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Sky King 36

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Everything posted by Sky King 36

  1. My first few years of caching were with a Garmin 60csx handheld, which I loaded with GSAK. But I did find that the GPS in my 2010-ish EVO 4G was *ROCK SOLID* and gave me slightly better repeatability than my GPS. Now fast-forward, and that EVO was later replaced by a Samsung Galaxy S3. *All* of the Galaxies models have notorious GPS reliability issues that are well documented on the web. Not isolated incidents, but a very broad, widely-affecting problem that plagues the whole product line. I now have a Galaxy Note 3 and my GPS is every bit as unreliable as my S3 was. It may be spot on for a minute or two, but then suddenly your position dot will move 1500 feet or 3 miles away and there is nothing you can do to get it to reset. I considered investing in a nice Bluetooth GPSr, and have posted about those options here in the past. But then an idea hit me a few years ago and here is what I do: I have the Geocaching app still loaded on my retired EVO 4G. It has no cellular coverage, and no data plan on it. BUT... I turn the WiFi hotspot on my Note 3, and run the GC apps on my EVO. Thus, I get the best of both worlds. The EVO has a great GPS in it that is always rock solid, so my positions are always good. It has an extended battery on it from it's old role as a phone, so I can run the GPS on it continuously for about 4 hours, or all day with intermittent use. AND, here's the trifecta: I am not draining the battery on my phone by using its GPS. Its 4G connection , with the hotspot enabled, still uses MUCH less power than its GPS does. And it just gets better: My current phone stays in my pocket or pack, out of the elements and immune to my dropping it. If I break something it will be my very old EVO. The quadruple win. It works great, and, I also then have an emergency phone with me (on a second carrier, even) that I could still make a 911 call on even though it doesn't have a service plan. Blanket statements like "phone GPS accuracy is better than a handheld", or "handheld GPS accuracy is better than a phone" are both such patently untrue, indefensible generalizations that are so easily disproved... It is nothing short of ridiculous how much time geocachers invest in one-upping each other with fallacious post after fallacious post, instead of offering/discussing real solutions and opportunities. Oh, and editing in one last thought: With most android phones, if you want to use the internal GPSr for caching, try turning the android power-saver function OFF while caching and turn it back ON when done. Yes, the internal GPSr is a battery hog, but you need the sampling interval of full power when you are caching, where you don't need it as much for driving.
  2. Alternatively, one could just go out at night, remove all the "No Tresspassing" signs, and then go get the cache.
  3. Or conversely, maybe Groundspeak should buy out google? I think if each premium membership was about a billion dollars US, we should be able to make a move. Who's with me???
  4. The three best known brands, and their best suited models for caching are: Qstarz Q818 or Q1000 Holux M1000 or M1000c GlobalSat. BT-335, 359, 368, or 821 In addition to good accuracy, what an external GPSr really adds to an android or iPhone is a SERIOUS improvement in battery life over using your phone's internal GPSr. The current iteration of AGPS is largely misunderstood... Downloading recent AGPS almanacs with a program like GPS Status improves the time to first fix but doesn't improve ongoing accuracy.
  5. I've been using NeonGeo on my android with really stellar results. I almost never carry my Garmin 60 with me any more unless I am going to be in rugged terrain or weather that my android won't handle well. I agree with what others have said, it sounds to me like either you have the device's GPS turned off, or, there's something wrong with your device.
  6. I don't see PM benefit + third party software (that while useful has a steep learning curve) to be a selling point for PM benefits when the benefit all by itself is worth the price of admission. Well, yes and no... It's more than just GSAK. A year ago I would have said that PQs were, without exception, the singular biggest benefit of premium membership for me. Today, it is really the API. My caching style has changed with the advent of really robust, refined API-based tools (in my case NeonGeo on the android, but there are others). Before 6 months ago, I would say that roughly 90% of all caches I found, I found as a result of a PQ that was loaded into GSAK and in turn loaded into my Garmin 60 and my dashboard Nuvi. Today, Easily 99% of all the caches I find, I find using data that was downloaded directly to my android using the API. The role of the PQ, for me, still exists but has declined rapidly. So I would broaden the definition out and say rather than just PQs or just the API, the real benefit of premium membership is less restrictive access to very large volumes of cache data, regardless of which method you use to retrieve them. I would also say though, that it doesn't matter to me whether GS is for profit, non-profit, whatever... I still like knowing that I am contributing to the infrastructure, and that my financial contribution is part of what makes all this work. Sure, I am blessed to be in a career track where my family isn't sacrificing by me shelling out the $30 a year... and in fact, knowing that I am also "sponsoring" free services to others that aren't so fortunate, is a big benefit of being a PM.
