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Posts posted by 007

  1. Robert posted a new review of the Oregon.




    My comments:


    For those who read it, I'd say it was pretty accurate *except* for the screen description. The screen is NOT easily readable in direct sunlight. I honestly don't know how the author could say that. Guess he never owned a Explorist XL. He is correct about the Topo maps though. Don't expect to use a Topo map and get to where you need to go via roads. Many roads are there, it's just that most times it shows you off of a road by 100' or more. You need the City Navigator map to show you the real roads and to get you directions to the next cache.


    One major flaw is that you can not load separate geocache files and select them from a directory or folder on the device. I found this really useful on trips where I would load in separate files for different areas that we traveled to. Once out of the range of one cache file, I would just load another and have a different geographical area ready to do some geocaching. On the Oregon, you can not do that unless you have the USB cable connected and move files via the PC. Very problematic on trips.


    Also, I have found that when going geocaching, I need a GPSr that can get me to the next cache - via roads. As we all know there are many caches in natural areas, but you need to get to those areas (and between them) by automobile. So you either need a GPSr that can do both or you need to get two devices. One for the roads and one for the woods. Again, the Explorist did this very well. I don't understand why the Oregon couldn't incorporate better auto navigation features. I can't even hear the beeper when the car is moving. You have the hardware there. You have the screen, the processor, and you have the memory. It's all there except the code.


    The touch screen is fantastic. I made sure I put a screen protector on it before it left the room. Good thing I did. The protectors are already a bit scratched. I find the little dance you have to to in order to log finds a bit annoying. I also have a big issue with not having different gpx files to choose from. Yeah it holds 2000 caches, but I would much prefer having several different gpx files to choose from (on the GPSr). Particularly when I am traveling from area to area or city to city. As I see it now, you have to load different gpx files through your PC. My Magellan Explorist XL was great at this. Maybe I just haven't figured it out yet.


    The screen brightness is downright awful. It's really hard to see in bright sunlight. I have been using the gold standard for displays (The Magellan Explorist XL) and am having a hard time with the Garmin's dull, hard to read, screen. It's a pretty lousy auto GPS which does impact its usefulness for Geocaching. You need to know where to go to find caches on the road. This unit does not do that well. It seems to gobble batteries too. I am only getting about 4 hours on a fully charged set of NiMH 2400mah batteries because I need to have the screen at full brightness all the time.


    I was debating taking it back, but will take a gamble that Garmin will correct some flaws with new software revisions. The screen brightness is a hardware issue that won't get fixed without a pretty significant form factor change to add additional batteries. I simply can't understand how this made it out of testing with the screen the way it is. This flaw was known at design and testing but a deliberate decision to press on with production to make an arbitrary delivery date was made. Big mistake.


    On the good side, I really like the ability to log finds. Very useful. The 3D view is cool too. Touch screen is outstanding. I also like the ability to transfer info from one unit to another through a wireless link. Pretty nice but all it transfers is the waypoint itself. Geocache descriptions and previous logs do not transfer. ??? Also you can only transfer one point at a time. Anyway it has already proved useful to us. The ability to change profiles is pretty nice as well. Have already used that too.

  2. I've got a couple puzzle caches that have been in circulation for 3 years now. They're right in town and take only a few minutes to solve from home.

    The first couple years they were getting a dozen or more finds per year. This year is half over and I'm looking at 1 find per cache.


    I guess the new breed of geocacher doesn't fancy the puzzle aspect of the game. Maybe it's time to close 'em down. Thoughts?


    One situation that leads to people ignoring puzzles is travel. When I am traveling to other towns/states/cities, I like to grab a few caches if I can find time. When you only have a day/couple of hours or so to "have fun" you don't have time to solve puzzles. Even multi's tend to drain time when you don't have much to spend. So that leaves puzzles for the locals. Once those who take time to solve puzzles nearby to where they live log the find, it leaves the puzzles without any new takers.

  3. I was looking at the new Verizon PDAphones. I was wondering if they can access Google Earth and use the Geocaching.com KML files to show caches in an area. I could then, conceivably use my PDAphone anywhere there was a phone signal to connect to the internet and see where caches are. With a GPS phone like the Samsung i780, I might even be able to do this dynamically based on my present GPS position.


    Don't know if this is possible or fantasy.


    Any inputs?



  4. I'm now a happy Magellan user with a "Map Security Error" Problem. Everything I have is registered with Magellan and I get this stupid problem. Customers who pay for, and are legit, should not have their equipment rendered useless by the damned copy protection software.


    I have no idea how to get this solved.

