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Everything posted by bnolan

  1. Where do you find heavy tree cover in Pocatello ?
  2. If the Blazer12 can handle UTM coordinates, that will get you to 1 meter of resolution on the display. Of course the GPS won't be that accurate.
  3. If everyone always followed the directions. we would still be in the shower doing later rinse repeat.
  4. About a year and a half ago, I had three different job offers in different cities. Unfortunately the town I picked has a local idiot who steals every cache that is put out. If somebody had warned me about that, I may have picked a different city.
  5. I have a job offer in Richmond Virginia. Before I accept the offer, I want to find out how good the geocaching is there. Plus any other info about the area you could provide would be appreciated. I'm sure it is going to be a huge change from the deserts of southern Idaho.
  6. I guess I should chime in here. Holding ID #19 has my ego fully inflated.
  7. It depends on how you use your GPS. If you shoot bearings with a magnetic compass and don't want to adjust for the local declination, set your GPS to magnetic north. If you can adjust you compass for declination, you can set the GPS to true. If you use a protractor to project directions off of the edges of a quad map, set the GPS to true north. If you use a protractor to project directions off of the UTM lines on a quad map, set the GPS to grid north. If you don't do any of these things, then it doesn't matter how you set it.
  8. bnolan

    2-way Radio

    Both of those radios are GMRS/FRS combo radios. The Midland can transmit at 3 watts on the GMRS frequencies and the Motorola can transmit at 1 watt. Either unit can only transmit at 0.5 watts on the FRS only frequencies. Because they are GMRS/FRS combo units, they must qualify for FRS type acceptance with the FCC, which means they must use the FRS antenna. This antenna is the biggest limiting factor in range. What this boils down to is the range figures given by the manufacturers are greatly exaggerated. You might possibly get 10 miles range with the Midlands if you are standing on top of a mountain and your partner is standing on top of a mountain 10 miles away with nothing in between. In reality, you can expect about 0.5 miles range on the FRS and about 1 mile on GMRS. This varies greatly with the terrain and what kind of obstacles are in the way. If 0.5 to 1 mile range works for you, then either of these radios is probably a great deal. I would lean towards the Motorola because of the accessories. The difference between 1 watt and 3 watts won't mean much in transmit range, but your batteries will drain 3 times faster at 3 watts. Most of the time I use a pair of Cobra FRS only radios when geocaching. We rarely get split up by more than a few hundred yards so FRS works just fine. Please note, however, that to use the GMRS channels, you must get a license from the FCC. That costs $80 for 5 years but is good for your whole family. If you don't want to get a GMRS license, there are FRS only radios out there. The ICOM 4088a gets great reviews. It has the best (and largest) antenna available, which helps maximize range. There are GMRS only radios that can accept an external antenna which can greatly increase range. They can also work with repeaters if there are any in your area. The ICOM F21GM is often recommend as an entry level "Real" GMRS radio. Another option is a MURS radio. MURS radios use VHF frequencies which travel better through trees (GMRS and FRS use UHF frequencies, which are absorbed by trees and groundcover.) The only MURS radio currently available in retail that I am aware of is the MURS Alert. I have heard reports of 2 miles range with these handhelds. The last option is to get a HAM license. The technician exam doesn't require morse code, you can study a few hours and pass the test. There are a variety of options available in HAM radio in UHF and VHF with a vast network of repeaters. The downside of HAM is that every user has to pass the test and get a license. I know this is probably way more information than you needed. Since this topic comes up a lot, and I had done a bunch of research, I figured I would take the time to write it down. I'm sure many other people have the same questions.
  9. Are you talking about Burley proper, or would that be the greater Burley metropolitan area?
  10. I just download the new manual for the Rino 120. It confirms that the 120 does indeed have repeater channels and sends position information over GMRS. Another question for you rino owners. How much extra range do you feel the GMRS gives you over the FRS channels ?
  11. I just noticed that Garmin posted firmware updates for the Rino's I looked at the Rino 120 when it first came out, but did not get it because it was not capable of accessing repeaters and did not do position reporting over GMRS, just FRS. This new firmware update states that it will now do position reporting over the non repeater GMRS channels. Also, there were 2 firmware updates. One for version 5.0 and newer which mentions the repeaters, and one for older than 5.0 which does not. Can somebody confirm for me that a Rino 120 with firmware 5.0 can access semi-duplex repeaters ? Do I have to get one with firmware 5.0 ? and if so how do I know what rev the firmware is before I open it ? Thanks,
  12. Princeton Tec Yukon HL is the king of headlamps. check out some reviews by experienced backpackers. It has two modes: - 3 regular LEDs give good light for close-up work like reading a map or looking at your GPS. This mode gives very long battery life >100 hrs - A 1 watt high output LED that can be focused on the trail ahead. You get 25 hours in this mode. It runs on 3 AA batteries. The battery compartment is in the back to balance the weight on your head.
