What is the best GPS to use for positioning and map reading?

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by trinity3, Nov 11, 2006.

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  1. I would like some advice n what is the bet all round GPS to get. I have looked at the top of the range Garmin 60c?? But don’t know f it will do all I need. Have been told to get a good GPS after PQO.

    Is this the answer.
    I can read maps and use a compass ok But we were all told to get GPS.
  2. Get the one they sell on the course PRI shop
  3. GPS are good to use to as a confirmation of position but not to be relied on as the only means of navigation. Nothing can beat map and compass and pacing. That said the garmin e-trex range is very good ive used mine several times in iraq where the lack of features and decent maps is a hinderance to normal navigation.
    Just make sure you have it set to the right map type unlike a rodney that swore blind he was at the OS grid he gave me and when i found him he was a klik away and had his GPS set to american grids.

  4. Ive just come off a course that has really opened my eyes to GPS.
    First of all GPS is an aid to navigation not the other way around. No matter what code or band you are operating in you will always have errors in your position.

    There are ways around this as an example most Civilian GPS systems display your error budget on screen by giving you an Estimate Position Error (EPE). Once again not always strictly accurate and largely based on what type of Signal Strength your receiveing but a good (Guesstimation) from your machine as to how much your out.

    I wont go into the nitty grittys of the military application of GPS sufficient to say we have some good systems but to get a good Sub centimetre positional fix even we need additional software.

    There are plenty of good run of the mill GPS Systems available to you. Systems i have used are the following:
    Garmin 12 XL ( Not bad good waypoint storage easy to set up and use)
    Garmin 72 ( As above little bit bulkier but the added bonus of a better nav page with the ability to add mapping)
    Garmin etrex ( Small light comes in dodgy colours yellow FFS but again a good all rounder.

    Most good systems can be bought off ebay or the net. Expect to pay around £50-£90 for an average system.

    Look out for the following features:
    No of channels.. 8, 12, 16, More channels better fix
    Waypoint storage..50 plus and your onto a winner
    Route storage.. 10 should be ok
    one handed operation..speaks for itself
    Battery life.. Mega important, some of the early models only lasted 2hrs and used upto 6 battery's. Go for models giving approx 10-15 hrs life on 2 AA batterys.
    Setup.. Some Systems are mega hard to set up make sure you can get all the Datums and grid co ordinates not just Lat and Long.

    Keep us informed and if you need more help just pm me.
  5. I've been using the Garmin e-trex and found it to be a handy bit of kit. But as others have pointed out, it's only an aid and you can't beat a map and compass.

    Got mine off evilbay for £85. Can be a pain in the ar$e to enter waypoints manually but once they're in you're good to go. Battery life is good, over 8 hours on recharagbles. Accuracy aint brill, I placed it on a fence whilst I had a smoke and in ten minutes we moved over 150m, I don't think it was tectonic activity either. The other down side is the dodgy colours, I've got a nice blue one. Reception in wooded areas is tonk, that's where pacing comes into it.

    All in all a good bit of kit but don't trust it.
  6. Think bright colour for a gps isnt that stupid several officers in our company
    have had dramas misplacing gps .Camoflage gps is like a camoflage wallet
    imho looks good but not very clever.
  7. Yeah makes great sense....

    Bright yellow GPs device, just another aiming mark for the enemy. I have viewed soldiers carrying this type of device through varying optics both weapon mounted and vehicle mounted and it made me think!!!

    As with any good racing spoon why is it not attached and under cover when not in use.
  8. Black permi marker soon sorts that out.
  9. I have used both the E-trex (the yellow one!) and the E-trex Camo. They performed merely adequately. My main gripe with them is their rather poor reception. Reception wise, they are fine when you are not under canopy but under canopy, they are very slow to get a lock on the satellites. Yes, I understand that is a characteristic of GPS units in general. However, in Brunei, I found the etrex camo took quite a while longer to find a satellite than my friend's Army issued GPS. Unfortunately I have no idea what GPS the army issued.

    Anyway, from what I have read online, the 60 Csx appears to have the best reception and good battery (AAs!) life. If I were looking to buy one right now, that would be a prime contender.

    Hope this helps.
  10. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    Some places have no maps (Russia, Africa). I spend a fair bit of time in the middle of nowhere and GPS has come through for me a couple of times. Snow white out in N. Finland, and fog/cloud on alpine glaciers to name a couple, and wished I had it on a few others. Also gets a regular workout in the dark and in forests.
    Used to have an etrex but now a 60CS since it came out 2 years ago. Apart from the features, the 60 has a much better antenna/reception and a much longer duration (4 batts). It is also easier to see mounted on a moutain bike, and colour lets you see topography easier if you have decent software loaded.
    This is the first unit I would truly trust.
    With a spare set of 2700ah batts (8 total) I get 16-20hrs in summer, so I know I am good all day. This is dropping to about 4hrs per set in -10 when mounted on a shoulder strap. Its been well and truly drop and water tested.
  11. I would suggest getting some good quality performance reports on what is within your price range. The demise of SA has shown up some of the poorer sets of software and some of the testers have managed to show this. I remember reading one report that indicated that one or two models bared improved in their accuracy post the SA switch offf, and others did very much better.

    Also go for a model that at least has WAAS/EGNOS capability, in areas where the service is available accuracy as a lot better.

    Battery life is important if you dont have alternative power, I use mine on a boat so that is not so important for me.

    Mapping is very nice, but good maps are potentially expensive, but a lot cheaper than paper ones, just you have to buy an area at a time not just one map.

  12. Just get married mate, regardless of where you are a wife will always know your exact location, who you're with and what you're up to!! :\\
  13. If yours is that good you need to trade her in or join the Navy.

  14. Here in the US, places like Cabela's sell camouflaged eTrex models for around $100 (almost half the UK price). Unlike other bright stuff, the problem with GPS devices is that you invariably end up holding them up in some conspicuous way to get a proper signal. Non-reflective duct tape does the trick, too. As for losing it, anyone who doesn't attach it to a zipper via a long lanyard is a bit naughty.
  15. I am that man.... My previous GPS is just north of village one on Sennybridge. Thought I was putting it in the side pocket of the vest....but must have been shoving it between vest and jacket. Walked the route three times but in waist deep bracken there was FA chance of finding it.

    Its about here.... SN 95685 38957

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