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Hand held GPS - where's yours?


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I walk but use a push cart and mine is clipped to a bracket that screws right to the center of the carts handle. Always right there when I walk up to the ball.

I have the same one as yours

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Your kidding right? You think becuase a little polyester stands between my phone and the sky, thats going to affect the gps accuracy? I really don't believe you, one because that doesn't make sense, and two because i have been doing that for a year and have 0 problems and i know im not the only one.

I'm not kidding and it's true. It has nothing to do with the polyester between your phone and the sky, but your body mass, which to an RF signal acts like a sponge and kills the signal. If you read the antenna manufacturer's data sheets they tell you this right in the document. It's basic RF antenna design stuff. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it isn't happening. If you look at the actual GPS satellite receiver data output you'll see that it drops and adds satellites to it's view continuously. When you reduce the antenna gain by placing the antenna in close proximity to your body then the weaker satellites are not received anymore. That's a fact. And the more satellites in the GPS constellation that can be used for positional calculations, the more accurate the GPS positioning will be.

Typically, a consumer GPS will use a "Patch" or "Chip" antenna because they are cheap and work OK but they are also are susceptible to gain loss caused by large masses, such as your body, being in close proximity to it. There are more expensive antenna types that can minimize the effect but consumer gear rarely uses them because they cost $4-5 instead of $.50, even in large volumes. Your cell phone is subject to the same kind of signal loss too but it's signal is much much larger than the GPS signal (1000x or more) so it's not nearly as noticeable. This stuff really happens -- continuously -- but the software of the device hides it from you. You don't have to believe me, but I test it and see it on an almost daily basis.
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Ya, MGP has a valid point. I have noticed it with GPS units I have used at work while locating and targeting underground Utilities. We do step a few feet away to allow it to pick up signals for a few minutes and then step back to the equipment.

But my little hand clipped to my body hasn't been affected drastically enough to not wear it. Yes, some may have been absorbed, but the stronger signals, which are the more accurate signals, are plentiful enough and I haven't noticed the yardage discrepancies.
I have seen it with my buddies Skygolf SG4 though. His was off by about 5-10 yards.
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I'm not kidding and it's true. It has nothing to do with the polyester between your phone and the sky, but your body mass, which to an RF signal acts like a sponge and kills the signal. If you read the antenna manufacturer's data sheets they tell you this right in the document. It's basic RF antenna design stuff. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it isn't happening. If you look at the actual GPS satellite receiver data output you'll see that it drops and adds satellites to it's view continuously. When you reduce the antenna gain by placing the antenna in close proximity to your body then the weaker satellites are not received anymore. That's a fact. And the more satellites in the GPS constellation that can be used for positional calculations, the more accurate the GPS positioning will be.

You have to love the "I didn't see it therefore it can't be true" theory of scientific analysis.

The instructions with my GolfLogix specifically tell you NOT to carry it in your pocket for that very reason. The signal broadcast from a GPS satellite is quite weak... it takes very little for it to be blocked. Even the leaf canopy of a good sized oak tree can cause a golf GPS to lose the signal.
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  • 3 months later...
You have to love the "I didn't see it therefore it can't be true" theory of scientific analysis.

Actually it has more to do with the frequency of the signal than the strength. GPS signals are in the gigahertz range and the wavelength of the signal is very small in comparison to other signals such as AM radio which can easily travel through buildings and other obstacles. The small wavelength of the GPS signal can actually be obsorbed by foliage or even moisture laiden clouds.

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Mine is on my iphone, so naturally it just sits in my pocked of my pants or on the outside pocket. The phone is slim and light enough that it has never bothered me during the swing while its in my pocket

Golfshot ?

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If you leave your GPS attached to the bag I know some of the courses I play have very rough cart paths. Would the harsh vibrations cause the unit to break instantly or over time ?
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If you leave your GPS attached to the bag I know some of the courses I play have very rough cart paths. Would the harsh vibrations cause the unit to break instantly or over time ?

Never been a problem for my GolfLogix. It hangs from my bag with a clip and a carabiner.

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Actually it has more to do with the frequency of the signal than the strength. GPS signals are in the gigahertz range and the wavelength of the signal is very small in comparison to other signals such as AM radio which can easily travel through buildings and other obstacles. The small wavelength of the GPS signal can actually be obsorbed by foliage or even moisture laiden clouds.

With almost any GPS device, you should be able to check the stats and see how many satellites it is locked on to and what its accuracy is. With the iPhone, there is a free app called "GPSLite" which has a screen that shows the GPS signal strength and accuracy. When I was checking my iPhone on the golf course last weekend, it said the accuracy was 150ft. My Garmin car GPS unit usually is around 15 (feet or meters, I'm not sure what the units were). I'll have to check my SkyCaddie this weekend to see what it says.

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Golfshot ?

Golfcard for me (I know you weren't asking me).

With almost any GPS device, you should be able to check the stats and see how many satellites it is locked on to and what its accuracy is.

For Golfcard, it is built into the software (although the reading obviously comes from the hardware). The signal meter goes green when it's locked on, and it has to this point never given me bad yardages that I can confirm. In fact, I've often been standing next to people with skycaddies and other stand-alone GPS devices and we're typically within 2 yards of each other.

Brandon
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I ordered the izzo swami and it comes with a belt clip that I do not believe would attach well to my stand bang.

Was thinking about using this.
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...0070921x00003a
Attach the little knob to the back of the gps with some gorilla glue, then place the latch piece onto my bag.
Think that would work ?
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Note: This thread is 4068 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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