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Everything posted by LukeH

  1. Thanks, looks like it will be ok now, un-bricked successfully. I'll stick with software 4.20 until the later firmwares come out of beta. I lost all my waypoints and will have to reload the map data, but that is trivial compared to having an expensive paperweight. It seems it gets more flaky if you have too many GPX loaded, or if the memory is too full.
  2. Ok... I did the reset, and then following that forced it into mass storage mode and deleted all my GPX files (there were a ton). It at least starts up now, turns out I loaded software version 4.20. I think I got it from here, will just need to restore my data. Thanks for the vector.
  3. I have a Garmin Oregon 550t which I have had for about 6-9 months. With the exception of its very good GPS signal reception, I never was very happy with it (flaky operation, freezes/shuts down, etc). It shipped with an old firmware - 2.9 or something. Last night I downloaded WebUpdater and tried to update the firmware to 4.32 or whichever the WebUpdater selected (don't remember exactly). The firmware update appeared to go successfully, then the next time I powered on the GPS it went through a couple screens "loading software", etc. Then it shut back down. When turning it on now, it gets to the "Loading waypoints, tracks, and routes" screen and when the progress bar hits 50%, the unit shuts down. Same thing happens when plugging it in to the USB for computer connection, so I can't do another firmware update (computer doesn't see it when it's plugged in). Is there anything left I can try before I send it in to Garmin for service? Thanks
  4. 2LT USAF, starting pilot training at LAFB in a few weeks. I'm a slimy new LT and have nothing on most of you guys. Found out about geocaching while I was at the Academy and thought it would be a fun thing to do while hiking/backpacking in the hills out there in Colorado. Recently I haven't had time to do much of anything geocaching related, and that doesn't look like it will change for a while.
  5. Well I gave in - I guess it was too tempting. All I can say is WOW my computer is fast, it's 5% done in 6 minutes, and the little graph is blazing by faster than ever before. I know they slow down toward the end but this puts it at about 2 hours per work unit, about 12 per day. Now if I could put this computing power toward something that would actually earn me money, with the computer sitting around crunching numbers while earning me cash, then we'd have something useful.
  6. I used to run SETI@home, hit about 1200 units, but then got bored with it. Now, however, with a new and blazingly fast computer, I am tempted to start it up again just to see how fast it can churn through work units. (last computer 1.6 GHz P4 got through one every 7 or so hours, new one is 2.4 GHz Athlon 64 FX-53 with 2 Gigs of RAM... I'm estimating 2.5 to 3 hours per unit.) However, I am VERY hesitant to put my good computer on the internet right now.
  7. Thanks, works exactly as described, and now it is much quicker than loading from CD. Now a followup. Can I do the same thing with MapSource?
  8. This has probably been answered, but 1) the search was not working when I tried and 2) I feel like making a post since I haven't in a while, so flame away. Here's my question. I have the Colorado TOPO!, and love it, except for the fact that it comes on 7 CDs and guess where it decides to split the state across CDs - at the 39th parallel, exactly in the area where I like to hike and stuff. So when I'm churning out maps I need to do a CD swap about 3 times before it caches all the maps. What I'd like to do instead: 1. Are there any plans for the TOPO people to start putting maps on data DVD instead of 8 CDs per state? I'd pay an extra $20 just for that convenience. 2. Could I copy them myself, to a data DVD, and use that? I have the means to do it, but would it work? Anyone tried? 3. Or best of all, how about copy all the data to my hard drive? I have hard drive space to spare. I would prefer this option. Thank you
  9. My preference is to look for the difficult-terrain caches. However a puzzle is nice too, and better yet if it results in a difficult hike! As for actual hiding difficulty, I don't care too much about that except when the hiding technique is exceptionally ingenious.
  10. To see whether I liked them. That's why I've done only 2, and those recently, over the whole time I have been registered here, and don't plan on getting another locationless anytime soon. Why do I find regular caches? Because it's a fun diversion along/during/after a hike, and it's neat to log my name to show I have been there. I stopped trading items because the logbook is enough for me. Why have I hidden 3 caches? Because I wanted to showcase some interesting places I have found. Since I started I have found only 28 or 29 caches, not entirely sure exactly how many and I don't care when I will get #29 or #30 as it were. Over the course of my membership I have tried a variety of different types of caches, to see what I liked. I tried micros, park & grabs, multis, puzzles, and deep-in-the-woods caches. I have found that I like the deepwoods/mountaintop or puzzle type caches, so I am beginning to gear my searches in that direction. Likewise, the hides I have made follow this same theme. As for the numbers part... no, they don't matter. One of my caches is an 11 part multi that shows off some interesting spots. Each spot could rightfully have been given its own individual cache, but I elected not to do it that way. I wanted people who appreciate the hike and the destination to search for my cache, not people who are hellbent on pushing their score ever higher while dashing from place to place. That's why this sport is good, because there are so many facets to it that make it possible for lots of different people to find something they like in it. And, with that said (from above post), what indeed IS the point of recycling/reviving an area again and again and again as everyone begins to find the cache? That notion to me is proof that some people are ALL about the numbers. Hey I could place a 1/1 under the same bench, change it every day, and some guy would log it every single day because he would get a new smiley. To me that is not appreciation of the sport and what it offers; that is obsession. And no we are not going to fill the earth anytime soon. It will not be 2020, it will not be 2050 or 2100 that we use up every scrap of eligible land with caches every 500 feet. There is always a new place to hide something, a new puzzle to devise, a new hiding method which may be employed by a new cache placer that will add something to the game without compelling someone to archive his old cache. Wouldn't it be cool if someday 50 years from now you decided to search for - and found - the very first cache you ever found? And noticed that the ammo box is banged up but still watertight, that the grass has grown a bit higher, that there are more housing developments on the other side of the valley than before, and that the worthless mctoy you put in there is STILL there? There is some worth to that, even if it is realized less frequently than the value of scoring another point.
