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Everything posted by Gonzo-YT

  1. Your Vista has a built in compass. The small dot indicates your compass heading. You can change the options for your satellite page to get different views, including changing between "North Up" and "Track Up" similar to the map view. The benefit here is to help you face the right way to pick up more satellites, should you need to. Regards, Anthony
  2. Amen to that... In fact, why do those types of caches even HAVE coordinates? There is nothing more annoying than reading a cache page that starts out "the cache is NOT at the posted coordinates, they point to (insert irrevelevant location here)." If the cache isn't there, why post coordinates at all? I think that unknown/puzzle caches should have no coordinates. Any traditional cache should have the actual coordinates for the cache, and in a multi or offset the posted coordinates have to point to the beginning of the cache hunt, whatever that may be. Regards, Anthony
  3. I have 23 caches in my territory, which is 483,000 sq. km -- somewhat larger than the state of California. I'm the luckiest cacher in the world, as far as I am concerned. I figure that, if I stick with it, I can clear out my closest 15-20 unfound caches within two years. Regards, Anthony
  4. I'm looking to swap my Fugawi for your OziExplorer. See this thread for more details. I'm hoping to keep the exchange inside Canada, just for ease of mailing, hence the cross-posting here. I can also make the swap in person in the Vancouver, Ottawa or London areas in the first week of December. Regards, Anthony
  5. I have a fully legal, original copy of Fugawi 3.0. You can upgrade this to the very latest version from their website. It includes the packaging, manuals, serial numbers. It comes with street overlays for all of the United States and Canada. I like Fugawi, but what I didn't realize when I bought it is that *everyone* up where I live uses Ozie. No one has even heard of Fugawi. So, I'd like to change over. If anyone is interested, I'll do a swap for your legal, original copy of Ozie. I'm in Canada and would prefer someone in Canada, just to save the hassle of mailing things over the border. But, I'm willing to send it just about anywhere. Contact me through my profile. Regards, Anthony
  6. Hi Ray, Which PalmOS devices support CF? Last I checked, it was either SD (PalmOne) or memory stick (Sony Clie). Just curious... Regards, Anthony
  7. Garmin's FAQ says that you might need 15-20 minutes of clear signal to get WAAS with a Vista or Legend (different antenna than the 60C). However, it does point out a very good tip: find out which satellite number refers to EGNOS, and then read your satellite page. I live North of 60, which means that the WAAS satellites are low on the horizon and hard to pick up. My Vista C will read it but hasn't shown a differential fix as of yet. I recently did a GPS exercise for search and rescue. I decided to use two receivers at once: my Vista C and a GPS 72. The 72 picked up WAAS almost right away, and the Vista never did. The difference? None... Both GPS were getting 3-5m accuracy, and their readings never differed by more than 1-2m between each other. The most important thing is the position of the satellites. If you have enough in view, with the right geometry, you get the best fix. My opinion on WAAS (or EGNOS) -- WAAS has no purpose in wilderness navigation or geocaching. Any modern recreational-grade receiever is more than sufficient. After all, we're not surveyors! Regards, Anthony
  8. I put my Palm in an otterbox and it's good to go just about anywhere. Waterproof, crush-proof, floats, and you can still use it. Now that I think about it, you could probably put a little chemical hand-warmer in there to keep it warm in the winter! Highly recommended. Regards, Anthony
  9. When you say maps, are you talking street mapping and routing, or are you talking about using topo maps? When it comes to topos, I have used both Fugawi and PathAway. Fugawi is total rubbish, don't ever install it on your Palm. PathAway is infinitely better, but I still found that it wasn't worth using on the palm. It's too buggy, and the map files are too big. If you want maps in your hand, there is no substitute for a mapping GPS, IMHO. Regards, Anthony
  10. I'd like to ask everyone to keep in mind that there are always jackasses in the world. People will be irreponsible or reckless or do stupid things. For example, there are geocachers who place caches at schools or other sensitive areas, leave caches exposed to get vandalized or stolen, or damage the natural environment looking for a cache. Those are the few people, while most of us (I hope) are responsible and try to do our best for the cache, our fellow cachers and the land. However, those few are the people who threaten the sport -- look at all the restrictions, land closures, bomb scares, etc. happening in the US right now -- and we all pay the consequences. You can see where I am going here... There will always be a few stupid hunters. If you took all the guns away, those people would undoubtedly find a new way to hurt themselves and others. Meanwhile, people who are responsible, ethical hunters suffer for it. Regards, Anthony
  11. The easiest thing to do is find your local benchmark. I guarantee you that almost everyone lives near a geodetic benchmark disc. I walk over about 25 of them going between work and home (about 1.5 km). Look it up and find it's elevation. Then, you've always got a precise location for setting your altimeter. That being said, I don't calibrate mine everytime I use it, and the altitude readings are never that bad. I believe it is roughly corrected by the GPS position. Most times, you don't care if you're at 750 m or 760 m. You're more concerned with getting to the top of the hill! Regards, Anthony
  12. Quite frankly, people get too hung up on accuracy. Any modern recreational GPS receiever is more than accurate enough for geocaching. Once you're within 5m of the coordinates, you shouldn't even be looking at the GPSr. Plus, when it comes to GPS accuracy the single most important factor is the position of the satellites. Period. Learn how to properly read your satellite page, it gives you a lot of valuable information. Regards, Anthony
  13. Actually, at least as far as Canada is concerned, the Garmin maps are the best deal going. I get 1:50,000 coverage for the whole of Canada for about $150. This is vector-based data, that actually holds information, and not scanned paper maps. By comparison, for me to purchase the complete topographic data set for just the Yukon would cost me about $10,000. So, I'm not too put out by the price of the Garmin product. Regards, Anthony
  14. I find the barometric altimeter on the Vista C to be very accurate once calibrated. I typically am within 3-5 meters on vertical benchmarks. I use the altimeter readings a lot more than I expected to. Worth the extra money, IMHO.
