An update is available — 14 Comments

  1. I bought a Garmin Quest back in '05, the only thing it has ever been good at was telling me where I had been; at an electronics gadget show a couple of years back I spoke to a Garmin rep, he looked embarrassed and admitted that model had not been a success, I only bought Garmin because an idiot had recommended it to me over a TomTom, since I use a Mac I have to use a pals computer to upload the latest data, at last after the most recent data download, 8 years since purchasing it, the Garmin actually guided me to a destination I had asked it to, rather than into a river, wall, mobile crane etc. When I come to replace it, I won't be choosing Garmin.

    • I fell foul of the same thing – the recommendation of a friend.  In fairness I do find it great for long distance stuff, particularly when on the Continent.  Apart from a tendency to ignore one-way streets it's virtually 100% accurate and has got me out of a few tight spots.  I once even lost the car [in Cherbourg] and luckily had stuck Roger in my pocket for security – found the car straight away!

  2. Testing our Garmin out a few years ago, I asked it to take us from Killiney to Dawson Street – it took us via Clonskeagh and Ranelagh instead of straight up the N11.

    My phone came with a map application which I consult from time to time and I recently downloaded something called Navfree onto it but I haven't had much of an opportunity to test it, rural Ireland tending to be the sort of place where you take the Dublin road, or the Limerick road, or the Cork road and not have to worry about getting lost

    • I have a yoke on my phone too. It doesn't have voice recognition and is mute which means fiddling around with a tiny screen while driving, which may not be a good idea?  It's also not that accurate.  I just checked it and it tells me I'm sitting on the other side of the room.

      • "The other side of the room"???  I trust you said that tongue in cheek.  If you realised just what is involved in ANY GPS giving you a fix (geographically speaking), you would be grateful it put you inside the house at all!

        An absolute minimum of 3 satellites need to "visible", and for any sort of height readout at least 5. These are all in overlapping low earth orbits and constantly moving across the sky. The system works by comparing the time signal transmitted from each satellite, and calculates position using trigonometry. These time signals are all synchronised and maintained with onboard atomic clocks.  If the satellites it can see are all in a similar place in the sky, this calculation will necessarily be less accurate. It's fortunate the Yanks turned off the "selective availability" that they employed during the Gulf war. This deliberately degraded the fix available to give them a tactical advantage.

        I don't think most people ever consider what a miracle GPS is – to be able to walk or drive around with a tiny hand-held device that (mostly) tells you where you are to a matter of a few feet is really rather amazing. Those super accurate time signals are now used by a whole host of other equipment, so the US taxpayer is effectively the world running whether they like it or not! There is also the Russian GLONASS system, which is short of satellites, and gives limited coverage, and the EU is spunking untold amounts on Galileo, which is widely expected to be used to track all vehicle movements and enable road use charging.

        • Bollocks – should have said "the fix available to CIVILIAN users, giving their troops a tactical advantage"

        • Heh!  Indeed, I was somewhat impressed that it put me in the right area of the house.  It was out by ten feet at the most which is certainly near enough for a missile strike?

          I do appreciate the technology and marvel at its accuracy.  I have more faith in its speed indication too, as I reckon triangulation iis considerably more accurate than counting the rotations of a wheel [which depends on tyre pressure and road surface for accuracy].  I reckon my built in speedometer is out by about ten percent on the slow side!  I have independently tested it against roadside radars so I know my speedometer is wromg.  😉

          • When S/A was switched on I think the accuracy was better than 1 metre. But most of the Desert Storm operations were relatively out in the open, so a better range of satellites would have been available. For all I know they may have planned their strikes to coincide with good coverage over the target. I can still remember TV footage of a Tomahawk navigating down a street, making a couple of turns at junctions, and then going dead central through a particular building window….

          • "It was out by ten feet at the most which is certainly near enough for a missile strike? "

            It was. The accuracy that "Roger" has today the Cold War submarine force had 30 years ago. It took quite awhile for that kind of GPS technology to arrive for the so-called consumer.

    • Wasn't it the iPhone that declared that there was an airport in the south Dublin suburbs?  [It was actually a house called Airfield].  Our illustrious Minister even contacted the airport to warn them to warn pilots not to try landing there.  If commercial pilots are relying on iPhones for navigation then we're all fucked.

  3. Just a question about Gallileo: from jan 1st 2015 all new cars sold in the E.U. will have to have G.P.S. fitted as standard, I presume this applies to commercial vehicles too, however what about motorcycles? and where do classic vehicles fit into this, will they have to be retro fitted with G.P.S.?

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