  11. Just because I have logged a many of the caches immediately local to me does not mean that I will never visit those locations again. Quite the contrary, especially if the cache revealed to me a good place/hike that I had not known about. I agree with whoever said that we should leave good, functioning caches in place until the owner gets tired of maintaining them. Even if everyone has found them... who cares? I disgaree with the idea of being compelled to remove a cache that 'everyone has found' or that 'has not been searched for in 2 years' because there is no point, unless of course the owner decides to change things up. We have not filled the world yet. There are plenty of spaces to put new caches. Let old ones be; don't tear down a good, old cache so that a newbie can have 'equal opportunity' to put one in a good spot. And don't replace a good cache just so people can get another smiley for visiting the same spot just opening a slightly different tupperware with different mctoys in it.
  12. Good idea. As much as I enjoy bashing up my equipment, I get annoyed when I get a scratch or ding in the screen. I have so far kept my GPS in the neoprene case so I can clip it to a strap, so the window is protected but the upper edges are nicely dinged and scratched. My radio is banged up too and the paint is chipped. I like the 'experienced' look and feel of my equipment, as long as it is still easily operable and the display parts remain undamaged. Minor cosmetic damage is cool. Funny thing about that, I got a nice watch about 3 years ago and it has a sapphire crystal. The metal band and case of the watch are very scratched, dinged, and generally worn from years of daily wear, but the crystal is still immaculate. They oughta make lcd covers and stuff out of sapphire, its hardness is just less than that of diamond. Price would be an issue though, but if it's used in a high-stress environment it might pay for itself
  13. There are 2 poles, a fake ceremonial pole that looks like a barberpole with flags around it, and the real benchmark style pole which is nearby. I wanna go there sometime. I don't think there's a similar benchmark at the north pole. When I go there I am going to step about 100 feet from the pole and walk in a big circle. I want to see the GPS time/date switch around
  14. I have hidden 1 that is an ammo box and I left it the way it came. I left the original markings on it but added geocache info. If you hide it well enough you can paint it bright orange and still nobody will see it. However, you can't depend on finders putting it back as well, so camo might be useful. If I was going to camo them I would go with a dark field gray/tan/OD green splotch camo, which should work relatively well across the seasons. The main point is to break up the outline so people don't recognize it as an ammo can.
  15. Yeah as some have said, these are nothing. Wait 5-7 years until solar maximum, and see how many fun things the sun starts to do!
  16. How do people set their GPS down and leave it behind? Man you gotta be more accountable for something you dropped $300 on.
  17. I took a class on this stuff in the spring. Very interesting indeed. Big flares could also degrade satellite orbits. A huge flare will ionize the atmosphere and energize it enough so that it expands, meaning there will be more density and therefore more drag at higher altitudes. GPS satellites are too high up to be affected by that, but many low-Earth orbiting satellites could lose years off their mission time if a big enough flare hits.
  18. I want one, but I would paint it either field gray or olive drab. Flat of course, no glossy clearcoat. The uglier the better. Man that would be cool. Too bad I don't have the money to get another vehicle right now.
  19. Burn the money. It will then increase the value of all the rest of your cash.
  20. I refer you to my classic list. This is for 1/1 caches in urban parks. The list of items I take for difficult ones is too long to post (would crash the server): To be serious, I just take whatever I feel like taking. The most important are good boots, and WATER... I can usually get by with just the 3L camelback and maybe a candy bar or two. If I am on my bike I also bring a couple bike tools.
  21. Just fly your own plane. When you are pilot in command, you can do whatever you want
  22. I bet you could make one that goes around the world. You could ignore the maintenance issue if you gave coordinates to a landmark like a monument with numbers on it, and said on the website what to do with said numbers. That way there's only one actual cache in a place you can maintain, and the sub-points are permanent virtual-style positions.
  23. I know where that style of text came from (no it's not some funky fantasy elvish script). I remember reading about it but I won't say where. A good chance many of you have read about it too. If I lived in the area I might try it. Heck I might try solving the puzzle just for fun.
  24. No. The antennas on the satellites are high gain (~15 dB) and thus very directional. They beam the signal down in a narrow cone that just covers the disc that is the Earth (from the satellite's 20,200 km vantage point). Some of the signal gets by, though, and I suspect this is the primary reason that satellites orbiting above the GPS constellation can pick up the signal. Satellites in low orbit such as the space station can use GPS with no problems, since they are so low (200-500 km). From the GPS satellite's point of view, they might as well be on the surface of the earth. Just be sure that your receiver can display speeds up to 7.5 km/sec! Because of this I seriously doubt you could receive the GPS signal on the Moon without a very high gain antenna (dish or phased array). And as has been said, even if you could, it would be useless since it gives you an Earth coordinate. Also - Avocado: if it only sees 3 satellites, this is the case where it has to throw out one of the solutions (the one in space) and return the one on Earth. It actually does do the math for a fourth sphere by assuming that you are on the surface of the Earth, leaving it with only one solution. If it sees 4 or more sats, there is only 1 solution, and therefore would in theory work on Earth or in space. Interestingly, I have read about some GPS receivers that will continue to track you (with low precision) even if they drop down to 2 satellites: this is because they assume that you are on the surface of the earth, which provides them with one more sphere (okay, geoid, not exactly sphere) to use in the calculation. However that only works if the receiver already knew where you are (from having more sats in view previously), because the 2-sat plus Earth geoid assumption results in TWO solutions on the Earth's surface. Visualize some spheres and you'll see how that works. Fun stuff. I think we need a GPS system around the moon and Mars, and maybe some in solar orbit so we can have another way to navigate through interplanetary space.
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