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Boaters to loose GPS signals

Old 07-14-2011, 05:54 PM
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Default Boaters to loose GPS signals

Sorry if this is posted somewhere else but saw it on Charleston Fishing and thought it was worth posting here.
Again to the POST POLICE if I missed it SORRY;?;?

NEWS From BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304
BoatUS Press Room at http://www.boatus.com/pressroom

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: D. Scott Croft, 703-461-2864, SCroft@BoatUS.com
Photo Available at: http://www.boatus.com/pressroom/prev.../hiRes/699.jpg
Photo Caption: Without reliable GPS to help boaters navigate, BoatUS fears more vessels could end up on the rocks like this sailboat, and put crew safety at risk.

Boaters Stand to Lose Critical GPS Navigational Aid

Voice Your Opinion: Comment Period Closes July 30

ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 13, 2011 - As a result of a proposal by a private company to use radio frequency bandwidth right next to the existing GPS radio bandwidth, the future reliability of the GPS system across the United States is now in question. The nation's largest recreational boaters group, BoatUS, says boaters could have a hard time avoiding treacherous shoals or simply finding their way home if GPS signals are interfered with, and is urging boaters to speak out during a 30-day comment period.

"This is a remarkably short comment period for an issue that has such dire consequences for America's boaters and every other GPS user in the country," said BoatUS Vice President of Government Affairs Margaret Podlich.

At issue is an unusual conditional waiver granted in January by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to a broadband wireless communications provider, LightSquared, to permit the dramatic expansion of land-based use of mobile satellite spectrum. This spectrum, or frequency bandwidth, is directly adjacent to the frequencies used for Global Positioning System (GPS) communications.

The company has proposed to build 40,000 ground stations. LightSquared's high-powered ground-based transmissions from these stations have shown to cause interference in hundreds of millions of GPS receivers across a wide range of uses, including aviation, marine, emergency response and industrial users such as delivery and trucking companies. A new report requested by the FCC says, "all phases of the LightSquared deployment plan will result in widespread harmful interference to GPS signals and service and that mitigation is not possible."

Recreational boaters lost their only other viable navigation system, LORAN, when the Department of Homeland Security shut the system down last year. At that time the US Coast Guard urged mariners to shift to GPS-based navigation systems. Boaters rely on GPS-enabled chart-plotters to steer clear of navigation hazards, keep them in the safety of deep-water channels, or even get them home when storms shut down visibility. "They are a critical piece of safety gear," said Podlich. "What will boaters do if they are unreliable, and how will the US Coast Guard's new emergency search and rescue system that stands watch over 36,985 miles of coastline, Rescue 21, remain effective, since it relies on GPS?"

Boaters and other GPS users are urged to speak up now by going to www.BoatUS.com/gov to send their comments to the FCC and their members of Congress.

BoatUS is a member of the Coalition to Save Our GPS, which works to resolve this serious threat to the GPS system.

###

About BoatUS:

BoatUS - Boat Owners Association of The United States - is the nation's leading advocate for recreational boaters providing over half a million members with government representation, programs and money-saving services. For membership information visit www.BoatUS.com or call 800-395-2628.



Captain Steve Little
TowBoat US Charleston
Psalm 107:23-32
www.towboatcharleston.c
Old 07-14-2011, 06:39 PM
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Everything is out of our hands. Unfortunately nothing is about people, or right or wrong, or what is best for everyone. It is all about money and the very few who control almost all of it, along with the puppets they buy to put into office to look after their interests. 40,000 ground stations, yeeha, sounds very profitable for someone! They will do whatever makes them the most money. We can kick and scream all we want. It won't help. One day, there will be nothing left to extract and we will crumble.

If we lose reliable GPS, we will go back to compass and paper chart. Not a bad thing.
Old 07-14-2011, 06:54 PM
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Thre is a threat to GPS by a company that has no hope in succeeding.

Factual information without the hype and scare mongering being pushed by some organisations can be found at these links.

http://www.pnt.gov/
http://www.pnt.gov/interference/lightsquared/
Old 07-31-2011, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Local Motion View Post
Everything is out of our hands. Unfortunately nothing is about people, or right or wrong, or what is best for everyone. It is all about money and the very few who control almost all of it, along with the puppets they buy to put into office to look after their interests. 40,000 ground stations, yeeha, sounds very profitable for someone! They will do whatever makes them the most money. We can kick and scream all we want. It won't help. One day, there will be nothing left to extract and we will crumble.

