Low priced GPS for position confirmation only

Hong Kong Hiking Web: 討論組 Forum: 行山資料分類 Hiking Subtopics: 裝備 Equipment: 人造衛星定航儀 GPS: 討論 Discussion: Low priced GPS for position confirmation only
   By somenothing on Wednesday, August 06, 2003 - 1:15 pm:  Edit

6 of us just went on a 3 day trip into sai kung. planned to river trek to Sai Wan first day, then hike to Cheung Sheung second day and extract to Sai Kung on the third day...
all hell went loose and everything went bad. the path was overgrown with thorny vines, and most of the path was wet mud that we couldn't walk on with 65+L backpacks...
we were lucky to bump into some nice people to find out that we were a few hours behind schedule, and had to confirm several times to find a mid way camp with water before nightfall halfway to original objective...

anyway, the question is, is there a CHEAP & SIMPLE (a price at least below 1000) GPS device that at least only measures the 6-digit coordinate of your position, no fancy track log functions, so we could check where we are on the map by the longitude and latitude? it'd be a lifesaver when the path is overgrown and we lost track of the turns we made, especially for newbies like us!

plz help!

   By Kin on Thursday, August 07, 2003 - 1:01 am:  Edit

The Etrex (Yellow one) or the Geko110 may suitable (The smallest GPS from Garmin) for you.

Even they are cheap in price, but all the basic function like tracklog, coordination, netivgation and altimeter (Only return GPS height, so not as accuracy as the borometer) are available in a single unit.

   By somenothing on Thursday, August 07, 2003 - 3:16 pm:  Edit

so what should their prices be?

i have also read about the Etrex Summit on the official website, but it seems the price is double of the oroginal eTrex :\ even tho the only difference is that the SUmmit model has an electronic compass(which i dun realy need) and a borometric altimeter.

is there any model (now or old) that ONLY gives you the 6 digit coordinates?

   By paliny on Thursday, August 07, 2003 - 4:45 pm:  Edit

價錢參考下(頭幾部應該適合你的要求)
http://secure.hktraveler.com/shop_dbProduct.asp?TypeId=1

   By somenothing on Saturday, August 09, 2003 - 8:46 pm:  Edit

nonono, i want one that doesn't have tracklog or map functions... too expensive for me :\

   By paliny on Sunday, August 10, 2003 - 2:05 pm:  Edit

其實你不想要的功能,是現今GPS的基本功能。
如果你有Palm或PPC,平平地買個盒仔接收器,但要夾軟件,
但接收器加軟件,可能貴過一部HKD900.00的Garmin Geko 101。
或者在二手市場留意下,但並不多見,早前有部見賣幾百元。

   By somenothing on Sunday, August 10, 2003 - 8:15 pm:  Edit

:\
any idea on where i can look for second hand gear? online or shops?

   By 老人家 on Monday, August 11, 2003 - 9:34 am:  Edit

If you lost your way and became miserable, was it because you were short of some kind of gadget, or because you didn't do your map reading right?

Is a GPS the only way out? HK is very small indeed, not to mention your area of activity. GPS errors could run into hundreds of metres. That could mean finding or missing a path, stream or even your way out. Are you sure you know where you are going?

   By somenothing on Monday, August 11, 2003 - 4:26 pm:  Edit

actually, for my last trip, it was quite the opposite of what you're thinking...
we lost our way because (you're right) we "didn't read the map right", and that there was no clear path along the stream to tell us how much we've covered...
that's why i wanted to be able to take simple gps coordinates to check where we are in the case we get lost...

>GPS errors could run into hundreds of metres.
isn't GPS supposed to be accurate to within 15x15 meters, if not 3x3m for better models, except when you get lots of interference from buildings in the city areas?

   By 老人家 on Monday, August 11, 2003 - 5:43 pm:  Edit

I won't believe all the hype by GPS manufacturers about accuracy.

I know how pissed off people could be when they lost their way. However, I still think that for a small little place like HK, a good map and, sometimes, a compass are all that you will ever need to navigate with extreme accuracy.

