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AlphaOp

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Everything posted by AlphaOp

  1. Heh, this has given me some ideas for my "The Legend of Max" cache. (Intended to be very difficult.)
  2. So, geocaching and hiking sometimes involves a lot of time outdoors, away from bathroom facilities. So has anyone ever been caught going to the bathroom (#1) out in the woods, or stumbled upon someone relieving themselves? I was almost caught today, there was a thin trail that was lined with really heavy brush, so I can only get about 15 feet off the trail to relieve myself, and a minute or so later some people walk by, so that was kinda close! (I don't think that doing that in a reasonably remote/wooded area is a crime of any sort, no criminal intent.)
  3. AlphaOp

    Hazmat Program

    First off, it would be really cool if GPS units like the Garmin 60C would allow users to develop their own games or programs that integrated GPS. With that said... One really useful program idea would be a haz-mat emergency response program for a GPS. The idea is simple, let's say that a tanker truck containing X-chemical crashes and leaks. You could load up your GPS and select the point where the chemical is leaking from, select the chemical (or kind of chemical for generic evacuation patterns) and put in the direction of wind and speed. The GPS program would calculate and show what areas need to be evacuated, which areas are dangerous, etcetera and show it on the GPS. A program like this, based on a simple GPS, could be a real gem for first-responders and could potentially save lives. The most useful application would be to run the program on the Rhino units, so that all emergency responders could make sure they are safe and know where each other are. Perhalps in addition, a program could be created for fallout or chemical drift in the event of a severe ABC terrorist attack based on predicted and observed wind directions (god forbid it ever happens.)
  4. One story I heard was a meth chef who was trying to get ammonia. So he decided to sneak into a chemical depot and drill a hole into a 10,000 gallon ammonia tank. The guy realizes that ammonia fumes can be pretty dangerous and decides to jet. Hazmatlarity ensues.
  5. So I've been hearing that in the Erie county area people have found meth dump sites or labs hidden in wooden areas. Has anyone here had the misfortune of finding a lab or lab dump site?
  6. I'd be interested in a few things: 1. Like posted before, day/night backlighting settings, and have the backlight come on initially when the unit is powered up. 2. Customizable color schemes instead of fixed one (pretty minor) 2a. Interstate prefrence for road routing. I don't like it when the unit sends me on a non-interstate road with about a TRILLION stop lights instead of using the very close-by INTER-FRICKEN-STATE!!! 3. Rocket guidance application via the USB or serial data port* *- I now have an FBI file most likely. (Assuming I don't already have one.) ** **- I kid! I kid! (FBI- please don't come and arrest me! )
  7. Long story short. Dad wanted a new GPS unit. I got the 76Map for him, chipping in $150. He said that the screen was hard as hell to read. I concured. He returned it tonight as I took a little trip to Ashtabula to play Dance Dance Revolution in the arcade. When I came back I saw sitting on the table an odd device, and in a thousandth of a second I saw the belt-clip antenna. It was a 60C. I booted up the unit, and let me say that it is awe-inspiring. Truly bleeding-edge stuff. The color screen was absolutely beautiful. Tons of icons, very detailed US basemap, very good reception and WAAS compatibility (they need a satellite over the central US... ) and all kinda of extra crap. We have a Garmin-III that's served us perfectly (except when my dad had to open it up to change the internal memory battery) going on 5 or 6 years now. I'm hoping that the investment we made in the 60c will be for twice that, and knowing the quality and supreme durability in the III, I'm hopinh to see the same in the 60C. So yeah, maybe the 60C isn't better then sex, but it's up there... -Alpha "The Dancing Geocacher" Operator
  8. There is autorouting on the 60C? Holy crap.
  9. Eight dollars... ... (Alpha embraces US 5 camp ) ...thank you... ... Ok, that's enough.
  10. Holy crap, $30 for a friggen 12V cigarette lighter adapter for a Garmin (II/III and other models)! Does anyone know of any... off-brand adapters that work with Garmin units that won't cost a freakin' arm and leg??? Would there be any risk at taking a different 12v cigarette lighter adapter and modifying it to plug into the Garmin? (I'm getting a new 72, I'd prefer not to fry it though.)
  11. Hey there. Is it possible in any way shape or form to use a different topo map source (Like Delorme Topo) instead of the Garmin topo/streets CDs to load topo or street level maps onto a GPSMAP76? My guess is no, but I just wanted to make sure.
