Discussion: GPS Loggers
in: Orienteering; General;
Does anyone have any recomendations of a light weight GPS Logger? I lost my Garmin 305 at the Australian 3 Days (it now lives in a bramble bush!) and think I will go for a logger as a replacemnt as I only ever use the GPS to record my trace so all the other functions are not a requirement.
Good connectivity to Windows
Accuracy of the trace
There are a few logger recommendations in the GPS Petition thread
I'm in-the-market, too. No idea. It seems the ones with little feedback also have a habit of failing to work because of some user error.
I've used the following and it seems okay. There are a number of reviews about for it. There is also a smaller version with less memory.
Richard I did some research last year (including the thread above), and it looks like these two are available in Australia, and look as though they would do the job - small and inexpensive. QSTARZ BT-Q1300ST
or i-gotU Gt-120
I've used a Qstarz BT-Q1000 a bit for rogaines etc - the software that comes with it is pretty terrible (ie. even Garmin software has a better interface...) but the unit itself is reliable. Lots of options for configuring recording intervals etc. There's a couple of examples using the Qstarz on my rogaine RG site: 1
Connectivity is not a real word.
If you don't like the software that comes with a data logger, I suggest trying BT747
. This program works with many Qstarz devices and other GPS loggers that use the MTK chipset. It lets you download track data and configure the recording interval and many other options. The user interface is a bit technical, but it does the job.
There was another AP thread
about loggers a while back.
@ Juffy - the website says the BT-Q1000 ST has replaced the BT-Q1000. Not sure if the software has been improved though.
@ Juffy 2 - were those eg's before any type of gps was banned by IRF/ARA/WARA? tut-tut - hope Mr R isn't listening.
If you like wrist wearable unit then this one could be an option
Soleus 2.0 comes with data download cable/capability. Software at PC end is not the greatest but if you need only to download data from unit then should be ok.
The I got u I use benefits from being in loose fitting areas, or fabbing your own aftermarket button protector. Why they made the damn button proud of the surface and thus prone to accidental squeezing that can shut it off....i don't know. Grr.
I haven't found any accurate and lightweight gps loggers, I'd like to hear too if somebody knows one.
After couple of months I stopped using the Holux M-1200E I mentioned it the older thread. Accuracy wasn't quite what I liked to have. I went back to globalsat bt-335.
Loggers are compromises between, accuracy, weight and battery (run time). My experience was anything lighter than 35g will not do (unless runtime is less than 5 hours), because antenna just is not big enough. Easiest way to get lightweight and accurate logger is taking a big, bulky one with big accurate antenna, and replacing the battery with a small lightweight one. Then you'll make 30-45g genuinely accurate logger with about 4h runtime. That's what I did to my bt335 after giving up with the Holux. Made a big difference.
however, last week my bt335 died because of my experiments with sirfdemo application. bt335 is discontinued and replaced by bt-338x. I bought on (38 euros here), it seems to be same unit, circuit board is same, download is the same, only difference is upper part of the plastic body. I put circuit board to the lightweight body of my old bt335 and it fitted in perfectly.
I am very fond of these units. Accurate
and lightweight (~40g) with smaller battery (and removing some plastics not needed with the small battery), What makes it special is the fact data is downloaded over bluetooth and gpsbabel knows how to do it. So I have gpsbabel and some own scrips (for analysis and posting data to AP) installed on my smart phone, laptop, and tablet. No matter what gadget I have at hand I can download the data and post it here and see some analysis, usually laptop or tablet at home, elsewhere smart phone (like at TC immediately after race). Bluetooth download is sometimes hassle with windows, but on tablet and smart phone it works like charm (linux).
I am not aware of any sirf4 loggers. With sirf4 it might work with smaller antenna and battery, mtk2 and sirf3 can't do it. Don't know about ublox6, it might do as well, who knows.
Based on something Jagge wrote somewhere I recently bought the bt335 to replace the logger that I lost. It's easy to use (turn on - starts logging, turn off-stops logging) and data download is easy even on the Mac side (more consistent than with my FR 405, which can be a pita). It's small enough to fit in the back zip pocket of the Trimtex O pants. That may not be the awesomest place for a gps receiver, but it's easy. Seems like a decent little device.
For comparison, the (obsolete) RoyalTek RGM-3800 that I have is about 80g with batteries. USB download, not Bluetooth, and I'm not sure how long it will run on a AAA cells, but I know it's at least 3.5 hours, that's the longest I've run it, on rechargeable NiMH cells. Somebody on a GPS forum said they were disappointed because it was only 10 hours with alkalines.
