Jump to content


+Premium Members
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by EarlyMorningHours

  1. CC, I don't know if you caught my comments on the Belkin GPS (rebranded clip on). In the context of caching, I was extremely disappointed with the performance. Not only was there unacceptable drift, but cold temperatures seemed to make matters even worse. I returned mine (the saga of that tale can be found over at gpspassion.com) and got a RoyalTek BlueGPS instead. I simply couldn't be happier with it. Especially since it comes with a nice utility to change the GPS settings. BTW this was an upgrade from a CoPilot Bluetooth GPS. I just wanted something newer and perhaps with a bit more sensitivity. I use an iPAQ 3975 with Mapopolis and GPS Tuner and I've never had an issue with battery life. I use a program called XCPUScalar to underclock the CPU and save battery life. Usually can get about five solid hours with bluetooth on.
  2. JeepChr, I never did get an answer, but then again I never posted anything over at GPSPassion. As CC stated though, you're talking about 1 or 2 one thousandths, so it probably isn't a huge deal. I've been using GPS Tuner for quite some time, but I'm not all that pleased with it really. The averaging routine that the program uses needs to be updated so that it drops individual readings that are too far out of whack from all of the other readings. One problem is that starting with V2.5 he made the standing / walking setting automatic. I preferred it as a manual setting, which I believe would better accomodate stripping out wildly inaccurate readings. CC, I don't believe this has anything to do with BT GPSs. You could verify this by running Mapopolis without your GPS at all. Enter some lat / long and see if they are in fact what you entered. I'm beginning to find out that in some cases the most important thing is how accurate the coords are that are supplied by the cache owner. You could be using $3000 differential with post processing and it wouldn't help a bit if the owner posted coords that are 15 meters off. The flip side to this equation is the owner could have spot on coords, my GPS could get me to say within 3 meters, but if its an unusually devious hide, the GPS won't help. I'm completely stymied on part 4 of a 5 part cache. The owner has verified for me that part is in fact there and that the coords are ok. He's just a sick and demented cache placer
  3. I've been dealing with this problem ever since I started using Mapopolis.. I think V4.19 in fact. Sticking with V4.33 until they get their heads out of the dirt and straighten everything out.
  4. I'm pasting a post I made on 02/23/2004 over at GPS Passion: I saw a posting on this web site for a 50% off coupon code good at Belkin's web site. I had a CoPilot BT GPS, which I was pretty happy with, but decided I wanted something a little newer, maybe more accurate for geocaching. So I took advantage of the sale and ordered the Belkin unit. The first thing I noticed actually, before even receiving my order, was that the day after the coupon code expired, Belkin dropped the price on their GPS by $100. Right away I felt rather ripped off, and sure enough, a little investigation revealed that the normal price was indeed $299. Belkin artificially inflated the price by $100 so their "sale" looked like the deal of the century. Well no matter. If I'm happy with the GPS, that's what's most important. The GPS FINALLY showed up four days after the charge posted on my credit card. I tore into the box. I was particularly impressed with the USB based power system. AC and DC adapters included. I paired it with my iPAQ 3975 and the thing immediately locked on to 5 birds from the middle of my house! The true test would come a couple days later, when my wife and I would go out geocaching like we do every weekend. Pure misery! Like I explained earlier, I'd been using a CoPilot GPS thus far and it never received any sort of glowing reviews or fainfare at all. But it always got me within 50' of a cache. This Belkin has drift like I've never seen before. Standing still I had drifting that was wildly erractic and measuring upwards of 400'. We tried a couple different caches in both ST and XT modes because I wanted to be 100% sure before requesting an RMA and going through all of that grief. I did end up requesting an RMA and sent the unit back trackable and insured. Over a week since they received the package (confirmed through tracking), I still have not received a credit posted to my charge account or even an email communicating anything with me. I sent an email to their special email address just for internet purchases that have been returned and never received a response. I decided to look up Belkin with the BBB and sure enough they have an unsatisfactory record for "a pattern of unanswered and unresolved customer complaints. In those cases where the company has responded to the complaints brought to its attention by the Bureau, some remain unresolved because it appears that the company did not give adequate consideration to the customer's side of the dispute." You don't have to take my word for it either. Just go to www.bbbsouthland.org and look it up yourself. I'll provide updates as they arrive, but for the time being consider yourself warned if you are considering purchasing anything from Belkin. and the follow-up post I made on 03/04/2004: OK, more than two weeks after they received the return (verified by tracking) and two phone calls to customer service I finally received a phone call back today stating that I should have a credit posted on my charge card within the week. This has definately been a lengthy amount of time in my opinion but in all fairness the customer support staff was very helpful and courteous on both phone calls I made to them. There is every possibility that I had a defective unit, but in my experience with GPS units, this just seemed very ill-suited to geocaching. I had asked about the Fortuna Clip-on in this forum several weeks ago hoping to get some responses for geocachers who had used this unit in the field. Unfortunately not one person responded to my post. I thought I'd post this and possibly save someone else the grief. I ended up getting a RoyalTek BlueGPS which I am very pleased with. My $.02
  5. Hey -=(GEO)=-, long time no see... I think I might have mentioned this once before, I don't what your thoughts on it are but here goes: Taking all of the terrain and difficulty ratings for caches you have found / placed and playing with those numbers a little bit. Like averages, ratios, etc. Its not a particularly useful feature, I know, but it could be fun. Another thing I though of recently could be a bit more exciting. I recently ordered a Royaltek BlueGPS and one standout feature this unit has is an independant logger built right into the GPS itself. It comes with a PPC utility to download the data. It all appears to be standards based too. What I was thinking was you could download the data log for each cache you do and store it in some fashion like the field notes. Optimally GPXSonar would do this natively, but I suppose a file import routine would work as well. This would allow you to go back to each cache and replay your exact path taken. I know this would have helped me on a couple of toughies where I had to go back a for a second look.
