Smart phone rather than etrex

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Jungle
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Smart phone rather than etrex

Post by Jungle » Sat May 06, 2017 1:14 pm

I wondered if anyone was using a smart phone for gps finds and tracking?
If so, how accurate is GPS plus GLONASS (most phones have this)?
How long does your phone last? I was looking at one with a 2200-2800mh battery.
Assumption that it will be IP68 at least.
If connected to the internet and using google Earth, lets say at a rally where you've been unable to look before hand, what screen size would be practical and what resolution is best?
This is key specification which drives the price up.

I'm anticipating the Deus linked software arriving some time.

Thanks


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Re: Smart phone rather than etrex

Post by Stillburning » Sat May 06, 2017 2:55 pm

As a very recent convert to a smartphone I may not be the best on the technical stuff but in case its any use .........

I was using an Etrex 10 to record findspots but recently had some stuff taken from my car so looked for apps that would do the same thing.

I downloaded an app call Tect o Track (£3) and another called GPS locker (free), between the 2 the accuracy looks good (comparing the location given with the Google Earth Satellite map). It records your tracks and when you record a find it creates a record with the findspot, date, time and an optional photo. It is certainly easier than using the etrex, but so far I have only used it in dry weather so not sure how pratical it will be when everything is caked in sticky clay in the winter.

I've got a Vodafone Smart prime 7 phone, 5 inch screen, not sure about the battery (I have to charge it every day though, my old phone would last a week!) but after a 4/5 hour detecting session dosnt seem to have gone down much more than normal.

As a Deus user I will check that software when it comes out but no other reason not to use Tect O Track ::g
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Re: Smart phone rather than etrex

Post by Koala » Sat May 06, 2017 7:32 pm

Accuracy of GPS comes up quite often.

Normally I get shot down in flames for suggesting that the accuracy of any GPS is around 7m or better.

Often with I went back to a hole a dug. It was spot on.

Normally within the same day its quite good.


An IPhone 5 does appear better than the IPhone 3 and is as good as a dedicated Garmin GPS in normally fields. Normally I just take a photo of a find as it geotagged.

The Garmin with its larger antenna is better in woods, next to tall buildings and down gullies.


Most GPS receivers use the same chip set so the accuracy is the same.


Surveyors use a different system that costs thousands and involves installing a base station. This has an accuracy of a few centimetres.



The GPS system is going to be updated and accuracy will be a couple of metres



At the end of the day any system that can log your finds to a few metres is pretty good.

understanding GPS errors

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Re: Smart phone rather than etrex

Post by Jungle » Mon May 15, 2017 12:32 pm

Thanks All. I went for a 2nd hand Samsung S6 Active. Waterproof and drop tested. 2 day battery life (for my use). Just need the Apps set up and I'll compare with etrex.
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Re: Smart phone rather than etrex

Post by chesters4 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:08 pm

If i take my smart phone out with my f75 it plays up unless its switched off so a app for Gps wouldnt be much good it would just show where my bag was hanging on a fence lol
Most probably several feet out as well ,until gps is accurate down to a couple of inches i cannot see any use for it in detecting ,ok for the occasional semi pinpointing of photos but my camera has gps anyway so ok for a general fix of a circle of 10ft or so if your lucky

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Re: Smart phone rather than etrex

Post by Euro Detector » Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:50 am

Interesting read ::g

I've also been looking at the Etrex 10 but are there any benefits of using a dedicated GPS device over a smartphone with GPS/Google Maps installed on it (maybe even a GPS/detecting app)?
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Re: Smart phone rather than etrex

Post by tcawood » Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:22 pm

I can't really comment on the Etrex and it's capabilities but as a smartphone user I can just add a little to the piece on Tect o Trak.

The app is available on IOS and Android, I use it on my iPhone 7 every time I go out.

Tha app allows you to set up multiple record sets, so I have one for each of my permissions and this defined by tracing an outline of the perimeter on the onscreen map, which is very straightforward.

I then start the app going when I arrive at one of my permissions and start detecting, this then records the paths that I take so I can see where I've covered, useful on a larger site.

From a finds point of view you can then record everything you dig, it allows you to take a picture within the app or use one from the phone's gallery and annotate it with notes. I tend to record a brief description and what the target ID was on my Rutus.

I believe it uses the phones GPS and has 4 coordinate systems you can select within the app's settings, two WGS types, UTM and UK Grid Reference. My FLO has suggested I use UK Grid as that's what she'll ask for, BUT when I altered this in the setting I noticed that it seems to knock the position of the find out by 10-15ft so I've gone back to default WGS 84DD (Lat/Lng), just checked this against my weekend finds and it seems pretty damn close on all the records.


So, from what I've experienced the GPS seems pretty accurate, but I guess the real question is 'how accurate do you need it to be?'...

The advantages to an app based approach to me are that it's independent of the detector so if I change machines, or use a different one on a rally etc then the app is phone based so no issues there. The database created by the app is exportable for backup purposes and I believe can be dowloaded into the app should you upgrade phones etc.

I'm a fan of the app as may be apparent ;-)
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Re: Smart phone rather than etrex

Post by Euro Detector » Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:52 pm

Thanks very much, that's a good tip. Will have a look at that app. Is it also possible to export the GPS waypoints and description of finds to external software, such as Google Earth?
Does it have a built-in map (Google Maps then, I guess)?
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Re: Smart phone rather than etrex

Post by Steve_T » Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:55 pm

Can you transfer the data to Google earth on a PC From the phones

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Re: Smart phone rather than etrex

Post by tcawood » Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:17 pm

Yes the app has an internal map, assume Google but not sure...

Data is exported as a zip file, in the zip is a copy of the database in sqlite.

I'm not technical enough to know if this can be exported straight into Google Earth, obviously, it can be done manually if you need.

AMENDMENT - I'm not technical enough, but Google Earth imports from CSV, so I'm guessing there must be a way of taking the sql and converting it into something useable... maybe someone with more tech nowse than me can help
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