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Posts posted by CharlieP

  1. Now I'm curious how do you gauge current by the size of the conductor.


    What I meant was that the current carrying capacity of a line is determined largely by the size of the conductor. Other factors, such as conductor composition (copper, aluminum, aluminum with steel core) also come into play. But if the conductor is big, then it is carrying a lot of current, or the power company is wasting their money.


    Another interesting thing about conductors and corona discharges is that corona discharge is minimized by increasing the diameter of the conductor. To take advantage of this, ultra-high-voltage transmission lines often use three conductors (per phase) locked in a triangular configuration, and these 3 wires act like a single large diameter conductor, to minimize the corona discharge. In a sense, they act like a hollow conductor.

  2. Since I use the cache logs to decide if I want to do the cache or not, I appreciate accuracy. Having said that, some folks could be a bit more diplomatic. It is better to just say "a lot of people in the area made the hunt more challenging" than to say "I hate geocaches like this where I have to hunt while 20 people are watching me suspiciously ... this cache was awful". Generally, I also interpret very short logs as an indication the cache may not be an award winner. If I really like a cache, I tend to write more in the log, but that is not always true, sometimes I am just in a hurry.

  3. I've also seen other areas get worked over fairly well by geocachers. It's very frustrating. I'm convinced most geocachers are good land stewarts but there is a large enough segment of the caching population that doesn't seem to care that makes us all look bad.


    Cache owners are sometimes responsible that "areas get worked over fairly well by geocachers". A well hidden cache will cause searchers to step, poke, rake, and otherwise cause damage to an area. A good hint would alleviate a lot of damage (and frustration). IMHO, well hidden caches that require long searches in very public places are not much fun.

  4. It is NOT accompanied by a high electromagnetic fields on the ground; that's because the voltage is very high, so the currents are not. You receive a much greater EMF from low-voltage lines in your neighborhood.


    I agree with the rest of the post, but not this statement. Although the voltage in these transmission lines is high, so is the current. You can gauge current by the size of the conductor, and these conductors are large. So the EMF is large too. But brief exposure is nothing to worry about.


    EMF Comparisons

  5. For those who asked about "soft" coordinates - I have gotten several emails from cache hiders that they "pushed" the distance on the coordinates to make the hide a bit more difficult. Hmmm...I think a better way is to simply make the hide more difficult through conceilment, or wardrobe. If there is a hint that posted coordinates are not accurate, excluding puzzles or mystery caches, I will tread lightly while searching.


    IMHO "soft coords" or whatever you want to call them are not a part of the game. If you want to add a few stars to the cache rating, do it with a clever container or a well hidden cache. From my perspective, when you post cache coords you are saying that these are the best you can provide ... any error is unintentional. If I found that a cache placer was intentionally "softening" coords, I would skip those caches.

  6. I will post my own coords if I think the coords are off enough to cause other searchers difficulty finding the cache. I have posted coords when mine were only 25 feet away for a well hidden cache, and I have had easy finds where the coords were off 90 feet, and I did not post coords. If I have been at the location more than an hour and I have been able to take multiple readings over time with an EPE less than 18 feet, then I am pretty sure my coords are within a few feet of the actual position.


    Many places here in northern Georgia are subject to terrain induced signal reflections and if the cache owner takes readings at a bad time, coords can be off 60 to 80 feet although the indicated EPE may be less than 20 feet. The interesting thing about these caches is that some searchers get lucky and get the same signal bounce as the owner and will report the numbers were right on the mark, and the next 5 searchers will report an 80 foot error.


    IMHO, if the cache is well hidden or otherwise "tricky", the coords should be good.

  7. Most of the submerged geocaches I have seen were not negatively buoyant, they were anchored with a weight and floated on a line a few feet under the surface. To retrieve the cache you pulled the cache and weight up to the surface. I have seen one where the inside of the container (a sealed jar) contained enough weight to make it sink.

  8. Well, this deteriorated rather rapidly to name calling, and in less than one page! We are getting better ... or worse ... depending on your perspective. One side says non-hiders are deadbeats and the other side calls them numbers freaks in retaliation. Could it be that folks in cache-poor areas would like to have more caches to hunt, and those who are where every other lamp-post contains a micro have a much different perspective? Whichever it is ... a set hide/find ratio is a bad idea ... you can prove it mathematically and a few folks have done so in this thread.

  9. I am looking forward to becoming a professional geocacher. If bass fishing can be made into a big money competitive "sport" ... why not geocaching? We will wear colorful shirts and hats covered with patches from endorsements, like Garmin, Magellan, Jeep, REI, and Dollar General. Competing geocachers will drive high-powered off-road vehicles which go 100+ mph on unimproved roads. Besides big money winner's purses, there will be the endorsements, TV commercials, and groupies! And contests will be sanctioned by NAGCAC, National Association of GeoCAching Competitors. I can't wait.

