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Everything posted by Joe_L

  1. I witnessed a change in coordinates by 30 to 40 meters that moved the cache to within the 0.1 mile of another cache and within 24 hours the reviewer disabled the cache with the new coordinates. The CO never tried to improve the location and the cache was eventually archived by the reviewer. The CO was a newbie and their coordinates were way off. They were responding to comments by finders about how far off the coordinates were. Most finders found the cache because there was an explicit hint.
  2. Did you try using the Search function and entering the GC number to open the page?
  3. You may want to consider ice on the river in winter and how safe it may be to walk on it (real or perceived). People without small craft may chose to wait for freezing conditions to make the find. But if the ice is poor, there could be a bad result. (There is a local park with a lake and small island. I don’t kayak, so I wait for the lake to freeze. I judge the ice by the presence of ice fishermen. But that option may not be available on your river.)
  4. Considering that there have been 16 landings (some less successful than others), it’ll be pretty big CITO event. Might need a few boxes of contractor-size garbage bags.
  5. A few other things that slow the process down include Mars’ rotation and only about 12 hours of daylight, relaying the photos up the satellite that sends them to earth, the limited time each day that the rover is in range of the satellite, and the limited time each day that the satellite is in position to send the signal to earth.
  6. Since the TB page says that a picture would be sent “a few days” after landing, people are expecting activation by now. But it takes at least 10 days to shake down the rover and make certain all systems function. It takes about 10 minutes for a radio signal to pass between the planets so regardless of the number of steps that the rover can perform on its own, there is still 20 minutes of dead time to confirm an operation. If things don’t go smoothly, time is added. I could not find a comprehensive mission schedule, so I have no idea when the SHERLOC calibration target will be used. My own guess is that it would be done at least once before the rover first moves. Mars’ rotation means that half the day the rover is out of view. The photos are relayed from the rover to a Mars satellite so that is another limitation. So for now, just wait a bit more.
  7. The first image I found was low resolution and I couldn’t make out several images of the code. Then I found a very crisp image and easily solved the puzzle. And I’m assuming that someone at GS will flip an “off switch” for discovery notifications on the watchlist.
  8. I put the TB on my watchlist. Along with 6,500+ others. Does anyone know (perhaps a Lackey) if I'm going to get bombed by a few thousand Discovered log notifications when the TB code becomes available? (I suppose a related question is: Will the TB page crash when the Activated notification hits and a few thousand people attempt to log it?) Now back to reading The Martian Chronicles.
  9. One last thing: use the car as a base and load all the gear that you might possibly need or use. Sounds like you’ll typically be within 30 minutes of it, and maybe 60 for the 4 km trip. If you don’t use some things, it won’t matter because you don’t have to carry it all. For want of a nail, and all of that. Joe
  10. Above freezing and walking fast: consider a long sleeve polyester wicking shirt (not cotton), short sleeve cotton tee shirt, and unlined wind breaker, hooded if possible. Knit hat. Water proof or water resistant boots or shoes. Two pairs of socks. Mittens if you have them. Raincoat separate and in a backpack. Swap it out with the jacket if it rains. Raincoats don’t breathe and you’ll overheat if you put it over a jacket. Bring extra socks and shoes and leave them in the car so you’ll have them. Bring an extra long sleeve shirt or two to put on if you need one. Leave those in the car or backpack. Joe
  11. When I see Big Blue, I think of IBM. Were they involved in the development of the computers and programming of the GPS satellites and computer systems?
