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Everything posted by Curioddity

  1. Boy, this has all the ingredients of a self-inflicted "distributed denial of service" attack. Pete
  2. Goop works fairly well. Marine Goop is the same stuff but with UV stabilizers in it. I believe that Lock 'n' Locks and most of those Tupperware-like containers are molded Polypropylene. I'm a model aviator and plane builder and a regular contributor in several of the RC forums knowschad mentioned and EPP (Expanded Polypropylene) is one of the building materials we use. Not much will stick to the stuff, even in a foam state, but Goop works both as an adhesive and a coating. E-6000 and UV-6800 are the same thing and seem to work just as well, but they're Perc (Perchloroethylene) based instead of Toluene based: Pete
  3. That's nonsense, plain and simple. As it pertains to -this- thread, how many support programs and drivers for today's generation of GPS units will run under Linux? Any of them? I have a Linux drive in my tower and in all honesty, I'd love to be able to say goodbye to Windows if for no other reason than all the security issues, but there is no Linux software or drivers for any of my computer-controlled and/or synced consumer electronics devices. Not for my cell phone or my communications receiver or my R/C transmitters or my battery chargers or my data loggers and test instruments ... Oh, and not my Oregon 400t or my nuvi 500. Not any of 'em. And that's the big problem with Linux right now: Using it as a primary OS is all about compromise. It does some things very well, but it currently doesn't offer support for way too many others. Pete
  4. The best choice will also depend on the computer (CPU & chipset) and how much performance you demand. XP doesn't take very good advantage of multi-core CPUs. Vista is substantially better at it but 7 does an outstanding job of it. My current desktop is an Intel 3450/Core i7 system and switching from Vista Ultimate x64 to 7 Ultimate x64 sped things up noticeably, and it was fast on Vista. But I'm one of those computer enthusiasts who just can't seem to be satisfied with good enough, and with that in mind I don't necessarily suggest others do what I do. In fact, I don't normally recommend that people upgrade their OS unless they have a practical reason to do so, however if there is a practical reason then I don't see any valid reason not to go with Windows 7. My own progression through Windows included NT 3.1, '95, '98, XP, Vista, and now Windows 7 and 7 is definitely my favorite so far for a multitude of reasons. In fact, I just put 7 Home on my Samsung NC10 Netbook and it's running better than it ever did with XP on it. I'll add that all of my software and hardware which ran on Vista also runs just fine on 7. Pete
  5. I have the Sprint Hero and I've used it and GeoBeagle to find several caches. I need to qualify that, though: My phone is not my primary caching GPS. I have an Oregon 400t and a nuvi 500 which I typically use and the only time I've used the Hero is when a new cache notification popped up while I was in the field. Pete
  6. Thanks, Bill. I figured as much, but I didn't want to try to proceed based on assumptions. Last time I did that I bricked my iPod Touch. Pete
  7. I must be getting addled in my old age.... I vaguely recall installing a beta update long ago but the rest of my updates have all been done with WebUpdater. The bottom line is I can't remember how to update an Oregon 400t with a downloaded beta update and I can't seem to find the procedure anywhere. I'm sure it's here in this GPS and Technology forum and I'm sure it can be found in the Garmin website, but I'll be damned if I can come up with the search criteria to find it. Can someone help me out? Thanks! Pete
  8. Unfortunately there are still plenty of people in this world who think NiMH cells suffer from "memory" problems like the old NiCd cells did and they like to deep-discharge them to keep it from happening. The truth of the matter is NiMH cells don't tolerate deep discharges like NiCd cells do and modern NiCd cells don't suffer from voltage depression (the correct terminology) like the early cells did. And the deep-discharge misconception apparently isn't a consumer exclusive. There are commercially available battery charger/cyclers that discharge cells well below the acceptable threshold for NiMH chemistry and the people who are engineering them either don't have a clue or are deliberately trying to encourage new-battery sales. Pete
