“What happened to my GPS signal?”

For those of you with a GPS watch, Wired magazine has a good article addressing the most common problem facing GPS watches: lost signals.  The article can be found here.  Although much of the article is targeted towards car navigation systems, many of the principles discussed in the article apply equally to GPS watches.

Some of the golden rules on GPS watch signals, as reinforced by the article:

1.  “Because a GPS has to receive a signal from space, physical impediments like skyscrapers, cliff faces, and even trees can stump it.”  So if you run in an urban jungle, you may be out of luck.  The ActiveWatcher know this from personal experience.  Even more frustrating, it may work, but only sporadically.  The good GPS watches will continue to track the distance while the signal is lost.  If you have no choice but to run in the city, run along the smallest buildings and in the most open space you can find in the city, such as along a river bank or in a park.

2.  “Reception is less of an issue with the ultrasensitive chipsets in newer models….”  This principle is just as true for GPS watches.  The newer the GPS watch, the better the signal reception.

3.    “The worst time to power up your GPS is when you actually need it.”  That’s right, don’t wait to power up your GPS watch until you’re done with your warm-up run.  Want to make sure your GPS is functioning for the ever-important tempo run?  Go outside, activate your GPS, relax, and stretch for a few minutes.

If you want more detailed information about GPS signals and time, try this site: time-synchronisation.co.uk

The ActiveWatcher

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4 Responses to ““What happened to my GPS signal?””

  1. Katia Dematteo Says:

    Nice Site.

  2. Time Synchronisation Says:

    MySpace…

    This post was mentioned on MySpace by Richard Hawkesford….

  3. The ActiveWatcher Says:

    Thanks for the updates Katia and Time Synchronisation!

  4. ripcurl watch Says:

    Great post – so true..)),

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