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Everything posted by teamhillside

  1. Years and years ago when i was a more enthusiastic cacher, I had a TomTom satnav and loaded a chunk of caches onto an SD card to create waypoints within the TomTom, and then associated some sounds / alerts when I got, say, within 100m of a cache. It was a really straightforward thing to do with GSAK export, and whilst it wasn't "live" (as it required a download / update) it made opportunistic caching nice and easy for the family. Every couple of years I renew my interest in this, though I've yet to find a way of achieving this on the latest smartphones etc using default or free apps like Google Maps (for driving), Waze, etc etc. Is anyone aware of a way to achieve this?
  2. No chance of that! Whilst the TomTom was great, my phone does online and offline navigation for free; why would anyone buy a dedicated SatNav these days? Thanks for the heads up though!
  3. Aw, shame - thanks for the reply. I suppose it's just one of the reasons why the TomTom was a great device. Hey ho!
  4. Years ago, when I was a more enthusiastic, new cacher, we had a TomTom car satnav (actually, technically a clone of such, with the TomTom software loaded), and one of the features I really loved was that I could use GSAK to upload a whole load of caches as POIs, and then have the TomTom go "bong" or "beep" or "baaa" etc when we were within a certain distance of a cache. And if we were so minded, we could stop the car, get out and find one. That device has since bitten the proverbial dust, and with free offline satnavs such as Nokia Here etc working on the variety of satnavs that we have, I haven't had need or desire to buy a dedicated SatNav for the car. We're just about to head out on our annual holiday, and I'd like to get some enthusiasm for caching back. So I googled a little to see how I could make Nokia Here, or Google Maps, or Apple Maps etc do what I wanted (on a choice of Android or iOS devices). And found nothing?!? Really? Do none of the (free or very low cost) smartphone SatNavs have audio prompts for proximity to a POI, availability of offline POI categories etc etc? Or have I missed something? Help gratefully received! matt
  5. A couple of years ago we had a TomTom for our incar navigation. We would upload a whole heap of POIs which were Geocaches to the TomTom so that it would "bong", "moo", "cuckoo" etc to us as we got within (say) 50m of a cache. When we were on holiday this was a great way of breaking up journeys, or simply encountering unplanned caches. We've no longer got the TomTom, and we're now reliant on Google Navigation via Google Maps on Android. I always have my phone mounted in the screen (mainly for podcast / music playback over bluetooth), so to have a similar facility via Android (ideally via Google Maps) would be great. Is there such an option to upload PQs to an Android app in navigation mode which would do a similar sort of alert? Thanks! Matt
  6. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-berkshire-24028902 Looks like just the candidate for a bizarre cache hidden in plain sight! Matt
  7. I'll agree with you that it isn't perfect, and certainly I took my time to get used to it. However, now its the only caching app that I use. Since downloading it and installing it, I've worked out:- - how to get offline maps (handy when there is no 3g signal) - how to submit field notes / logs directly - how to manage stored amounts of caches on it (admittedly it doesn't "do" PQs) The manual is non-existent / useless, but the software works fine, doesn't crash, etc etc. I'm using it on a Symbian device because there weren't too many alternatives out there!! If I could run an app which worked like the official apps, or like some of the unofficial (but apparently excellent!) Android apps, I would do. I wouldn't want to be manually keying coordinates in too often, but that's as much a flaw in the OS as it is in the device itself. I'm comfortable with recommending the method. And I respect your disagreement!!! Matt
  8. My solution:- Cheap smartphone on PAYG (Nokia 5230 / Nuron) which includes "proper" GPS Cheap data package (£5 per month for 1GB data) Geocaching Live application (free, but requires data connection for maps / downloads of caches) iPhone = great, but a) very expensive! and GPS has poor reports of accuracy. Android = great, but similar expensive comments. If an Android phone were available in the £70 PAYG bracket in the UK I would get one without hesitation. No more paper! Matt
  9. Just simply for the ease of use of transferring coords onto the device, I would step up a level and get the eTrex Legend H instead. Once you've factored in buying the serial cable and getting a working USB / Serial adaptor, you are paying more or less the same as an eTrex H and you have proper USB connection, some (limited) geocaching specific functionality and overall a better unit. Same comments about bulk loading / manual keying apply to the Legend - no touch screen, though you do get a "joystick" type device which makes navigation slightly easier than on the plain old yellow brick. Alternatively (!), if you are really on a budget then a cheap smartphone on PAYG using free software such as TrekBuddy (which requires no data contract etc etc) would be equally as cheap as an eTrex (e.g. Nokia Nuron / 5230 - selling in the UK for £70). Matt (cheap smartphone evangelist!)