I may not sound helpful but I for one would not invest my time and money on this gadget not knowing whether it will actually deliver. With 2 set squares, a lensatic compass, a pencil and a map, you can determine your position with very good accuracy any time, unless there is zero visibility. Try it. Cost much less but more dependable than a cheap GPS.

   By Ron on Monday, August 11, 2003 - 6:19 pm:  Edit

Yes, I also agree that a GPS is only needed when there is no way you can see far to check your position, e.g. in thick fog (or cloud). Along streams it may be also be useful because you also check your position with conventional map & compass method easily or accurately. But there is also a chance that beneath all the tree cover along the stream your GPS will not get enough signal for a position fix.

   By Ron on Monday, August 11, 2003 - 6:20 pm:  Edit

Yes, I also agree that a GPS is only needed when there is no way you can see far to check your position, e.g. in thick fog (or cloud). Along streams it may be also be useful because you also CANNOT check your position with conventional map & compass method easily or accurately. But there is also a chance that beneath all the tree cover along the stream your GPS will not get enough signal for a position fix.

   By somenothing on Monday, August 11, 2003 - 6:23 pm:  Edit

fair enough, we got lost cos we were still newbies...
all i wanted was a <$300 GPS that only gives u the coordinates, but i guess there isn't really any...

   By mike on Monday, August 11, 2003 - 9:25 pm:  Edit

I have a Garmin Geko201, used mainly as a lazy tool to take checkpoints along the way. My experience is that it is useless in some valleys because it cannot see more than 2 satellites and therefore I am afrain even a GPS may not help you in your situation. Nothing can replace good map reading skill.

   By Kin on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 10:36 am:  Edit

I read a web site from a HK guy that mentioned how to make a D.I.Y. GPS costing about few hundreds dollars. All the material are bought from Ap Liu Street and the unit can display a simple UTM info. (eg. Lon. & Lat.), which I think it is not suitable for hiker to use.
However, I don't think many people has the ability to do so because that guy is specialized in electronic.

The cheapest model you can buy now is around $800-1000. I think the most valuable thing for a GPS unit is not the coordinate it gives you, but it's the software function it gives you.
For a nice GPS software, it converts the position to MGRS coordination(eg. KK123123), which is more appropriate for a hiker to use.
In my point of view, I think the most valuable/important function is Navigation function rather than the coordination reading.
It estimate the distance, direction and time for you to arriving a particular point.
It is extremely useful for me to find a Exit point on stream trekking once I have planned the route.

I don't think the HK hiker don't require it because HK is small. As you know the habit of HK hiker, who always explore somewhere which is far away of a usual hiking trail. The GPS is especially useful for them.

   By somenothing on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 1:59 am:  Edit

>habit of HK hiker, who always explore somewhere which is far away of a usual hiking trail. The GPS is especially useful for them.

i guess we newbies wouldn't have been in such trouble if we didn't do that last time then :p

opening a road for ourselves was really a nice experience tho, minus being scratched by all those plants with thorns...

   By 老人家 on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 11:06 pm:  Edit

Alright, so you were newbies. That trip was fun, right? So why get so obseessed with a GPS just because of one small little mishap? If you know enough map reading and after a couple of trips more in the hills, you probably would think a GPS here is more than SUPERFLUOUS!

Hong Kong is no Alaska. Trust me.

   By somenothing on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 6:23 pm:  Edit

> and after a couple of trips more in the hills, you probably would think a GPS here is more than SUPERFLUOUS!

agreed... actually, after getting lost a feww more times :p

yea, we found out way, but just that it was really tiring to get to the nearest campsite with a water source before dark... i guess simply more planning and experience would help...

i can't wait till fall/winter...

   By TOm on Tuesday, June 08, 2004 - 3:05 pm:  Edit

I am using the Magellan Meridian Marine. It is so accurate. The accuracy is within 10m. The reciving power of this unit is so strong. I can trace my position even in my home. I used it for driving in United States. I never get lost again. I don't trust the Garmin lower end product. Many people compliant about the receiving powere of the Garmin. It can not work under a thin cloud or small tree. Why spend money on some is useless? By the way, the magellan cost about 3000 HKD. But, it is so great.

   By Pete on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 1:26 pm:  Edit

Etrex basic model less than $1000


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