GPS Units

The following GPS units have been owned and used by Hans Sundgren.

Garmin Fēnix™ 2 with HRM-Run™
Garmin Forerunner 405

Image courtesy: Garmin

Garmin Forerunner 405

Technical data

  • Display: 70 x 70 pixels, 31 mm
  • Memory card: No
  • Up to 18,000 positions
  • Interface: USB, and Wireless 2.4 GHz, Dynastream ANT and Bluetooth
  • Batteries: Built-in rechargeable LiIon 500 mAh
  • Dimensions: 49×49×17 mm
  • Weight: 91g

2014 June

The 5-year old GPS clock Garmin Forerunner 405 still works OK, but the battery run time has decreased slightly. The new technical step this year is "Running Dynamics" measured by the heart rate monitor belt (HRM-Run™). The HRM-Run has an accelerometer in the module that measures torso movement to calculate 3 running metrics:

  • Cadence — the number of steps per minute. It displays the total steps (right and left combined).
  • Vertical oscillation — the bounce in your running motion. It displays the vertical motion of your torso (measured in centimeters).
  • Ground contact time — the amount of time in each step that your foot spends on the ground while running (measured in milliseconds).

The activities are stored as .fit files on the clock and are transferred to the computer via cable, where the clock shows up as a drive (E:). The files can also be uploaded to connect.garmin.com. The TCX and GPX files have to be downloaded from connect.garmin.com.

Garmin offers 2 units with running dynamics and this one seem to be most flexible. SEK 4095 including the HRM-Run, at Outdoorexperten, Västerås 2014-06-17.

Receipt
Unit ID 3885873279
Software Version 2.80

Good

  • Can handle run, swimming and other activites.
  • The heart rate monitor belt is logging many variables.
  • Long battery life time.

Bad

  • The display is a little difficult to read, due to small font size.
  • The date is stored in FIT files that are not human readable as TCX or GPX.

First track 2014-06-20

Garmin nüvi® 1390T track

The first track, barefoot walking in Rönnby.

Comparison of data on Garmin Connect 2014-06-21

During a Saturday morning trail run with radio-orienteering friends, Hans used both the new Finex 2 and the old Forerunner 405 without HRM but with cadence sensor. The images shows the difference between the units when the data is uploaded to Garmin Connect.

2014-06-21: Software upgrade

Web updater screen image

When connecting to Garmin connect it alerts that there is a new firmware.

Software Version 3.30

Software change history from version 2.80 to 3.30:

  • Added support for Android version of Garmin Connect Mobile app (automatic uploads, LiveTrack, faster GPS from downloaded satellite data file, ability to download Courses and Workouts)
  • Added Training Plan feature support (visit www.garminconnect.com to setup and transfer)
  • Added support for Run/Walk alerts
  • Added support for Calorie alerts
  • Fixed potential issues with workout alerts
  • Fixed potential issues with custom activity names
  • Improved reliability of connection and file sync with Garmin Connect Mobile (iOS only)
  • Fixed potential issues with swim pace
  • Fixed intermittent issue with barometer calculation

2014-07-19: Software upgrade

Web updater screen image

A new release is available.

Software Version 3.60

Software change history from version 3.30 to 3.60:

  • Added support for Android Smart Notifications
  • Added support for Power Alerts
  • Improved battery life when enabled ANT sensors are no longer present

2014-08-07: Software upgrade

Web updater screen image

A new release is available.

Software Version 3.70

Software change history from version 3.60 to 3.70:

  • Fixed potential issue where device could become unresponsive during an activity
  • Fixed potential issues with ANT sensor communication consistency
  • Fixed potential issues with Garmin Connect Mobile syncing

2014-08-26: Software upgrade

Web updater screen image

A new release is available.

Software Version 3.80

Software change history from version 3.70 to 3.80:

  • Added barometer graph scale settings. Settings->Sensors->Barometer->Plot
  • Added barometric pressure trend line. Enable in Settings->General->Time->Time Page->Addl. Data
  • Added storm alerts. Enable in Settings->Sensors->Barometer->Storm Alert
  • Added support for Nautical Units activity setting
  • Improved sensor low battery messages

2014-09-16: Software upgrade

Web updater screen image

A new release is available.