If we lose reliable GPS, we will go back to compass and paper chart. Not a bad thing.
That is all I would do, go back soley to compass and charts.. Not the end of the world to for me. That is how I was first taught.. But being the mass amounts of litigation that would follow (wrongful deaths, boating claims, etc..) I kind of doubt that would stick for long..
Old 07-31-2011, 09:28 PM
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What would happen to the biggest players in the marine navigation industry? Garmin, Raymarine, Furuno, etc would likely go down the tubes and cease to exist. Autopilots (majority based off of GPS routing), VHF radios and television antennae's would only go so far as to keep them afloat. I bet the profit is nowhere near as much as they make on the MFD's, chartplotters, GPS', etc.

Would really hurt the businesses.

What the hell is wrong with our government? Airliners, GA aircraft, trains, cars, trucking companies, and a megashit-ton of other entities have begun to use GPS as a way of tracking and navigation across the globe. We've advanced so damn far in the past few years with GPS technology, we're just willing to throw it down the tubes?

Not to mention, probably the most important fact - what happens to the 406MHz aircraft ELT's, EPIRBs, DSC radios pared to GPS for emergency 'push-button' distress calls, and every other damn distress unit that relies on GPS relayed info to find people in distress? Would that just go down the god damned toilet too?

There's a lot more that goes into this then us boat users losing a way to navigate. It sure goes deeper then that.


Last edited by Austin Williams; 07-31-2011 at 09:40 PM.
Old 08-01-2011, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Local Motion View Post
If we lose reliable GPS, we will go back to compass and paper chart. Not a bad thing.
Couldnt agree more. GPS is great for marking fishing/diving spots, but should only be a backup for navigation.
Old 08-01-2011, 06:16 AM
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Old news. Lightsquared is as good as done on that bandwidth. Nothing can be allowed to interfere with GPS these days. Every aircraft in the sky is using it. Well most at least.
Old 08-01-2011, 06:19 AM
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I'll admit I really only use my GPS to get to and from the Bahamas. But I have done it so many times that I find myself hardly even looking at the GPS during the trip. I would hate to lose the feature but it certainly wouldn't put a crimp on my boating habits.
Old 08-01-2011, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by ScarabChris View Post
I'll admit I really only use my GPS to get to and from the Bahamas. But I have done it so many times that I find myself hardly even looking at the GPS during the trip. I would hate to lose the feature but it certainly wouldn't put a crimp on my boating habits.
I guess you don't do much fishing!

Tipsy
Old 08-01-2011, 06:29 AM
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Actually, LS2 is not a dead issue. Ask anyone involved with Agricultural gps. Even then it may bleed over to recreational and aviation gps. The democratically controlled FCC have been feeding at the trough (head and front legs in). Not a political statement but don't think that the LS2 proposal is dead. A lot of money (billions) is betting on this deal getting approved.
Old 08-01-2011, 06:31 AM
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Long time reader, first time poster here..

It's my understanding that the issue isn't the GPS standard, but the cheap receivers used in many of the devices. Cheap receivers listen to frequencies above and below the target frequency. This hasn't been an issue until now, as there was nothing around it. Having said that, it may well have been an issue if a receiver picked up noise and was off because of it. So if these makers use top quality receivers, then they should be ok. Also consider that if you are off shore and can not pick up radio channels, there likely will be nothing to interfere with your GPS signal. The devices that will be at issue here are the cheap GPS phones, car nav systems, cheap boat plotters and cheap hand help systems used in areas where these new stations will be broadcasting. Makers of GPS receivers will simply need to tighten there listening range. Please note I have nothing to do with this, I'm only a concerned boater that did a little research a few months ago.
Old 08-01-2011, 06:32 AM
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I think it's done. There are too many economic (real, not just for recreational boaters) factors to let GPS become unreliable. Almost every industry would be negatively effected. Aviation to be at the top of the list as more and more ground based navigation aids are being decommissioned, GPS approaches are filling in.

