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Xangxa

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Everything posted by Xangxa

  1. I've not been able to afford the upgrade to version 7 of GSAK. Therefore, the source code for PushPins.exe is now available under a Creative Commons license in case the technically proficient should wish to enhance it or port it (e.g., to AutoHotKey)
  2. Oops, the award caches ARE listed on the www.GEOSET.org home page. You don't have to go into the forums (unless you also want to see the nominees).
  3. Xangxa

    Epe Readings

    Magellan Meridian Gold (I have two, and this is my best behaved unit): Best Case: 7ft. (sometimes even under tree cover) Driving: 7ft to 13ft. (I guess because the roads are mostly open) Heavy Tree Cover: 10ft to 30ft. My average is probably 16ft to 30ft. I've found that tree cover is only half the problem: satellite positions play a major role. Also, it seems that about sunset things get worse. Perhaps it's the satellite constellation, sunflares, or some other atmospheric phenonemon. As far as obstacles go, being in hollows, canyons, up against a cliff or bluff is more troublesome than any tree cover. I've hunted in conditions as bad as 184ft. Triangulation in such conditions has saved the day many a time and I highly recommend a good compass. Getting to a location with good EPE to shoot a bearing can really improve your chances. Also, having topo maps or a satellite image can help since it will show where the cache is in relation to streams, roads, etc. even when the GPS can't tell you exactly where YOU are on the topo. The absolute worst scenario was 2010 MILES away! I made the find using "the force" and cache descriptions. Normally I go home or move on when EPE gets above 50 unless I've travelled a long distance, or it's worth a lot of points, or it has a good description/hint, etc. When the game stops being fun it's still hard to tell my OC side to "let it go."
  4. Greetings from Chattanooga. I looked over my finds, and as you can imagine the best historic caches tend to be virtuals. Here are a few of my favorites: Cypher Point (My favorite historical virtual)[/url] The Great Chase #1 The Great Chase #2 The Unknown Thacher's Crossing Sunset Rock Here are some physical containers. Most are micros, but I've noted the exceptions: Lea Bridge (Also a nearby veteran's memorial) Delving Into the Past (small almost regular) Old Federal Road #2-Stone Church Ross's Other Landing Key's Battery Fort (regular) As a side note, you might want to visit www.GEOSET.org and review their 2006 award winners which are listed in the "Award Caches" section of the member's forum (just register an account to become a member).
  5. My Lampost for Clive Staples cache was fancied up with HTML (typography, colors, blocking) and pictures to set the theme.
  6. Xangxa

    Curse You, Ppc!

    I use SpriteBackup, which can backup to a memory card as an executable. I've had my PPC do a hard reset in the field, and I've run the backup to restore the unit. Then when it gets back to the docking station, it's just a little bit of sync'ing to get everything up to date. Also consider storing your GPX files on the memory card. I use GSAK to slice and dice everything into small, managable files for use with GPXsonar. Then I use MightySync to get them onto the memory card.
  7. Yes, this can be done easily. The inclusion of child waypoints is controlled by the export settings in GSAK. First, in your export macro (e.g., PushPins.txt) a customized setting must be used for every export that you wish to influence. Here is what one of the export entries look like: EXPORT TYPE=SNT SETTINGS=PushPins FILE=C:\GPS\PushPins\Event.csv I used the setting named "PushPins" so that I know it's a setting used specifically for creating pushpins. You can use any name you want. If your export macro doesn't use the SETTINGS parameters, add this to all the EXPORT entries. The setting you specify in the export must be defined in GSAK. Press Ctrl+J or navigate in GSAK to /File /Export /Microsoft Streets and Trips Text File (or press Ctrl-J). At the top of the dialog entitled "Export Microsoft Streets and Trips TXT File" are the check boxes that control inclusion or exclusion of child waypoints. Make your choice and adjust any other settings on this dialog that you require. Then click the SAVE button and save it as PushPins (or whatever you've used in the SETTINGS= parameter in your export).
  8. Xangxa