  9. NiMH cells have a nominal voltage of 1.2V per cell and they are completely discharged for all practical purposes when that voltage drops below 1V per cell. Below that they can no longer maintain voltage under even the tiniest of loads and the cell chemistry begins to deteriorate in an irreversible way. The mAh rating of a cell is based on it's usable capacity which means a fully-charged 2000mAh cell should be able to deliver 2000mAh of usable energy before the cell voltage drops below that 1V threshold. In the simplest of terms, the mAh (milliamp hour) rating tells you the current in mA (milliamps) that the cell should be able to supply for one hour. In other words, a fully-charged 2000mAh cell should be able to power a 2000mA load for one hour before the cell becomes completely discharged. Likewise, a 1000mAh cell should be able to power a 1000mA load for one hour before it becomes completely discharged. C is a value used to express a rate that you charge or discharge a cell at and it's expressed as a number which is a multiplier and the letter C which means Capacity and equals the mAh rating of the cell. The number you get (when you do the math) is a current load expressed in mA (milliamps). So a 1C load on a 2000mAh cell would be 2000 mA (1 x 2000 = 2000). A 0.5C load on a 2000mAh cell would would be 1000mAh (0.5 x 2000 = 1000). For a real-world example of all this, my Oregon 400t runs for about 8 hours on Eneloop 2000mAh cells before it shuts off. So if we assume that it shuts off when the cell voltage reaches 1V per cell then it draws roughly 250mA when it's on and that's a 0.125C rate of discharge for a 2000mAh cell (0.125 x 2000 = 250) and (2000 / 250 = 8). To continue this example, if I want to recharge these cells at an 0.5C rate I'd charge them at 1000mA (0.5 x 2000 = 1000) and it would take about 2 hours (2000 / 1000 = 2). Likewise if I wanted to charge them at a 0.25C rate I'd charge them at 500mA (0.25 x 2000 = 500) and it would take about 4 hours (2000 / 500 = 4). Of course if it was a dire emergency and I just had to charge those cells FAST I'd charge them at a 1C rate which would be 2000mA (1 x 2000 = 2000) and it would take about 1 hour (2000 / 2000 = 1), but that's not something you want to do to NiMH cells if you want them to last. On a final note, there are 1000mA (milliamps) in 1A (amp). I bring this up because some chargers are set in amps instead of milliamps. The easiest way to convert milliamps to amps is to move the decimal 3 places to the left so 2000mA becomes 2.0A and 500mA becomes 0.5A, etc. Of course that means you can also convert amps to milliamps by moving the decimal 3 places to the right. These exact same rules can be used to convert mAh (milliamp hours) to Ah (amp hours) and back, but it's rare to find consumer electronics batteries rated in Ah. A more detailed explanation goes beyond the scope of what I'm willing to type right now. Pete
  10. The Eneloops are are rated at 2000mAh. At face value that may sound quite inferior to a 2700mAh "standard" NiMH cell, but the standard cells will only be able to deliver that 2700mAh when they're hot off the charger. Let 'em sit for a day or two under ideal conditions and the capacity will be reduced by as much as 20% due to the self-discharge characteristics of standard NiMH cells. I'll add that storing standard NiMH cells in high ambient temperatures like in a parked car with the windows up or even in a dark-colored daypack which is exposed to sunlight will dramatically increase the self-discharge rate. But the self-discharge rate of Eneloops is basically insignificant. I've put my Oregon in my glove box with freshly-charged Eneloops in it and not touched it for a month or more, but it still shows full charge and goes all day when I finally got around to using it again. The same is true for the R/C transmitter I fly my gliders with (a Multiplex Royal Evo-12). I charged it last November, but the weather got chilly and life happened so I never even took it out of it's Pelican Case until last weekend. It was ready to go when I did, though, and I flew planes for hours last Saturday, Sunday, and today with it without fear that I'd ever get a low voltage alarm. And I don't NEED to charge it yet, but I will because there's no reason not to and it's flying season. As for charging cells at 0.1C, that's the suggested norm for constant-current chargers which don't use a peak-detect algorithm (read: wall warts and inexpensive consumer-grade chargers). I've owned dozens of sophisticated programmable multi-chemistry chargers during the years I've been flying R/C and I don't remember a single one which would reliably detect a NiMH or NiCd peak at less than 0.2C. I currently use a pair of Hyperion EOS 0615i DUO3 chargers which cost ~$300 each and they typically won't detect a peak at 0.1C either. NiMH and NiCd cells don't necessarily "like" an 0.1C charge rate any more or less than they "like" a 0.5C rate, but 0.1C is often recommended because it's hard to overcharge cells to the point of damage at that rate. The best rule of thumb is never charge your cells faster than you have to, but charge at at least 0.2-0.3C if you're using a peak detect charger. You also never want to charge over 1.0C unless you consider your cells disposable, and don't let your cells get hot. Warm is OK, but if they get hot then you're doing irreversible damage to the cell chemistry. Oh: And NEVER discharge NiMH cells below 0.9V per cell. That will also do irreversible damage to the cell chemistry. Theres really no practical reason to discharge them below 1V per cell and that's an easy number to remember. I charge my loose AA and AAA NiMH cells (almost all Eneloops) in a Maha MH-C800S in Soft Charging mode. I never have been able to find a specification for the charge rates, but judging by how long it takes to charge 2000mAh Eneloops I'd guess that soft charge equals something like 0.5A or 0.25C. The "regular" charge rate gets cells way too hot for my tastes, so I never use it. I've also never had reason to "condition" eneloop cells. Once or twice a season I'll group 4-8 cells at a time in a "series" battery holder and map a full discharge graph with my West Mountain Radio CBA (Computerized Battery Analyzer) and I have yet to detect any measurable loss of capacity. Some of my cells came from Japan before they were ever available in the United States and have hundreds of charge-discharge cycles on them, and they test as good as my newer cells do. I've NEVER had the same service life with standard NiMH cells. Pete
