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Everything posted by ColdMachine

  1. Oops! Time to update the email address on that cache page. Sorry about that! -Ethan
  2. There's nothing like walking around in the woods with a gun to make you want an excuse to shoot something.
  3. Love the Surefire. Got a couple of those. Sure, they eat batteries, but they blister paint at 50 yards! I've never heard of these Streamlights. No retailers near me. Can anyone recommend an online source? -Ethan
  4. Please lets ban M1 Abrams tank rangefinder equipment from caches. I wouldn't want my young nephew getting ahold of one of those! He only has an old surplus Russian T-54, but if he was able to retrofit it with state-of-the-art rangefinding equipment...THAT could lead to an eye putting-out. -Ethan
  5. A study was done at the Mayo Clinic in which people who were slated to have an eye removed due to cancer volunteered to have class IIIa lasers shined into their eyes for periods up to 15 minutes. Then the eyes were examined extensively on multiple occasions while still in the owners' heads, and (presumably) afterward with an electron microscope. They found no abnormalities. Their conclusion: "The risk to the human eye from transient exposure to light from commercially available class 3A laser pointers having powers of 1, 2, and 5 mW seems negligible." Check out the abstract: Laser pointers and the human eye: a clinicopathologic study. Too bad someone didn't do a study like this when I was a kid. My parents promised me a set of lawn darts for my 7th birthday, but they were banned a couple of months before due to a bizarre, unfortunate, isolated incident. (Lawn darts, not my parents. Unfortunately.) As for whether or not this subject is humorous, no one has lost an eye yet so we can still legally find it funny. -Ethan
  6. I would be careful about buying CacheDragon. It is very buggy, and the author does seem to have abandoned the project. (But happily collected the 20 bucks I was foolish enough to part with.) It would be great if it worked, but it doesn't. At least not on my Axim X5. I can import files, view the cache info, get GPS data, and set the destination cache. The problem is: I cannot get the program to display the distance to a destination cache. The compass points me in the right direction and I can see it on the map, but I never know how far away I am. I worked on this for quite awhile to try to get it working. I emailed the author. Nothing. I guess David J. Stein, esq. is either too busy with his day career as an intellectual property attorney or has immersed himself in his computer science studies. Too bad. There is a real need for a program like this that works! -Ethan
  7. Thanks for the info. That's where I got my contact info for the two repeaters, but either it's out of date or he's just not responding for some reason. What's the PSRG guide? -Ethan
  8. I downloaded Code University, but it didn't install correctly on my XP machine. I got NuMorse Pro, which seems to be pretty good. I haven't checked it out thoroughly enough to determine whether or not I like it yet. It has some interesting mnemonic features that are designed to help you associate the sound of the character with a word or phrase. It's kind of silly, but seems like it actually might work! Regards, Ethan
  9. Sorry if this is somewhat off-topic, but since GMRS could be used while geocaching... Anybody have a contact for any of the GMRS repeaters in Massachusetts? I know there's one operating on 462.575, but the owner email contact info I had for it has not produced any replies. There used to be one in Hopkinton on 462.650 (same owner) as well, but I haven't heard any traffic on that in quite some time. I used to have permission to use both of those, but haven't used either of them in quite some time and I wanted to make sure he was still okay with me using it. Regards, Ethan
  10. Thanks for the info! NY is kind of a drive for me. I found a few tests coming up soon in my area. I'll use the time to practice Morse code. Might as well try for it if it doesn't cost extra! Speaking of Morse code, can anyone recommend a good software practice tool? -Ethan
  11. I'm ready to take my Technician exam. How do I find a test?
  12. Regarding the Technician class test: Thanks for the link. I studied up a few years ago and was doing well on the practice tests, but never got around to taking the test. I'll follow through this time. Regarding encoding GPS data on videotape: I didn't see your addendum earlier. Good point about the legal implications. This isn't for legal protection, since a rope like that is just as likely to hang you as it is to keep you from falling off a cliff. (Okay--kind of a weird metaphor.) It's strictly for geekish purposes. I take a lot of car trips and have often thought it would be nice to have a record of exactly where a video was shot. Might also be fun to use in portable mode while caching. Thanks, Ethan
  13. Yeah, this looks as if it provides the functionality I'm looking for. Thanks! Should be easy enough to add an enclosure, power supply and connectors. It doesn't specify, but I'm guessing it accepts and outputs a standard 1Vp-p composite video signal. That's a very cool site, BTW. That ATV stuff really looks like fun. One of these days I am really going to have to get around to getting my Technician class license. -Ethan
  14. It seems to me that somewhere I saw a device that would accept an NMEA data stream from a GPS receiver and combine it with a composite video signal in the form of text overlayed on a corner of the screen. I can't remember where I saw it, and I'm unable to find it through numerous searches. Anyone have a source for something like this? I've been experimenting with a mobile automotive video recording system and would like to add the option of lat. and long. display on the screen.