  7. This is generally not true. In MOST (not all, but most) US states, being on another's property is not illegal, this has been hashed in other threads. In most states criminal trespass does not occur unless you remain on/refuse to leave private property once notified. Further, in most states, once you enter onto private land, and are notified that you are on private land, you generally cannot be detained/prevented from leaving. In most states, if the land owner wants to detain (arrest) you, he must be prepared to justify his belief that your trespass was in the conduct of a crime, like stealing something from his property. Each state is different. Generally, what constitutes "criminal trespass" is spelled out in the state's code. However, other concepts, such as "duty to retreat" and "castle doctine" are often not spelled out in statute, but rather, are based on the interpretation of precedents set by previous cases within that state. Definitely not true, it absolutely matters what the law says. Battery, and criminal trespass, are state violations defined by state code, and the justification of force varies tremendously from state to state. I can't imagine any legal situation where "it doesn't matter what the laws say." *(btw I edited out "cache owner" and replaced it with "cacher" per your original intent.)
  8. Discussions about whether the accuracy of their smartphone is contributing to their challenges is absolutely germane to the broad appeal for guidance, rather than specific question posed by the OP. I don't meant to sound pugilistic, but the only post in this thread that is entirely, 100% off topic, is yours . Oh carp, and now, mine!
  9. The problem with all residential hides is that there's so many assumptions. What if a cacher enters in a coord a digit off? What if your coords are just a little off, or, the GPS accuracy is just having a bad day the day that I am out looking? In many residential areas, the difference between me being within the permission area and me being out of it is often a difference of only a few feet, a difference smaller than the accuracy of my GPSr. There is one I went to look for that is placed in someone's yard on their fence. Meaning that once I arrive, I have absolutely no idea which yard I can, and can't be searching from. And it begs the question, have you discussed the cache with every single neighbor within eyeshot of your home? If someone drove up to my neighbor's house and started rooting around their bushes, I'd probably go check on things It's funny, geocaching was around for years before I heard of it... Which makes me often think, "I wonder what other games other people are playing that I don't know anything about yet?" Watch, it turns out there is some global scavenger hunt game that involves my neighbor's arbor vitaes that I have never heard of.
  10. I'm gonna call BS on that. Just because the phone tells you that the accuracy is +- 2 meters and the GPS only tells you +- 3 meters, it doesn't make it true. Do a proper test and you'll see that the GPS still wins. Not BS at all. Both may android and my most recent blackberry (the Style) now have GPSrs whose accuracy rivals my workhorse 60csx. I am not just talking about "reported" CEP estimations shown on screen. From time to time I have access to surveyors, or military p-code receivers. Based on my own cross-checks of reported fixes between my 2 GPSrs and my 2 smart phones against 1st order survey data and calibrated DGPS, I was surprised to find that the both phones were slightly closer to survey data than my 60csx most of the time. Also surprising, my Nuvi fared better against handheld GPSrs than I expected, it was on par about half the time and within .5 meters of my handhelds nealry all the rest of the time. And I have found that my android GPSr signal deteriorates under heavy canopy absolutely on par with my handhelds, not one bit faster. I have been away from the technical side of GPS engineering for many years now, but, it may be that an internet connected device has access to even more recent ephemeral data than the lag associated with in-band data my handheld gets? Dunno. Sorry, we're drifting off topic here. One piece of advice to the OP... Things change... a few years ago, a "containerless cache"... where someone takes a small log sheet, slips it inside of a ziploc or a tiny sleeve of duct tape and slips that into a crevice... A few years ago, those would have been 3.5 to 4.5 difficulty, because no one had seen them much around here. Now they are so common in my area that they're often 1.5 to 2.0 difficulty. My point being, there may be caches that you look for that are rated difficulty 1.5 to 2.5 that are pretty easy for experienced cachers, but may be extremely hard for a new cacher... And just as hard for a cacher coming back to the sport after a long absence. In addition to the advice already given, I'd say pick a cache, and then read through the previous logs. Make sure there are no comments about it being tricky, or inaccurate coords, or recent DNFs. Also, look for cache listing where there are pictures of the actual container, that's a great head start for a novice.
