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Sat Map Active 10 .Time to aquire a sattelite fix.
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ronbo2571
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Joined: May 11, 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 10:16 pm    Post subject: Sat Map Active 10 .Time to aquire a sattelite fix. Reply with quote

This is a great piece of kit when it works!! When it has not been used for 24 hours,it takes at least an hour to aquire a fix.Once aquired,I can switch it off.Up to an hour later,on switching back on ,it will aquire in less than a minute.
Is this common and/or does any one not have this problem? Please advise me because it is very frustrating!
Thanks for your help
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robs1972
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where are you standing when it takes an hour to lock on, down a mine shaft!?
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Physicist
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Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have already reported the same long lock-in times and the (possibly related) lower than expected sensitivity for a SirfIII-based set.

There are limits to which I will go in loyal support of Satmap. Sure, they currently have a set that can be loaded with OS raster maps. But it has serious deficiencies which some members of the forum claim not to have in their sets or are prepared to overlook. The most charitable interpretation is that there is a quality control issue and that some under-performing sets have slipped through the net.

One of the reasons originally given by Satmap for the launch delay was that they wanted to be certain that it had been thoroughly tested. We were also promised that the route planning software and the mapping would be available at launch. And then there were the endless 'web page will be up and running at the weekend' promises. Of course they are a small startup firm that would benefit from our support (I have spent 700 on their gear) but they do have to earn our loyalty (which they do in one respect - their superb replacement service). If I were them I would go back to their hardware design team and ask them to achieve performance levels attained by other SirfIII sets produced by Garmin and Magellan. That should be achievable - then will truly have a class winner and I will rush out and spend another 400 on more National Park 1;25k mapping.

I know that this is likely to produce the response from many forum members that their sets already perform at this level. Sorry, there are many that dont (I am on my third A10 and have yet to get one that matches the performance of my Garmin 60CSx) and I am not disloyal for saying so. I can live with low battery life but not with ridiculously long lock-in times and lacklustre sensitivity. What is the point of OS mapping if you can't lock onto it or if you loose lock have to go through the whole waiting game again?!
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py6km
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Joined: Jan 01, 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. This may cuase me to seriously rethink, and simply stick with a paper map. I had fix issues with my Road Angel Adventurer 7000 when moving to a different area of the country, or if it had been off for a long time, and this was one of the reasons I got rid of it. If this suffers similar issues, then that would be a deal breaker. I might have to call them up to get their take on this, as I was set to get one this week in preparation for a trip to lakes in feb.
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robs1972
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

py6km wrote:
Interesting. This may cuase me to seriously rethink, and simply stick with a paper map. I had fix issues with my Road Angel Adventurer 7000 when moving to a different area of the country, or if it had been off for a long time, and this was one of the reasons I got rid of it. If this suffers similar issues, then that would be a deal breaker. I might have to call them up to get their take on this, as I was set to get one this week in preparation for a trip to lakes in feb.


I'd give them a ring because it's basically a brilliant device.
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py6km
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just been speaking to SatMap about this issue. Basically, it appears that (in response to demands from users) v1.03 firmware was coded with something that made the A10 look for the same satellites that it had previsouly been fixed with. Therefore, if you move to a different part of the country and switch on, it looks for the same fix, but can't get it, hence the delay in getting a fix in the new location.

He said that this issue is being resolved in the next update, which is v1.05 (don't know what happened to 1.04). He had it in his hand as we were speaqking, and said it is due for release anytime soon - who knows when though; maybe a week or two (too late for me).

In any case, he did say that it should take no longer than 1-2 mins max to get a fix with 1.03, which seems contrary to some people's experiences.

It would appear that all units bought direct from them are benchmarked, and any that fail are not sent out (they test fix, battery etc), but it would seem that ones bought from elsewhere are not given this treatment, which seems odd to me. If there is quality control, there is quality control; if more control is applied if bought direct this implies to me that a lot of units sent out to other retailers may have failed their extra tests, in which case, why are they being sold to people?

You can get one of these new at Amazon for 250 now delivered, and as they don't price match, they're unlikely to get direct trade if they refuse to budge on price (maybe they're not bothered about this becuase if they're selling, they're selling - even at 250 presumably they're still getting their bit).

Anyway, it looks as though it's getting sorted, but it does rather seem that early adopters were effectively beta testers who paid full price, as is usually the way with swanky new gadgets.

I think I'll get one, as the new firmware can be 'retro-fitted'. I'll just have to remember to make sure it can get a fix in any new locations before I go out on a jaunt.
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LostMike
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 4:20 pm    Post subject: Satellite lock Reply with quote

Just tried mine near where I last used it and with freshly charged batteries. Lock took 1 minute 50 seconds including loading SD card map (version 1.03 software). Seems to be within the claimed tolerance.
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

py6km wrote:
I'll just have to remember to make sure it can get a fix in any new locations before I go out on a jaunt.
All I do is put the device on the car roof and switch it on whilst changing into my walking boots, jacket etc - I tend to check it (GPS Status menu) once I have the first boot laced, if its not picked anything up I reset it by removing one of the batteries for a few seconds (I have only had to do this twice so far), by the time I am ready to walk the device is up and running with a good signal.

