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Thread started 31 Oct 2013 (Thursday) 17:26
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GPS watches

 
Scott_online
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Oct 31, 2013 17:26 |  #1

I was thinking about getting a GPS watch (e.g. the Suunto Ambit) to geotag my photos on an upcoming trip.

Does anyone have any recommendations?

Thanks


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KirkS518
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Oct 31, 2013 18:07 |  #2

I use my phone for that. Wouldn't you have to write own the coordinate from the watch? Phone is easier.


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Capn ­ Jack
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Oct 31, 2013 18:35 |  #3

Also consider the Bad Elf Pro. It runs with iThings to download the track and for navigation via blue tooth. It has 30 hours of battery for storing tracks , don't need the iThing for recording.

I used it for my My Alaska trip, worked very well. Their web site is: http://bad-elf.com/products/be-gps-2200external link

Here's a link to the Alaska Flickr map: http://www.flickr.com ...ts/7215763462934768​4/map/external link

Also used it on a recent business trip to Vienna: http://www.flickr.com ...ts/7215763651822766​3/map/external link

I used to use a phone for this but the Bad Lf has much better battery life and also works well with my navigation software on my iPad.


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Jon
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Oct 31, 2013 22:52 |  #4

Two words - Battery Life. The Ambit gets maybe 15 hr. if you're recording a track at 1 sec. intervals (Suunto's numbers). I wouldn't rely on any larger interval than 1", based on my experience with several other GPS devices. For the same $ (or less) you can get a hand-held real GPS which is quite small, and get 24 hr. battery life on standard, easily-replaced, AA carbon-zinc, alkaline, lithium or NiMH cells.


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Tdragone
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Nov 21, 2013 01:05 |  #5

I still use an original Garmin Etrex for my geocoding. I haven't found the need yet for upgrading to the high sensitivity model... even in places like havasu falls (Sheer canyon walls on both sides) or Redwoods National park with little to no clear skies, the original yellow Etrex is all I need. I turn it on, take a picture (To allow me to synch time on camera with gps later) and hike. At the end of the hike I take another picture (Total mileage for posterity) and turn it off. 2 aa's lasts for a week plus.


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pwm2
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Nov 21, 2013 01:22 |  #6

I just use my phone.


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davidtan
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Nov 21, 2013 05:27 |  #7

Is there any particular app you use on your phone?




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hollis_f
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Nov 22, 2013 03:57 |  #8

GPS on my phones sucks battery power - barely 6 hours use.

I need three things from a GPS logger: long battery life (at least 30 hours), storage sufficient for 10 days logging, a screen so I can see what I'm doing. The last one is most important - I've got a cheap logger that tells you its status via two flashing lights, completely useless.


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pwm2
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Nov 22, 2013 04:16 |  #9

I just connect a cheap power pack to the phone - then I don't need to worry about the extra drain. I wouldn't be surprised if I get 36 hours or more. I have never run out of power with power pack - even with the display permanently active I have had power left after 24 hours, running multiple GPS applications concurrently.


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broadcast_techie
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Nov 22, 2013 14:50 |  #10

if on android lookup geolog (by chainfire), reviewed on this forum and somewhere is a how to I wrote on the subject...


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Wilt
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Nov 22, 2013 19:34 |  #11

pwm2 wrote in post #16471338 (external link)
I just connect a cheap power pack to the phone - then I don't need to worry about the extra drain..

If you're gonna tie yourself to bringing a battery pack, packing a compact GPS is not much different. (And you won't have to think twice about your phone being low on charge at a very inopportune time!)

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pwm2
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Nov 23, 2013 01:03 |  #12

It's just that:
1) I don't need to buy that separate GPS. But I already have lots of power packs allowing me to use lots and lots of phone/pad time without mains or vehicle power to recharge.

2) That GPS that is seldom used must not be forgotten - my backpack always contains a power pack (I just rotate them) and I always have a phone.

3) That GPS is stupid. An attempt at telling remaining power level using a single LED - it just silently stops recording if I miss keeping track.

4) The phone says where the car is, and shows which way to walk to avoid wet ground or similar, allowing use of a cross-country map.

5) With the phone I can look for ceocaches or similar at the same time.

6) When not having to worry about power level, I can also take a backup of my photos without carrying a laptop. A power pack is tiny and light-weight compared to a laptop.

7) Wanting help spotting an object on the night sky - the phone...

8) Sitting under a tree while waiting for a rain shower to end? I'll read a Kindle book.

It's just that the phone alternative works so very well for me that even if I actually own two separate GPS recorders, I never like to use them. I first started to like to use the phone when I switched phone from a Nokia N95 to a Nokia N900. Then switching to a Samsung S II and getting access to the huge amount of Android apps, a separate GPS never felt even close to be an alternative again. Same kit to go to a business meeting, or putting the rain-protected phone on the handle bar of the bike for 6 hours of riding or go for a weekend somewhere without power.


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Scott_online
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Nov 23, 2013 02:12 |  #13

I'm the OP. I ended up getting myself a Garmin Fenix GPS watch, and for my uses, I'm absolutely delighted with it. Battery life is between 16 and 50 hours on a single charge depending on how you configure the GPS (and I am seeing these times in practice). I can then Bluetooth the resulting GPX files to my phone or simply drag them off via a USB connection. It also features an altimeter, barometer and compass, and supports ANT+ so you connect it to a range of wireless sensors like heart-rate monitors, temperature loggers and pedometers.


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DocFrankenstein
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Nov 23, 2013 02:49 |  #14

Tdragone wrote in post #16468531external link
I still use an original Garmin Etrex for my geocoding. I haven't found the need yet for upgrading to the high sensitivity model... even in places like havasu falls (Sheer canyon walls on both sides) or Redwoods National park with little to no clear skies, the original yellow Etrex is all I need. I turn it on, take a picture (To allow me to synch time on camera with gps later) and hike. At the end of the hike I take another picture (Total mileage for posterity) and turn it off. 2 aa's lasts for a week plus.

I have a later reiteration of etrex and GPS phones don't compare in accuracy and locking onto the signal.

I keep wanting a GPS watch with an altimeter, but end up managing without it.


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pwm2
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Nov 23, 2013 04:14 |  #15

DocFrankenstein wrote in post #16473737external link
I have a later reiteration of etrex and GPS phones don't compare in accuracy and locking onto the signal.

I keep wanting a GPS watch with an altimeter, but end up managing without it.

That obviously depends a lot on what phone you have. I have had phones that can't get a lock after 10 minutes in an open field if networking is disabled so the phone can't use AGPS.

Some phones locks on faster than good stand-alone GPS and then have extreme precision, where you later can see if I walked to the left or right on the side walk.

While some phones have a hard time to get within 10m, others have a significant time with errors of 2-5m.

My Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 locks on and picks up a large number of satellites inside buildings where many dedicated GPS with powered external antennas fails.

At the same time, you'll find that many GPS loggers have old GPS chipsets because the market isn't so big. So they might have a good SiRF solution from 5-6 years ago. No support for all extra satellites. So it isn't as easy as saying a dedicated GPS locks or tracks better.


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