  15. Once I was looking for a cache in the woods near an old abandoned mental hospital. It was well after dark when I found the cache, and my flashlight batteries were dying. I grabbed the logbook and stumbled down the trail back to my car, figuring I could get an extra set of batteries and fill out the logbook there. I was a little nervous owing to the stories about the inmate that escaped years ago and was never recaptured. Supposedly old "Hookhand Jim" successfully evaded capture until the hospital closed, and then moved into the empty buildings. The area surrounding the hospital is kind of creepy, and there were some disappearances and mysterious deaths, so needless to say I was a little nervous. As I sat in my car filling out the logbook, I kept hearing this weird sound, like something was brushing against the car: thump-scra-a-a-ape! Thump-scra-a-a-a-a-ape! I figured it was just a tree branch, but I was spooked. I layed the logbook on the seat, started the car and gunned the engine, spraying dirt, rocks and dead leaves behind me. I came back the next morning to replace the logbook and encountered nothing unusual during the trek to the cache. However-- As I returned from the cache and walked around the back of my car, I saw something that made my hair stand on end and my blood run cold: There, hanging from the trunk latch of my car was a stainless-steel prosthetic appendage. More precisely, a hook. Okay, so maybe that DIDN'T happen... I think we need a new topic: Geocaching Fiction!
  16. "I expect the FCC to solve the problem the same way they did in other personal services; make the service license by rule because of the difficulty of enforcement." I'm not sure what that means. Can you tell me more about that? -Ethan
  17. I'm curious about GMRS licensing. These radios are so cheap now that I'm sure there'll be a huge surge of purchasing due to the higher transmit power. I can't imagine that most people will bother to obtain a license, due to 1) the expense 2) the hassle of obtaining, filling out, and mailing multiple FCC forms and 3) the fact that they are not likely to be caught. Sure, some people will obtain licenses, because "it's the right thing to do", morally, ethically, responsibly, or simply because a 3,000-year-old demon in the form of the neighbors dog told them to. (That last one happens to be my personal reason for doing just about everything.) I know that there are plenty of people who like to catch and report unlicensed operators, but how is someone going to catch a "pirate" using a 4-inch high handheld radio? It's only 2 Watts, and the subject is most likely going to be mobile, and not transmitting any ID. Also, if they're transmitting on FRS frequencies, how is anyone going to know that they're transmitting with 2 W rather than 500 mW? Even if they can tell, if the pirate takes off the eyepatch and stows the radio below decks, how are you going to know who they are? It seems to me that even if a concerned HAM with a DF rig was able to track down an unlicensed GMRS transmitter, and it turns out to be 4 guys playing paintball, what is he going to do? Call the FCC and describe their general appearance? Approach them and attempt to make a citizen's arrest? Is there an FCC SWAT team? Anyway, my point is not to argue against licensing, but just to speculate that license compliance rates will probably be very, very low. It seems that enforcement will be completely impossible. What does anyone think about that? -Ethan
  18. I was going to test my latest innovation there, but maybe I should try out my GPS Turban-tenna somewhere else.
  19. It's a virtual cache. There's no grounds for killing it based on what someone might perceive as a lack of coolness factor. People don't have to visit it if they don't want to. Also, the picture of Christi is much nicer to look at than the scary, out-of-focus webcam shots of forty-something cachers that are posted everywhere!
  20. It's a virtual cache. There's no grounds for killing it based on what someone might perceive as a lack of coolness factor. People don't have to visit it if they don't want to. Also, the picture of Christi is much nicer to look at than the scary, out-of-focus webcam shots of forty-something cachers that are posted everywhere!
  21. A relative once gave me a case of MREs. They were about 5 years old when I got them. I had fun opening the packets and eating the cookies and collecting the little bottles of Tabasco sauce. I opened some of the entrees, but didn't eat them. They all appeared to be in decent condition considering the age. One of the entrees was a ham steak. It smelled fine, so... I ate it. (yeah, I know) Just to see what would happen. As you may imagine, my GI tract let me know that I should not do anything like that again. I don't think it was tainted though. I think it was just that my body couldn't deal with the old ham cells. I'm a vegetarian now. Mmmm...Old Ham Cells...
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