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Everything posted by FolsomNatural

  1. Well, this whole discussion is a symptom of a far more serious problem . . . Very few people are now playing the Waymarking game! I looked at some major cities and the number of waymarks posted and how so many of them have NEVER been visited. You have to wonder where all the participants are. I am starting to write on my geo-caching posts - - something along the lines of the following. "Hey, do you take pictures during your geocaching adventures? Maybe you would enjoy the complimentary hobby of Waymarking. See www.Waymarking.com. "
  2. OK, I have to admit I'm confused. What is a wormhole? What is a stargate? How do they differ? I was thinking of starting my own wormhole service, but I'm not sure it's legal or if I understand it correctly. I have a Post Office mailbox. I want to invite people to send their TBs to the P.O. Box, and I will take a photo of it in that Zip Code - or with some other city landmark, and then I would mail it back to the sender or stash it in a local cache. Is that the "correct" plan?
  3. Do you have any concern that when you post your cache finds that this means anyone can track where you've been, and when? With recent news stories about government and corporate databases tracking all your communications, there are growing questions about privacy. Personally, I have nothing to hide and I don't care if anyone knows where I've been, but I still feel no one person or agency should be able to track my movements and communications. What do you think?
  4. Wow! Guess I really got an earful, aye? "Lame" "Jest" Not even a HINT of a Thank You for trying to serve the game in a poor neighborhood. Oh well . . . It certainly was an enthusiastic response, and I didn't get burned or flamed, so I guess that's a tribute to the kindness of cachers. Scratch THAT idea. Let's see what other atrocity I can come up with . . .
  5. I visited a friend who lives in a low income neighborhood in the San Francisco Bay area. There are no caches for many blocks around his house. I was considering posting a few key-hides or small caches in the neighborhood, and then when the log is full I would abandon them, or more correctly archive them. I visit the area at best only once every 6 months, so I would not be able to responsibly maintain the caches, but at least it would provide a visitor with some caching opportunities. Good idea? Or is that kind of thing frowned upon?
  6. I've had about a dozen interactions with law enforcement, although many were with private security guards. They are universally understanding, cooperative and sometimes curious about the sport. The only negative encounter was when I mistakenly hid a cache on state prison grounds. I thought the road shoulder was City of Folsom property, but it technically belongs to the prison. I was surrounded by 6 prison guards with high intensity looks of disapproval on their faces. It seems some relatives of inmates will hide items for their incarcerated family members - inmates who maintain the landscaping around prison grounds, and they will secret away banned items around the grounds. When they saw that the cache contained tiny children's toys and innocent swag, they knew I was legit, but I did have to remove the cache. I have a friend who is a prison guard who works there, and I know he would get me a nice clean cell if it ever came to that.
  7. Was there a time you almost gave up geocaching completely? Yes for me - - here's a few reasons why . . . 1. Spending over an hour and still cannot find the cache. 2. Slamming my head on a tree branch. 3. Foot sunk in the mud so deep that water got inside one boot. 4. Three months in a row contracting Poison Oak.
  8. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll have to check on that. Maybe I have to reset something.
  9. I have two cameras with built-in GPS, but I've noticed the GPS accuracy is not quite as good as the dedicated Garmin 62st that I use. I decided to make some comparisons. To my surprise, the Cascio EX H20G Exilim rounds the GPS measures to a whole degree. That's approximately a 1-mile error at my latitude and longitude. So, that camera is essentially useless for GPS accuracy. The other camera is a Cannon PowerShot SX260 HS ($200). I took several photographs with the GPS turned on and compared them with my Garmin 62st hand-held. The Cannon's GPS locations differed from the GPS unit by an average of 36 feet of latitude and 11 feet of longitude. That's darn good for a $200 camera with a bunch of other great features (such as 1080 HD video and 20X zoom). I am wondering if the more expensive cameras have better accuracy. If anyone owns a Panasonic DMC ZS20 (~$300), or the Sony Cybershot DSC HX20v (~$380), I would like to see how good the GPS is for them. Both those cameras have EXCELLENT user reviews. I often take photos while geocaching and sometimes will post the photos of interesting places to Panoramio dot com, which in turn may be used in Google Earth. I generally keep the GPS function turned off on the camera as it drains a lot of power from the batteries. With the Cannon I feel it is accurate enough to take picture with the GPS on and then post them - - many viewers will take the photo "EXIF" file and assume the GPS figures are accurate, but that's not always true. I feel it's at least in the ballpark with the Cannon reading. It sure would be interesting to see how other cameras compare.
  10. Instead of a bunch of pictures, I made a video. Check it out:
  11. YES! MANY cachers are family members and they bring along their kids. If you've ever seen a child's face light up on getting their first FTF, then you understand the reason to let a few go - - to let some novice or beginner get their first prize and know the thrill of the game. Not all members of the sport are wired to the hilt with electronic notifications and cell phone apps that they can get out 7 milliseconds after a cache is posted.
