Sendero Group Travel Blog

Follow Sendero travelers on their adventures using accessible GPS.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016


CES Day 1: New AfterShokz Bluetooth headphones

I had my first day of electronics saturation here at the Consumer Electronics Show, starting with  the Unveiled event for the media. Most items are not GPS related so I will post them in a separate summary of the show and will probably do a webinar of the show highlights in the next month.

Trekz Titanium Bluetooth headphonesI did get my hands on the new Trekz Titanium Bluetooth headphones from AfterShokz. Electronically, they are the same as the most recent Bluez model S.

The big difference is the construction. As you might guess, they are made from Titanium with a light rubber coating. Instead of the previous band that was about a half inch wide, these are very thin. They are both lighter, thinner and more durable. They are more flexible but maintain the same sort of tightness necessary to stay firmly on your head.

The buttons are slightly different. Because they are thinner, I don’t think they exert as much pressure on your temples, making them more comfortable.

They also have a new mode whereby you can put earplugs in your ears in case you are in a noisy environment and don’t want to hear outside noises. There is an Equalization mode to switch to you when you do this. I haven’t tried this yet.

They also come with a nice case for better protection when carrying them in a bag.

I know they shipped to early purchasers. I believe they are backordered into February.

I also carry a single ear BlueAnt earphone in my bag but I really love the AfterShokz for both phone and GPS use.


Sunday, January 03, 2016


Navigating on and off the grid with custom POIs

Happy New Year’s Listers,

To offset all the holiday eating, we have been doing a lot of walking the past week, more than usual. We decided to explore a 6 mile route that starts on a major street, goes through some wetlands, through fields, parks, across a highway and a school before looping back to our house. It goes almost everywhere but Grandmother’s house.

bullrush on the Davis WetlandsThe last time I walked this route was 5 years ago. I remembered marking on my PK a number of the junctions in order to know where to cut across fields and parks. The starting point was labeled Pedestrian intersection between Covell Blvd and the Wetlands. We took an Uber to a place about a quarter mile from that starting point. I had my PK GPS running with the USA User points on board. Good thing that point was there because it was no more than a break in the bushes off a very busy road with no people around to ask. I was with my wife Gena and our two Seeing Eye dogs. My dog Tank may have been on this route when I first got him 5 years ago.

It was one of those very chilly but sunny type of days but we were dressed for the occasion. We did pass other walkers and bikers but we wanted to find our way without asking and it would have been hard to describe what we were looking for anyway. The only time we thought of asking for help was when the restroom I had marked in my PK was locked and we wondered where another was.

I should have recorded a manual route for the next time we did this route but navigating from User POI to User POI worked fine. We didn’t even make a wrong turn the whole way.

This is a reminder to me when I visit new places to be generous in marking User Points as I never know when I will return and wish I had those points. I have User points recorded around the world going back to the mid-90s. One of my favorite user points I found was not mine but one recorded by Rich Irwin. We were traveling up a river in Costa Rica with my PK wrapped in plastic and a point triggered saying alligator sighting and beer shack. Of course, the alligator was no longer in that spot but we did see one further along. The beer shack was still there however. If you ever head to the Pachira lodge in Costa Rica, you will find both my points and those from Rich and maybe others.

If you ever visit Davis, rest assured we can go where we want when we want with or without sighted friends, even off the grid.



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