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Everything posted by sarhound

  1. We've been using geocaching for several years to train new SAR members in the use of GPS. It's a fun way to introduce the concepts and can be a good team-building exercise.
  2. Already cleaned the contact points... Magellan support gave me a stellar response, telling me that I needed to hook it up to a computer. (DUH! The unit doesn't power on, so that won't do me a heck of a lot of good.) Second response was to send it in for repair, so I guess we'll see if the unit actually is repairable. And all of this after a bunch of new caches got put out in my area. Looks like the PDA is going to get to do a trial run of BeeLine GPS.
  3. Well, my husband just checked and found out that the cable is pulling power, and it looks like the battery did take a charge. The unit still won't power up. Any ideas as to why a unit will suddenly just die?
  4. I've had my Explorist 500 for a couple of years now, and it started to act funky yesterday. I couldn't get it to shut down, even using the multiple keystroke combo, so it became necessary to pull the battery to get it to turn off. Today, I think the battery gave it's last gasp of life. I can't get the unit to power on at all. I found the thread with the Motorola battery number, and I've got a bid out on one. Hopefully, this will fix the problem. How long have any Explorist users gotten out of their original battery? I'm guessing that I've done pretty well to have it keep going this long, since my cel phone battery usually croaks a lot more rapidly. Of course, this whole affair has to happen when I've finally got a few days off to go caching. I'm stuck here now until the new battery arrives. Bummer.
  5. I saw where someone at Groundspeak said they were aware of the Charter problem-- have they gotten any closer to solving it? I really don't want to keep using a Yahoo account, but I don't want to run the risk of losing any more of my PQs to Charter. (They've also managed to thoroughly screw up all my other email, as well. I'm not getting any at all now.)
  6. We've been doing search and rescue work for several years; I run bloodhounds, hence the name "sarhound" (search and rescue hound.) Deputyhound has been in law enforcement for most of his working life, so "Deputy" was a natural, but once we married and he got adopted by the hounds, he became "Deputyhound." The hounds themselves use their own names when they help find a cache...
  7. Don't forget to add yourself to the list, along with mctwin. I've spent many, many afternoons saying soft, evil curses under my breath while trying to scare up caches from either one of you. I actually had built up a picture in my head of mctwin, complete with devil horns and pitchfork. When I finally got to meet him on a FTF race, I was amazed that he looked normal....
  8. If you're using Charter, there is a definite problem with receiving emails. We were just informed this last weekend by Charter that they've instituted new spam filters, and they need someone from Groundspeak to get in contact with them to fix the problem. The new spam filters are so effective that I now receive no email at all on my Charter account. I'm about ready to ditch Charter and find another service provider.
  9. Well, FSM beat Phibian in the fight, but it looks like Signal wins out in his bout.... FSM vs Phibian FSM vs Signal
  10. I had a similar situation a couple of years ago; however, I was in a nature preserve close to my home that I hiked with my bloodhounds at least weekly, if not more often. I was out that day with my primary partner, K9 Miss Molly Maguire. I knew the preserve like the back of my hand, but I managed to get myself lost while hunting a geocache when a tree grabbed my glasses and ripped them off my head. I don't see very well without them. To top it all off, it was getting dark, the snags were everywhere, and I was in an area where I wasn't getting good GPSr reception. I had called Deputyhound to come get us; he arrived at dusk, listened for me blasting on my whistle, located us, and we did a search for my glasses. No luck, in spite of the fact that I had dropped my pack and flagged a triangular area with flagging tape, exactly where my glasses had gone missing. After an hour, it was full dark, and I was bleeding, hot, tired, and not really very happy. Miss Molly was tired and wanted her dinner (we had been out for a couple of hours already, and now it was getting really late.) Deputyhound and I couldn't find the trail out, because we were in a heavily treed area. The GPSr was of no use by that point. Thank goodness I had taught Miss Molly the "take me home" command. She cast around for a minute, then hit the end of the lead. Deputyhound and I just concentrated on keeping the trees from slapping us in the face and trusted her nose. Within 5 minutes, she had found a small, well-travelled trail. Within 15 minutes, she had us back to the parking lot. The next day, I checked the GPSr for the tracklog. I found that when it started picking up a signal again, it indicated that Miss Molly had taken the exact trail out that we had taken into the area. I can attest to the fact that it certainly didn't look the same, and we now use that incident to teach new team members just how easy it is to get confused on the trail. Add just a little stress to the situation, and it becomes easy to see how folks can get lost rather quickly. Gotta love those bloodhound noses!
  11. I've been using S&T for over a year now, loading in anywhere from 75 to 100 caches in a specific region, then letting S&T figure out the best way to navigate them. It does reasonably well, but I do scan the maps and do a little rearranging of some of the stops, since I like to work from farthest to nearest when some caches string themselves out along the periphery. Admittedly, I'll never make my way through the entire list at one time, but I can start at any point that I want and work in a relatively systematic fashion back along the route. It might take a few weeks to knock out a hunk of the list, but at least it's in the cachemobile for a spontaneous caching trip.