  6. I believe the GPS is a Fortuna GPSmart. There is a pretty comprehensive review of it over at GPS Passion.
  7. I've always used a RhinoSkin for my iPAQ. It offers absolutely no water protection at all, but has served its purpose quite well over the last two years. Couple of nice 2 to 3 foot drops and not a mark to be found. When I'm out caching and need some expediant water protection, I just throw it into a sandwich ziplock baggie
  8. Geo, I may be mistaken, but I think that web cam caches do not register as "found" in PQs. I've noticed for quite some time that when I load my GPX file for found caches into GPXSonar, all the finds are indeed listed, but there is no green check mark next to the web cam caches. I still have not done any locationless caches, but I wonder if they also don't show as "found."
  9. I'm thinking about selling my CoPilot Bluetooth GPS to a buddy of mine and getting the Fortuna as a replacement. I need better accuracy than what the CoPilot is giving me and my friend only wants GPS for navigation, not geocaching. I read a review of this GPS over at gpspassion.com, but I'm wondering if anyone out there has hands-on geocaching experience with this particular unit.
  10. Rosco, The Mapopolis file naming convension seems to be as follows; xxxstGGC.mlp and xxxSTNGC.mlp. The "xxx" is the abbreviated county name, the "st" is the two letter state abbreviation, and the GGC maps are POI maps, the NGC maps are street maps.
  11. I thought about converting the batch file to VBscript, but that sort of makes it unneccessarily complicated. The other thing was that not as many people are fluent in VBscript as batch. BTW, I got rcmd from freewareppc.com and the paext command that you see is PowerArchiver Command Line, also freeware (and awesome). @ECHO OFF del *.mlp /Q del *.csv /Q del *.loc /Q del *.gpx /Q IF EXIST 24608.zip paext -o+ 24608.zip IF EXIST 25823.zip paext -o+ 25823.zip IF EXIST 35757.zip paext -o+ 35757.zip del *.zip /Q IF EXIST 24608.gpx ren 24608.gpx Nearby.gpx IF EXIST 25823.gpx ren 25823.gpx Found.gpx IF EXIST 35757.gpx ren 35757.gpx Canadian.gpx gpsbabel -i gpx -f Nearby.gpx -o s_and_t -F Nearby.csv gpsbabel -i gpx -f Found.gpx -o s_and_t -F Found.csv gpsbabel -i gpx -f Canadian.gpx -o s_and_t -F Canadian.csv gpsbabel -i gpx -f Nearby.gpx -o geo -F Nearby.loc gpxtomaplet Nearby.gpx gpxtomaplet Found.gpx gpxtomaplet Canadian.gpx rcmd copy c:\geocaching\Nearby.gpx "iPAQ File Store\My Documents\" rcmd copy c:\geocaching\Nearby.loc "iPAQ File Store\My Documents\" rcmd copy c:\geocaching\Found.gpx "iPAQ File Store\My Documents\" rcmd copy c:\geocaching\Canadian.gpx "iPAQ File Store\My Documents\" rcmd copy c:\geocaching\Nearby.mlp "iPAQ File Store\My Documents\Mapopolis\" rcmd copy c:\geocaching\Found.mlp "iPAQ File Store\My Documents\Mapopolis\" rcmd copy c:\geocaching\Canadian.mlp "iPAQ File Store\My Documents\Mapopolis\"
  12. Geo, I babbled on so much in my last message I completely forgot about an idea I had for GPXSonar. I was going to bring this idea to the attention of Geocaching.com, but when I saw how hard of a time you had trying to talk to someone about having GPXSonar synch with the GC.com site, I became discouraged. My thought was to take all of the difficulty ratings and terrain ratings for caches that you have already done and come up with averages and ratios. I sort of thought about this when I saw the Keenpeople.com site and stats they have. In particular, the rate-a-cache thing. Its a kind of useless little idea, but its really nothing more than some simple math.
