Saturday, July 7, 2007

Garmin Etrex Vista Cx

Tried my almost new but nearly obsolete Garmin Etrex Vista Cx on a flight to PHX today.

The Vista Cx is being replaced by a more sensitive model with poorer battery life by Garmin.
(See May 31st 2007 press release titled Garmin Adds High Sensitivity GPS Receiver to eTrex® Series here.)

I can confirm it cannot pick up satellites inside the aircraft (A-320) unless it's placed right next to the window, as shown above. The window shade and the rubberized case cooperate nicely. Then it happily tracks the flight. I wonder how much better the model with the newer chipset performs.

[I turned on the GPS somewhere before the plane got near Chicago and turned it off shortly before landing at Phoenix.]

Since the Vista Cx also has a barometer, it is fooled by the cabin pressure to report (incorrectly) merely a mile-high altitude. However, the location seems correct, as the map features seem to match up perfectly with what I saw outside the window.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

July 4th in Boston

I ran the Longfellow to Mass Ave bridge loop today.

First time I've run for about a month. Got a steady rhythm going the whole way. I felt good.

It was also July 4th. A small flotilla of boats on the Charles River. Lots of people picnicking on the Esplanade. Even Storrow Dr. was closed. Felt good to run along there car-free. Temperatures in the 70s, overcast skies.

The route. Just under 3 miles:

Surprisingly to me, this is less distance than a run around the main section of the University of Arizona's campus in Tucson.