Garmin users all over the world are experiencing GPS accuracy issues aka ‘Errors’
Typically what is happening is that the post-workout tracks are shifted Westwards for many 10s of metres. In some cases, people are reporting 200+ metres.
I can also confirm the same behaviour on 1st Jan when I experienced a shift of over 100m to the South West (SSW), as shown above on the track from my 10k run with a Forerunner 945.
I was also wearing an Apple Watch SE at the same time. The AW SE did NOT experience the same issue when recording with iSmoothRun (beta). If anything, its track was very slightly shifted in the opposite direction.
What am I going to do about it?
Clearly, my sporting world has come to an end. This is the start of the end of days. We are all doomed and I’m heading off to panic-buy something. I’m not quite sure what. Probably toilet rolls, although I do have a lot of those still left from March.
I might just forget about it and hope it goes away and keep using my Stryd and heart rate strap (HRM-PRo) as I’d never actually noticed the problem until @JK brought it to my attention last night! He was notably perturbed and I think has an emergency counselling session booked today. Good luck, John. Stick with the program.
In a nutshell: I’ll do nothing apart from writing a few words attempting very poorly to be funny/hilarious. The problem will hopefully go away.
Being slightly more serious
I appreciate this is a first world annoyance. With the exception of New Zealand, it does appear to be global in nature. It seems that Jacinda had this one covered too, blimey she’s good. Very good.
My initial theory was that this was a Glonass-related issue, perhaps one of the satellites was out of sync?
This seemed like a reasonable theory and one dodgy satellite in the northern hemisphere could explain why New Zealand was fine. My errant 945 was using GPS+Glonass with recently synced ephemeris data, so the sync would hopefully eliminate ‘user error’ and I was guessing that would be the same for most other people. However, a quick glance at one of the many Garmin forums reporting this soon contradicts my assumption eg this Garmin Forum. It seems that the problem also occurs with GPS+Galileo and GPS-only
What about other manufacturers?
In my case, my Apple Watch SE would probably be using GLONASS as well. OK, its track was not as good as normal but the error was not the same as that on the Garmin. So the problem is probably not Glonass-realted. Looking to a Suunto forum we see a similar error on a Suunto 9.
If you look in the comments below you can also see an issue with a Coros watch.
Is Sony the Common Thread?
There are so many more Garmin watches than those from other manufacturers that it seems that the problems are Garmin related. However Garmin, coros, Polar and others have all shared highly similar or identical Sony GNSS chipsets over the last 2ish years.
So my working hypothesis is that this is a problem with the Sony chipset. My guess would be that this is a minor year-end coding problem along a similar vein to the Year 2000/Millenium bug which nearly ended humanity two decades ago.
Is this same happening to your old Garmin (eg Fenix 5-Plus?)? @Andy, comments below, doesn’t get this error.
I have a Garmin Edge 820 and might try that.
That said my Garmin does show the following: System>About>CPE Expired.
- Rebooting & syncing: Does not eliminate the CPE expired message
- Changing GPS+GLONASS to GPS-ONLY, getting a satellite fix & Syncing: Does not eliminate the CPE expired message
- Changing GPS+GLONASS to GPS-GALILEO, getting a satellite fix & Syncing: Does not eliminate the CPE expired message
I’ve got the impression that Sony moves slowly. So don’t hold out for a fix from them next week.
However, whatever you think about Garmin I reckon they will take this seriously and that they will produce a workaround this week if it’s possible.
Comments and rants welcomed below! This is, after all, a life and death situation and tempers will inevitably get frayed.
On a Lighter Note
One solution is to realise that the start point is 200m to your SW. So walk and start the workout there….Hmmm…wait a minute….there’s something wrong with that 😉
Good luck to all in finding a proper solution!
Another solution, like with cycling, is to buy another one. So here are some thoughts for Garmin’s 2021 releases (955 yay!) or try the following link to products they could release but won’t (personally I think the latter is a more thought-provoking read)
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