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GPS Recommendations...

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Re: GPS Recommendations...

Postby jdorje » Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:19 pm

Battery life and durability are certainly issues for a smartphone. My note 2 will easily last one day with gps tracking running on a 10 seconds interval. A spare battery cost me $10 which I then carry with me. I turn off wireless and mobile data but leave the phone connection going (searching for network is more battery drain so if the coverage is poor I turn this off too). I don't know the temperature rating of the phone but I suspect this is not a good winter option. Regardless, if you own a smartphone and are looking for your first gps, you already own it and should use it.

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Re: GPS Recommendations...

Postby Dark Helmet » Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:10 am

zinj wrote:Yeah - battery issues are a concern. My ordinary (free) imapmyride app wouldn't last and that's enen ON network.

What I'm curious to find out is if the signal interval can be adjusted so that it updates my position, say, once every 30 seconds and interpolates from there. There may be some interval that doesn't drain the battery too quickly and still provides tracking of a slow-moving target like me on foot.

or maybe not...we'll see..




most phones you can change the pulse rate... "searching for signal" is the other battery killer.



so now the question becomes which app???? (android)

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Re: GPS Recommendations...

Postby Erich » Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:43 am

I recently bought an iPhone 4S to replace my iPhone 4 because my contract was up and it was on sale for $50. The nice thing about the old phone is that even though it's no longer functional for voice/text/data, the GPS still works great so when hiking all battery power is focused on navigation (I make sure all other apps are closed). So I double fist my iPhones on hikes using my old phone for GPS and my new phone in airplane mode ready to be switched on for communication and navigation backup if necessary. I've never had trouble with battery life on either doing it this way on my average 7-8 hour days in the Sawatch and have a Power Bank charger for backup emergency juice. So far I've been using RunKeeper and MotionX-GPS. Still carry maps and compass of course.

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Re: GPS Recommendations...

Postby Dark Helmet » Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:01 am

^^^ I use my old Galaxy S-I like that with RunKeeper (love that app)...

been very happy with it but I've never had it out for more than 2hrs... might try running it in tandem with my new GS-III and see how it goes.

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Re: GPS Recommendations...

Postby oldschoolczar » Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:19 am

If you want a serious GPS that you can rely on look at a Garmin Etrex unit.. they have models ranging from ~$150-$300 or so..

If you just want to mess around and look at some stats from your climb then just get an app on your phone. MyTracks is a solid one that's been around for a few years. I wouldn't expect to use your phone GPS for more than a quick day-trip though unless you want to be dealing with backup batteries, etc.

I wouldn't rely on your phone GPS for navigation though. GPS units have a lot of features that make them more conducive to reliable navigation.. more durable/rugged, waterproof, more accurate, MUCH better battery life, more features, more customizable for maps, etc. There may be some apps out there that are customizable..

I used my phone before I had a GPS and it would barely make it through a quick hike like Grays/Torreys.. in fact I think it died. Turn off the cell network and just leave the GPS on. It was fun to look at stats, but I much prefer having a dedicated GPS (and my phone fully charged & powered down in my pack in case of emergencies).
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Re: GPS Recommendations...

Postby zinj » Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:35 pm

Just did two 6 hour hikes on successive days with an iphone 4 and some app called GPS kit.

Battery lasted the whole time (re-charged overnight) for each of the hikes. GPS worked despite being outside of cell coverage 95% of the time
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Re: GPS Recommendations...

Postby rockchalker » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:40 am

Six of us are headed into Chicago Basin the first week of September and naturally friends and family are a bit concerned and would like, at a minimum, to be able to track our progress and know where we are. Sounds like an iphone + external battery charger + Send My Location App might be the best option.

The SPOT Connect looked like another, but much more expensive option plus not sure if it would buy us much more.
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Re: GPS Recommendations...

Postby pseudoghost » Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:19 pm

rockchalker wrote:Six of us are headed into Chicago Basin the first week of September and naturally friends and family are a bit concerned and would like, at a minimum, to be able to track our progress and know where we are. Sounds like an iphone + external battery charger + Send My Location App might be the best option.

The SPOT Connect looked like another, but much more expensive option plus not sure if it would buy us much more.


You can use the iPhone for the GPS, but I would not count on being able to get any kind of cellular connection in the Chicago Basin for the Send My Location App to work (as it requires a cellular connection). SPOT, while not perfect, still uses a satellite connection, which has more coverage than cell networks do.

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Re: GPS Recommendations...

Postby shearmodulus » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:03 pm

If purely for navigation purposes, I really like my Garmin GPSMaps 62s. You can get free 1:24k topo maps for the entire state, a free map manager program to upload, create, edit routes, etc., and it has a pretty good battery life using 2 x AA Energizer lithium batteries.

If you're dead set on using your cell phone, recharging by way of a solar charger is an option, but you need to get one large enough to push enough juice to charge the battery on a high-drain system like a smartphone with a big screen. My solio bolt struggled to charge an iphone 5 on Denali even with 20+ hours of daylight because the phone will turn itself on once the battery gets enough juice and it never was able to get ahead of the drain.
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Re: GPS Recommendations...

Postby jdorje » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:10 pm

I would not say you should be dead set on using your phone as a gps. I would say if you own a phone with a gps, you should use it until you need something better.

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