Low cost GPS to find LAT and LON /w Free service? {BOB}

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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Low cost GPS to find LAT and LON /w Free service? {BOB}

Post by gillis » Thu May 14, 2009 11:01 pm

I'm looking for the cheapest (cost) gps device, be it watch, handheld, etc. to help me simply get my latitude and longitude with a non-subscription based service?

I know the obvious like a protractor to find my latitude(corrected;)) using the north star... but something more practical.

Does anyone know if the "backtrack" has this?

Thanks.
Last edited by gillis on Sat May 16, 2009 11:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Low cost GPS to find LAT and LON /w Free service? {BOB}

Post by Indiana » Thu May 14, 2009 11:08 pm

the cheapest would be something like a Garmin geko. No mapping software, no subscription at all. It will tell you exactly where you are and will store waypoints, but shows all that as an arrow on a blank screen

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Re: Low cost GPS to find LAT and LON /w Free service? {BOB}

Post by Squirrley » Fri May 15, 2009 7:18 am

Subscription service? I wasn't aware that anyone was charging a subscription fee for GPS stuff.
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Re: Low cost GPS to find LAT and LON /w Free service? {BOB}

Post by gillis » Fri May 15, 2009 7:34 am

Squirrley wrote:Subscription service? I wasn't aware that anyone was charging a subscription fee for GPS stuff.
cell phones

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Re: Low cost GPS to find LAT and LON /w Free service? {BOB}

Post by thelung187 » Fri May 15, 2009 8:03 am

Don't quote me on this, but, I believe that the GPS receiver in a cell phone (example: my wife's Blackberry 8900) is *independent* of the cell phone. In other words, even if you don't have an active SIM card/cell phone account, the GPS software should still allow for communication with satellites. I can test this out tonight if you'd like to give you a definitive answer :)
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Re: Low cost GPS to find LAT and LON /w Free service? {BOB}

Post by MikeM » Fri May 15, 2009 8:12 am

I've had a Geko for years, and I've never really missed all the maps and stuff, but then again I'm an old timer who grew up on paper maps and third hand Boy Scout compasses. Best part about the Geko is that it is a frugal battery user.
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Re: Low cost GPS to find LAT and LON /w Free service? {BOB}

Post by sheddi » Fri May 15, 2009 2:26 pm

DannySkillZ wrote:I'm looking for the cheapest (cost) gps device, be it watch, handheld, etc. to help me simply get my latitude and longitude with a non-subscription based service?
If price is everything, buy used.

One of my most-used GPSes is a Mitac Mio 168 that cost me under $30 delivered.

Something like this might suit you:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0307647545" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Low cost GPS to find LAT and LON /w Free service? {BOB}

Post by gillis » Fri May 15, 2009 2:26 pm

thelung187 wrote:Don't quote me on this, but, I believe that the GPS receiver in a cell phone (example: my wife's Blackberry 8900) is *independent* of the cell phone. In other words, even if you don't have an active SIM card/cell phone account, the GPS software should still allow for communication with satellites. I can test this out tonight if you'd like to give you a definitive answer :)
cool. sprint phones are locked so your are forced through a monthly subscription. ; ;

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Re: Low cost GPS to find LAT and LON /w Free service? {BOB}

Post by roscoe » Fri May 15, 2009 2:43 pm

You could also get yer phone unlocked. Costs 5 pounds here in London.

But, yeah, GPS units are pretty cheap nowadays. Garmin always likes to have a unit under $100.

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Re: Low cost GPS to find LAT and LON /w Free service? {BOB}

Post by andygates » Fri May 15, 2009 3:00 pm

I'd go with a secondhand Geko. They're pretty frugal on batteries; phones are always running out when I need 'em most. The Garmins all take AA's, so it's trivial to have a spare set in your pack.
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Re: Low cost GPS to find LAT and LON /w Free service? {BOB}

Post by meatshieldChris » Fri May 15, 2009 3:03 pm

also a cellphone will suck more than even the cheapest primary-purpose built gps devices. The antenna is smaller cause it's gotta be jammed in there with the rest of your cell stuff, and they typically have much longer lockup times, less accuracy, slower update frequency, and little if any track logging capability.

