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Posts posted by Geo-Actuary

  1. You're assuming that this is an issue for the majority.  Most of the people who  drawn to post to threads like this are the ones who are unhappy with the the way things are. There are probably thousands out there who have no problem with the guidelines (oops, rules) in their present form.


    Sorry, but I don't think that the thousands of people who have no problem with the guidelines really are at issue here. As in any group or society, the majority of people are followers and will not participate in these types of issues. It's the same at election time relative to voting.


    What's at issue is the fairness of the rules and how well they reflect the needs and activites of the group to which they apply.

  2. I guess this issue has been bothering quite a few people!




    After reading through the various postings, it seems that if Geocaching is to be for Geocachers, then the rules for caches and events should be constructed around what the membership wants - as long as it is not illegal, immoral, or difficult to administer.


    I also think that many of the event caches that people talked about, including the original GPS-O, fall within the guidelines that already exist if only a person were able to see beyond a strict interpretation of the letter of the law.


    A rule is not a rule just because it can be and a rule should not be made to simply restrict people for no legitimate reason. A rule or law is a reflection of the society to which it applies. It should be made to identify the guidelines that one needs to work within to have a functioning society (in this case Geocachers).


    The rules on events either need to be rewritten or administered in line with the intent of the law, not the letter of the law.

  3. Keystone,


    The other Admins knew about the event and I even explaind that it was in coordination with but seperate from the Orienteers. They agree it was a great opportunity to promote Geo-Caching.


    The letter of the law in and of itself never really serves anyone. At best it is an attempt by human beings to communicate what is truly the spirit of the law. And to follow the letter of the law in a situation like this is simply shortsighted.


    To argue that the event was not primarily for GeoCachers is simply not correct. It was geared for GeoCachers and in fact it was only GeoCachers who participated in the ones that were allowed.


    So if the denial was based on the incorrect assumption that it wasn't primarily for GeoCachers, the facts don't support that.


    And I go back to my question to NY Admin - what is a GeoCacher?

  4. I have been a premium member for several years now, but cancelled it this last renewal date due to the rigidness of the NY Admin in not approving two events that I submitted.


    Previously I had held GPS-O events (which were approved by other reasonable administrators) where I invited Geocachers to an Orienteering event but had them look for the controls based on the cordinates I provided. The orienteers did their thing, the Geocachers did their thing. I even had a travel bug!


    The NY Administrator refused to allow the two most recent events to be posted since they were not strictly limited to GeoCachers - whatever that nebulous phrase means! So I asked the NY Admin, what it takes to be a GeoCacher. Do you have to have a GPS? Does it have to be yours or can it be borrowed? What if this is your first Geocaching event, are you a Geocacher before the event or after the event. What if you didn't find the cache on your first try? Are you a Geocacher yet?


    I don't think he/she liked the questions, and they still refused to allow the events to be posted. This, I believe, was very shortsighted on their part as the event could have been a draw for more people to become involved in Geo-Caching - which I thought was a goal of Groundspeak.


    Just thought I would post my story of woe.

  5. Hi all you educators - it's me again.


    I gave my power point presentation to about 40 people on Thursday night (09/23) and then we went out and found some hidden caches on the property of the local community center. Everyone had a blast and they were very interested in getting a unit and getting involved in Geocaching.


    I did re-think the presentation and made some changes to it to give more emphasis on how to use the GPS unit while going a bit lighter on the history. The reason was that when the people got the units in their hands, it took a while to get them up and running. I think the new presentation covers more of the basics and isn't really that much longer.


    The Pirate's Treasure Hunt for the kids worked out good too. I had a couple kids read the Treasure Map to the others. They found the treasure and then went on to use the GPS units with their parents.


    Here is the link again for the presentation.





  6. First of all, I am teaching an Introduction to GPS course through the Rush-Henrietta Continuing Education Division next week ... NYGO is hosting training sessions at Letchworth State Park (9/25) and Darien Lakes State Park (9/26) ... On October 2 I will be in Manlius ... on October 9th I'm going to have a display table set up for the Boy Scouts ... Just this morning they asked if I could do a presentation on geocaching for them on October 23rd.

