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Everything posted by Jeep4two

  1. I'll add as emphasis: Extra Batteries that are either new, or freshly charged. Trackback and waypoints on the geomobile aren't much help with dead batteries.
  2. Right on brother. The glossy screen would at first make you think glare and reflection interfering with the viewability. However the matte finish on the Oregon 400t (and other x00 Oregons) actually diffuses the light on the screen surface washing out the screen image. The matte screen isn't bad - I really didn't have any real issues on my 400t, but was nervous of wearing the screen when scrolling so I put on a Zagg IS protector. The visibility also improved due to the glossy nature of the protector. I suspect the glossy screen on the 550 versus the other Oregon models is the only real difference in performance of the viewability. RE: Polarized sunglasses - they make little difference in my opinion. The polarization adds some 'rainbow' effect to the screen. It's not that bad with my prescription Bolle sunglasses but I can't say it makes it better. The screen protector has made the biggest difference to me in all lighting conditions.
  3. Get some muggle cards at www.geocachingu.com (free to print yourself). I printed about 20 or so on cardstock and keep them in my swag bag. They've come in handy a few times. The other posts are all good advice. Use your judgment with non-authority figures. I enjoy talking about the hobby and hope that others would be interested too. If they seem like nice friendly folks I've sometimes talked for quite a while.
  4. Be patient - in my case it took a couple days for their helpdesk to get around to it, but it's no problem to do it. I do think they frown on frequent name changes however.
  5. Without a doubt you will be better off with the freeware maps available in the link that Moto Mama provided. The Ibycus USA maps would be fine for your unit. You will want to get Mapsource installed and load the Ibycus maps using Mapsource to your device by selecting a mapset that will fit on your device since it has limited memory. Once you get the hang of the interface and use of the GPSr you'll be good to go.
  6. I upgraded from the eTrex Legend as well. Even with the very old (by current standards) version of the firmware out of the box it blew my Legend away. Granted, my old Legend was fine in wide open skies but even leafless trees really messed with it making it difficult to use (but not impossible). Get the 3.15 beta firmware loaded (3.70 GPS firmware included with the 3.15 software version) and I think you'll see a marked difference. Remember that the Oregon 200 doesn't have electronic (magnetic) compass (the 300 and 400t do) so like your old Legend when you stop moving you may see your compass spin since it no longer has enough movement to accurately give compass direction. This was one of the reasons I chose the Oregon 400t - even though it's electronic compass could use some improvement, it's better than no electronic compass.
  7. If I go hunt a cache and get within a reasonable distance I log it. How I log it depends on a several factors. I've aborted a hide due to approaching severe weather (lots of 'widow makers' in trees out in the woods around here from a fall 2008 wind storm, and a winter 2009 ice storm) and I've aborted when I got close but didn't feel up to the challenge. If I made an honest attempt at the cache and aborted for weather or not feeling up to the challnge I would likely log a note (anectdotal). If I got within 50 feet of the cache and couldn't find it, or aborted due to muggles I would log a DNF. Not so much rules for me as guidelines, but if I make an attempt on a cache and get anywhere close to it (or attempt at least one part of a multi) then I log it one way or another. Remember that a DNF isn't a mark of shame - just a little blue frownie that will remind you that you need to go back out for the smiley. This weekend was a great example. I had a cache that I approached and felt about 99% sure was hidden in the post of a parking sign (small PVC post with pvc post cap). It was situated between two cafe tables on a sidewalk. The tables were both filled with caffeine hungry muggles having their Sunday brunch and lattes. We walked up and noted the beaering arrow on our trusty Oregon 400t pointing right at the sign. Knowing we couldn't make an attempt on it we just tapped our way on the GPSr to the next nearest and moved along. I was going to log my story as a DNF with detailed explanation of why when I got home. Lucky for me however, as we were passing through town our our way home I noticed the tables were all empty as the cafe was getting ready to close. I pulled over and darted to the sign, and pulled the cap. Yep, there it was - - - extracted the log, signed, and returned to the Jeep to mark it as found.
  8. I doubt if it has to do with the code but rather your unit. If I mark a waypoint then go to "Where To" it will show that waypoint at 4 feet away or less. Consistently. I'll confirm this as well. . . no problems like Squirrel mentions for me. I marked several waypoints over the weekend, averaged a few existing and saw no abnormalities. Hmm.
