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Cache Alchemy

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Posts posted by Cache Alchemy

  1. Anybody know what the international map support for these will be? Will it be better than DeLorme, which is my main issue with going for a PN-40... not that I'll probably ever leave, but if someday I got a chance to go to another country it would be nice to have good maps, even if not routable.

  2. Thanks, looks like Im going to the realm of the highly sensitive world. Now do you think it will cry when it watches sentimental movies?

    No, but maybe when David Tennant leaves the series :D


    To continue going off topic...

    I think it will be an interesting change. I haven't seen any clips of the new guy yet, just stills. I am looking forward to the show runner changing. Steven Moffat wrote some choice episodes. Of course Russell T Davies will be missed, and having a dual change of a new Dr and new show runner makes me a bit nervous, but I can't wait. Now to finish season 3 and 4, and start watching Torchwood (as I understand it, I don't have to have the two synced until near the end of season 4 and some point of Season 2 of Torchwood any clues as to when I should be sure to have them synced without spoilers would be thankful).

    Meanwhile, back on topic. It would be nice if more manufactures gave us the option to use a better antenna than the built in one. You have a nice high sensitivity chip set and an antenna built into the unit, but can't mount a nice external one?

  3. i have a question about G1 and that electronic compas it have does it work?


    The compass seems to work well enough. GeoBeagle doesn't note if you have to calibrate it or not, at least not the currant version. GPSStatus does have you calibrate the compass once in a while. When it is off, it normally seems to be 180 degrees off, so rather than face E it says you are facing W. It seems accurate enough for all the caches I have done so far anyhow.

  4. Sorry if this is covered, but FTF is too short a phrase to look for.

    I have at least 3 FTFs. But my profile says I have none.

    Do I have to manually note those ones in GSAK and MyGeocachingProfile, or does the owner have to make a note on something? If it is supposed to be automatic, does geocaching.com take the first log, or find the one to say FTF?


    At the top of the post is an option button that allows you to change the view. You want standard


    Thanks. It looks like you were typing this just as I found it myself... still not sure how I missed a big Option button. :blink:

  6. I didn't see a spot to talk about the forums here, so I'll post in the Goecaching.com Web Site section (plus search isn't working for me at the moment).

    Perhaps I am missing a new option, but the forums are showing posts in a tree view after the main post. I see the main post, then a sub section that just has the tree list for the other posts. It used to be I would see all messages. I set the show messages from the default to 50, but it still shows a tree view.

    Is there something I change to restore back to seeing all the messages and get rid of the tree view?


    EDIT: Never mind, there is an Option button at the top right of the post that allows you to switch between Outline mode and Standard (and some other one... which I don't recall right now). Now sure when I switched it, but I didn't like the outline mode.

  7. I only seem to be getting e-mailed for about 50% of the new caches being published locally. :D Is anybody else having this problem or are they just picking on me. I have checked that my notifictions are set up correctly.


    Where do you set this up at???


    I was wonder the other day if I could do this...


    So I can set it to e-mail me new caches published within a certian area or how???



    Thank you so much. For some reason I thought this was automatic with the Premium membership. Glad to finally see how to do it. Got a couple setup, now to see what happens with it.

  8. I may have figured out why none of the main geocaching apps are showing. My firmware is still 1.0, not 1.1 or the new 1.5 cupcake version. Since I just got the phone perhaps it will take a while before T-Mobile pushes the update, and perhaps they'll just wait until they roll the 1.5 to me. Unless there is some # code to use to force it to download the 1.1 update at the very least.


    EDIT: Okay that was it for sure. I forced it to 1.5 and there were far more options in the Market.

  9. Okay I finally got a G1. I can't find geobeagle in the app market. I went to the webpage, downloaded the newest version, allowed it to install, but I don't see the icon. Any ideas?

    Go to the Market on your G1. Search for "geocaching" which should bring up several apps including GeoBeagle. Select the app and Install.


    Unlike the apps that have an integrated compass, GeoBeagle uses another app called Radar to show (poorly IMO) the distance and bearing. Search for "radar" in the Market and install.


    Have fun.


    I searched for geocaching and all I got was Orienteer and JOYity.

    I did the barcode scanner thing, and it won't focus on the screen. This may be because it is an old CRT monitor... and the scan lines get in the way.