  13. I started Geocaching with my trusty iPAQ 3975 and a bluetooth CoPilot GPS (using Mapopolis). I still use all those but have added GPXSonar and GPS Tuner. I'm becoming less and less satisfied with GPS Tuner as time goes on and am thinking of upgraded to a Fortuna Bluetooth clipon GPS for the added accuracy. Back to the point.. using GPX2maplet to convert my GPX file to an mlp file for Mapopolis gives me my 500 closest caches right on the map, and GPXSonar gives me all of their details plus my field notes. You just can't beat it. If I really do need to get online, I just have the iPAQ dial up using my SE T616 bluetooth phone (don't even have to take it out of my pocket). As far as ActiveSync goes.. never had a problem. Getting a palm, or even worse, one of those Sony Clies to sych can be an exercise in frustration. I am a network engineer by trade and complete propeller head by choice and in one particular circumstance I couldnt get a Sony Clie to sych if my life depended on it. In other cases it has taken hours with many reboots to get it working. Now I realize that there are those who have had identical experiences with ActiveSync. I won't dispute that. I suppose one man's freedom fighter is another's terrorist.
  14. Boy I have a lot of catching up to do here.. Geo, I've been meaning to make some screen shots of my PPC running Omega One's Battery Bar re: the minimize/close app issue. I'll get on that real soon and btw the progress with GPX Sonar is looking great. I really couldn't live without this program now. I don't know how people cache without PPCs. Regarding Mapopolis: My maps have individual files for streets and POI. The street maps have some POI, but they seem to be limited to government and EMS facilities. Unless I'm traveling I never load up the POI maps, therefore I'm not bothered by more than a few incidental places like hospitals and court houses. While I'm on this topic, has anyone figured out if there are command line switches for the GPX2maplet utility? Which brings me to my next topic.. I've made a relatively simple, unsexy batch file for processing the three GPX files I get emailed to me from Geocaching.com. It unzips them, uses GPSBabel to make a CSV files for S&T 2004 and make LOC file from the primary GPX file. It then uses GPX2maplet to make the mlp files. And finally I use a freeware utility called rcmd to copy all of these gpx, mlp, and loc files over to my PPC. The only thing I haven't done yet is parse the CSV files to make them easier to import into S&T2004. Geo, I know you opinion of PocketS&T but I really like the desktop application for making maps with hyperlink enabled pushpins. Anyway, if anyone is interested I'll post the batch file which you can freely modify (or even improve and repost). The only glitch in the whole thing is that darn GPX2maplet utility. It brings up a dialog box after converting each GPX file, and you have to acknowledge it by clicking on the OK button. I'll try not to stay away for so long again. I know these long posts can be tedious.
  15. The maps that I have are separated by streets and POI. In other words, for each county there is a map for the streets and a map for POI. The streets map has certain limited POI such as government buildings and universities. As of version 4.31 (I think), if you load the major roads map for a given state, a map symbol that looks somewhat like a star, eight points maybe, black in color with a circle in it will appear in each county. Tap on that map symbol and it will tell which county you need to load. The Mapopolis client is up to version 4.33 now. I tend to check their web site at least once a week for a new client. Each new revision seems to add a welcome new feature, speed something up, or fix a bug. Its nice to see a company, who obviously has the best PPC map client there is, continue development of its product rather than sit on it's duff. Mapopolis recently posted a user guide in PDF format for the version 4 generation of the client. You should take a look at it as there is a ton of information in there. Its much better than an older version 3 manual I had seen at one point.
  16. CC, About your Mapopolis question... I try to only load one or two counties at a time and when geocaching, I skip the POI maps altogether. If you are using the gpx2maplet utility, categories for geocaching are already created for you to select from. Also, one tip for improving performance a bit; when in the dialog for choosing maps, if you tap and hold on a particular map a context menu will appear. One of the options listed is "Load map to RAM." I have this selected for the counties I most frequently cache in and things move a long a bit faster.
  17. Jeez, go away for a couple of days and miss a whole conversation. Well, to add my contribution... GPXSonar has always closed (not minimized) for me as well. I am running Omega One's Battery Bar and for most programs a red button with an X in it is in the upper right. Tapping the button minimizes the program. With GPXSonar, the red button has the work Ok in it and tapping the button actually closes, rather than minimize. This has been going on since the first beta was released. I always thought it was by design. Let me know if I can help at all.. Dave
  18. I've had a Rhino Skin aluminum holster for my iPAQ since before I started caching. I just use that. If I need both hands for climbing or something I stick the whole case in my front pocket. If there is the possiblity I might fall into water (crossing a creek by walking over a downed tree), I slip the whole thing along with the GPS into a heavy duty zip lock. I go through one WriteShield screen protector every couple of months. So far I have over 50 finds and no incidents <knock on wood>.
