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Everything posted by paleolith

  1. The problem with those is that they are polyethylene and will deteriorate quickly in sunlight. I bought quite a few of them about 25 years ago, for outdoor use, and none of them lasted more than ten years. Kept inside, or carried in a pack, they are great, just not for sunlight exposure. Nalgene also makes polycarbonate bottles, which hold up to sunlight, but only in larger sizes. The Therapak containers which DragonsWest is recommending are PET, and PET stands up well to sunlight. Those definitely sound interesting. What exactly is the size? I can't find that information on either the Fisher Scientific or Therapak web sites. "Larger than a decon" covers quite a range. Edward
  2. I don't see any gasket in the spoiler pics. It's probably wet inside. I don't get farther east than Gainesville very often. Probably the last time I was in the area was almost 50 years ago, on a high school field trip to the Space Center. Maybe if I take up the Florida Counties challenge ... Edward
  3. That's silly. Everyone knows that Altoids tins aren't watertight. Besides, where do I put the cookie tin? OK. Does anyone know a good source for cheap ammo cans? Oh, never mind, I think this is where I came in. Edward
  4. I've wondered for some time whether adding an o-ring to a decon would make it watertight. A big question is whether the top would even snap shut if you added an o-ring into the channel. The second question is what size o-ring, if any, would fit. My measurements say the channel is 1/8" wide, so o-rings with cross-sectional diameters of 1/8", 3/32", or 1/16" might fit. By my measurements and calculations say the inside circumference is 8.36"; the equivalent inside diameter for sizing the o-ring is 2.66". allorings.com has these sizes, which would be very close: ID 2-5/8", cross-section 1/8", 3/32", or 1/16" ID 2-11/16", cross-section 3/32" ID 2-3/4", cross-section 1/8", 3/32", or 1/16" I can post the spreadsheet I used to calculate these if anyone is interested. The problem, at least ordering through allorings.com, is the minimum of 10 or 25 o-rings per size, and shipping cost starting at about $12 -- when I don't even know if it will work, nor what size is needed if it does work. Just to try the seven sizes listed above would cost a bit over $50. That's not unreasonable at all, but doesn't fit my need to sample and try. Those prices are for silicone; they also have EPDM, which is a lower cost per o-ring but a minimum of 25 each. Enquiring minds want to know ... Edward
  5. The problem with decons isn't just people not knowing how to close them. They leak even when properly closed. Possibly not all of them -- I'm sure they come from many sources -- but the ones I've tested, leak. Read the decontamination instructions on them. It's obvious that in its original function it's just a plastic box and does not need to be airtight. They work OK in Southern California because between the occasional rains, it's so dry. The fact that they have a loose seal means the water can also get out. In Florida they almost never dry out. But they seldom get used to begin with in Florida. I've used a couple when a matchsafe is actually too small -- I place the decon with the matchsafe inside it and the log in the matchsafe. Take a fresh, properly closed decon. Grab the top and push it around. Does it rattle? If so, it can't possibly by watertight. As I say, I suspect that some are much more watertight than others, so it's possible you have one that really is watertight. That doesn't mean the rest of them are watertight. If it still seems watertight, put a tissue inside, close it, and arrange for it to be held under water for at least ten minutes, preferably an hour. Dry the outside thoroughly before opening it. If the tissue is even the tiniest bit damp, the log will be soaked in a month if it gets rained on regularly. Edward
  6. "Get with the times" has always been a rude comment, usually rendered by narrow-minded people. Nothing I see in this case leads me to change that opinion. Yes, geocaching has changed. I'm pretty sure a higher percentage of cachers are interested in quick around-town caches. But that doesn't mean fewer are interested in good, hiking caches, in absolute numbers. On the contrary -- it appears to me that few hiking cachers have quit, and more have joined the game. I have two challenge caches that require a lot of hiking. They are currently being worked by cachers who hadn't even joined the game when I placed them. That tells me that new hikers are joining geocaching. And I see many more good hiking caches now than five years ago. Maybe I'll come out to do your cache ... hey, I have relatives in Ardmore, that's only 180 miles away. Edward
  7. I would venture, however, that virtually all food items other than canned ones have enough scent to attract bears. Many will attract ants. I can't think of a perishable item which has no scent. Pure table sugar attracts ants all by itself. Cans? If it doesn't have a pop-top, then what's the point of leaving it? If it does, how much heat buildup in the cache does it take to pop that top? And how many people would eat a can of beans taken from a cache if they don't know how old it is? (Or if they do, but especially.) So I'd favor stronger wording against food items. Even though I know the real problem is that people leaving food in caches simply haven't read the words we already have. Edward
