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Internal v External GPS

16 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

Hey,

Does anyone know for certain how long you can run the internal GPS on the Trinity for? e.g. off road, walking or mountain biking and out in the wilds where you have no charger available - how long can you run the internal GPS for?

And is it possible to compare this to running with an external GPS dongle which is connected via BT? I wonder if this would last longer?

Either considered opinions or actual factual data would be interesting to hear....

Blakey

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Posted · Report post

Hey,

Does anyone know for certain how long you can run the internal GPS on the Trinity for? e.g. off road, walking or mountain biking and out in the wilds where you have no charger available - how long can you run the internal GPS for?

And is it possible to compare this to running with an external GPS dongle which is connected via BT? I wonder if this would last longer?

Either considered opinions or actual factual data would be interesting to hear....

Blakey

I can't comment on the battery life, BUT, I'm very disappointed with the built in GPS on the Trinity (M700). It seems totally hit and miss as to how quickly it can find a signal, and even when it does eventually lock on to a signal, it seems way worse than using a bluetooth GPS receiver instead of the built in one. ie 1-2 bars as opposed to 4 bars using TomTom 6 in the same spot. ;)

I find it can take anything between about 90 seconds and 10 minutes to get a signal, and if you're moving (in the car) it never seems to find one :D

That's my experience of GPS on the Trinity, maybe other people have had more luck?

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Posted · Report post

That seems to be a criticism of a lot of the devices with built-in GPS.

It is possible that the antenna is often too small/not optimised due to space constraints, and also that the processor EMG interference may inhibit the reception of satellite data.

I have a Loox N560 and an M700, and the M700 is much faster at aquiring a signal, though once aquired, both retain it very well.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Being a keen walker I would like to know myself. I know bluetooth uses a lot of power but maybe having so many receiver channels uses a lot, I haven't a clue. The M500 I used to have with a bluetooth GPS would last a 6 hours walk okay. I used my M700 with Tomtom today for the first time today on a fairly short journey and was surprised how quickly the battery went down but it wasn't a full charge beforehand so would probably need another test.

Next weekend I am planning to do quite a bit of walking with it using memory map. I have bought an external battery extender as backup so I should be able to report back after that.

I have also been slightly disappointed with the time to get a fix but maybe I have just been spoilt by a very good bluetooth receiver. When I used it today it did constantly have a fix although it wasn't a challenging environment.

Even if it is not the most sensitive device in the world, at least you have the convenience of a built in GPS and can always use a more sensitive bluetooth one if you are not totally satisfied with the performance

Edited by dave_a
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Posted · Report post

Even if it is not the most sensitive device in the world, at least you have the convenience of a built in GPS and can always use a more sensitive bluetooth one if you are not totally satisfied with the performance

Doesn't this kinda negate the reson for having an in-built GPS???

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Posted · Report post

well in tomtom if you Choose 'Other NMEA GPS' and your phone wont turn on Bluetooth which will give you longer battery life.

I have not confirmed this, but will try when i get my m700 next week

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Posted · Report post

well in tomtom if you Choose 'Other NMEA GPS' and your phone wont turn on Bluetooth which will give you longer battery life.

I have not confirmed this, but will try when i get my m700 next week

If you run TomTom6, you can download the latest version (6.03) which is aimed at devices with built-in GPS.

The TTN6 GPS configurator correctly identifies the M700/Trinity as having 'Built In GPS Receiver' and doesn't need any further configuration. It alos allows TTN6 to use the WM5 GPS Intermediary Driver, which activates the GPS receiver when TTN starts, and will happily co-exist with CamerAware.

Makes life much easier! Interestingly V6.03 doesn't recognise my FS Loox N560 as having an internal GPS, so the Intermediary Driver doesn't work unless the GPS is aleady activated by another application.

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Posted · Report post

All good and interesting stuff! Dave_a did you get out walking this weekend? What was the verdict?

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Posted · Report post

Sorry- my post above was wrong ;)

The new TTN6 V6.03, though recognising the M700 as having a Built-In GPS receiver, still won't use the software GPS port- it grabs hardware port COM9 and locks anything else out.

There is a way around it by changing the TTN settings, and running another GPS program (like CamerAware) before TTN to open the software port. (see details in the CamerAware forum)

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Posted · Report post

All good and interesting stuff! Dave_a did you get out walking this weekend? What was the verdict?

Despite the weather I did manage to get out on one walk and was very impressed. I was expecting to have to use the battery extender but it was still going at the end of the walk (6 hours) although the battery was about to die. I disabled the option to turn the power off after a few mins so the device was on constantly with the backlight set to switch off after 5 min. I should have had this set to a shorter time beforehand but forgot.

It never lost the GPS signal on the walk and I did go through a couple of valleys. I lost the GPS signal a couple of times when using TomTom and going under bridges but it always got the signal back quickly. I didn't go through any city centres though.

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Posted · Report post

I own an SPV m600 and a separate BT dongle, not a Trinity, but to put your findings into some comparison I am off to the Peak District at the end of the month. I will use Memory Map for my days out on the hills and try and see how long the battery lasts for. Will post my results here. As I say, not comparing quite the same thing, but at least its comparing internal to external GPS.

Blakey

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Hmmm, just back from my weekend in the Peaks. It would appear that the m600 with external BT GPS dongle performs better, battery life wise than then Trinity using internal GPS.

I went for a 6 hour bike ride on the Friday with BT on the entire time. By the end of the ride the phone battery was down to about 50%. We did a 7 hour walk on the Saturday and by the end the battery was down to about 40-45% (after recharging to 100% over night of course!). Again with BT on the whole time. The GPS did get a little confused when we went into a pub for lunch each day but that's not a great surprise. Other than that it held its signal fine the whole time. Oh, and I had it on 195MHz speed (default) the whole time.

So, it would appear, from very unscientific field tests, that the Prophet using an external GPS is much more efficient than the Trinity with internal GPS. However it was a bit annoying to have two devices (GPS dongle and phone) rather than just the phone.

Would love people to post their experiences here so we can build up some more empirical evidence on the subject....

Cheers

Blakey

Edited by Blakey
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Posted · Report post

(Bump)

Anyone got any more examples of internal GPS use on the Trinity and how long you an expect it to last for?

Thanks

Blakey

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Posted · Report post

I have been using my m700 with Memory Map while out mountain biking. I find that if I put the phone into flight mode (you don't want a phone call from work when your out in the wilderness!!) and have the backlight turned off then the battery will last for 6hrs easily. I was out biking for 6 hours the other day and the battery was only down to 50%. I also find that the GPS in the m700 is extremely quick at getting a position. Using memory map or tom tom 5 my phone will have a lock within 60 secs every time. I have bought a aluminium case for my phone off ebay and my m700 has survived 3 high speed crashes (the phone came out of the crash better than I did!)

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Posted · Report post

Thanks Pock! Very helpful information indeed!

How do you access your phone on the bike? I have my m600 mounted on the handlebars inside a waterproof case. Works well and allows me to see the phone/map as I'm riding, although I do wonder what will happen if I have a really nasty crash....

Blakey

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Posted · Report post

Hey,

Does anyone know for certain how long you can run the internal GPS on the Trinity for? e.g. off road, walking or mountain biking and out in the wilds where you have no charger available - how long can you run the internal GPS for?

And is it possible to compare this to running with an external GPS dongle which is connected via BT? I wonder if this would last longer?

Either considered opinions or actual factual data would be interesting to hear....

Blakey

Ordered TomTom Navigator6 on memory card from Handago. £58 with Safety Cams. Works perfectly well. Just as good as my TomTom One, that died :rolleyes:

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