I find the advice about moving the device a relatively short distance somewhat strange - sure GPS devices tend to take a while longer when moved 1500+ miles between power ups but you won't cover that distance on any trip in the UK (its straight line distance we are talking about not road mileage) - Mike
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py6km
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What do you think about the fact that there appear to be differing controls over quality depending on whether you buy it 'in-house' or from another retailer?

If I can save 50 or so quid getting it from Amazon, I'd much rather do that, but only if it's up the standard that I would expect, which is the same standard I would expect if I'd bought it directly from SatMap.
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well my active 10 came from a local(ish) retailer and I have no real issues with it, I guess they are being cautious with what they are selling checking everything, its a nice concept though and something few (if any) manufacturers do, still 50 could go quite some way to the cost of a map Wink - Mike
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robs1972
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

py6km wrote:
Just been speaking to SatMap about this issue. Basically, it appears that (in response to demands from users) v1.03 firmware was coded with something that made the A10 look for the same satellites that it had previsouly been fixed with. Therefore, if you move to a different part of the country and switch on, it looks for the same fix, but can't get it, hence the delay in getting a fix in the new location.


I did actually notice that I'd have a longer wait than normal to get a fix after I went to version 1.03.....most of the time when I switched it on outside my house it would have a fix by the time the SD card had been read....but when I started turning it on at the start of the interesting country side (25 miles down the dual carriageway) the wait would be noticeably longer...often several minutes.
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robs1972
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

py6km wrote:
What do you think about the fact that there appear to be differing controls over quality depending on whether you buy it 'in-house' or from another retailer?

If I can save 50 or so quid getting it from Amazon, I'd much rather do that, but only if it's up the standard that I would expect, which is the same standard I would expect if I'd bought it directly from SatMap.


It has a two year warranty so I'd buy it from Amazon and save 50....and f anything is wrong with it send it to Satmap for an exchange.

Maybe that would explain why you could buy the Active 10 from certain shops long before Satmap was selling them direct.
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ronbo2571
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:41 pm    Post subject: sat map acquisition times Reply with quote

Phoned up
satmap and was advised to remove batteries and SD card.On inserting batteries but not card,aquisition time improved to about 30 minutes.So an improvement but not good enough.Was advised by Lewis at Satmap that a new firmware upgrade was due in about 2 weeks and should hopefully improve matters.This is my second unit and Lewis implied he would replace it if its performance din't improve.I have spent 460 on something that doesn't work as it should,but I will be patient as it's awesome when it works.
Perhaps I shouldn't use it down a mine?!!
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Physicist
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am reassured to know that I am not alone in having dreadful lock-in times on my A10. Those who have been lucky with their sets sometimes think we are incompetent (no, I don't use it down a mine shaft thanks). If you look at the Amazon site and read the users comments the same dreadful performance is reported there by a couple of users (who hoped to equip a mountain rescue group with the units). Hang around for anything up to half an hour before you set out! I daresay the army will have similar reservations. This contrasts badly with the latest announcement from SIRF that they will (under certain conditions) soon be able to offer 5 second acquisition times. Garmin or Magellan have never had such variability in the performance of their sets (perhaps they quality check every set)
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lucevans
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Physicist wrote:
I am reassured to know that I am not alone in having dreadful lock-in times on my A10. Those who have been lucky with their sets sometimes think we are incompetent (no, I don't use it down a mine shaft thanks). If you look at the Amazon site and read the users comments the same dreadful performance is reported there by a couple of users (who hoped to equip a mountain rescue group with the units). Hang around for anything up to half an hour before you set out! I daresay the army will have similar reservations. This contrasts badly with the latest announcement from SIRF that they will (under certain conditions) soon be able to offer 5 second acquisition times. Garmin or Magellan have never had such variability in the performance of their sets (perhaps they quality check every set)


I'm sure it's your individual unit, and not you, Physicist!
I'd heard of the mountain rescue team interest, but the army too? Surely they have M-code units available to them? ("military code" - better accuracy and resilience against jamming - than the "Coarse/Acquisition" C-code service that we civilians are allowed to use). Or do the US military keep that service strictly to themselves?
I've been pondering the relatively poor performance of the SIRF chipset in the A10 (when compared to, for example, the Garmin 60CSx which contains the same chipset) and can only think that it's either due to an inferior antenna (the quad helix antenna in the 60CSx is the best I've ever used), or poor software implementation in the A10. I'm no expert on such things, but perhaps others on this forum know more?
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