Thursday, June 25, 2009

Lost in Dave's backyard

So we were having a 'get semi-organized for next year' Cub meeting... and our treasurer had a little zippy bag with a GPS and it's manual.

One thing led to another, and he commented "I don't even know how to turn the damn thing on"... which of course I offered my expertise to show him that much, at which point he asked what I was doing Thursday night?

Well... it was one of those situations where I didn't have any good reason *not* to help out, and teach a bunch of Ventures how to use a GPS ;o) Which is why I carried around a zippy bag containing a GPS and it's manual for the last three days, flipping through it any time I had the chance.

So yesterday we attempted to set up a course in his backyard, and discovered that the compasses were out by quite a bit. We tested them in the soccer field across the way and they were a little better...

The best part was that I can just imagine what the neighbours thought... nobody actually said anything to us about tromping around Dave's yard, leaving... coming back and tromping around again.

Following up with more manual reading, and Google we discovered that the two GPS's we were using do not actually contain a compass.... they try to guess your bearing/heading based on your movement as detected by satellites. Awesome. So it's a GPS with a compass page that does not actually have a compass in it? As one forum user so aptly put it "What were they smoking when they came up with this idea?!?"

We will see how it goes ;o) Wish me luck!