Magellan GPS 310 accuracy completely off
December 29, 2009 11:19 AM   Subscribe

A friend has just given me a Magellan GPS 310 (hand-held unit). It's a few years old, powers up OK, but shows me as approximately 200 miles from my current location. Is there anything I can do?

It's showing as exactly 53 deg N, 3 deg W but that's 2 deg off in each direction. I've set my elevation and told it the time, but I'm a bit concerned it only has a two-digit date (not that changing it makes any difference afaict). If you know how to troubleshoot or improve accuracy, please help! I'm a complete novice at such things.
posted by BrokenEnglish to Technology (8 answers total)
Have you tried to re-initialize the unit? According to the manual, the process is as follows:

Initializing the Receiver (EZSTART)
If you desire to re-initialize the receiver, (for example, you
have moved more than 300 miles since the last time the
receiver was turned on) you can do so in the SETUP menu.
Press MENU until SETUP is displayed at the top of the screen
and press ENTER . Use the RIGHT ARROW until SETUP
PRESS ENT TO EZSTRT is displayed. Press ENTER again
and the receiver prompts you to enter the necessary data.
SELECT REGION. Use the ARROW pad to change the
flashing text to select the appropriate region for your present
location. Press ENTER .
change the flashing text to select the country or state for your
present location.
Press ENTER .
ENTER ELEVATION. Use the ARROW pad to enter the
approximate elevation for your position. If unknown, leave
the elevation at 0. Press ENTER .
ENTER TIME. Use the ARROW pad to enter your present
time. Press ENTER .
ENTER DATE. Use the ARROW pad to enter the date.
Press ENTER .
Note: The prompts to enter time and date will not appear if
your receiver has already collected this information from the
posted by Burhanistan at 11:32 AM on December 29, 2009

If it's a few years old and not been switched on for some time you have to give it time to initialize.
There should be a page that shows it acquiring satellites and you need several to triangulate.

Also it should be outdoors and able to see the sky, not trees.

Here is a link to the Manual:
posted by lungtaworld at 11:33 AM on December 29, 2009

When I power up my GPS it will always show the last location chosen for directions - it then takes a few minutes to acquire a satellite feed and then my exact location is indicated on the screen. I can now get the directions from where I am to where I need to be. I hope this helps.
posted by pamspanda at 11:35 AM on December 29, 2009

I had indeed been through the EZStart procedure and used Google Maps to get the elevation, etc, and I had waited a while for it to get its bearings. But I *am* indoors and I didn't realise this would be an issue so I might try setting it down outside for a while and see if that helps. Thanks for the links and advice!
posted by BrokenEnglish at 11:51 AM on December 29, 2009

Oh, definitely initialize the thing outside with a clear path to the sky!
posted by Burhanistan at 11:52 AM on December 29, 2009

Make sure you're set to use the WGS84 datum. It should be the default for your unit, but the setting might have been changed.

From the manual: "If you are using a map (or chart) in conjunction with your GPS 310 you need to insure that the datum used by the GPS 310 matches the one used in creating the map. The map datum can usually be found in the legend box of the map or chart. The GPS 310 offers the choices of WGS84 (default), NAD27, AUST 84, EUROPE 50, GRB 36, IRELAND, KKJ, RT90, S AMERICA 69, SWISS, FRENCH, GERMAN, and TOKYO.
Press the MENU key until SETUP is displayed at the top of the screen and press ENTER . Use the RIGHT ARROW until SETUP MAP DATUM is displayed. Press ENTER again, the currently used map datum begins to flash. Use the RIGHT/LEFT ARROWs to scroll through the list of map datums and press ENTER when the desired datum is displayed"
posted by reptile at 1:50 PM on December 29, 2009

As is the case with the poster above, my gps shows the last location it recognized. Sometimes it takes a very long time for it to find the satellites. I would recommend leaving it "on" for half an hour -- chances are it will find the location if you're not surrounded by concrete or something...
posted by plombir at 2:23 PM on December 29, 2009

Don't rely on the elevation on a GPS, they are often wrong.
posted by fshgrl at 4:00 PM on December 29, 2009

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