Comparison of a Garmin 12XL and a Garmin eTrex Venture

Track Logging - Actual Hikes

Both GPSR's were set to "Auto" record.  The Venture was hand held in front of me, a bit below shoulder level and generally not too close, and the record option was set to "Least Often".  The Garmin 12XL was connected to an external antenna (with a gain of about 23 db give or take a couple) mounted on top of a hat.
Track Image 1
At a few places in this open valley WAAS satellite # 35 was received by the Venture.

Track Image 2

Track Image 3
The high EPE (roughly 50 feet if I remember correctly) was only in the narrow part of the canyon not the whole segment shown.

Track Image 4
The gully near the top where the trail forms a "V" is a difficult satellite reception spot.  There is a long, straight green line where the Venture did not have a satellite lock.  The satellite constellation on the way up was not as good as on the way back down.

Track Image 5
This is the top of Red Mtn. (high point in immediate area, gets higher to the south.  The top has a very good view of the sky.  The Venture took 3.5 minutes to get back to a reasonable value. 

  • These tracks are from hikes where my intent was to record the trail location not test GPS receivers.  They reflect, to some extent, that I have more apparent errors from the Venture than I do from the 12XL.
  • The 12XL shows more consistency than the Venture.
  • When the 12XL has trouble the Venture does too.  So if I posted some of the tracks where the 12XL was off, the tracks of the Venture would be off too.
  • The external antenna probably gives the 12XL an advantage over the Venture in tree cover.
  • I have not yet used the 12XL without the external antenna and Venture simultaneously in the field with tree cover.
  • Both GPSR's are often within a few meters in the easting and northing values (UTM coordinates) when the view of the sky is good (on a ridge for instance).


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