  11. I don't think it can be done on the website, but if you are using a scriptable browser, like Firefox or Chrome, all things are likely possible.
  12. Co-opting an existing container is always a judgment call. I think the more involved in the local caching community, and the longer you've been involved, the easier this call is to make. I absolutely understand why GS doesn't provide for forced adoptions. For so many reasons, that makes perfect sense. The cache is someone's private property and GS doesn't want to get involved in property disputes... It is a slippery slope that would ultimately lead to GS having some element of legal liability for damage a cache, or cacher may cause. Much safer to say "we aren't involved in ANY way other than simply listing the cache." Here's the other side of the judgment call, assuming the cache is not on the cacher's private property. If a cache is on public property, or hidden in "quasi-public" property where the owner's permission wasn't sought... Which is probably 90% of all caches... No hider is ever really "entitled" to have a protected cache there. To anyone outside of geocaching, the cache is just trash that can simply be picked up and thrown away with a clear conscience. What citizen is not well within their rights to do so? We hide caches fully accepting that this is the case, it is just part of the game. Since my fellow cachers didn't sign a "waiver of their rights as citizens" to become cachers, the same really applies to them as well. We all share in a gentleperson's agreement to protect each other's caches, but in most cases, a hider isn't really "entitled" to claim the cache they left in a park as their protectable private property. My point being that while we all share a community interest in preserving each other's caches, it would be pretty disingenuous for a long-gone cacher to exert some claim that re-purposing their abandoned cache is morally equivalent to theft. Quite the contrary, re-purposing is often the "highest calling" of the cache they left behind. You just have to use YOUR own best judgement about the cache, the hider, the circumstances, and make the best decision you can. The same is true for trying to decide whether to pick up, or leave, an archived cache you come across. And one more thought edited in: You also have to weigh the community value of the cache. A well known cache from 2001 may well be worth trying very hard to contact the owner, in an attempt to get an adoption going and preserve the original cache listing. Barring that, it may still be "nostalgic" to re-use the existing container in the same hide, but in a new listing. The upshot to that is that it gives everyone an incentive to revisit an old spot they may have been to years before. And, if it is a recent cache in a dreadfully boring spot, it may be a better "honor" to the legacy container to re-purpose it elsewhere, in a more interesting spot.
  13. Well Said. +1 Speak for yourself, buster! I can take cash, paypal, checks, and most major cards.
  14. Yeh, anyone who has tried to get a fire going on purpose will tell you that the number of calories/BTUs you gotta be generating to get something with this kind of thermal mass burning is a serious amount of sustained heat. I can't believe "I just needed a little light so I could see my crack pipe" thing is going to hold water.
  15. We know!!! That isn't the point, person!!! Aaaaaaaaaaaagh!!!!!! Other people may just have legitimate uses legitimate uses for multi-cache maps even if you don't.
  16. Further to what has already been suggested, with a slight spin... Three possibilities: If you can't add or replace the log, then mention it in your find log and also create an NM (Needs Maint) log. If you have time, shoot a message to the CO too. If there's room to add a log book/sheet, just add it and mention it in your find log, and don't log an NM. If there isn't room to add a log sheet/book and you replace, mention it in your find log, don't post an NM, and email the CO about the old log. Or just do what I do, throw the whole cache in the river and then start a rumor around town that Knowschad is pilfering caches.
