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Everything posted by hybridgeek

  1. Hey folks, I recently got accepted to The National Map Corps, and I noticed they say I should have my GPS set to NAD83. This made me think, "is my gps set to NAD83?" I found out mine is set to WGS84, which should theoretically be newer (by theory they actually number them by the year as with NAD23 and 83). Which one is better to use? I often find myself using hints for caches, and realize, "what if everyone else is marking coordinates using NAD83, and so maybe this is why I'm always off slightly..." Could this be? I wouldn't expect it to be that far off, but should I be using NAD83 for Geocaching, or WGS84 better? What is the difference? I'm taking a cartography class at my community college and we learned NAD83 was the latest, WGS84 wasn't even mentioned. Thanks in advance for the help as always! Hybridgeek
  2. Although the Palm m505 has a weak backlight, both the Palm m505 and m515 have a superiorly reflective screen that makes it readable without backlight under even flourescent light conditions, but especially under the sun. The backlight comes in handy when in a dark shadow or no light indoors. I highly recommend the m505 or m515 as a cheap pda that is pretty decent. As mentioned above, the m505 lacks some features that would be nice for someone getting it to be more than just a caching PDA, but if all you want is a caching PDA, the m505 will give you that and more for a decent price on ebay. Good luck! Hybridgeek
  3. In relation to this experience, here's some info from a cache near me... "Cache is a quart Nalgene jar covered with dark tape. It's hidden under a rock ... but which rock, and where?" The hint was: "Got a light?" This was in a tunnel, under a road, so large you needed a flashlight to see even in broad daylight... Hint was good in this respect... but... It has a stream that runs underneath it, an artificial one. Anyone in Maryland knows how Maryland likes to line streams... with LOTS OF unending ROCKS... On both sides of the stream, ROCKS everywhere... we looked for about an hour before finally stumbling upon the cache. Oh, and one of two of my flashlights died on the way... This was THE most challenging cache I've done so far. (unless you count the library cache at Annapolis Rocks, which has you climbing over a scree pile on a mountainside... at least the hider for that one was kind enough to note make a hint involving rocks... I still have not found this one.) -Hybridgeek
  4. Thank you everyone for the help/clarification! You all rock! -Hybridgeek
  5. That Handmap program rocks! Thanks for the info! -Hybridgeek
  6. Thanks all for the prompt and info-filled responses! You've answered all my questions for now, except for the biting one... Is there is a way to make a pocket query that fills up 500 of the closest caches, and then creates another file (or however) that continues the cache listing in the same radius out from the first 500? (so I could create a cache file radius of x-miles with 1000+ caches in the radius) I am using a SD card (1 Gb) to store my detail map and all my geocache points on. I frequently make multiple files, but I can't manage to mass produce large radius continous cache files (my current method is going through the search page and downloading 180 caches (sometimes I add one later and need the error room) to a file and name it by the radius, but it takes a long time and is a pain to redo (which is needed from time to time)) OFF TOPIC: biosearch: that's cool that you lived in Rockville. I go to MC down there. I've been over in MV my whole life and love the area. Have you been back to Rockville lately? It is becoming built up massively!! -Hybridgeek
  7. Ok, so after 57 cache finds, I still find myself with a few questions relating to how-to things in geocaching, but also ettiquite. Pocket Queries: I have an Explorist 600, and I can only store 200 caches per file. Pocket queries generate up to 500 per file, which is great for paperless caching, but not so great for my GPS. I have tried GSAK, but haven't had too much luck with it's advanced features (or even accomplishing really basic stuff... a question on this will follow). For all intensive purposes, lets PRETEND pocket queries can only generate 200 at time, and my GPS holds 200 at a time. If I wanted the nearest 1000 caches, how could I tell it to generate the nearest 200 from a point, and then in a second query, generate the next nearest 200 from where it left off (after the distance of the previously 200th cache) in a circular pattern (as opposed to entering the zip codes of bordering areas and generating new arcs)? Now, if I were to say enter 200 caches (again, pretend this is the max), and tell it to generate caches within 1000 miles from a zip code, will it generate more than one file for me if there are more than 200 caches in that 1000 miles (this would be the idea)? Now, even working with real numbers here, generating 500 caches, and loading them into cachemate and breaking them down to 200 cache segments for my explorist, this still leaves me with distances to be desired. I would like to be able to fit it ALL in there... muahaha... No, really, I go to Frederick alot, and sometimes head out to Baltimore, and would really like to fit all the caches here and there and inbetween without having to manually go in and find them and such. This goes for any destination. If I travel somewhere, and happen to go caching, I'd like to be able to generate a nice big continuous arc of caches, especially if I'm not familiar with the area. I also prefer a method like this because I print out maps of the roads in the areas I head to before hand, and a continous arc gives me a reference point for mapping purposes. Could someone help me out with some info on doing this? Next question.. GSAK: Is there a guide out there for working with GSAK basic and advanced features? I'm a computer networking tech major and have always been a geek, but something about the layout of the program or just massive amount of options is really confusing me. I figured out sending the caches to cachemate, and I figured out sending them in 200 cache sections to my Explorist, except that it kept on telling me caches 1-198 encompassed more than 200 caches. