It Takes a Licking and Keeps on Ticking

21 Nov

The old 1950’s Timex slogan is appropriate for my Garmin 12 that still works.

In May 2000 ( technically at midnight May 1st Coordinated Universal Time) , at the direction of President Bill Clinton, the US government discontinued its use of Selective Availability. So on May 2nd I bought my first GPS.  Yup, I remember that the Garmin 800 phone lines were very busy that day. SA intentionally limited precision of GPS receivers for non-military use. So unscrambling the signals opened the doors for many of us to buy and use some very interesting new toys.
The old unit has done lots of sailing and is still full of GPS locations for many aids to navigation and favourite anchorages in Lake Ontario and Georgian Bay. For motorcycle trips I would prelaod a few waypoints obtained from topo maps or GoogleEarth and ride with the old Garmin in a map case held on top of my tank with bunge cords. It would only display “as the crow flies” bearings and distances. So without a map in its tiny electronic brain I would ride around in circles trying to find a road to get me to my destination. Yup, that’s adventure riding.
My old Garmin 12 has had little use in the past six years since I’ve been using a Garmin Zumo 550. I put in new batteries and used it today hiking around near the family cottage and found an original lot corner.
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I was able to retrace where road allowance is located. I’ve not done much land surveying work in the past 20 years and it was nice today to be able to use some old skills and find some survey monuments.  Apparently I’ve not lost my touch; I can still stumble around in the bush and find evidence.
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