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Old September 6th, 2012, 12:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default GPS accurracy?

Is the GPS on the Spectrum accurate? Is it a typical smartphone GPS or do they vary from model to model? Just wondering, as I've tried using it for geocaching, and it's not working out for me at all. It locks up a lot, as does the compass, or it seems to not be able to get withing 30m or so of the target area. My old handheld Garmin 110 seems WAY more accurate.

*Googled some answers for myself: short answer, no, they aren't accurate compared to a dedicated GPS. Looks like 10-15m of error is typical for most smartphone GPS units...which is pretty unacceptable for geocaching. My Garmin is supposed to be 1m accurate.

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Old September 6th, 2012, 01:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Its because most 'GPS' chips in smart phones are cheap and aren't 'full-blown' chips. They're typically 'AGPS' which is 'Assisted GPS' so it relies on the cellular radio/wifi for assistance.

So its definitely not acceptable for geocaching.

Off-topic:

I've read alot about it. It seems like it'd be pretty fun, to me anyway. I just don't know of anyone in my area thats into it. Plus I can't afford a handheld GPS for it.
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Old September 6th, 2012, 01:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm not really "into it". I tried once, a couple of years ago. Looked up all of the caches hidden close to home, and there are a TON of them. There are literally hundreds within a mile of my house. But I do live within walking distance to a large state park with a major lake. First time I tried it, was way up in the mountains of Washington St, with a friend who had been doing it for a while. Our handheld Garmins literally got us right to the cache. Just started playing around with using the phone....but it only gets you so close. Found one out of 3 today. Spend too much time walking 10m THAT way...then being told it's 8m back the OTHER way, etc. My daughter was getting tired and frustrated...so we gave up.

Might have to break out the Garmin to continue, because using the phone like that also clobbers the crap out of the Spectrum battery! Luckily I had a spare battery with me today, as I killed my first one in less than an hour.
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Old September 6th, 2012, 01:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The Spectrum GPS is much poorer than previous phones I've had. Both in lock time and resolution.

I've returned one phone for complete GPS failure.
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Old September 6th, 2012, 01:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What site do you use that shows you all the caches?
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Old September 6th, 2012, 02:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Compared to my motos, the gps on the spec is much better. I find it's generally accurate to a few feet and though it's not as dead-on accurate as my motos, it's faster to lock on.

@d2a: gps status (the app) lets you clear the apps cache on your phone. I use it when I'm getting wonky connection.
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Old September 6th, 2012, 02:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by death2all110 View Post
What site do you use that shows you all the caches?
Geocaching - The Official Global GPS Cache Hunt Site

I use an app called c:geo on my Spectrum.

So far my experience with the GPS on the Spectrum seems that it's OK for driving, where miles or a hundred yards count. But for finding a needle in a haystack, it's useless. 10-15m is pretty bad.
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Old September 6th, 2012, 03:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Definitely. I tell ya what, my droid 2 was like a lazer... The damn thing was accurate to 1' or so. I find my spec go wide to 20' or so accuracy while driving, but it often thinks I'm 10' from where I actually am when walking.

BUT... We should note this could be an issue integrating with gmaps. I haven't tried other map apps to test accuracy.
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Old September 6th, 2012, 03:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Did a test and outside in clear view, with 10sats in use, I was down to 10ft accuracy as indicated by GPS Test.

Then I tried the same experiment but first cleared AGPS and refreshed AGPS data (using GPS Tests' menu). I was down to 10ft accuracy inside my house with 10sats in use.

So I guess accuracy being relative, my phone is doing a bit better than yours.

But seriously, your accuracy is going to be a function of many things, but most likely, the data the system is using and how many sats it actually sees. I think depending on your location, the number you are likely to "see" will vary.
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Old September 6th, 2012, 05:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yea, truth be told, if I wanted a super accurate gps device, I'd buy a garmin. We all have these lofty expectations for phones, but I remind myself that it's just a phone.
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Old September 6th, 2012, 06:13 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by death2all110 View Post
What site do you use that shows you all the caches?
Get an APP called C:GEO it works very well and its free. I am by no means an avid GeoCacher - but the three or four times I have gone out to do so this app came in handy
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Old September 6th, 2012, 07:45 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I once had a stuck GPS on this phone, cleared AGPS data with GPS Status, no go. Cleared Dav/Cache, never stuck again since.

I prefer GPS Test to GPS Status. Also, mine averages ~15 ft.
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Old September 7th, 2012, 10:35 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Anyone want to explain what in the world you are talking about, for those of us too lazy to look it up?

Why would you go hunting for a cache, when your phone already has one?
And why would you current your phone's cave just to go look for another?
Also, why would you want more than one cache?
Can you select between them?
If so, why would you need to ever clear it?
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Old September 7th, 2012, 10:53 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finndo77 View Post
Anyone want to explain what in the world you are talking about, for those of us too lazy to look it up?

Why would you go hunting for a cache, when your phone already has one?
And why would you current your phone's cave just to go look for another?
Also, why would you want more than one cache?
Can you select between them?
If so, why would you need to ever clear it?
*facepalms*
Let me google that for you
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Old September 7th, 2012, 11:12 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Yea, truth be told, if I wanted a super accurate gps device, I'd buy a garmin. We all have these lofty expectations for phones, but I remind myself that it's just a phone.
Yeah, I think I'll use the phone and C:Geo to find the coordinates, clues, etc but use my old Garmin RINO to actually locate the caches.

GPS Test on the Spectrum is saying 19 sats in view, using 9, accuracy to 20ft...but this is indoors.
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Old September 7th, 2012, 12:44 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I get the same sort of readings from GPS Test, but I find 'real world' application, generally while using GNav, is less accurate, even when with clear line-of-sight. I've been using it quite a bit lately and find Nav knows I'm on the same freeway, but the GPS lock circle widens out quite a bit. What's odd is it becomes more accurate when I'm in tunnels or under elevated freeways, than when out in the open. But, this phone seems to have quite a few quirks like that... the internal clock is perpetually off by .5-.75 seconds, even when corrected to atomic time, whereas my other phones and tablet take .5-1 hour before I get that kind of drift. *shrug*
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Old September 7th, 2012, 04:34 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I went, I read, I still don't get it. Seems like something for Pokemon fans to do after they get too old to play anymore...

Or people who like to buy those t-shirts that say "my xxxxx went to yyyyy and all I got was this stupid shirt"

Sorry to waste your time, I'll leave this thread now
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Old September 8th, 2012, 07:35 AM   #18 (permalink)
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FWIW: I downloaded a different GPS Test program from the Market. It's by Mike Lockwood and is extremely small in size.

If you do a search on GPS Test app or similar, this one has a rectangular icon and a gear in the foreground and will appear down in the list.

I recommend trying this one. You can also clear and inject AGPS data. When you start it, you must press the menu button and click Start.

I managed some warm locks in my house in 4sec, and accuracy to 3 or 4m. This is very good. Inside the house.

Of course it is easier for any GPS program to perform a warm rather than a cold lock.

This is the program I intend to use in the future if my Google Nav doesn't find my current location quickly.
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Old September 10th, 2012, 11:54 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Tried again today, to use the phone. Had to run a couple of errands, and saw some caches hidden nearby. Spent several minutes looking, but yet again my phone tells me "6.8m" > that way. I walk that way and then it tells me "5.4m" < back the other way. Nothing but a wild goose chase around an area that's probably 50 square meters. Unfortunately, I've misplaced my old Garmin....and want it worse than before, since the phone is incapable of getting withing 20' of a GPS target.
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