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Everything posted by BikeBill

  1. I was looking for one like that recently and ended up DNF'ing it. I later found out that it had fallen out of its spot in a tree and was run over by a lawn mower. If I was looking for confetti I might have spotted it.
  2. I don't really have a set distance - though 30 feet sounds reasonable. It all depends on conditions and my state of mind. Also, if going after a FTF, you often have to go further as you are the field tester for the cache. Inaccurate coordinates are a common occurrence with new hides, especially if the CO is inexperienced.
  3. I've always found it interesting that the general rule is no screws or nails in trees, but land/park managers use this same method to attached trail markers all the time. I suppose the reason behind the dim view of fasteners in trees is that we should do nothing that defaces anything, not so much that it will harm the tree.
  4. That does stink and doesn't say much for their quality control (unless it was working when they tested it). Did you try rubbing your finger hard across the pixel? Sometimes they'll turn back on with a little mechanical prodding. FWIW, I've had maybe a half dozen Garmins (for caching and for the car) and never saw a bad pixel. Bill
  5. I think you'll find that the Oregon 6xx is the best of the bunch for screen readability under any conditions.
  6. Yeah, they have the Oregon 600 for $349.95 or the 600t for $349.95. Not a hard choice to make, even though the topo maps on the 600t aren't the best. The email I got from them said the 600t is on sale until 7/20, though it doesn't say that on their web site.
  7. Try GPSFileDepot. Their state topo maps are free and have good detail. They aren't routable but beyond that are great for geocaching.
  8. I had the same quandary. Here's a thread where we beat the merits of each unit to death. http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=321254 I ended up going with the Oregon 600. Though I mostly like it, I'm still not sure I made the right choice!
  9. I got an email from GPSCity showing that they have the Oregon 600t on sale for $349.95 until 7/20. This is the first I've seen a reduced price on a 6xx. I paid the usual $400 for my 600 a few months ago. Incidentally, my 600 is much improved since the 4.10 firmware.
  10. I upgraded my Oregon 600 to 4.10 with no glitches at all. I've been watching the Oregon 6xx wiki and haven't noticed others having trouble with the upgrade, so kevenh's problem may well have been PC related. Overall, people are reporting increased accuracy after the upgrade (myself included). Also, the freezing issue with custom icons seems to be fixed and the unit is more stable. The 'Next Stage' function seems to work now, according to reports. The Trackback feature doesn't work as it does on the 60CSx, however and the odometer is still goofy.
  11. Thanks for the update, Yogazoo! Hopefully this will help with a range of issues. I'll load it up on my 600 tomorrow. Looks like they jumped over the 4.00 that was reported to be on some units from the factory.
  12. I think you just discovered a new application for these things!
  13. I just did some quick and dirty experiments. I put the chirp on top of a 3 foot high stump and walked away (slightly downhill) them walked back to figure its range. It signaled the Oregon at about 150 paces, which is probably about 130-140 feet (Clear line of sight). Then I put the Chirp in the back of a piece of 2-1/4 inch x 18 inch steel exhaust pipe (placed horizontally on the stump) and walked away again. No Chirp signal until I was directly in front of the pipe - about 50 feet out (I didn't try going further). But then I walked further away perpendicularly and it picked up the signal again at about 100 feet - weird. It might have been that the rear of the pipe was open and the signal bounced off the house from behind. Then I moved the Chirp up to 3 inches from the front of the pipe. I was expecting that this would broaden the width that the Chirp would broadcast. I was very wrong. I couldn't get a signal unless I was within 3-4 feet in front of the pipe. None of this worked as I expected other than putting the Chirp in the pipe mostly decreased the range. Something to note is that the chirp wasn't centered inside the pipe but was just placed on the bottom. I'll have to experiment some more by enclosing the back of the pipe and centering the chirp. Maybe I'll try something simpler like a soup can, too.
  14. £17 is about $27.50 in US dollars. On this side of the pond, chirps go for about $23, or £14, so yes, there is a price difference. Good input on the range variables, guys! I like the idea of using the chirp to transmit a lock combination, too. Regarding recovering from a signal loss - I walked toward the Chirp and watched the GPSr's bar graph start to show the data transfer. Then I backed up to see what would happen. The data transfer stopped at 90%. When I walked closer, the data transfer resumed and finished. Now this may be atypical of all Chirp enabled GPSr's as I was using an Oregon 600 which probably has pretty good Chirp technology built in.
  15. I recently bought a Garmin Chirp and know basically how they work but have some questions. I know the range is supposed to be about 30 feet but in experimenting with it I've found it transponds with my Oregon 600 out to about 100 feet. This leads to a couple of questions: 1) Does the range go down as the battery ages or does it maintain its range until it starts transmitting a low battery warning?, and 2) Does the range depend on what kind of GPSr the Chirp is communicating with? This would be a factor on how far off the trail I could hide the unit. Another thing I wondered about is whether I could limit the Chirps 360 degree transponding angle. Since it won't transpond through metal or thick solid surfaces, I was thinking of putting it in a piece of metal pipe with one end open. That way I might be able to 'aim' the signal to a smaller area. I plan to experiment but wondered if anyone already had tried this or has experience with similar equipment. Thanks for any advice about the above or any other tips you might have about the Chirp in general.
