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Thread: Is your GPS up to date?

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    Obi Wan
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    Is your GPS up to date?

    It seems there is an event coming up that may effect older GPS systems if they are not updated. Has to do with the Week number system that GPS uses.

    David

    https://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/time/...umber-rollover
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    Yoda TOC's Avatar
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    Re: Is your GPS up to date?

    Mine is fine, except some I got from AAA in 1969 before there were freeways a lot of places. The ones from the 20's and 30's are quite helpful when trying to locate the alignment of the original highway.

    Oh, and I don't need to charge it or update it.

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    Great Pumpkin TR3driver's Avatar
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    Re: Is your GPS up to date?

    I would certainly hope all of the commercial sets have that fixed by now!
    But, its only the 2nd time it has happened since GPS was launched, so I suppose someone will still have it wrong.

    The unit will actually navigate just fine once it finds some satellites. The high order bits of week number aren't actually used for anything. But it may get crazy at just the moment the time rolls over, and need to be restarted.

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    Yoda waltesefalcon's Avatar
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    Re: Is your GPS up to date?

    Like Toc I'm immune to computer issues. Mine's from 86 and still works great.
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    Re: Is your GPS up to date?

    Still can't figure out the wi-fi setup in mine:

    71pXGi6O9pL._SX425_.jpg
    Mac & Phyllis Take a Trip: http://nutmegflyer.com/trip-details-daily-updates/
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    Re: Is your GPS up to date?

    When you were preparing for your first cross country...use all the nav aids, but have a sectional out on the seat next to you..........

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    Administrator Basil's Avatar
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    Re: Is your GPS up to date?

    My GPS watch was made in 2016 - surely it's new enough to not be affected.

    Citizen_GPS.jpg
    “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” - Oscar Wilde

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    Re: Is your GPS up to date?

    I always had Jep charts and sectionals with me no matter what I was flying. If I'm driving on a trip, I have the old fashion maps with me also, GPS is great but in some areas, it isn't accurate, like here where we live. We've had delivery trucks that have never been here before call us for directions as their GPS took them 10 miles out of the way. No joke!

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    Re: Is your GPS up to date?

    Always good to have backups, especially for something as much built on smoke and mirrors as GPS technology. I've had a few pretty spectacular failures, like the time it tried to steer me into the river. Evidently there was a ford there when the water was low, but it had to be under at least 4 feet of water at the time!

    Less explicable was the time it led me to a cul-de-sac, and kept saying "turn right, turn right" as I followed the turnaround to the left. Of course there were no roads to the right, and never had been. Not so much as a cut in the curb where a driveway was planned. As I was going out the way I'd come in (under it's guidance), it said "recalculating".

    Another time, it led me down a country road to an apparently abandoned country club, saying "Continue on highway 20". I even got out and looked, there were only fields behind the building, no signs that there had ever been a road there (nor reason for one to be there). And no highway 20 in that part of the state.

    I worked in the GPS field for a lot of years; seen some weird stuff. Units that swore they were tracking satellites that didn't exist; satellites broadcasting the wrong signal (with the flags set saying it was good), and navigation solutions on the wrong side of the world. Of course, when we found that kind of stuff, we always put in patches to try to detect and make sure it didn't happen again; but they didn't always work and likely we didn't see everything that can go wrong.

    And our competitors weren't always so careful (or just didn't see the same issues we caught). GPS is kind of a high-tech guessing game anyway "the signal is probably here" and most units err on the side of reporting a position even if they aren't reasonably certain it's the right position. All it takes is poor geometry and one signal bouncing off of something (like the side of a building) to get a position off by a mile or more, even if it is correctly tracking all the signals it can see.

    My favorite example was a test we did on a competitor's unit. We laid some model train track through the parking lot, with a long straight section and then a curve. Set the unit on a flatbed, with a model train engine pulling it along the track. Just before the curve, we blocked the signal by clapping a cookie tin over the antenna as it went by. The unit faithfully reported it was still moving in a straight line, even as it sailed around the curve and stopped!

    Not so bad for a consumer grade unit perhaps; but this was supposedly survey quality accuracy, good to just a couple of inches.
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    Re: Is your GPS up to date?

