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Johnnie Stalkers

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Everything posted by Johnnie Stalkers

  1. Wow, I did a really poor job of explaining myself. Allow me to try again. If any of you web dev guys find errors, feel free to let me know. It's not particularly my bag of tricks. This is geeky technical stuff that you can skip unless you are just really interested. As DocDiTTo so correctly pointed out, GSAK does an excellent job of generating cache pages for viewing offline, which is exactly what we want to do on the PSP. You can download it here. Once you have GSAK installed and your GPX file(s) loaded, generating pages to view on the PSP is pretty quick and easy. At the top left menu in GSAK select FILE, EXPORT, HTML Files. There are some options you can play with on the form that pops up but really all you need to do is make a mental note of the path in the top left hand corner. On my PC it is the default "C:\Program Files\GSAK" Click "Generate" and GSAK will create everything you need in a folder named "CACHE" in the path mentioned above. Now find the folder named "cache" in the path you made a mental note to remember before and copy the entire folder to your PSP's memory card. Let's keep it simple here and just copy into the top level of your memory card's file directory. Close the USB connection on your PSP and open up the web browser. Don't worry if you don't have a wi-fi connection, because you won't need it. With the web browser on the PSP open Hit (triangle) and then select the icon at the bottom left hand corner of the screen. From the list that pops up select address entry. The address you'll want to type in is "file:/cache/index.htm" (without the double quotes) Now select enter and hit the (X) button. Now hit (triangle) again to return to the browser view. If we've done everything right you should now be looking at the INDEX page that GSAK generated. Use the links to navigate around and find the caches you want to view. Now if we can just get Sony to put a GPSr into the next update......
  2. I suppose that I am reinventing the wheel here. I'm not trying to replace existing software. There are a handful of developers out there doing great work on geocaching specific software. I just had an idea and thought I'd learn a few new tricks and see if I could make something that worked for me. I'm not going to try and sell what I've done and I really don't have the time to support it anyway. That being said, I am happy to answer any questions. After some field testing I convinced myself that some more work had to be done and added some features. Nearby caches at the bottom of each cache page. ] Mapping. What a pain it was to find cache pages without this. Of course mouse over shows the cache's basic info in a popup and clicking opens the cache page. I haven't tried to get it zooming in yet. Not sure I really need it to. I have also added a merge feature that takes multiple GPX files, removes the duplicates and, well it merges them into one larger GPX file. All I'm really doing is rebuilding scaled down WebPages off of the GPX data. The PSP has a pretty descent web browser but it doesn't have a file browser. You can however save a web page (.html file) to the memory card and if you know the path you can enter it into the PSP's we browser URL box and it will display that page. URL = file:/cache/cache0.html Where "file:/" tells the browser to look in the local memory as opposed to "HTTP://" looking on the web. "/cache/" is a folder in the root of my memory card and "/cache0.html" is the name of an HTML file in that folder. Cache0.html is the index page that lists all the caches In my case I am merging two PQs that overlap a bit so I have around 850 caches. Those pages are named cache1.html through cache850.html. My merged 4.2 MB GPX file becomes 852 HMTL WebPages and all the associated icons and map at 3.7 MB. Not really that bad of an overhead. As DocDiTTo mentioned, it sounds like GSAK can do all this, and more.
  3. I've been inactive for a while but the winter months, mild as they have been, are getting to me and it's time to get back on the trails. To pass my time while I plan my next cache outing I decided to play with the sony PSP Erin gave me for Christmas and see if I could get some extra functionality out of it. It's almost a PDA. The one thing that Sony won't let you do is run third party applications on it. (unless you hack it) It is however wi-fi enabled and has the best handheld browser I've ever seen. So all I need is to do is save the webpages I want to view offline and copy them over. This works ok, but takes up a ton of memory and is time consuming. So I wrote a little app that converts my PQs into HTML using my limited web design skills. The result looks like-a-so: This is the Index page listing all the caches from the PQ in order of distance from my home coords. And the pages themselves look like this: Of course if you have a wi-fi connection you can click on the cache name to go straight to the GC.com cache page and all of it's nifty features. I may add the ablility to link straight to mapquest maps, flag a cache as found and build a caching route later. Don't let the kids bogart the PSP, take it caching while they do chores.
  4. I'm currently using my second telescoping trek pole. The first one I lost, probably leaning against a tree somewhere. My favorite thing about them is also my least favorite. They are too light to be used for self-defense. Twice now I've come face to face with less than friendly dogs and found myself wishing I had my trusty wooden staff instead of this lightweight aluminum pole. Luckily both situations ended peacefully. If I could find a way to make a wooden staff collapsible without compromising it I'd pitch the pole.
