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Everything posted by CatchyCacherton

  1. I'm going to give this topic one more bump--after making a few nylon bolts I decided I might like to leave them as a signature item in a few of my favorite caches. I set back out for Home Depot but then stopped at CAL Ranch instead as it was closer to my house to see if they had anything comparable. No nylon there, but they have soft steel hex bolts and nuts for $2.99 a pound, so I bought a 3/8th and 1/2 inch bolt and nut in 1" lengths and a second 1 1/2 inch of each as well, grand total: $0.76. I figured it'd be worth a go and passed on Home Depot for the time being. Using pretty much the same method as I did for the nylon bolts I found I was able to drill out the soft steel surprisingly easily, perhaps a bit too easy as I did go through the threads on one of them and had to start over. I didn't use a drill press, just my DeWalt 14v and a set of $20 Harbor Freight bits in 64ths. I simply started by marking a center spot with an awl then drilling with a small bit, then a bit bigger, then bigger still until I was satisfied with the size of the hole. Going slow and using some 5w30 as lubricant was key--each bolt took about 45 minutes from start to finish including cool down times after each size bit. Lets say after I did one, I was hooked and did a few more up to a 3/4" one (biggest that CAL Ranch had) which is big enough for multiple log sheets and a pencil too. The tops are hacksawed ends of the 1/2" larger bolts epoxied in to the nut of the original bolt. This way I could have a clean end on both the internal and external bolt parts. Here's a few pictures: Close up: One more: I hope this inspires (even if it does rehash this old topic AGAIN) someone to go make a few of these. I put a nub of rare earth magnet on the cap of each, and a bit at the bottom of the inner chamber to hold the log/rod which makes wrapping the log much easier. I'm thinking I'm going to put a small smear of silicone inside each cap to create a seal when the two are screwed together and I used Rite in the Rain paper just incase. I'm thinking they would work well in existing holes sans-magnet simply using the cap to secure them--that would be an *evil* hide. Next up, I'm going to try and speed rust them with some vinegar and H2O2.
  2. Generally I always have my cellphone and Leatherman in my pocket so if I'm going caching, all I take is my TomTom, Rite-in-the-Rain Notebook, Zebra Telescoping Pen. Wow that reads like an advert, doesn't it? I don't do swag unless its somewhere I'm specifically setting out to find or an FTF, then I'll leave a hollow bolt, less to carry with me. Finally a drink of some kind, usually coffee in the AM and water in the afternoon
  3. Blah Blah Blah, I like LPC's personally. If you don't like them, don't play them--pretty simple.
  4. I use and have used the Juice SC2 for about 6 years and LOVE it. I've also broken the tip off of the pliers and had LeatherMan send me a replacement for only the price of shipping the old one back. I agree with the post that said don't get enticed by too many features, I actually use the bottle-opener more than the knife on mine (opening boxes, prying things open, etc.)
  5. I debated on bringing this 2 yr old thread back to life or posting a new one--I decided to tack on to this one as its the same topic. If you're on the cheap, you can make hollow bolts out of nylon machine screws for just a couple dollars. I started out with 2 1.5"x3/8" Nylon hex machine screws, coarse thread and nuts from the Home Depot (1.10 for each screw+nut) and drilled them out with a 5/16th bit: To drill them out, I drilled a hole in a piece of wood the same diameter as the screw and used the nut to hold it in place and a clamp to keep it connected to my work table. I don't have a drill press, so I just used a tiny bit as a pilot hole, then slowly worked the larger bit down through a few times until it was empty of scraps, about 1" in depth. Then I cut the top off the bolt using a hacksaw and sanded it flat. I used the socket in the picture to hold the top cap and hollowed it out using a larger bit. I did this to allow for the rare earth magnet bit to sit up inside the top cap rather than in the nut which is connected to the cap using epoxy: After letting the glue dry, the nylon can be dyed any color at all using RIT powdered dye. I was going for grey: but was *way* over ambitious and used 1/2 the package with 1 cup of water, thus my screws came out black: The log is Rite in the Rain wrapped super glued to a small bit of paperclip. This makes the log come out when the top is unscrewed and makes it easy to put back in. Total cost, under $5 as I recycled the magnets from an old hard drive.
  6. After reading this thread for nearly a week now, I just had to post mine. Its not nearly as creative as some of the others but I'm new to this, and this was my first cache. Its made out of a drill bit container which I connected to a fence post using aluminum chain-link twisty metal. There is a black cable on the underside which runs down in to the dirt but connects to nothing. The label on the top is a DEMARC label with the Lat/Long.
  7. Pay or don't, no one's forcing you. If you don't pay, you don't get to play the premium caches, its really just that simple. $10 is enough to get you 3 months worth of searching or cataloging premium caches for later searching--if you can't afford it, I'm sorry to hear that!
  8. Check out this link: http://datagateway.nrcs.usda.gov/ Regardless of what unit you end up with, the raw raster data for 1:24K topo, 1:100K topo, and 1m Satellite in MrSID formats are available for the entire United States at this site. You can simply choose the State and County and download the raw data in a big zipped raster file. You can use that with ArcGIS (or ERMapper, QGIS, MapWindow, etc) to make maps in a format that your GPS can understand. I mentioned GDAL/TTMaps as that's the program that my TomTom runs to read the maps I make using ArcGIS. Garmin likely uses a different format, of which I'm not sure. GDAL is opensource software (the Geospatial Data Abstraction Library) which lets you convert geo-referenced information between various formats. ERMapper isn't free anymore, and TTMaps likes the .ecw format for maps--thus you can use GDAL to turn a GeoTIFF which was exported from ArcGIS in to an .ecw file which TTMaps can understand. This should be similar for any other format--your GPS unit will tell you which format it wants the maps in and Datum used (most GPS's use WGS84 or NAD83, but projections/datums are a discussion far beyond the scope of this conversation). I'm always up for talking GPS/GIS/Maps. If you have other questions shoot me an email at shakezula at gmail.com!
  9. I'm a senior level geology major with a minor in GIS at ISU if that counts... I use a TomTom One 3rd Edition with TTMaps and make my own maps using ArcGIS, the USDA Spatial Gateway (download 1m satellite data in NAD1983 from 2009/2010), and GDAL on my iMac. I download a county or a few--then cut out areas I'd like to cache in and compress the maps using GDAL in the .ecw format which TTMaps likes. This lets me use a fairly outdated (4 years old) turn by turn system as a true picture 50m resolution device which displays tracking angle, keeps track of routes and paths, provides TONS of stats, and can import the GPX formatted waypoints with no issue. The only drawback is that there's only 1gb of memory--any other TomTom which can take an SD could be outfitted with TTMaps though. My phone got GPS last year so I figured it was time to hack the TomTom a bit and it works fabulously! Its a touch-screen, very accurate, and the maps look very very nice. I'm able to fit the eastern portion of Idaho in 1gb, you can add/remove at your leisure. I've even super-imposed the topo and streets in a few of the maps I've made, and if you load topo's along with satellite and road maps which are all geo-referenced, the TTMaps can cycle through them with a screen push--very good for finding elevations quickly if the satellite image isn't telling enough. I've seen the TomTom One 3rd go for as little as $40 locally, can't beat that price for the customization capability.
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