    Map Of Finds

    GSAK macros are excellent for automating many of these type tasks. I use GSAK to create cache maps like this: I could easily limit it to just finds. The mapping software I used is the inexpensive Microsoft Streets & Trips.
  9. I have a daily PQ that stopped running (last run on the 15th). In contrast a weekly PQ ran today just fine. So something appears to be broken somewhere.
  10. What options do one have if they are watching a TB (i.e., not the owner). I dropped off TB4F34 on 3/19 and weeks later it still doesn't show the mileage.
  11. GPXsonar is free, and very, very useful. I own both GPStuner and Vito Navigator II, but no longer use them. A PPC is too expensive and fragile to use as a GPS if you're hiking. It's fine for urban use and reading cache details, but it's better to just buy a robust GPS like the Magellan Meridian Gold (I've bought two I liked it so much). Then you can store the PPC in an inexpensive PelicanBox in your backpack to protect it until it's needed. This is cheaper than buying a PPC, a BlueTooth GPS, an Otterbox for the PPC, and an Otterbox for the GPS. Of course if all you're hunting are film canisters in parking lot lamp posts, a PPC and a good BT GPS would be fine. PocketStreets comes with the inexpensive Microsoft Streets and Trips, and I find this program useful to get a visual layout of the roads and cache locations. You can get it at Walmart for about $30. Plus there's a lot you can do with the PC side of that package (cache run planning, polygon filters, push-pin maps, etc.) For road navigation I use something that's NOT cheap, but it was worth every penny. I use my PPC with a BlueTooth GPS on the dash and iGuidance navigation software. This does auto-routing (and automatic routing if you miss a turn) with real voice prompting (not just text-to-speach or beeping). You can put in the lat/lon and it'll take you to the nearest road automatically.
  12. It must of just happened. I could access one cache and just a few minutes later I can't access any. But I can access my log entries from my profile page.
  13. Things are still going badly at Magellan. I called today at 13:59 EST and was on hold until 15:09 -- OVER AN HOUR on hold listening to Enya. My GPS, which I shipped on 01/12 is still in the black void. They can't tell me the status, except he guessed that it went to the tech's on 02/04. So it's been nearly a MONTH! They've had it for 20 business days. I asked if there was a different number for checking on RMA statuses so I didn't have to compete with tech-support questions. No, just the one number, and he apologized for the average one-hour delays. He said he'd talk to his manager and get it expedited. Would he send me an email when he finds out something? No, sorry. The only communication I'll get is from UPS when it ships back. So the only way to get status information is to call back about 02/17!
  14. You won't have to change the macro: The graphic used is the one with a matching file name. So the data set "micros" uses the image file named micros.bmp Rename the micros.bmp that is currently being used to something like micros_old_icon.bmp Put the graphic you want to use in the directory where micros.bmp was located. Rename that graphic to micros.bmp
  15. I'd take an Explorist XL Sigh ... I've already got all the cables and mounts. But I guess I could drop it off in a cache as swag.
  16. I sent my Meridian Gold in for repairs (the backlight had stopped working), which they received the morning of 01/16. There is supposed to be a 10-12 day turn-around. I called today (15 business days later). First, they had my account under a different RMA number than what they emailed me. Second, they have no status update on my unit. They don't know if repairs have even begun on my unit. They told me to call back next Tuesday: they've increased their repair turn-around to a MINIMUM of 15 business days due to a huge repair backlog. I asked if they would email out a notice (e.g., a tracking number) when the unit was repaired and he said the only way to find this out was to keep calling back.
  17. I use blank certificates//diplomas (like this) that you can buy at office supply stores. You can also purchase these certificates in a packet that includes gold seals or buy the seals separately (like this). I buy blank, flat gold seals, with "starburst" edging, and use a custom embosser (like this) after I attach it to the certificate. The embosser is circular and fits the blank gold seals perfectly. When I attach the seal I use the seal to also affix a piece of red satin ribbon, folded, with the ends either "fishtailed" or pointed. With a Vivaldi or blackletter style font it looks very nice. The lettering can be done inside a wordprocessor, but since I have CorelDraw that's what I use to get lettering on a curve. Below is a photo of my "Ambassdor to Kinomem: The Six Thrones" cache (my first ammo can) under construction. It has half of the FTF certificate showing. FTF certificates are important if your cache uses/requires a FTF confirmation code. The "Media Play" gift card is covering the FTF code for this TerraCache and I include some kind of gift card in the protector that holds the certificate. With Media Play out of business, I'll have to switch to Sonic Drive In cards.
  18. Yep, the "Slingshot Effect" can happen on all Meridian and SportTrak models (and other brands that have this feature) when you're walking fast. It's due to averaging and extrapolition algorithms in the GPS. I not only slow down as I near the spot (natural enough since you'll start looking for likely spots) but once you get to the initial GZ, stand still for a minute or two and let the GPS settle. I watch the EPE and Bearing and once they stabalize, the distance will be more accurate.
  19. Most people prefer the color versus B&W screen. But there is a minority, of which I'm one, that prefer the B&W screen. It's hard (for me) to read the color screens in bright sunlight. The other, less subjective, benefits of B&W is a dramatic cost savings, and slightly better battery life. The same can be said about an electronic compass: they speed battery drain. For $6 I got a nice Silva Guide compass. It's great to have one for emergencies, anyway. And on days with sun, the NorthFinder of the Gold works great for getting you going in the right direction. The last 30 feet neither is going to be as useful as your eyes and brain. The one thing I did wish I had was a barometric altimeter since GPS-based altitudes are notoriously inaccurate. It's more important to TerraCachers than Geocachers (or the curious). But the price difference and battery drain just didn't make the price point for me.
  20. I have a 512 SD and it has maps for SC, GA, TN, KY, IN, and AL (possibley portions of others). Then I have hundreds of geocaches in waypoint files, and track files for every significant hike I've made in the last year. Half of the card is still free. So a 256 or 512 card should suffice for the "average" cacher. I needed the 512 because I went just a tad over 256. But you can easily copy stuff to the card as needed. E.g. you could create 50 topo images, one for every state in the U.S., and just copy just the ones you needed to the card.
  21. I loved my Magellan Meridian Gold so much that when it came to buy another one I bought the very same thing. I've used it in the rain and dropped it while hiking a few times. The SD card is extremely important to me. I can put huge topo maps on it, and slice and dice my waypoint files (e.g., one for just micros, one just for regulars). I can also store a lot of tracks and can use them as trail maps. Another point in favor of the Meridians over the Explorists is the Projected Waypoint issue. This is needed for some puzzle caches and letterbox hypbrids (E.g., find the benchmark and the cache is 150 feet away at 97°). I also like the sensitivity of the Helix versus Patch antenna. The downside is its size compared to the Explorist. But I have big hands and it's not an issue with me. Besides, a bigger GPS means a bigger screen, which is a bonus to me.
  22. What techniques have you anntenna-topper owners used to keep Signal's head from hanging wonker-jawed?
  23. Xangxa

