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Everything posted by BFG99

  1. Heh, I guess I won't worry too much about it then. I just thought some cachers might find it inappropriate/offensive, particularly if they bring their kids along, or that I deliberately placed it there. Guess I'll try it and see what happens...I can always move it. (Of course, this is all assuming I even get the permission to start with.)
  2. Yeah, that, and the tons of off-colored jokes about "this is bull****" it's likely to cause are my primary concerns Still, the cows ARE moved around once a year or so, so it won't be like that forever...and who knows, one of the other places I pick now might end up with the same problem later.
  3. There's really no good way to broach this topic. There is a historical barn not too far from where I live that has a number of fiberglass cattle (from the "Cow Parade") in the lot. It's really a nice site from both a historical and an artistic perspective. Assuming that I get permission to place the cache, I've found a perfect hiding spot in the white picket fence. The only problem is, if I place it there, the cacher will almost certainly also get an eyeful of one of the (anatomically correct) fiberglass bull's hindquarters, as it's standing right next to the fence, facing away. So, my question...is that sufficient reason to try to find another location, or should I not worry about it? I've found other potential spots, but none quite as good as this one. Maybe the fact I feel like I have to ask is sufficient indication I should move it...
  4. Perhaps I'm reading it wrong, but I don't think you'd have to have a reference receiver at each geocache. Obviously that wouldn't be doable. The way I read it, you just have to have a second receiver nearby - in your pocket, in the car, etc. - and that would be enough to calculate the ionosphere interference. And, even if the ionosphere interference isn't cancelled out, the remaining components of RKP would still allow for higher precision.
  5. Thanks for the resource! I found the file I need on that website, but it's an .rgn file and I don't know what to do with it. Are there instructions or tips posted anywhere that I can read through, to figure out how to load the file to my GPS unit?
  6. Thanks for the suggestion, Red90. Done, and...no effect, unfortunately.
  7. One small clarification on the above posts - for those who are wondering, any satellites above 32 are WAAS/EGNOS satellites, though there are a few below 32 as well. If I remember correctly there are around 10 WAAS/EGNOS satellites altogether; 13, 37 and 49 show up most frequently for me in the central US. On a typical Garmin, the last 2 satellite positions (out of 12) are reserved for WAAS/EGNOS satellites when WAAS/EGNOS is turned on. Interestingly, this means it's only possible to lock onto 10 GPS satellites when WAAS/EGNOS is turned on, but 12 when it's turned off.
  8. That's the one! All I could remember was that the name started with a P, and that they had already conducted a practical demonstration to prove the idea works. Thanks!
  9. Yep, I've tried it...unfortunately the Vista HCx isn't compatible with Garmin Express, so I have to use WebUpdater instead.
  10. This is the chipset WebUpdater is trying to install. (I typoed the opening statement...it should have set "GPS Chipset Type M2", not "...Type 2".)
  11. ecanderson - That sounds like the same thing, however there have been some breakthroughs recently that show it could be doable on a handheld. I wasn't able to find the article, unfortunately, but just 2 weeks ago I read an article about a group that had demonstrated cheap handheld RKP receivers.
  12. That's very interesting behaviour (intentional British English spelling for the European!) I too would question if they both had a WAAS lock, and were using the same GPS satellites. If so, then perhaps the 550t uses a different algorithm to handle multipathing and drift when WAAS is on, versus when it is off? How curious.
  13. Very true. I can see why other forums (fora?) have rules against necro-posting. I suppose I MIGHT be convinced that "Garmin sucks"...only if someone could demonstrate to me that their devices and/or firmware and/or software were objectively inferior to similar devices for the same price. Until then, it's just a matter of opinion, and a lot of people are voting in favor of Garmin with their money.
  14. Hmmm...no one has any ideas? It's a very irritating problem. Of course, it might be significantly less irritating if I could find documentation somewhere that states what changed between 2.10 and 2.90.
  15. Heh, good point yogazoo. I suppose that the only time WAAS might put a person at a disadvantage is if turning it off would cause exactly the same error as what the hider found. There are too many variables involved to be able to rely on that consistently. Since it doesn't seem to hurt anything, other than the small additional battery drain, I'll probably keep it on. That inability to lock onto both 13's was odd though, and I'll keep an eye on the unit to see if something like that happens again.
  16. Many of the handheld GPSs out there have the option to turn WAAS (or for Europe, EGNOS) on or off. Out of curiosity, do you use it? Why or why not? Under what circumstances? To be honest, I haven't seen a huge improvement in accuracy when I enable WAAS on my Garmin eTrex Vista HCx, but consistency goes up a bit (i.e. it doesn't drift quite as much). I'm not sure if it's worth using, especially if it causes additional battery drain. That also brings me to two other questions: (1) Yesterday, my unit tried to simultaneously lock onto GPS #13 and WAAS #13. Oddly, it couldn't seem to hold a lock on either one, and often when it did lock onto one it immediately lost the lock on the other. The other 10 satellites held their locks. Does anyone know if this is a bug? (2) If I'm using WAAS and the person who placed the cache wasn't when they recorded the coordinates, am I actually at a disadvantage versus turning WAAS off?