  5. A good caching buddy of mine was over this weekend and I showed him the bird house. He had the exact same recommendation. I think this is viable.
  6. I have at this time declared the experiment a failure. With my current design the solar cells simply are not efficient enough to charge the batteries. I need a larger solar array to keep the batteries charged in the low light of the winter months. Realistically I need the batteries to survive several consecutive cloudy days. Otherwise the cache is going to be hit or miss. Once the solar array issue is resolved, how do I hide it from muggles? In a tree is the obvious choice but the leaves would restrict light in the summer months. My current configuration is a bird house with about 1 sq foot of panels on the roof. The electronics 'reside' inside the house. It's going to require a pretty specific location to maximize daylight and be muggle proof. This idea can work, I just think it is going to be a real challenge here in the midwest. By all means borrow the idea. I shared it for that purpose. Let me know what you turn out.
  7. No login yet. For now she is just Nuevo Bambino. She won't get her own premium membership until she hold the gps on her own. She does have signal watching out for her.
  8. Just saw the weather forcast. Have the weekend off and guess what. RAIN all weekend. With the nuevo bambino it's been a month since I've made it out caching. The wife has been informed (permission requested ) that I will be out and I have my PQs now. Rain or shine I've got caches to cache.
  9. <Barf> All this good will makes me want to vomit. What's next, kissing reviewer and forum mod booty? I love my reviewer, he's the greatest. Geocaching is the greatest game ever. Blah, blah, blah. If you people can't find something to complain about your not trying hard enough. Forum Slackers. There. That's better.
  10. That's a pretty freaky sound. Worth the click on the link. Might even be worth a 'haunted' cache.
  11. That's just because I haven't placed those Dark Tower caches yet.
  12. Please note: To use the services of geocaching.com, you must agree to the terms and conditions in our disclaimer. Don't be a-scared. Most accidents occur in the home. This is due to the fact that most people spend most of their time there. I like my home and surely enjoy my lounge time but I agree with RK. The whole point is to get out of the house and see new things. This freedom does not release the participant of the responsibility of using a little common sense. Cache on.
  13. It is unfortunate that this occured and I am sure that TPTB are sincere about watching out for this sort of thing in the future. We will most likely see more direct targeting from retailers and manufacturers as the game gains popularity and exposure. Cachers are a pretty solid consumer demographic. We have substantial buying power and deserve the attention of the corporations whose products we purchase. Caches however, are sacred ground and I trust that this is not what Jeremy invisions for GC.Com.
  14. I'm all for drawing a hard line. Show me a course of action that has a chance of improving the quality of life for everyone and I'll stand by it 100%. I don't enjoy homeless people. I'm not dropping by the local overpass to share a quart of Mad Dog and unwind at the end of the week. Something needs to be done but I fail to see jail and eviction from my town as a solution. I enjoy the freedom to "live however I darn well please." Now if that means living a lifestyle of illegal activity then I expect the man to intervene. To me it's a matter of degree. Squatting is not exactly on the same level as say a really dangerous offence like drunk driving. I'm willing to bet most drunk drivers are un-house-less just like us. Who's really a nuisance here? Remind me to thank your local police department for increasing the homeless population in my town.
  15. I just don't see a solution. What I do see is a declaration of your opinion which I happen to agree with. What I don't agree with is that intolerance is a solution. Here in Cincinnati panhandling is legal, in fact the city sells permits. As for squatting our good Mayor bulldozed a few highway underpass camps only to later find out the city didn't have the right to evict people from Federal land. There was a lawsuit and hilarity ensued. I'd prefer the local cops keep busy dealing with things like violent crime and drugs rather than chasing Box Car Willy from park to park simply because it cramps my caching style. As I sit in front of my new PC in my air conditioned home on a payday I just can't bring myself to draw a hard line on those less fortunate than I.
  16. I agree and it appears that the Govt. and Humanatarian Orginizations haven't found a viable solution. If you have one, please share it. In the mean time I am not sufficiently motivated to take a few dozen into my home or kick them out of theirs, even if it is a primo cache location.