  9. Not sure about reformatting the file system. I don't see any real reason to do so and suspect it could cause problems. Regarding the basemap. I don't think there are updates for it, however there are other maps that you can add on. The latest official firmware supports unlimited maps (.img files). I use the term unlimited loosely, but you can use file naming outside the old Garmin standards. There are free maps at GPS File Depot (www.gpsfiledepot.com) that include topos, street maps, etc.. In addition there are open source routable Garmin maps (Google Garmin OSM Routable). The OSM's are OK, but a bit quirky for routing. Of course there are retail products from Garmin (and others I suppose). Garmin's CN (City Navigator) series of routable street maps are excellent if you want a large POI database and routable street maps for on road navigation. Finally - you can also convert the older MetroGuide maps to make them routable using a program called Metrowizzz (I'm using my Metroguide converted using this method for routing on my Oregon 400t - outside of the maps being a little dates it's working out fine). So - as you can see, lots of map options - but I recommend avoiding messing with the file system. It won't improve your file transfer speeds and I don't suspect there's any real advantage. Remember that you are still limited by the map tile limit of your device - check your specifications. Also - get a 4Gb or 8Gb microSD card for storing your maps on - that will give you tons of storage for your maps.
  10. I've only hidden two caches, and only been FTF on one so far. On my first FTF the hider left two $1 bills rolled tightly around the log (small/micro cache). My first two hides were small 1.5 quart lock n lock containers. I left two presidential gold dollars in one cache, and a $5.00 McDonalds Arch Card (Gift Card) in the other. The Arch card was nice - here's the FTF log (GC1W9WW): July 24 by AdventurersInOdyssey (626 found) 8:30 am...Nice Hike...and a great way to start the day. Used FTF gift card to treat AiO boys to breakfast since I rolled them out of bed earlier than they would have normally gotten up. Despite tree cover and heavy fog, coordinates were right on. We were so glad to see a writing instrument in the container as it would have been a long way to go back to the car. TFTC - AdventurersInOdyssey (logged from the office of Mr. AiO as dictated via phone from the field by Mrs. AiO!) I don't leave FTF prizes for any particular reason other than the fun of giving something nice for that person that made the extra effort to get up early, stay out late, or otherwise strive to get the FTF. It's just fun for me. As some have said, an FTF prize is not required or even expected (by most cachers). The FTF honor is typically what most cachers are after. I've even seem many logs where the FTF left the prize for the NTF.
  11. Regarding permissions: Remember that someone owns every piece of property. They may not maintain it (right now) or use it in any way currently, but someone owns it. An attempt to get permission may be a little time consuming but could prevent problems in the future. Remember that your cache is easily traced back to your Geocaching account and should someone really want to push an issue they could. I would err on the side of caution and seek permission. RR property? I'd avoid it personally especially considering it's so near a functioning rail line that it's going to be difficult to get appropriate permissions and approval.
  12. You may want to e-mail contact@geocaching.com to have them look at your account.
  13. Post #3 identifies your problem. Below is from your profile screen: Member Since: Sunday, August 09, 2009 Last Visit: Monday, August 24, 2009 Status: Not Validated Member
  14. Also went for a hike today with the 3.15 beta loaded. Couldn't be happier with the performance! Dead on accurate the entire time. Got to the cache and left the GPS there for about 10 minutes. It did not shift by more than 5 feet. Tracks have been as smooth as butter and also dead on accurate. Pics: GPS Track I need to pull my tracklogs off from yesterday to have a look see... I've wanted to start doing some tracklogs to share and upload to various projects but haven't been happy with the quality of the logs really. Maybe they are improved enough at this point that I would feel comfortable with that. FWIW: The link for the image for your tracklog is broken.
  15. Spent the day out today with my Oregon 400t and 3.15 Beta loaded. Performed like a champ. I didn't see a ton of difference in 3.10 in overall performance, and didn't test any other betas between 3.10 and 3.15. Compass performed well in auto mode, good accuracy under tree cover, and benchmarked the unit against a USGS marker and it was right on.
  16. Are you going to leave those in the caches that you find? Yep - that's the plan. We ordered 150 of them to start out (was about $200 including initial die set, and first 50 tags - then added another 100 bringing us up to the total) and plan on leaving them when we find a cache we like. Of course I can't leave one at every single cache so we'll be somewhat selective but 150 should go a long way for us based on our caching habits right now. Over time if we stick with this design and just reorder when needed, the cost will approach $1.00 or less per tag. I'm sure we'll trade a few at caching events. It's also popular for pathtag collectors to trade through the mail but I don't plan on doing that. I want to find tags while out caching versus trading through the mail.
  17. I just ordered my first set of Pathtags. (just Google it to find their website) I can't wait for them to get here. From order to arrival it does take a while (4-6 weeks) but you design it yourself and end up with a small coin (about the size of a 1 Euro coin, or slightly smaller than a US Quarter). I've found a few, and they are really cool signature items.
  18. You could design a Pathtag (www.pathtags.com) and buy a few hundred. They are trackable at pathtags.com. You can specify that people move the tag from place to place, but since pathtags are considered a signature item typically offered to the finder to keep you may not see them moving as much as you may like. However the cost per tag is only about $1.00 so if a few folks choose not to move the tags as you request, it's not a great loss. Of course it's not hand made by you - but does meet most of your other requirements.