  11. I tried convincing a traffic court judge of that, once. She wasn't amused, and I won't be using that argument anymore. Pete
  12. If any of you are using the Energizer Duo USB battery charger, you had better read this: http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/154421 Pete
  13. No RC Goat on that trip, but will Santa do? Pete
  14. Actually, NiMH cells have a fairly flat discharge curve, especially under the low current loads most consumer electronics devices put on them. And as for those Powerex 2700 and other high-capacity NiMH cells, their high self-discharge rates tend to level the playing field real quick if you don't use them hot off the charger. Put them in a daypack or the trunk of a car for a day and they'll lose 30% or more of their charge before you ever get a chance to use them. The hybrid NiMH cells like the Eneloop don't have that high self-discharge problem so they'll still be fully charged weeks after you charge them. To give you a real-world example, I only used packs of Sanyo HR-3U-2500 cells (2500mAh NiMH) in my R/C transmitters and slope gliders until the Eneloops hit the market. Those cells worked pretty good if I charged them on the day I was going to use them, but I quickly learned that it wasn't a good idea to try to fly them if they'd been sitting in the trunk of my car for a few days. That, I should add, was an expensive lesson. So I gave the Eneloops a try when they first became available. I was initially concerned that the 500mAh less capacity was going to cut my flying short, but I've been consistantly getting more time in the air out of the 2000mAh Eneloops than I was out of the 2500mAh HR-3Us. In addition, I can charge up my transmitter and a couple of my "opportunity" slopers and keep them in my trunk until an opportunity to fly pops up, and they'll be ready to go when that happens even if it's several weeks after I charged them. I'd never dare do that with standard NiMH cells. I had two fly-aways early on when my transmitter batteries died on me mid-flight and that was enough, thank you. Like I already wrote, those high-capacity cells like the Powerex 2700 and Sanyo HR-3U cells will work fine if you use them within a day or so after you charge them, but after that they typically can't match the run-time of 2000mAh Eneloops that have been sitting around for a month or more. Now to be honest, I've never used anything but Eneloops in my Oregon 400t, but I've never had to replace them in the field yet, and I've spent some long days out geocaching on my bicycle. I'm also a spontaneous cacher, meaning that I don't do it all the time but I'm apt to do it any old time, so I really like the fact that I can put charged batteries in my Oregon and put it in my glove box, and they'll still be fully charged and ready to go regardless of how long it takes me to get the urge to grab some more caches. Pete
  15. The Sanyo charger which comes with the Eneloop 4-pack will work just fine. I just don't have one because I buy my Eneloops in 8-packs or in bulk and neither of those options include a charger. As for my chargers which cost "hundreds of $$'s", you can trust that I didn't buy them to charge batteries for my consumer electronics. I actually use most of my Eneloops in an application which is far more mission critical: http://www.vimeo.com/1760099/ Pete
  16. Regularly charging any NiMH batteries at a 4C (15 minute) rate is going to dramatically reduce the number of charge-discharge cycles they will deliver before they suffer a significant reduction in useable capacity. Even a 1C (1 hour) rate isn't advised if you want your cells to last. I learned this lesson the hard way during my early years as a R/C model aviator and have had excellent cycle life out of my NiMH packs since I learned how to take care of them. But you don't have to take my word for it. This, from the Sanyo Eneloop website FAQ: Q: Can I use a "Quick Charger" to charge an eneloop battery? A: Though it is possible to charge an eneloop battery in a "Quick Charger", it is not recommended. We recommend charging eneloop batteries in a NiMh charger that is 2 hours or more. Charging eneloop batteries in a "Quick Charger" can reduce the overall life of the battery. It is strongly recommended to use eneloop, Sanyo or Sanyo NiMh battery chargers. We only warrant eneloop if used with an eneloop, Sanyo or Sanyo NiMh battery charger. This isn't just advertising hype, folks, although there are many fine chargers out there which will do the job as well as Sanyo's own chargers. I have programmable multi-chemistry chargers which cost hundreds of dollars, but I still limit my charge rate to 0.5C (~2 hour) when I charge my NiMH cells. If you NEED to charge faster than that, then you need more batteries and you need to plan better. And just for the record, I use a MAHA MH-C800S in soft charging mode to charge my loose Eneloops. Pete