  17. I wonder how many hours of volunteer time in a homless shelter I would have to do to overcome the Karma debt of displacing a homeless person? We have been known to pack in a few hamburgers when we know there is a good chance we may be invading someone's space while chaching. The concept of invading a homeless person's space isn't about the letter of the law it's about common human descency. These folks are not necesarilly lazy but in most cases mentally ill. The lazy people are currently housed and enjoying your tax dollars. I can find a lot more respect for a man living under a bridge than I can a man who stays home and collects wellfare he doesn't 'have' to have. That being said I never give them money when they ask. Twice now the same man has approached me with a sob story about being robbed and needing bus fare to get home. Both times he had a nice big black eye to accent the story. Now that's working hard for your money. The first time I felt bad about saying no. The second time was over a year later and I was so relieved to have proof of the 'trick' I almost helped out. I figure if he's smart and dedicated enough to take it in the face every few days he's got a few dozen IQ points over the average fast food employee. I might not care much for his tactics or choices but I'm not going to be the guy who evicts him from the drainage ditch he calls home.
  18. Ok. Most of us use another app to actually view the data in thew pocket query. One like GSAK mentioned above, but there are many desktop and handheld PC options available. If you look at the raw format in the Pocket query, sounds like this is what your doing, it is in a different format but you can easily convert it by hand. -45.72522 = 45 & (.72522 * 60) or S 45 43.5132 and 169.48018 = 169 & (.48018 * 60) or E 169 28.8108 Retain the data left of the decimal. Multiply everything right of the decimal by 60. Of course you may want to round up one decimal place to match the cache coords.
  19. Ok, that's pretty cool and I must admit I spent more time on it than I should have. Well done. Are those thae actual coords? <Reaching for GPS>
  20. The radio's drain on the batteries is much higher than I originally predicted. I added a second solar panel and it still isn't suffieciently charging the batteries. After the first night the panels simply don't charge enough, even on a really bright day, to run the radio for more than 15 minutes at night fall. That's a pretty small window. My options at this point as I see them: 1. Use better / larger solar panels and better rechargable batteries. 2. Scrap the solar panels all together and use a long cycle battery. 3. Scrap the radio and just use the lights.
  21. Not a problem here, I've got Signal keeping an eye, er aten-eye, on her. The newest member of our team. One week old today! Happy birthday baby girl.
  22. IF I understand correctly, and I reserve the right to be completely wrong, the higher the milliamp rating the faster the discharge. These batteries are designed to optimize peak output for short periods of time, much like a short cycle car battery. Big burst, quick drain and a quick recharge. Regardless of the voltage required, the excess milliamps are leached out and wasted. As oppossed to a low milliamp output which will take much longer to drain. Back on topic: This is nothing short of brilliant. I'd be very interested in doing this cache.
  23. WH, I have run into the same issue with a solar powered cache that I am working on. Disclaimer: I am not an electrician. The following is not to be considered profesional advice. Do your own research and /or consult a professional. One possible solution I have found is increasing the battery count without increasing the voltage by wiring parallel. So if I wire 3 AA batteries in a parallel, one wire accross the + terminals and one wire across the negative terminals, I get a total voltage of 1.5 with close to three times the storage capacity of a single AA. Wiring the same three batteries in serial, positive to negative like in a flashlight, the combined voltage is 4.5 but with similar capacity to a single AA. So lets say my battery requirement is 3 AA batteries with a total voltage of 4.5 volts. If I parallel 2 sets of 3 serialed AAs then I have effectively doubled my capacity will maintaining a voltage of 4.5. Another option, of course would be to use a 1.5 volt D cell in place of each AA or AAA you would otherwise require. While AAA, AA , C and D cells are all rated the same voltage the physical limitations of the cells increase repectively with size. Again, I'm not an electrician so if your reading this and can expand on it or correct me, please do so.
  24. I was going to buy a stuffed animal and cover a tupperware container with the fur, some bones, red paint and a few fake flies. Basically do my best to make the ugliest roadkill container that I could. I still want to do this. That idea turned into the never placed "O'possum where art thou?". Essentially I wanted to buy a stuffed possum and place the container inside him. I was going to hang him by his tail from a branch in an evergreen. The visual image of a cacher pulling back the branches and finding himself face to face with a marsupial still gives me chuckles. I still want to do this. (Frankenstien never scared me. Marsupials do. Cause they're fast.) This idea eventually turned into the now archived "Muggled monkey love". With permission, I hung a flyer on the community cork board at the local grocery store. The flyer was of the missing pet variety with a picture of a fictional child and her missing pet monkey. Along the bottom of the flyer where tear off contact slips, but instead of a phone number it contained the final coords to a near by park. Muggles was a stuffed toy monkey with a jar (the cache container) in his belly. A few cachers found muggles in his forerest hideout but Muggles the monkey and his flyer kept getting muggled. Eventually he ran away for good. I like to imagine him munching bananas in some island resort. I've got more ideas than time or money. Most of them half-baked. The final deciding factor is all to often an upkeep issue. It's pointless to place a cache that can't be maintained.
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