Posts posted by Jeep4two
I should clarify that by state issued tag I mean state issued license plate number.
Is it possible to get a custom TB tracking code? I ask because I am going to have a TB code on my new Jeep, but would like to just order a TB tag that matches my state issued tag number (if available and not already used).
This would be much cheaper than the $40 annual fee for vanity plates in my state. Out state uses 6 character plates so it would be possible if of course that combination of letters and numbers hadn't already been issued.
Who would I contact to see if this is possible?
On the OREGON 400 you would use the arrows to scroll your menu until you see the "Mark Waypoint" icon, then press it. If you are entering a new point just choose Save And Edit, then change the LOCATION and NAME and you will be good to go.
Also - if you have an Oregon model you can 'send wirelessly' so you can enter a few, an someone else with an Oregon or Dakota 20 do some of the others, then send to each other to round out the set (I mean while at the event of course - but you can send to other Oregon or Dakota 20 users any time as well).
Check the local dollar stores. They have small round lock n locks (and some have kits that have large, med, small and very small sizes in one box) for low low cost. I don't see many sized as small as altoids tins, but the .75 quart size round ones that I've used hold up well and cost - - - well - - - $1
The little kits are a little more but I found a kit at an Aldi (small grocery store) for $5.00 that had 3 different sizes in it and the smallest makes for a very small container (but still not micro).
Our high school has a field trip day every year.
I was wondering how to incorporate geocaching.
If I were to assume 20 students and we went to an area, I could assign them to groups, but the hard part would be to keep them secretive.
Any suggestions on how to plan about a 3 hour field trip. Of course we can take up time by having lunch outside
Add something to make it competitive in nature to help urge the students to not 'share' with the other teams. Some sort of small prizes for the winning team is a good motivator too. I'll give more details below.
I would also of course suggest using your own temporary caches for such a group (versus hunting regular published caches). Obviously you know your kids and will know whether there would be a potential for muggling caches or otherwise causing problems with regular published caches. I say this only because I recently did a day long hunt at a state park with a group of college students and had a problem with one of the teams moving caches away from their coordinates (Yep - college students).
So here's what I did for my 'event' that I did for our students.
I setup a 'course' with a number of caches that I thought would keep the groups busy for the specified amount of time (I think we had 2 or 3 hours total for the hunt and a brief presentation). The course consisted of real world examples of real Geocaches, various types (traditional and puzzle) and various types (micro, small, regular) using typical containers (beach safes, lock n locks and ammo cans).
The 'game' I used was 'GeoClue' and was based on the old game of clue. The students had booklets that I made up that had cache descriptions pages, and a list of crimes, suspects and places that they would mark off their list as they found clue cards in the caches. I happened to use my own home-made clue cards that had pictures of people, places and things related to our college campus and were relevant to our faculty, staff and location - making it more fun for our students.
My booklet that I made had 'cache pages' designed to look like the web pages on the GC.com website complete with descriptions, coords, distance from home coords (our picnic shelter), encrypted clue (with decryption key) and a place to make notes and mark as found or dnf. The booklet turned out really cool and I ended up using a similar one for a GeoPoker Leadership event I did a few months later.
We did a shotgun start where each team (or 4 or 5 students) was given a Geocache that they had to start at. After making their first find they could then hunt the remainder in any order. If you can spread them out it works better. I only had one spot where I had a bottleneck and had groups that were running up on each other a few times.
At the end of the game we gathered back at the picnic shelter and each team submitted their guess as to who did it, with what and where (everyone got it right by the simple process of elimination). The team that finished the course with the fastest time and the correct answer was the winning team and all got a prize. I also was lucky enough to have prizes donated by local business and industry (and the recruiting offices of our national guard) that we also did a drawing and everyone ended up getting at least a little something.
If you are interested I'd be happy to share some of the materials I developed, rules that I used, etc.
I mentioned my GeoPoker event as well. It was basically the same except I used poker chips in the caches. Each chip was marked with the GC number of the event cache (I used made up numbers like GC001, GC002, etc) and the teams would take one chip and sign the log when they found a cache. I also mixed in some Joker chips that they could use as wild cards. At the end of the hunt everyone met back at the picnic shelter and traded each chip that they found for cards drawn randomly from several decks of cards (had too many teams and caches to use just one deck). If they found a Joker chip they could use it to get a Joker card and make the Joker wild. They made the best poker hand they could with all the cards they drew, and we determined a winner.
Both events were a great success and everyone had a blast.
I will warn you however - it takes lots of planning to choose all your spots, makeup your containers and materials, place them before the event starts, run the event, collect you containers after the event, etc, etc, etc. But it was worth it to share Geocaching with all those people and see everyone have so much fun.