  8. Double the price. I won't even notice. Go from 9 cents/day to 18 cents/day. (At 50 cents/day I would notice.) Unfortunately no one posting here knows how many premium members gc.com has, so we have no idea how much the price would have to go up to retain Google Maps, or at least Google Satellite View (which seems to be the main issue). We know the total cost, but not how many premium members it would have to be divided across. And of course even GS doesn't know how many of us would pay for direct GSV access. Yeah, use Firefox instead of Opera, install Greasemonkey, install another script ... no, I don't want a lot of workarounds. I want it to be easier, not harder. Edward
  9. It's the only such log, but you can get the reviewer's attention by email. I suspect that those who understand the reasons a reviewer would get involved also know how to email the reviewer. I wouldn't object to a change in name, but for the stated reasons I don't see much need. Edward
  10. Why should GS try to do it all when other people have good ideas? GSAK is a good complement to geocaching.com. And yes, if you own enough caches that you have trouble keeping track of them just using gc.com, then you should be using other tools (such as GSAK). That only makes sense. Edward
  11. Why do you need to go geocaching? Everything discussed here is about fun. The new map service makes it a lot less fun for a lot of us. That's the bottom line for me. For a lot of us, the fun isn't just in counting smilies. It's about discovering new places, and part of that happens on the ground and part of it happens from looking at maps. In this context, pointing out that I can find the geocaches another way is irrelevant. If you were paying me to find geocaches, then of course we would discuss what methods are most cost-effective. But you aren't paying me, and frankly I would not be interested in geocaching for pay. Compared with many hobbies, geocaching is a very cheap way to have some fun. Pinching the nickel to make it less fun doesn't make sense to me. Edward
  12. Thanks for posting all the details. Trouble was, with mine, I was using them probably five days a month, and they still died after a couple of years. I don't think I got more than 50 recharge cycles from them. And these were from Maha, 2200mAh. I don't remember the price, which has obviously dropped a lot in the last six years. But even with my lesser amount of use it amounted to more like $20/year on rechargeables just for the GPSr and camera, and at that time they were expensive enough that carrying spares was a non-starter of an idea. And of course with less use, the cost of the charger was relatively higher. I don't know why mine lasted so poorly. If I were using more, perhaps I'd try them again. I'm not even using 100/year, so for me the hassle of figuring all this out relative to savings ($ and landfill) is higher than for a heavier user. And perhaps the day will come ... but then, we are likely to be seeing a lot more devices taking Li-ion batteries, so I expect NiMH use will gradually shift to Li-ion anyway, at least at the high end. And my bicycle headlight, bought recently, is indeed Li-ion. Would have bought a tail light with Li-ion too but could not find one I liked. But the thing runs 30 hours on 2 AAA alkaline cells ... Landfill? Well, 500 AA/year would be a significant part of my landfill contribution, though still a minor part. But it's a small contribution -- I take the garbage out for pickup every other week whether I need to or not, and I could manage monthly pickups. My quantity has gone down since my city recently started accepting all PETE for recycling, not just bottles and jars, so batteries became a higher proportion. At my 100/year or less, I think it's still a trivial part. Anyway, thanks again for all the info. Obviously it's very much worth continuing to watch developments. And Chrysalides' comment about faster flash recharge ... hmm, that could interest me. Edward
  13. Thanks for the ideas. I think the one about getting the word out to the organizers and crew is probably best in this particular situation. I have the neighborhood organizer's email address, and i can try to drag myself out of bed Saturday morning. There's only two trackables among the caches, and I might pick them up tomorrow. A combined CITO might have been good if I'd thought about it in time ... OTOH this is a city-wide event, so a CITO event might have been anywhere, so it probably would not have been in my neighborhood. Thanks again, Edward
  14. Anything that depends on sticky isn't going to hold for long. Edward
  15. My town is organizing a "Super Clean Sweep" event this Saturday -- lots of outdoor cleanup activities all over town. Many neighborhoods, including mine, are participating. I'm concerned (mildly) that this level of attention to details in a wooded park area has the potential to compromise the caches in the park. What approaches have others used in this situation? Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? I don't recall noticing any trash near any of the caches, so perhaps the areas near them won't get much attention anyway. I've considered disabling the more vulnerable caches and removing them for the day. I've also considered adding highly visible ID for the day. There are ten caches listed in the chain of parks in my neighborhood. I own seven, and I maintain three placed by the city's Parks and Recreation department. One of the latter is currently missing and disabled anyway -- I'm letting it cool down before replacing it. Of the nine in place, I have minimal concern about three -- they are hidden in places that trash-seekers just aren't likely to look. Of the other six, three are ammo cans, two of them (mine) chained to trees and all with good ID on the outside. (The city P&R caches have their own custom stickers, though they are rather understated compared with the GS stickers.) The other three (mine) are micros -- camo-ed matchsafes in two cases -- with ID inside. Thoughts? Edward
