Garmin Fenix 3 GPS reliability? - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 11-20-2016, 12:45 AM Thread Starter
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Default Garmin Fenix 3 GPS reliability?

Hi guys.
I wasn't sure if I should post this in the Gear section or this section but decided on here since it's GPS specific. I just ordered a Garmin Fenix 3 with my Airmiles before they expire this December. (For those that don't know, any unused airmiles over 5 years old will be gone as of this December). I've been reading lots of online posts about GPS problems with the Fenix 3 especially in areas that have cover such as trees. All posts that I've found seem to be a few years old. Does anyone have a newer Fenix 3 who can tell me if the GPS problems have been fixed? I'm considering selling it when it arrives and getting a Suunto Ambit3 instead which is supposed to be more reliable with it's GPS. Thanks.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 11-20-2016, 11:52 AM
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Chubby Tuna...

Yes, this is definitely the right place to post your enquiry. I have a Garmin that is about 6 years old or more; same problem with forest cover..............and found plotting on google earth: incoming and outgoing GPS tracks do not co-incide due to forest cover; mountain slopes, and changing positions of satellites. Flat open ground, the lines fit together nicely.

As per the new ones; I do not know. but hope somone with a new device can respond to your questions.

K

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 11-20-2016, 11:19 PM
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Hey CT,

I have a Fenix 2... not thrilled with it's GPS tracking software. It works, but not great. It's not very reliable for on-trail accuracy. I have to go into Google Earth after the fact and edit out all the screwy track points. Autopause doesn't work effectively. It does alright on runs because moving fast negates the "drift", but hiking is a different story.

Patrick
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 11-21-2016, 04:10 PM
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I have Fenix 3 and I LOVE IT! I had same choice as you: Garmin or Suunto..And I'm glade I made a right choice.I have software ver.8.0 now and it seems very accurate with altitude (I'm using auto calibration) and when I load view points from "Northwest Topos" I usually finding them . Don't forget to use same Grid and Datum (UTM and NAD83 in my case) on your computer software and you GPS watch.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 11-21-2016, 04:18 PM
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as a sample of "accuracy" trail to south view point on Munro lake trail, Coquitlam. steep slop with dense forest. Yellow is my track. brown is trail marks on the map.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 11-21-2016, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Irkutianin View Post
I have Fenix 3 and I LOVE IT! I had same choice as you: Garmin or Suunto..And I'm glade I made a right choice.I have software ver.8.0 now and it seems very accurate with altitude (I'm using auto calibration) and when I load view points from "Northwest Topos" I usually finding them . Don't forget to use same Grid and Datum (UTM and NAD83 in my case) on your computer software and you GPS watch.
It's good to hear some positive feedback. How old is your Fenix? Like I said, it seems like most of the negative posts I've found on these seems to be a few years old so I'm hoping the problems have been resolved. I'd like to stick with the Garmin if possible simply because it looks much better and has many more features.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 11-21-2016, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Redbeard View Post
Hey CT,

I have a Fenix 2... not thrilled with it's GPS tracking software. It works, but not great. It's not very reliable for on-trail accuracy. I have to go into Google Earth after the fact and edit out all the screwy track points. Autopause doesn't work effectively. It does alright on runs because moving fast negates the "drift", but hiking is a different story.

Patrick
From what I've gathered from reading many posts, it's not a software problem but an antenna problem. Supposedly Suunto's type of antenna is much better for reception.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 11-22-2016, 09:20 AM
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less than a year old. Got it in spring this year.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 11-22-2016, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Irkutianin View Post
less than a year old. Got it in spring this year.

Excellent to knOw.

In the market for a new GPS.

k

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 11-27-2016, 01:42 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Irkutianin View Post
as a sample of "accuracy" trail to south view point on Munro lake trail, Coquitlam. steep slop with dense forest. Yellow is my track. brown is trail marks on the map.
Hey Irkutianin,
I was just looking on the Garmin website for downloadable maps. Which one do you have, do you like it and does it have many popular trails around BC such as the West Coast Trail ect.? I see that they offer 4 different maps in the Outdoor Maps section of the Garmin site ranging from $29.99 to $99.99.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 11-27-2016, 01:05 PM
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I also have a Fenix 3, after having to Suunto watches previously. I like Garmin much better than Suunto.

In the mountains, I usually have activated both my Fenix 3 and my smartphone GPS topo app, both which record gps trail. I find them both equal.

I think the variation in tracking accuracy you mentioned is probably normal and should be expected with all such devices. Frankly, I consider their accuracy (10m to 30m) is actually adequate.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 11-27-2016, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by skeleton View Post

I think the variation in tracking accuracy you mentioned is probably normal and should be expected with all such devices. Frankly, I consider their accuracy (10m to 30m) is actually adequate.
I agree that they won't be totally accurate and wouldn't expect them to be. Even a high end dedicated GPS unit can be unaccurate at times. I've seen a few posts online comparing the Fenix 3 to the Ambit3 in tree cover and the Ambit3 wins every time. All posts I've seen seem to be a few years old though. I was just hoping that Garmin has worked out the bugs in the new units.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 11-28-2016, 03:03 PM
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There are much more options not only Garmin web site. If you type in google "free garmin map download" you'll see them.
I'm using this web site: https://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/country/ca
and my favorite map is "Northwest Topo", which is free
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 12-01-2016, 01:07 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irkutianin View Post
There are much more options not only Garmin web site. If you type in google "free garmin map download" you'll see them.
I'm using this web site: https://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/country/ca
and my favorite map is "Northwest Topo", which is free
This is great. Thanks. Just received my Fenix 3 in the mail today and am trying to figure it all out. So many functions and settings. This thing is huge and I can't see myself wearing it much except for running or hiking. I've ordered a Heart Rate Monitor and Tempe for it as well.
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 12-02-2016, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irkutianin View Post
There are much more options not only Garmin web site. If you type in google "free garmin map download" you'll see them.
I'm using this web site: https://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/country/ca
and my favorite map is "Northwest Topo", which is free
Hey Irkutianin.
Just wondering how you got this map to work with your watch? Every tutorial I've found online says that it must be a .GPX file. I downloaded the "Northwest Topo" and unzipped the file but they are not in the .GPX format.
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