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Everything posted by smillersmiller

  1. Oh, one more thing - Saylorville Lake is definitely within 50 miles of Merle Hay Mall.
  2. When The Coasties visited Des Moines about a year ago, a thread was started to get favorite caches. Favorite DSM caches I'd say that Waterworks and Saylorville Lake are two great areas for caching.
  3. Congratulations. Let us know when your fist picnic is. It was almost 50 degrees yesterday -- good time of the year for eating outdoors. There's been a lot of talk about forming a Central Iowa group. Maybe it's something we'll hash out this Winter/Spring. Scott (smillersmiller)
  4. smillersmiller

    $78 GPS

    Just my two cents about the "accuracy" of the Garmin eTrex... I think the eTrex receivers are just as "accurate" as the Magellan's I've used when in open areas. It's when you get into heavy overhead cover that it's a problem. Of course, in Central Iowa, the vast majority of caches are located in places that have heavy overhead cover for at least the warmer months of the year. I've done caching out in the San Jose, CA area and, go figure, the caches are generally in places where overhead cover isn't a problem. So your mileage may vary. I'll say that for ~$80, the eTrex is a good value.
  5. I highly recommend Unusualoo - GCD7A4, but be sure to leave some time for it.
  6. Not sure if you are joking, being sarcastic, or what. If you are being serious.... I'm not familiar with the program in question, but as I recall from working with programs that required the older VBRUN???.DLL files, you don't need to install anything at all if you are so paranoid. Just copy the VBRUN???.DLL in question into the same directory as the .EXE file that requires it. Of course, this means the .DLL will only be available for that particular program. To be honest, it's not the VBRUN files I've ever had problems with. The file I've seen cause DLL Hell most often is MSCVRT??.DLL. Scott ICQ: 5563417
  7. quote:Originally posted by Borogove & Mimsy:I agree--many bugs want to visit all states, or certain states, but it is hard to tell where they have been. I'm a newbie to this forum--do we need an entry under "suggested features" on the Geocaching Discussions forum, or will this get added to the "to-do" list? If a travel bug wants to travel to all the states, I'd say it's up to the Travel Bug owner to put a table of all the states on the Travel Bug's page and update the list for everyone else to see. It wouldn't take that long to build the list, and little effort to keep it updated. Anyhow, I agree with the original poster, I wish the maps had at least a little more detail. A lot of times, all you see is a bunch of lines on a green background, even for bugs that have traveled hundreads of miles. ICQ: 5563417
  8. "TNLN, trashed out ten large in small denominations." ICQ: 5563417
  9. The older map has to have been made before 7/28/2002 as my Ashton Park Nature trail cache is not shown on the map. Can anyone else help define the minimum age? ICQ: 5563417
  10. Am I the only one who sees a significant difference between the two caches posted in the first message in this thread? The cache description for PSE QSL indicates that a Geocache will be hidden at the event. Show up at the event, get the coordinates for the cache, and go find the cache. Thus there's a cache to be found, but because it will only be hidden for a short while, it's an "event cache". http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?wp=gcg8rh W4RMT on the other hand appears to be a HAM radio field day that has nothing Geocaching related about it (other than the listing on Geocaching.com). http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?ID=75660 Please correct me if I missed something, but this seems like a very significant difference. ICQ: 5563417
  11. Happy Earth Day. I'll start this thread for people to discuss the upcoming Cache In Trash Out (CITO) this April 26th. Whether you are planning on doing this alone, with a small group of friends, or as an organized event cache, remember to bring a bag with you to pick up some litter this coming Saturday. If you are organizing a CITO event for April 26th or April 27th in one of the Great Plains States, let's hear about it in this thread. Central Iowa Cachers: check out Des Moines Parks Cache In Trash Out. ICQ: 5563417
  12. Wow, looks like South Dakota has been supporting geocaching for quite some time. Check out BIG SIOUX TO HOST TRAIL OF TREASURES WALK AND TALK dated March 8, 2002. Unfortunatey I wasn't able to find "Outdoor Recreation Gets Technical" online. ICQ: 5563417
  13. I love how a lot of people have totally missed the point here. If someone asked you "Which is better, a Dodge Neon or a Chevy Cavalier?" would you tell the person they were wrong and tell them they need to buy a Ferarri 550???? It's obvious this person is looking for a budget GPS. A Garmin V is so far off it's not funny, and several other suggestions miss the price point by more than double. BTW: The Magellan Meridian GPS for $109.99 Outpost.com is much, much better than the basic eTrex, and I strongly recommend it. -- Scott ICQ: 5563417