  12. Before you decide to archive some of your caches, please consider the following: Regarding the CHS ping – The CHS ping is an armchair notice. The pinger has not looked for the cache, has not been near the GZ, and has not looked at the cache page or downloaded the coordinates. Like any other armchair action, it should be taken with a grain of salt. Unlike an NM logged by a cacher, there has been no effort put in by the part of the pinger; therefore, the effort of an armchair OM is an appropriate response. Regarding your routine visits to your cache that you don’t think should be considered as “Maintenance” – Maintenance can also be preventative, so a routine visit or inspection is maintenance. For example, monthly checking of the oil level in a car engine, checking the tire pressure, and inspecting a filter for dirt accumulation is preventative maintenance. Similarly, so are checking pumps vibration, and checking belts on motor drives for tightness and wear. These actions are inspections, and often, no action beyond that is necessary, but they are maintenance nonetheless. Therefore, the inspection of a cache by the owner is maintenance, and an OM log is appropriate. More generally. Although the specifics of the CHS are not known, we do know (anecdotally and from a few reviewer posts) that finds have minor positive effects, DNFs have minor negative effects, NM and NA have large negative effects, and OM has large positive effects. It also appears that the score is based on either limited period of time or a limited number of most recent logs. The effect of time between finds in uncertain. While it would be nice to have the knowledge of the CHS of a particular cache, there is very little that a CO can do about it. And, in general, the CHS of a cache where the CO is attentive is unlikely to fall below the ping threshold. But, DNFs happen. Considering that the DNF rate for cachers is around 10% (per other threads on the subject), the overall DNF rate on a cache should be about the same, and strings of several consecutive DNFs are very unlikely. For my own part, I consider my caches easy to find, and my instinct for a DNF is that the cache is missing, so I’ll go out and check the cache and then log a note to that effect. One cache had a several DNFs over a several months, but each was just because the cacher couldn’t find it. After the last DNF, I posted an OM, too. I don’t know the CHS score, but whatever it was, the OM reversed the DNF effects. Lastly, the CHS is simply an indication that something might be wrong, and I believe the purpose of the CHS is to eliminate caches that have been abandoned by the CO. In those cases, the CHS ping will go unanswered. But the CHS ping is based on imperfect knowledge. Neither the CO nor GS know the condition of the cache, and that is the dilemma when the false alarm CHS ping occurs. Joe
  13. I have a cache that was originally located between the roots of a tree on a hillside about 20 feet above a trail. After many years, the tree uprooted and fell over parallel to the slope of the hill, but luckily the cache was on the side away from the fall. So I rehid the cache next to the rootstock with conventional geoflage. Several years later, there was a DNF, and when I arrived at the GZ, I found the tree had rotted further. The cache was gone, but I saw that the rootstock had rotted off the main trunk and rolled down the hill, below the trail. I went down to the rootstock, searched around and found that the cache had tumbled down the hill with the rootstock. I went back up and replaced the cache and secured the hiding spot a little better with several large rocks.
  14. I have an Etrex 20. When I first used it I was frustrated by the slow (nearly non-existent) response of the pointer. But that screen with the pointer (compass) does give a distance and bearing, so I use a regular compass to take a bearing to point myself in the right direction. I usually only use the Etrex when I am very close to the cache. I plan ahead with a map and/or Googelearth view to get me close (using trails or other land features). Then when I'm close (and "close" can be anywhere from 10 yards to 100 yards), I start using the Etrex plus the compass, if needed. I hope that helps. Joe
  15. I found a cache in which the container was a movie film cannister, and the log sheet was a long strip of paper wound around the reel inside the cannister.
  16. Another vote for 2-part epoxy cement. I used a glob of it to attach two magnets to a plastic match stick case. Ugly color, but functional. The cache resides on a steel beam on the underside of a bridge, so it's out of rain and snow (but not flood waters, but that's a different story). It is subject to freeze-thaw and the full range of temperatures in western PA. Joe
  17. Consider using something large to attach the RFID chip (like a short length of 1x3). After finding the final cache, a cacher might slip the RFID into their pocket, or even place it on the ground while signing the log, and then forgetting about it. A group of cachers might even be more susceptible to forgetting to return the RFID. It's not about being too lazy to return the RFID, it's just forgetting to; an unusual task. Also, if someone drops it, a large "keychain" will make it easier to find in the weeds, snow, leaves, etc. (I once walked few hundred yards away after signing the logbook for a difficult cache, when it occurred to me that I didn't re-hide the container. I returned and rehid it.) Hiding place? I'd suggest out in the woods, but that's just a personal preference. Might want to make sure it's open woods to minimize the creation of a geo-trail off of a main trail through the weeds and undergrowth.