    Hi jungehair,


    Do you have a real job!


    We missed you on Sunday and yes, the turnout was much better. Everyone had fun and they are looking forward to the next one. It'll be on the '05 schedule.


    Feel free to use whatever you want from my stuff.



  7. jkibbe & Ferreter5,


    Thanks for the favorable input! Feel free to use whatever you want and change whatever fits your needs.


    I put the stuff in at the end about the Legend and Summit because the place that is sponsoring the talk tonight has 7 Summits and 1 Legend for the attendees to use.


    Hey Ferreter5, how come you were not at the Highland Park GPS Orienteering Event this last Sunday? It's just around the corner from you.


    Jkibbe, I tried to get to that movie at brainpop.com, but I think they want money to get into their site.


    Thanks again,



  8. Hi,


    I'm giving a Geocaching presentation to a local community center on Thursday of this week.


    I put together two presentations, a powerpoint presentation to start with and an activity for the kids. After these we are going out on the property to actually do a geocache. The community center has 8 GPS units they will use for the activity.


    You can download the presentation and activity at this link:




    Let me know what you think.



  9. One thing I have yet to see in a cache log is Took piece of crap left something really good.  All I ever read is took something really good left piece of crap.  This is my point.  Everyone complains about crap in caches, as menial as this sounds I guess I am trying to start something  by this thread.  Leave great take good.  Leave good take crap.  I and many others who I have read your threads don't want to take crap and leave good.  It is a never ending cycle.  I started myself in my first two finds.  Only I took nothing and left crap.  Crap stinks literally and figurality speaking.



    Quite frankly, I too am sick of finding someone elses garbage in a cache box.


    It's almost as if many Geocachers go through their pockets to find whatever they can to trade. If they're going caching, they should have the foresight to take something of value with them.


    At a minimum, they could throw in a two pack of AA batteries instead of some crappy trinket from a happy meal.


    It's not even that I'm in it for the trading. I too like finding the cache, but I'm tired of "trache" in the cache!


    And it's not a matter of money either. If a cacher can afford the GPS and the other caching supplies, it's not too much to ask that they make an effort on what they put into a cache.



  10. quote:
    Originally posted by elmo-fried:

    Originally posted by Geo-Actuary:

    Originally posted by GrandpaTom:

    I recently joined into caching. Purchased a low priced unit, Garmin eTrex. (got a good deal at 88 bucks)


    As stated in the manual, I can lose signal when there is a lot of trees blocking the view.


    My questions is....Do more expensive units have better receiving capability?


    An external antenna makes a big difference. I have a Mighty Mouse II for my Garmin GPSMAP76S and I rarely loose reception. And the lock on satellites remains very good too!


    _Nothing Worth Knowing Reveals Its Secrets Easily - A Friend_


    I was going to ask, then I found the prices easy enough: Ballpark cost for a GPSMAP 76S is $350 + $60 for the Mighty Mouse II


    Jason Roysdon



    There are cheaper units out there that allow for antennas (both new and used). But like anything else, if you want more - you pay more. If not losing reception under tree cover is important to you, then you'll have to cough up a few more bucks.


    Nothing Worth Knowing Reveals Its Secrets Easily - A Friend

  11. quote:
    Originally posted by GrandpaTom:

    I recently joined into caching. Purchased a low priced unit, Garmin eTrex. (got a good deal at 88 bucks)


    As stated in the manual, I can lose signal when there is a lot of trees blocking the view.


    My questions is....Do more expensive units have better receiving capability?


    An external antenna makes a big difference. I have a Mighty Mouse II for my Garmin GPSMAP76S and I rarely loose reception. And the lock on satellites remains very good too!


    Nothing Worth Knowing Reveals Its Secrets Easily - A Friend

  12. The "New" flag comes up along side many caches that were placed a while back. It shows up under the "Last Found" column. It seems that anything found within the last 6 days is getting the "New" flag. I thought it was for new caches that were placed.


    Nothing Worth Knowing Reveals Its Secrets Easily - A Friend

  13. Hi CR,


    I agree with much of what you say about human error and the practical use of the accuracy readings. I even think that your right about being able to stand right on top of the cache with a zero reading - that would take some of the fun out of it.


