International Users of Garmin Forerunner (Read 978 times)

    Hi all I live in New Zealand and have been interested for some time in purchasing a Garmin Forerunner. Unfortunately it's very difficult to find sports shops or otherwise that stock them in New Zealand. Subsequently my opportunity to "test-drive" one is practically non-existent. The only real option is going to be to purchase one via online auction or directly from Garmin. In light of this, my question is for any of you who live outside of the US and own a Garmin Forerunner or any of you from the US who have travelled out of the states (possibly to somewhere relatively remote) and used your Garmin watch. I wanted to know whether sattelite coverage was the same worse or even better in remote locations around the world. Obviously i'm underlining my lack of understanding as to how GPS works but was keen to get the practical perspective of runners prior to commiting to a purchase. Thanks in advance Simon
    Mile Collector

    Abs of Flabs

      Simon, I'm sure that it will work in Australia. GPS is done using satellites. I think there are a total of 24 satellites whizzing around overhead, of which at least 3 of them are "visible" wherever you are at any time. Most of the time, you'll get 4 or 5. As the satellites fly around, their distances relative to you change constantly. Every satellite beams signals down to the earth. A GPS receiver receives these signals and determines how long it took the signals to travel from the satellite to the receiver. Since the GPS receives signals from at least 3 satellites, it can triangulate its location anywhere on earth, and thus giving you a very precise location. The satellites don't know anything about your location, and coverage is the same everywhere. You can debate about precision (military versus civilian use), but that's a different topic altogether. I suppose the only factor about the signal is whether you have a clear line of sight to the sky. If you're in the forest, your signal strength will be reduced by foliage. The same issue applies to big cities with tall buildings.
        Hey Simon, I live in Japan, using the Garmin Forerunner 301. I just got it at the beginning of May from an online shop back home in Vancouver, Canada. It works fine here. No problems at all. It has an internal computer that allows you to set the time zone you are in. Not sure if that helps to pick up a signal or just keeps the local time current. They really are a cool device and worth picking up.

        Gandalf the Grey

          Simon I live in the UK but travel a lot with work and there is no problem with using the FORERUNNER anywhere on this planet. SO far this year I've used mine in UK, France, Italy, USA, Sydney Australia and Mexico - the only thing to remember is that if you travel more than 500 miles since last use it takes a bit longer to find the GPS satellites ... but afrter 2-3 mins it always does find them. Great toy - buy it! Neil

          Running ... just keep running!
          Fancy a holiday running in the French Alps?


            I just bought one! Should arrive in the mail today! I cannot wait to try it out! Big grin