  10. I haven't seen much coverage of the GPS outside of the fact it is built in, which we already suspected since it seems GPS is a requirment of the platform, and lots of applications in Google's Developer Chalenge were GPS based. None of them were for geocaching however.

    Not that T-Mobile removed the 1GB data cap, it starts looking better... If that cap had stuck, I doubt it would have been much use to anyone.

    Perhaps the Geocache Navigator will be ported over.

    T-Mobile's unlimited data plan is $25 (includes 400 messages, $10 more for unlimited messages). Those prices seem to be just for the G1.

    We have a TMobile 700 Family plan for $59.99 a month right now, so I am guessing if I got just one that would add $25 to the price, so we'll say $85, $105 if we both got one ($125 would give us both unlimited data and messaging). AT&T's 700 family plan (for the iPhone 3G) is $129.99. I am not sure if that is for two iPhones, or just one since there is a cost for an additional iPhone line. AT&T's message plans also seem much higher. Of course AT&T's 3G coverage is much better, and a real 3G, where T-Mobile America's 3G isn't the same.

    Lots of complaints about the propriatary headphone port. T-Mobile will include an adapter for free later, but the first few shipments won't have it. I am guessing they'll give one to early adapters for free though.

    Odd the video ability is so bad at launch. Of course YouTube is built in, and there are (free?) 3rd party apps that will expand the video ability at launch, just odd it wasn't included in the base phone.

    I do have an issue with the price since the iPhone is $199. I was hoping it would top out at $149 to really push it. $179 for a phone with a lot less built in memory (though expandable, which is a huge plus), less video and audio options (well the built in audio player isn't getting high marks anyhow) just doesn't seem to be a good price point.

    Still, I want one. If I could afford it, I probably would get one after the first units settled out, the adapter became included and the first real firmware and os updates hit. Of course, I probably wouldn't use it for much of the 3G type stuff anyhow, so that wouldn't be a big issue for me. Download a few cool games and apps, occasionally check my email, outside of that and making calls... But the potential is what really draws me. The openess of the development. Bold of T-Mobile to allow users to modify their phone so much.


    :) Sort of all over the place with this post. I need to eat and go to bed.

  11. With all the talk of geocaching on the Apple iPhone 3G, which in the US anyhow, requires a rather expensive AT&T contract, I am surprised there isn't more talk of the upcoming Android platform. It will launch this year from T-Mobile, and sometime next year from Sprint (Verizon and AT&T are suposedly not happy about not being able to lock features out and the like on the phones, but are expected to come out with Android compatable phones anyhow).

    Since the Android uses a customized version of Java, I would think translating a good geocaching app wouldn't be too hard. Plus all Androids will have GPS enabled... how good that GPS will be will remain to be seen, though SiRF Technology is a member of the Open Handset Alliance (the ones who define the Android hardware). I have seen lots of very cool Android aps/games taking advantage of the Android's GPS, but no geocaching apps yet.

    From a programming standpoint the Android seems to have advantages over the iPhone. You can program for it on Linux, Windows, or OSX, not just OSX. The modifications to Java don't seem to complex, mostly loosing the cross platform functionality of Java, but then I don't know much Java, more of a C# man myself... Of course currently being limited to Java and not other language such as C++ may be a limiting factor...

    So anyone else looking forward to geocaching with an Android?

    Anyone know of any geocaching apps in development for it?

  12. I too have been thinking about what I would want from a handheld GPS.

    I'll detail out what has been in my head...

    Start with a DeLorme PN-40, but give it a Colorado style screen. I call this the PDN-40 (D being for Display). Preferably it would be using an OLED screen. I also thought a PDN-40t would be cool, which adds Touchscreen to it, though the touchscreen can be turned off and just use the buttons.

    A better way of adjusting sensitivity for the high sensitivity chips to account for reflection. Not sure how much detail is put into the topo maps, but if it could give a basic idea of tree cover, buildings and the like, it would be nice if it could try to automatically adjust if you don't feel like manually adjusting it (you can always override the automatic settings). In my mind I see the ability to see a field with no trees and a slider bar to the far left, as you slide it right it adds more trees until you get to heavy cover. There is another screen to adjust for buildings, from none, to a normal suburb to tall sky scrapers. Using both data parts together, and setting it to either hiking/biking or automotive/motorcycle modes (so it has an idea how fast you will be moving) the software tries to keep the accuracy good, even when standing still in an area of high reflection.

