Friday, June 5, 2009

1-Second Please

I set my Garmin 305 for 1-second record mode and did the Bread & Butter Beal's ride again last night. The recommended setting is "Smart Record", which I have concluded is only smart from the point of view of Garmin's marketing department.

The last time I did this ride I used smart record mode, and my device captured 1,513 ft of climb. When I got home I uploaded the ride to Garmin's MotionBased website and that immediately turned into 2,413 ft of climb. When I looked at the way-points that were recorded it was obvious why. There were large, sometimes 200 ft gaps in waypoints, and on windey, hilly terrain, that misses too much. Of course, if you want your real altitude you can always buy a subscription to MotionBased and get a lot of other perks too.

Last night I put the Edge 305 in 1-second mode and had 2,453 Up and 2,484 Down, and fell into a 31 ft hole at my front door. OK, no hole, but MotionBased had the same problem until, now, magically, my front door is right where it was when I left it, "2,413 ft" later. They must have some "smoothing" and reconcilliation program that wipes the egg off their faces.

There was one downside to 1-second recording. MotionBased refused to upload the ride, whining about too many way-points. So there's the trade-off. Either use "Smart Record" and be tied to MotionBased for anything close to accurate climbing stats, or use 1-Second Record, enjoy your independance, and get it done in less than 3:30. (A true smart recording process would scan the 1-second results after the ride and delete way-points with identical elevations)

Conclusion: If you are doing rides shorter than 3:30, use 1-second recording and get the accuracy the device affords you.


Stuart said...

Found you thru Steph, try SportsTracks for you upload, that might work?

Grey Beard said...

Good to have you here Stuart. Welcome. I will check out SportTracks and see how I like it.

I think MotionBased has a great system online if you pay for full access, I just think they should give you a full subscription for 6 months when you buy one of their GPS units