  12. I was trying to update my maps via "It's Not About The Numbers." Since I'm still having problems receiving PQs on my Charter account, the My Finds PQ that I ran yesterday has disappeared into the ozone, never to be seen again. Since it can only be run once a week, I tried doing an export in GPX format on my database in GSAK that has all my finds in it. When I tried to use the resulting file as an upload to the website, I kept getting error messages. My question-- is the .zip MyFinds GPX sent from here different from the GPX that is exported by GSAK, making the GSAK file unreadable? Of course, there's always the possibility of operator error....
  13. That might be what happened. I was trying to get a My Finds PQ sent to my Charter address, and it never showed up. I then switched my account details to go to the Yahoo account, so that must be what has triggered it. Looks like Charter is still screwed up.... man, I'm getting really tired of this problem. Thanks!
  14. I'm wondering why I just got an email on my Yahoo email that said I needed to validate my geocaching account. When I went to the page with my account details, it had the same notice written across the top in red letters. Since I've been a member for a couple of years now, I'm curious about what is going on. Does it have something to do with the missing Charter emails not showing up from Geocaching.com?
  15. I managed to drop one down into the hollow of a tree when I was replacing it; I tried fishing it out with everything that I had in the car, then Deputyhound came out to assist, with his longer reach. No dice. I could see the little critter wedged down in the bottom of the tree, but it wasn't coming out. Notified the cache owner, and he couldn't extricate it, either. The poor cache was archived. I felt really bad about that.
  16. I use an iPAQ 6315; I've been using GPXSonar and Mapopolis on it. I've been quite happy with the combo. I use GSAK to sort all my caches into separate databases, centered on a town, then I export that database into a file on my SD card. I'm carrying close to a thousand caches right now, since I never know what area I'll be in at any given time. I use a Bluetooth GlobalSat GPSr to run Mapopolis; I export my databases as maplets and store them on the SD card, as well. It will give me turn-by-turn driving directions to whichever cache I select, then I switch to the Magellan when I get out of the car. I usually just copy the files via File Explorer to the iPAQ, but you can also use a card reader. I carry the iPAQ in a metal case--so far, I haven't had any near misses with it, but if I'm going to take a header down a hill, you can bet I'm going to try to land so that I don't kill the iPAQ.
  17. I'm posting a couple of pics from Google Earth of a trail that I ran 2 nights ago, looking for a missing Alzheimer's patient. I was using the Explorist 500 to record the track log. The track log shows the area covered by Miss Molly, both the positive direction of travel indications and also negative indications where she was working her way out of a vast scent pool. The trail ended up being 28 miles in length; we ran it as a drop trail, loading up Miss Molly between legs and driving to the next position. She would give us another direction of travel, which was later confirmed by sightings by both private citizens and by law enforcement. We wound up losing the trail at a gas station in Linden, which was 28 miles from the PLS. Molly indicated that the man had entered the gas station by one door and exited by another, then she took me to the area where the 18 wheelers parked at the side of the station. She then gave me an end of trail. We suggested that the search continue looking north, up to Texarkana. The man was found yesterday in Tucson, AZ. He had hitchhiked north along the highway to Texarkana, then went westward on I-30. He had covered over a thousand miles in about 48 hours. General overview of entire trail: First leg of trail at PLS, showing two positive trails and area of scent pool: Considering that I was attempting to keep the GPSr level (by tucking it on my shoulder) while running a bloodhound at night over uneven terrain along a highway and through fields, I was quite happy with how well the Magellan performed. The second and third legs of the drop trail show equally good detail-- enough that the people in this area will immediately recognize the locations.
  18. When I grow up, I wanna be just like Auntie Weasel. Seriously, she has had me rolling on the floor, gasping for breath, more times than I can remember. Her pithy, insightful comments are something that some day, I hope I can aspire to reach. Not to mention, you just gotta love a weasel....
  19. We use the Magellan Explorist 500- I can run a trail with my hound and upload that trail to either Google Earth or another mapping program and show exactly where we went and where we were when we found the victim. I don't usually have any problems with heavy tree cover, and we have an awful lot of that in East Texas. It's withstood a number of bangs and bumps and has been drowned in a few heavy rainstorms. Another sister search team uses older models of Magellans without difficulty. I think the most important thing is to become proficient in the use of whatever model you decide on. Believe it or not, we actually use geocaching to teach new members about GPS use; caching is also good to teach new members about clue detection, particularly on the more evil hides. We also stress map and compass skills, since the GPS can die at any given time. I also teach my hounds to "take us home" at the end of a trail, so I've got another backup to the GPS. (That skill has proven itself useful on one rather memorable occasion.) sarhound and Deputyhound First Response Search and Rescue Jefferson, TX
  20. sarhound