    The screen can be made to function in the portrait mode, the default for when walking, or landscape mode, the default for driving.

    At the top of the screen is a small shielded speaker. This has a couple uses: to allow audio support for Wherigo and turn by turn directions. There is a stero headphone out port as well if you need to keep it quite. The voice software for the turn by turn directions would probably cost a little extra. There may be a tiny microphone under the screen but probably above the buttons. This would be for voice notes... and a few other things I'll cover in a bit. Since the unit will be able to play audio files for Wherigo, it should also should have a very basic MP3/WAV/Whatever else player, nothing fancy here, just a basic player. Depending on screen size/resolution, a basic video player as well since who knows if somebody may add a basic AVI or QT video to a Wherigo. The media player aspect of the unit is sort of a byproduct of the fact it can play audio in the first place, but not really a promoted feature of the unit since it is so basic. It can output in stereo however. Another add on piece of software could be voice recognition so you could speak to the unit to get directions (ala Tom Tom).

    It has a USB 2 port for high speed transfer and communications. It must be able to send stuff to a laptop (or sub-notebook along the lines of an EEE PC or MSI Wind, etc.).

    However, it is the bottom (not the back... well perhaps the back) where this unit really earns its keep. It has an expansion slot of sorts. More of a communicator card that allows stuff pluged into it to communicate with the GPS and it with them, and allows some features to be passed off the unit to expansion modules.

    The first module would be Bluetooth. So if you have turn by turn directions going and a call comes in, you can answer it. Here is where the microphone real reason (beyond voice notes) comes into play.

    Next module is an actual cell phone. It uses the display (one of the reasons a touchscreen version would be cool) for displaying the phone’s info and the like. I don’t know if the speaker on the unit would work quite enough for use here or not, or if the user would pretty much have to use a Bluetooth headset for communications (when not in speaker mode anyhow) either way it acts as a Bluetooth module like the one noted before when the phone itself is not in use. The phone basically adds to the back of the unit and includes a camera (basic camera phone quality here). The module is made to be compatible with the Open Handset Alliance (Google’s Android platform). The first one to test the market would be quad band GSM since while that limits one’s options to T-Mobile and AT&T in the US, it means the rest of the world is open. This uses its own power supply so you don’t drain the unit’s power to use it.

    The next module(s) are for getting maps to and from the unit.

    A SATA 3G (sometimes called SATA II) for high speed transfers.

    Future ability to add USB 3.0 and SATA 6G. Both should be far enough along that the expansion slot could be made to be ready for them.

    To go with the SATA 3G module is the ability to carry a SSD. The SSD (or even small HD) would have to be in its own portable unit with its own power supply. In my mind’s eye I see a powered case that holds a 2.5, or with included rails a 1.8 HD or SSD. This feature really isn’t marketed at GeoCachers, but more for GIS and related professionals.

    A basic camera module could be made (again using the unit’s screen for the interface).

    If the specs of the expansion slot were opened up, it could allow 3rd party modules to be made.

    Enough hardware.

    Software is where other improvements could be made, but I haven't really thought that area through yet, and not having experiance with any units to know what to do there, I'll leave that part alone for now.

    Oh, and if somebody actually makes the above unit and wants/needs a beta tester... <_<

  13. Just a FYI, I am in the prefer to stay under $200 range as well.

    Most places on the Internet (Amazon, REI, TigerGPS to name a few that I have seen listed in the forums here) seem to sell well below Suggested Retail (60CSx for example is suggested at $428.56, but goes on Amazon for a tad under $300), so unless you are running into Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Gander Mountain or something like that, you will pay less than retail. Beyond Amazon, I don't have any personal experiance with the others.

    I was looking at the Legend originally but eventually leaned more to for the Vista HCx ($237.49 at Amazon) and really wanted the 60 CSx (but at $300, would take too much of a sacrifice, though I was seriously thinking of going that route as it seems better overall than the Vista).