  10. Chiggers usually lurk in grassy or leaf strewn areas which are a bit damp. They usually hop onto your shoes or lower legs and work their way upward looking for a nice place to have lunch. I have found that if I am wearing shorts, spraying a good repellant on my shoes, ankles, and lower legs will provide protection against chiggers. If you have not used repellant and think you may have encountered chiggers, take a hot bath or shower ASAP and scrub well, especially lower legs, waist, and ... ummm ... uhhh ... where your legs join. You can scrub the little suckers off if they have not yet burrowed in.

  11. Yes, nothing like encouraging more crappy caches by making people feel like they have to place a cache if they want to find more.


    Some people like finding caches and don't care for hiding them. Others have more fun hiding and may have more hides than finds. Others enjoy both and have "balanced" numbers.


    Leave the hiding to those who enjoy it and don't try and make people feel like they have to hide something, and we'll all be better off for it.


    I agree. IMHO, it is better to hide a few quality caches.


    As the number of geocachers and geocaches increases, the idea that each cacher should hide a certain ratio of caches found becomes unreasonable. Consider a geographic area, say the metro area of a city. If there are 100 geocachers in the city, and each hides one cache, then after a while searchers will find all one hundred caches. So maybe a 10/1 found/hide ratio would be better. That gives you 1000 caches when each cacher has found a hundred, but when each cacher finds 1000 it will produce 10,000 caches. If in the meantime the number of cachers has increased to 800, you may have 80,000 geocaches in the city, and will have run out of lamp posts. If a cacher feels he MUST hide and maintain 100 caches, they are not likely to be high quality.


    Hide a few and make them good ones.

  12. I like a good hike, that's what caused me to try geocaching in the first place.


    Analysis of file C:\GPS\GeoCache\Find Stats\358383.gpx


    861 unique caches found.

    Avg. Difficulty = 1.97

    Avg. Terrain = 1.87

    Avg. Challenge = 2.23

    244 hard caches (28%)

    2 countries

    14 US states

    234 (27.2%) archived

    Oldest cache: #32 (GC20)

    Newest cache: #406016 (GCWD97)



    1.0: 213 (24.7%)

    1.5: 182 (21.1%)

    2.0: 214 (24.9%)

    2.5: 97 (11.3%)

    3.0: 80 ( 9.3%)

    3.5: 34 ( 3.9%)

    4.0: 22 ( 2.6%)

    4.5: 9 ( 1.0%)

    5.0: 10 ( 1.2%)



    1.0: 255 (29.6%)

    1.5: 220 (25.6%)

    2.0: 167 (19.4%)

    2.5: 78 ( 9.1%)

    3.0: 70 ( 8.1%)

    3.5: 32 ( 3.7%)

    4.0: 23 ( 2.7%)

    4.5: 4 ( 0.5%)

    5.0: 12 ( 1.4%)


    Cache types:

    2 ( 0.2%) Cache In Trash Out Event

    1 ( 0.1%) Earthcache

    32 ( 3.7%) Event Cache

    3 ( 0.3%) Letterbox Hybrid

    107 (12.4%) Multi-cache

    1 ( 0.1%) Project APE Cache

    593 (68.9%) Traditional Cache

    73 ( 8.5%) Unknown Cache

    48 ( 5.6%) Virtual Cache

    1 ( 0.1%) Webcam Cache



    7 ( 0.8%) Large

    200 (23.2%) Micro

    68 ( 7.9%) Not chosen

    38 ( 4.4%) Other

    481 (55.9%) Regular

    28 ( 3.3%) Small

    39 ( 4.5%) Virtual



    5 in Cayman Islands

    856 in United States


    US States:

    33 in Alabama

    4 in California

    49 in Florida

    696 in Georgia

    1 in Indiana

    13 in Kentucky

    9 in Louisiana

    9 in Mississippi

    4 in Nebraska

    1 in North Carolina

    18 in South Carolina

    16 in Tennessee

    2 in Virginia

    1 in West Virginia

  13. I always carry a compass, and if I am geocaching in a remote area where I may need to go off-trail, or where the trails are not well marked, I will also carry a topo map. I long ago learned from boating that it is not enough to know your position and your destination, you need to know what is in between. I often use UTM because many topo maps have UTM grids.

  14. The bug factor has been lower that normal in recent weeks here in northern Georgia. I think it is because we have had very little rain. My lawn is dying, but at least there are no mosquitos, and few ticks and chiggers. Every silver lining has a dark cloud.