Simmo, we all know people were using GPS's in rogaines for a number of years. So why the recent fuss? Someone unfortunately made their transgression public and someone else protested forcing the authorities to acknowledge it and deal with it. At least, now, people can openly display routes and discuss analysis post event.
You can't police such things completely. If people want to bend the rules, then they will find a way to avoid detection.
Traps for newbies - 1
In response to this thread I have just purchased the above model. Cheaper than a Silva Jet! So its not a barrier to the use of GPS in WRE events, but I digress.
The logger comes with a printed set of basic instructions. I used them and they didn't seem to correspond to how the logger actually behaved. I then downloaded the instructions on the web site and they turned out to be different.
Step 1: Throw out the printed instructions.
Where did you pruchase the QTARZ?
QSTARZ have online sales at the link I posted above. Of course someone else may have them cheaper (IL may know) but I couldn't find another Australian supplier.
An eBay seller by the name of GPSLot
I have found the qstarz bt-q1300st to be quite accurate, especially if you download AGPS data so it find satellites more quickly.
I have been using the iGotU GT120 since last year, attached to my control description holder on my left arm. Its accuracy has been very variable, from excellent on a Long to poor on sprints, getting me to fight the tracing in QuickRoute to conform to where I actually did go. Reading the other thread, though, I'll try this weekend to attach it to my baseball cap in the forest and see if it gets better reception this way. (I look down at the ground often enough it should really pick up signals easily.. ahem.) I already have it to refresh every 1 second, though maybe other settings could be optimised.
A good way to evaluate logger's accuracy find a area with heavy tree canopy and run a path with sharp turn out and back several times (not a loop, better compare going both directions). You can identify sharp turns and measure location variations.
Here's test run I did yesterday. Holux did worse than usual it usually works fine in open areas. The IgotU I have tested is worse than my Holux. I'd expect something little better than what Holux did here (because low battery) with the tiny quartz device mentioned above.
Globalsat does well and it also has the one-tap-wireless-download-and-post-to-AttackPoint -smartphone app, so I guess you get why it's my favorite.
The Ambit watch does quite well too and has barometric altimeter, accelerometer smoothed pace readings, HR monitor and maybe can be used for AMRD in the future, so it's will be hard to pick just one.
Niall I'm not sure that any gps works well in sprint events. My 305 certainly doesn't, and I've stopped trying to adjust routes that show me going through buildings or missing controls by two or three times the diameter of the circle. Could be a number of reasons: 1. Area of the map is small; 2. The base map - a variety of potentially less accurate bases could be used to save money and work compared to bigger mapping projects; 3. Feature displacement during the fieldwork/drawing processes may be relatively greater than for larger scale maps; 4. Running speed; 5. Satellite signal varies amongst complex buildings.
Maybe for sprint events data recording faster than 1 second is needed, but I don't know of any models which provide a faster option.
4. Satellite signal varies amongst complex buildings.
It's certainly not your running speed Simmo, you're an old man. :)
Thanks Juffy, but my gps tracks at bush sprints are just as wayward - eg Easter Prologue 2011, and WA Club Relays at the same venue.
It's #1. Well not strictly the area but the scale. A given absolute error seems more significant on a large-scale map.
I did a short urban test while ago. The hat approach makes difference also in urban environment.
Place looks like this:
I ran between the tree line and the building. Any worse canyon than this sewems to be difficult for my devices.
Admittedly, this sprint I just did was on a university campus. No building displacement since the map was done. :) But also, huge possibility of signal bouncing. And yes, the smaller scale map (5000) doesn't help. But if the hat works just better enough to make deviations more minor, it'll be good enough for me. (And I may be an older man, but I can sprint as fast as the whippersnappers... just not as long.)
Niall, here is comparison I did over year ago. Not the same Igotu, but still most likely it's nowhere near the accuracy you get with better devices:
Had a look at the Soleus GPS watches in the Runnign Room Vancouver today but the sales guy had no idea of the features and differences wihich kind of puts you off but at least he was honest! The Version1 with no download was $99 and the 3.0 with the heart rate monitor was $199 they did not have any 2.0 which is probably the one I would look at if I was to go for a watch style.
