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Posts posted by BigNick

  1. Interesting to hear that. We ran into EcoTeam from Aus at a cache here in NZ and they made the comment that the clues for our caches were quite different to theirs. Ours gave the actual location, whereas theirs might lead them in the wrong direction, or be quite cryptic. Is this what you found, or was it just that the Aussies had better hiding places compared to caches that you have found here in New Zealand?

  2. quote:
    Originally posted by Elias:

    This is not true. If you renew by check prior to your subscription expiring then you'll be grandfathered in as well.

    Argh, my subscription was cancelled by Palpay because I forgot to change over the Groundspeak subscription to my new credit card - Paypay are going to attempt to debit again today (now I have changed my card over). At the moment I am listed as a non-charter member, does that mean when I renew I will not have the benefits of the grandfather scheme? If it does it might be nice to loosen the code that cancels the membership until after Palpays second attempt at payment (3 days) to prevent this problem happening to others.



  3. quote:
    Originally posted by oarsmann:

    Anyone who's ever set up a stereo or home ethernet network should be able to connect the cable to a USB plug, provided they know which leads are for data in, out, and ground.

    Unfortunately USB is not a simple serial connection (nor is firewire). You need some electronics in one end, plus some software to emulate a serial port running on your host operating system - it is not just a case of putting the correct plug on the end of the basic bare wire garmin cable.


    It's a bit like saying that putting a HD15 plug on the end of a coax cable will let you use your TV as a monitor on your computer!


    Hopefully one day Garmin will provide both serial and USB connections on their GPS units (and bluetooth would also be nice icon_smile.gif)




  4. quote:
    Originally posted by oarsmann:

    make a USB or Firewire comm cable... Should be simple...

    If simple actually means extremely complex, then yes it would be simple icon_wink.gif

    Not only will this require a sound knowledge of electronics, you will also need to write software to recognize your adapter and to emulate a serial port. Make life easy on yourself and just buy a Keyspan serial adapter or similar.



  5. This is usually a problem with the batteries not making contact correctly. Try stretching the springs to hold the batteries tighter or you can also wrap the batteries in electrical tape (around them to make them fatter) which will hopefully hold them in place. This problem has been discussed in the past, you can try doing a search to see other answers.



  6. quote:
    Originally posted by dawgspit:

    I emailed silent yellow dog about his software and will let you know what he says or maybe he'll post here.

    After I posted my message I also contacted Karl and he said that his kids had been keeping him pretty busy and he had not had time to do much on the program. Kids, who needs them icon_razz.gificon_wink.gif



  7. quote:
    It would be nice to have some free-ware like easy GPS, but it sounds like the programs you guys recommend are worth the money.

    GPSBabel is freeware and will let you upload and download waypoints from your GPS via a USB-Serial adapter and OSX.

    You could also try hasling the two people who were working on Mac native 'EasyGPS' versions. Have a look at this thread and this thread. (I have played with the beta of Mac SimpleGPS and it worked great but I have not heard of when Karl is planning on rolling out the final version)



  8. quote:
    Why would you visit the hospital at night?

    I guess if you are visiting for the view along the coast as you drive to the cache you would not want to do it at night. We did it at night, and it certainly added something to the visit. Knowing it was an old mental hospital, and thinking about the movie 'House on Haunted Hill' had us totally freaked out - torches casting strange shadows through the trees, every sound amplified because it was so quite in the area, the ghosts of the past.... you get the idea icon_eek.gif

  9. quote:
    Originally posted by Nemesis:

    Seacliff Hospital should only take an additional 30 minutes, but, you could skip it if you are running out of daylight.

    What, are you mad - Seacliff Hospital is best done at night icon_eek.gif



  10. Hi all. I have asked Nick to post the meeting notes as I don't have good internet access currently.


    I have tried to keep the notes as objective as possible and not impart any of my views on the notes. If you have more questions, post them here or to the NZ forums at gps.org.nz, but I will note be able to reply until Thursday when I return to Christchurch.


    20030127 1500-1415 DOC Meeting

    Present: Gareth Green, Gavin Treadgold


    Geocaching activities do not comply with the Conservation Act, Reserves Act, National Parks Act and other bylaws and regulations. An agreement is needed to legitimise the activities.


