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Everything posted by Jeep4two

  1. I just had an event similar to this with an exception. My event was a 'non-geocacher' event and was closed to a special group participating as part of a leadership retreat (much like what some commercial companies design for corporate retreats, only my event was for a group of college students). I didn't try to publish it as an event, or publish the caches as the event wasn't open to geocachers (disqualifies it) and the caches were for the day of the event only (permanence). However I might have some materials that might give you some ideas for how to create 'cache pages' that can be used for your event. I created a booklet that had cache names, descriptions, coords, difficulty, size, encrypted clue and a bogus cache number (used to identify the caches waypoints on our GPSr's). The booklet worked great and added a component of using a regular cache page, but for the event only temporary caches. PM or send me a message via my profile if you would like to see a sample.
  2. I'm with Scouter here. With paperless caching becoming more and more popular due to support from multiple hand held GPSr manufactures, fancy HTML, linked images, etc. make cache pages unreadable in the field. I don't use mobile internet on a phone, and a broken description page on my Oregon would just lead me to the next closest.
  3. I have the Oregon 400t as well. I've noticed when switching between profiles sometimes my Automotive profile 'forgets' that it's supposed to be using 'automotive' view. I just have to jump into the setup screen and reset it. FWIW, I just recently updated to the 3.60 software version, and was previously running 3.42beta. Purely anecdotal - in case you see similar behavior.
  4. Remember that the non-H (non-High Sensitivity) units don't perform well under heavy tree cover. They have trouble getting enough signal. If the price is really good, then it's probably worth it. The Summit has the electronic altimeter and electronic compass - the electronic compass is nice for Geocaching. You should probably be spending $50 - $60 in my opinion for that unit. I base that on the fact that the eTrex H (high sensitivity) can be had new for between $80 and $100. The eTrex H doesn't have an electronic compass, but I would trade that for the better reception in challenging conditions based on price. Just some things to consider. Best of luck.
  5. I'll agree with the other posters that the 450 would be a better choice on today's market (or the Dakota 20). However if you aren't opposed to used I wouldn't count out a well priced Oregon 400 or 300 model. While the x00 screens are not as 'bright' as the x50 series models they are very adequate for most uses. Biking would probably be one of the uses that would be the worst for an x00 series unit since it's hard to adjust the viewing angle. However when using in hand or mounted in a car it works fine and the screen is perfectly readable in virtually any lighting condition (for me anyway). So - if you can find a good deal on a used Oregon x00 series, I wouldn't hesitate if your primary use will be caching and hiking. If you can afford it however step on up to the newer x50 units. I have the Oregon 400t and have been very very pleased with it (used as a hiking, caching and sometimes as in-car navigation). If I were buying today it would be the 450 or Dakota 20 with a preference for the 450 due to the larger screen and the fact that while I'm frugal price wouldn't have to be too big of an issue. Good luck and have fun caching. I'm so glad its warming back up and my work load is letting up a little.
  6. I converted some state GIS data for trails in Indiana and exported the trail tracks as GPX files with the help of a talented forum member. I used the files on my Oregon 400t without any problem (heck, Ive loaded them on my old Legend and other units as well) but one of my caching buddies loaded them on his Oregon 300 and had issues with one of the GPX files locking the unit during startup. He removed them and his problem went away, later added them back without issue. Make sure you have the latest software/firmware revision loaded to your unit via Webupdater.
  7. I got the Zagg IS shortly after getting my Oregon 400t. I've been very happy with it. Had a mishap that ended up scratching the screen protector and they replaced it without any problem. Remember however that you will pay shipping for the replacement, and you have to mail back the damaged screen protector - still well worth it.
  8. I like the sound of the double stick tape. Remember however. The goo (ok, it's glue, but more goo once it starts to fail) is what you want to replace. Try to keep the stretchy seal strip that is under the rubber seal in tact. That seal is what provides the water resistant seal giving your unit the IPX7 rating. If you remove that clear stretchy strip from the unit you will loose the water resistance it provides. I don't think standard double stick mylar type tape would make a good replacement for that part since it isn't' flexible enough. Just a thought. I had a problem with the Joystick on my Legend, and had a friend bring me his Legend with a screen problem (lines in display, was a loose display ribbon cable inside the case). In both instances, I carefully removed the rubber surround (the glue was holding on both units) and then carefully removed the clear stretchy seal strip from around case before removing the screws to open the case. I stuck the clear stretchy seal strip on a large sticker backing that had already had the sticker removed to keep it from getting dirty or sticking to something else. I washed and dried my hands carefully before starting the process as well to avoid skin oils from deteriorating the adhesives on both the seal and the surround. Ahh how I love to take stuff apart Best of luck.
  9. Briansnat's advice is very sound - Don't forget about the events. Late last year after rediscovering Geocaching, my wife and I attended a few events. We had a blast at both, met great people, ate some great food and had an awesome time. Events are a great way to meet fellow cachers!
