View Full Version : gps tech rules.

15th July 2005, 10:41 PM
it was only 10 years ago, i was using a compass and paper maps and being very unsure where i was; wondering if i had enough fuel, reliability and h20 on the bike, then i got a basic position & waypoint (no NMEA output) gps and things were sooo much better.
now,,, now,, mapping gps's or PDAs for the bike, carputers, cheap lapptops for the fourby.

in a word.. exclellent.

whats next??

16th July 2005, 09:57 AM
Tell me about it, isnít technology grand! :D

I left school in 1992 and found myself working for a mining company taking soil samples in western NSW, mapping the sampling grids by hand with a sunto and paper maps. 12 months later we decide to explore the GPS market... From memory the handset was worth about $5,000 and the backpack containing a box and antenna at something like $20,000 that we rented time from the Optus satellite at around $1 a minute. Since then I have been hooked on the gadgets bug and now I'm a computer nerd :)

16th July 2005, 10:43 AM
I remember doing navigation training on HMAS Melbourne on the way to SanFrancisco in March 1974, and using the stars, we were able to lock our position into an area of approximately 10 sq miles. And that required using dead-reckoning to establish our approximate position. And I thought that was amazing at that time. Radio positioning was just being introduced.

But at least if all the technology was down (look at the mobile phone problems during the London Bombings), we could still find out where we were out in the middle of nowhere with no landforms to help us.

What happens when these GPS satellites go down, as I hear that the military wont be maintaining them in the long run.

23rd July 2005, 08:17 PM
What happens when these GPS satellites go down,

well, i always have the long range tank filled on a ride (never pass a top up), i always have a known destination, i carry more water than i need and i always, at the least have a 1:250000 printout on a3 of the area we are in and a compass. oh and the knowledge and calm sensibility to use both.

never used a epirb though nowadays, if you dont have one and need rescueing they will say you are irresponsible.....

6th August 2005, 06:01 PM
What happens when these GPS satellites go down, as I hear that the military wont be maintaining them in the long run.

Hmmm, not sure, as the US Military & Government seem to have a good future for the GPS system. (From the net:) As of 2002 the constellation of 27 operational GPS satellites consisted of three different generations, or block types. Specifically, the constellation included 3 Block II, 18 Block IIA, and 6 Block IIR vehicles. Of the 21 older II/IIA satellites, 20 were past their contracted mean mission duration of 6 years, and 17 are past their design life of 7.5 years. Moreover, of all the satellites, 13 are one component away from mission failure, and nine are one component away from bus failure.

Means that they seem to be VERY close to failure, but there does seem to be a future for us at least until your current GPS unit fails... They have pushed back replacement of the system, and it is to begin about 2009, but the next generation of satelites seem really good - WAY more powerful, but that means they have to be paid for by someone lol

7th August 2005, 08:58 AM
I finally lashed out the money for address-to-address autorouting software for my iPAQ (Co-Pilot).

Just magic when you are driving in heavy traffic in an area you don't know at all.

Sure beats stopping to look at the street directory all the time.