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Everything posted by StanB

  1. Thank you for the info, I'll check into them. StanB
  2. I intend to build a TinyTrak3 and want to display tracks of my movements. I have the GPS & 2-meter HT and understand how positions are reported. But after a lot of Google searching and forum reading I'm still confused on the best way to retrieve and display reported positions on a PC with mapping software. I have MapSource and Street Atlas, and have read a little about UI-View and APRS+SA. I'm looking for recommendations on the best/easiest way to retrieve reported positions and track them on a PC. Thanks for you assistance; Stan KB1MHM Vernon, CT
  3. Daren, communication during a cache hunt is only one reason I'm interested in becoming active on 2 meters. Another is experimenting with APRS equipment. A third is that I've found FRS and other line-of-sight systems too limited in range due to our hilly terrain. And finally, I've always found amateur radio interesting and I want to learn more so I can work and talk intelligently with other hams. I agree, ham radio is a great hobby. Stan
  4. Thanks for the replies. I found a web site with sample Tech exams and easily passed them (I'm an old electronics hobbiest and hold a Communications Specialist rating in the Coast Guard Auxiliary). But I'm having difficulty figuring out brand/model/features for a relatively inexpensive handheld transceiver for occasional communications. Stan
  5. I'm considering getting a Tech license and using 2-meter handheld radios for communication on the road and while geocaching, but am overwhelmed by all the opinions and technical information in the various forums and web sites. So my question is: Where can I find a SIMPLE guide to getting started in 2M amateur radio? Primarily I'm looking for info that would help me select a decent radio for basic communication without the complexity and expense of extra features. And I'd also appreciate a suggestion for a good place to start in getting the license. Thanks in advance, Stan
  6. Thanks, that's what I was looking for. Just a little more than I wanted to spend, but I'll think about it..... StanB
  7. Has anyone been successful in linking an external antenna to a GPS that does not have an external antenna connection? I have a Garmin eTrex Vista which works very well on the dash of my car, but it would be nice if my wife could hold it her hands while navigating. I'm thinking of something like a loop or coil of wire taped to the GPS, alligned with the internal antenna and leading to something on the dash or windshield. (Can you say capacitance coupling, or inductive resonance....?) StanB
  8. A waterproof bag IS a good idea if it's made with flotation. Since most GPS units don't float the bag will keep one from sinking if dropped in deep water.
  9. I'd say your accuracy is normal for a GPS without WAAS or an external Differential GPS receiver. With WAAS enabled your errors should average around 18 feet. This assumes your GPS has a clear view of the sky and has locked onto five or more satellites.
  10. I think your only mistake was in not selecting "Goto" after you entered the cache coordinates. My suggestion is to set a waypoint at your starting point then find your cache waypoint and "Goto" it. This way if you get lost you can select your starting waypoint, hit "Goto" and the GPS will take you back to where you started. Have fun, and good luck. StanB
  11. Carrying a real compass is a must, but you have to have an idea of where you started before you can return. If you don't know the direction you were going from your starting point then you won't know the direction to get back. So, always carry a compass AND always note which direction you're going as you head into the woods. Been there, done that.....
  12. In my opinion elevation is unimportant. About the only time I'd look at elevation would be with a high difficulty cache where I'd check a topo map to determine if I have to scale a mountain or high ridge. But GPS elevation is somewhat inacurate and a barometric altimeter requires accurate calibration each time you use it.
  13. StanB