  12. Man, that hill sucked. I've been worrying non-stop for the past 48 hours about breaking my neck on that one. ... Sorry, my OCD acting up... you can probably disregaurd that. http://thealphaoperator.tripod.com
  13. I'm curious if anyone has ever gotten injured (running the gambit from minor to severe) while geocaching or otherwise tromping around with a GPS unit in their hand. I've had a few close calls, lots of briar scratches, and most recently a fall on my butt while I was heading down a steep 200' (50-60 degree) incline, which was muddy and lacking handholds. A nasty little descent, plopping my hiking pole into the ground, shift weight, pray that you won't fall on your face, roll, and snap your neck! Fun. So, any injuries out there? http://thealphaoperator.tripod.com
  14. I was out on a little adventure today and I took my GPS. For the first hour or so of my hike, I turned the unit on and off, marking a few waypoints to save battery power. Then, later, for some odd reason, the unit had a ton of trouble getting satellite locks. It would get one satellite, or two, but the others it would have problems with. I wasn't patient enough to let it run for more then three minutes. Has anyone else ever noticed this? It might have been that the satellites were in just the right position, combined with the terrain, that caused a "black-out" for a time period. http://thealphaoperator.tripod.com
  15. My biggest fear was that I would hurt my ankle or something and be unable to walk. It turns out I didn't get too badly lost. If I kept moving in the wrong direction, it could have gotten kinda hairy though! Again, though, I had a good gallon of water with me, there were plenty of streams and water sources, and there were acorns and other edible stuff along the ground I could have muched on. Even if I was rendered unable to walk normally, I probably would have made it back OK. It's really wierd- the GPS seemed to have been woriking perfectly, and then when the satellites get into a certain position, it makes it really hard to get locks. Has anyone ever seen this happen? http://thealphaoperator.tripod.com
  16. Well, the car itself was not the waypoint. The address of the parking area/visitor's center was the waypoint. Even without the GPS, I would probably have been OK. If I wandered five miles I would have hit a road of some sorts. Plus the terrain wasn't too bad, and I had my trusty hiking stick with me. It was quite an adventure. Yeah, there was a risk of getting hurt, or not making it back. But that's what life is all about, really. Calculated risks. I probably had a greater chance of dying on the drive back (undivided highway, 55 miles and hour which means a 110 mph speed-delta in a head-on collision) then from getting injured or lost in the woods. http://thealphaoperator.tripod.com
  17. Had an interesting little adventure today. Around 10 this morning I decided I was going to take the car and go on a little hike in the Alleghney National Forest in central Pennsylvania. I loaded up a bag with provisions, charged the batteries on my GPS, and headed out. I followed the little map on my Garmin-III GPS sitting on the dashboard. I headed through Union City, Youngstown, and about five other pissant little Pennsylvania towns. After an hour and a half, and a quart of oil (I found the car's oil level was dangerously low- an oil change was missed. Yikes.) I reached Heart's Content Park, where the trail was. I got out and headed down the 11 mile trail. Now mind you, this isn't a standard trail. It was very basic to say the least. Trees with yellow paint marked where the trail was. It was a really great place. The air was pleasantly cool. I had my trusty hiking pole, billion-pocket-vest, and my old school backpack containing a gallon-jug of water, a first-aid kit, and a US millitary survival manual. In my pockets I had two of these Kavli Go-Lean bars, pocket knife, GPS, and cellular phone. (The latter was pretty much worthless in the woods.) Plus, I took my digital camera in my side holdster. After about an hour and a half, and a few stops to mark my location on the GPS and take pictures of the woods and some bracket fungi (polypores) I decided to head back. I passed back through the woods, and hopped the steam I just crossed before. So far, so good. But then I noticed that I wasn't seeing the yellow trail markings on the trees. No problem, I thought. I was probably just a little off to the side of the trail, I'd find it in a few minutes. About 10 minutes later and no sign of the trail, I started to worry. I got out my Garmin-III GPS unit, and tried to find my location. Now, when I really needed it, the satellites wouldn't lock on. That was when I realized that I was lost. Fortunately, I kept my cool. I realized that I would have to move until I could find a decent clearing in which to get satellite locks. I kept moving, and eventually came back to the stream I had just crossed. Then I realized that I was really screwed-up orientation wise, and two words popped into my head "Blair Witch." I checked my clock. It was 3. I had 5 hours until Freedy, or Jason, or the Blair Witch, or George Michaels would jump out from behind a tree and kill me. But, I realized how nonsensical most of that was, and managed to keep calm. I had packed my emergency wilderness survival guide from the US Millitary (circa 1958) with me, so I wasn't terribly worried. There were plenty of streams with water, and I was sure I could