Software Version 3.90

Software change history from version 3.80 to 3.90:

  • Improved smart notification formatting
  • Fixed average power balance calculation
  • Fixed elapsed time calculation for long activities
  • Fixed possible issue with long activities missing data
  • Fixed possible issue when starting an activity where Track Archive Error would appear repeatedly
  • Fixed icon and date overlap on time page when baro trend is enabled
  • Fixed cadence data page when using HRM-Run

2014-09-28: Software upgrade

Web updater screen image

A new release is available.

Software Version 4.00

Software change history from version 3.90 to 4.00:

  • Fixed possible issue with multisport session times
  • Fixed Resume Later for multisport activities
  • Fixed erroneous storm alarms after manual barometer calibration

2014-12-29: Software upgrade

Web updater screen image

A new release is available.

Software Version 4.1

Software change history from version 4.00 to 4.10:

  • Fixed heart rate zone alerts
  • Fixed pace units selection not being saved
  • Fixed cadence alerts when using Foot Pod or HRM-Run
  • Fixed possible issue with altimeter chart display when GPS is on
  • Fixed possible issue with storm alerts when GPS is on
  • Fixed possible erroneous storm alert when exiting USB mass storage mode
  • Additional: GPS chipset type M4

2015-01-10: Software upgrade

Web updater screen image

A new release is available.

Software Version 4.2

Software change history from version 4.10 to 4.20:

  • Fixed an issue with the minimum cadence alert
  • Modified cadence alert data entry: for running, cadence is entered in steps per minute (spm); for cycling, cadence is entered in revolutions per minute (rpm)

2015-02-08: Software upgrade

Web updater screen image

A new release is available.

Software Version 4.3

Software change history from version 4.20 to 4.30:

  • Fixed possible shutdown when saving an activity

2015-12-29: Software upgrade

Web updater screen image

A new release is available.

Software Version 4.5

Software change history from version 4.30 to 4.40:

  • Improved Android compatibility (requires Android Garmin Connect Mobile 2.8 or higher)

Software change history from version 4.40 to 4.50:

  • Fixed issue with LiveTrack
  • Fixed issue with import of some workouts
  • Fixed issue with UltraTrac GPS mode in certain scenarios
  • Fixed issue with Area Calculation
  • Fixed Alt Zone time when timezone set to Moscow
Garmin VIRB™ Elite, action camera

December 2013

The camera has an integrated GPS.

See Garmin VIRB.

Apple iPad Mini

May 2013

The unit has an integrated GPS.

See iPad mini.

Canon Power Shot S100

February 2012

The camera has an integrated GPS.

See Canon S100.

Apple iPhone 4

January 2011

The telephone has an integrated GPS.

See iPhone 4.

Garmin nüvi® 1390T
Garmin nüvi 1390T

Image courtesy: Garmin

Technical data

  • Display: 480 x 272 pixels, 11 cm
  • Memory card: microSD™
  • Almost unlimited positions
  • Interface: USB 2.0
  • Batteries: Built-in rechargeable LiIon, up to 4 hours
  • Dimensions: 122 ×75×16 mm
  • Weight: 162 g

2010 July

Going on a holiday to Wales, Hans needs navigation support in the rented car.

This unit seems to be the best one from Garmin, after rejecting the new 3790T because of its glossy screen and less robustness. The unit is bought one day before leaving Sweden.

Good

  • Good display
  • Quite sensitive, fast positioning

Bad

  • A little bit difficult to extract the GPX-files because they are stored in single archive files, containing many tracks.
  • No warning when you are leaving the suction cup mount in the rented vehicle :-)

First track 2010-07-xx

Garmin nüvi® 1390T track

The first track from Tessingatan to the city center.

Screen

Garmin nüvi® screen

Xxxxxxx

Fantech GT-750F/L-Lite
Fantech GT-750F

Technical data

  • Display: No
  • Memory card: No
  • 2 MB internal memory for up to 250,000 positions
  • Sensitivity -160dBm
  • Interface: USB 2.0
  • Batteries: Exchangeable, rechargeable LiIon 1000 mAh, 10 h tracking
  • Dimensions: 44×74×21 mm
  • Weight: 60 g

2009 July

In May Hans gets an offer via email: "Get 2 issues of the magazine Aktiv Träning and a GPS-logger – all for only 39:90 + postage". Is it possible to get a GPS logger for only SEK 60? Two months after Hans has accepted the offer the unit arrives by mail. Later he orders a second one and both units are given away to friends to be used in radio-orienteering tracking.