  16. I'll be the party pooper. I used NiMH batteries for a while and gave up on them. I had Maha batteries and charger, which are supposed to be good. I treated them according to directions. But within a couple of years, they wouldn't take enough of a charge to turn on the GPSr, and a GPSr tends to be one of the more low-voltage-tolerant devices. Also, although my GPSr is tolerant of the lower voltage of NiMH cells (1.2V instead of the 1.5V-1.6V of alkaline cells), some other devices are not so tolerant. Lighting devices tend to put out less light at the lower voltage. I had one medical device which just flat out refused to use the rechargeable, though I blame the maker of the device rather than the batteries. I'm back to alkalines and happy. If I look around and exercise a little patience, I can find AA batteries for 20 cents apiece. (Lowe's sells a box of 100 AA batteries for $20, though I've had trouble with my local store being out of stock.) They work in my GPSr, both my cameras, and a couple of other devices I can't remember at the moment. As for "batteries running out", a pair of spare alkalines costs about 50 cents, and a six-pack about $3 -- what's the comparable cost for NiMH? AA alkaline cells are light enough that I don't mind carrying several spares when I'm hiking. They contain no hazardous materials, and nothing valuable except the energy. Some places claim to recycle them, but the last time I looked there was no market and they probably went to the landfill anyway -- where they are one of the less dangerous items tossed. Many communities tell you just to put them in the garbage. Lithium ion batteries may eventually convert me. But you can't substitute a lithium ion battery for an alkaline or NiMH. In the mean time, I find alkaline batteries far more convenient. I don't have to remember to charge them or worry about when to charge them. If one goes bad, I toss it and forget it. Less hassle. For me, obviously many find the opposite. Edward
  17. Not to mention that Google has been one of the largest providers of Free Stuff on the net, if not the largest. And they've done it by serving up relatively unobtrusive ads that don't disrupt my experience on the web. I too don't agree with all their practices and I have a lot of concern about the effects of the near-monopoly situation, yet greedy isn't the word that comes to my mind when I think of Google. Edward
  18. And as has been repeatedly pointed out in this thread, that's quite inconvenient. Generally I want to look at the road map first and then maybe switch to see the imagery. When I've got the imagery, I usually want to check where the other caches in the area are. So yes, there are workarounds. But geocaching is a game. Force us into a lot of workarounds and it's no longer fun. Edward
  19. [...] The popularity of location-based utilities (like the geocaching website) and mobile apps (tablets and smart phones) is really, really bad news for us all. [...] One by one, every free map service has been utterly crushed into non-existence by user demand. [...] The "everything free all the time" model is not sustainable. It never was. Thanks for the followup and additional info. I'm not surprised that I was predicting what was already happening. Such a prediction wasn't exactly rocket science. Still, it's always reassuring to find one's predictions verified so quickly. I've always disliked the "everything free" model. Of course it was never free, it was mostly advertising-supported, the few exceptions being small sites supported by one or two people, Wikipedia supported by donations, some subscription sites, and the like. Even free software is skewed by this. It's not quite so obvious that the browser you are reading this in is advertising-supported, but it is -- every time you send a search to Google via the search box/function in the browser, the browser's producer gets a kickback from Google (or whichever other search engine you used). Is it any accident that in most browsers it's difficult to disable the moving images, flash, etc which are mostly used for advertising? In how many even more subtle ways is the browser operation affected by the fact that it's advertising-supported? (And yes, even the Firefox project, while open source, rakes in a lot of money from the kickbacks.) As to the nature of the news of the crunch on location-based utilities ... well, I'd say it's good news and bad news. Yes, it's bad news because we have to change and might even have to pay an additional $10/year over the $30/year that we've been paying for, what, well, longer than the five years I've been paying it. (Assumptions regarding this $10 calculation were in my previous post.) The good news, though, is that the services are charging for what they provide and thus can build out their infrastructure to meet demand. Or to put it another way, when we didn't pay anything, we were getting more than we paid for, but often less than we wanted or needed. Now we have a chance to get what we pay for, and possibly what we want and need, in a market where competition works pretty well (which isn't true in all markets). So please, providers of all sorts: CHARGE ME for what I use. And then provide what I need and want. Edward
