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11-16-2011, 10:23 PM   #1
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Pentax O-GPS1 GPS - Faulty k-5 or GPS Unit?

So I finally managed to get the GPS unit and so far it is a fail. I have had a few ok shots but were still slightly trailing to shots that trail, curve and anything in between with repeated precise calibrations etc. I can have a failed (trailed shot with a long trail and do it again and have a short trailing with nothing changing besides re-shooting the shot. I am not sure if I am dealing with a faulty gps unit or another faulty camera that is not freely moving its motion sensor. I have tried various lenses with the same results. Earlier tonight I had an instance where the GPS unit refused to do a precise calibration and had to give up. The latest tests were in town just to see what I could do to duplicate problems.

Any Ideas?

11-16-2011, 11:38 PM   #2
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I am going to do a bit of guesswork here. Probably your best bet is going to be contacting Pentax, and providing them a set of images with the full EXIF meta data intact (images where it both worked, and failed). Hopefully, they have embedded enough astrotracking related meta data so that some level of indication is available to determine what went right and not so right. On the other hand, I would be hard pressed to try to identify only say 20 items to embedded that would provide some good overall indication of things working or if not working, what specific wheel fell off the wagon.

I would have to think that they (or one of their software engineers) would have a little data utility that would extract the necessary items, and distill a report of how effective the tracking system was for any particular image. And - if it was not effective, what may have gone wrong. If they don't have this (which I seriously doubt), they are going to need to put one together (to diagnose problems like this). It would also be very valuable if they could (probably not) identify (and define) the additional EXIF items specifically related to the astrotracking capability. This would be a great little open source utility to have available to those of us who would be interested in this capability (and it would provide a lot of insight into what their implementation was - and for that reason, it will probably not see the light of day).

All of this assumes that SR is working just fine in the K5 body and the GPS time & position coordinates are both accurate and are being reflected correctly in the EXIF. Therefore, its only the astrotracing capability that appears to be hosed.

Take a look at these links...Does PhotoMe (or any other similar EXIF utility) identify and itemize all the GPS EXIF data including any specifically for astrotracking yet?


Last edited by interested_observer; 11-17-2011 at 12:22 AM.
11-16-2011, 11:59 PM   #3
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GPS locations and times are perfect, the compass... not so much. I can get a good accurate West and East but the North and South have been off a lot. That could easily kill the astro tracking I know. I was hoping to get some other experiences maybe to see if it is common or not.
11-17-2011, 12:10 AM   #4
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Since I do not have a K5 or the GPS unit, so I'll ask.... Other than time, position and direction, are additional data items like HDOP, GDOP and other GPS indications of "goodness" included? Also, are there any indications of success of calibration, etc. included in the EXIF for autotracking? In this respect there may be enough information to try to decide if its the GPS unit or the body that is the major contributor to the problem.



11-17-2011, 06:42 AM   #5
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Well I am not sure what you are asking but its showing it calibrates ok (except when it kept failing), it is pulling 9 satellites when I think 4 is sufficient etc.

What I would really like to know is if anyone is having any real luck with the astrotracing part of this unit. I see very few reviews if any and only a very, very small amount of any barely successful pictures being produced by the unit. If only one or two people out of hundreds are getting a few good pictures then this unit is a flop anyways.

I did not buy this for the GPS, I bought it for the astrotracing and so far it fails that part. There are other GPS units far cheaper than this overpriced beast if that is all that is working on it.
01-04-2014, 09:23 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by KansasHorizons.com Quote
GPS locations and times are perfect, the compass... not so much. I can get a good accurate West and East but the North and South have been off a lot. That could easily kill the astro tracking I know. I was hoping to get some other experiences maybe to see if it is common or not.
I recently purchased the GPS unit. It finds the lat. and long. position ok. The compass does not locate north well.
01-04-2014, 02:34 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
Since I do not have a K5 or the GPS unit, so I'll ask.... Other than time, position and direction, are additional data items like HDOP, GDOP and other GPS indications of "goodness" included? Also, are there any indications of success of calibration, etc. included in the EXIF for autotracking? In this respect there may be enough information to try to decide if its the GPS unit or the body that is the major contributor to the problem.

Here's the type of readable GPS data (readable in software such as PhotoME or ExifTool):

[GPS]
Position on map: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=N56.074878+E12.436047&t=h&hl=en
GPS tag version: Version 2.3
North or South Latitude: North latitude
Latitude: 56 04.4927'
East or West Longitude: East longitude
Longitude: 12 26.1628'
Altitude reference: Sea level
Altitude: 25.1 m
GPS time (atomic clock): 20:45:12 UTC
GPS satellites used for measurement: 08
GPS receiver status: Measurement Active
GPS measurement mode: 3-dimensional measurement
Speed unit: Kilometers per hour
Speed of GPS receiver: 0.84 km/h
Reference for direction of movement: True direction
Direction of movement: 124.48
Reference for direction of image: True direction
Direction of image: 240.83
Geodetic survey data used: WGS-84
Name of GPS processing method: GPS
GPS date: 2013-12-28 UTC

There is no specific 'flag' (that one can read) indicating whether Precise Calibration was successful or not, but one does have the number of satellites used and the geograpical position and the Azimuth for the pointing of the camera, which can be checked against GoogleMaps.

What I do miss most of all is the Altitude (as determined by my K-5 + OGPS-1) at which the camera was pointing. That information is critical for the unit's calculations and could be easily checked against the starfield photographed. Knowing the GPS-time one could check that with a simple planetarium program such as Cartes du Ciel/SkyCharts and that would be valuable for quality control.

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