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Everything posted by BigNick

  1. quote:My question: If we had 4 days to dedicate to geocaching, where would you locals recomend? We will be on the south island somewhere. Appreciate your input. Wish I could live in NZ! If you want to max out on caches, and you are in the SI then Christchurch/Canterbury would have to have the highest cache density (see Nandor's Canterbury cache map) The other way you could do it would be to start at Nelson and cache down to Canterbury, then Dunedin - that way you could see a lot of the fantastic scenery that NZ has to offer as well as lots of caches (South Island cache map) If you want, I can print topomaps with all the Canterbury caches and send them to you when you are over here to make getting round the caches easier. Hope you enjoy your visit. Cheers Nick.
  2. Ok, I have to ask - what is everyone's favorite cache and why? I thought that it might be nice to see what everyone's favs are, so that when people are travelling outside their normal caching area they know that the high lights are in the area (i.e the must do caches) My favorite cache would have to be Tasman Lookout on the Westcoast. The day we did it was fantastic (the westcoast really knows how to turn it on when it wants to), we travelled up along the coast from Greymouth and the bush looked so lush after the previous wet days. The walk to the cache was very cool - we passed through a rock arch to a very secluded beach before following a small track through the flax bushes then up a hill to the cache area where we were greeted with a spectacular panoramic view of the coastline. Bernadette's favorite was Boulder here in Canterbury. The reason she enjoyed it was because of the walk to the cache (we took a slightly longer way to get to the cache) with the views back to Taylor Mistake and Lyttleton Harbour. At the cache site we had lunch in the sun while watching the world go by, a very relaxing way to spend the day. That has to be the best thing about geocaching, going to an area you would never normally visit (and being able to share the areas you enjoy with others). Looking forward to reading everyone else's favorites (and planning our next caching holiday ) Cheers Nick and Bernadette
  3. quote:Originally posted by Teasel:None of the correspondance from Jeremy and Elias has so far explicitly mentioned the load on their web server; the main issue is that of ownership, care and usage of the data. Which is kinda weird because the new GPX pocket query is going to give all that information away anyway - I wonder why it matters that you are doing it via a screenscape? Cheers Nick
  4. quote:A Map (even a saturated one)... will save you Unless the map was printed on an inkjet printer from TopoMapPro/NZMapped/Tumonz Water=Bad
  5. nally posted by Popsit & Sweets: Hmm... Thanks for the Photoshop stitch sequence Nick I will have a little play with that in a minute but I'm not holding my breath. I cannot open 4 .sid maps on my PC at once.. takes gegs of ram to do that!!(Cant even open one) I will try taking a piece at a time which is all I have ever been able to do.. So the MrSid import filter will let you open a section rather than the entire thing? If it does you may be able to open the sections and do the joining as per the instructions... quote:I had a look at Tumonz... Interesting but I suspect it cant provide the detail I am looking for. I couldnt find any screen shots but I note that they polygon the contours instead of drawing them so right away i lost interest.. The entire NZ set fits on a 650mb disk??? It is obvious that they recreate the map from data as required rather than a 1:19,000 scan as my .sid maps are.. Yes the maps are generated on the fly from the vector data used to build the 1:50000 maps - but if you are a contour counter it is not as good as a topo It does have some nice things (eg the names on the roads) but quite a few negatives (eg not being able to import a file of waypoints) quote:The sid files are actually 1:190 scale scans and each file (260 map) decompresses to approx 1Gb.. Ah, I see the problem... quote:But if anyone is interested in a 30 map 260 series BOP set at 1:19K in MrSID with .tab and.sdw'slet me know.. I can burn off a copy as LINZ have no copyright on them anymore.. Yes I would be quite interested - I have been playing with writing my own mapping software, so I might be able to adapt it for use with these maps. Just out of interest where did the maps come from and can you get the whole of NZ? I know that the Crown Copyright allows you to copy without royalty payments, but not being a lawyer, I wonder what copyright the person who actually does the scanning holds? (The reason I ask is that TopoMapPro has the maps copyright Terralink who do the scanning, even though they are Crown Maps... any lawyers out there?) Email me on nick at automata dot co dot nz Cheers Nick