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. Someone point me in the right direction if perhaps there's a good guide as to setting up the advanced features, or at least that tells what they are and whether or not I should touch them. I'm a fan of "if it's not broken, don't fix it", but if I don't know what it's doing, how do I know if it's broken? Or not working the way I want it to? I rather not find out I'm missing info in my files or whatnot while out in the field. Next question... Cache log stuff: From other cachers, I've figured out TNLN, SL, TFTC, and a few other acronyms, but I see a whole bunch of others I can't figure out. Is there a list out there? For signing a log, I see some people post they signed the log (in the their online log; SL), is this neccessary? I haven't been because I figured, if I'm claiming a find, it assumes I've signed the log to mark my presence. Rehiding a cache: I see some people complain about finders not rehiding a cache as good as it was. This is understandable, and I do at least this on every cache I find, but is it appropriate to rehide a cache (same location of course) better than before to keep it hidden from muggles, even if the rehide makes it completely out of sight? I can understand adding a little to the cache hiding spot, but should it be completely rehidden beyond all views? Explaining geocaching to muggles: I find it necessary when confronted by a security guard, cop, etc (any authority figure) to explain geocaching and what I'm doing. When you encounter someone who is simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, should geocaching be explain thoroughly, or should an excuse be made to cover up geocaching? It sounds like a paradox to me. If you explain geocaching to a random person, it may bring them into the game by getting them interested, but at the same time, that person could call the police, or maybe investigate later and muggle the cache. I've been raised that honesty is always the best answer, and so that's usually what I stick to, but I'm always afraid someone who shows up at an unfortunate time for me, could risk damaging the cache location/game. I'm sure this is a personal preference thing, but I'm looking for a little feedback on what others do. I'm sure I have some more to ask later, but for now I'll put this out for now to be scrutinized and quoted to death. ANY help would be greatly appreciated. And please, criticize my methods if neccessary, as I am just starting out and want to do everything in my power to have a good time but protect the game. -Hybridgeek
  8. I'm still looking for any advice out there. I tried USAPhotoMaps, and that works awesome for making JPG maps, but I need a good viewer. Firepad looks good, but it's not cheap; anyone know of a good cheap (or free) palm os 4 compatible picture viewer? I found mapopolis for showing roads, but it isn't very detailed. I was hoping to find a program that was basically a road map for the PDA, but no luck so far with anything good and that will work with Palm OS 4. I posted on the Google maps forums to see if anyone knows if I can put a hard copy of Google maps onto it, but no replys... any info on that here? -Hybridgeek
  9. Hey! That's near me! I'm down the street (so to speak) in Montgomery Village (Gaithersburg is what is listed on most maps ). If you're in the area, stop by and visit me at: N 39 10.423 W 077 12.773 (home)! I'll have to watch that show now... -Hybridgeek
  10. Firepad looks like it can do what you want it to. Firepad Link It allows you to load a map onto PalmOS and scroll, zoom out, zoom back in to 100% (and in between) and some other things. It looks nice, although a bit pricey at $29.95 for just a picture viewer. I'm going to check into that USA Photomaps and see if that would work for me with Firepad (or another product if anyone else knows of something good). -Hybridgeek
  11. Hey folks, I have a Palm m505 and would like to be able to stick a road map, or topo map, either one, on the Palm so that I can navigate and view bigger areas without having to work on my slow gps. I'm not looking to connect my gps to it (I was, but found out I couldn't). I found a program called Firepad Map Viewer, but it simply allows you to zoom and pan on digital images. Since I use Topo3D, is there a program I could get for the palm that could read a region? Even a simple program that has semi-detailed road maps. I'd really love it if I could find a viewer and be able to download the whole Google map (for at least my area) and pan around on it (great map for general nav). Any help is always appreciated! -Hybridgeek
  12. This sounds like an awesome idea! I'd volunteer to maintain and even pay for and plant the Maryland cache, but I see it is already taken. This will definitely be in the route for a roadtrip with friends when I get around to it (and if the cache is approved). Best of luck! -Hybridgeek
  13. Under the assumption gridlox is the creator of the geocoins (I can never remember who made what coins, and since you pointed me to that link...), it's good to know what happened. That really bites for him. I hope things get better with his wife soon! I'm looking forward to the series continuing! -Hybridgeek
  14. Hey folks, What's with the AT geocoins? I haven't seen the September one pop up yet. Don't they usually show up around the 25 or so of each month? Someone update me please with any info you may have. Thanks, Hybridgeek
  15. Personally, I really like the coin as is! It sounds like the logo has to be in the GC colors, but that seems to me like it would mess with the dynamics of the coin. The idea of the US/Canada map on the side instead of the GC logo sounds nice too, but I'd have to see a version before fully giving my opinion. -Hybridgeek
  16. Joelmart, That's too bad to hear. I was looking to pick up a good priced bike mount for my explorist 600. You had the lowest price out there! It's good you have your priorities straight; family comes first always. Thanks for running a good honest business while it lasted! Thanks for popping in here and letting us know. Happy caching! -Hybridgeek edit: In retrospect, I have really bad grammar...