    A concession would be required rather than a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which is too informal. A concession is legally binding, and is consistent with the requirements placed on other users of DOC land. An organisation would require to be able to enter into legal binding agreements - this means that we would have to work as an Incorporated Society. The concession would have to be linked to the constitution of the society, in such ways that if members breach the conditions of the concession, the society has the power to caution and/or expel the member from the society. Expulsion would not necessarily stop a DOC prosecution against the individual involved, if appropriate. TLA's may accept concessions, but are unlikely to accept MoU's.


    Conservancies would contribute to the creation of the concession agreements, and this would then be passed onto the Minister of Conservations delegate (assigned Ministers signing power) to sign off concession.


    DOC desire to work with only one organisation representing geocaching in NZ. They suggest that people who want to geocache, must be members of the society. This dictates that the society should limit geocache information to members only, and have moderation control over caches.


    Geocaching is primarily at fault, for these major reasons.


    1. A physical object is illegally being placed on public land. This holds true for both DOC land, and any other public land that may be managed by territorial authorities. Technically, this means every geocache on public land in New Zealand is illegal.

    2. Pay to play. If an organisation is generating revenue from geocaching, then that organisation requires a concession to operate on DOC land. Geocaching.com is charging subscriptions and generating revenue from NZ geocachers. This means that NZ geocaching.com members are undertaking geocaching as a commercial activity.

    3. Sponsorship. Any form of sponsorship and advertising in the activity, such as web site advertising etc, constitutes a commercial activity.


    Actually, on a legal basis, it doesn't even have to be a commercial activity, but even if there is some hint of a gift or reward there is a legal issue. DOC's legal opinion is that the exchange of gifts in geocaches is a form of gift or reward. Hence a commercial activity, and requires a concession.


    A concession costs money to process, and a rent may be charged on DOC land. There is the ability to waive these costs. A concession generally costs $1k but can apply for a reduction. This is valid for 5 years. It may be possible to argue for a waiver on these costs, but still opt for some environmental monitoring charges to cover DOC's monitoring of geocaches. This could be charged on a per annum licence, possibly pro-rated on the number of caches. Rent is reviewed 3 yearly. Concessions create responsibilities on both parties.


    If/when we apply for a concession, we can apply for a reduction in costs, by highlighting the lack of advertising and commercial nature to geocaching in New Zealand.


    In certain cases where access to DOC land is via private property, cachers will still be required to arrange access with the private land owner.


    There would need to be an approval process. This would likely be acceptable using the current mechanism on geocaching.com. New caches would only be approved if they are placed in acceptable locations, and by members of the Society.


    For auditing and quality control purposes, we will need to keep a database of all caches and coordinates, and make this available to DOC - perhaps on a monthly basis.


    A cache should expire, most likely this would occur after a set number of visits, not after a set time. This is something that would need to be discussed further to set the quantum of visits.


    Caches should require standing labelling on the outside, at a minimum the geocache code to identify it. Naturally, adhesive labels are not practical. Obtaining the geocache code prior to placement may be an issue.


    Cache contents are an issue.


    There are iwi issues. DOC partners with iwi and in general may act as facilitator, however this is not guaranteed. Iwi will have issues with burying (not that we have buried caches), and wanting to know specifics of where caches are (as opposed to giving blanket approval for an area).


    Some areas will be absolute no-cache areas. Some examples, Kapiti Island, where people are not allowed off track, Mt Ruapehu Crater Lake, and some areas in Fiordland and offshore islands where no people are allowed. This has been outlined as a bottom line requirement.


    Site access. Such as no motorised vehicles of roads, no helicopters, or tracks through sensitive areas. Would possibly require separate concession, or utilise a concession operator to achieve these otherwise. Mountain bikes can only be used on mountain bike marked tracks.


    Maximum number of caches. This could be managed by total number of caches on DOC land, or by a distance buffering method. Distance buffering, eg no cache within x km's of another on DOC land may be the more suitable option.


    There should be no digging at cache placement site, nor the addition of other objects.


    DOC must be able to remove, or ask for removal of a cache or specific item, if they break the rules or are seen as unsuitable.


