GPS Devices

Daily Wind forecasts, questions about weather, gear, locations, etc.

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GPS Devices

Postby Josh Shirley » Sat Apr 29, 2006 9:12 pm

I guess this is for all the techies out there.

Carl C asked about them. I am using a Foretex 201. I bought it last year at REI for a pretty decent price, thinking I would use it for skiing and windsurfing. I have always wondered how fast and how far I have gone.

To date I have skiied 91 mph and only windsurfed 29.7 mph (I haven't had a fast flat water day yet.) Besides that a lot of really good information can be collected from them. Distance, average speed, elevation, google earth downloads, and all other kinds of goodies.

The software sold for all the units is really expensive. That is where they get ya. BUT here is the good news: Maps and downloads are free through http://www.motionbased.com
Their basic service is free, because they have been using every one's data to build the most comprehensive trial network available - road and mountain biking as well as hiking.

I checked my link to my Thursday post and it worked fine for me, but it might only work for me since I am a member. You could also search their database for windsurf activites around the world.

Motion Based also has a really good forum about the different units available. So try reading up on them there.

Garmin just introduced a new biking GPS that puts any bike computer to shame. The Garmin Edge 305.

As for size, I initially thought that the wrist watch version would be better for windsurfing but now I think a larger one would work better. I now strap mine to the mast above my boom. That way I can watch my speed easier.

If you do get one, you will be surprised by the amount of useful data that can be collected.

http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/invitation/accept.mb?senderPk.pkValue=20597&unitSystemPkValue=2&episodePk.pkValue=680197

Oh yeah, motion based even matches the nearest weather stations information to your activity.
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Postby Carl Christensen » Tue May 02, 2006 8:36 am

That link worked. Looks good. Which unit would you buy knowing what you do now? Garmin says the only difference between the 101 and 201 is the battery.
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Garmin foretrex 101

Postby BrettLinde » Tue May 02, 2006 2:00 pm

Carl,
I have the 101, I believe when I bought mine last year that the main difference is the 101 is 2 AAAs. I decided on this one because i can always throw in some batteries rather than waiting to charge it. I really like the smallness of it and it can be worn on wrist or put in a waterproof pack and strapped to boom. It has a nice feature to display speed realtime in BIG FONT on the whole screen which makes it easy to see at high speed/.

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201

Postby Josh Shirley » Tue May 02, 2006 4:08 pm

I picked the Foretex 201 because it is incased, worrying about the water resistance.

The batteries stay charged for 15 hours. The charger only takes 1 to 2 hours to recharge.

Both the 101 and 201 are the same size. They just have different features. The Foretex 201 has some sailing racing features the 101 doesn't have: like race count down start timer. And since we have so many course events in Utah that will help a lot.

It seems to me the technology keeps improving with each edition so I think the newer model editions will be better for the long run.

The bigger units get better reception. Which is better for back country skiing, and deep sea diving.
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Foretrex 201

Postby Steven Nyhus » Wed May 03, 2006 9:01 am

I have the Foretrex 201 also and I can second what Josh said. The batteries work for as long as he stated. The only drawback that I can see is that I don't know if the batteries can be changed when they go bad. From what I have read on GPS-speedsurfing.com when they go out that is the end of the unit. Of course by that time there will be something better and less expensive. The 201 has some great features as Josh described. I have only used my for skiing and biking so far and it works great.
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Postby Carl Christensen » Wed May 03, 2006 12:06 pm

I asked the Garmin rep and he said the 101/201 features were identical, the only difference being the AAA batteries vs. the rechargeables. Now I'm corn-fused. Both are supposed to be water resistant to 1 m I think. Both benefit from a waterproof carrier if you are serious. But I want something sailing friendly so if there are differences they would matter to me. Sounds like the 101 is @$130. Anyone have any sources?
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Postby Steven Nyhus » Wed May 03, 2006 1:29 pm

As far as I know they are the same except for the batteries. They are both suppposed to be water proof to 3m. The only concern with the 101 would be the seal on the battery cover. If you are going to use a waterproof pouch (which a lot of people on GPS-speedsailing.com say is a good idea for both units anyway), it wouldn't matter which one you get. I like the idea of not haveing to change batteries. As Josh said earlier, it has some nice features for racing (nice big countdown timer). I am really impressed with the 201.
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Postby Carl Christensen » Thu May 04, 2006 10:00 pm

I picked one up for $135 at Liberty sports. Do I need software or can I get started with it as is? Thanks for the info.
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GPS

Postby BrettLinde » Thu May 04, 2006 11:46 pm

Carl,
No software required.. the software is just the extras for these things.. THe unit itself stores your tracks, zooms in and out so you can see your actual tracks, all kinds of things... Its gonna take a while to just figure out all the things you can do with just the unit..
What is fun also is GEO CACHING>. this is a worldwide hobby for many that is great fun and exercise.. I have taken my kids on many a treasure hunt with my unit.. Visit http://www.geocaching.com and you can find thousands of "caches" to track down with your unit.. You basically do a search on the website for caches that are out there and plug in the coordinates and your unit will point you the direction to start driving, tell you how far away you are in miles, feet, etc and guide you to within feet of a hidden treasure that someone has hidden.. We have done many around DeerCreek when it is not blowin and the kids want to have some fun.. Some caches are extreme, involve hiking/biking,swimming etc and some you can drive right to.. Fun Stuff. You can also make your own "cache" and post it and let others find your spot..
Late
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Postby Steven Nyhus » Fri May 05, 2006 9:47 am

There are a couple of sources for software. Josh knows of one site, and http://www.gps-speedsurfing.com has links to free software that is specific to sailing. Just go to the main page and click on the FAQ link. Look for the link to software and they have instructions on the software you will need to download and how to install it. You need two programs: g7towin (for interfacing with your gps unit and downloading the raw data) and gpsar (for analyzing your tracks, you can also load google earth images to see where you have been sailing). The website is a worldwide community of windsurfers and there is a lot of good info.
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