  17. Yes, there's huge (Garmin) and then there's HUGE (Apple, Microsoft). And then there's GINORMOUS (Wal-Mart). But we're not talking about the latter.
  18. Thanks everyone. I appreciate the feedback and would be interested in any more insight. I was hoping to find one or more of the GPSs out there used RKP, because that seems like a VERY promising technology...from what I understand, it measures the wavelength/pulse from each satellite to further refine the signal, often gaining a 5-10x accuracy and consistency improvement over the standard. But, I guess it'll be a while before we see that in consumer handheld units.
  19. SOLD! Glad these will see some use instead of gathering dust on a shelf. Thanks.
  20. Heh, I'd be lying if I said that hadn't occurred to me. But I'm typically conservative when it comes to technology - I don't buy a new computer or phone until the old one is beyond repair, even if it's hopelessly slow and out of date. Heck, I'm still driving the same car 15 years after buying it brand-new. Since I'm largely happy with the Vista HCx, I'll probably just stick with it until it quits working or until a significant amount of technology (GLONASS, the new signals, capabilities described in question #2) becomes mainstream that it cannot access. So, another 2 years or so would be worth the wait in my opinion. That said, I still am curious whether any of the new technologies/techniques described in #2 are coming on board. Thanks for the responses in the meantime.
  21. Wow, amazing that this topic is still active after nearly 2 years. Maybe my standards are just low, but I've been very pleased with the Vista HCx (widely considered the eTrex 30's direct predecessor). Sure, it doesn't have lightning-fast draw times etc. by today's standards, but it gets the job done, and is leaps and bounds above the Geko 201 I used to use, and the Blackberry I use now.
  22. I've received one offer via email, for both units. I will leave this offer open until 11pm Friday (US Central time) to give others a chance; if you have interest, please email me before then.
  23. Heh, glad you guys let me know that that was a troll, since (despite caching for a while) I'm new to these forums and would have taken it at face value otherwise. It seems getting a GLONASS capable unit (eTrex 30, perhaps?) would be a good investment, but I'd rather get answers to some of those other questions before I invest $200 or more in a unit that might be obsolete in 2 years. EDIT: I should have mentioned I also have a Geko 201. That would DEFINITELY qualify as an "older, simpler" unit in their eyes!
  24. After a two-year hiatus, I've decided to get back into geocaching. Due to my unfortunate inattentiveness, I had to send my lead unit, an eTrex Vista HCx, in for repairs--battery corrosion is a VERY BAD THING. At the same time I also got the USB port repaired, which hadn't worked for several years. So, naturally when I got it back the first thing I did was update the software via Garmin WebUpdater. I didn't have any problem with the firmware. But then I tried to make the other update, "GPS Chipset Type 2 (Region File)", listed as "SW Version" on the unit's Software menu. (Currently I'm running 2.10 and it's trying to update to 2.90.) Unfortunately, WebUpdater keeps resetting the unit mid-update, shortly after reporting that it's finished erasing the older version (despite the fact it doesn't actually erase it). This causes a "the Garmin device is not responding" error, always at exactly 13% completion. Online research reveals others have had the exact same issue, right down to getting stuck at 13%, with this unit. Garmin Support, unfortunately, has no suggestions. Has anyone else had a problem like this? Any way around it? Is there any way to download and install the update without going through WebUpdater?
  25. I've generally been happy with the Garmin Vista HCx that I use - it locks on quickly, has WAAS capabilities and a stellar battery life. Plus, it doesn't have a lot of extra features I neither want nor need (camera, touchscreen, etc.) Perhaps my only complaint is one a lot of others have mentioned - it tends to drift a lot under heavy foliage or in dense areas, or fall victim to multipathing. So I've been reading about emerging technologies to improve GPS technology. A GLONASS-capable receiver would be nice and based on testing would definitely help in heavy cover. But I've also read up on real-time kinetic positioning (RKP), carrier phase tracking (CPT), and the advantages of active antennae over passive ones (though admittedly I don't yet understand the difference). So, here are four questions to help me decide whether to buy a new unit now, or wait: (1) For those that have GLONASS-capable receivers...have you seen significant drift/multipath improvements in densely covered areas? Does it significantly diminish battery life or have any other negative side effects? (2) Are there any RKP, CPT or active antenna handhelds out there? Any likelihood that there will be in the next couple of years? (3) What about the new signals that will start being broadcast by the Block III GPS satellites? Will current units be able to understand/receive those signals, or will a new unit be necessary? (4) Does Garmin (the manufacturer I'd probably stick with) post anywhere about units/technologies that are currently under development? I've been considering an eTrex 30 but would like to know what's in the pipeline first.
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