    We must deal with the issue of safety of cache hunters. We will have to include a safety document with the concession application.


    = Summary

    Currently it appears that all geocaches on public land are there illegally. This is because they are physical and are there without permission. There appear to be two solutions. Go through the process of incorporating a society, developing the processes, and apply for a concession for DOC to allow caches on DOC land. This may ease the issues with geocaching on public non-DOC land. This option will involve _a lot_ of time and some costs on our behalf.


    An alternative option is to not place caches on DOC land. This will absolve us of the compliance issues associated with geocaching on DOC land. It will not deal with the issue of other caches which appear to illegally be on public land managed by Territorial Authorities.


    I should note that there are no issues with virtual activities such as Minutewar or Geodashing.


    [This message was edited by BigNick on January 27, 2003 at 11:10 AM.]

  11. While initially the society is going to primarily focusing on Geocaching, it is intended to be a NZ GPS Users society rather than a NZ Geocaching society - the forums are for discussing issues specific to the use of GPS's in New Zealand (eg the creation of the society, interfacing with DOC, NZ mapping products etc etc)


    I think that the Groundspeak forum should still be used for the general discussion of geocaching in NZ, but the gps.org.nz forums will allow us to discuss things outside of geocaching, and provide forums (eg For Sale) that you can post in, where your posts will not disappear, never to be read by a fellow NZ GPS user.


    There are also some other GPS related games that Gav and I have been thinking about, that are not geocaching related, so discussing them on the Groundspeak forums is not appropriate (when it comes time to make them public icon_wink.gif)




  12. quote:
    Originally posted by skywatchers:

    Yesterday while my girlfriend was at work I and she thought I was watching football I made a secret trip to the La Raza del Sol cache and hid an empty ring box and marriage proposal for her. Today we went to find the cache for what she thought was the "first" time and I am glad to announce she said yes. Our best cache yet. Once we get everything planned, I'm going to have to post the coordinates of the reception and see how many show up.s

    Congratulations. A local cacher did a similar thing: He hid a cache with the ring, then made up a fake geocaching cache page and printed it. He then hunted it with his girlfriend icon_smile.gif



  13. quote:
    In Christchurch the most stunning view I found was at Nicks Nautical Lookout - drive right there and while you're scratching 'round under the rock / bush your friends will be pretty taken with the views looking down to the Gondola, the Plains and Lyttleton.

    If you are going to visit N.N.N (fantastic views as Tony mentioned) you might as well keep going and do Boulder and Godley as both of these have great views, and are not too far from NNN (skip Drift as while you will drive past it, you probably will not have time to research the answer) Depending on your approach to NNN (I sugest driving along the crater rim, more great views!) you may also pass Canada Connection and maybe the final place of BaldEd's multicache Canterbury Tales)



  14. Yes, I agree this is a good idea (which I have followed since reading the original thread when I got into geocaching (for people new to geocaching, have a look back through the NZ forums as some interesting stuff has been discussed in the past), and following the lead of the other cachers in my area).


    It would be nice if Geocaching.com did allow you to select NI, SI and maybe finer graduations when you hide a cache, but if everyone remembers to put in the (location) in their cache nickname + combining with Nandors NZCaches.tk, it is not too big a deal.




  15. quote:
    Originally posted by Swanny:

    Dang. icon_mad.gif it's a long way from Christchurch, 5 or 6 hours I suppose icon_confused.gif - each way icon_frown.gif.

    Gosh, that is quite far down south. I don't think we have any regular cachers quite that far down. Maybe Nemesis can take a road trip? (I was lucky, when I was contacted, the latitude almost ran through our house, so I could have just walked down the road (but didn't))



  16. In MacGPSPro select "Utilities->Convert XML LOC file to Waypoints or Routes..." then browse to your geocaching .loc file. You will then get a dialog that lets you limit the waypoints to a specific area (normally just leave it at the defaults), the next dialog prompts you for a file to save the converted file to (this is a MacGPSPro WP file), normally I will just select the "To Map Only" option, which will just plonk them onto the map. Then upload to your eTrex the same way as you have been doing ("Transfer->To GPS->Waypoints...")




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