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Is Magellan's Meridian Platinum really that far off ?

#1 User is offline   GN&D 

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Posted 05 October 2003 - 05:38 PM

I'm going to start a G vs M thing here, but what the heck. Hopefully this is just a parameter delima, but every cache I head for seems to pass me by at anywhere from 50 to 100 feet. If I circle the area once or twice (even in no canopy), it will eventually land right on the cache, but man that's too much trouble especially if your in the thick. And even worse, I went out caching with a friend who owns a Garmin Vista, and he was walking right to the caches without missing a beat (Vista people are gunna love that remark Posted Image ).
Now that's embassasing. I've tried feverously to set the parameters, and even set it back to factory defaut, but still no luck. I sent Magellan's CS a message tonight, and don't know when I'll hear from them. So I thought now would be a good time to pay my first visit to the famous Geocacher forums.

Thx in advance

#2 User is offline   GN&D 

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Posted 05 October 2003 - 05:42 PM

Man, I forgot to mention I own a Magellan Meridian Platinum

Hey, GN .......... Wake Up !!

#3 User is offline   apersson850 

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Posted 05 October 2003 - 06:00 PM

I've seen previously that Magellan units are reported to have a more noticeable "lag" in positioning. This should be due to some continious averaging going on in the unit. Masks out bad reception conditions, but makes the unit slower in coming to the correct position.
Maybe this is the reason? Any Meridian owner may be able to give better information.

Anders

#4 User is offline   TotemLake 

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Posted 05 October 2003 - 11:33 PM

I would agree with Anders. Some here call it the slingshot effect. It's less noticeable when out in the open versus under heavy canopy. Normally, when I get within 50-30 feet of it, I look around for any obvious signs. When I get to what the unit has decided upon as ground zero, I'll set it down to allow it to settle down. I have been known to set it down 18 inches over the cache while going off 30 feet to start foraging around for it.

Cheers!
TL

#5 User is offline   Marky 

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Posted 06 October 2003 - 12:24 AM

I generally try to combat the slingshot effect by taking about 10 steps backwards one I get within 100 feet of the cache. This seems to confuse the algorithm enough to have it stop paying attention to the moving average. Posted Image

--Marky
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#6 User is offline   robertlipe 

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Posted 06 October 2003 - 01:40 AM

The acceleration averaging is most noticable when you're speed caching. If you approach with a brisk (4+MPH) walk or on wheels, the Magellan firmware will do a wacky thing. So I've learned when I do make a brisk approach to undershoot some subjective amount. But the real key is to put the unit down while you begin your search. Don't carry it with you while you're doing the dance of the bumble bee. (I have a deal with the local cachers that if they ever find a Magellan tied in a tree in the woods near a cache to give me a call. :-) ) With the plat, it's nice because while it gains its bearing, if you have the compass turned on, the arrow will DTRT.

#7 User is offline   geospotter 

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Posted 06 October 2003 - 01:49 AM

Here's what I do (I have a Merigreen).

When I get about 100 ft. from the cache I stop and look 100 ft ahead of me. I know the cache is between me and that point. I look around without moving. This gives me the lay of the land and allows the GPS to catch up with me. After a few seconds the GPS will tell me the distance and I begin my search.

I went for a cache with a friend who has a Garmin. You are right, he went right to it. But he also had trouble getting signal in the trees. Decide which you prefer, poor signal or rubberband effect.

#8 User is offline   Jamie Z 

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Posted 06 October 2003 - 02:42 AM

Guitar, you're not alone in noticing this effect. A search will produce several other threads about this.

What I do to combat the problem is I go until my GPS says I'm ~50 or ~100 feet from the cache. I then turn off my GPS for a moment and then turn it back on. This seems to clear the "averaging" and it will better point me toward the cache.

Jamie

#9 User is offline   Klemmer & TeddyBearMama 

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Posted 07 October 2003 - 05:17 AM

Yep, Jamie Z is right! Same thing I do with my Plat. Saw it here when Meri's were new. True then true now. Re-locks in 10 secs' or so. Works. Wish there was a buton "clear averaging buffer".

