an empty pail of water. the first unit i threw into the fire after it would not contact the necessary signal callers. the second unit i have in the original box from cabela's. the 2nd unit, and i stood in the middle of a 25 acre field and after 2 hours only had 1 signal. under any tree, forget it. don't know what to do. in my opinion they are a rip off especially GARMIN.

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            • #7
              Man I dont know what some of you guys are doing but I have had several models from Garmin over the years. The one I use now is a plain jane Etrex and I have never so much as had a single problem picking up satellites. I usually pick up 4-7 satellites and thats in less than 1 minute from start up. I know several guys that use Garmins and they all like them as I do. Maybe you guys are talking about the older models cuz I aint seen a newer model that wouldnt link up several satellites pretty quick??? To me they are worth their weight in gold when their use is required.

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              • #8
                If you don't initialize your GPS correctly, especially an older Garmin such as the 38 or 40 you will be frustrated to say the least.

                Also for you Garmin owners--buy the data link cable so you can download software updates to your unit from Garmin's website
                If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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                • #9
                  updates

                  I had my Marine unit (garmin) updated at Northern Lights Avionics here in Anchorage. I have being using them in both Marine and Aviation for over 15 years with any probems, other than masking, which is standard with any line of sight receiver.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LongHunter7 View Post
                    Just wondering how many gps users out there have trouble getting a strong, any signal ,when you need it most? Planing a trip to the north slope and I am wondering if it's worth packing the weight, backpack hunting?? I have had trouble on the east coast ane they don't seem trustworthy to me, I always carry a compass. We have tried diffrent brands and at times, same thing not enough signal!! Anybody out there had any experience , good or bad? Thanks in advance. Bill.
                    Two quick comments 1. On the north slope interference from trees is not going to be an issue. 2. While nothing can replace map / compass and good head work; being out on the Tundra is about like being at sea. I would bring your gps. Know how to use it, dont forget to mark camp and bring spare batts.
                    Last edited by Daveintheburbs; 08-30-2006, 10:26. Reason: spelling

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                    • #11
                      The only time I've had problems is in heavy coastal forest, especially when the trees are wet. If you can see the sky, I can usually manage a bunch of satelites very quickly.

                      I'm betting there's a lot to what Erik says about initialization. My Garmin is the best I've used, and it's sold itself to friends in the field when theirs didn't work as well. Even converted some Magellan customers.

                      Wouldn't consider heading out without it, but I always carry spare batteries, a compass and quad, too.
                      "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
                      Merle Haggard

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                      • #12
                        My Garmin Etrex...

                        works great, never had a failure on me 'cept when the battiers die on me...I've used it on the Yukon & the Tundra many a time...

                        I bought mine off ebay for $30 LESS than retail...>

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                        • #13
                          I have 2 GPS units (one in my boat and one for my wheelers). No problems with signal, even while running. As said before... carry spare batteries! They seem to be battery hogs. Always have a compass and map for backup.
                          I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out.
                          Bill Hicks

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                          • #14
                            dont doubt

                            dont ever doubt the accuracy of your GPS. if you have a signal which you will on the north slope, the numbers are true. dont doubt them or you may find yourself lost.

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                            • #15
                              right on...

                              Bone. You get the gold star. You are so right.

                              Every time I've doubted my Garmin Etrex Summit I was wrong.

                              My wife wont even let me try to go anywhere other than the readouts, anymore.
                              Too many nights of carrying sheep meat back to a spot that I thought that our camp "was".
                              Proud to be an American!

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