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How can you get your location faster on your GPS? (Read 151 times)

    This morning I started my run out in 10 degree weather.  But before I started to move, I waited for my Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS watch to find my location.  Sometimes it's pretty quick at doing this and can find my location in a matter of seconds.  But today while I was outdoors, it felt like my GPS was taking a very long time to find my location.  I wouldn't have really minded if I wasn't freezing while waiting.  I'd say after 3 to 5 minutes, it finally discovered my location.  Once I got moving I warmed up and my workout was easier.  But I don't want to have to wait for my GPS to discover my location, that long again.  Does anybody know any good techniques on how to speed this process up?

      I've found that if I'm near a window indoors the Garmin can often pick up a signal, so try getting it to find the satellites before you go outside.  That way it doesn't matter if it sometimes takes an extra minute or two to find the signal.  (I've noticed that the speed of acquiring the satellite signal can vary from day to day--some days it picks it up right away and other days it takes a few minutes)

        While I still have a few articles of clothing to put on, I set the watch on the ground outside in full view of the sky. I go back inside, finished getting dressed (top layer, hat, gloves, one last swig of water, etc), and by then the watch is always ready to go.

         

        In general, I've found that when I wear it and try to get it to sync, the act of  moving around, even a little bit, makes it take longer.

          Stand in openings with better sky view. Hold wrist with gps up so it gets a little better view. Turn watch on in car while driving there.

          "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog
          MJ5


          Chief Unicorn Officer

            Before I leave, I also set mine outside, or near a window that doesn't have any trees or anything in front of it.

            Mile 5:49 - 5K 19:58 - 10K 43:06 - HM 1:36:54

            zonykel


              I leave my watch outside while I tie my shoes.

               

              the type of watch makes a difference in terms of how fast it'll acquire satellites. For example, the garmin 405 is slower than the 310xt. Don't know how the 10 compares, though.

                I've found that if I'm near a window indoors the Garmin can often pick up a signal, so try getting it to find the satellites before you go outside.  That way it doesn't matter if it sometimes takes an extra minute or two to find the signal.  (I've noticed that the speed of acquiring the satellite signal can vary from day to day--some days it picks it up right away and other days it takes a few minutes)

                 

                I have noticed the window effect on it.  I like to start it before I get outdoors and I'm near a window.  I can't recall it ever acquiring a satellite signal while indoors though.  If I run into another day such as this, which I'm sure I will, I'll wait longer indoors near a window next time.  Thanks for all the other suggestions.  I start my run fresh out of my condo, so there's no vehicle travel.

                  Strike the GPS pose before starting your run.  Something like this ...

                   


                  Cat Herder

                    I find that the GPS has to be completedly still in order to pick up a signal faster, no matter in door or outdoors. So if I forget to turn it on before going outdoors, I take it off and put it on the ground or something, and wait for it to pick up the signal.

                      I find that the GPS has to be completedly still in order to pick up a signal faster, no matter in door or outdoors. So if I forget to turn it on before going outdoors, I take it off and put it on the ground or something, and wait for it to pick up the signal.

                       

                      Thanks, I'll give that a shot if I ever find myself into another one of these dilemmas.


                      Not dead. Yet.

                        I swear I read some reviews of devices (Garmin?) that after they got a signal for the first time, then every other time it would be able to get the same signal much more quickly.,  Like it keeps some sort of memory of how to get the signals.

                         

                        I tried to find the reference I was thinking of and came up empty.  Pretty sure it exists.  I'll look a bit more; even if only for my own curiosity at this point.

                        How can we know our limits if we don't test them?

                          I swear I read some reviews of devices (Garmin?) that after they got a signal for the first time, then every other time it would be able to get the same signal much more quickly.,  Like it keeps some sort of memory of how to get the signals.

                           

                          I tried to find the reference I was thinking of and came up empty.  Pretty sure it exists.  I'll look a bit more; even if only for my own curiosity at this point.

                           

                          The first time you turn it on, it may be 1000s of miles from where it was born, so it will take awhile to figure out where it is. The next time, it should be able to lock in faster, assuming the satellite configuration and sky view are similar to what they were. But if you go hundreds of miles away again, it may take longer to lock in. Or if the satellites are in a cranky configuration or if trees you're standing under are covered with snow, it'll take longer. Trimble has some planning software where you can get an idea of configuration for when you're planning to run (or did run). It's not a big deal for running, but if you're collecting data for a project, aiming for a good satellite window can be helpful.

                          "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog


                          day after day sameness

                            This has been a topic a few times over the years, check out Looking Cool While Triangulating.

                             

                            For faster startup, the Garmin caches the last satellite constellation it used (which birds were used, which were primary, which were reference, etc,etc).  At next power-up it then just tries to re-establish what it last knew. This works well.  But the GPS satellite constellation is ever changing, the Garmin has different views as its location changes and all this type of thing can lead it do try and lock into the weaker satellites.

                             

                            Depending on the model, the cache clear varies.  For the Forerunner 205/305, I know it is press & hold down arrow during power up.  Any of the other device reset (hard, soft) will also clear the GPS cache.

                            I've done my best to live the right way; I get up every morning and go to work each day...


                            Not dead. Yet.

                               The first time you turn it on, it may be 1000s of miles from where it was born, so it will take awhile to figure out where it is. The next time, it should be able to lock in faster, assuming the satellite configuration and sky view are similar to what they were. But if you go hundreds of miles away again, it may take longer to lock in. Or if the satellites are in a cranky configuration or if trees you're standing under are covered with snow, it'll take longer. Trimble has some planning software where you can get an idea of configuration for when you're planning to run (or did run). It's not a big deal for running, but if you're collecting data for a project, aiming for a good satellite window can be helpful.

                               

                              Yep that sounds about right.  It's called "almanac" data and it describes where the satellites should be for 60 days.  So perhaps this time your watch needed to download and install new almanac data.

                               

                              This page mentions the almanac data and has some tips:  http://www.gpsreview.net/acquiring-satellites/

                               

                              This article has more details as well:  http://www.gpsinformation.org/dale/gpsfix.htm  It seems like it was written for handheld Garmins, but describes some features that seem to make sense: cold and warm start, auto-locate.

                              How can we know our limits if we don't test them?