Oh - I almost forgot! Both of my events integrated CITO into the day's hunt. Participants were given plastic grocery bags to take out on the trails to collect trash. The student event yielded enough trash to fill a 55 gallon trash can which wasn't bad considering our group.
Good luck with your high school group.
The closest thing in a dedicated handheld GPSr would be the Oregon or Dakota series handhelds from Garmin.
Depending on the maps you put on the Dakota or Oregon you can have turn by turn directions for street level mapping and most of the other features.
The real issue for a smartphone user to get past is having to load the caches to your dedicated handheld GPSr _before_ you head out for a day of caching. There is no dedicated handheld GPSr that has integrated cellphone access to my knowledge.
Of course the durability of a SmartPhone when dropped into a babbling brook is pretty questionable as well, so I always recommend a rugged/waterproof handheld for the non-urban cacher.
Try contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
They may be able to better help you with your upgrade problem.
My wife has the latest Droid (not sure if it's an X or not, but it's the one with the slide out full keyboard).
We are going this weekend to do some caching and I'm hoping to take it along for 'fun' and see what it's capable of.
For caching we use our Oregon 400t (and occasionally take the old eTrex Legend) so we would never plan on using the Droid as a primary device. I could see it being handy however for logging from the field or getting additional info should I have forgotten to bring cache descriptions on my Oregon for a particular cache.
If you must choose between those two, the Oregon 300 is the way to go.
However as brucered states, an Oregon 450 is a much better choice if you can afford the difference (and assuming it might be available to purchase under the employee discount program you mentioned).
The 300 is a star performer with electronic compass and a MicroSD card slot for expansion - the Dakota 10 has no expansion slot for adding memory and no electronic compass which would be deal breakers for me personally.
edit for spelling
I think it might also be worth noting that the 'accuracy' as advertised by your GPSr while in use is an estimation of the accuracy based on the signal quality at that point in time. Key word here is ESTIMATION.
If a GPSr shows accuracy below a meter it's likely a flaw in the algorythm used to calculate the EPE (Estimated Position Error) on the GPS. I've never seen any of my Garmin units read below 10 feet of accuracy.
You can do your own quickie "repeatability" experiment in your front yard.How accurate can I expect to get?
Personally - I just do this using my water meter cover in the front yard. It's my personal 'benchmark' for testing any unit that I happen to have my hands on.
FWIW: I've found my Oregon 400t to be within 5 feet of the original coordinates at worst, and right on at best (original coords were averaged for 20 minutes, then had an additional sample of averaging added a week or two later).
I have an Oregon 400t (and recently a Dakota 20) that I've used along side my eTrex Legend (non-H, older unit).
As others have said you can't see any difference in performance under 'ideal' conditions. However under tree cover, cloud cover or in more challenging conditions (in a steep valley, under tree cover on a cloudy day for example) I've found the old eTrex Legend virtually useless while my Oregon 400t holds lock admirably.
2 things I noticed. 1) You say that there aren't maps for your area at GPSFileDepot, however I'm using a variety of Topo maps on my Dakota 20's with no problems. They are quite compatible (24K USGS, and others).
2) You say that the 24K Topos are routable from Garmin. I didn't know that. I now see more value in the cost but will leave routing to my in car unit most of the time.
Good luck -
If you have to have a single in-car / caching unit and insist on the in car format, look at the Nuvi 500 and 550. They are geocaching friendly (with pointer screens for on foot navigation to the cache).
Personally I would recommend a lower cost in car unit (like a refurb Nuvi 200W) and a low cost handheld (like the $90 eTrex H) to allow you stay on budget and have the best of both worlds. You can load the full cache info on the Nuvi (using the paperless nuvi macro and GSAK) and then use the eTrex H for the 'last leg' of your caching adventures.
As some others have said I have found having an electronic Compass very very valuable when Geocaching. For other purposes - maybe not so much.
For me, being able to stop and not worry about my bearing swinging around and pointing me in the wrong direction is a great feature. Having to move to get a bearing (especially when close to ground zero) is a real pain.
I'll never have a GPSr without the electronic compass (have had both with and without).
The 'software lock' on your model should provdie the locked screen and still display the map when navigating. It might be that you need to be navigating for it to show anything while locked.
Safe Mode won't help you - it will simply prevent you from 'fiddling' with the menus and options while driving - to keep you save while moving through traffic. Basically when you touch the screen while moving you'll get a prompt about safe mode. Not sure it would prevent it from being used at walking speeds.
The Garmin maps have DEM which allows the pretty 3D shading on the screen (in addition to the elevation lines) but honestly I use the free USGS 24K topos probably more than the ones that came with my Oregon 400t.
I only chose the T because at the time I made my purchase I was able to get the T version for the same price as the non-T version - so logic dictates right?