  17. I leave my nuvi 500 in the car and use my Oregon 400t when I'm afoot. I originally started geocaching with the nuvi, but I quickly found that using it as a portable involved way too much compromise. Pete
  18. I rarely use the compass on my Oregon 400t and nuvi 500 as a compass, per se, but I use the compass rose frequently when searching for a cache. When the compass is calibrated correctly and a cache location is programmed as a destination, the arrow on the compass rose always points at the cache and this makes it easy to physically navigate to GZ. Of course the compass also tells me where N, S, E, W, and all points between are, but I rarely pay any attention to that. I typically focus on where the arrow is pointing and the support data like distance to the cache. Generally speaking, I'll navigate by map if I'm driving or riding on roads or major trails which are shown on the maps in my GPSr, but I'll almost always switch to compass mode the moment my feet hit the ground. Pete
  19. I've also had several Kirkland AA & AAA Alkalines from Costco leak. Pete
  20. Concerned or curious people are one thing and when I'm questioned by them, I try to be a good ambassador for Geocaching. That may or may not involve explaining what I'm really doing, but I strive to be as friendly as I can be and as informative as the situation warrants. But there are also genuine jerks in this world and their encounters with me typically don't go the way they plan them. Thankfully I've only run into a couple of 'em while Geocaching and they were both security guards with bad attitudes and a grossly-inflated sense of authority. Ironically, both were also pimple-faced punks who probably got picked on a lot in school. They tried their best to be a bad @ss with me but quickly learned that I'm not even slightly intimidated by a starched uniform with cloth security company emblems sewn on the sleeves. In all fairness, I should add that I've also met some really decent security guards while caching, and my encounter with them was a lot more affable. In fact, one is now a local cacher too, primarily because he asked me what I was doing in a friendly and genuinely curious way. So I explained geocaching to him and the rest, as they say, is history. Pete
  21. Pilots are intimately familiar with this routine. Good old fashion avionics altimeters only have one thing to set: The barometric pressure. The knob is usually identifyable because it will be the one with all the anodization worn off. Right before we take off or when we're on approach for landing we'll either ask the tower for the "local altimeter" (which, in pilot-speak, means the barometric pressure at the airport) or we'll get the information from the A.T.I.S. broadcast from the airport. Then we set the altimeter to that barometric pressure which allows it to display the correct altitude. Depending on the flying conditions and the terrain we're flying over, this routine might be repeated many times throughout a flight to correct for differences in the local barometric pressure. This is important when we're airborne if we want to remain comfortably above local obsticles like radio antennas and mountains or fly at the correct altitude in a controlled airspace. It's also important when we're taking orders from a tower of flight controller 'cause when they say decend to 4000 feet and maintain, they mean 4000 feet! I won't argue that, but it's important to understand that it won't stay accurate for long, especially in an unstable weather pattern. And keeping it set is almost as frustrating as trying to own the latest and greatest GPSr. Most haven't. The barometric altimeter is only a feature on some high-end GPS units and they're typically a supplemental option to GPS altitude (calculated by satellite triangulation). But given accurate and current local barometric pressure data, a barometric altimeter has a potential for greater accuracy than GPS altitude, especially with consumer-grade GPS units. Pete
  22. Being as you will be flying, you can get your destination elevations here: http://www.airnav.com/airports/ You don't say what kind of GPS you use but the fact that you want to "set" it probably means it has a barometric altimeter in it. Unfortunately, those only remain accurate after you set them until the "atmospheric" barometric pressure changes. The difference between being in a low pressure area (read: storm) and a high pressure area (read: clear skies) can change your altimeter reading by several hundred feet. But airnav.com should give you the information you need to set your altimeter at any airport, and the information is about as accurate as it gets. Pete
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