    Quote Originally Posted by Basil View Post
    My GPS watch was made in 2016 - surely it's new enough to not be affected.
    Just to be clear, the GPS rollover can potentially affect all units, no matter how new. It's the equivalent of the "Y2K" problem, but shows up every 1024 weeks (a bit under 20 years). The GPS signal simply does not include that information, so the software has to deal (correctly) with the time reported in the GPS signal suddenly jumping backwards. The problem has been known since GPS was created, it just turned out to be a lot harder to design for and test than expected. Dang hard to test something that only happens once every 20 years!

    And GPS navigation is all about comparing the time in the signal to the local time; with measurements down in the nanosecond range (about a nanosecond per foot). Forget to allow for rollover just once, and you've got a wrong answer or, worse yet, a numeric overflow. Put a numeric overflow into a typical digital filter, and it will keep giving you "overflow" as an answer forever. Store that as your "last known" position and things will really be in a mess!
    Randall
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    Administrator Basil's Avatar
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    Re: Is your GPS up to date?

    Quote Originally Posted by PAUL161 View Post
    I always had Jep charts and sectionals with me no matter what I was flying. If I'm driving on a trip, I have the old fashion maps with me also, GPS is great but in some areas, it isn't accurate, like here where we live. We've had delivery trucks that have never been here before call us for directions as their GPS took them 10 miles out of the way. No joke!
    For years, when someone (anyone) would enter my home address, their GPS would always take them to the exact wrong end of he street, about 1/4 mile from my house. I suspect that was a map data issue rather than a GPS problem. I put several reports in to have it corrected and they finally did correct it.
    “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” - Oscar Wilde

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    Re: Is your GPS up to date?

    Quote Originally Posted by Basil View Post
    My GPS watch was made in 2016 - surely it's new enough to not be affected.

    Citizen_GPS.jpg
    The trouble with any such watch, now, is that I can't read the detail!
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    Re: Is your GPS up to date?

    Folks are really clueless. Like trucks following GPS and hit a low bridge....FAR too often.

    Or driving cluelessly in the fast lane of the Interstate, and you KNOW their GPS is saying "turn right here" and they come across four lanes of traffic and almost knock you out of the exit ramp...and they never look.

    https://www.seattlepi.com/local/arti...ys-1270598.php

    And there are SIGNS on both sides and HEIGHT detectors with flashing lights when you exceed height....but my GPS SAID to go here....

    https://www.kiro7.com/news/truck-hit...idge/246478558


    and the hits just keep on coming.

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    Re: Is your GPS up to date?

    We have several TERRIBLE spots here in Portland where I'm certain Google tells people to turn left (across usually very busy traffic). It causes a major back-up because of the specific location... and they could easily turn across traffic in another location (to accomplish the same thing). This was never a problem in years past. I've often wondered if there is a way to report this navigational problem to Google.
    - Mark

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    Re: Is your GPS up to date?

    http://holeintheclouds.net/sites/hol...t/ifyouhit.jpg


    and I'd bet good money (and WIN!) that the bridge STILL gets hit!

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    Re: Is your GPS up to date?


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    Re: Is your GPS up to date?

    Quote Originally Posted by TOC View Post
    http://holeintheclouds.net/sites/hol...t/ifyouhit.jpg


    and I'd bet good money (and WIN!) that the bridge STILL gets hit!
    Very clever!
    - Mark

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    Re: Is your GPS up to date?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boink View Post
    We have several TERRIBLE spots here in Portland where I'm certain Google tells people to turn left (across usually very busy traffic). It causes a major back-up because of the specific location... and they could easily turn across traffic in another location (to accomplish the same thing). This was never a problem in years past. I've often wondered if there is a way to report this navigational problem to Google.

    I know that you can have them correct their maps as I have done it - there is a report function, not sure about GPS.

    or google https://www.gps.gov/support/user/map...ices-and-maps/
    John-Peter Smit
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    Re: Is your GPS up to date?

    Thanks JP. I'll look into this.

    EDIT: reported it. Maybe I can get others to do that same. It's really a safety issue now (beyond the mess it creates). Thanks again.
    - Mark

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    Cool Re: Is your GPS up to date?

    Quote Originally Posted by Basil View Post
    My GPS watch was made in 2016 - surely it's new enough to not be affected...

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