Author Topic: Basic GPS thingie, to record a track, but nothing else.  (Read 1100 times)

Wombat

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Basic GPS thingie, to record a track, but nothing else.
« on: June 13, 2013, 07:33:43 pm »
I'm looking for a simple GPS object, just to record where I've been. No display, no maps or directions, just the ability to download a track and look at it on appropriate mapping software.  All I've spotted is things like this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Qstarz-BT-Q818-XT-GPS-Logger/dp/B003YCZINA/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1371147499&sr=1-2&keywords=gps+logger

Am I on the right track (IGMC) with this, or should I be looking for something else.

Yes, I've got a smartphone, but if I leave the GPS on, it'll die way too soon when out and about for extended periods. (Never tried downloading a track, dunno if it can even do that)  Ideally I'd like something that could track my movements for days or even a week, and then download it.

Any polite suggestions?  My poor old Etrex (serial connection, and no SD card, so that shows its age) would neve rlast long enough, and I was looking for something simpler and cheaper, ideally.
Wombat

frankly frankie

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Re: Basic GPS thingie, to record a track, but nothing else.
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2013, 08:07:54 am »
It's odd isn't it - there are geese and ospreys flying all over the world with lightweight, long-life tracking devices - why can't cyclists access something like that?

Incidentally, I understand you're looking for something low-fat - but a modern Etrex equipped with lithium AAs would run for 48 hours, especially with no map use and no backlight.  And it will start tracking when you switch it on, and stop when you switch it off, straight out of the box - which seems pretty simple to me.  And a minor tweak to the setup ensures that it will archive everything and you'll never lose a tracklog.
The main downside is that it's not optimal just to sling it in your saddlebag somewhere and expect it to work.
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Re: Basic GPS thingie, to record a track, but nothing else.
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2013, 08:19:08 am »
It's odd isn't it - there are geese and ospreys flying all over the world with lightweight, long-life tracking devices - why can't cyclists access something like that?

Incidentally, I understand you're looking for something low-fat - but a modern Etrex equipped with lithium AAs would run for 48 hours, especially with no map use and no backlight.  And it will start tracking when you switch it on, and stop when you switch it off, straight out of the box - which seems pretty simple to me.  And a minor tweak to the setup ensures that it will archive everything and you'll never lose a tracklog.
The main downside is that it's not optimal just to sling it in your saddlebag somewhere and expect it to work.

 ;D ;)

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OP, Maybe a Garmin Forerunner would fit the bill?

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Basic GPS thingie, to record a track, but nothing else.
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2013, 10:07:32 am »
I wonder what sort of GPS loggers/trackers are used on birds, and where can you buy them? I presume they log at a rather low frequency, ie only 1 point per hour or day, which would make a big difference to battery life (but be less useful for cycling).

OP, Maybe a Garmin Forerunner would fit the bill?
Most of the Forerunners only have about 10 hours of battery life, so probably not very useful.
For a watch, the Garmin Fenix can do up to 50 hours of logging, but that's a less detailed track, ie about 1 point per minute. And it is rather expensive and complicated.

I think some sort of simple GPS logger would be best. I'm not sure if that Qstarz BT-Q818XT in the original post is actually a logger, it seems its just a Bluetooth GPS receiver, you would need a separate device (ie a phone) to record a track. Qstarz do make a few models of GPS loggers, eg BT-Q1000XT. http://www.qstarz.com/Products/GPS%20Products/BT-Q1000XT-F.htm
It can record up to 400,000 points, and 42 hours battery life. I'm not sure about that model, but it seems some of the Qstarz loggers use a standard Nokia battery, so you could carry a few spares.

There's plenty other brands with similar things. This list on the OpenStreetMap wiki might help: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/GPS_reviews

Re: Basic GPS thingie, to record a track, but nothing else.
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2013, 12:36:12 pm »
http://www.bto.org/science/migration/tracking-studies/cuckoo-tracking/tracking-technology

Not as accurate as GPS - but then for birds doing 000's of kilometres it doesn't need to be. Very neat.

Re: Basic GPS thingie, to record a track, but nothing else.
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2013, 02:25:33 pm »
This thread will be of interest

https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=59904.msg1241609#msg1241609

I've used the GPS logger discussed to record many DIY events.

As discussed in the thread I find that I do have to convert the gpx files from the logger to gpx files via www.gpsvisualizer.com or my local validator has problems with the file but that's not difficult to do.

The software does need updating occasionally.

One other thing I found was that on my first 600K ride the total file size was over 3MB which gpsvisualizer wouldn't convert as that's their file size limit. Its easy to break up the track recorded as you can stipulate that it creates multiple tracks when you are stopped for a specific time eg 10 mins, 2hrs etc. This can be done after the ride.

I do have the unit set  to record every 10 metres. This can be altered as well and I would do this next time I did a 600k to reduce the file size
 
Battery life is dependent on whatever you use to power it. The set up I have will last approx. 70hrs

Re: Basic GPS thingie, to record a track, but nothing else.
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2013, 01:49:14 pm »
Maybe an eTrex 10.

You cannot install mapping, just use it as a logger in your back pocket.
If you need to change the batteries, you can stitch the recorded tracks together on Mapsource.

£80 ( less 15% if you are a CTC member, from Cotswold Outdoor ).

Or the eTrex 20 if in the future, you want to add maps and use it as a guidance device.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: Basic GPS thingie, to record a track, but nothing else.
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2013, 12:44:50 am »
Not sure how many trackpoints can the Etrex 10 record, is it limited to 10,000 points like the older versions?
The specifications say "10,000 points, 100 saved tracks". Do the saved tracks have full details, and does it have an "auto archive" feature like the Etrex 20/30 do?

Other than that, it is a decent basic unit for that price.

thing1

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Re: Basic GPS thingie, to record a track, but nothing else.
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2013, 06:07:53 am »
http://www.bto.org/science/migration/tracking-studies/cuckoo-tracking/tracking-technology

Not as accurate as GPS - but then for birds doing 000's of kilometres it doesn't need to be. Very neat.

~500m accuracy. For validating a DIY not much good, but at 50g and very low power consumption, the technology is interesting for a bike tracking system in case of theft. Or say, sharing your location while on a multi week tour in a remote location.

Dave44

Re: Basic GPS thingie, to record a track, but nothing else.
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2013, 03:37:32 pm »
I have one of the £40 IgotU micro trackers, which, erm, just does track logging. You can geotag photos with it in a roundabout way. It does what it's supposed to but for not much more you can chuck an Etrex 10 on the bike somewhere.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/i-gotU-USB-Travel-Logger-GT-120/dp/B0029IQPQO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1371393311&sr=8-2&keywords=igotu


IanDG

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Re: Basic GPS thingie, to record a track, but nothing else.
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2013, 03:52:09 pm »
I use a Bryton Rider 20

It shows me current speed, distance covered and time/ride time whilst riding and I download the route on the home pc