GPS Dependability....

Discussion in 'Maps, GPS and Google Earth' started by tackdriver10, May 1, 2010.

  1. tackdriver10

    tackdriver10 Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I have and use a Garmin 60csx, and I love it. Never let me down once. But, there is always and chance that it could fail. I know it best to have a backup plan like a Map and Compass.

    My question is, have any of you guys ever had a GPS unit to fail. I don't mean lose reception, what I mean is, it just goes dead for whatever reason, the screen goes black, or the keys stop working..

    Something like that could spell disaster...
     
  2. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    Never had one fail but, I think you wanting a back up plan is is a smart idea. Part of my plan always includes letting folks know where I'm going and when I should be back.
     

  3. tackdriver10

    tackdriver10 Well-Known Member

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    Thats also a good idea as well. I'm really surprised more people haven't chimed in on this one. I know there are tons of GPS users on this site right?
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2010
  4. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    You would think and maybe they will.
     
  5. ilscungilli

    ilscungilli Well-Known Member

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    My Garmin Etrex Vista failed on me. I was drifting down a river I know very well, so it wasn't a big deal. In this case, it was a known problem (I later learned), where the connection to the LCD screen was loose. Technically, the unit still "worked", but the screen had failed so I couldn't see the output.

    Garmin "repaired" my unit for $75 (just sent me a new one). The new unit will occasionally produce lines across the screen.
     
  6. tackdriver10

    tackdriver10 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Visigoth, thats exactly the type of info I was looking for. Glad your incident wasn't life threatening.
     
  7. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    GPS tracking in its various forms is core to my precision agriculture business. We use GPS systems of all makes and sizes. From RTK (cm repeatability), to WAAS (meter repeatability) to no differential correction accuracy.

    The largest number of failures involve inadvertently over pressuring the screen on mobile devices such as the ipaq. Happens very frequently and very easy to do. The last failure was when the ipaq was in the shirt pocket and the guy leaned over the seat too adjust a camera (in an airplane). Tore the screen and they flew blind looking for objects on the ground. A bad deal but not disastrous as having no fall back method back in the hills.

    If it has a battery, made of plastic and has an LCD or glass screen it WILL fail and do so unexpectedly.
     
  8. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    Reminds me of the time I was a paying passenger on a business trip on like a 2 prop 8 seater. I had the seat next to the pilot and shortly after takeoff he says to me look for a radio tower and when you see it let me know. So I did but, the whole time I'm thinking to myself "ya gatta be kidding":rolleyes:. Next time I drove.
     
  9. luger306

    luger306 Active Member

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    I was fishing in the marsh when my garman went dead (batterys)I am just glad that I was taught to check the time of the tides and found my way out
     
  10. MNbogboy

    MNbogboy Well-Known Member

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    A GPS and map go hand in hand...just like a compass and map....I always carry a compass in my pack and in some places probably use the compass more than the gps....My GPS has mapping that I loaded into it but when used with a larger map it really keeps things in perspective....The compass map and gps go hand in hand but if one fails you probably can get by with the other two.....for as little room as it takes in a pack makes sense to me to carry all three....

    Just my .02,
    Randy
     
  11. colin455

    colin455 Member

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    I am just starting to use a GPS with any regularity but still use an old tip that was told to me once. Every now and then "turn around and look where you have come from". This gives you a perspective on where you have been from the view that you will use when returning. You will have a new perspective on landmarks and topography. Also some sneaky game will come out behind you to see what you were after you pass. I have also been tracked once by a cougar and 2 bears in seperate incidences. Never saw the cougar, did see the bears. Seeing cougar tracks overlying yours for a km or so sure will make the small hairs stand up. Also dont be fooled into thinking that bears are always noisy. They can be as quiet as a cat if they want to.
     
  12. mediumbore

    mediumbore Member

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    I have a defective and hardly used Garmin Etrex legend. Same problem as reported earlier in this thread, the screen goes blank, or gets so many lines its unreadable. Usually a simple twist of the unit itself straightens it out temporarily. I purchased a Magellan and can honestly say it seems like a more quality built unit that cost me less money.
     
  13. Rustystud

    Rustystud Well-Known Member

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    I would never depend on a GPS solely if I were going to and area that i was not already familiar with. All explorers that I know about have some kind of back up or redundency.

    Topo maps, and a compass are always the standard when going into the unknown.

    Nat Lambeth
     
  14. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    Rustystud, good point.