  20. I just tried looking at a cache that was published this morning. It's next to a lake, so I definitely wanted the aerial view. About half the view loaded before it gave up at three minutes. I reloaded and tried again, and this time got about 2/3 of the map loaded in aerial view. Six minutes and I still don't have a single complete aerial view. I don't like to throw around the phrases "totally unacceptable" and "totally unusable", but the current situation does warrant those descriptions. Groundspeak, you investigated the alternatives. That's good. What was your after-implementation monitoring plan? What was your fallback plan in case the new maps proved unusable, as has turned out to be the case for many of us? Edward
  21. MUCH poorer image quality on aerial photos. Only half the zoom, and even at that point not even close in quality. I'd say the resolution is barely a tenth of the GM images, certainly not more than a fifth, in each dimension. This is very serious for the places I go caching. And those much poorer images are loading very slowly and unreliably. So while I wouldn't call the maps overall horrid, I think that horrid is a pretty accurate description of the aerial images. While I'm glad GS investigated, I personally would rather pay an additional $10/year for better aerials. (I'm assuming 300,000 PMs and the calculated cost of $3 million in new costs. We of course don't actually know how many PMs there are.) There's also the question of how long these other services will be free. They aren't selling any advertising on the GS pages. I'm certain that Google knows it has competitors, and I expect they priced their service to undercut anyone else who is charging enough to make a living. And with Google charging for map loads, the other services will be hit with all the freeloaders like GS dumping Google for the next free service in line. How long before GS has to change again anyway, running away from paying for services? My guess is that within a year or two, there won't be any free service for this purpose which even comes close to being acceptable. GS has gone to all this work only to postpone the inevitable. Servers and bandwidth cost a lot of money, and someone pays for them or they go dark. Edward
  22. Three Native American women are sitting on animal skins on the ground. The first is sitting on a deer skin. She has a son who weighs 140 pounds. The second is sitting on a buffalo skin. She has a son who weighs 160 pounds. The third is sitting on a hippopotamus skin. She weighs 300 pounds. This is an example of the well known fact from geometry, that the squaw on the hippopotamus is equal to the sons of the squaws on the other two hides. Edward (yes, was a math major)
  23. It's also possible to write a rather positive NA log, something like: This is a great spot and I'll be delighted if the owner gets it up and running again. However, since there's been no cache to find for at least seven years, I think it's time to start the clock running. The only objection I've ever received to a NA log was from a hider whose cache "log" was an old wrecked automobile along a trail, and who had provided the implements for the graffiti. The CO didn't like being told this violated guidelines. Apparently the reviewer was satisfied with a log book being added even though it was obvious that the graffiti materials were still present. I haven't had a chance to go back and look. Edward
  24. I suspect that this is intentional. As has been discussed ad nauseum, GS is very reluctant to make it easier to obtain coordinates for archived caches, since many times they were archived due to land owner/manager request. Unpaid members can get LOC files whereas GPX is only for paid members, so GS can at least say the information is restricted to members about whom they have more contact information. Perhaps it would be more productive to look for other ways to achieve your goal, since I think you're tilting at windmills asking for GS to make it easier to get info on archived caches. For example, would it be possible to compile a list of all the eligible caches into a GSAK database? How many caches are eligible? Once that's done, you could add caches as necessary one at a time, generally because someone posted a list containing archived caches. Over time, your list would include most of the archived caches. You can "get recent logs" using GSAK direct access with no limits on total number (just throttled), so you can update the logs for your DB as often as you need to. A GSAK macro could then run and determine eligibility. In fact, it could even tell you who is eligible and probably doesn't even know it. Edward
  25. I think most of us find that having the log date carry from one log to the next is helpful. This has long worked at least as long as the browser isn't closed. I haven't logged any finds in a couple of weeks; perhaps the mechanism has been expanded, perhaps by making the cookie more persistent? Just guessing. I certainly would be unhappy if every time I opened the log post page, it reverted to the current date. NM logs are always forced to the current date. Edward
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