eat some plants or chew on those polypores for some prescious calories. I kept moving in the "I think this is the way" direction, but I couldn't really tell. The sun was at my back, and I was actually moving kinda south-ish. I eventually got a spark of hope- I ran into a set of signs indicating that I had reached the edge of the Wilderness area. I kept moving along that line until I reached a massive clearing! Now I could use my GPS! I whipped out the GPS, and instantly got all the satellite locks I needed. My location was far from where I suspected. I thought I was to the West, when I was actually more South. I headed through some private property, and managed to hit some dirt roads. I headed back towards the trailhead. The GPS guided me, but it was up about a half-mile of a 15-30 degree incline, which completely sucked. I eventually made it back to the trailhead, and my car. Phew! Anyhoo, just for the hell of it: a photo from today's little trip: Note to self- next time, bring a @#$@#$ing compass and some matches. Anyone else ever get lost in the woods? http://thealphaoperator.tripod.com
  18. quote:Originally posted by umc:Oh yeah, Nav!cache. The whole 'N' word thing could be totally taken the wrong way. My first thought was "wow, this guy must be racist as all get-out." Glad to hear my initial interpretation of that was wrong. http://thealphaoperator.tripod.com
  19. Wow, I wouldn't want to get that close. A word of warning: the chemicals involved in the production of methamphetamines, "crystal meth," are both very toxic and very explosive. Best to keep back, leave the area, and contact the police ASAP. I would not have wanted to get that close if I knew it was remnants of a meth cook. When police come to clean out a lab, they use hazmat-level protective gear. I found an open knife in a park, a nice area on Sunday. I thought about closing it, but I didn't want to touch it. There wasn't any blood on it or anything. I really wasn't sure what to do, so I stuck it in the ground blade-down so no one would step on it. http://thealphaoperator.tripod.com
  20. quote:Originally posted by Renegade Knight:The idea is probably public domain since it's not original. (Remember Arnold in Terminator, His vision was VR Augmentation.). How it's implemented is different. Well, AR is very public-domain-y, yes... yeah, I probably should have rephrased that, it sounded too "hey I just thought of this and it's origional" after I re-read it, just a faux paus. :-P But anyways, yeah, the VR augmentation is exactly the idea I was looking for. Another idea (again, not origional) would be to use some small-scale stereo radar instead of two cameras, or both. I think it would be easier for the computer to generate the 3-d environment using sonic data then visual data. Plus it would automatically make navigation at night and in fog or smoke easier. http://thealphaoperator.tripod.com
  21. Geocaching.com sells labels for geocache containers, but I thoink it would be great if they sold pre-perforated stensils for use on ammo-can caches instead of the stick-on labels. Just drop the stensil, and spray, and viola, you have the official logo on your cache. ... Oh, what the hell: story time. I found what appeared to be a pipe bomb at my high school. It was sitting upright on the drinking fountain. What do I do? I get out my pencil, and tap it so that it falls over onto its side. From what I've heard, pipe bombs have a knack for being a bit unstable, and if that was live, I could have really risked blowing myself into... well, let's put it this way: there was a web site with warnings about building these and other home-made explosives. One images was a fellow who built a pipe-bomb, and it exploded in his hands. They put most of his remains on a tarp, arranged in order from the head area to the feet, which where in about 12 completely seperate pieces. Ouch. Fortunately, it turned out to be a fuse from the tech school someone had wrapped in electrical tape, as they do with dead fuses to avoid replacing a bad fuse with another bad one. Of course, this was discovered after the school was evacuated and the Erie bomb squad was called. Wow. Just a little story, since we're on the topic of bomb squads and such. http://thealphaoperator.tripod.com
  22. quote:Originally posted by Renegade Knight:Cool idea. Now if only I could get my email program to ping the return address of incoming emails. All that don't return 'yup this email is valid' get junked. ============================== Wherever you go there you are. Now that is not a good idea, that's an exceptionally good idea! http://thealphaoperator.tripod.com
  23. Wouldn't it be OK to mail if you wanted to get a TB to move really long distances? I'd like to start "International Alpha," I'd like to try and get a travel bug to circumnavigate the globe, that would be awesome. http://thealphaoperator.tripod.com
  24. Some time I'm going to make the "Erie Dragon." All I need is a little private time with Microsoft Trips and Streets 2001, and a full tank of gas in the Ford Escort. http://thealphaoperator.tripod.com
  25. If I could get a good container and weigh it down, I'd put a cache in a shallow section in Lake Erie, somewhere it could be reached by someone with a snorkel. The trick would be making sure it was absolutely watertight, weighed down correctly, and partially buried as to avoid detection. http://thealphaoperator.tripod.com
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