  17. [rant] At the risk of sounding pugilistic.... I have said this before, and I will say it again. All throughout this forum, all throughout the feedback forums, I hear the same sentence echoed over and over and over again. It takes many different forms, many different wordings, but it is always the same sentence. "I don't do it that way, and therefore I see no reason why you should do it that way." I just don't understand the "fun" of pointing out how others are doing it "wrong." I find this very disappointing, there's really no place for this here, and yet, it is almost the very ethos of the forums. How many threads in this forum are about "others are enjoying caching in ways that I don't, and it shouldn't be allowed?" It is unrelenting and we deserve better from each other. [/rant] To me, when I am going to go caching, having all the caches in a small area, like a park, overlaid on top of a aerial image of the area is the singular most important information tool available. I couldn't give a rip what the terrain right at the GZ looks like. I care a whole lot about what the terrain looks like as I move from cache to cache. I'll only be spending a few minutes at the GZs, but I'll be spending most of my day in the spaces between GZs. I use information to help me make decisions. One of the most important decisions in a day of caching that I have to make is "How am I going to move from cache to cache? Which order will it be easiest to do them in?" Without a doubt, the aerial image with multiple caches is the single gold standard for the way I cache. I have NeonGeo (gives me all the maps and images I need on my android). I use the greasemonkey scripts, so on my computer I still have access to all the maps I want too. So this problem with the maps doesn't really affect me personally. But I am just exhausted by the number of times in this thread I have heard that the aerial images are still available for each cache, and if you want to see multiple caches overlaid on aerial images, well, you just aren't thinking straight.
  18. The issue of running like mad for an FTF (perfectly legitimate) and tearing up log sheets (absolutely inappropriate) are two completely different issues. Blurring them into a single problem as if they are interwoven isn't productive. And it leads to this question... How would you suggest that Groundspeak notify YOU of new caches, in such a way that the other FTF hound is not also notified? Whether notifications are sent by text, e-mail, or, they just show up on the map with no fanfare... no matter how they show up, others are going to see them at the same time you do, and some of them, like the FTF chaser you mentioned, will be no exception. You are a premium member, have you looked at setting up notifications? Rewording my post after a re-read of the OP... Anyway... By doing, what exactly? Please be specific.
  19. Look at the number of people who have done over 500 in one day now... There are lots lately. Look at the number of power trails that have 150+ easy caches all .1 miles apart along a paved/improved trail or road. Lately, lots... Now granted, the people getting up over 500 and hitting the 1k mark in 24 hours are almost always teams of 4+, so let's leave 1,000 per day runs out of this, and assume that a few times a year, a person could hammer out 500 in one run. (Remember, there's no requirement in this case to beat a 24 hour clock so that run could actually be 30-40 hours with naps, potty stops, etc. If someone, with the right planning, tools, and prep can knock out 500 in a run... He/she only needs to do this 80 days over the course of a year and the other 285 days would be available for rest/travel/logging/prep. OK, so maybe there's not 80x 500-cache power trails. Try this math... 20 days @ 500, 40 days @ 250, 100 days @ 150, 50 days @ 100. That's 210 days of caching, 155 days off, and off those 210 days caching only 60 to 80 of them are all out marathon days. As Keystone pointed out, once you have seen how serious power trail marathons are done, there's not much mystery to how it could be done any more. I am not saying it is practical, or fun, I am just saying that the physical limitation isn't quite as daunting as it may sound. Imagining 40,000 finds spread evenly across 24 hours x 365 days is a whole different animal than f intense binges spaced a few days apart. What you'd want to identify are those power trails where all the caches are identically hidden, evenly spaced, with immediate access to a transportation path, like being able to find it within seconds of stopping your vehicle. My thought is that over the course of 2011, there may be enough trails now to do it.
  20. On a paved trail, like a bike trail, it would be perfect. Rollerblades are cumbersome because you have to bring off trail footwear with you, but a Razor scooter, you can pick it up and fold it and be on the hunt in seconds. I have been thinking about trying my daughter's razor, instead of my bicycle, on a nearby powertrail.
