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GPS on ice

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Using a GPS unit for ice fishing can really make your fishing more productive. New units are being produced that make marking points of reference easier than ever. The Magellan 315 and Garmin Etrex are two good examples, both are 12 channel units that are compact and really user friendly. Both units retail for under $150. And can pay for themselves the first time you can find your way back to that honey hole or the way home during fog or a whiteout.

Rob

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Rob, I agree that GPS units are very useful. I have an Eagle Eagle Explorer and have used it for couple of years.

Are their any tricks to make them more accurate?

I've tested my unit. It's accurate to within 10' on the same day, but can be a 100' or so off the mark a few days later.

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The accuracy of any GPS unit is factored more by SA (selective availibility) than by the unit itself. Since the Govt. operates the system the have error signals randomly emmited in the signal. This will change the reading of your unit constantly. And there is not much we can do about it. Some units have what is called averaging, but the unit has to be stationary for a long time for this to be real efficient. If you want to see just how much SA changes your position, use the plotter screen on .01 scale. Put it (the unit) in a fixed position, after some time the screen will look like a deformed flower that is the result of SA. There is some talk of SA being turned off in a few years. But until then we get to live with our "close" accuracy.
Rob

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Rob, I have a Garmin 45 and ever since the August roll over it won't pick up the satalites. I turns on and will pick up 2 to4 then just sits there or will alarm out as to low sat coverage. Acording to Garmin it should be fine. Do you know if there is a problem with them or do I need a new one?

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Benny
On some of the older 45's they needed to be reset after the Aug. roll over. Try holding the PAGE button in and pressing the POWER. Doing this resets the unit. It may take a while after this to locate itself, because it needs to do initialization. Hope this helps.
Rob

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Benny,
I think re-initializing may cause you to lose your waypoints. If you have any hot ones you want to keep, write 'em down before you reset your unit.

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Thanks for the tips, I have a jurnal that I write all info from the gps into.I reread the web page for Garmin and found where it said to do just as you said. I will try it this weekend. Good fishing, Benny

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Rob, a friend of mine ,Jay G, was in the store over the week and bought a megelen gps. He said that you talked him into it over the garmin. Is the antena position on the garmin really that differant? Will the megelen pick out the satalites better in the deep woods? And last, are the megelens better on battery life? Thanks for the info preveously, the 45 works great now. We found migit flat in the fog a few weeks ago.Thanks again, Benny

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Benny,
The antenna on the Magellan 315 is a omni-directional antenna. Meaning it looks "receives" in all directions at once. The Garmin 12 uses a patch style antenna that can only receive in one direction with good result. In heavy cover the antenna that can recieve more can lock on better to marginal signals. For battery life the both units is approx 12 hours. Only the Magellan does it on 2 batteries, vs the Garmin at 4.
Glad to hear your 45 works for you.
Rob

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Thanks Rob, the people from Garmin at the sportsshow last weekend did not tell me there was a differant type of antenna in thier units. They didn't cut magellen down but said thiers was just as good.I am going to wait and see how Jay G. likes his, then I will buy a new one.Thanks for the help, Benny

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