Klemmer

#10 User is offline   mtnsteve 

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Posted 07 October 2003 - 05:57 AM

Same thing with my Plat...
I too have learned to stop 50'/100' from the cache, put the GPS down and start looking, a couple min's later I will go back to the GPS and usually follow the arrow and distance right to the cache. I am amazed at how accurate it usually is....I'm not speed caching, so the slight time lag doesn't bother me.

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#11 User is offline   Triac 

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Posted 08 October 2003 - 02:08 PM

Man, get a Vista!
I can't believe that that is the 'norm' for Magellans. Surely it isn't. When we were caching side by side, mine was right on and his still had him walking up the trail 50 feet.

#12 User is offline   M-Class 

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Posted 09 October 2003 - 10:02 AM

I have 2 Magellan units (a 330 and a ST Pro) and both exhibit the 'accelerator averaging' issue, but I've found the solution for each seems to be different.

On the ST Pro, I've found that if I stop immediately when the 100' alarm goes off and hold the unit in a good upright position away from my body and let it settle out (usually will settle around 85') then proceed to 50' and do the same, I can then walk right to the area of the cache. Turning the unit off and back on as somebody else suggested does not seem to work well for me, as the GPSr seems to lose accuracy when I do that. The 330, on the other hand, is a different story...

No matter what sort of stop/start pattern I've tried with the 330, it always overshoots the cache. The 330 doesn't seem to lose accuracy by power cycling it, and doing so _does_ clear whatever variables in the software are causing the averaging perfectly. So, with the 330, powering down and back up is the answer.

Also, my ST Pro seems to handle the transition from moving in a car at 45 MPH to walking much better than the 330. With the 330, I used to make a habit of power cycling after getting out of the car (position would literally change by 80' or so), whereas the ST Pro seems to understand 'oh, he is walking now; better clear that average!'

These are purely my own observations. Your results may differ.



#13 User is offline   landc 

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Posted 09 October 2003 - 10:42 AM

When I get to within 80 feet or so, I just slow way down and usually end up right where I'm supposed to be.

#14 User is offline   phantom4099 

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Posted 09 October 2003 - 11:39 AM

Up till today I would have said the over shoot was not a problem.

But today I learned differently when I tried a GPS course that was set up in my town (ten points, in fairly open areas). At a few points the GPS said I was 50 ft away, after I shut the unit off, then on it read 4-5 ft away (I am not sure what kind of equipment was used to determine the location, but I assumed it to be fairly accurate). What was kind of odd is the first two points of the day were within 5ft, the only difference between those two, and the rest is I turned the track on.

I have version 4.06 in my unit, but I may downgrade to 3.12 since I have had similar experiences with 4.06 in the past (when ever I send my unit into Magellan they keep upgrading me to 4.06). I can't say I experienced this with 3.12.

Wyatt W.

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#15 User is offline   M-Class 

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Posted 09 October 2003 - 01:46 PM

I guess I should have mentioned software versions...

My ST Pro is running v 4.06
The 330 is running the 'unofficial' v 4

I've never realy noticed any difference with the track log settings, though I usually run the track log on 0.01 mi. I, for fun, sometimes like to overlay them on USA Photomaps to see where I've been.

From the perspective of a software developer, I tend to think that the track log observation is just coincidence (logically, the two parts of code would be mostly unrelated). I could be wrong though (it has happened from time to time).



#16 User is offline   robertlipe 

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Posted 09 October 2003 - 02:33 PM

quote:
Originally posted by M-Class:

The 330 is running the 'unofficial' v 4



While it's not really part of the subject, the unofficial v4 is only sort of unofficial. If you call or mail Magellan/Thales and annoy them enough, they will mail you a physical CD that has the 4.0 image for the 330 on it. It is, for example, included on the second CD that's int he Topo 4.20D distribution.

