Who uses a GPS?

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Easylife
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I was wondering who else besides me uses a GPS to record find spots and track where you have searched? I have about 1000 acres of pasture that isn't going to change any time soon so find it very beneficial to be able to see my previous tracks at a glance from over the years. Though clearly not as beneficial for say random club digs.
I use a Garmin Etrex 20x and then save my data via a pc to view in Google Earth which is the best way to view it all. :thumbsup:

Warning : Any old gits who still refuse to accept the devilry of mobile phones just stop reading now because the rest is just pure witchcraft! :lol:

The more the accumulated data on the GPS unit, the slower maps scroll as it has to read that data. So at that point I just create a new image file of my entire historical data to date and install that as a map image on the device, then it is quick again yet still all visible on the fly. For example my current data file of 428 tracks is 29.5mb but as an image file it is only 369kb so only about 1.25% but still contains all of the visual information that I require. This is just my own preferred method, some others may just load up data for a specific permission before they go, but I prefer to have it all to hand and it saves much time having to otherwise manually change each track to 'show on map' as mine are now mainly all just one image. With the Garmins there is no universal option to show all tracks, so you have to set them individually which is a right PITA, but they're great apart from that! :)

Tonight I decided to finally re-organize my full historical GPS data to simplify things in future, something that I've been meaning to do for quite some time but had not decided on the simplest and most efficient way to do it until now. So my image file will now show my historical search tracks, current permission and all historical field boundaries, all historical foot paths and track ways, as well as my notable find spots, all in different colours for each category but without the need to individually edit them all. So they will display quite nice in the field. :D

I'll add more details if anyone wants to know or has any questions? :thumbsup:
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Blackadder43
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I'll be totally honest here, when the CTX came out with GPS, i thought
"What use is that then?"

That was quite a naive thought really
I have seen some great images of how people have detected their land, where their finds are etc
This is actually really interesting to look at, and very informative :thumbsup:
So, although i dont personally use it, i can now see the good use of it in the hobby... :thumbsup:
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Easylife
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It is certainly most beneficial on your own pasture permissions where the ground never changes but maybe not quite as useful on more regularly ploughed ground. But having said that I was on a club dig on a cropped field having a wander up here and there and later on it just all looked the same to me and I had no idea which lines I had actually walked at all. Whereas if I had had the GPS then I would have only covered the new ground but I just couldn't bear the thought of going over the very same ground again when maybe I really should have been just a few metres away, so I just lost interest and stopped enjoying the search. I think that there are many more advantages to using a GPS than some people realize? :Thinking:
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Pete E
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To a degree, I think a lot depends on a person's general approach to detecting...I have no issues covering ground again as signals / finds can easily be missed for a variety of reasons the first time around.

I have been a long time user of GPS both in the Army and for various hobbies, but don't use it too much for detecting, with the exception of marking notable finds such as those likely to be of interest to the FLO.

Although I have a Garmin unit myself, I tend to use my mobile to generate an eight figure grid that I know is reasonably accurate to a 10m square through testing.

A lot of people give 10 digit grids supposedly accurate to 1m, but a typical hobby grade GPS generally is only accurate to a 2 or 3 meter radius. This is the accuracy figure the GPS gives on the screen along with the grid reading and itself is only an average.

This is also why survey or military grade GPS tend to be far more expensive than a typical hobby unit...

That said, I am more than happy with the accuracy I get from either my phone or my Garmin, as I am only recording individual finds, not trying to do a detailed survey of an archaeological dig....
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Easylife
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Pete E wrote: Fri Jul 24, 2020 9:32 am I am more than happy with the accuracy I get from either my phone or my Garmin, as I am only recording individual finds, not trying to do a detailed survey of an archaeological dig....
I don't use the GPS for particular accuracy but more to know where I haven't been. :thumbsup:
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Pete E
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Yes I can see that working well, especially on larger fields...
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shaggybfc
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I always use GPS app for when on my own permissions. It's the tect-o-trak app. It's amazing to review where you've walked or haven't. Think you've covered an area well, then see youve maybe only done about 30% max....
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Easylife
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shaggybfc wrote: Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:38 pm It's amazing to review where you've walked or haven't. Think you've covered an area well, then see you've maybe only done about 30% max....
Exactly, especially when you go back months later and think that you have covered all of one area of a field but the GPS proves otherwise. :Thinking:
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Steve_JT
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GUILTY