You can pick up car GPS's for under $100 easy new, and there's GPS units all over the place used. Picked up a used Garmin GPS12MAP for $100 4 years ago, and you can still find them for $50 or (much) less now. Still works as well as it did the day it was born and it works way better than my girlfriend's blackberry's GPS (except for the up-to-date'edness of the road maps)

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Re: Low cost GPS to find LAT and LON /w Free service? {BOB}

Post by gillis » Fri May 15, 2009 5:51 pm

sheddi wrote:
DannySkillZ wrote:I'm looking for the cheapest (cost) gps device, be it watch, handheld, etc. to help me simply get my latitude and longitude with a non-subscription based service?
If price is everything, buy used.

One of my most-used GPSes is a Mitac Mio 168 that cost me under $30 delivered.

Something like this might suit you:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0307647545" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
looking at the features on this one it is almost exactly what I would need. I like how it shows the lat and lon really big. PERFECT

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Re: Low cost GPS to find LAT and LON /w Free service? {BOB}

Post by Towanda » Sat May 16, 2009 7:21 am

Cell phone and car GPSr's are good if you need to drive somewhere that you've never been, but they suck for finding your way in places without roads. For geocaching and hiking and the like, you really need a handheld unit. Handhelds don't require a subscription, either.
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Re: Low cost GPS to find LAT and LON /w Free service? {BOB}

Post by tilt » Sat May 16, 2009 9:01 am

You could always become a member over at geocaching.com and get on the forums, lots of GPS folks upgrade for the latest bells and whistles and sell the old stuff on the cheap.
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Re: Low cost GPS to find LAT and LON /w Free service? {BOB}

Post by coyotebc » Sat May 16, 2009 4:26 pm

What is important is where you plan on using the gps.
I have a garmin 38 which I got for christmas back in 1998 or 1999 (can't remember) it is the old 8 parrellel receivers.
It takes a long time to aquire satelite signals and it losses the signal pretty easy in thick cloud cover, rain or treed area.
I have a new garmin 60 Csx and there is absolutely no comparison on how much better it picks up and locks on to satelites.
If you are staying in open areas then any new or used gps will probably work, but if you are going into areas that are forrested then you may want to make sure your gps is no more then a couple of years old and uses the new more sensative antenas and receivers

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Re: Low cost GPS to find LAT and LON /w Free service? {BOB}

Post by 1EyedDeath » Sat May 16, 2009 4:30 pm

A garmin Quest is a good,car and hiking unit..And supposed to be water proof..I havent tryed it though..
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Re: Low cost GPS to find LAT and LON /w Free service? {BOB}

Post by gillis » Sat May 16, 2009 5:16 pm

tilt wrote:You could always become a member over at geocaching.com and get on the forums, lots of GPS folks upgrade for the latest bells and whistles and sell the old stuff on the cheap.
thanks for this info.

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Re: Low cost GPS to find LAT and LON /w Free service? {BOB}

Post by dogbane » Sat May 16, 2009 5:28 pm

DannySkillZ wrote:I know the obvious like a protractor to find my longitude using the north star.
Just a small correction: You use a protractor and Polaris (north star) to determine latitude, not longitude.
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Re: Low cost GPS to find LAT and LON /w Free service? {BOB}

Post by gillis » Sat May 16, 2009 11:30 pm

dogbane wrote:
DannySkillZ wrote:I know the obvious like a protractor to find my longitude using the north star.
Just a small correction: You use a protractor and Polaris (north star) to determine latitude, not longitude.
http://www.pbs.org/weta/roughscience/se ... page6.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
oops thx

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Re: Low cost GPS to find LAT and LON /w Free service? {BOB}

Post by roscoe » Sun May 17, 2009 4:44 am

And you will only get within 60-100 miles with most protractors (1-2 degrees of accuracy). You will need a more precise instrument to get close enough for reasonable accuracy in terrestrial navigation. You would do better getting some good experience using a sighting compass and map for land navigation.