If enough people do this, perhaps they'll be more motivated to find the root password for their web server and actually update it instead of paying UPS to deliver round shiny things to people's doors...


http://cachestats.made.nu/profile.asp?club_id=1&cacher_id=88887
I think I'll sign on for a piece of that action...That looks really sweet.

#17 User is offline   sledgehampster 

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Posted 09 October 2003 - 09:54 PM

[/QUOTE]

While it's not really part of the subject, the unofficial v4 is only sort of unofficial. If you call or mail Magellan/Thales and annoy them enough, they will mail you a physical CD that has the 4.0 image for the 330 on it. It is, for example, included on the second CD that's int he Topo 4.20D distribution.[/QUOTE]

Or just get 4.0 at the official Magellan Australia website
http://www.magellan.com.au/downloads.htm##firmware

#18 User is offline   E = Mc2 

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Posted 01 February 2004 - 08:28 PM

First I've ever heard of this. ;)

I have a MeriGreen and a eTrex Camo. The only trouble I've had out of the Meridian was on a day of very high sunspot acitivity, the unit kept telling me that I was very far away from my actual location and elevation. The eTrex came through for me that day. The only real problem I have with the eTrex is that it loses the signal often when under any type of cover and always if the unit is not held horizontal.

Having said that, the G unit does seem to aquire signals more quickly than the M unit that I have. I play one against the other when out caching. I think the advice here is to STOP MOVING for a few minutes when you get within 100ft or so (no matter what brand you have) and take a look around. Often, you'll get the score more quickly than if you run in and start beating the bushes.

#19 User is offline   TotemLake 

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Posted 01 February 2004 - 09:24 PM

The bottom line now with the Meridians (not sure about the MeriGreen though) is to update the firmware to v5.12. I have noticed the lag is less than in the previous versions and it updates quicker.

#20 User is offline   Lazyboy & Mitey Mite 

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Posted 01 February 2004 - 09:47 PM

Guitar Nutz & Jamz, on Oct 5 2003, 05:42 PM, said:

Man, I forgot to mention I own a Magellan Meridian Platinum

me2 and never have any problems with it.

#21 User is offline   SBPhishy 

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Posted 01 February 2004 - 11:14 PM

I haven't ever really noticed this problem on my MeriGold v.5.12. It always seems to get me right to the cache. Maybe if I pay more attention, I will notice it.

Quote

Man, get a Vista!
I can't believe that that is the 'norm' for Magellans. Surely it isn't. When we were caching side by side, mine was right on and his still had him walking up the trail 50 feet.


About that, I would take a Magellan with slingshot effect anyday than an inferior antenna (from experience) and that damn 4-directional click stick (no diagonals!)

;) :D :D :D :D :D :D :D B) :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

This post has been edited by SBPhishy: 01 February 2004 - 11:16 PM


#22 User is offline   Volwrath 

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Posted 02 February 2004 - 05:21 PM

Garmin makes more than the etrex line. Besides Id rather take my legend w/click stick over a cracked magellan with a slingshot effect

#23 User is offline   Volwrath 

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Posted 02 February 2004 - 05:23 PM

Just kidding all..Since we obviously have a Magellan fanboy, I felt we could use a Garmin fanboy as we......

#24 User is offline   Triac 

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Posted 03 February 2004 - 01:00 AM

SBPhishy, on Feb 1 2004, 11:14 PM, said:

About that, I would take a Magellan with slingshot effect anyday than an inferior antenna (from experience) and that damn 4-directional click stick (no diagonals!)


No wonder Magellan owners spend so much time in the forums :) Takes them so long to find a cache, they'd rather stay home :)
The Vista's click stick seems to work diagonally for me anyways. No complaints.
Remember these words when we're caching and you're like 50 feet away..."Here it is!" :)

#25 User is offline   briansnat 

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Posted 03 February 2004 - 04:09 AM

Quote

The only real problem I have with the eTrex is that it loses the signal often when under any type of cover and always if the unit is not held horizontal.


As I understand it, the Magellans lose signals just as often as Garmins, but they just don't tell you right away. They continue to try to project your course for a while before they give up. The Garmin just tells you that the signal is gone as soon as it loses it. So the Magellan appears to have a signal lock when it in fact doesn't, which feeds the perception that Magellans get better reception than Garmins.