  6. I suspect that Gavin (Rediguana) or Gary (Gazzanic) are going to be able to provide you with the best ideas as they are the geospacial experts, but assuming that your .sid files are georeferenced (have a .sdw header file) you could use something like Fugawi in order to view them - which has the advantage in that it will stitch the maps automatically - but the disadvantage of costing about $99USD (and for $99NZD you could buy TUMONZ) Quick Photoshop Stitch Guide (in this example, the point of interest is in the bottom left corner) 1. Open the map with the required point in the corner (Map1) 2. Open the image containing the map to the left of the current map (Map2) 3. Open the map below Map2 and Map1 (Map3 and Map4) 4. Decide on size of final map (x and y) 5. For each map image go to 'Canvas Size...' and enter your x and y values divided by 2 (x/2,y/2) into the canvas size boxes, selecting the correct anchor point (Map1=bottom left, Map2=bottom right, Map3=top right, Map4=top left) 6. Go to Map1 'Canvas Size...' again and enter the x and y size into map size and set the anchor point to the top right 7. Drag each of the other maps (Map2,Map3 and Map4) into their appropriate places on Map1 (Map2 top left, Map3 bottom left, Map4 bottom right), the edge of the maps should lock onto the outside edge of the Map1 canvas when you drag them close to the edge. 8. Flatten the layers You should now have a stitched map (of course I am assuming that the maps are seamless). Vary the instructions for points of interest at other corners, and vary the 'divide by 2' as you see fit, depending on where the point of interest lies on relation to the corner and where you want your point to appear in the final map. Links of interest: (Stand alone NZ Mapping) TUMONZ NZMapped TopoMapPro (Online NZ Mapping) WhereAreWe (NZ Supplier of Fugawi + other mapping stuff) Geosystems (Stand alone unit conversion Software) LINZ Download Cheers Nick.
  7. quote:Originally posted by tgsnoopy:The time you really need your GPS is when you are out in the bush, under the canopy of the bush you are in which dramaticly reduces the amount of signal from the satellites available to your GPS receiver. Ok, I will have to concede that this is true when in the bush. The constant loss of signals does play havoc with the trip count and track log. Bernadette and I did the Manawatu Gorge Walk which is through quite heavy bush. When we had finished the walk the trip count said we had done 854km - not bad for 3.5hrs walking I am still hanging out for the Magellan Meridan Platinum when they get the NZ maps sorted - these apparently have even better antennas than the GPS12 (same quad helix type antenna as Brentc's Map76S which should be very good) Cheers Nick.
  8. quote:Originally posted by tgsnoopy:Ok, I'll show my ignorance. Just what is this tone magazine? I've never heard of it. It's a NZ hi-fi and technology magazine. Tone website Cheers Nick.
  9. No mention of Geocaching.com again - thankfully it comes up first on most search engines... now that you are a celebrity, maybe you should contact Tone magazine again (I think THG tried once before) so see if they are interested. Anyone out there start caching after seeing one of Neills other articles? Cheers Nick
  10. Hey, stop dogging the poor little eTrex - I have had only one not found due to trees using the little yellow banana (dadgum you Donovan, spoil my perfect record ) Cheers Nick
  11. quote:Originally posted by Steve & Ruth:I was thinking of a speights or two would be a worthy reward for a cache at the top of a big hill climb or arduous bush bash. I say, warm beer, you must be British, what. Pip pip, cherrio Nick.
  12. I think that down trading is a worldwide problem, in this post UMC has a $40US USB card replaced with 2 mint candies! We always try and trade-equal or trade-up, or we don't trade (although shamefully I have visited one cache that I felt we traded-down and one day we will return to rectify) I don't think I would personally place a high value cache, unless the items were things I already had around that I did not use/want (ie. I would not go out and buy high value items for a cache) so being items I did not want, I would not really care too much if cachers traded-down (I don't think that the local cachers round Chch cache for the items anyway (as quite a few caches are almost logbook only, while a few cachers don't trade at all)). Having said all that, I do like the idea of a 'reward' for slogging through the bush and it is something I had planned for an upcoming difficult cache we have in planning. Cheers Nick.
  13. Cool, it's now in beta, and Gav will be pleased to know that it is available as an ArcIMS server (as Gazzanic has shifted wherearewe.co.nz to it). Unfortunatly not much to look at without a password http://www.nztopoonline.linz.govt.nz but you can read what it is going to provide. Cheers Nick.
  14. Apparently you have hidden two caches quite close to a filming area already. Cavernous and Precarious both require you to travel through an area used for filming in the second movie. Cheers Nick.
