Should I give up on my 830?

I got the 830 and have used it for a couple handfuls of rides. In that time, it has been unreliable. Various things it has done at one point or another (or multiple incidents per ride):

Unable to keep a connection to my sensors (Garmin speed, radar, plus Stages Power) and phone (iPhone XS Max)

'Constantly' losing GPS connection (I have it set to GPS + Galileo).

So, I upgraded the firmware to 3.50, then ...

Device locked up during a ride and I had to 'hard reboot' with the device's keys.

To remedy that I reset the device to factory, then upgraded the firmware to 3.50 and re-paired my devices and phone. That seemed OK for a while, but then during a ride yesterday it rebooted. 

I got the 830 because I wanted the maps that I do not have on my 520, plus the trail forks integration. If it weren't for the Varia integration I probably would have just gone with a Wahoo.

I'm 'torn' because I've been usually pleased with the Garmin devices and they are mostly reliable. Did I just get a 'crap' sample? I can probably exchange it for a replacement but thought I'd see how you guys were getting along with yours. Otherwise I'll return it for a refund and wait until Wahoo can integrate with the radar and move on.


Louis Marchesi

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  • If you want higher accuracy GPS you need access to military receivers.  If you want higher accuracy Galileo you will need special receivers and need pay for the access.  The free to public is good enough for bike riding even if the tracks are a bit off at times.

    At the risk of going slightly off-track here, with the US GPS system, there is no difference between the service provided to civilian or military uses. The only difference would be that military applications may choose to use dual-frequency receivers which are more accurate, but also much more expensive. They are available for civilian applications too, but are generally cost-prohibitive. You may be thinking of selective availability, but this was discontinued in 2000 and since this time civilian applications can achieve full accuracy without restriction.

    GPS accuracy will always depend on quality of signal, which will vary with terrain, buildings and atmospheric conditions, but the committed signal accuracy (measured as transmitted from the satellites) is easily enough for the levels of accuracy needed to tell you that all of your friends are faster on a given segment on Strava ;-)

    This statement gives some numbers to this:

    The accuracy commitments do not apply to GPS devices, but rather to the signals transmitted in space. For example, the government commits to broadcasting the GPS signal in space with a global average user range error (URE) of ≤7.8 m (25.6 ft.), with 95% probability. Actual performance exceeds the specification. On May 11, 2016, the global average URE was ≤0.715 m (2.3 ft.), 95% of the time.

    Broadly speaking, the public (FOC) Galileo service should offer similar, if not slightly better levels of accuracy (when it's working, anyway!), but also offers a higher-precision, 1cm-level accuracy on an encrypted stream for paying customers. I'm sure Garmin are using the public stream and it's more than good enough for this use case.

    In short, both services are good enough for what is needed here and the accuracy issues reported here are likely to be due to signal limits, receiver firmware bugs or other issues specific to the Edge 830.