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Cache Monkeys

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  1. Hey, I volunteer at an organization in Bellevue, WA that works with at-risk kids. We want to do a geocaching presentation for them but don't have enough GPS receivers. We're looking for 7-10 receivers that participants can use for one evening (June 23) during the class to find a cache. REI doesn't rent or loan receivers. Any thoughts on where we might find any? Any leads appreciated! Thanks!
  2. I thought this was interesting. Looks like we might soon have GPS technology built into our cell phones: http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/n..._pluggedin_dc_1
  3. Stanford Report, Feb. 18, 2004 GPS inventor inducted into hall of fame Professor Bradford Parkinson, co-inventor with the late Ivan Getting of the Global Positioning System (GPS), will be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame on May 1 in Akron, Ohio. Parkinson is among 20 inventors whose accomplishments range from the discovery and identification of HIV to the advent of advanced electronics. GPS is a locational and navigational system that allows users to pinpoint place with great accuracy. It makes use of signals transmitted by some of the 24 dedicated NAVSTAR satellites circling the globe in precisely defined orbits. Using the satellites as reference points, GPS receivers calculate positions based on the difference in arrival time of signals from the different satellites. Although GPS was initially developed for the U.S. military to guide missiles to targets, it is now routinely used for air traffic control systems, ships, trucks and cars, mechanized farming, search and rescue, tracking environmental changes, and more. Getting (1912-2003) conceived the idea of a Global Positioning System. While serving as vice president of research and engineering at the Raytheon Corp. during the 1950s, he advanced the concept of using a system of satellites to allow the calculation of precise positioning data for rapidly moving vehicles ranging from cars to missiles. Parkinson created and ran the NAVSTAR GPS Joint Program Office from 1972 to 1978. As the program's first manager, he has been the chief architect of GPS throughout the system's conception, engineering development and implementation. At Stanford, he is the Edward C. Wells Professor in the School of Engineering, Emeritus, and co-principle investigator of the Gravity Probe B project.
  4. Hi Xking, I had the same question when I was trying to decide which version of the Meridian to buy. I ended up buying the Meridian GPS insead of the Gold or Platinum. The 2 Mb basemap is very small and contains only major highways. However, once you add Mapsend (Streets and Destinations), you'll get an incredible level of detail -- all roads, parks, many restaurants, airports, etc. (I haven't seen the Platinum basemap, but my guess is that this is much more detail that you'd get on the Platinum basemap.) Cost-wise, it just made more sense to buy the base-level Meridian and then add the software and memory chip, since that will take the place of any basemap anyway. The Platinum does have other features -- active compass and barometer, I think -- but if your main consideration is map detail, go with the base-level Meridian and add the software. (For geocaching, I've never missed the barometer or active compass.) Good luck and welcome to geocaching.
  5. Thanks very much, Wyatt! (You know more than the tech support person I spoke with at Thales... and SD isn't even anywhere near a shoreline!) The Meridian site does say that the SporTrak has "Marine nav aids." I wonder if these are also included in the Magellan Gold basemap (with it's extra 7-8 Mb of shoreline detail)? Wyatt, do you have any opinion on which unit you'd buy (Gold or SporTrak) if you were NOT planning on expanding the basemap or purchasing other mapping software? Looks like other than the basemap, they're pretty similar. Thanks!
  6. Hello, What is the difference between the Meridian Gold basemap (16Mb) and the SporTrak Pro (8Mb)basemap? Is there a noticeable difference in map detail? If so, what is the difference? Thanks very much for any help or opinions.
  7. Hey, has anyone had any luck finding a place where you can rent GPSrs? I tried REI, but they don't rent them. I'm wondering if anyone has contacted Garmin or Magellan directly (or had success with any other place?) Thanks.
  8. So many good answers! Let me ask another, perhaps more precise, question. What is the difference between the types of memory (other than card size and amount of memory) For example, is SD memory faster than multimedia? Is compact flash more efficient than secure digital? Are some types of memory compatible (like SD and multimeida)? Or is it just that different companies developed their own memory cards and now we a bunch of different, non-compatible memory cards, and they're pretty much all equal.
  9. Hey, Can anyone tell me why there are so many different types of storage cards?(compact flash, memory sticks, multimedia, secure digital, smart media, sd epansion, etc.) Just wondering. Thanks.
  10. Thanks. So is there really any difference between a multimedia card and an SD card then?
  11. Hey, Can anyone tell me why there are so many different types of storage cards?(compact flash, memory sticks, multimedia, secure digital, smart media, sd epansion, etc.) For a Magellan Meridian, could you use a multimedia card instead of a secure digital card? Thanks.
  12. Well, I never did receive a response from the AllTek website. Either they don't care that their product is being pirated or my charger is actually the real thing. In any case, it's been working fine, so I guess things are OK. Also, my "cheap Chinese knock-off" (as someone called it) was upwards of $40, so I'd hate to see what the expensive brands are selling for.
  13. Thanks for the feedback. I've sent email to the AllTek website asking for clarification. I'll post information here when I find out more.