  5. We found a relatively new Benchmark and can't find it documented anywhere. It is a High Accuracy Geodetic Control Mark. It is between the US Dept of Agriculture and the Mall on US Rt 1. It's about 2 feet high and has a USDA Forest Service round brass benchmark at the top. It's celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Forest Service 1905-2005.


    Coords are: 38 53.290N, 77 01.905W


    Let me know if you find this one too. Shame I can't log it!

  6. We just returned from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Ely, Minnesota. Although the caches throughout the BWCAW are all virtual and not listed with geocaching.com, they were still amazing to find and see. It took us 50 miles of canoeing to see all the ones that were on the trek we planned, but they were amazing. The best one was at a waterfalls at Basswood Lake. The cache was a boundary marker for the Canadian/US border. In the middle of nowhere!!

  7. Have been using my Explorist XL since Christmas and really like it - EXCEPT- (other than a few improvements I'd like to see) recently I have noticed something a bit odd. My time display is always off by about 5 min and my speed is always off by about 3 mph.


    Not enough to toss it out the window at 65mph, but still strange.


    Anyone else notice this?




  8. What I want is to have 1,000 + caches loaded and available at the same time, without having to switch files. Can that be done?

    Nope. The best you could do on an Explorist is to have 500 regular POIs and 200 Geocache POIs displayed at the same time.


    So if I set up different files for the different locations I cache in, would it be easy to switch between the files in the field? Is "file" synonymous with "folder" in this case?


    Thanks for the help!

    It is simple. We just went on a road trip and visited Cloumbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, Louisville, and had thoughts of Frankfort and Lexington. I was able to load detailed street maps of each specific area and use the auto routing there. I was also able to upload geocaches specific to each region. I didn't want a bulk list to the entire trip to search through, and it wouldn't fit that many regardless what brand GPS you use. A couple pushes of buttons and I was able to change the maps and caches to the area I was now in. Way simple use and very helpful. It is different than anything I am use to and I am still learning this file structure but so far it has been great. My biggest complaint at this point is I can not change the arrow on the compass to point towards the cache instead of North like I could on the sport trak series. It is easier to navigate to the cache looking at a big arrow versus the small symbol. So far I love the XL, just waiting on the case so I can protect this screen.


    I have a GPS Outfitters case that they now sell at Bass Pro shops if you have one in your area. Check out:



    Also, even with a custom case, you still get dirt and grit in there to scratch the screen. One of the sponsors for geocaching.com sells a custom screen shield that looks really good. I have one on order.



    I'm sure you've checked these out but if not, give them a look.


    Happy caching!



  9. I saw this on TechTV back when it was cool. :anibad:

    The companies have people driving in a GPS-outfitted car marking the POIs, road conditions (speed limits, etc.) and the like. One such company is Navteq.


    There's the missing link!!

    People in cars drive around and give precise (and probably continuous) feeds back to a database of where they are and what coordinates map to that. How else can a GPSr see that a road has a bend in it or how cloverleafs are built, etc. I can see how that can work for a lot of things but the software maps are far more comprehensive than people driving around in cars can handle. It's still a bit of a mystery to me.


    This calls for some research!

  10. When my 13 year old son and I went on a long hike through the mountains to find a cache and he gave me a big hug to tell me he loved me and that he really enjoyed being outdoors and seeing all the cool things that nature provides.


    That's was something I'll never forget. That's why I enjoy geocaching.

  11. Thanks Guys. Again, I understand that estimating is required and not every building is in the databse, but BigWhiteTruck says that theGPSr know the coordinates of the roads and knows the streets addresses at the end of each road and figures things out - HOW? Someone or some program has to correlate the road info to GPS coords and then has to know the end points of the roads to make guesses of points in between. I guess some govt mapping agency does this or something. :P

  12. For purposes of mapping addresses, that information generally comes from the US Census. It's not coordinate-based, however.

    Think of an intersection as a dot, and each road connecting dots as a link. What you might see on Google Earth as "1st Street" is actually a whole bunch of those links connected together. Now each of these links has information on the lowest and highest house numbers on each side of the road. For example:


    300 O===============O 386


    So the numbers on one side of this imaginary link go from 300 to 386. What most mapping software does is if you're looking for, say, 340, it'll just mathematically guess where that is (that is, it'll go 40/86 of the way from 300 to 386).


    The simply answer is that for most of the country, specific coordinate data doesn't really exist. For the most part, local land boundaries and such are tied locally and not globally.




    Edit: Clarification

    Thanks Shorelander. I understand what you're saying about segments between nodes. There still has to be a process that knows what businesses /homes/etc lie between the points on the line segment. I can't figure out how my software knew that JB's grill was on the corner of an intersection. Google earth can take addresses and map them. There has to be some database for correlation.