  19. A couple of weeks ago we were trying to find a new cache (which has since been archived) that involved doing some binary math and then coordinate conversion. Simple stuff if you're a computer guy. Well, looking back on it now I know why we ended up on the docks of a yacht club instead of the the bridge about 300 feet to the south! In fact there's a particular 5 star I might have to go back to real soon...
  20. I don't know how many versions this has been going on or if it has always existed but what I am about to describe seems a little odd. I'm using an iPAQ 3975 upgraded to PPC2003 with a CoPilot bluetooth GPS and Mapopolis V4.33. My wife and I did a multicache yesterday, "The Bookworm Exchange" by -=(GEO)=-, in which the first two finds were simply coords to the next. It was in the 20's yesterday in the Buffalo, NY region and at first I was thinking that possibly this error was an effect of the cold temperatures on my iPAQ but last night I was able to replicate the problem in my 70 degree home. This was a cache we were coming back to since we had been stumped earlier. I was being extra careful with everything this time because I really didn't want to walk away empty twice. I entered the coords into Mapopolis, named the landmark "Part 2", and went back to the map. I then tapped on the pink circle with white X and it showed the name, "Part 2", followed by the coords, which were not what I had just entered . I proceeded to delete this erroneous waypoint I had just created and repeated this whole process at least a half dozen more times. Every time I had something a little bit different. The coords aren't off by too much; usually only 2 or 3 ten thousandths. But on three star and up caches this could obviously be problematic. I use the gpxtomaplet utility to convert my GPX files to Mapopolis' mlp format. So I decided to look at some caches in Mapopolis and compare the coords to what is posted on Geocaching.com. Sure enough, same spread, 2 or 3 ten thousandths. So the gpxtomaplet converter doesn't seem to be the problem since I get the same error by entering manually. So now its all starting to come together in my mind. Most caches are hidden in such a way that with enough experience under your belt you just need to be in the general area and you'll find it by looking in the obvious spots. With the harder caches I had been resorting to GPS Tuner V2 to average my way to the cache. This was probably partly due to the fact that Mapopolis had me off by a couple hundred feet. Has anyone else noticed this problem?
  21. I've never been a fan of all in one devices. I find that they never do any one thing better than average. I have an iPAQ 3975, a CoPilot Bluetooth GPS, and a Sony Ericcson T616 phone. All are bluetooth enabled and communicate with each other flawlessly. I keep the phone in my shirt pocket and the GPS in that little tiny extra front pocket that they put on Levi jeans. Every now and then I find myself under dense enough brush that I need to take the GPS out of my pocket and velcro it to the top of my baseball hat. I have all of my account information setup so that when the iPAQ needs to go online it automatically connects to the T616 and gets what it needs. But even this is a fairly rare thing since I use GPXSonar to manage my cache lists. I really like the T616 since its so small, achieves some incredible feats of battery strength, and even has a little camera. Its a pretty lousy camera to say the least but those times when we accidentally left the real camera back in the car, 2 miles away, its come in handy. Plus I can transfer the image to the iPAQ via bluetooth.
  22. 1) iPAQ 3975 (upgraded to PPC2003) w/ a Bluetooth CoPilot. Use both Mapopolis and GPS Tuner V2.0 (mainly for placing caches). 2) I have developed a dependance on GPXSonar. Not really sure I'd know what to do without it now. 3) Just want to get a Canon Digital Rebel camera in January so we can start to take good pictures on all of our adventures.
  23. Hey Geo, I'm also using V4.29S on PPC2003 without any problems. I'm using the Navigator maps. I don't know if this makes any difference or not though. You should be able to download the full app right from Mapopolis.com and bypass the demo. It almost sounds like the demo expired and you just need to install the full app. The maps are really the only thing you need to pay for. Unless they've changed their marketing methods..
  24. I don't know how Mapopolis runs on the Palm platform, but on the PPC its really a godsend. I don't have a problem with the screen resolution at all. As for displaying all of my caches, I use their utility for converting a gpx to maplet. Bingo, all 500 caches as waypoints. I've tried pretty much every other program there is out there, except for Street Atlas USA Handheld 2004, and I can easily say that Mapopolis is the best for both geocaching and routing.
  25. I'm using an iPAQ 3975 with a CoPilot Bluetooth GPS and I couldn't be happier. I'm using Mapopolis and I have noticed lately that they are offering a bundle that includes a Fortuna bluetooth GPS that can also be used as a standalone unit since it has its own screen. Best of both worlds really. I paid $199 for my CoPilot since I elected to forgo the software. My wife and I drove from Buffalo, NY to North Hero, VT on a single charge in a six hour period.
  • Create New...