  14. I posted this in the GPS units/software section, but haven't gotten any responses. Maybe someone here has some input? Hi, I recently ordered an AllTek AT-1268 Pro battery charger from Thomas Distributing. Ordering was fairly easy and it arrived in a timely manner and seems to work fine. However, I couldn't help but notice that the charger I received says only AT (no trademark) on the charger and the box does not mention AllTek at all. It just says "INtercept Universal Ni-Cd/Ni-MH Battery charger" and then says "AT" on the top of the box. The instructions that were included are on a single photo-copied page that says "AllTek " but the page also says "© 2002 Thomas Distributing," so it's clearly something written by Thomas Distributing. My question: Did I receive a knock-off/generic of the actual AllTek charger? (I called Thomas Distributing and they denied this saying that AllTek doesn't include their name and trademark on their box or battery charger.) Sounds suspicious to me. Any thoughts?
  15. Hi, I recently ordered an AllTek AT-1268 Pro battery charger from Thomas Distributing. Ordering was fairly easy and it arrived in a timely manner and seems to work fine. However, I couldn't help but notice that the charger I received says only AT (no trademark) on the charger and the box does not mention AllTek at all. It just says "INtercept Universal Ni-Cd/Ni-MH Battery charger" and then says "AT" on the top of the box. The instructions that were included are on a single photo-copied page that says "AllTek " but the page also says "© 2002 Thomas Distributing," so it's clearly something written by Thomas Distributing. My question: Did I receive a knock-off/generic of the actual AllTek charger? (I called Thomas Distributing and they denied this saying that AllTek doesn't include their name and trademark on their box or battery charger.) Sounds suspicious to me. Any thoughts?
  16. quote:Originally posted by CharlieP: I am not familiar with those chargers, but generally, conditioning means to discharge the cell down to a low capacity level, and then recharge it. If the cell is not fully discharged every so often, it will lose storage capacity. If you use NiMH cells in a modern GPSR, and use it until the unit gives a low battery indication or shuts down, then conditioning would not be necessary, since the GPSR will fully discharge the cells. But some high load devices, such as certain digital cameras, will use only 1/2 or 2/3 of the cell capacity and will not completely discharge the cells... FWIW, CharlieP You people are brilliant! Thanks so much for the information!
  17. quote:Originally posted by Wander Lost: It's already there. http://www.geocaching.com/about/is the link to the information site for Geocaching.com. It has links to just about all the things you just mentioned. Maybe not in as much detail as you are looking for but there is quite a bit of info there. If you check out http://www.geocaching.com/links.asppage there is a bunch of links to other resources relating to Geocaching. As with everyting in life I'm sure this is a work in progress and as Jeremy comes across a site that he feels might be of interest he will add it to these pages. http://home.attbi.com/~wander_lost/smile02.gif Why be normal!!!! Thanks Wander Lost! I've seen these portions of the site and while I think they're good, I was thinking along the lines of more comprehensive articles on each of the above topics. For example, an article on batteries might look something like this: a) Types of batteries (alkaline, NiMH, NiCaD) Ideal uses for each (type of device they work best in) c) Advantages of each for GPSr d) Disadvantages of each for GPSr e) How different chargers affect batteries f) Tips and Hints on prolonging battery life g) What's in the future for battery technology h) Estimated prices - includes major brand names, prices, links to websites that sell them, links to manufacturer's websites, etc. i) Table comparing features/specs for brands and types of batteries. You know, something along those lines... hopefully, with periodic updates as new technologies become available. It would take some work, but would add a lot to the site I think! Thanks!
  18. I'm not sure where to submit this idea (the geocaching.com discussion group doesn't seem to be working) so I'll toss it out here and maybe one of the site admins will see it. I think a great addition to this site would be a news/articles section where there are articles written about various aspects of caching by professional writers/reporters. For example, there's lots of information about choosing a GPSr, but much of it is buried in long discussion threads. How about a comprehensive article on choosing a GPSr with links to other sites, links to discussion groups, etc. Similar articles could cover battery chargers, alkaline vs. NiMH vs. NiCad batteries, procedures and tips for placing a cache, mapping software, antennas, firmware, backpacks, caching safety, etc. These articles would definitely not replace the discussion groups, but they could provide factual information about a topic. Who knows, other sites (Magellan, Garmin, gear manufacturers, battery makers, first aid kit companies, websites that sell gear) might even be willing to pay a fee to include a link to their site. Thanks!
  19. quote:Originally posted by ProStreet: The conditioning function removes the battery's memory causing the battery to hold a better charge. Not in technical terms but that is what it does in short. Thanks ProStreet! So does the conditioning discharge the battery too or is that the same thing as removing the battery's memory? How important is this feature in a battery charger?
  20. Hey, I'm researching battery chargers and I'm wondering if anyone can tell me what the "conditioning function" on the AllTek AT-1268 and MAHA MH-C204F means. Also, I've read some good reviews about the Rayovac PS-4B, but I don't think it has this "conditioning function." Does it? Should I care? I plan on using only AA NiMh batteries with the charger, if that makes any difference. Thanks!
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