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Friday, May 31, 2013

Heads up on GPS

Just saw this important article about GPS on “Yachting World.” I've got to thank Boat Bits for the link.

Looks like for the rest of the year, there's a chance GPS signals will have accuracy problems and may even fail completely. Blame increased solar activity.

I've warned before about being too reliant on GPS. Don't completely depend on a complicated electronic device. Something as simple as dead batteries could turn them into a useless brick.

Worse than complete failure, in my book, is reduced accuracy. You think you are doing fine, but are actually in a dangerous area.

Just passing this along. It might be better to put one's money in maps and charts rather than expensive GPS units. I'll still use my cheap one, but it's just one navigation tool in my box of tricks.

-Sixbears

8 comments:

  1. When off shore more than 20 miles, you may want an old fashioned sextant. The stars don't change or blink off very often (grin). But then you will have to have good watch and calander. . .

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    1. I see some interest in off shore sailors developing the skill.

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  2. And if you geo cache 'supplies', better take back note information just in case GPS system does go kablooey . . .

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  3. GPS's are one of those instruments that make people dumb. Well, just dumber than usual in some case. How about the idiot who did what his GPS said: "turn right, turn right"...he did and found himself driving on the railway line. This was at the railway crossing...(That was in my towh here last year)

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    1. You've got to be smarter than your gizmos.

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  4. I was in Houston, Tx. last week when the gps in my truck started changing elevations from -168 feet to +348 feet within a tenth of a mile of travel. It did that for about five miles.

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    1. Just heard about two different people who's gps failed completely on the way to Quebec City. Could not pick up the satellites.

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