  19. Become very familiar with the guidelines for placing caches first. You can read them here: http://www.geocaching.com/about/guidelines.aspx In general if it's not private property owned by you, you need permission from the land owner, land manager, etc.. If you don't have proper permissions you are just going to prolong the process of getting your cache listed. Some hides like public access areas (that are privately owned) may be easy to get permission - just stop in to the business that owns the property and talk to the owner/manager. They will either be able to give or deny permission or refer you to the appropriate person. Also - look at some of your local caches and find out who your local reviewer is. Click on their user name and see if they have any posted links or policies to parks, wildlife management areas, etc. on their profile page (mine did). That can also help speed the process by making you aware of any published policies that may already be in place for specific public lands. Most of all - be creative and have fun. A good hide is well appreciated in the Geocaching community.
  20. Another vote for the Zagg Invisible Shield. I have one on my Oregon and love it on the touch screen. Not sure how valuable it is on the Colorado but if you want one the Zagg is top notch, but cheaper alternatives would probably work as well for your application. As far as mounts - I have the RAM Mount for the Oregon. It has a cutout at the bottom for the charger and is very adjustable, stays where you put it with minimal vibration and is a great performer. The cost is about the same as the Garmin branded one. Charger? Well I just use one of two things. I recently got a Nuvi 255w and when I'm not using it in the car I use that charging cable for my Oregon. When I am and want to also use my Oregon in car I use a standard USB adapter. Any should do as long as your interface is set to spanner which will then prompt you whether to start the gps normally or go into mass storage mode. I'll let everyone else address the picture issue, I'm not sure there.
  21. Unfortunately I don't think this is possible. However if you have a lot of waypoints that are created as reference points from GPX files (Pocket Queries) then I believe they go away when the GPX goes away. (But I could be wrong). Also - I just did some looking and here's what I found. The file "Current.GPX" located in the your [GraminDrive]:\Garmin\GPX\Current folder is where user created waypoints, and waypoints that are created as part of Pocket Queries reside. So - it appears that with some editing of that file (Make a backup before you try) you could in fact remove individual waypoints (or groups) quicker than using the on device method of one at a time. You can also open this GPX file in Mapsource and then could easily remove large numbers of waypoints then save back to GPX format and copy back over to your device. Again - I'm not sure how this would work and if there are important waypoints on your device, make a backup copy of your Current.gpx before you start editing manually or with Mapsource just to ensure you don't lose anything valuable. Good luck,
  22. Searching_Ut makes some great points. This type of 'straight line' methodology is very useful when you aren't confined to a trail as it really helps you 'see' a pretty good proximity of the cache location. I use it often.
  23. I've found my fair share of PB Jars. My observations point to problems mostly with the ones that have Camo Tape used on the outsides. The tape degrades in the elements (water, heat sun, etc..) and tends to make a real mess. If you use PB Jars, please at least a) thoroughly wash, bleach, etc. then dry, rub with some steel wool (fine) on the outside and give a coat of the Fusion Ultra Flat Camo spray paint. I use a good base coat followed by short blobs, and stripes with at least two other colors (I think the Fusion Camo line has 4 or 5 different colors). I've used this on my 1.5 quart round Lock n Locks (Actually "Everything's a Dollar" store knock offs) and they've held up nicely so far - one month in the field and they are still dry as a bone inside. I've got a peach jar that I need to sanitize and paint to get ready to go out too - Dole peaches come in a nice plastic jar that have a closed cell foam gasket built into the lid. I'm going to give that a shot eventually. Found only one PVC pipe, soaking wet inside. There really isn't a good way to seal PVC unless you use some special type of closure. Beach safes also make nice little micros, or small caches sizes. I've got 3 of those camo painted and ready to go. All I really need is time to get some hides setup. This thread made me realize that in addition to the peach jar, 3 small beach safes and the 5 7.62mm ammo cans, and 5 50cal ammo cans that I need to get my butt in gear.... If there was only a way to get paid to Geocache....
  24. I'm not a fan of the cards unless laminated since they do tend to end up as soggy runny messes all too often. I have seen some very nice laminated cards however. I've recently become a fan of Pathtags, and while they do tend to run about $1.00 each they are way cool signature items. My tag (still in production, hopefully arriving early Sept.) is my profile image, just click and you can see the design.
  25. I'll 2nd the recommendation for the Oregon. The middle line is the Oregon 200 or 300. Check the Garage Sale forum here and you might see one used at a good price. The PN series units are also highly prized. If you currently own a particular brand, you might be more well service sticking with that brand for ease of transition. If not you just need to do your research, find the best price point and feature set that fits you budget and needs and pull the trigger. The Oregon and PN series units both perform well as Geocaching (and other uses too) units.
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