  13. I like the color screen with topo maps. On my III+ I couldn't tell if that line on the map was a path, road or stream. With color screan on my 76c, the streams are blue and the roads are red so I am doing a lot less driving in the water.
  14. An alternative is to use UTM coordinates. Then you units are already in meters.
  15. For the arrow to point the right direction, you must be moving on a unit without the digital compass. But you DO NOT have to be moving for the numbers in the bearing field to be accurate. North is always north no matter which way you are pointing.
  16. I just noticed I have make 94 forum posts, but have only logged 89 finds. If I divide the posts by the finds I get 1.056 posts/find. What would you thing about a person with 400 posts and 4 finds? How about 400 finds and 4 posts? What is your post to find ratio and what does it tell us about you?
  17. I have a 2nd GPS so that we can split up when cacheing. Sometimes the girls want to run ahead, or I want to leave the path but the smarter people want to stay on the path and see if it curves back around.
  18. GPSMAP 76 - black and white screen, no compass or altimeter, 8 meg memory, does not autoroute GPSMAP 76S - black and white screen, compass and altimeter, 24 meg memory, does not autoroute GPSMAP 76C - color screen, no compass or altimeter, 115 meg memory, does autoroute GPSMAP 76CS - color screen, compass and altimeter, 115 meg memory, does autoroute
  19. I am a big fan of headlamps for hands free cacheing. By far my favorite is the Princeton Tec Yukon HL It has two light sources. The first is 3 5mm LEDs good for close up work and long battery life. The second is a super bright LED that can be focused; great for following a trail. I don't know how long the battery life is, because I am still on my first set of 3 AAAs. Besides the long battery life, LEDs are great because there is no filament to break or burn out like an incandescent bulb.
  20. Ok, I now realize the error of my ways. I have placed a cache a spot other than the listed coordinates and called it a traditional cache. Now that you have educated me as to the proper designation, I went to edit the cache page. The only field I cannot change is the type of cache. So I guess it will remain a traditional cache.
  21. UTM is a rectangular coordinate grid. The world is divided into small Zones (I live in zone 12T) Then the next two numbers are meters east and meters north of the zone reference. When you save a waypoint in UTM, the GPS uses that resolution of information. The display is rounded off to the hundredths of minutes. Your GPS was designed back in the days when the government was adding random error to the signals for defensive purposes. Back then, the extra digit would just have danced around randomly, so why display it. When the government stopped adding the random error in May of 2000, all of a sudden there was enough accuracy for someone to hide a treasure and someone else to find it, thus geocaching was born. Many people have reported success using UTM on these forums with older model GPSr units. The UTM coordinates are printed on the cache page right underneath the Degrees and Minutes. Have fun cacheing.
  22. Just enter the coordinates in UTM The resolution of UTM coordinates is 1 meter, which exceeds the accuracy of the GPS.
  23. When you do a "Goto" to a waypoint, one of the fields you can select for the GPS to displeay is the Bearing to the waypoint. You can choose True North or Magnetic North. For what the original poster wants to do, he should select Magnetic north, otherwise you have to account for local declination. Read the bearing from the GPS, and set the compass dial to that bearing. Now you can follow the compass to the waypoint. Note: you DO NOT have to be moving for this bearing readout to be accurate. Only the arrow indicator on non compass GPS units requires you to be moving. That is why some of us like to use a hand held compass in addition to our GPS. Let me repeat this again, because I see it written here time and time again. You DO NOT have to be moving for the "bearing to waypoint" field to be accurate on non compass GPS units. The GPS calculates the bearing from your current position and the waypoint position. Getting the arrow to point the right direction does require you to be moving on non compass units, because a GPS doesn't know which way it is pointing. It doesn't matter which way the GPS is pointing to get a bearing in degrees, because that bearing doesn't change when you turn around. North is always 0, east is always 90, no matter which way you face. Any Questions ?
  24. I usually just hand it to one of my daughters since they want to run ahead to find the cache anyway. If they aren't available, I usually have my 14 pocket vest on. Pockets 2, 9, 10, and 13 are just the right size, but I usually turn it off since I lose reception that close to my body. If I'm not wearing the vest, I usually have a fanny pack. Again I turn it off. When I am x-country skiing, I have a pocket below the knee in my ski pants that is the right size and I get great reception. I am thinking about rigging a way to put the GPS on the back of Roswell the cache sniffing dog. It would be interesting to see the zig zag trail he takes. I bet he covers 3 times the distance the rest of us do.
  25. Since you are already accustomed to the size of the 72, go for the 76cs. The size is the only drawback I can find. I just got 76c a few weeks ago. I have used it quite a bit with polarized glasses and it works fine. Some glasses are polarized horizontal, some polarized vertical, so some will work with the GPS and some won't. My III+ would work fine in both landscape and portrait mode with my polarized glasses, but not at a 45 degree angle. Just check out the glasses with the GPS before you buy them.
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