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Posts posted by BFG99

  1. For fun, I put the old supercap back in then ran the Vista HCx's internal diagnostic. The diagnostic screen doesn't show an entry for "battery", but it does list a "voltage" line item which currently reads 2.46-2.52 V. Am I correct in assuming that's the supercap voltage?


    Unfortunately I'm also having trouble getting the unit's case to stay together. I hope I haven't broken a tab or something...

  2. I appreciate the explanation on the difference and the reason Garmin switched. I still have what was in there before and need to take a closer look to see whether it was a battery or supercap. I only attempted to match the form factor and voltage, and didn't think there could be other differences as well.


    This weekend I'll continue exploring the innards to see if I have any other options. So far I haven't seen any obvious damage or disconnects, but I haven't spent a lot of time with it either. Stay tuned...

  3. I appreciate the thoughts and additional feedback. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if there's something a bit "funny" with the USB port given the difficulties I've had connecting to computers in the past. Strangely though, other than the reset in the middle of the firmware update it seems to be behaving correctly now.


    I will look through the links you provided and give every suggestion a try. I really appreciate it. Stay tuned!

  4. Well, manual installation failed, as did trying to install on another computer. They both resulted in the same thing - a unit reset in the middle of the update. And Garmin also said they can't help (it's too old to send in for a repair even if I paid).


    Unless some GPS hackers somewhere have an idea - which I'm guessing isn't legal - I think it's toast.

  5. +1 to narcissa's post; I agree that it's ultimately up to the parent (or the adult cacher) to decide what is appropriate for their children or themselves, provided of course that the cache owner has appropriately marked the cache as not family friendly, and provided adequate hints as to the type of placement. This discussion has convinced me of that.


    That said, I also agree with Manville Possum that the suggested placement was immature. Perhaps not immoral, but immature. Sure, it's a horse statue at the entrance into a breeder's stead, so the exact placement makes some sense. And it's in a rural area populated mostly by cattle and horse farmers who wouldn't even bat an eye. But out-of-towners probably would. And, while there's absolutely nothing wrong with an anatomically correct statue or having a cache near it - it just reflects reality and I consider it an impressive work of art - you can do so without calling attention to the statue's genitals or possibly causing damage. So why not place it in a way that's responsible and family friendly?

  6. I have to admit, the thought of a "planned obsolescence" did occur to me! It's probably something simple, but not easy to fix, like the GPS chip has been shaken loose from the motherboard or something like that.


    I'll have to look at that "tinkering" link when I get home from work; it looks interesting.


    And thanks for the direct firmware download - I figured it was available somewhere but I hadn't had much success via Google.


    I'm not sure if the fact it resets every time I attempt a firmware update can be overcome though - no idea if it's a connectivity problem with the computer, the cable, the GPS unit, or something else I'm overlooking.

  7. If it hadn't just died (I think...) I'd vote for the eTrex Vista HCx. I've used it off and on for 7 years and my father for several before that. Very dependable and accurate, and via USB you can do a mass upload of waypoints. It's also pretty cheap right now.


    That said, my next unit will probably be a Garmin with GLONASS capability to improve accuracy...just not sure which.

  8. I have a Garmin eTrex Vista HCx that I inherited from my late father in 2010. It's been my mainstay for geocaching, with my company-issued Blackberry and later iPhone as backup.


    It's had some electronic issues since day 1: most computers wouldn't recognize it when plugged in with the Garmin-supplied USB cable (or any other one for that matter), it would never lock onto satellites while on DC power, and once in 2013 I let some batteries corrode in it. On top of all that, I've never been able to get the firmware to update...when I did get computers to recognize it, WebUpdater installed new software with no trouble, but the unit stops responding then resets anytime I try to update the GPS chipset firmware. And, certain batteries (like Energizer Max) wouldn't work. Still, I could usually get it to work with NiMH rechargeable batteries.