    Pocket Queries

    I'm still having problems with Charter. I did get 2 PQs at the Charter account (out of about 5 that I've tried as new PQs, deleted and regenerated PQs, and just ticking the box off in the PQ list.) All the others have evaporated into the ozone, in spite of the fact that they show as having been generated. I wound up reactivating a Yahoo account, and I've been receiving PQs within minutes. When I tried forwarding them to Charter, they showed up in that account within seconds. I'm guessing that Charter is tossing away a bunch of emails that come from Geocaching.com. As long as the Yahoo account keeps working, I'll have some kind of access....
  21. I've been having problems since the day after Christmas. I've generated several PQs that show they were sent, but I never received them. To make things even more strange, I actually did receive 2 of the PQs ( a My Finds PQ and one PQ that I deleted, then regenerated.) I made a test PQ and sent it to a Yahoo account and received it in just a few minutes. I forwarded it to the Charter account, and it showed up within seconds. I've finally given up on Charter and have just gone to the Yahoo account, since I don't have time to dink around with them.
  22. Our entire town is noted as being one of the most haunted places in Texas; I'm considering placing some caches at some of the more notorious sites, if I can figure out a way to do it without interfering with our local living residents. Guess I could always plunk a cache down at our house, since I know for a fact that it's haunted (yes, wierd things happen here....)
  23. sarhound

    Pocket Queries

    I reactivated a Yahoo email addy and resubmitted my second PQ that showed as having run on the 22nd, but was never received. The PQ was rerun on the 23rd, showed up in the Yahoo email, but when I saved it to the desktop and tried to open it in GSAK, it said it was corrupted. It wasn't until I forwarded the email from Yahoo to the Charter account that I was able to successfully open the PQ in GSAK. It's got to be a Charter problem, but I'll be danged if I can figure out what it is....
  24. Yes, we have Charter Highspeed. I think Deputyhound said a couple of days ago that he thought the Internet connection was acting kind of funky, so the problem may be with them. I just checked to see if a PQ that I purged and resubmitted yesterday morning arrived yet; it shows as having been generated yesterday morning, but it never got here. The first attempt from yesterday did get here, however. Guess I'll try setting up an email account elsewhere and try to get a PQ sent there to see if that works, then I'll know where the problem lies.
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