    Real Names

    Oh, most of you are a little wacky! Good, I'll fit right in. NOTE TO MODERATOR: Probably a good time to close this.....
  14. Reading many posts in the forums I notice almost everybody uses a "handle" instead of their real name. Why, is there something secretive going on that I don't understand? Stan..... er, BarnacleScraper
  15. I learned about Geocaching while searching the 'net for reviews and opinions on the latest Garmin products. I use a Garmin GPS 48 on my boats and wanted to buy a new GPSr with basic maping for cross country trips. Curiosity led me to this site and within a few minutes I was hooked. This was about a week ago and I haven't looked for a cache yet, partally because my wife has some difficulty walking and we still have snow on the ground. But I have my "first five" list with coordinates in my new Vista and I'm ready to go..... of course, it's starting to snow and the predictionis are for 5-10" Arg!
  16. That's fine, do whatever works best for you. However, my GPS is VERY accurate until I get close to the waypoint. By getting a visual fix on the target I avoid the in-close "wandering" inherent in GPS technology. All I can say is, it works for me.
  17. Your procedure makes a lot of sense. As a small boat navigator who has logged many hours sailing off the Southern New England coast I've often used a similar method to find ATONs (Aids to Navigation, or bouys) in heavy fog. When I get within roughly 200' of the waypoint I watch the distance on my GPS (Garmin 48) but steer with the ship's compass and ignore the GPS bearing. I've found the distance reading stays pretty accurate to within about 50' and at that point it's eyes and ears. And for you who have never experienced New England fog it's about like finding a cache in dense underbrush. Visibility at times can be less than 30'. Of course, caches don't usually have bells or horns on them like some of our ATONs.....
  18. When I asked my original question I didn't expect it would get this much attention! Many good opinions, both pro and con, and here's my $.02. Safety is an important consideration, and think of the legal consequences if someone gets injured on public property. With so many people suing for personal injury these days it's possible that someone getting seriously hurt poking into what they think is a cache might turn around and sue everyone involved. This means the person(s) hiding the cache, the operator(s) of this web site for listing it, and the town or state that owns the property where it was located. All could be named in a lawsuit, so why take a chance..... Stan PS. I like the idea of Tupperware, stumps and old (marked) ammo boxes.
  19. Thanks for checking, I'm relieved to know it wasn't just my own screw-up. Maybe I'll hack into the tif file to see if I can change it. My new eTrex should arrive in a couple of days and then I'll get out of the house. Stan
  20. My problem appears to be primarily with the downloaded topo map (from the UConn MAGIC library) and Global Mapper (DLGV32PRO). This map is the 7.5 minute Rockville, CT quadrangle with the datum NAD27. Longitude is very close but latitude coordinates from Mapper are off by about 0.12 seconds or roughly 710 feet to the north. My reference is a road intersection in the NW corner of the map, just west of Rockville. It's the intersection of Windsor Ave. (Rts. 74 & 83) and Union Street, where Rt. 83 turns north. Both Delorme's Topo USA and Garmin's MetroGuide show similar coordinates but Global Mapper is off, and I really want to use the 7.5 minute topo map. Maybe I'm doing something wrong with Global Mapper, but I can't figure out what it is. Topo USA: N41 52.104 / W72 27.874 MetroGuide: N41 52.108 / W72 27.882 Global Map: N41 51.980 / W72 27.940 I apologize for the long post. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks, Stan
  21. On my PC I have Delorme Street Atlas '05 with Earthmate GPS, downloaded 7.5 minute USGS topo maps with Global Mapper viewer, and a Garmin GPS. All three of these systems give me different Lat/Long coordinates for the same major highway intersection. The Street Atlas map coordinates indicate the location is about 700' south of the USGS map location, and the two GPS units indicate locations between the two and a little east. I double checked the appropriate datum in each case. My question is; which of these should I believe? I understand that good Geocaching relies on GPS only, but as a newcomer I thought I could use a maping system to help me get close to a cache. Am I missing something here? Note to Moderators: If I'm in over my head here please delete this post and tell me to just go find something. Stan
  22. I'm new and this may be a dumb question, but... I see things on eBay that resemble potentially dangerous devices which are designed to disguise caches. For example electrical junction boxes and outlets. I wouldn't remove the cover of an electrical device to look for a cache, so my question is this: Are these acceptable and are people using them for hiding places? If so I'd rather miss a cache than take a chance I'd found a live electrical device by mistake. Thanks, Stan.
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