  15. Sounds like you have had a string of bad luck. From memory I have only had one cache that I have decided not to hunt for due to people in the immediate area (Tricky 3) and luckily only one when someone walked past while I was re-hiding the cache (Spy Break 0) but fortunately the area is not somewhere where people hang round, so they just passed by (wondering why my hand was in the bush ) I don't think there is much you can do in the situation when you have found the cache but can't return it, except what you have been doing - I commend you on a 3/4Hr wait, not many people would be that diligent - I guess if worst came to worst you could take the cache with you and return it later... Cheers Nick
  16. Ok, I have found a little more information for you - it's not quite step by step, but should be a bit easier. First go to qbasic.com and follow the link to Microsoft to download the old QBasic software (it is going to be the easiest language to implement a simple on/off) Then go to this page about Parallel Port Relay Interface it has a couple of implemenations of an interface, the easiest being 'Fig A' if you can get a solid state relay (note that this is not exactly an optocoupler and I expect it to cost more than 59p, it is a full on relay (rather than just a led/transistor combo)). The first paragraph on this page gives a taste of the code (it's very simple, only one line OUT,&H378,0 (tho' it is dependent on LTP port and circuit you use)) you will just have to wrap a simple interface round it (QBasic.com should be able to help you there) Hope that helps - feel free to contact me off list if you have any questions (hopefully I may be able to answer some ) Cheers Nick
  17. Heaps more doing a Yahoo! search on "Visual Basic Paralled Port Access" Cheers Nick.
  18. Just found this site all about parallel ports with links to other sites about hardware interfacing - you should find all you need (including the VB DLL I was talking about ) Cheers Nick.
  19. There are a couple of different ways to accomplish this, the easiest would be using a solid state relay (optocoupler), you would then just connect the input (LED) side to one of the data lines of the PC's parallel port and the device you want to operate to the other side. This has the advantage in the fact that the 12v is isolated from the PC via the optocoupler. The other way is going to be using a couple of transistors operating as a switch to turn on the relay. Again the easiest way to connect to the PC will be via the parallel port. In order to write to the parallel port you will need to run either QBasic under DOS (on the old Dos 6.2 disks) or via C (GCC is free if you are happy with the command line) - you can't use VisualBasic as it won't let you access the parallel port on a low enough level (although I think you can via calls to a DLL, but I am not a VB programmer so I can't comment). If you run C under Linux I have some code that you can adapt to control the relay (I just use it to control LED's, but it would be easy enough to change) and could probably doodle some circuit ideas if you can't find a solid state relay (Radio Spares or Farnell should be able to help, don't know anything about Maplins, but if they are anything like Dick Smith here in NZ (an electronics retailer) they won't be much help) Cheers Nick (just a helpful foreigner )
  20. quote:Originally posted by tgsnoopy:I suppose if worst comes to worst it could be parts for repairing Gavins 12XL. My thoughts exactly - I am going to have to start wearing my tinfoil hat again, this is getting scary! quote:Speaking of which, I wonder where he dissapeared to this weekend, More importantly, I hope he enjoyed himself. He is keeping that a secret, my only hint was that it was a country that there is no caches in, and that he was planning another first... I guess we will have to kept an eye on his "hidden" count. Cheers Nick
  21. Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials. A bit far for us to come, but we wish you all the best. Cheers Nick and Bernadette.
  22. quote:Originally posted by tgsnoopy:You can buy a lot of those interconnection strips these days, if you are lucky it will be one thats available. That was my idea too, Neill probably has better connections (excuse the pun ) working in the industry, so if he thinks he can get it going, I'm cool letting him have first crack at it. Cheers Nick.
  23. Yes please, if no-one else has emailed Tony, I would love to call dibs on this 12XL. Cheers Nick.
  24. quote:Originally posted by tgsnoopy:I will say that I think Brent had a very good idea, setting the cache up for a couple of weeks as member only (with the intention of changing it to available to everyone after those "couple of weeks"). Putting wording to that effect in the caches description would certainly have stopped any comments from me, in fact I would most likely have complimented him on it. I think if I ever place a cache with a valuable first finders prize (see the bottom of this cache (I ran into some cachers in Nelson that had hunted this one, that how I know about it)) I would make it a "Member Only" cache until the first person found it - I guess as a reward for supporting the site. Of course I am not a dot com millionaire (yet) so don't hold your breath Cheers Nick
  25. quote:Originally posted by tgsnoopy:Will a member plunder it? Yikes - I would hope that no matter how strongly someone objects to a "Members Only" cache, they would never go out and plunder one! Cheers Nick.
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