  18. Per a couple other posts, consider changing the cache name. Although unintentional, the name and the accident are a bit jarring. There is a similar situation near me, although the events were in the opposite order. In 1993, there was a fatal accident on Route 19 that was the result of school bus breakdown. In 2014, a CO who had not lived in the area very long placed a cache few hundred feet away with a Rolling Stones tribute name of 19th Nervous Breakdown. Since I'm a long-time resident, I was initially disturbed by the name until I determined that the name was just an unfortunate coincidence. Only one other finder noticed the name, but then, there were 20 years. The roadside memorial, well up the road from the cache, is still there an maintained after all these years.
  19. An uncommon view of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Looking down the Allegheny River toward the city from the heights at Etna. The skyline is just visible through the clouds. This shot was from an approach to a cache hidden on a terraced cliff about 20 to 30 feet lower.
  20. I've made fake headstones for Halloween decorations using 2-inch thick rigid polystyrene insulation. Easy to cut into any shape. Not sure how well letters can be engraved into it (I've only painted words on.). Paint grey when finished.
  21. I deleted a DNF on one of my caches once. It was posted on a D1 hide by a multi-1,000 finder from out-of-state. The post was snarky to a point just short of abusive. I had never encountered a post like it. I was certain that the cache had been muggled (after all it was a multi-1,000 finder), but upon visiting the GZ, I discovered that cache was right where it should have been. I really hated seeing the log (not the DNF) every time I looked at my own cache page, and, at the time, I thought I had few choices: (1) Just post an “It’s still there” Note; (2) post an “It’s still there, you blowhard” Note, or (3) delete it so I wouldn’t have to read it again, and post an “It’s still there” note. (I didn’t know about encrypting at the time.) Regretfully, I chose (3). I received a couple obnoxious emails from the cacher, which I ignored. Never encountered someone like that before. Hope I never do. I don’t think he’s been in the area again; I never saw any posts by him since, but it’s not like I searching for them. In hindsight, I should have used (1) and simply moved on. Choice (2) would have been a little more satisfying, too. I doubt that the cacher was ever returned to the area. Live and learn. Joe
  22. I posted to the earlier thread. And in the year or so since, still no problems with ticks. They may land on my treated pants, but I just brush them off. I usually check after passing through tick-prone areas like grassy areas and fields or if I've slid through leaf litter. On the other hand, I've found ticks on me after passing through very light overgrowth, so one has to check themselves routinely. Last year was random - I passed through a lot of vegetation that I sure would be prime questing territory, but found no ticks. They either dropped off or just weren't there. It's kind of like trying to prove a negative. I use Sawyer's, but that's only because it's the brand I find at Dick's. Joe
  23. If there is a fence and locked gate, then is appears that the property owner doesn’t want anyone coming in from that side. Maybe there is an open gate or access somewhere else. Check the cache pages including the logs to see if the property owner is mentioned. If it is government-owned land, it might not be a park, but it could be a wildlife refuge or some other “greenspace” with few or no amenities of a park. Check other maps and see what the property is. The fence may be there to prevent adjacent landowners form using the land. There is a possibility that the “No Trespassing” signs are just for a portion of the area that is further fenced off internally. The property might have been formerly operated by another agency (DoD, for example) and a smaller area is fenced and signed because previous site activities have made for unacceptable use conditions.
  24. Never mind the police. This seems to brush up against Colorado Professional Land Surveyor rules and regulations.
  25. This one is in Pittsburgh (PA) : GC4FW0C
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