  13. Reading and abiding are 2 seperate things. I've been watching a bug thats trying to get to our little town in rural Idaho for almost 2 years now. Last summer it was about 200 miles away and things were looking good. A cacher picked him up and made a note that he would be passing through town. A month later he dropped the bug in arkansas well over 1500 miles away. Looking at his logs, he did indeed drive right through town on his tour.


    I agree, as a TB owner you really shouldn't count on the rest of us to be your special delivery service. Of course it's nice when a TB stays on mission, but that can take an impossibly long time as well for all factors to cosmically line up for that to happen. The really great thing about TB's is they allow for a huge amount of chance and a certain degree of the chaos factor I suppose. A TB can be moved to some pretty interesting places unexpectedly (I have one that just jumped the "pond" to Scotland), it can lanquish forever in a cache, it can disapear for months, years or forever. It's best just to take a realxed attitude about them and like caching enjoy where they take you even if it's vicariously.


    Whoa! "my special delivery service" ? Where'd that 'tude come from? Yeesshh! I completely understand the multitude of variables that can and do keep a TB from getting where it's owner wants it to go, but if you don't want to help it along it's way then just leave it. TBs have missions. That's why they have cards. As stated previously, if they don't have a mission, it simply makes them SWAG. I also understand that it's pretty cool to see where a TB can jump to. So, just buy a TB and release it w/no mission. How then is a geocoin different from a TB w/no mission? This is supposed to be a fun game. Shame that folks can't simply read and help those who spend $$ on TBs enjoy the thing they paid for. My 2 cents.

  14. I agree. it would be nice to have an option for laminated mission cards with an order for a TB tag. In this case there was a card attached. The cacher just simply ignored it. Kinda frustrating. There are loads of TBs that just want to go anywhere. No need to take the TB and go 2000 miles in the wrong direction. If there's a stated mission, it should be something a cacher tries to help accomplish.

  15. Does anyone out there know how GPS coordinates get associated with roads, businesses, and addresses? Tools like Google Earth that zoom to an address have to know what address is at what location. There are an uncountable number of places on this earth. I can see how parks, railroads, schools, restaurants, etc (all of those things that you can turn on and off on your mapping software) can be seen by satellite and mapped. However, that in formation has to somehow transition from "a building at xxxx N yyyy W" to "Joe's bar and Grill at xxxx N, yyyy W". If I need to find the coordinates of my parents house in Florida for example, where would I go to find that GPS coordinate listing? I'm sure that Surveyor information is around somewhere that is done on buildings/homes for building permits, insurance purposes (like the distance from a fire hydrant) etc etc. Magellan, Garmin, Google Earth must have some place to retrieve the information, but where?



  16. Does anyone actually read the Travel Bug mission??

    Just had a TB in our area destined for Vermont. That was the stated mission. Someone picked it up and took it to Arizona! Not sure I understand that.

    Why have a mission if no one tries to help accomplish it's mission? Sounds like there are no real missions. Looks like all TBs just go wherever, whenever.\



  17. Trying to figure out how to modify the default street route that Magellan Mapsend DirectRoute comes up with. Doesn't do too bad but in this particular case I have a long trip and State Park supplied directions. Is there a way to load in the preferred directions, modify the directions calculated by DirectRoute, or use waypoints to convert to a street route? I've seen where you can go backwards, i.e. street routes to waypoints.


    I'm new to DirectRoute so maybe I'm missing something obvious.


    JollyGreenGiant :D

    Mapsend always picks what it believes to be the shortest route and only uses the first and last points in a street route when you try to use a street route to make a Directroute. What I have done in cases like your yours is to make a series of street routes and then switch between them as Directroutes along the way. Hope that made sense.


    Anyways, I'm hoping that being able to put some intermediate waypoints in a Directroute will be something Magellan adds to the program.




    Thanks! Sounds like yet another feature that Magellan will be coming out with. Yeah right!


  18. Trying to figure out how to modify the default street route that Magellan Mapsend DirectRoute comes up with. Doesn't do too bad but in this particular case I have a long trip and State Park supplied directions. Is there a way to load in the preferred directions, modify the directions calculated by DirectRoute, or use waypoints to convert to a street route? I've seen where you can go backwards, i.e. street routes to waypoints.


    I'm new to DirectRoute so maybe I'm missing something obvious.


    JollyGreenGiant :cute:

  19. Yes, there is such a thing as a bad cache. GCN6BJ in east Plano, Texas is the worst cache I've found. Its a micro placed in a dumspter enclosure behind and adandonded building. It features broken bottles, sacks of rotting meat, and other assorted trash. :P:anicute:


    Unfortunately the east side of Plano is rife with caches similar to this one. :cool:

    Just an FYI if you plan to visit the Dallas area ~ stick to Dallas, Irving, Allen, Hurst, etc and skip Plano.