    Gsak + Pocketpc

    I export GPX files to my iPAQ using a GSAK macro. Here's a portion of the macro (which uses the saved filter named "Nearby"): I create multiple GPX files so they're small and managable on the iPAQ. I filter based on distance, container size, cache type, etc. Each of these GPX files gets copied to my iPAQ's memory card using MightySync. If you don't have too big of files, nor too many, you can just put them in the \My Documents subfolder used by ActiveSync by your device. On the iPAQ I use the free GPXsonar program to view and use the GPX files. GPXsonar can also export files to PocketStreets (which I also have on my iPAQ) and waypoint files (so I can load them on my GPS's memory card if not already there). As mentioned, start by using GSAK manually. Especially the filters and export features. Later, after you're comfortable with their function, you can automate them in a macro.
  24. From the forums on GPSpassion.com I found out that not all AutoRoute versions are created equal. Depending on the language (French, German, etc.) the shortcut keys/hot-keys will be different. This is critical to PUSHPINS since it uses keystroke buffering to perform it's automation (AutoRoute does not accept any other form of automation). The current version of PUSHPINS only supports the English versions of MSST and AutoRoute.
  25. To Renew your (annual) Premium Membership Here's how I did it, documented for future forum searchers On the HOME page, center column, in the section entitled "Create or Upgrade Your Membership" click on the link "Become a Premium Member today." Skip past the top part and mid-way down click the PayPal button for the annual membership You are now in "PayPal land" so complete the transaction as you would any other PayPal purchase Wait for PayPal to email you your "Subscription Receipt for Groundspeak Premium Member" which will contain your Subscription Number. Log into Geocaching.com (which controls which account gets renewed) and return to the page in step 1 above. Copy & Paste the Subscription Number from the PayPal email into the field at the top of the page. Click the RENEW button next to that field. Your new expiration date will be reflected in the "Your Membership Details" box in the upper right of the page.
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