  14. quote:Originally posted by nincehelser:I'm an Electrical Engineer and HAM. I know full well the pros and cons of different antennas. What I did say is that the difference is minimal given the DSP, electronics, and software. It's no big deal anymore. The state that I live in is Texas. That doesn't mean we don't have dense trees, nor does it mean I don't travel to other parts of the US. George This argument is just ridiculous. So are you saying the DSPs, electronics, and software available today are so amazingly good that no one ever loses reception with dense overhead foliage? Not even close. Since overhead foliage is a huge problem when using a GPS receiver, it's easy to see how even a slightly improved antenna design could improve the user experience under marginal reception conditions. George, in all your posts, not once have you posted that you've actually used a Magellan 315 receiver side by side with your eTrex. Your conjecture about DSPs and etc is just that. You've managed to imagine that there can't be a difference without putting your theory to the test, while at the same time claiming those of us who have used different receivers side by side are just imagining things. Scott ICQ: 5563417
  15. I have to second the recommendation for the Magellan Meridian from Outpost.com (currently priced at $110 + shipping). Note that price includes a PC serial data cable for use with Easy GPS, for upgrading the firmware, etc. Even without the optional add-ons Daddyfish suggested, the Meridian is an excellent GPS. The low detail base map alone puts the $110 Meridian above everything else at the low end of the price spectrum. The memory expansion chip and map CD can always be purchased at a later time. (I've got the Meridian, the topo map CD and a 128 meg SD memory chip, and I'm very satisfied for what I've got for the money I've spent.) Scott ICQ: 5563417
  16. quote:The bottom line, however, is that both Garmin and Magellen units do the job. If one unit was that much better than the other, we'd see it in the cache finds. I'm not sure what this "filtering" is that Searching_ut has vaguely described. He's implying that the Magellan units falsely report they are maintaining "lock" when they've actually had losses in the signal, while on the other hand the Garmin's will promptly report they've lost the signal. This is easilly contradicted. My Magellan 315 and Magellan Meridian GPS both update the satellite signal strengths _very_ quickly. Place my hand over the antenna and bam, within a fraction of a second it reports the satellite signal as gone. Remove my hand and bam, the signal is back. Only one GPS I've used matched the problems Searching_ut describes - the yellow eTrex when in power save mode. I don't hold this against the eTrex as it's an optional feature and is easily turned off. The patch antennas in the eTrex is just not that good. It's not a Magellan vs Garmin issue - read the forums and you'll find a number of Garmin III, Garmin V and Garmin 12 users that say the same thing. I guess we all must be experiencing mass hallucinations. What you say about cache finds representing the antenna quality doesn't make sense. I've found caches with a Garmin eTrex, an eTrex Venture, a Mag 315, and a Mag Meridian. While searching for those caches, we found that getting a good fix on the position to be much tougher with either eTrex, but we widened our search area and increased our time looking and still found the cache. When using an eTrex side by side with a Magellan 315, the Mag 315 would show a 2D or 3D position in situations where the eTrex had problems picking up any satellites at all. Scott ICQ: 5563417
  17. Please don't take this the wrong way, but if you're going to report to the NOAA, you should take the extra time to do it right. While "found as described" may be easy and perhaps appropriate for some markers, it's far more valuable to report the benchmarks that need significant updating to the description and skip reporting the ones where the description is 100% accurate. Also, I wouldn't report "found as described" if there's any part of the description that is not completely accurate (even if you think the change in not significant). I urge you to take the time to correct those minimal changes. For example: I've seen a lot of descriptions from 50+ years ago that refer to telephone pole #537 (I'd never noticed that many/most utility poles are actually numbered until I started Benchmkarking ). While it may seem obvious that pole would have decayed enough in 50 years that everyone should expect it to be gone, it doesn't take much time to say "Found as described, except that pole #537 is no longer present." One of the things I've reported is the coordinates in my find log, but I mention that it is with a hand held consumer grade GPS. Also, you say "here's a pic". The NOAA has very specific guidelines as the kind of pictures (plural) you need to submit, and the captions you should add to the pictures. A quick snapshot isn't sufficient. While it's a little extra work, these guidelines will help you take much more useful photos than what you would probably take. I know that the guidelines helped me. Here is the URL for the document: http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/PROJECTS/INSTRUCTIONS/Digital_Photo_Requirements.pdf This all may seem pretty anal retentive, but the NOAA is limited in the amount of submissions they can process. If this all seems like too much work, I urge you to report your finds and pics to Geocaching.com and have fun. Scott ICQ: 5563417 [This message was edited by smillersmiller on March 20, 2003 at 10:36 PM.] [This message was edited by smillersmiller on March 20, 2003 at 10:37 PM.]