  15. An hour? Wow! It takes me about 60 seconds to load that many maps on my Vista C.
  16. I had my GPS out skiing this weekend (Garmin Vista C). I just clipped it onto my waist. Everything worked great, it was around -10 C which is getting close to the Garmin's maximum range of -20. I do have it in a neoprene holster though, which might help a little bit. Just checked the tracklogs and they are bang on. When I'm out in the bush I usually wear a military tactical harness, which holds all kinds of gear and lets me wear the GPS high on my shoulder. For skiing, I am thinking that I would like to get a shoulder mount as well. I am thinking of using nylon straps and plastic clips to custom-rig some kind of a light shoulder harness. Regards, Anthony Regards, Anthony
  17. One cheap and easy solution: use an elastic/velcro strap on your arm, and just clip the belt clip on to it. You could wrap another strap around the unit to secure it to your arm, and/or use your lanyard as a safety mechanism in case it slips off. That being said, I wouldn't want that thing on my arm when I was double-poling hard. I'd probably go for a shoulder mount, myself.
  18. I have bitten my tongue on a lot of these threads about poor quality caches. But, I really have a burning desire to ask this question. Who the heck is making you hunt these caches that you don't like? (NB: This post/question is directed generally, not at a specific person. I probably have a really different perspective on this, since in my neck of the woods there is an average of one cache per 21,000 sq. km. However, I think that makes me the luckiest cacher in the world. It will take me a couple of years of serious caching just to clear out the 15-20 closest unfound caches to me. Whenever I travel to a cache-dense area, I pick a few caches that I think sound cool and I do them. I take the time to read through cache pages and read previous logs. Planning the trip is half the fun, especially if I have to use topo maps. Read the cache page. If it doesn't sound interesting, don't do it. Who cares if you pass by 100 caches on the way to the one you want? If the cache page is sparse or of low quality, that's probably a sign. If they didn't spend time and thought on the listing, they probably didn't spend time and thought on placing the cache either. So, give that one a miss. My theory is it's like drugs. It's never as good as the first time, and the more you use them the less high you get, and you end up using more and more. Practice moderation (or move to the Yukon!) and I think you'll lose this frustration with the sport. Regards, Anthony
  19. Minor correction note that it's Whitehorse, not Yellowknife. Most of the survey talk is above my head, but we're located quite close to the Alaskan coast. Skagway is actually one of the closest communities, about 140 km or so to the south. If I recall correctly from the history, USC&GS did a lot of coastal work in Alaska during the 30's, which probably gave them a system to tie into. Regards, Anthony
  20. Hi Bob, Actually, I had seriously considered buying a Suunto, they make nice compasses. I prefer to use a mirrored compass myself, and in my case the deal-breaker was that the Type 15 has 1:50,000 and 1:250,000 UTM grid roamers on it -- essential for using Canada topo maps. The comparable Suunto at my local store had US scales. I don't know about the etching vs. printing issue, I'll take a look at mine when I get home. Although I was slagging keychain compasses in my earlier post, I do have a little Suunto Gem compass that I really like. Regards, Anthony
  21. I consider it a compliment whenever anyone takes the time to find one of my caches. So far, that is only one person -- maybe I'm not as great as I think! (LOL ) Regards, Anthony
  22. Compasses are one thing that you definitely get what you pay for... For instance, I like to leave those little keychain compasses in geocaches. I bought about ten of them at once and I think that none of them actually pointed North, although most were close -- 10-15 degrees, anyways. As far as I can tell, it is more a problem with manufacture than magnetism. If the needle isn't level and able to move freely, it can't do its job. Others have also made good points here about keeping it away from metals, electronics, etc. Don't tape it to the bottom of your GPS. If you're serious about working with a map compass, Brunton Type 15 (or comparable model from another company) is the only way to go.
  23. Consider cropping your photos before you resize them... You'll get better results. It's pretty hard to get that whole sweeping mountain view in a small picture, so better just to crop it down to the best part of it. Regards, Anthony
  24. Is it just me, or is it wierd that somone committing a crime is not required to pay for any law enforcement costs involved in bringing them to justice, and here are two people who have done nothing illegal who may have to pay? All I can say is, glad I don't live in an area where things like this happen. I wouldn't be playing this game if I did. Regardsm Anthony
  25. If you live in North America, watch for satellite numbers 35 or 47, those will be the WAAS satellites.
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