GPS anyone experienced with them?


July 12, 2004, 08:53 PM
I just got a Magellan Sportrak and its great. I put it on my ATV and it worked good for the day except when the battery died.

Now I just turned it on and it won't get a signal. Do satelites sometimes just go away? It starts but I can't get a signal no matter what even when I'm out in the open.

I've had this thing a total of 3 days.

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July 12, 2004, 09:19 PM
I have a Sportrak Color it's a super handheld GPS I have learned to only use Energizer Lithium batteries. If your unit is really dead after putting in new batteries. Call Phillip Williams he is Thales {Company that owns Magellan} Repair/QA Supervisor his phone number is work number is 1-918-437-6180 he can help with any problem.

July 12, 2004, 09:41 PM
Thanks. I just intalled some off brand alkaline batteries after the energizers that came with it went out in a day of use.

It wasn't getting any signal with the new batteries but just now all of a sudden after not even looking like there was a satelite out there it started to pick them up again but really weak and this is inside mind you. I went outside and it gets better. It worked really well with the energizers inside and outside.

I think I'll try your recommendation for batteries.

July 12, 2004, 09:54 PM
Glad your GPS is working again.

July 13, 2004, 01:34 AM
Well, I know tht most GPSes have something called "cold" and "hot" start-up times. When your GPS has been off for a while (more than a few hours), the GPS has to re-acquire the satellites it was last in contact with.
Since the satellites are constantly circling the Earth, it's very unlikely that any GPS will be able to watch the same ones over any given timespan.
The cold start for my Rino 120 has consistently been around 1 minute, given a clear view of the sky.

If your GPS has only been off for a few minutes, it will be able to pick up the same satellites as before much quicker, usually on the order of 10 seconds or so.

Also, if you turn your GPS off, then travel a long ways (say from the east to west coast), the GPS will take a little longer than usual to start up. The reason being that it will be looking for satellites in a specific place in the sky and big changes in your geographical location throw it off, at least until it can download the almanac and empheresis data from them.

That being said, it's easier to acquire a lock on the satellites if you're outside and have an unobstructed view of the sky and the horizon. Once you get a lock, you can pretty much move around in more confined places, provided you don't like walk into a building or something.

July 13, 2004, 07:17 PM
I picked up a Garmin Etrex Legend a few months ago and I absolutely love the thing! I can get satellite reception just about anywhere short of being in my basement! Got the car kit and mounted it on the dash....the thing comes in handy when you least expect it.

I got it with the intention of going geocaching, where you go look for hidden "treasures" that people leave all over the woods and whatnot, but still haven't got the chance to go. doh lol

July 13, 2004, 11:28 PM
Edited to remove some REALLY bad information.

But at least my erronious info may have triggered good info (below) from Kevlarman and cerberus, who didn't let me get away with it :).


July 14, 2004, 05:42 AM
Well, not quite. It's a common misconception that GPS satellites are in geosynchronus orbit. Satellites in geosynchronus are at about 23,000 miles above the Earth. GPS satellites orbit at around 11,000 miles, not to mention that they have 12-hour orbits with an inclination of 55°

Q. What kind of orbits are the GPS satellites in? A. The GPS satellites operate in circular 10,900nm (20,200km) 12-hour orbits at an inclination of 55 degrees. They are not in geo-stationary orbit.

July 14, 2004, 10:20 AM
here is a helpful GPS Info. Site.

July 14, 2004, 11:19 AM
Kevlarman...thanks for catchin my misinformation.

Single brain cell twisted com sat and GP sat together.

Goin to trash my previous post.


July 14, 2004, 11:45 AM
Kevlar has it right on. Nothing to add there.

Kevin, geocaching is a fun way to get out and screw around for a few hours. I do it myself, but not to the extent some others do. It's a good way to find places around the corner from you that you never new existed.

July 14, 2004, 11:54 AM
I have a Mag 330 Map and it works great. Before that I had a Mag 4000XL.
If you are inside a bldg chances are that you won't get a signal. I can get a signal in my living room but not at my work place(deep inside a metal bldg). 1st rule of GPS(or any batt operated hardware), carry spare batteries. In addition to my GPSR I also carry my compass and a paper map even though my GPSR has a built in map. 2nd rule, read the book. Lots of people I know that have GPSR's don't use half its capability so they don't get the full benefit of the system.

dbl0kevin: You should get out and try that Geocaching, it's lots of fun. My kids love it. I let them find the cache even though I may be standing right on top of it.

July 14, 2004, 12:29 PM
Geocaching really is a fun hobby! Gives you a chance to get some fresh air, exercise, and explore places near home that you night never have known to exist.

Check out and put in your zipcode to see how many are around your area.

July 14, 2004, 06:58 PM
A good place to also check is the US Coast Guard Navigation center where you can report GPS signal problems and check GPS status and outages.

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