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Re: Low cost GPS to find LAT and LON /w Free service? {BOB}

Post by gillis » Sun May 17, 2009 6:45 am

roscoe wrote:And you will only get within 60-100 miles with most protractors (1-2 degrees of accuracy). You will need a more precise instrument to get close enough for reasonable accuracy in terrestrial navigation. You would do better getting some good experience using a sighting compass and map for land navigation.
I currently have two sighthing compasses and am good at natvigating, but those require that you know your position on the map to get a good bearing.. In a BOsituation I may me moving so fast I could easily lose "Where I am" on the map. I dont like the newer GPS's that much because I like to see the whole map. Thats why I think a good old sighting compass, dorleme maps atlas, and simple lat and lon device it the absolute best combo for me. .. cus when the batteries run out I can still use the map and compass.

Thanks!

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Re: Low cost GPS to find LAT and LON /w Free service? {BOB}

Post by Necrodamus » Sun May 17, 2009 7:04 am

Towanda wrote:Cell phone and car GPSr's are good if you need to drive somewhere that you've never been, but they suck for finding your way in places without roads. For geocaching and hiking and the like, you really need a handheld unit. Handhelds don't require a subscription, either.
Edited to say I agree on the part about "they suck for finding your way in places without roads"
but I think they suck for finding your way in places WITH roads! so basically they just suck! LOL!

and the WINNER is...

VERIZON NAVIGATOR SUCKS!!!

I tried the Verizon Navigator service. From North Carolina my trip was SW to Georgia. VZ NAV sent me due NORTH to Virginia, west to the western most state line south thru Tennesse into Georgia PAST MY DESTINATION on the west side, over to another highway, turn back north then approached my destination from the east side. I called Verizon and complained but they said it was a legitimate route. Not the best, not the shortest, not the fastest, not the best roads, not the least traffic, not the least detours, cause it had bad roads, detours and traffic constantly. Roads that I have been on for over 20 years were not recognized. Every time the phone switched cell towers it would recalculate the route never improving! I argued until Verizon paid half my gas for the trip, they should have paid more. They said it was a legitimate route because it eventually lead me to my destination. I made the point that I could have boarded a plane at Greensboro NC, fly to Japan, fly back landing at Atlanta, rent a car and drive north and that would get me there too... but I dont recommend it!

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Re: Low cost GPS to find LAT and LON /w Free service? {BOB}

Post by gillis » Sun May 17, 2009 7:29 am

What would be really cool... A tiny solar device that simply gave you lat and lon.... perfect for a bug out. (Why hasen't someone made this yet?)

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Re: Low cost GPS to find LAT and LON /w Free service? {BOB}

Post by Necrodamus » Sun May 17, 2009 7:44 am

DannySkillZ wrote:What would be really cool... A tiny solar device that simply gave you lat and lon.... perfect for a bug out. (Why hasen't someone made this yet?)

That would be cool! My worries about GPS is that during certain situations the GPS satellites will be jammed, and YES I said WILL be jammed! Why do I believe this? During times of crisis is when enemies will take advantage (have you ever read The Art of War?) and you dont want GPS guided bombs either. GPS flying drones or GPS guided suicide bombers in U Haul rental trucks. (most rental trucks now have GPS or have them available for an extra fee), so the system will go down in times of crisis, it can even be manipulated to throw you off. When the system first went on-line it was only accurate for the military and it wasnt the quality of the recivers it was intentional giving random results within 100 yds of the target when it was capable of 3 yds accuracy. Dont believe me then research it.

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