  10. For me it was about VFM. I have a Nokia 5230 (Nuron) phone. Cost me £70 brand new on a PAYG setup. I pay £5 per month for 1gb data package which allows me to pick up emails on the move, something I would have anyway. I use the Geocaching Live app (£0) and find that the practcal accuracy of the phone is substantially better than my old Garmin eTrex. On the phone I also have FREE in car satnav (OviMaps). Oh and it can make phone calls, and has a rudimentary 2mp camera. So for a genuine £70 I've got an adequate camera, an adequate GPSr (doesn't appear to have issues under trees), live access to all of the caches I can consume (provided I can get a signal, or I can download earlier), a mobile email client, a web browser which means I can log caches whilst I am away from home, an MP3 player, a radio, a podcast client, a sports GPS device (for logging my jogging) etc etc I can keep it protected from the rain, or for £70 buy a new one! All of which substantially cheaper than even the basic eTrex H and waaaayyyy cheaper than a purpose built geocaching GPSr. A no-brainer for me I'm afraid!! Matt
  11. There are plenty in the NW of England that would love that climb, given its association with one of their favourite caches...... I'll not name it, but if you're in the know, you know what I mean! Matt
  12. I have an old (non-H) eTrex, and my brother in law has the Legend H. Whereas my old etrex rarely gets accuracy greater than about 15 feet, his was reporting 2-3 feet (and right on top of the cache). A no-brainer for me - get an H model! Matt
  13. Given that earthcaches don't usually require pinpoint accuracy for the location (unless I'm mistaken), won't dropping a marker in google earth or online on a google map give you sufficient proximity? e.g. if an information board is in a car park, then anywhere in the car park would be good coordinates. Obviously different if you need to show a specific 30cm patch of rock, but I doubt it!! Matt
  14. Not done it yet, but I suspect this one is a similar process:- http://coord.info/GCY7X9 - 650,000 gallons and 2 litres Matt
  15. If you were doing this for a geocache, you could hide several cheap and cheerful mp3 players (ebay has plenty!) in small cache containers. Make it a requirement to either bring headphones and and AAA battery, or stand the ongoing maintenance issues yourself to make that work. Not quite as dynamic, but would mean that it was open to those many many cachers that have neither an iPhone nor an Android phone. Matt
  16. Its really easy, but I can see that some of the suggestions made so far might make no sense if you don't understand the terminology. To get lots of geocaches loaded onto any device, you most likely need to use "Pocket queries" from the geocaching.com website. Pocket queries allow you to download up to 1000 geocaches at the same time, based on criteria that you define - e.g. within 10 miles of X, placed since xx/xx/xxxx, traditional caches only etc etc. These come in the format of a zip file (to save space) which then contains 1 or 2 files which are "GPX" files. GPX files are in a predefined format for containing all the useful information you'd want to know about geocaches. Unfortunately, TomTom's can't "read" that file. They need geocaches (which they'd call "points of interest") in a TomTom specific format - ov2 files and bmp files (as mentioned by Bear and Ragged). To convert GPX files into OV2 and BMP files, you need a tool. The most popular tool to do this is GSAK. You'd import the GPX files into GSAK and then export them in the TomTom format. To help automate this process, and add some advantages (such as having nice cache pictures) you could use the BigWolf macro, or just export the file. Once you have created the OV2 & BMP files on your PC, you then need to copy them over to your TomTom and put them in the same folder that the maps are in. Once you have done this, the TomTom should automatically add them (based on the file name) to the list of POIs that it knows about. Then you could set up warnings so that it beeps when you are 300yds from a cache, or you could select a cache and get driving directions to it. It all sounds complicated - in fact, it takes me about 2 minutes to achieve this for about 6,000 geocaches in my GSAK database. Hope this helps explain things. I would recommend following the excellent guides and instructions on the follow the arrow website, as quoted by graculus and the blorenges. Cheers! Matt
  17. Borrowed one from work last week to see what all the fuss was about, and I really couldn't find any purpose to it. Keyboard wasn't capable of being typed quickly on, so web browsing was slow (for me). I did like using iPlayer on it (screen was crisp and clear), and my 1 year old enjoyed playing a game of "press the animal and it makes a noise" from a free app, but it felt like that Dom Jolly sketch from Trigger Happy TV - "I'm on the phone". For caching - sure, it would look "cool" perhaps for a short while, but then once you'd sat on it and cracked the screen I think you'd be disappointed! Matt
  18. A peak-you of cachers ;-) (Hopefully no explanation required!) Matt
  19. Blimey, that is out of date - only 1 of the 123 caches in the bookmark list is actually active!!! Matt
  20. Own now (and not got rid of any!) eTrex basic yellow (non-H) Nokia 5230 phone (built in GPS) GlobalSat BT-359 bluetooth "puck" for use with Nokia 5230
