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Posts posted by gpsgeology

  1. Just thought I would pass this info along.


    I decided that I wanted to take my GPSr with me on my non-geocache rides, so I could see the screen as I pedaled.


    Reading the reviews led me to get the Ram Mount (RAM Mounting Systems RAM-B-149Z-GA12U) to secure my Garmin 60csx to the handlebars.


    I can report that the whole thing works great! Installation easy. GPSr held securely, and GPSr is held at a perfect position. When I need to pull the Garmin off, it's easy also.


    What's more, I can easily read the GPSr screen even with sunglasses on. I would not even have tried this with the Oregon models!


    Hope someone finds this useful.


  2. I have begun to quickly scan for fishing line on trees or brush upon reaching the GZ. In our flooding area, people tend to hang caches on trees or plants.


    While the cache may be on the other side of the tree, the fact that the line is showing from all angles has been a great clue. Granted, the foliage is not really out yet, so this clue will become less useful later.


    Anyone else notice "clues" before they actually see the container?



  3. If you already have Topo 8, it takes longer to come here and ask than to try for yourself. If you do not yet have it, and are not buying it bundled with a PN-series GPS, I'd recommend waiting till Topo 9 is released.


    If you right-click the installer & select "run as administrator" you should be OK from what I've read.




    " ....longer...." Having a bad day? Hope you are better now.


    I don't own any Delorme products, just wanted to be proactive before I buy anything.


    Maybe I will wait till 9 comes out.



  4. Turn the terrain shading off. Once you have a white background, the displays are easy to see. Most of the problem is due to the dark colouration of the shading scheme.






    Good tip. Can't wait to try it.


    To the others, I am glad that the screen visibility issue is recogized, and it was just not me. I think the 60csx is much easier to read all the time.


    Have a good day.


  5. The touchscreen on the Oregon is many times dimmer than the 60CSx. Many users report that the Oregon is nearly unuseable without the backlight. I can see it well enough in most brightly lit areas but it is much better with the backlight.


    As for the message - make sure your unit is set to Alkaline when using those and NIMh when using those - or you will get faulty messages.




    I had put the gps on alkaline setting.


    I will retest everything with the NiMH batteries soon.


    I can attest the 550 is virtually unusable in sunlight without backlight.


    Again, subject to testing, but it Freaking amazes me that Garmin can put out the 550 with a screen so substandard to the one on the "old" 60csx. Is that the price we pay for touchscreen???


    Disappointed in Houston,


  6. Just got my new Oregon 550.


    I put the included batteries on the charger, and loaded two Energizer Alkaline batteries and set off down the trail.


    I noticed that I was getting a message that stated the backlight would not work because my batteries were too low.


    I could set the backlight at the highest level, but it would not display that level, I think, due to above message.


    I have not had a chance to run it with the NiMH included batteries, but should the display on the Oregon be about as readable as the 60csx in full sunlight?




  7. Tachoknight,


    The 60csx was my first modern GPSr, and I really like it.


    In the last week, I bought the 550 for paperless caching, for which the 60csx is lesser adept at.


    At this very early point, I am liking the 550 less than I thought I would, mainly because of the touch screen. The paperless caching looks very good though. FYI I am using the topo maps from gpsfiledepot. I think they are fine!


    Since you already have second thoughts about touch screen, I would definitely recommend the 60csx.


    I think that most criticism of the 60csx user interface comes from unfamiliarity.


    Good luck.


  8. I need to be able to connect my serial port on the GPSr to a laptop USB port.


    The software on my laptop is ExpertGPS which only support serial. I want to be able to use the gps/expertgps in the car.


    So, I need cable with the Garmin connector on one end and the USB plug on the other.


    Anyone know a combination of hardware and software to make this work?




  9. I am new to all this also, but I recall something that may help.


    Can you:

    1. download all your waypoints to your pc, and save them.

    2. Copy those pc waypoints into separate files to group them into manageable ways.

    3. Delete the waypoints on the garmin as described by bao.

    4. upload just the waypoints you need from your pc to the GPSr.


    Would this work?



  10. It's common knowledge that the geomate has no maps and I knew that when I got my nephew his. And like you, for $69, I thought the geomatejr was especially suited for someone who may/may not stick with it.


    Now, how do you overcome the "no maps on the geomatejr" issue? It's just a matter of jotting down a few geomatejr GC's, and looking them up on this site. You will have clickable maps to guide you nearly to the GZ.


    I know it's confusing at first, and I know because I just started also. But after one cache find, you will have the basic procedure down, then it's just a matter of refinement.


    I look forward to borrowing his geomate to try it myself. In fact, there are a number of glowing reports on this forum, that it is fun, cheap, way to geocache.


    Good luck.


  11. I think I have gotten at least 15 miles line of sight on my Motorola FRS.


    I was on the top of Lost Mine Trail when I made a radio call to my sister who was in Rio Grande Village shopping. (In Big Bend Natl Park, Tx)


    She came in loud and clear.


    Of course, distances for non-Line of Sight communications will be far shorter.