If there's significant price disparity I would agree to forgo the T and spend that money on routable street maps, or stick it in the bank
I never thought I was slow with computer stuff until trying to figure out how to do this with the instructions on-line, I would like to know if there is a "for dummies" way of making this nuvi paperless. We mainly cache with our etrex Legend HCx, with a lot of papers and a clip board showing sizes and other info needed. We still plan on using it as our main gps but would like to use the nuvi instead of the paper/clip board combo. Any help would be appreciated very much, thank you in advance.
The info in the guide that you followed should get you going and shouldn't take too long to get setup.
As red said, post specifics and I'm sure someone will help get you up and running.
A good screen protector like Invisible Shield will hide scratches pretty well (and keep you from getting more!).
Yeah - What he said -
ALSO however, there is a product called Novus. It's a plastic polish and comes in three different formulas. Novus 3 is a heavy scratch remover. Novus 2 is a fine scratch remover and Novus 1 is a 'clean and shine' product designed to be used as the final step.
I use it all the time on my pinball machine plastics and those tough stains that sometimes require a little more than just a little soft cloth.
I would recommend Novus 2 followed by 1 for most light scratches. If it's really bad you'll need to start at Novus 3, then 2, then 1. Product info here: www.novuspolish.com
I am using a Oregon 400t. As my transfer agent I use EasyGPS. When I plug in to the computer to manage my caches is there any way to show cache names instead of cache codes in the GPX folder?
As I understand it you are transferring your pocket query by way of opening the GPX file in EasyGPS then using its menus to 'send' the caches from that GPX to your unit.
Is there a reason you use EasyGPS versus just dropping the file into the x:\garmin\gpx folder?
The unit has a limit of 200 GPX files, but the limit for number of Geocaches is 2000.
I guess my point is: Just drop your pocket query GPX files into the GPX folder on your unit. Make sure you include a 'myfinds' query to filter out those you have found and your good to go.
Just over write those old files when you refresh or re-run the pocket query later. Your pocket query files will always have the same number for the file name so you don't have to worry about having multiple copies of the same query. You could also use recognizable names of the query by renaming them. I've been known to rename mine things like "small-large-regional-40miles-732461.gpx" or "all-micros-20miles-from-home-566742.gpx". I leave the original number that was assigned, but just add the description part using -'s instead of spaces for the descriptive part.
Make sure you have loaded the latest software/firmware updates for your Dakota. Use the Garmin Webupdater found here: http://www8.garmin.com/products/webupdater/howtoinstall.jsp
My unit (Oregon 400t) will get me within 20 feet assuming the cache is indeed where it is supposed to be. Keep trying and give it some time before you decide your unit isn't accurate enough. I've had caches be 80 feet (previous finders confirmed the bad coordinates) from where my GPSr said it should be as well as had my GPSr virtually read zero.
You'll find that some cachers have better coordinates than others as well. Some folks will drop their cache, turn on their GPSr and take a read as soon as they get a fix. Usually that's not very accurate.
Other cachers will choose their site, take an averaged reading then return several times over several different days to collect additional averaging samples before publishing. Those tend to be more accurate.
Regardless - expect a wide variance in the game.
Two words...William Shatner.
This way....... there...... must....... be something....... under those............... sticks!
When I actually say that out loud - I realize I'd push him off a cliff before we ever found any cache....
Of the units you have listed, I would probably lean personally toward the Dakota 20 for a few reasons. The Dakota 20 has the 3-axis electronic compass, touchscreen, fully paperless features and is easy to learn to use due to the well designed menus and touchscreen interface.
Tons of free maps, supports Birdseye Aerial Imagery and lots of other features.
The Oregon 200 is a good choice but has less storage, no electronic compass and a slightly less readable screen than the Dakota. Of course you'll spend less $$
As others have pointed out - if paperless on the GPS isn't a necessity the 60CSx is the undisputed champ of accuracy and dependability. You'll need to have some other way to manage cache pages while in the field (i.e. print them, or use another device to store them - which for me personally is a deal breaker).
If you get the Oregon or Dakota - invest in a screen protector. I have an invisible shield protector on my Oregon 400t. I feel it improves the screen readability and keeps me from worrying about scratching it when scrolling cache descriptions.
There is a bookmark feature included with premium membership. Other than that the site doesn't offer any way to create 'lists' of caches for retrieval later.
Of course you could bookmark the cache pages in your browser (create a folder in your browser favorites folder, say 'Geocaches' then save the bookmarks there).
Custom TB number
My plan eas to place a small TB decal between the numbers on the plate. They are grouped like "433 GFE" so the TB decal could just go right in between. It could however be easily overlooked.
I might just go with a regular decal and get "JEEP 4 2"