  18. quote:Originally posted by nincehelser:The antenna issue is highly debatable. The electronics and DSP pretty much make up for it. The "breadcrumb" thought is just plain wrong. My yellow eTrex displays every waypoint in the area in that mode. George Have you actually used a Magllean side by side with your eTrex in a situation with marginal reception (a heavilly wooded area in the summertime)??? I have, and the difference is profound. I may have been using an older version of the yellow eTrex firmware than what is currently available. Later firmware updates may have added multiple waypoints to the map. Scott ICQ: 5563417
  19. quote:Originally posted by charlesml:How about you sell both of them and get a meridian yellow/green (not sure how much you can get from selling the old ones)? this way, you can even leave the PDA at home and go without the cable mess after you installed mapsend on the meridian I just got my brand new $100 special Magellan Meridian (green) this morning; it's fabulous! On the drive home, I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered the buttons are backlit! I plan to keep my Mag 315 though. ICQ: 5563417
  20. Awww, man. Now this Magellan owner now has reason to be jealous. That does look pretty cool. I'd really like to see a similar product for the Magellan units (specifically my brand new Magellan Meridian GPS). - Scott ICQ: 5563417
  21. I can't speak to the compatibility of either of these GPS receivers with your iPaq or any other PDA. I have used both GPS receivers and I can tell you the Magellan 315 is a better unit than the Yellow eTrex. The 315 has a more sensitive antenna and the ability to show more than one way point at a time on the breadcrumb map. Either one of those alone is enough to prefer the 315. The last point in particular is extremely handy when there are 3 or more Geocaches that can be found from a single parking location. You can see how the Geocaches are positioned relative to each other on the map and make some plans as to what order you'd like to proceed (a handy tip - mark a waypoint for your car before heading out). A few more features... The 315 has a built in set of points for various cities and towns - I personally haven't found this to be extremely useful, but I've used it once or twice and it sure doesn't hurt. The 315 has the ability to display your current position in two different coordinate systems simultaneously - this can be very handy when, say, you're using a map marked in D/M/S (degrees minutes seconds) but you would like to use waypoints in D/M.M (minute decimal). The 315 has the moon and sun icons positioned around the compass screen - thus even though the 315 doesn't have a magnetic compass, you can still use the compass screen even whlie standing still as long as either the moon or the sun are visible. Just orient the compass so that the appropriate icon lines up with the celestial body in question and bingo the compass screen works while standing still. The pros for the eTrex are: lighter, smaller, longer battery life (something like 20 hours vs 15 hours). Don't get me wrong, the eTrex is good for what it is and I'm not knocking it, but as long as you have the choice between the two, keep the 315. And some of these features may not matter all that much if you're using the GPS with the iPaq, but the improved antenna sensitivity will always be beneficial. ICQ: 5563417
  22. Just a friendly reminder that Central Iowa Benchmarking 101 in Des Moines, IA is coming up this Saturday (March 15th). I just checked a forecast for Saturday and we are supposed to have unseasonably nice weather! Inntellicast.com is forecasting 68 °F and "partly cloudy". I wish I could take credit for it. -- Scott ICQ: 5563417
  23. JzL, I posted a highly detailed account of my experiences using DeLorme Street Atlas USA 2003 with a GPS. I think you'll find it worth reading. Regarding "GPS compatibility", I had no troubles whatsoever getting DeLorme Street Atlas USA 2003 to work wtih my Magellan 315. I do seem to recall that it had a very large list of different GPS proprietery communcation formats it was compatible with. In any case, as Ozarktroutbum said, if you can get your Navman to operate in NMEA mode, then everything should work. -- Scott ICQ: 5563417
  24. quote:Originally posted by Slytherin:I'd like to see commercialism redfined as the placing of a cache that benefits the cache owner financially. Not the owner of the place that the cache had been placed. So the guy with the movie theatre would be wrong to place a cache that benefits HIS buisness, but caches on Disney property should not be viewed in the same way. Do you really think people would be that honest when they submit their caches? Sure, it would be obvious in some situations, not so obvious in other situations. Say I own an Applebees (an American restaurant chain where the walls inside are covered in various items screwed to the wall). I post my virtual cache "Go to the Applebees restaurant at such and such coordinates and identify the such and such object above the bar. You don't even have to buy anything." It's still a blatent advertisement for my restaurant, and I could always lie and say something like "No, I don't own that Applebees and I'm not the manager, but I eat lunch there from time to time and I noticed this really unique whatsit behind the bar." Telling a lie is easy from a keyboard. ICQ: 5563417
  25. I think Kerry is implying that 1 foot is less than 0.001 minutes. How much is one thousandth of a minute? It's been discussed in several different threads such as this one. The short answer is: 0.001 minutes North/South (lattitude) is about 6 feet. 0.001 minutes East/West depends on your lattitude, but a halfway respectable rough number for the continental United States is something like 3 to 4 feet. So in other words, if you're off by 0.001 minutes in either the lattitude or the longitude, you're going to be off by more than one foot (unless you're located near the North or South Pole). Of course, there's no reason the GPS receiver would have to round to the nearest thousandth of a minute before performing the distance calculation. And given that many GPSr's (such as my Mag 315) have the option to display more precise coordinates such as Degree decimal to hundread thousandths of a degree, it's certainly possible the GPS receivers internally have the coordinates determined to a more precise level than one thousandth of a minute. (OK, I think that may have been too much rambling. I hope that made sense to someone.) ICQ: 5563417 [This message was edited by smillersmiller on March 13, 2003 at 12:00 AM.]
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