  17. I got my sets about a week ago, and I love them! They are lighter than I expected, but that's a flaw on my thinking, not remembering they don't have a solid core. They are just so beautiful! Once again, Crake exceeds my expectations! Well worth the wait. THANKS! -Hybridgeek
  18. Hey folks, Does anyone know what is up with buymagellan.com? I ordered my Topo3D software from them nearly a year ago, but their website doesn't exist anymore. Does the company still exist? It's a little disconcerning when a company you've ordered something from disappears so quickly, especially if they keep customer/payment data. Does anyone know anything about what happened to them or whatnot? I assumed this forum category would be broad enough since the site sold units and software, but if not, please move this thread. -Hybridgeek
  19. Aww man, that's really disappointing. I wanted to play with some of the other software available for palms. I'm also not keen about walking around with an extra 10lbs of wiring for a re-rediating antenna. Oh well, maybe with my next GPS... Thanks for the info! -Hybridgeek
  20. Hey all, I've got a Magellan Explorist 600 and a new Palm m505 (Palm OS 4.1), and would like to be able to connect my GPS to my Palm. I've seen some site that say because the Explorist 600 is USB, you cannot connect it via serial because it would need drivers, and other sites that say the NMEA mode is for that. I've found tons of sites that sell cables specifically for connecting Palm Pilots and GPS', but none of them are for the Explorist series. Can you serial connect a Palm m505 to an Explorist 600 for data transfer FROM the GPS to the PDA? If so, how exactly? I can splice connectors and cables if someone points me in the right directions with pinouts. Another question while I'm here. Are there any external antennas available for the Explorist 600? I found one at one point from a shady website for $100, but none others. I checked on GPSGeek, but they don't appear to have any for the Explorist series GPS'. Is the Explorist series just a really cheap series that is relatively unsupported by the industry or what? There doesn't seem to be much in the way of accessories and add-ons for them and their true USB connection. Any help would be appreciated! Brian
  21. I picked up a set of Midland GXT-600 18-mile radios, but I haven't been impressed with the range. The range is definitely better than lower range ones, but still not anywhere near a true 18-mile range. As for the FCC license, I picked one up for I think $80, but I think it's only a 2 or 3 year license, and then you have to renew it for another smashing $80! Err... It is interesting, you do have to say your call sign, but the FCC doesn't seem to enforce it for GMRS. Be warned, if you are a Ham radio operator (you should know what I'm about to say), or want to become one, you DO have to say your call sign frequently. Do not get a GMRS radio and get used to operating it hap-hazardly and then get into Ham radio (there are sometimes geocaching nets operating on Ham frequencies). Oh, and it is illegal to get a GMRS license and use it for business. Hope that helps! -Hybridgeek
  22. Thanks for the info. I'm still looking... because... from that ebay auction and links, I actually found out EPIRBs are used for nautical emergencies, while PLBs are used for land-based, which is what I need it for. So, for specifics purposes, I'm actually looking for a PLB. That was a good link which has thus enlightened me. Thanks! -Hybridgeek
  23. Hey folks, My first love, and origin of my geocaching addiction, hiking, is once again calling for an expensive piece of hardware. I'm looking for a GPS transmitter; one of those emergency transmitters. That, or one of the EPRB devices that doesn't use GPS (just broadcasts on all other frequencies). They seem to cost a minimum of $400, and can go upward of $1000 retail. I'm looking to see if anyone has one used that they want to sell. I'm not too sure I'm going to buy one right now, but I'd like to see if anyone has one and what kind of prices people would be looking to sell one for. I also welcome any advice for places to look or other similar units that are cheaper. I am thinking of hitting the AT for a thru-hike in the next year or so, and it would make my folks a bit more at ease if they knew I could call in the big guns if something really bad happened (hey, where'd my legs go??? what's with this large rock in the trail...). -Hybridgeek
  24. If you can afford to get a seperate phone, go for it. If not, maybe you can just not use the keyboard for the phone features? With PDA/Phone combos, the software used to drive them is often shakey at best, and if you find one that has good software, and is stable, you should definitely keep it. If you don't, and decide to buy another PDA/Phone combo, I'd buy one with the same OS on it (PalmOS, Microsoft Windows Mobile, proprietary, etc). After doing a search on it, I see it uses Windows Mobile, and that it has bluetooth and all sorts of other goodies. Have you considered a micro fold up bluetooth keyboard? It looks like a pretty recent phone, and has a lot of nice features you may not find in other phones/Pda combos. I know that's not too much help advice wise, but at least some questions for you to consider. The final decision is up to you and what you use it for. May the choice be with you... -Hybridgeek
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