Help - Buying a GPS that will handle track notes?

Submitted: Thursday, Jul 14, 2005 at 13:10
ThreadID: 24713 Views:2135 Replies:5 FollowUps:2
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Looking at buying my first GPS.

In particular using it in the car with track notes.
You know, left at 5km, right at 10km , stright on at 40km etc.
Can I use waypoints and bread crumbing for this?
How easily? (For a computer illiterate female navigator)
What system is recommended?

Distances need to be measured by from start point and from the last turn.

Preferrably by entering the waypoint with one button push.

Now this may be easy enough at 4wd speeds ambling down a track. But what about at speed? My son will want to borrow the sytem for navigating an EVO VIII. Now at 150 km/hr plus, will it work on events like Targa with accuracy?

Any suggestions and comments appreciated :-)
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Reply By: Kumunara (SA) - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 01:32

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 01:32
Suggest you go to sites like GPSOz or Garmins home page. They have all the information you will need to answer any questions you may have on this subject.
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AnswerID: 120448

Follow Up By: Member - John C (QLD) - Saturday, Jul 16, 2005 at 19:01

Saturday, Jul 16, 2005 at 19:01

been to garmin web page and it hasn't really helped. Mainly just models and functions. I seem to have problems navigating the web site.
FollowupID: 375770

Reply By: Niko - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 03:07

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 03:07
Why direct someone elsewhere when you got the expertise here? Firstly i wouldn't consider the Garmin web site a source of information to the level someone is asking for here. Brian at GPSOZ is well versed on GPS but I doubt as well as Johnny Appleseed. It sounds as if it's a Rally Racing family and you are asking for a GPS to store track notes I presume? If so, you are very much limited in the descriptor for each waypoint. In the case of an Etrex it's 7 alphanumerics or the GPS72 is 9 (from memory) A GPS176 and above can have 11 I believe and this may still restrict you in what you want to do.

Now, if you are speaking of rallying on dirt roads etc then you will struggle to find a map with dirt tracks in the first place unless you are looking at the area south of Halls creek, east of Wiluna, and north of Norseman in WA across the ayre highway to port augusta and onto Broken Hill then up to longreach and back inland towards Tennant creek and finally back at Halls Creek in far north WA. If you are looking at that area within those points then you will find the most common tracks but not necessarily all. The CD is called "Australia's Great Desert Tracks" and is based on the Hema product and is used with the Magellan GPS mapping units. Again you are restricted in the descriptor length.

Garmin have no decent maps for offroad.

Furthermore, the requirement to measure distance from last turn would require you to save the turn as a waypoint to determine the distance beteen the start point and the last turn which will require two button pushes.

When you speak of accuracy you have to remember that the GPS will provide an update every 1 second and if you are travelling at 150Km/hr I am certain you will realise that with the inclusion of a 6 metre accuracy level and the fact that much rallying in Australia is through National Forest it has a prpensity to lose satellite lock and accuracy could blow out to something as drastic as 100 metres and finally lose lock entirely will mean a possible miss calculation on a pre-race determined (saved) waypoint position by the GPS by as much as 70 metres in best condition or 150 metres plus in worse condition or to the point of losing your position entirely. Put it this way, I would not want to be travelling at 150KM/Hr by just relying on a GPS to navigate me past very big trees at hat are often only a few metres away.

Even with differential which is limited in location for accessability (added accuracy by using a special receiver that receives the corrections that are fed into your GPS to improve acurracy by as much as 2 metres) but it too can lose signal and is limited to within a few hundred km inland from the coast.... that's the free signal version or you could spend $10k for the Omnistar system and yearly rates of around $2k for the signal that too are affected by trees but covers all of Australia.

Considering the fact that the scren are quite small and you would need to adjust the scale of the "map" when you are going from short straight lengths of road to long straight lengths of road you will find your waypoint icon zipping past your screen before you can say Hail Mary and kiss your @#%& goodbye as you go straight through a turn and become intimate with a tree.

There are GPS units that tell you so many metres to turn right or left but for the purpose you need there is not one that exists.
AnswerID: 120449

Follow Up By: Member - John C (QLD) - Saturday, Jul 16, 2005 at 19:06

Saturday, Jul 16, 2005 at 19:06

The detail helps.

I realise that really I have 2 differnet situations.
One when 4wding and have the time to enter waypoints, and spend a little time at each turn.
two, navigating at speed. Yes, 1 or 2 secs at that speed relates to 50 to 100m , plus problems the GPS may have picking up satellites.

But can you bread crumb distance across the ground and easily log distance from the previous point, and also the first point entered?

Not really looking for detail about what is coming up. I realize that is just not up to the mapping supplied. I have a copy of ozexplorer on laptop for tip planning, and the 1:250,000 maps so am aware of the limits in this regard.
FollowupID: 375772

Reply By: Bob of KAOS - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 17:54

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 17:54
From your description I think you need a computer running OziExplorer rather than any of the available hand held GPS units.
Using OziExplorer you can use a range of proprietory mappng products, and can also scan in and calibrate paper maps, aerial photos etc.
OziExplorer has an abundance of features, such as distance measuring etc. I don't know how many of the features are in the PDA version.
The difficulty with rallying is that it is extremely hard to enter data, point a mouse etc. Touch screen may be better.
Free demo versions of OziExplorer are available its the eponymous website.
AnswerID: 120521

Reply By: Member - John C (QLD) - Saturday, Jul 16, 2005 at 19:08

Saturday, Jul 16, 2005 at 19:08

I have a copy of ozexplorer on laptop for tip planning, and the 1:250,000 maps so am aware of the limits in this regard. But my concern is mounting a laptop in a rally car and making sure it is secure for the bumps and possible roll over.

Will be OK in the 4wd though. Did borrow a GPS froma friend last trip and had a play. There is still a lot to still learn in this regard!
AnswerID: 120666

Reply By: Niko - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 23:23

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 23:23
I will confirm exactly waht you can get from a bread crumb tomorrow.
AnswerID: 121389

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