  15. Do you like the difficult caches? In public locations?


    No. In the old days, when geocaches were few and far between I would do all kinds of caches. Now there are plenty of caches and I skip the ones that do not appeal to me. Searching for a well hidden object in a busy place does not appeal to me. And I do not enjoy meeting police officers, except in social settings.

  16. The Boy Scouts of America sells a relatively easy to use and functionable compass for around 7.50 - 15.00 (They are all the same -- it depends where you stop/where you live) You can probably pick one up at any Council Center's Shop or any other scout shop. They're great!


    I agree, these are good compasses, I have been using one for 15 years. The standard Boy Scout baseplate compass is basically a Silva Starter, so if you are not near a Scout supply store, you can buy these at most sporting goods stores for $8 or so. This is a much better quality compass than the $4 discount store jobs. Silva also makes some larger models for a few more $.

  17. When the rules are broken, and the perception is that it is OK to break them, there's a problem.


    Only if you care about the "score". Many cachers don't care, or don't even accept the concept of a score. But to be fair, many cachers DO care, and therefore the folks who run Geocaching.com must also care ... they make the rules.

  18. I noticed in one day of caching, this person logged 40 something caches (mostly of the "spew" type), while I logged 2 (and walked 9 or so miles and had to make a climb), yet that person got praised in local circles for a "great day of caching," while others like me, who also had a "great day of caching" went unnoticed.


    That's an interesting observation. A geocacher here in the Atlanta area logged this cache recently.




    It went under the radar for the most part ... whereas logging the 1000th find is a real event. I suppose people in groups tend to accept certain standards, like kids who wear certain styles of clothes, or people who accept that certain types of cars are IN. The nice thing about geocaching is that is it easy to ignore the standards and just do your own thing. Don't try that in high school.

  19. We just had a full afternoon of geocaching -- our first real adventure at it. We found 4 out of 7 and had a lot of fun. We're using an old Magellan SporTrak (it's got to be AT LEAST 4 years old). Every time we did find a cache today, it was at least 10-15 feet from the GPS. Is that expected, or would a newer GPS give a more accurate reading?


    If the GPS put you 10-15 feet from the cache, that is very good accuracy for most geocaches. You will find that the accuracy of YOUR GPS will vary with terrain, tree cover, satellite geometry during the day, and even the proximity of buildings or power lines. Accuracy may vary from 10 foot accuracy under good conditions with WAAS, to 100 feet or more in poor conditions. On top of that, the accuracy of posted coordinates for geocaches also varies tremendously, some are within a few feet of the true position, and some will be off by 100 feet or more.


    The accuracy required to find the cache also varies. A well hidden cache can take hours to find if the coords are off by even 20 or 30 feet. On the other hand, some caches may be easy finds even though the coords are off 100 feet ... an obvious location or a very good hint.


    I got tired of "easter egg hunts" and now avoid caches that have log entries like: "extremely well hidden ... coords were off 40 feet". If the cache is well hidden, the coords should be VERY good, IMHO. Good coords require averaging over time to achieve accuracy, and sometimes also projection.

  20. These heated discussions about "numbers" have convinced me that I must be missing out on something. Could it be that:


    Jeremy is paying bonuses to cachers with high numbers ... $5000, $10,000 or more?


    Male cachers with high numbers are relentlessly stalked by beautiful young Geo-groupies, eager to make ... aquaintance?


    Hilton Hotels and Delta AL have joined to give free Hawaii vacations to the 10 Geocachers with the highest numbers?


    Garmin and Magellan are bidding over $1,000,000 for an endorsement contract to the high number Geocacher?


    OK, which is it? ... or are they all true?

  21. I would not recommend a $2 compass, but for about $8 or $10 you can get one good enough for geocaching and general use. The feature that is most useful is the ability to set a bearing and shoot a range with just one hand ... the GPS is in the other hand. A basic Silva base plate compass works fine for me and has lasted about 15 years. Some of the more expensive models require two hands to open or use effectively.

  22. I have a Pennsylvania concealed firearm permit so I always have a Glock 40 on me. I carry it caching mostly because the Pennsylvania record black bear weighing more than 700 pounds was killed in the same gamelands (SGL 51) were alot of caches are located.


    FWIW, I have been advised that a .40 or .45 would not effectively stop a large black bear ... not enough penetration. A .357 Magnum is probably the minimum handgun for bears. But then the noise from any handgun might turn one around.

  23. ... Please be sure to dispose of all ticks properly.

    (Maybe someone should market a "pocket" venus flytrap!) :(


    The easiest way to kill the little blood suckers on the trail is to place it on a flat rock and then pound it to mush with another rock. This is also strangely gratifying. You can also crush them between your thumbnails, but this is not much fun.

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