    It's not a big deal, really, my only point was that it would be nice to see the accuracy that your unit had when it took the reading. For those who don't believe it's useful, they could turn it off. For others, it might be helpful.


    As you know, the accuracy is affected by many things, weather, surrounding terrain, leaves on trees, and even the unit itself. I don't believe the algorithms that are used by the various manufacturers are really that different. Based on the data that their units receive, they probably use fairly standard formulas to calculate the error - especially if WAAS is active. So, if someone goes out on a clear day in the spring with no leaves overhead, and hides a cache, they may get a reading of 10 feet accuracy. Then I go out in the summer on a cloudy day looking for the cache and I get a reading of 50 ft accuracy. I know that I need to look in an area of about 60-70 feet. If I go out a day after they hide it under the same conditions and I get a 10 foot reading, then I am probably within 20 feet of the cache. No big deal, just more data.





    I think mostly what the guys are saying is, in a nut shell, unless all the manufacturers of GPSs use the _same_ math to determine position and _possible error_ then the number would be practically useless. You can guess-timate your accuracy by looking at the satellite positions screen, but that only tells you _your_ accuracy.


    Nothing Worth Knowing Reveals Its Secrets Easily - A Friend

  14. Hi Searching_ut,


    What you are really saying here is the following:


    1- You rely on the accuracy of all the other mathematical calculations that are produced by the GPS and displayed on the screen,


    2- you rely on your ability to quickly analyze and track the minute changes in the position/altitude fix, and


    3- you then arrive at a feeling of the accuracy of your unit based on some mental model that you apply consistently while your out moving around the field.


    How is that better than the what the unit itself can do? After all, the unit doesn't make any guesses, it records the same information that you use (changes in the fix/altitude) at a faster and more accurate rate than you, it applies the information it gathers consistently from point to point, and it is not distracted by bugs, terrain, lack of sleep, not enough coffee, etc.


    By the way, thanks for the info on the PDA approach.


    Originally posted by Searching_ut:

    It's pretty rare that I look at the EPE readings my receiver gives me. I tend to make my accuracy guesses based on stability of the position/altitude fix the unit is giving me.


    Since you're using a Garmin unit, one way you can save and utilize HDOP PDOP etc is to hook up your receiver to a PDA and use a program like VisualGPS to average your waypoints, save the NMEA data etc. You can even set up thresholds on the software so that in theory, it will only use data with a fairly high probability of accuracy in the averaging. Personally, I've found it to be fun to play with, but I don't ever tend to actually use it for anything other than playing around.


    Nothing Worth Knowing Reveals Its Secrets Easily - A Friend


    [This message was edited by Geo-Actuary on May 24, 2003 at 05:07 AM.]

  15. Hi phantom4099,


    Thanks for the helpful reply. Sorry we all aren't up to your standards.


    Originally posted by phantom4099:

    EPE is put in there so we know who the new people are.


    Wyatt W.


    The probability of someone watching you is directly proportional to the stupidity of your actions.


    Nothing Worth Knowing Reveals Its Secrets Easily - A Friend

  16. Hi Kerry,


    Using that line of reasoning, each GPS unit made by each manufacturer would produce results, not only in the accuracy measurement, but in the basic measurement of Lat/Lon and all other readings, that would not be at all compatible with other units. But, ... we all share waypoints that we record and we all are able to find them using different GPS units.


    If someone records a location and has an accuracy of 30' and you locate their waypoint with an accuracy of 30', you could easily be standing right on top of it or you could be 60' away from it. All I'm suggesting is that the unit's ability to estimate accuracy is reasonable, no matter which unit it is, since they all use the same satellite readings and the same level of mathematics to determine distance and timing information. See my response to 'Searching-ut' for another view of the use of the accuracy field.




    Originally posted by Kerry:

    But what really will say garmin accuracy mean to someone with another unit as any of this estimated accuracy/error stuff is simply that, estimated and relative to the method a particular manufacturer implements their own "accuracy estimation", and all manufacturers do that differently and unless all the different manufacturers are going to release "their" method then it basically means absolutely ziltch.


