Question about Garmin eTrex Summit GPS Receiver

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Garmin summit hc seems to be off by more than 300 feet

I am using this GPS for geocaching so I need more accuracy! Last weekend (the first time I used it :) the little pointer stayed right on the road we were driving between two caches and then got us within 5 feet of the cache. Today I found one, but did not find a second. First I chalked it up to operator malfunction--but then I noticed that I was not on the road, on the map, even though I was driving on it. So then I went to a place I knew well and walked around a lake and the tracking showed me walking through the water. Not able to walk on water, I am pretty sure that the signal is clear or the map is not accurate. Oh, it is also very clear and I was in open areas, so it seems like I shouldn't have had any interference. How do I fix it??

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First of all make sure your etrex is not set up to follow roads (if it has that facility). Maps are not always accurate particularly edges of lakes and forest boundaries. If your etrex can only see a few satellites then accuracy will be degraded. Make sure your body is not shielding the view of the satellites by holding the unit away from you. The accuracy of any GPS is affected by the relative position of the satellites with respect to each other. If they appear (at your location) to be in a straight line then your GPS cannot perform the trigonometrical calculations to determine your position with any accuracy. In GPS speak this is called DOP - Dilution Of Precision and can result in variable accuracy from +/-5m at best to +/-30m or worse.
HTH
Peter

Posted on Jan 20, 2009

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