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How Does an Altimeter Work? Let’s Discover

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How Does an Altimeter Work? Let’s Discover

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The GPS with a watch-type altimeter or the altitude meter for bicycle, car or handheld device uses the satellite positioning system to perform a position triangulation and obtain data that allows it to estimate the height at which you are. In this article, we will give you more details about GPS altimeters and how does an altimeter work. Keep reading and know the simplicity of its operation.

How does an altimeter work?

The altimeter is factory calibrated, so you won’t need to continually recalibrate each ride. However, over time and usage may require calibration.

The problem is that it is not as easy to do as it is with the barometric and most likely, you will need professional assistance for an ISO recalibration.

Beyond that, using an altimeter is extremely easy. You must choose the type of unit on the screen in which you want to see the altitude (either meters or feet) and press a button to obtain an easy-to-read digital reading that does not need interpretation.

How do I orient myself with a GPS altimeter?

This also depends on the functions that the device has built-in. If you have GPS or digital maps, it is very simple and you will probably only have to press a few buttons to know where you are.

On the other hand, if the device is very basic, you can apply the same applied method to orient yourself with a barometric altimeter. Simply check the pressure or height from time to time to determine if you are going up or down, as well as the path you are following.

After collecting data, you look on the map (I already told you that you should always carry one) the point that corresponds to the graph or the specific height that you registered and you will be able to know where you are.

How to calibrate an altimeter?

Watch the following video and learn how to obtain the height at which you find. Of course, we calibrate a watch-type altimeter from the two brands that we sell in our store: Suunto and Garmin.

How do you read an altimeter?

Large numbers that take up most of the screen are usually intended for altitude and are pre-defined in feet or meters. In addition to that, you will have other elements on the screen that correspond to the characteristics of the altimeter you acquired (compass, atmospheric pressure, temperature, heart rate monitor, among others).

What is the unit of measure for the digital altimeter?

The unit of measurement for the digital altimeter is given in meters or feet. Unlike the barometric altimeter – unless it is a hybrid – it does not use the measurement units in pascals or bars since they do not work with atmospheric pressure.

The reference unit for determining altitude is always sea level (unless another reference altitude is determined intentionally).

How to forecast the weather with a digital altimeter?

The GPS altimeter should include a weather, temperature, or barometric prediction function. Most digital altimeters or altimeter watches come with these functions preloaded.

Otherwise, you will need extra instruments to forecast the weather with just a GPS digital instrument. They do not depend on atmospheric pressure, or maybe you could guess that a storm is coming if the readings become inaccurate due to satellite blocking!

Is it worth buying an altimeter?

In the case of certain extreme sports, for example, skydiving, these devices are an essential device to determine the height and orient yourself. Thanks to this, you reduce the effort you make. It is considered a device that can be very helpful, whether you are an amateur, a nature lover or a professional in the field.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of altimeters?

Having an altimeter at your disposal gives you a lot of advantages. To begin, thanks to these devices, you will be able to know the height of the site where you are. Also, to be able to do it, it is not necessary to have great technical knowledge because its use is simpler than it appears initially.

One of the advantages that you should keep in mind is the opportunity to synchronize it with your cell phone. But of course, this does not mean that there are not a few problems. Measurements can be affected by weather things. Also, they generally don’t have a touch screen and several models are not made to withstand very extreme climates.

Advantage

With them, you will be able to know, concerning sea level, the height at which you are. It is very easy to use. They can synchronize with other devices such as cell phones. You can have a better orientation

Disadvantages

Touch screens are not very common among these devices. Climate is something that can greatly influence measurements. The simplest appliances are not designed for extreme conditions

Altimeters have a large number of applications, which can be enjoyed by both aircraft pilots or lovers of extreme sports and those who only seek to enjoy nature. It also allows you to measure the altitude above sea level to your position. It is common that they also include more functions.

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