    However, now I am leaning to getting a Referbished DeLorme PN-20. They run $199, and comes with Topo maps, which would be an extra $80 for the Garmins. Plus, DeLorme's topo does street routing, so I figure that is like getting City Navigator as well, another $80 (I am not sure if Garmin's Topo does street routing or if that is City Navigator only, if the Topo does do street routing that would save the extra $80 rather than make a choice between topo or CN). If indeed Garmin's Topo doesn't do street routing, than after adding both the topo and CN to the Legend or Vista, the costs went above what I was ready to spend, even dropping the Topo and getting just CN adds up to a lot... Of course the PN-20 has its own shortfalls, slow screen refresh being the biggest complaint I see, but for $199 who can complain too much... then again, the PN-40 is coming out later this year, and that may drive the prices on the PN-20 down further. Hard choices to be made... thank god I am behind on the mortgage at the moment and don't have to make the choice yet. :)

  14. Don't have a GPS or anything yet, so I can't say this would work 100%, but my plan was this.


    Make a map using Google Maps. Google Maps allows you to pick points along a route, and reset them to new roads. Simply click the route along the wrong road and drag it to the road you want to take.

    Once you are happy with the new improved route, use the "Link to this page" on the top right. Drag your mouse to the far right of the http link (it will give a &z=11 or some other number for the zoom level) and add "&output=kml" to the end (without the quotes). Highlight the whole URL and copy it (CTRL-C for Windows machines). Paste it into your browsers address bar and Google Earth should launch with the directions loaded up. I never used it for directions, but I have used the link to page feature and used it to link to a city that I wanted to blog about (I would add a "Go there in Google Earth" type link where I used the URL with the &output=kml added tot he end).

    This page at the Google Earth Blog is where I confirmed that it works with routes (and learned what the &z means). On that page they got a nice video showing how to move the route. They say on that page they hope that it makes its way into Google Earth as well. They warn there is a bug that sometimes it will loose portions of the route, but as of 4.3 beta, its not there.

    Anyhow, from there Google Earth should work as normal.

    I just tried it, and it worked. The Geocaching Network KML file showed all the geocaches along the way.


    EDIT: I see PDOP's reply say that the KML can be loaded directly into the Caches Along a Route page on Geocaching.com, so I guess one could skip Google Earth all together. So after you make your map in Google Maps, just get the location, and the &output=kml thing and copy that into Cashes Along a Route. I am guessing it should work since it pulls into Google Earth fine. (Not having a GPS yet, I didn't buy the premium membership yet, so I can't test it directly.)

  15. I hope to get a GPSr this year. Consideration list is as follows:

    Wait for the PN-40 reviews, see if I want it or get


    PN-20 (I have seen deals on reconditioned units that nearly but this above the 60CSx)

    Vista HCx

    Main use would be Geocaching (Wherigo would be nice, but limited hardware support makes it an issue at the moment). Secondary, but still important use would be turn-by-turn directions while driving. This gets us to the questions at hand. Money is an issue, so buying one handheld and a car dedicated unit is out of the question.

    From what I have read so far, it seems like the 60CSx is a good all round unit, if a bit old. The PN-40 sounds like it is offering impressive specs, but I am guessing will be well beyond my price range (at one where a Colorado/Oregon becomes an option, or a handheld and car dedicated, but if it is closer to the 60CSx's price and reviews seem favorable...). The PN-20's price for reconditioned units makes me think strongly of going that way, but I have read it's auto-routing leaves much to be desired (though good if you make the route on the PC and download it, only problem then being screen refresh sppeds). The Vista HCx was my starting choice, since it and the Street Maps would be about the same cost as a 60CSx without the maps, but have started to drift to the 60CSx or PN-20 end of things. (I haven't checked prices on refurbished Garmins yet.)


    1) If I am driving to a friend's house and put the address into the unit (didn't make a route at home and upload it) and decide to take a back road from the route it may have made up (or if I did make a route at home and take the back road), will the unit be able to recalculate, or will it keep trying to make me take the major roads and back on it's pre-determained course?

    2) Do any of the units offer more than just quite beeps?


    Advice? Further things I should think about? I am sure I'll get lots of opinons from fans of brand A over B, which is fine, but looking more for overall advice, and especially an answer to question 1.

  16. Don't know if it can be said yet or not, but I didn't see anyone else ask yet.

    What are the paperless geocaching abilities? Same as the PN-20, improved?

    Any chance of full Wherigo support? If so, will that include sound?

    Good paperless geocaching and Wherigo support (especially if it supports sound) would probably lock me into waiting for the PN-40 (well, if its price will be in a good range for me anyhow).

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