And yes, the eTrex must be held properly (flat, or upright) to get a signal. This is another reason the eTrex is maligned for its reception. If you hang the thing around your neck, you will lose your signal, but if you hold it correctly, it locks on and holds its signal quite well. There are times I take my Vista, or Gecko out of my jacket pocket and find that I still have a signal lock.

#26 User is offline   GOT GPS? 

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Posted 03 February 2004 - 04:46 AM

The Meridian Platinum I had was the best geocaching unit ive had, and was better at zeroing On the cache than my Garmins, but I sold the platinum. At issue is the screen resolution, Tracklogging, lack of Trip Computer info like elasped times like TOTAL time, and TIME moving.

Magellan needs to have a setting on their Meridians that would be greater than AUTO DETAILED, also there needs to be a setting to allow the tracklog to segment with each power on. They need to put in screens with a resolution of 160x240 to improve readability.

#27 User is offline   robertlipe 

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Posted 03 February 2004 - 06:44 AM

This thread is devolving into the silly. As part of GPSBabel development, I've run units at my desk for tens of hours at a time. Every Magellan I've used has been able to get a lovely 3D WAAS lock inside my brick home. (I just clicked on a 330 and am getting five sats at full strength and three more at partial strength.) Of the V, Vista, Summit, 76S, and Yellow Etrex I've had here on loan, not one of them ever had a lock at my desk. (It's telling that only the Garmins have a "use indoors" feature.)

You're free to argue that reception inside an house doesn't matter, but this clearly isn't a matter of the Magellans "faking" reception or not telling you you don't have lock while the Garmins are being more honest.

That said, I've been on hunts with those units in the hands of their respective owners and we've never blamed a purple frownie on equipment failure. All the units got us to the caches; it was a draw which one got us there first. As a practical matter, once you're within a few hundred feet or so, geo mojo will get you there more reliably than a GPS anyway...

#28 User is offline   Lazyboy & Mitey Mite 

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Posted 03 February 2004 - 06:56 AM

as said earlier my platium has been fine and never had any of the problems spoken of here.

we also have a lovely satellite window which displays exactly how many satellites you are receiving and how strong they are. What I have read about here appear to be non issues.

#29 User is offline   SBPhishy 

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Posted 03 February 2004 - 09:51 AM

Quote

Magellan needs to have a setting on their Meridians that would be greater than AUTO DETAILED


If yo set your track detail .01 that is quite a bit more detailed than AUTO DETAIL.

Also, with my experiences with Garmins, i had my Magellan set to beep when it lost lock, because of the fact that they dont tell you when you lost lock. Even still, the Garmin was losing lock, and becoming completely useless, while the Spotrac was keep a fine lock, in the car, and under decent tree cover. :)

#30 User is offline   GOT GPS? 

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Posted 03 February 2004 - 02:01 PM

Guitar Nutz & Jamz, on Oct 5 2003, 08:38 PM, said:

I'm going to start a G vs M thing here, but what the heck. Hopefully this is just a parameter delima, but every cache I head for seems to pass me by at anywhere from 50 to 100 feet. If I circle the area once or twice (even in no canopy), it will eventually land right on the cache, but man that's too much trouble especially if your in the thick. And even worse, I went out caching with a friend who owns a Garmin Vista, and he was walking right to the caches without missing a beat (Vista people are gunna love that remark  Posted Image<!--graemlin::D--> ). <BR>Now that's embassasing. I've tried feverously to set the parameters, and even set it back to factory defaut, but still no luck. I sent Magellan's CS a message tonight, and don't know when I'll hear from them. So I thought now would be a good time to pay my first visit to the famous Geocacher forums.<BR><BR>Thx in advance

I am quoting to try to stay on topic.