    Caches like this should get absolutely torched in the logs. If it's a crappy location - say so and advise others to pass on it. I looked at your link and found people writing TFTC, and nice hide. Are you kidding me?? If I found junk caches like this, I'd just blast it in the logs, send an email to geocaching recommending that the cache be withdrawn because it doesn't adhere to the standards of cache hiding set by geocaching.com.


    I got on a rant yesterday about people deliberately trying to scare fellow geocachers with their hides, I put this is the same category of messing with people who are out to try and have some fun. I'll have to read the logs a lot closer before wasting time on junk hides.


    Even though there are losers out there trying to screw it up, this is still a lot of fun. Beats working!!!

  20. Embra's right on it. I have a 1GB card (was on sale for the same price as a 512!). You can store a lot of detailed maps in 512MB. You do have to go to your Active Setup and switch maps and POIs but it's not really bad at all.


    I've been very happy with my XL (besides the ridiculously poor customer service). I use it every day for driving. The bright display is very nice on sunny days. It's easy to pull out of the car when we go geocaching. (Let me put in a plug for Lobster Mounts. They make a fantastic suction mount for my geomobile windshield and their customer service couldn't be better. I munged a few parts when tightening thngs down too much and I had free replacement parts in 3 days to my house free of charge. Highly recommend their stuff)


    Anyway, there's lots of good things to say about my XL but you can get all the scoop on what GPSr is better than the other GPSr all over this web site. No need to re-hash it here. Good luck with your purchase, whatever it is.

  21. Sorry. I don't go geocaching to get the crap scared out of me. I've hit two major yellow jacket nests over the years and have been stung so many times over the years that I need to carry a kit around with me. My wife is scared to death of snakes because of bad experiences. We tent camp quite a bit so we're not weenies, but there's something just plain wrong with playing with people's fears.


    As for me, if I run across a cache that has a realistic rats, bats, bees, spiders, pyrotechnics, etc etc, I'm going to beat the heck out of them until it's a bunch of shredded plastic.

  22. :o Thanks Everyone. I want more cache waypoints in case I'm visiting friends, on a camping trip and want to pick up one, etc etc. I need the local stuff plus a bigger area - just in case. I know I can put multiple files in, just lazy I guess...


    It's funny how you learn by working through problems. I learned that:


    - My XL can't handle more than 200 caches (except as POIs)

    - My XL doesn't have the same firmware capabilities of "lower end" models

    - I learned just about the entire user manual

    - I learned that Magellan customer support is absolutely pathetic. (sent a request in for help on this a week ago - no response yet!!!)

    - I learned that there are a bunch of good folks out there that are willing to help!


    Again, Thanks eveyone!!

  23. Has anyone out there experienced a problem with the XL not displaying all of the geocache points on their screen? I can see loads of them but definitely not all of them that I created on a pocket query. It has been fine for a month. I then tried messing around with filtering on GSAK and pocket queries. Even that seemed to work for awhile.


    - removed all filtering on the pocket query.

    - tried generating .gs files through Magellan software and GSAK

    - tried taking out the SD card, loading it directly

    - looking at the .gs file with a text editor to see if the missing geocache point were there (they were)

    - resetting the GPS to factory default and starting from scratch.

    - tried smaller file sizes ( from 500 points to 100)


    Very repeatable problem. Same geocache points are missing. Makes it look to me like I'm not setting some software switch somehwere. :huh:

  24. Agree with FishDog. FishDog?? :)


    Anyway I have an XL for about a month. I really like it. Great screen. Very bright and readable when used when driving. Good for geocaching too. Shows all your caches as an easily viewable box on the screen. Nice alerts when getting driving directions. 12 satellites plus 2 dedicated WAAS channels. Waterproof for those "caching in the rain" moments. Already had a couple of those and I'm a newbie to this sport. I REALLY like the SD card. You can load a LARGE map into a 1G card. Good for east coast travel. Information displayed on the screen is configurable. Pretty decent battery life too. Great reception in the car, great reception in the woods. However, it's winter here so no leaves on trees to attenuate the satellite signals.


    Bought a great car mount too.


    Also, you can get sub $400 prices.


    Mapsend software is probably a necessity and an added expense but it works very well for me.


    Only complaint so far is the power cable design. Pretty lame. There is not good setup for running it off of the car power. You need the cable it came with plus the car adapter which plugs into the supplied cable. Kind of a kluge. Oh, and customer service is S L O W !! Had a couple of questions and it took days for anyone to even acknowledge my email. 90 minutes on hold too before I gave up on my phone attempt too.


    But, so far, I'd say I made a great purchase. Good luck!

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