  16. Here's the PA state park link: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/recreation/geocaching/index.htm So far as I know, the fee has been an annoying $25 since it was introduced. According to the DCNR site "Caches on DCNR lands are approved for three years, after which they must be removed or reassessed and re-approved." In other words, another $25 fee. No thanks. The result in our local Tyler State Park has been a drop in caches from 7-8 before the fee to currently four in a 1700 acre wooded park. I heard from a local geocacher that he wanted to put a new cache in the park and was happy to pay the fee but the ranger said that they had enough caches already. Since there is no fee for entry to most PA state parks, I think that some rangers are probably happy having fewer people visit. Less work for them. Since the institution of State Park fees, the Bucks County PA Parks now are looking at their own system. So far this has resulted in a moratorium on caches for about two years now. Older ones are still allowed but no new hides. The person responsible for this refuses to reply to emails or phone calls from geocachers. I had worked with her successfully in the past but since the unforeseen moratorium, she has refused contact. I feel that if they want to require permitting to prevent caches in environmentally sensitive areas, fine. But fees are ridiculous and have the direct effect of discouraging legitimate caching. We could make the argument that they should be paying us for the service of placing and maintaining caches in the parks.
  17. As mentioned before, hard drive magnets are seriously strong. I sometimes scrap the hard drive out of an obsolete desktop computer I'm disposing of and salvage the magnets. To get the HD apart, you'll usually need to buy a cheap set of mini-Torx bits. Then it's just a matter of taking the drive apart, which often involved peeling back decals to find hidden screws. The magnets themselves (two in most drives) are mounted on steel brackets. I've used a hack saw to saw off any bends and then drilled a couple mounting holes in whats left of the bracket. That way I can screw the magnet to the cache and not use glue. I have a small electrical box held to a steel light pole using this method. It's been in place for nearly two years and people have commented on how hard it is to pull off the pole.
  18. Good call on 'Lock on Road'. I did the opposite with my Oregon 600 - I knew to turn off 'Lock on Road' but didn't know to change to 'Direct Routing' until I did some investigation. Either will get you in trouble when geocaching.
  19. Try what Gitchee said about the unit being set to highway routing. I had that problem with my new Oregon 600 but setting it to 'Hiking' didn't work either as it still wanted to go to roads and trails. I had to set routing to 'Direct'.
  20. They've been temperamental for me over the last few days, too. Sometimes the cache icons don't show up. Sometimes they do but nothing happens when I click on them. Later on, things work okay. Maybe the hamsters need energy bars or something.
  21. This has been mentioned before, but I have a pet peeve about swag left in cache containers that is so big the container won't close properly. What are people thinking?? Too many times I've come across a L&L or similar container with a ball or an action figure in it that kept it from sealing. Consequently the cache is full of water. Since I rarely trade swag I generally take the offending item and then drop it off in the next container I find that's big enough.
  22. ZEDOC, Battery Life: I'm using the same Eneloops I was using with my 60CSx. The battery life seems to be comparable. Set the battery type to whatever type of battery you have. The Eneloops are pre-charged so that's how I set the 600. The batteries hang in there a long time at two or three bars. There are a variety of settings you can adjust (backlight being one) to maximize battery life. Geocaches: Haven't a clue. Haven't run into that with mine. I have not quite 1000 caches stored on it. Accuracy: My 600 has about the same accuracy as my 60CSx - about 12 feet when it settles. I noticed that the 600 is better at maintaining a heading when I've locked on a cache at a distance. The 60CSx would tend to veer right or left en route. The Oregon tracks more of a straight line. Make sure you have Waas/Egnos and GLONASS turned on and hold the unit away from your body. Question: Have you upgraded the firmware to the latest version?
  23. I posted an almost identical question recently: http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=321254 . I ended up buying the Oregon 600, but it was a close call. I've been using the 600 daily for a few weeks now and have yet to have a screen freeze or any other notable malfunction.
  24. As my Oregon 600 and I are getting used to each other, I’ve been generally pleased but ran into a problem once I put the Garmin 24K routable topo maps in it. I had routing set to ‘Hiking’ (and ‘Lock on Road’ set to ‘No’) when I was geocaching and found that it wanted to track me to streets as if I had it set to ‘Automobile Driving’. It not only wanted me to follow the streets but when nearing the hide, the compass would point to a nearby street instead of the cache. Not good. I looked for a way to turn routing off and didn’t find such a choice. What I did find under the routing menu was ‘Direct Routing’ which seems to do what I want. It gives me an ‘as the crow flies’ direction to the cache. My question is: Am I doing this right? Is this how the 600 should be set for caching?
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