  10. I'm a purist when it comes to a lot of things (not so much with others). When it comes to photography, I believe a fully manual camera with some 35mm film is still a nice way to learn the art and technical aspects required to understand how to capture light properly. Geocaching might fit that same start with the basics approach as well. Don't let too much technology get in your way. Go with the eTrex (even if it's a plain yellow, non-H model). Pick your caches before going out by reviewing the cache pages, reading the descriptions and writing out in a note pad your coords, hint and brief description for the ones you want. It's actually fun to do it that way. Want to print out the cache pages? Try checking around if someone has unshredded paper for recycling that you can have and print on the back (some printers let you print 2 or 4 pages up - ie. 2 or 4 normal pages shrunk down to one page). Then go out and have fun finding your first few caches. If you end up loving it then you can plan a purchase or set out to have paperless options (like a blackberry, iphone, pda, or paperless GPSr unit) to have along or your adventures. If you do find that the eTrex is a non-H (in other words not high sensitivity, older technology) you'll need to understand that their reception is weaker than modern units. Older units suffer under moderate to heavy tree cover in the months when the trees have leaves. Holding the unit out in front of you (about a foot or so) like you are holding a book makes the older units work better. Have fun!
  11. Thank you. I understand that most things in life have trade-offs; however, I was hoping there might be a consensus amongst geocachers at certain price points. Unfortunately I do not live near Lexington or Nashville, but I will have to make the trek to Dicks in the next couple of weeks to get this squared away. Hopefully they will have a few models to check out and my decision might be made easier. I live nowhere near Lex or Nashville either, but like you felt the need to make a trip. I actually hit a Dicks in Louisville while out shopping (had to 'rush the growler' while out shopping and Dick's was right around the corner at Springhurst in Louisville). You might call ahead to see what models they stock if you are making a special trip. I got lucky - I was considering the Oregon and the 60CSx and they had both on hand. I would imagine you'll find the Dakota and Oregons in stock these days, but you can never be sure with the typical 'super' store like Dicks. For what it is worth - I ended up with the Oregon 400t (ordered from an online retailer that unfortunately is now out of business). I love it. Many complain about the screen and the 2 axis compass, but I've found the screen adequate for my use (in car, on the trail in the sun or under overcast flat light conditions, and the compass is usable for me as well). I wouldn't change a thing. If money were no object I would be considering an upgrade for the better screen and 3 axis on the newer units but would probably stick with the Oregon for the larger screen. Good luck
  12. Everyone's advice here is solid. You'll likely love whatever you buy. However - I might suggest getting at least a little 'hands on' time with the units you are considering. Not sure what part of Ky you are in. Unfortunately there's not an REI in Kentucky, but there is one in Nashville (South side of town, in Brentwood). If you are near Lexington, try Dicks over on Man-O-War, and of course the electronics places. I visited a Dicks to get my hands on a few units, and while the staff weren't very helpful, it did help me make up my mind by seeing the units in operation. I'm sure there are other retailers that might have some units on hand to see in person.
  13. I think you'll see very similar performance characteristics on all of these units. One of the biggest things to me would be the 3 axis compass. Very handy - I have the Oregon 400t, and while the 2 axis compass is fine (or at least not bad enough for me to trade up right now) the 3 axis makes the electronic compass much more usable and is a nice tool for Geocaching. Here's a comparison for the Oregon 450 to the Dakota 20 https://buy.garmin.com/shop/compare.do?cID=...reProduct=63349 As others said, the screen is slightly smaller on the Dakota, with less pixel density. The trade off will be somewhat better viewablitliy of the screen on the Dakota but with a sacrifice of detail on the screen (lower resolution, less detail). Good luck - and here's he good news. Regardless of which one you buy - you'll be thrilled. The are both great units.
  14. As others have already said, when using eBay "caveat emptor" That's always been the case with any online purchase. Refurb is a great way to save money, but as others have said you are better off dealing with a reputable dealer. There are plenty of stores online that sell refurbs at great prices - just google around. Some of my best values (quality, longevity, durability) have been refurbished products.
  15. I thought I should come back and post some experiences regarding my suggestions. I decided to load Streets and Trips 2010 to my netbook and check out the tracking functionality. Let me say that it will work, but it didn't work for me. If you are running Windows XP, you will need to load the free Garmin Spanner software (this allows assigning the input/output from the Oregon to be redirected to a COM port (like COM1)). Garmin Spanner is NOT compatible with Vista or Windows 7 (i'm running Windows 7). So I could not get it working on my netbook. However if you are running XP, you should be able to get it all setup just fine. Set your Oregon 300's Interface to "Spanner" download and install Garmin Spanner on your laptop, and you should be good to go. If you have Windows Vista or Windows 7 there is an application out there that is known to work just like spanner that is compatible with Vista and Win7. It is call GPS Gate (http://franson.com/gpsgate/) and is about $13 for the Express version. Best of luck
  16. I've been using a set of old Metroguide 6 maps (circa 2005) that I converted using Metrowizzz (extra z's intended). They route great on my Oregon 400t and the POI's (although dated) work fine. Searching addresses and routing to them is also great and very dependable. I'll be getting CN at some point but the wife won a Nuvi 255WT last summer in a drawing so for now we use it for longer trips but rely on the old maps on the Oregon for caching only trips when we don't want have the extra gear along with us.