    Cheers, Kerry.


    I never get lost icon_smile.gif everybody keeps telling me where to go icon_wink.gif


    Nothing Worth Knowing Reveals Its Secrets Easily - A Friend


    [This message was edited by Geo-Actuary on May 24, 2003 at 04:56 AM.]

  17. Hi,


    Does anyone ahve a unit that stores the accuracy of the reading with the waypoint when it records it. I was thinking that that would be useful.


    I have a GPSMAP76S and contacted Garmin about this. They said that the unit can't do it, but they woulod add it as a suggestion.


    Has anyone else wondered about this?




    Nothing Worth Knowing Reveals Its Secrets Easily - A Friend

  18. quote:
    Here's my dilemma, if someone could be so kind:

    I have the PC interface cable, but _no serial port_ on my laptop. I do have USB ports, and am thinking there has to be an inexpensive adapter to use? I'm sure someone out here has had this "problem" and can point me in the right direction. I don't just want to go to Circuit City and have someone sell me an "adapter" if it won't work. Any specifics, please? The laptop is a Compaq Presario 700series, and I've not even had it a year, so it's not an antique. I took it for granted that there would be a serial port, but no luck. icon_frown.gif I really hope someone can help me so I can use the EasyGPS to load some waypoints so I can go have fun with the new family toy! icon_smile.gif Thank you so much in advance, and I hope to be a productive, participating member once I get the hang of things... And I'm _real_ experienced with answering the "same old questions" so I promise to give back 10-fold once I get the hang of things, to give some of ya'll a break! icon_wink.gif I won't answer a question unless I know the answer, though, so give me some time! icon_wink.gif I'm sure I can help future newbies out with the basics, and appreciate the help I get as one, now. Thank you so much!!


    I use a Belkin USB to Serial converter. It works fine with EASY GPS and MapSource but it doesn't seem to work with Garmin's Updater Program that is used to upgrade the software for your unit. I posted a messgage to Garmin about a week ago and haven't heard anything yet.


    So in order to upgrade my software on my GPS, I have to use my desktop.


    Nothing Worth Knowing Reveals Its Secrets Easily - A Friend

  19. I started geo-caching several months ago with an e-trex legend. I kept experiencing power downs when the unit was bumped around and it got very aggravating. I took it back and upgraded to MAP76S for a number of reasons, size of screen, compass feature, and, hopefully, accuracy.


    Even with the MAP76S I would lose the signal in tree cover or it would be difficult to establish a satellite link while in the car or when it was overcast. So I bought a Mighty Mouse II. What a difference.


    Before, I could only lock on to 5-6 satellites and might get 15'-20' accuracy on a good day. With Mighty Mouse II, I have locked on strongly to 8 satellites and have accuracy to within 6'.


    I haven't tested it yet under tree cover, but in all other aspects where I had a problem before, the Mighty Mouse II antenna is performing quite well.


    Nothing Worth Knowing Reveals Its Secrets Easily - A Friend

  20. quote:
    Originally posted by RobertM:

    Does your Legend go off if you do the following?


    I can't say if that's what caused my power down or not. But it definately was related to a slight "tap" when I set it down.


    At any rate I was within the store warranty of my Legend and traded up to a GPSMAP 76S. And it has it's own problems.


    When the batteries are low and you try to use the backlight (while the unit is busy aquiring sattelites), there is such a drain on voltage that the software tells the unit to power down. I spoke with Garmin this morning at length about it and we were able to narrow it down to the low battery issue. They are aware of it, but the person couldn't say if it would simply become a documented issue or if it would be fixed with a software upgrade.


    Nothing Worth Knowing Reveals Its Secrets Easily - A Friend

  21. Both were set at WGS84.


    To test this I just entered a point into ExpertGPS based on the Lat/Lon from my GPSmap76 and the coordinates of two intersecting streets. The GPS76 shows the point being at the actual intersection (it's a city reference). The ExpertGPS shows the same point being 503 feet away to the northwest.


    This ain't right!


    Nothing Worth Knowing Reveals Its Secrets Easily - A Friend

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