LightSquared Strikes Back

By: Andrew Wood
June 28, 2011
Avionics, Government
Following extensive reports of GPS interference, LightSquared announced last week that it would vacate its L-Band frequency adjacent to GPS and move to one further away to greatly reduce, but not eliminate, interference with satnav signals. The transmitting power of its 4G nationwide stations would also be halved, though it would still be higher than that used in recent tests. Yet LightSquared clearly aims to return to the vacated frequency, stating, “By proposing to operate only in spectrum that is farther from the GPS spectrum, and at a lower signal strength, LightSquared is creating time for GPS receivers to be upgraded so that the American people can benefit from both GPS and an innovative new wireless broadband network.” Upgrading GPS receivers with filters is LightSquared’s interference solution, but one felt unacceptable by GPS manufacturers. Aggravating the dispute are LightSquared’s assertions that upgrades simply require a 30-cent device–a claim that a GPS industry specialist told AIN was “totally misleading, especially for aircraft equipment”–and that GPS users are taxpayer subsidized for services properly valued at $18 billion, the approximate cost of an equivalent U.S.-only commercial satnav system. The Coalition to Save Our GPS said LightSquared’s “hastily arrived at Hail Mary ‘solution’…is not a solution in any shape, form or fashion,” adding that GPS interference will still occur even if it just uses the lower L-band frequencies.
Old 08-01-2011, 06:38 AM
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There is way to much riding on the GPS signal for the FCC to allow it to 'go down the tubes'.

The cost alone of the existing system alone would prevent any interference. Asside from civilian use for our boats, cars, hiking, etc, to many industries and the government now use GPS. Airlines, commercial shipping, the trucking industry, military and other government agencies, surveyors and I am sure a whole host of other industies.

On top of all of that, lightsquared does not plan to deploy unless they can 100% prove that there will be no issues with the GPS devices currently in use.

Like others have posted, the problem is with cheap receivers and GPS manufactures will need to put filters in their units or use higher quality receivers.

http://www.lightsquared.com/press-ro...d-plan-to-fcc/
Old 08-01-2011, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by MrBoo View Post
Long time reader, first time poster here..

Makers of GPS receivers will simply need to tighten there listening range. Please note I have nothing to do with this, I'm only a concerned boater that did a little research a few months ago.
Baloney.
Old 08-01-2011, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by ndb8fxe View Post
I think it's done. There are too many economic (real, not just for recreational boaters) factors to let GPS become unreliable. Almost every industry would be negatively effected. Aviation to be at the top of the list as more and more ground based navigation aids are being decommissioned, GPS approaches are filling in.

That is a relief, thank you for sharing!!
Old 08-01-2011, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ScarabChris View Post
I'll admit I really only use my GPS to get to and from the Bahamas. But I have done it so many times that I find myself hardly even looking at the GPS during the trip. I would hate to lose the feature but it certainly wouldn't put a crimp on my boating habits.
Chris, hows your overall experience with Bluewater/Scott ??
Old 08-01-2011, 02:11 PM
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the CG and the airlines dont use cheap gps sys and during
testing both lost all sats thats when they(ls2) said all gps
makers just need to add sum software&hardware to correct
the problem and it might cost them a nickle to do it.
Old 08-01-2011, 02:21 PM
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Kinda reminds me of my FAA Part 135 charter flying days. The good ole U.S.A. talked one or more European countries into purchasing an expensive micro-wave landing system and convinced them that they would be left behind it they didn't jump on the wagon. The U.S.A. then turned around and abandoned the project.

Of my 14K hours flying time about half of it was useing GPS. Guess I was lucky but I never had a glitch --- never. I always used it as a back-up monitor for ILS approaches and was always fascinated by the accuracy all the way down to minimums.
Hopefully they will work things out in the interest of aviation and boating ---- lets hope so.
Old 08-01-2011, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by TipsyMcStagger View Post
I guess you don't do much fishing!

Tipsy
No I'm not a die hard fisherman. Me and a couple buddies fish once every 4-5 weeks. But I do fish 99.9% of the time when I go to the Bahamas. I just don't bottom fish, I like to troll for Mahi, Tuna and Wahoo. I don't need a GPS for that.

Originally Posted by wetneck View Post
Chris, hows your overall experience with Bluewater/Scott ??
Excellent!

I highly recommend Bluewater Towers for anyone that needs a t-top, arch or lean post custom made for their boat.
Old 08-01-2011, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Kerry View Post
Thre is a threat to GPS by a company that has no hope in succeeding.

Factual information without the hype and scare mongering being pushed by some organisations can be found at these links.

http://www.pnt.gov/
http://www.pnt.gov/interference/lightsquared/
What the second link tells me, personally, is that without a lot of concern expressed very strongly by a lot of people, this would have been allowed to proceed (and eventually it probably will, particularly if Republicans take over the presidency).

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