  17. I've played around with GPSS. It's free and you can get maps that will work with it as well. In addition, I think Mapsource will accept input from a GPSr - if you Google around you can figure out how to get it loaded to your computer. Then go to GPSfiledepot.com to get some maps. Finally - if you don't mind spending a few bucks for good maps that are routable with turn by turn directions you can start with the free trial of M$ Street and Trips (http://www.microsoft.com/Streets/en-us/default.aspx) All nice options - with Streets and Trips probably being the easiest one step solution.
  18. UPS could mean an "unusual pile of shells", as in turtle shells. A cache in my region is aptly named for it's hiding style - under a turtle shell tucked nicely under a tree just far enough off a path. I'll take just about any kind of small or regular (or even large) cache sized container along a nice trail. Makes for a great day out caching.
  19. If we could zoom in any further on that one we could probably see the pilot playing Tetris on a laptop.Woah! Zoom out! There's 3 planes on the map, looks like they are playing follow the leader. They're all Lufthansa, and they all appear to be the same type of plane, is it another trick of a pan-sharpend multispectral image, as described by DazDnFamily? I would imagine it's an anomaly as described above. 3 commercial airliners this close together would most likely a) create a huge problem for controllers and likely trigger all sorts of alarms (on the ground and in the cockpit) and probably create real flying problems as they appear to be on the same flight line and surely the turbulence from the leading plane would create at the very least havoc (if not flight ending havoc) for the three planes bringing up the rear. These are still interesting captures. But it does make you think. There are some 3000-4000 commercial aircraft in the sky at almost any moment in the US alone, so you can imagine that statistically this gets to be pretty common with aerial photography.
  20. I'll second this - The Oregon (or Venture HC) are ideal for your outdoor activities. A refurb Nuvi 205, TomTom or other ultra entry level auto GPSr for in car navigation should only set you back another $50-75 if you watch for a deal.
  21. Regardless of what folks think of this magazine (it's name, etc., etc.) why don't we all agree that distributing scans of the magazine will do nothing more than destroy what appears to be a solid attempt at a nice publication. If you aren't willing to toss out the $12, then enjoy the content on their website (if the mag's successful that will likely grow) and continue getting your daily Geocaching news and stories right here at the forums. So disheartening to think that our society has grown to feel that illegal digital distribution is 'OK' while most folks would never walk into a store and stuff a copy of the magazine in their pants and walk out without paying. Not much difference really... but that's where we are unfortunately.
  22. Please - no coffee cans, they won't stay dry, crack and fall apart in short order in most environments. Want to setup a cache on the cheap? Go to the Only-A-Dollar Store in your area (where everything's a buck - many different franchise names, any one will do). Most all of these stores have some sort of plastic container selection in the kitchen section. One of my local stores has $1.00 lock-n-lock style containers. I only have 2 caches out but that's what I used. They've been out for 7 months now and they are doing well. I did paint them with Fusion flat camo paint. Of course your nearest army surplus store can probalby hook you up with 7.62mm (30 cal) ammo cans for about $4 or $5 each as well - and you'll only have to replace those on rare occasion. I've got some 30 cal and 50 cal cans I'm getting ready for the spring - hooah!
  23. Last year when I finally got committee approval to upgrade my old eTrex Legend (non-H model that just couldn't hold lock under tree cover) I had the same dilema. Price was an issue as I'm a bit on the thrifty side but I wanted a unit that would be easy for me to use (as well as the committee, err, uuh the wife) and also wanted something that didn't break me up. The 400t was immediately out, as was the 300 and I gave the 60csx a good hard look. As I researched more I found that there were deals to be had o the 300 that made it attractive too. Then I lucked into a deal on my 400t that saved me enough money to choose it over the 300. I love my Oregon and I really haven't looked back. My main reason for the Oregon over the 60Csx was the touch screen and ease of navigation between screens. The bigger screen was a plus too. I like the menu system and love the overall design of the system. One of the things I hated on my old Legend was the constant clicking around with a joystick to do entry of coords and navigating the menus. In my case - paperless was a significant part of my decision and when I found a more palatable price on the Oregon the decision was made. The good news is that regardless of what decision you make, you'll have a top notch GPSr that will serve you well for years to come. Both of these units are proven accurate, flexible and are well loved amongst their users.
  24. Lots of options - but for your use I think you'll be happiest with some of the low discharge NiMh batteries with the highest mAH rating you can find. A set of 8 should do you nicely. Charge them all up, put them in your pack and off you go. At the end of the weekend just recharge those you killed off, and rotate the fresh charged batts to the back of your battery case so you use those that have been sitting longest first. That would provide you with a good rotation of relatively fresh batteries while out and about on the weekends. You could go with Lithium disposables, but they are pricey and most report run times that aren't much longer than standard alkaline disposables. An investment in 8 low discharge rechargables and a quick charger (90 minute charger or shorter if the budget allows) should serve you well without getting into the higher cost of high end chargers.
  25. That part cracked me up - and then when the girl took of running I was rolling. My wife thought I was going insane. I was disappointed that the plot didn't continue to include caching for very long...
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