  21. Yeh, after going back and re-thinking about how the free API ToS works, you're right, we're just plain hosed.
  22. Although if you are changing your name out of privacy concerns, and not just wanting a "cooler" screen name, you may want want to redact some of that and say on your profile that you used to be chuck******50.
  23. A few things that I use a LOT that others don't seem to rely on or think about as much as I: 1. A mirror, especially telescoping. A total game changer. 2. Thin, high quality work gloves. Being able to reach confidently into little cracks and crevices with fewer concerns about sharp edges, spiders, etc. often shortens a search dramatically. 3. I carry two pieces of wire. One is insulated 14g copper solid wire... from residential NM wiring, about 6 inches long. Just handy to make quick hooks out of. The other is about 8 feet of thick 8g solid copper wire, uninsulated. This is pretty rigid, I fold it down to about 1 foot long and bend it into retrieval tools as needed. Not rigid enough to reach 8+ feet like up into a tree... but put a wad of inside-out duct tape on the end of it and you can retrieve non-magnetic items from storm drains, hollow logs, fence posts... 4. An a**-ton of lumens (a technical term). I am mostly a night cacher and try to move to/from the GZ with no light at all, even in tough terrain, and use only a minimum of light at the GZ. But when you need to find a little micro in a crack or crevice, sometimes 200+ lumens of serious light makes the difference between success and failure. I fabricated a nano log roller tool by epoxying two needles together side by side, touching. You slide the log end between the needles, spin it to coil up the log, and because the needles are ever-so-slightly tapered it slides right out easily. But I have to say, the moment I saw the bent-tip safety pin above, it hit me like a ton of bricks, "why didn't I already think of that!" I may also add the bike spoke to my arsenal. A friend of mine that has a borescope said, if you get one, be sure to buy one that has a mirror attachment for the end so that you can look at angles or back up the bore once you are in.
  24. GS needs to incorporate some automated code in the server to determine the global "last to find"... The very last person to have ever logged a cache the millisecond before the world ended, and give them a special souvenir. It has to be automated in case all of us humans are instantaneously wiped out, and for some period of time the servers are still running. 10,000 years from now, when the aliens finally figure out what the hell we were doing, and they finally dust off the ancient server and look for our stats, I'd like them to know I was the "Last of the Mohicans" in geocaching terms. Just a thought... What if there has been a galactic game of geocaching going on for millions or billions of years? On that time scale, it's possible that ancient civilizations were here actually hiding the cache on earth that is due to be published 12/21/12, and is in some reviewer's queue right now? Perhaps this ancient civilization realized that the onslaught of galactic cachers coming to our planet and mining it into a hollow shell looking for the cache were going to decimate our planet into non-existence. Maybe WE should find the cache and move it to the surface making it a 1/1 to reduce the search time needed. Maybe we could try to contact Spacespeak and contest the posting as being on our private property. Perhaps a challenge could be put in its place, so that an alien only has to see the earth that day and doesn't actually have to land. OMG, maybe WE are the SWAG! Maybe the aliens will come to the cache, grab us, and then drop us on other planets and log us. With my luck I will get stuck in someone's collection, or end up in a planet that gets space muggled. Maybe WE are the McToys! If Spacespeak also follows the "if you take something, leave something of equal value", I wonder what the aliens will leave here in my stead. Probably a little pile of alien poo. Wait... Maybe an even HIGHER order of aliens well above the galaxy level will someday discover the aliens movings US around like McToys from planet to planet, and they will wonder what the hell those aliens were doing moving all these little creatures from planet to planet. I wonder if the moderators at forums.spacespeak.universe have trouble keeping their threads on topic, or do their threads often become about energy beam weapons? I wonder if Spacespeak will end up negotiating an API deal with Google, or will they have to use the Mapquest/OSM maps too? I hope the alien that grabs me and hides me somewhere else wins some kind of souvenir on his website.
  25. This link to http://boulter.com/gps/ is my favorite online utility for doing this. Yeh, I know it is not the same as being able to just use a setting in gc.com but this is what I use when I need to convert formats.
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