Will most likely get a QSTARZ from an online store when I get back to Perth
Not having access to GoogleEarth, I can't use the KMZ comparison, but after putting my i-gotU on my baseball cap's rear flap, the reception was much, much better and putting the tracing to the map was much easier. Still needed a dozen or so adjustment points, but still. It's now okay for my needs, but my needs are minimal, not elite training.
The reason GPS devices don't work in sprint events is because they cannot orienteer.
It's certainly not the base maps in WA because they are highly accurate and drawn with great attention to scale and detail, particularly UWA & Guildford Grammar.
On an aside, every time I got for a mapping walk in my home suburb, the GPS trace I upload to the base map has the first kilometre of my walk thrown about 100m out to the south before it aligns itself correctly after that. No idea why this is so! I'm guessing the high concentration of bogan activity in the area is causing the satellite signal to become confused.
How do you attach your logger to your hat? Do you put it into a little bag and pin it? Also, Niall implies that putting the logger on a small flat surface improves reception or am I drawing the wrong conclusion?
No, I found the rear flap fit perfectly to hold it. Here's a link to a photo which explains much better than I can.
Any time I look at the map or at the forest floor to not trip, its antenna is nicely pointed at the sky. :) Of course, it's even more difficult to remember to start it 3 minutes before actually punching the start than when it was on my left arm control description holder...
ohh, I see. I thought you might put the cap on backwards (very common here).
I have never understood why... This cap has saved my eyes numerous time, taking the brunt of a branch that normally would have hit my face instead. To do this, the cap must face forward. Also, very handy on sunny days to protect my eyes and face from getting burned. Thus, the logger is always at the back facing up to the sky.
If we knew why rappers, homies and Lleyton Hewitt wore their caps back to front we could maybe solve the mystery of the universe.
Baseball catchers wear the cap backwards so that they can put the protective mask on over it. Others wear it as an urban style thing, in cases where the cap is purely decorative. People wearing a cap for functional reasons rarely wear it backwards.
Unless it's to keep hair out of your face, in which case it doesn't matter whether it's worn backwards, forwards, or sideways.
Also, it's hard to kiss someone with a cap worn properly.
How do you attach your logger to your hat?
check out Bob Boltz's homemade hat contraption
at a recent 6-hr mini-rogaine
You could also maybe use one of these
Thanks. I assume being in plastic doesn't interfere with the reception.
I ran a logger double zip locked in a backpack and it tracked pretty well. On hat is better, but the other is usable.
I see how you guys keep the logger on your hats, but how do you keep your hats on? Or should I go through less green......
That is my question too--when I first started orienteering many years ago, I would wear hats like this, but after losing many of them in the woods, switched to headbands, which I have been using ever since.
Do you tape your hats to your heads or something???
Depends on the nature of the vegetation (e.g. no problem in Wyoming), depends on the fit of the hat, and depends on whether you have enough hair to have a ponytail sticking out through the back.
You could stitch a strap
where the visor meets the cap.
Think of the military in the wind
Recall the strap under the chin.
Simple solutions abound -
one needs not turn around.
Just ask APee
Answers are for free.
I've lost mapping pens and wondered where they went,
what was I thinking/doing at the moment of loss? Perceived loss should be better with a cap departing but am still wondering about several pens that disappeared '06-7 when they were supposed to be more or less firmly in hand.
Even with a ponytail the hat can get knocked off in thick-enough vegetation (pines or trying to duck through laurel or other woody bushes). :-)
Yeah, but if you have a substantial enough ponytail, the hat will still be dangling and can quickly be pulled back on. (A lot of people don't remember this, but I used to have a ponytail that was a poofy mass of hair about the same size as my head.)
Hey I thought Aussies were bad for getting off topic but how did we get to keeping your hat on?
Well, if a branch gets in the way and hits my cap, it'll knock it off. If it's thick enough to do that, I now have enough experience that I duck a bit to clear the branch, and immediately tuck my arm behind my back to catch the dislodged cap and put it back on without breaking stride. But I'm rarely running or jogging in the green, which is where I usually get the hat knocked off. I'm never at a few seconds close of winning anyway. :)
And no plastic, though I might look into it if it's raining. As shown in my photo, the strap fits perfectly in the tiny logger's holding slot. If it were bigger, I'd likely put it around my waist somehow, snug at the back again for better exposure for the antenna.
But honestly, my GPS logger works fine in my front pants pocket. I might do something different if I were mapping, for when I'm running, it seems to be adequate.
This discussion thread is closed.