The unit, which is an ODM/OEM business product, has a USB-connection and an on/off button. The package includes: the unit, USB-cable and a CD with the program GPS Photo Tagger and instruction manuals.

Good

  • The reachargeable battery can be replaced
  • Easy to use, only one button, no display

Bad

  • The GPS track files must be extracted with the program GPS Photo Tagger.
  • Needs to be strapped on the upper arm to get proper positions

Settings

GPS Photo Tracker screen dump

Xxxxxx

Garmin Forerunner® 405
Garmin Forerunner 405

Image courtesy: Garmin

Technical data

  • Display: 124 x 95 pixels, 27 mm
  • Memory card: No
  • Up to 18,000 positions
  • Interface: Wireless 2.4 GHz, Dynastream ANT.
  • Batteries: Built-in rechargeable LiIon 300 mAh
  • Dimensions: 48×71×16 mm
  • Weight: 60 g

2009 March

Even though the eTrex works well tracking the path in the forest, it is a little tricky to fasten it to the Letro battery carrier, and most of all, running with the carrier.

So a lighter tracking-GPS with good sensitivity is required. Hans selects the fairly new Forerunner 405 due to its small size. SEK 3474 at Outdoorexperten, Västerås 2009-03-13.

Good

  • Very good sensitivity
  • Garmin Connect shows nice diagrams

Bad

  • The built-in battery cannot be replaced.
  • Computer connection requires USB-stick transceiver (no USB cable)

2013 July: Adding a Garmin Foot Pod for cadence

Foot pod

Hans wants to measure as many parameters as possible and noticed that a foot pod would be interesting to attach to the shoe. By this he is able to calculate the average stride length when running.

The formula: Average stride length = [average strides per minute] x [running time] / [distance].

695 SEK at Outdoorexperten in Västerås 2013-07-22.

2013 July: Firmware upgrade

Upgrade sign from garmin connect

The GPS unit is sometimes locked during lap operations. Hans makes un upgrade from firmware 2.3 to 2.8. The latest firmware software was released 2011-07-28, that is 2 years ago.

Documents

2014 February: Adding Powerpack for charging in the filed

Powerpack

The operating time for the clock with GPS active is about 6-8 hours. Hans needs to measure the pulse and position during a longer time and invests in a portable powerpack

299 SEK at Kjell & Company Västerås 2014-02-19.

Technical data

  • Capacity: 5200 mAh
  • Max. load: 1 A
  • Built in battery: Litium polymer
  • Charging time: 6–7 hours
  • Dimensions: 99×72×18 mm
  • Weight: 142 g

Documents

End of life November 2017

Hans gave the pulse belt to a friend 2016 and when he tried the clock end of 2017, it he could not get it to show correct time. The battery is almost 10 years old and cannot be replaced. In addition, the operation with touch control is a little bit insensitive. In short: Too many flaws to keep it, so it is left for recycling.

Garmin eTrex Venture® Cx
Garmin eTrex Venture® Cx

Image courtesy: Garmin

Technical data

  • Display: 124 x 95 pixels, 27 mm
  • Display: 176 x 220 pixels
  • Memory card: microSD™
  • Interface: USB 2.0
  • Batteries: 2×AA

2007 January

Hans receives this GPS as a 50-years birthday present from his radio-orienteering friends.

Good

  • microSD™ card for storing tracks
  • Long battery life

Bad

  • Requires some minutes for the first position.
  • Xxx
GlobalSat BT-338

GlobalSat BT-338

Technical data

  • Display: 124 x 95 pixels, 27 mm
  • Display: No
  • Memory card: No
  • Internal memory: No
  • Sensitivity -159dBm
  • Interface: Bluetooth V1.2
  • Batteries: Exchangeable, rechargeable 3.7 V, 1700 mAh
  • Dimensions: 40×72×26 mm
  • Weight: 75 g

Documents

2006 September

This is the cheapest way Hans can get a GPS system. The unit communicates via Bluetooth with Hans' palm computer loaded with Sverigekartan.

Later, in 2009, Hans uses the GPS with his new HP mini PC which has a Bluetooth interface. This is a perfect solution for navigation. SEK 732.

Good

  • Easy to connect to Bluetooth units.
  • Long battery life with rechargeable battery.

Bad

  • No possibility to store tracks internally.
  • A little bit heavy.