I have used the Garmin Etrex 10 from the beginning, all my finds have 10 digit location, some will say its not 100% accurate but its better than guess work. All my data saved in a Excel database, also its good for PAS entries. I delete all the data from the Etrex and start fresh each visit, but on the odd occasion I can put a location into the Etrex for easy finding of a location in the field.

I download the Etrex to Garmin Basecamp , export to Google Earth, it helps to identify hot spots and see the areas done or not done, I even screenshot the GE image and hyperlink it to my Excel database.

Just realised I have over 1100 items all with hyperlinks to images and to any PAS entries and maps in my data base, each find is numbered so if I need to find it I can search through my bagged and dated finds for a further look.

Regards Steve
A foolish faith in authority, is the worst enemy of truth." Albert Einstein
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figgis
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Like others, I downloaded an app once. Started getting messeages from strange folk offering all sorts of things her ladyship wouldn't approve of :shock: . Then I downloaded the app I was actually looking for :thumbsup: I used it once and then figured it was ruling my day, telling me where to walk by showing me where I hadn't walked. Yes, there are times when these things are useful, such as gridding hot spots, but for me they take the human element out of it to a degree. I'd rather go into a field I've been on many times before with the faint hope that I'll come across something I've previously missed rather than see I've probably covered it all.

It's all down to personal preference in the end.
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TerraBritannia
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I use UK Grid Reference on my Android phone, but only for finds that I think my FLO might be interested in seeing. The accuracy does tend to vary and there have been a few occasions where I've had to wait for a better fix.
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Littleboot
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I am one of the old gits who hasn't accepted the wizardry or mobile phones. :lol: :lol: I hate them. I see people constantly seeing the world through the flat prism in front of them.
I did get a cheap smartphone last year. Felt it might be useful on a low key basis....in case of being out and needing help or whatever. Anyway, I fiddled with it for a few weeks and I have really dry hands that don't work touch screens well at all. I also hated all the stuff that seemed to elbow itself into my wave-length that I didn't want or ask for. Constant mither. I also don't like it knowing where I am....the other side of GPS.
Anyway, i kept forgetting to turn it on. And actually I have now forgotten how it works altogether. I don't think it has had any charge in it for about 6 months. I keep meaning to....but I never get round to it. perhaps if I find something really important that it will help with....rather than the phone finding things for me it thinks I should find important....then i may suddenly be inspired to use it. I thought about GPS for a brief period.....but no, it didn't float my boat. Its another thing to get between me and my gut feelings and enjoyment as I wander happily at will.
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Dave The Slave
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Think Jan has actually replied for me.
I too have a widely known dislike for mobiles.
Too many people face down oblivious to their surroundings.
Plus I also have the same problem with touch screens. Now they have dispensed with push button devices at work, have to get a stylus to be able to use it.
As far as GPS can see it`s benefits but being on different land every season, tend to know where I have been or not been.
Finds are so few I can remember precisely where found and use an aerial map for the FLO co ordinates.
Cheers, :thumbsup:
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Steve_JT
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This is a field of 25 acres, my GPS tracks are the red lines, the yellow section needs to be done more left to right

the green round area is a roman hot spot, lots of coins, the green oblong area at the top is only part that was ploughed and produced lots of broken roman brooches and coins, and three Celtic coins (one other in the main field)

the black circled areas although done in two directions were almost barren, don't know why?

This was over three years, lots of visits many hours, and will still go back from time to time, I keep asking for it to be ploughed but they only do minimal cultivation.

The GPS tracks tell me lots of info, always useful to look back on.

Image

Regards Steve
A foolish faith in authority, is the worst enemy of truth." Albert Einstein
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