    Happy Caching,


  12. On my 60csx, I was attempting to use tracks to document a trail that is not on my topo map (from gpsfiledepot).


    Are tracks recorded automatically? Or, do I have to start and stop track recording, to capture them?


    (I don't have the unit here at work to refer to it)


    Seems like when I did start and stop recording tracks, it had still recorded before and after.


    My ultimate aim is to take the tracks into ExpertGPS.


    If anyone has some tips specific to the Garmin 60csx as far as recording tracks, I would appreciate hearing them.




  13. EasyGPS can do this and is probably the best tool because it's free and very easy to use. Download the waypoints from one unit and use EasyGPS to transfer them the the rest.





    What is the advantage of EasyGPS over Mapsource for someone just wanting to transfer waypoints?


    I ask because I just loaded my first PQ from Mapsource, already included with my GPSr, and it seemed simple.


    I have played around with ExpertGPS some... And it seems more involved than Mapsource.



  14. @Briansnat,


    Very interesting about what you just shared. You have enviable experience.


    I am not so sure that I would class geocachers as casual observers. For me, geocaching has heightened my awareness of the the areas leading to the cache, and the area around it. Now, maybe some of it is imagined, but not much I feel.


    This 4ft thing is obviously confusing.


    Examples of my 4ft "trails":

    1. On softer soil (mostly very damp where I am now), soil is beat up to some extent up to 4ft wide.

    2. On high grass, (a lot of it in meadows where there is no shade) I am seeing bent grass, and some flattened grass appx 4ft wide.


    What I am not saying:

    1. That the grass is uniformly flattened or affected for the entire 4ft, like it has been mowed, hoe'd or driven over by wheeled vehicles, or Abrams Tanks.

    2. That the soil is ground up, turned over, or flattened uniformly for the entire 4ft.


    I know I am new at geocaching, but on the other hand, I am familiar with the trails animals make, vs humans, especially deer.


    I was just making an observation, not intentionally making a critical comment about this sport. In fact, I fully support most uses of the outdoors, and think "inside" people are really at a loss.


    Really not much else I can say, except when can I get back out??


    Hope this helps.


  15. Been pretty happy with the Inova light. Uses 2 CR123 batteries. For its size, it casts a long beam. Seems to last less than 3 hours. Sometimes you just need a bright light...




    I also have the Black Diamond headlamp. Runs a long time on two AA batteries. Has Led's and a halogen lamp also. Very good light.


    Usually take both.



  16. Seems like in hot weather I give up easier. Looking forward to cool weather, and no leaves on the trees. Seems like most caches are hid in trees around here.


    I have done no urban hunting yet. Hunts have been off trail in dense woods.


    Looking forward to taking the gps on the road into far West Texas.



  17. I have a Kawasaki Prairie 4-wheeler so I know the diff. The damage is people.


    As I said, any human foot traffic inevitably leave a mark.


    Four foot wide "trails".. are they riding four wheelers to the cache? I suspect what you are seeing has little to do with cache hunting."

    Anyway, logged 2 "found its" out of 5 and it took so long that we decided not to hike into the woods to the 6th location.


    Can't wait to go back and try to find the 3 we missed!


    I just started this sport too, and I was excited to find my first! Especially since I had no idea what a cache would look like.


    I remember an early one. I searched and searched. GPS was pretty stable, but no cache. Then I looked up, and there it was! Hung on a branch over my head AND OBVIOUS!


    Have fun.


  19. Hi,


    As the OP, I have been reading this thread everyday.


    Found a dozen caches now in the area that I posted about first.


    The area I search now is fairly thick. Thorny dewberry bushes, vines, and brush interspersed by small to medium pine trees, must be navigated through.


    Over the years, I have seen countless snakes, some deer, and since I have been caching, giant yellow spiders overhanging trails. The main trail is asphalt running 3.1 miles one way. Trail is very busy.


    As to cache hunting effects, I believe that:


    1. Compared to game only trails, cacher travelled trails are easily distinguishable. I believe cacher trails are 4 ft or wider. Game trails appear to be less than a ft wide and cut through brush that people would not travel.

    2. Vegetation and soil disruption is obvious, as compared to game trails that I have noted crossing the cache trial.

    3. The area around the GZ is very disturbed, as compared to areas away from GZ. No dropped batteries or other trash noted, yet.

    4. As to how long the vegetation and trail disruption lasts, is unknown. From the cache log, visits were typically 1-2 months old, so damage may take that long to recover. How many DNF visits are unlogged would change that estimate.


    As the area I hunt in is the Addicks Resevoir of Harris County, Tx, and is often covered by water, I think cache hunter signs are masked by the effect of ft deep water. Now, there has been a drought here, so the damage I see may have accumulated for a year or so.


    I have been walking the trail for many years for exercise. Now that I have discovered geocaching, it has added to the enjoyment.


    I've never seen another person with a gps on the trail, but I know they are there. I wonder how scary (is that the right word?) to be 150ft off the trail in thick vegetation, and encounter someone else!


    I think the first cache I carefully hide will be designed to prove or disprove my observations.


    Hopefully, the damage cachers inevitably do is minimal.



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