Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of September's Ride of the Month Challenge!
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After my little expedition today roaming the backroads of the Big Island, I'm thinking I want to put an altimeter in my FJ. That's the sort of information I just find interesting. I don't really want to shell out a huge amount, and I'd like to have one that fits with the FJ. I'm thinking analog. I found this one that would look really sweet mounted on the silver vent cover to the left of the steering wheel. Any chance anyone has used it before or has any opinions on analog altimeters?

Thanks!

Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,396 Posts
After my little expedition today roaming the backroads of the Big Island, I'm thinking I want to put an altimeter in my FJ. That's the sort of information I just find interesting. I don't really want to shell out a huge amount, and I'd like to have one that fits with the FJ. I'm thinking analog. I found this one that would look really sweet mounted on the silver vent cover to the left of the steering wheel. Any chance anyone has used it before or has any opinions on analog altimeters?

Thanks!

Bill
I use my GPS or my Suunto watch. Both are accurate and have more then one purpose.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,162 Posts
Looks pretty cool, I had thought of one myself but has not made the top of the priority list justyet. Only thing I would want is a little more accuracy than 100'. What is the Diameter of that one, did not see it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,957 Posts
I actually have an SB500 and it works well but as with any barometric altimeter you have to remember to calibrate it each time before you ascend for it to be accurate and compensate for rapid changes in barometric pressure.

In Search & Rescue is it very necessary to give an accurate altitude when trying to vector in air assets. I have seen it be off by up to 1000 feet just from pressure variables during assent and decent. I also have a Suunto watch that has an altimeter reading and the two are never the same even when they are both calibrated to the exact same altitude before assent.

The problem with any pressure reading altimeter is that it relies on atmospheric pressure with does vary. The instrument is much smaller then an actual "by the inch/millimeter" instrument. In other words a hand held device with maybe a 2 inch pressure tube is no where near as accurate as an actual mercury filled tube that literally has 120 inches of length.

A GPS is extremely more accurate providing you have 4 or more satellites. The more satellites the more accurate.

The bottom line - unless you are on top of keeping your pressure sensing altimeter calibrated you cannot trust the reading and like I've said I've seen variances of 1000 feet before.

If you want an accurate measurement, get a GPS that has an altimeter.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,957 Posts
If you get the GPS you also get to see where you were, plan where you want to go and I've even found it easier to drive on "un-improved" roads because the GPS gives you an idea where the turns will be well in advance.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the responses!

I should have mentioned the watch issue. Watches and I don't play well together. Long story. :)

I'm not sure whether I'll be getting a GPS or not, since the head unit I'm hoping to stick in in a few months (AVIC-F700BT) has nav, but I don't have any details yet on what sort of information the GPS will display, such as altitude. That's why I was looking for an easy, standalone gauge. But if it's off by as much as 1000', well, that's not too useful.

Guess I'll keep looking! Hopefully the headunit will display it... Thanks again everybody!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,533 Posts
Depending on the size, you could mount the SB500 on the dash and it would look like one of the gauges. Any barometrically controlled altimeter has it's limitations. I use one all the time and I've never seen one off by 1,000' unless it's accidentally recalibrated (rotated dial). Typically ~100-200 feet off depending on the change in altitude you made and the changing weather conditions.

DEWFPO
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,957 Posts
I use one all the time and I've never seen one off by 1,000' unless it's accidentally recalibrated (rotated dial)....DEWFPO
The 1,000 discrepancy was during a test using an electronic altimeter (not set by ring dial) calibrated at sea level and taken to the top of Rainier at 14,400' according to the coordinates on the GPS verified by the USGS map. The altimeter read just over 13,000 feet. Granted that is an extreme example but that much error up there could mean the difference between life and death - easy.

With any of my altimeters there has always been a +/- error of at least 200' and more typically 300 - 400'. Which isn't really that critical when you are walking a trail or driving up a road but my point was they are not as accurate as people believe them to be. If you want accurate altitude you would be better off with a quality GPS.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,533 Posts
Please help me out. I have 2 friends that have handheld GPS units. When checking elevations, they never settle in on a elevation no matter how long you seem to wait (we waited up to 1/2 hr. several times). One of them is a brand new unit that was indicating 10 satellites captured but the altitude would sit there and fluctuate up and down the entire time we are at a given elevation. I don't know how to operate these GPS units so perhaps they were not being operated properly by the owners.

I would have thought that once all the sats were locked in and the lat/longs came up you should also have an elevation lock that is accurate.

Please educate me.

Thanks, DEWFPO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,045 Posts
I think you should go ahead and get it, it will add a little aeronautic look to your FJ especially when you drive to Mauna Kea, it will be a good thing to look at.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
Please help me out. I have 2 friends that have handheld GPS units. When checking elevations, they never settle in on a elevation no matter how long you seem to wait (we waited up to 1/2 hr. several times). One of them is a brand new unit that was indicating 10 satellites captured but the altitude would sit there and fluctuate up and down the entire time we are at a given elevation. I don't know how to operate these GPS units so perhaps they were not being operated properly by the owners.

I would have thought that once all the sats were locked in and the lat/longs came up you should also have an elevation lock that is accurate.

Please educate me.

Thanks, DEWFPO
Never had that problem with my handheld. Once it establishes its initial fix, it's very stable.

 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think you should go ahead and get it, it will add a little aeronautic look to your FJ especially when you drive to Mauna Kea, it will be a good thing to look at.
I'm digging the aeronautic look... I think tomorrow I'll take a picture of where I plan on mounting it and do a little photoshopping.

Which island are you on, Blackseabk?

Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,045 Posts
I'm digging the aeronautic look... I think tomorrow I'll take a picture of where I plan on mounting it and do a little photoshopping.

Which island are you on, Blackseabk?

Bill
I am on Oahu, part of the Aloha FJ cruiser gang. If you ever this way shoot me a PM.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
876 Posts
I've been looking at the Microtim (Microtim.com) digital altimeter. Pricey $139-199 available direct or on e-bay, but from everything I've read sounds great. Used for ultra lights and aircraft. Measures 2 foot elevation changes and can even be used as an altitude drop speedmeter. Measures 2000ft below Sea Level to up to 20, 000 ft. above. So I guess if you drive off a cliff you can tell how fast your dropping and then if you land in the ocean you can tell how deep you sink. I'm waiting on an e-mail from the co. to get some mounting questions answered-want to mount it above rear view mirror).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
688 Posts
Buy a Suunto or Tissot T-Touch watch with the built in altimeter and barometer and learn how to use it. Personally I have a Tissot and love it. Highly recommeded to everyone. I calibrate it with my GPS, but this can be done easily with a map and the integrated compass...
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top