    That is, until last week. I turned it on to go for a geocaching jog, it got to the satellite screen...and nothing. No satellites ever appeared and no locking ever happened. I left it out for an hour to no avail. I switched it on and off and switched the batteries...nothing. DC power...nothing. Master hardware reset...nothing. So I checked the reported software...it now states the GPS chipset is at version 0.00, and that's without me trying to update recently. And the onboard hardware diagnostic reports no problems. The only event of note is I dropped it out in the forest during the previous use.


    Any suggestions? It's not worth paying Garmin's $89 fee just to have it checked out...any way to install the chipset outside of WebUpdater, maybe via the microSD card?

  9. Personally, I wouldn't be worried about being a little rude by deleting such a log if someone was VERY rude by placing it. Along the same lines, I recently tore a page off of a paper log where someone had drawn the male sexual organs. I was careful to leave intact previous signatures though.

  10. Yeah, older units can be very sensitive to which USB cable they're plugged into. My eTrex Vista HCx can't use the stock cable - it resets or doesn't acquire satellites anytime I use the stock cable. I have to use a different one. I think the GPS chip might be starting to go...

  11. I haven't found one in poison ivy yet, but one local cache-placer loves to put microcaches in the middle of thorn tree thickets, where there's absolutely no way to access it without getting all scratched up (unless you're wearing protective gear). He doesn't do all of them like that so there's no way to know ahead of time whether you'll need it.

  12. Good question, I honestly don't remember (it has been 5 years since I was there after all). I don't think so though, I believe it's just decoration for the front of a gravel driveway that goes into a horse breeder's homestead. I'll ask him.


    I'm hoping he'll sign up for Groundspeak soon so he can comment here directly instead of me doing so by proxy.

  13. If the entire statue is the focal point of the cache, then it might be better to try hiding the cache somewhere around the base of the statue. If that particular part of the statue is the focal point of the cache, then it will be more challenging.

    I thought somewhere around the front of the base of the statue might be cool. I don't know if it's like the picture. Can small steel plate be slid under partway, held by the base? Something like that? If so, a matchtube or even larger container with a magnet could go there. Disguised as a mouse! :laughing: Maybe. That explains the horse's reaction. :anicute:


    Ah, I like that! I'll suggest that to him. And best part is it wouldn't damage the statue. Frankly I think he's putting way too much focus on where on the statue he wants to place it...

    I'd imagine it would be relatively easy to place a "mouse" container in the grass or perhaps slid under a gap between the base and the dirt? That would also negate my concern about whether it's "kid friendly".

  14. Non-magnetic? Now that IS a problem. I bet he doesn't know that, and I certainly didn't realize it. Honestly I'd never tried a magnet with bronze. Still, I'm assuming it's at an upright angle so could still work. (No, I haven't looked that closely at it!)


    Yep, the patina wear is the main thing I'd worry about if I were the owner. I remember being in London years ago and seeing several modern statues of varying metals that had had similar wear. The bronze and copper ones seemed to have the biggest issues.

  15. I do wonder how many of those cachers keep a large supply of replacement caches for throwdowns instead of DNFs.



    Ah, and now I FINALLY understand what people mean when they say "throwdown". I have to admit, doing this never even occurred to me.

  16. Yeah, I wouldn't want to be known as the guy who hid that cache either! To each their own though, I guess.


    He probably does know that bronze cannot rust (a fact I'd forgotten, honestly), but we were thinking more along the lines of multiple hail and ice storms, and at least one weak tornado, that it has survived thus far. The thinking was that if it can survive that, it can probably survive a few hands!


    Anyway, guess it's up to him since he's got the owner's permission.

  17. Just spoke with my friend, sounds like he's willing to join Groundspeak to keep better track of his finds and to advertise his caches. That's a good thing.


    He also assured me that the cache in question would be well-hidden. Apparently there's more room on the statue in question than the similar one I posted photos of. I...will readily admit I have not looked that closely at it, particularly since it's been 5 years since I was last home.


    Since he has permission, the only remaining question is whether it would cause any damage. That statue has been out in the elements for at least 20 years so he's thinking it wouldn't but will check with the farmer first.


    In short, I think all is well now.

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