How do Ambit2 users feel about their Ambit2 GPS?
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  1. #1
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    How do Ambit2 users feel about their Ambit2 GPS?

    I've owned the Ambit1 and the GPS seemed rock-solid. I've now owned the Ambit2 Sapphire since about May and besides all the problems Ambit2 users faced with the initial firmware, I find the GPS to be horrible - at best. I spend a lot of time hiking and trail running and the GPS logs very little of my adventures which kind of makes it a really expensive heart rate monitor. Yesterday, I hiked a 26km trail and it recorded about 10 km of the entire route - a lot of which was above tree line. My buddy's iPhone recorded the entire journey while buried in his pack. This seems to be the case every time I use the GPS. I then have to stop the 'move' and start again. I keep it on my wrist - outside my cuff. While I love the potential of the Ambit2, I've reached the end of my rope. How do others find the GPS performance.

    Post #239 in this thread is a good example of the typical GPS tracks I get: https://forums.watchuseek.com/f233/am...861150-24.html

    Thank you for your input.

  2. #2
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    Re: How do Ambit2 users feel about their Ambit2 GPS?

    My GPS is rock solid. Ultra fast lock and never loses signal, even under dense tree canopy. Your unit is atypical. But there has been another with similar problems posting here somewhere. I would send it back for a return.

  3. #3
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    Re: How do Ambit2 users feel about their Ambit2 GPS?

    Another thought.....load a GPS signal strength app onto the Ambit and log the results to help see what is going on.

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  5. #4
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    Re: How do Ambit2 users feel about their Ambit2 GPS?

    Hi.
    That track is bad.
    If you are above tree line or otherwise a mostly clear sky-view and don't have a near perfect track, I'd exchange it.

    I haven't had a chance to take my new A2 on more than one wooded hike. Deep woods and steep-ish. It did fine. I used continuous/"Best" GPS mode.
    Which GPS power mode are you using? On my Ambit1 and fenix, for sure I notice both can have trouble re-locking in 60sec mode. I don't know how well 5-second mode on the A2 works in that regard.
    If you aren't in tough terrain, does it work perfectly? e.g. running around town.

    As for wild individual points, I've had one or two on my Ambit1 in the first year. And none so far on my A2.

    Perhaps you can do a "GPS reset" from the Service menu.
    Yes, you can load a signal strength app and see what that tells you.
    I wouldn't expect much help by emailing Suunto, other than to get an exchange... but you can always point them to your Movescount moves as evidence of the problem.

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    Re: How do Ambit2 users feel about their Ambit2 GPS?

    Thank you everyone, you've been most helpful.

    So I checked the GPS power mode and for trekking it was "OK/50 hr. battery life" which may explain it's uselessness on my weekend hike!? However, the track I posted the link to was completed using the trail running mode using "best" mode. I've just installed an accuracy app so I'll report back with my findings when I can.
    Last edited by redpoint; November 12th, 2013 at 21:49.

  7. #6
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    Re: How do Ambit2 users feel about their Ambit2 GPS?

    Definitely set the GPS fix mode to 1 second. You'll get about 15-17 hours of battery life and MUCH greater accuracy and signal strength.

  8. #7
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    Re: How do Ambit2 users feel about their Ambit2 GPS?

    Recently, I used several GPS watches (Ambit1, Ambit2 and the fenix) and handheld (Etrex30, Oregon 450t and Oregon 650) in an experiment inside my house. I recorded the coordinates displayed by the GPS devices at 10 min intervals (to reduce successive reading dependency) and computed the standard deviation of the "spread". I translated the coordinate differences to meters (taking into considerations the geometry of my location). The Ambit2 had the best (lowest) "spread" while he fenix had the worst, at nearly 3X of the Ambit2. The Ambit1 was about 50% worst of the Ambit2, somewhat behind the handheld, which were 20-30% behind the Ambit2.

  9. #8
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    Re: How do Ambit2 users feel about their Ambit2 GPS?

    Quote Originally Posted by idgsd View Post
    Recently, I used several GPS watches (Ambit1, Ambit2 and the fenix) and handheld (Etrex30, Oregon 450t and Oregon 650) in an experiment inside my house. I recorded the coordinates displayed by the GPS devices at 10 min intervals (to reduce successive reading dependency) and computed the standard deviation of the "spread". I translated the coordinate differences to meters (taking into considerations the geometry of my location). The Ambit2 had the best (lowest) "spread" while he fenix had the worst, at nearly 3X of the Ambit2. The Ambit1 was about 50% worst of the Ambit2, somewhat behind the handheld, which were 20-30% behind the Ambit2.
    Cool!
    Can you share a graph or something?

  10. #9
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    Re: How do Ambit2 users feel about their Ambit2 GPS?

    I didn't graph anything. I just used an Excel Spreadsheet to compute the std. dev. for Lat. and Long. and then did a composite using a scale factor (approx.) for my location. The composite std. dev.o the various devices:

    Ambit2 - 3.51m
    Org450t - 4.01m (somewhat surprising since in my experience it trails he Etrex30 and Org650 in accuracy)
    Etrex30 - 4.56m
    Org650 - 4.61m
    Ambit1 - 4.98m
    fenix - 10.35m

    I got 32 samples for each device and the whole thing took me over 3 hrs. One should take this data for whatever it is, a single experiment for a bored ex engineer (EE).
    cdmackay likes this.

  11. #10
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    Re: How do Ambit2 users feel about their Ambit2 GPS?

    I guess now that I have an Ambit2, I need to repeat this watches-in-the-bush-in-my-backyard experiment.
    About Ambit distance calculation - Page 4

    The summary of which was this...
    =================================
    Summary of Stationary data


    • In continuous (1sec) mode: when stationary the Ambit position error (1-5m typical) is roughly half the fenix error (2-10m typical)
    • In continuous (1sec) mode: both watches will report little to no travel distance when stationary in practical use
    • In 60sec mode, the errors in both watches are 2x-3x higher than in continuous mode
    • In 60sec mode the maximum errors in both watches can be large, i.e. >100 meters
    • In 60sec mode the stationary fenix will report travel at effectively a rate of >0.5 kph, which might accumulate in some use scenarios.
    • The "Ref" position (average of all points) for each watch in each test was approximately 0.6m from the averaged position of all 3 watches.
    • The Ambit actual errors are typically equal to or less than the EHPE value.
    • It's clear that the so-called "2xEHPE" algorithm has been adjusted to collect data more frequently. But so far, I haven't "cracked" it.
    • The little ol' "Sharper Image" watch (my $40 bargain) is right in there on accuracy. (but, of course see the Ascen thread for a fuller discussion)


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