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Old 05-10-2006, 00:11   #1
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WAAS anybody?

Bought a GPS/Chartplotter a few months ago:
The thing was sold as WAAS ready, but I never got the good stuff.

Contacted the factory and they sent me 2 soft-ware updates: Still no WAAS.

Then they said that everybody on the US East Coast have problems with WAAS and that the FAA is sending up another satelitte this fall to fix the problem..

(WAAS is really a precision GPS system for airplanes to shoot approaches in low visibilty conditions and it gives guidance on course and altitude to very narrow margins: Don't really need it on my sailboat, but since I paid for it, I should have it)

Is anybody getting WAAS on a marine GPS/Chart plotter here on the East Coast?

If so, what brand GPS and which satelitte?
(I am looking at satelitte Nr. 122 but have tried 134, 135 and so on, still no cigar.)
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Old 05-10-2006, 04:25   #2
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Interesting post. How does one know if one IS receiving a WAAS signal? I thought that a WAAS enabled GPS simply provided a higher level of precision and it did this "invisibly".

Now I am thinking that one must look for an Icon or some sort of message indicating that the signal is a WAAS processed one?

Which plotter are you using?

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Old 05-10-2006, 10:42   #3
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I have WAAS enabled on my garmin, had it on my Lawrance before it crapped, the lowrance would lose signal quite a bit, i have never had an issue with the garmin.
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Old 05-10-2006, 11:25   #4
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CSY Man,
I have the same question as Jeff, "How do you know you're not receiving the WAAS signal?"
With my Raymarine plotter it tells me that I have a Satellite Differential (SD) fix and that I have WAAS enabled (over here in Europe it's EGNOS), but nothing tells me if the WAAS or EGNOS signal has been received.
Just curious how your unit displays this.

John
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Old 05-10-2006, 12:19   #5
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Seeing as I only have experience with the lowrance and garmin in this area I can only speak for them. The lowrance had a WAAS alarm that would flash letting me know it had lost signal, the garmin has a sattelite screen that will tell you if it does or doesn't have WAAS signal.

My guess is that a look at the signal screen/sat lock screen is going to be your best place to start. Sorry i couldn't be more help
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Old 05-10-2006, 14:10   #6
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On the GPS status page it will say WAAS in big letters if ya got it, if not it says 3D.

The plotter is a Standard Horizon CP180i.

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Old 05-10-2006, 15:28   #7
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My older Lowrance only has WAAS enabled or disabled on the setup. It doesn't show otherwise. The only way I can tell is to zoom in close (1/10th mile) when on a known pin point waypoint (like a channel marker) and see if I'm exactly on it. If not, it shows me yds away instead of a few feet away...in a radius that is.

I think they scramble the signal in some locations here in Florida. In meetings at our local EAA (exp airplane assoc), pilots fequently note their gps scrambles in one uncontrolled spot NW of Orlando. Nobody knows why but we figure uncle sam is doing it. Fly a minute or two and the signal comes back.
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Old 05-10-2006, 17:40   #8
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"pilots fequently note their gps scrambles in one uncontrolled spot NW of Orlando. " If Uncle Sam is doing that, he'll usually say something in advance, or acknowledge it after. They're pretty up front with warnings about local system disruptions.

OTOH, disrupting GPS locally is fairly simple, someone may be doing it intentionally or accidentally, all the more reason to ask Uncle if that's him.

Unless you've found the new location of Area51, which apparently has been moved. (Literally!)
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Old 05-10-2006, 18:25   #9
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Before WAAS was full time Uncle Sam didn't tell when they turned it on and off so I figured that was still a policy.
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Old 05-10-2006, 19:40   #10
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Unc has come to realize that they've created a monster, the millions of civilian users include too many pilots & ships now. So they usually announce maintenance outages, tests, etc. ahead of time. No guarantees...but it is always worht asking them. Sometimes, they'll answer. Sometimes, they'll even answer truthfully.<G>
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Old 05-10-2006, 21:18   #11
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Nobody knows why but we figure uncle sam is doing it. Fly a minute or two and the signal comes back.
Nah, just bad WAAS satelitte reception on the East Coast: Don't think Uncle Sam or the Russians or no Aliens are blocking no sat signals.

No conspiracy going on here, that is why the FAA is launching another satelitte in November: To improve the WAAS system
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Old 06-10-2006, 06:42   #12
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I did have it on my Furuno 1722C radar/chartplotter but I sent back for some repairs and when I got it back the WAAS didn't work. They said they had updated the internal software and that level had a problem and I should send it back for another software update. I tried the local Furuno dealer but he only had a modem connection to the internet and wasn't able to keep it up long enough to download the 2meg update. I may send it back this winter to Furuno in USA.

I'm in Toronto and as I say it did work. If I went to the satellite display it showed the WAAS sateliltes as small circles with a W inside. I think there were two of them. I also had to enable it on some other panel.

Paul
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Old 06-10-2006, 08:43   #13
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Originally Posted by CSY Man
Nah, just bad WAAS satelitte reception on the East Coast: Don't think Uncle Sam or the Russians or no Aliens are blocking no sat signals.

No conspiracy going on here, that is why the FAA is launching another satelitte in November: To improve the WAAS system
I'm as far from "conspiracy" thinking as it gets...it's just something pilots in the local chapter are aware of when their gps "scrambles" briefly. It's been happening for yrs and is random but takes the whole gps signal out...the flyers here weren't concerned one way or the other in the meetings I attended. If the "scramble" was a public info deal I'm sure the EAA would know about it after all these yrs though.
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Old 06-10-2006, 11:53   #14
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It's been happening for yrs and is random but takes the whole gps signal out.
Hmm, have not seen it happen to me: I fly airplanes as well and we use GPS updates for the INS system.

Have not seen any "scrambles" whether operating on the East Coast of the US, or worldwide including Africa and the Far East.

Have you contacted the FAA about it?
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Old 06-10-2006, 12:37   #15
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Uncle Sam invites you to join him for High Tea and a discussion of GPS:

B. CIVILIAN: FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT US COAST GUARD NAVCEN AT
COMMERCIAL (703)313-5900 24 HOURS DAILY AND INTERNET
HTTP://WWW.NAVCEN.USCG.GOV

or,
http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/Ftp/gps/status.txt

Which is a page full of operational data and advisory notices on the GPS system.
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