gps learner

Submitted: Saturday, Oct 05, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 2098 Views:2263 Replies:5 FollowUps:4
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Hi all, does anyone know of any training or courses in Melbourne where one can learn how to master the gps, after buying a Megellan Sportrak I just can't get the hang of it. thanks for any info......Les
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Reply By: John - Saturday, Oct 05, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Oct 05, 2002 at 00:00
Try a camping type store.....they have some very good "learn to use your GPS" type books.
They are aimed at the absolute beginer and are easy reading.
I will try to find the one I brought so I can give you a title etc....

Cheers John
AnswerID: 7184

Reply By: old soldier - Sunday, Oct 06, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 06, 2002 at 00:00
G'day Lux, Good to see you are seeking some training on your GPS - I hope you find a course in your area. As an old navigator I am interested in the level of expertise of people who are buying, and attempting to use GPS units. If it is not a rude question, can you read, interpret and navigate with a topographic map? can you carry out resections, identify a spur, saddle, re-entrant from the map? do you understand magnetic variation and how it applies to navigating? Can you calculate a gradient, or work out intervisibility between features? Do you understand the different datums and how they apply to GPS units? As I said, these questions are not meant to be rude, but I am seriously interested in the level of expretise of people who start out with GPS units and ask the sort of question you have asked. I am contemplating putting together some sort of online basic navigation website to help beginners.regards, DennisN
AnswerID: 7189

Follow Up By: Les - Sunday, Oct 06, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 06, 2002 at 00:00
Thanks for the reply guys, Old soldier I use a topo map and compass every time I go bush (Vic high country) I simply use grid reference to find my way around, I can identify spurs,saddles,gullies etc but thats about all, the reason for the gps is so I can find my way back to camp when weather conditions close in and visablity is low while I'm out on foot, the compass has 'saved' me more than once by just knowing where north is and knowing roughly which direction my camp or vehicle is.
Your idea sounds great for a web site, the instuctions with the gps which is a Megellan Sportack says it's easy as 1 2 3 to use, well it ain't for me it just seems so complicated but I'll try and carry on until I master it. Another thing which with the gps it does'nt work in grid references like on my maps...anyway I hope this may help you thanks again....Les
FollowupID: 3278

Follow Up By: Stephenf - Sunday, Oct 06, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 06, 2002 at 00:00
Old Soldier, while it would be good to have your navigational and map-reading skills, they are not all necessary to make good use of a GPS. An outback traveller might want to find their way on unsigned roads, or just back to the campsite after a day's exploring. Just knowing your lat/long or the way back to camp easily justifies the use of a GPS by otherwise unskilled people. It's not much use to Les, but The Map Shop in Adelaide holds GPS courses. I attended one last year and it was very useful and informative. A good book is the next best thing. -Stephen.
FollowupID: 3280

Follow Up By: Old Soldier - Sunday, Oct 06, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 06, 2002 at 00:00
Les, good reply. I think you will find your G.P.S. CAN give readings in Grid References as well as lat/long. Look for a conversion to UTM grid system, and if your GPS does not haveit [I am willing to bet it does] get one that does. This will enable you to read your position as a grid reference as opposed to Lat/Long. Very handy on small scale maps where the grid system is easier to read than the lat/long. - - to Stephen F. I take your point, and all very well while conditions are perfect. However, we don't live in a perfect world. What do you if you are miles from anywhere and you drop the GPS and break it????? and believe me there have been a lot of GPS units end up that way - dropped and broken, and even worse for mariners - lost overboard. Without basic navigation skills you are up the creek I'm afraid.

FollowupID: 3282

Follow Up By: Member - Willem- Sunday, Oct 06, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 06, 2002 at 00:00
Hi Old soldier. Basically all I want to do is to pinpiont my position on the map and maybe add good campsites. (If I want to go to the airport I use my Gregorys or UBD map). I can read a topo map with reasonable proficiency and have navigated (not without getting lost, however!!nobody's perfect!!) on many an off-road cross country venture through the deserts and the tropics. Like the mobile phone the GPS has too many features and getting my brain, which is quite a few decades old, around these things, is a challenge. But I am learning. Incidentally, I bought a new Magellan 330 a couple of months ago and the software crashed. Magellan( ex Perth) kindly replaced my GPS with a new one which I thought was excellent service. Cheers, Willie
FollowupID: 3283

Reply By: dave - Sunday, Oct 06, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Oct 06, 2002 at 00:00
There have been some really interesting points raised here. Lux, you are obviously an adventurous soul, who has put some thought into his needs, that's good. Unfortunaltley too many other people (and proabaly not explorozers) are using technology as a substitute for endeavour and intelligence (and common sense). Sadly the approach of many is to get the gear and get out there, then when it (or they) break(s), they flip the switch on the EPIRB and wait for help. I could go on......
But, learning about GPS, well, play with it lots, walk with it, drive with it, and talk to other people about it. They are an amazing invention, I use them on an almost daily basis, i teach kids how to use them, and what the info on the screen means to a traveller,fisher, walker, biker, driver in the real world.
If you are in a 4wd club talk to clubbies (and if you're not, join one), the danger with "doing a course" is that you see a very limited view of the use of a product, practice makes perfect, if you do find a course, go along already knowing something, you never know the discussions and discovery that you could begin. I'm always learning things from my students, because kids will just play with things (did someone mention computers) and find all sorts of tricks that don't appear in the manuals.

Whew, hope that some of that helps,.! In answer to you question Ahh, no I don't know of any courses in Melb.
AnswerID: 7199

Reply By: Benna - Monday, Oct 07, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Oct 07, 2002 at 00:00
The best way to simply learn the commands on the GPS is to use it when ever you go anywhere, use the MAn over board function, plot you travels, use it in the city as you would the bush. Calculate distances betwwen points e.c.t.
AnswerID: 7219

Reply By: Les - Monday, Oct 07, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Oct 07, 2002 at 00:00
I thank everyone for the help, I'm starting to 'play' with it now and like what's been adviced here, just keep using it everywhere, I'm slowly works bits and pieces out with it and I must admit it's quite fun.....Les
AnswerID: 7221

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