For best result, use as directed below:
1) Turn on a few minutes before use, to aquire a good signal, then check the satelite page to see if there are enough satellites spread out good.
2)When you get out of the car, hold the gps still for 2 or 3 minutes with a generous view of the sky, then do your GOTO
3)when you are walking to the cache and it cuts out, stop and hold it high for a couple minutes to recover while standing still then move on.
4)when you are near the cache, stop and stand still for a couple minutes, to take your bearing on the Platinum, and let it settle down, if not find a clearer opening in the tree canopy and try again. Dont be too hurried to find the cache, take your time.


If all this fails, check these:
1) What is the quality of Position of the sats on the Satelite Page?
2) Are the trees wet, and are the trees too thick between you and the Sky?
3) Are you holding the gps so it gets the BEST view of the sky?
4) Are you taking the time to let it get a LOCK?
5) Are you TOO hurried?
IF YOU ARE CIRCLING, then one or more of the above aply


When I followed these things, the GPS performed great.

Have a second GPS available to compare if your GPS is crapping out.
Usually severe problems can be ironed out with RESETTING and/or Reflashing of the unit.

When I followed these things, I had fun and usually found the cache, as long as the cache is not way off it's recorded position.

This post has been edited by GOT GPS?: 03 February 2004 - 02:19 PM


#31 User is offline   phantom4099 

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Posted 04 February 2004 - 06:53 AM

Quote

As I understand it, the Magellans  lose signals just as often as Garmins, but they just don't tell you right away. They continue to try to project your course for a while before they give up. The Garmin just tells you that the signal is gone as soon as it loses it.


Actually I sat with a stopwatch and timed my Meridian Platinum (v5.12), and my GPS V (v2.50)-I need to get a life. It appears that the Magellan will tell you on average a few seconds sooner than the GPS V (the Meridian always alarmed first).

Quote

So the Magellan appears to have a signal lock when it in fact doesn't, which feeds the perception that Magellans get better reception than Garmins


I have owned a Meridian since they were released in October 01 (and before that a 330, and a 315), and the GPS V for several months now. From what I can tell the Magellans DO hold a better lock.

Wyatt W.

#32 User is offline   SBPhishy 

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Posted 04 February 2004 - 08:48 AM

I agree. if you have the alarm set to tell you when the magellan loses lock, In my experience, the magellan holds lock in worse situations than the etrex.

#33 User is online   2oldfarts (the rockhounders) 

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Posted 04 February 2004 - 04:38 PM

We have never had a problem with our Meridan overshooting the mark. We turn the unit on as soon as we leave the house and leave it on until we are done for the day.

We recently checked a set of coordinates for a cache we are working on. The coordinates are in the middle of a highway (not a very busy road though). We went from 65 MPH to 15 MPH and then to 10 MPH and the unit showed within 10 feet of where we had stood to mark the spot.

If you can go from 65 MPH to 10 MPH and get a reading that close you learn to trust your GPSr.

Maybe we just got lucky and got an exceptional GPSr.

John

#34 User is offline   gussys 

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 02:19 PM

I have a Magellan Meridian and never noticed much of a slingshot effect but then again i cache slow. I find most caches by tracking other cachers so when i get close I start looking for foot prints. I guess this gives it time to come around

I use V4.03 is there a newer verson for the green meridian?

#35 User is offline   Tahoe Skier5000 

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 02:56 PM

Garmin V, Etrex Vista and Etrex Yellow here.... None of them have this sort of problem.

My guess is that you are either holding the unit the wrong way (you should hold it at a 45 degree angle), or the satellite signal is weak due to sky obstructions.

Check the satellite geometry as well... Make sure they are spaced out and not all grouped together on one side of the "sky". This does make a difference.

This post has been edited by vw_ev: 21 May 2004 - 02:56 PM


#36 User is offline   embra 

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Posted 21 May 2004 - 04:04 PM

gussys, on May 21 2004, 02:19 PM, said:

I use V4.03 is there a newer verson for the green meridian?

There is a 4.05 out for the Merigreen/yellow. I think that the latest version took care of some incompatibility problems with newer SanDisk SD cards. If you're not having any problems, there are no new features to warrant upgrading.

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