  21. You probably need to change the datum setup and the coordinate format, both in the setup menu on the Etrex H. Datum (there's a long list!) needs to be set as WGS84, and the format needs to be hddd mm.mmm With both of these set correctly, the eTrex will definitely be "right"!! Matt
  22. My life is now complete. I am at peace with the world. Cheers! Matt
  23. I suggested 100 miles as that would bring in about 5,000 caches where I live and from what I've seen I suspect that there aren't many places where 100 miles would bring in more than twice that - but it's only a suggestion and TPTB would set the limit. The thing is that you'd get every cache in the specified area (and polygon queries would be even more precise) and so you'd only need to run one of these each week to cover the whole area whereas you say you need 25?! I suspect that one, large polygon query would be more efficient that several smaller, geographically overlapping queries. However, this is all besides the point since I started this thread to try to find a way to automatically update my offline database WRT archived caches, and that's something I still haven't "nailed". Actually, I do know a way to do it, but it's not permitted by GS's TOU as it involves using a "scraper" to update all caches in the offline database likely to have been archived. Geoff I had a similar problem to yourself, and while I disagree with you that the PQ based on date placed option is difficult to manage (I've only had to change it twice since I set up the ranges), I do agree that archived caches can be tricky to maintain. My solution is to use a couple of GSAK macros. I refresh the db on a daily / weekly basis by automating the downloading (grabbing the caches by email), and all my PQs run on a weekly cycle. This means that I have the most up to date db I can manage. I then run a macro to clean up the db of any caches which are temporarily unavailable (unless they have already been found). That then leaves me with a db with either active caches, found caches or (potentially) archived caches (as these by their nature will not have been updated - though practically quite a lot become temporarily unavailable first anyway). I then run the "review for archive" macro. As all live caches should have a "last GPX date" of less than 7 days, it simply runs through those with an older date and displays the cache page in the browser. I simply tick "archived" (easy to see as there is red text at the top) or "ignore". Caches are not archived that rapidly, so its a five minute task every month or so across my 4800 cache db. Its not perfect, but the logic of having PQs exclude archived caches is perfectly sound (they are archived, so why would you want to grab their details anyway!), so (short of screen scraping) this seems the most sensible option. HTH! Matt
  24. Just to be clear, the arrow pointing / distance to cache screen is not the same as the compass. Even the basic eTrex H (yellow) has this screen, as do all others. The electronic compass is just that - an electronic compass. Some people swear that it is very useful (the argument being that when you are stood still, the GPSr can permanently tell you bearings etc, whereas otherwise the GPSr relies on you moving to know which way it is pointing) but I've never found a need for it. Perhaps heading into a cave where there would be no signal at all I can see the usefulness (ditto for heavy tree cover?) Matt
  25. I'm reluctant to spend any more money as the emap cost me far too much (my fault, I got excited on ebay) then I had to spend another £15 on a cable and I still cant get it to work - I have the settings right but I cannot click send to gps on geocaching.com as it does not recognise it even though I have updated everything I read the instructions and got it installed and am going through EasyGPS to create a pocket query, that all worked fine but when I try to send it to the emap I get this: "Your GPS receiver identifies routes by number. The number of one of the routes you are attempting to send to your GPS is outside the range of numbers used by your GPS. Edit the route and give it a different route number." and it seems to think I have a different GPS, it says: "The route Delaney Geocache has an invalid route number (23) Your Magellan Spor Trac uses route numbers 1-20. Edit your route so that all route numbers are within this range' I have searched for Delaney under routes and I can't find it, I am doing something very wrong here, any clues would be much appreciated. I think the best thing I can do is sell the emap and get something that actually can hear the computer! If I connect it to the computer and look for it through my computer I can't see it, if I try to use EasyGPS to recieve from it it says the data is not right and then my mouse goes insane. Sounds like you are trying to send the GPX file to the emap as a route rather than as a series of waypoints. GPX files are a series of locations. That being the case, they can either describe a route (go from x to y to z etc) or describe different locations (x, y and z). I would investigate the settings in easygps so that you know that easygps thinks it is trying to send to a garmin emap ("Edit > Preferences" and then follow the obvious to set your emap here - it is listed as one of the garmin devices supported by the software). HTH! Matt
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