  12. A new GPS game is in beta testing by Google. The game uses landmarks to identify and conquer using your smart-phone GPS function. Not sure I understand it all . . . see the story at: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21628936.200-why-googles-ingress-game-is-a-data-gold-mine.html Google GPS Game
  13. Excellent responses; thanks to all. Again I'm impressed with the depth and scope of knowledge on this board, not to mention the sense of helpfulness. Thanks.
  14. I have a traditional cache with a Ladybug theme. I found a lady bug rubber stamp, and I want to change the cache type to Letterbox hybrid. Do I have to request permission, or just change it myself?
  15. Recently a series came out near me where there were 10 caches in a row along a rural road. The first person on the scene got 8 of the FTFs and missed the last two only because someone had started at the other end. I love a good competition for FTFs, but (I don't know, Jerry!) sometimes I think they are FTF hogs and should let someone else find at least a FEW of the 10. I see where a person is SO happy to get their first FTF - it's heartwarming to see the joy they experience. So, when someone takes all 10 of a new series, I think it's unsportsmanlike and inconsiderate. Am I wrong here?
  16. The real trick is getting the hand-crank generator. That comes built in on the emergency devices. Even a charged Ni-Cad battery is not going to last very long. Yeah, I've seen the caches where you have to take the batteries out of your GPS and insert them in the cache to make something move. Clever, but I consider it "cheating" a little bit anyway.
  17. Photos for the above: Assembly Tapping into the battery Schematic
  18. There's an easy way to add electricity to a cache - - to power an LED light for example, or a buzzer. You tap into the Ni-Cad battery of a hand-crank emergency radio. Some details at: hand crank radio
  19. I've had the Casio EXILIM H20G (built-in GPS) for about a week now and I really like it. The GPS function can be turned on or off to preserve the battery charge, but even with it on, it takes quite a while to discharge the battery. I like: 1. The GPS takes only a few seconds to turn on. 2. The camera is small and fits in your shirt pocket. 3. The info file contains several important parameters, such as direction the camera is facing, altitude, exposure, etc. The GPS information, however is not as detailed (lower resolution) than my hand-held Garmin GPS. The camera will often round off the last few decimal places. 4. Good zoom and picture quality. 5. Lots of bells and whistles, such as the panorama slide mode, which lets you hold down the shutter, spin the camera, and it stitches together a 360-degree panoramic shot for you. 6. Built-in video mode - though it's regular, not High Definition. 7. Relatively cheap price for all the features you get. I don't like: 1. As the reviews note, the buttons are close together and I often press something unintended. Even when inside the case something can turn on by bumping the camera. I intend to get a hard shell carry bag for it. 2. Wish it had HD video, instead of the regular. 3. I don't like the "wide angle" as default. I prefer the standard (50mm?) angle. You have to zoom in a wee bit to make the perspective look normal. All-in-all: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. It's light weight and slim design means I can carry it anywhere and I take it on every outing, not just geocaching.
  20. Ahh, yes, a sad but all too familiar problem. You have to entertain the idea that some people just take them. With any luck you can nudge the culprit into passing it on, but many times they are simply lost. I would just put a note in the log that the TB appears to be missing, then cross your fingers. I've learned not to attach anything really valuable to a TB so if it goes missing it's not a big loss. I've found you can now buy themed plastic figures, such as a dozen farm animals, or space craft, or tropical fish and punch a hole in them for TBs. They come out to about 50-cents each. Anyway, keep your chin up. Most people are honest and helpful and will advance both TBs and the sport.
  21. I have a TB on my car. Mmm! With a little planning I could visit caches in such a way, and in the right sequence, that when I look at the map that the TB has traveled the lines could form a word or even paint a picture of an object. Of course, when the creation is done, I'd have to "retire" the TB, but the pattern would last. What do you think? Has it been done before. I could do the same thing by "visiting" sites with someone else's TB - now wouldn't THAT be a surprise to them when they see the map!?
  22. FYI: I decided to go with the Casio EXILIM H20G. I like the description of the "hybrid GPS" which includes a motion sensor and accelerometer, so it can tell where you are even when satellite signal is lost for a short time. It also has a macro feature, and you can opt to have the coordinate printed right onto the photo. I will post a review once I've had a chance to check it out.
  23. Well, I tried the Panasonic Lumix ZS10. Works great EXCEPT for the GPS, which seems to take forever to capture the satellites, so when I get home MOST OF THE TIME there is no GPS data in the ELIX files. Long story short: Sold it. Reading the reviews it seems most all of the GPS digital cameras take a while to acquire the satellites, so I may have acted too soon. Now I'm looking at: 1. Pentax Optio WG-1 GPS ($280) 14MP with 720p video. Rugged, excellent macro feature. GPS is also slow and has only 5X zoom. 2. Sony DSCHXV9 ($328) 16MP. More expensive but also has great macro feature for close-ups and full 1080p video. 3. Cascio EXILIM H2OG 14 MP. ($230) Hearing good reports on the GPS function. 10X zoom. 720p video. Will study the reviews for more info.
  24. Here's what's in my swag-bag:
  25. I've seen at least two people with trackables tattooed to their bodies!
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