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Everything posted by Gadgetman!

  1. Taking spots that aren't good anyway? What does that MEAN? One problem with 'throwing caches around' is that there's a minimum distance between caches. (about 150meters?) So if someone places one behind the dumpster , no one can hide one next to that statue/old bridge/something else interesting nearby... And even IF the distance is OK, it may be difficult to et a new cache approved if there's a whole lot of them nearby.
  2. I'd like to point out a little problem with caches where we have to wander around and read off dates of tombstones. In some places, particularly where the graveyard is small, some of the graves are 'reused' after a set period, maybe 20, maybe 50 years... Then you can usually see the old tombstones stacked along the fence, or in a corner of the graveyard. If the cacher who placed the cache and set up the string of clues doesn't take into consideration which graves and their age, the trail may end up 'dead'...
  3. I have 'some' experience with printing on vinyl sheets, and I can say one thing... Don't even think about it! It's a bl**dy mess! Background; I work in the Public Roads Administration in Norway(We handle, among other things, drivers licenses, planning and overseeing road constructions, car certifications, and so on) and one of our 'products' are temporary license plates, for use when you need to move a car, take it for a test or such. These are red vinyl stickers that we print at our equivalent of the DMV, using sheets of A4 size vinyl with backing paper, which has been pre-cut with the shape of two plates. These are loaded into ordinary lasers(the old HP LJ II or III was perfect for this, as they were relatively cool even when printing), and out comes... a mess.. First point, inkjets are no go, as the ink won't stick on the vinyl. Lasers are hot, and not only is it a problem with the vinyl melting and getting stuck to the innards if you get a paper-jam, but... The heat makes the vinyl shrink a little bit, creating gaps and exposing some of the glue along the edges. This contaminates the printer and will make it jam sooner or later. One solution we found was to use an extra sheet which had a fold along the short edge, creating a 1/4" wide lip. This was placed under the vinyl/backing so that the lip covers the edge going first into the laser. But users often forgot to add the pre-folded sheet, particularly if they were in a hurry... We usually consider it good if a laser lasts for a year... (We're using HP LJ3005 at the moment. They seem to be working) Oh yeah, when we asked HP about recommended printers for this task, they told us that NONE of their lasers was suitable and that if we tried we could wave the warranty a long goodbye... The stickers you buy have been made by either lasering, then adding the glue, or using some sort of offset printing, all of which assumes high-volume production. Now, all hope is not lost... What you CAN do is use your regular inkjet printer, print out the decal on paper, then run them through a laminating machine(I prefer hot laminators), and just glue the result onto your cache box. Or, if you have access to a colour laser, you could print onto transparency sheets and glue them onto your cache.
  4. If you're not too handy, you can get the cable pre-made http://www.pc-mobile.net/mex100.htm I'm using the eXplorist 100 myself, and for my use, it's just perfect. It's small, rugged, waterproof(I also cayak, and am not always too stable...) and cheap... sure, built-in maps would have been nice, but I already have a heap of 1:50.000 maps which also shows footpaths and trails... The accuracy seems to be OK, too. :-)
  5. I'm a recent beginner myself, so my GeoPack isn't completely optimized, yet... Backpack - Blood, Sweat and Tears... (Well, half a liter of Blood at the local bloodbank) Multitool - Also a gift from the bloodbank. (I also have heaps of towels and suchlike... ) Emergency rainwear - $2 Synthetic Chamois - $5 for those times the rainwear wasn't enough... Emergency sleepingbag made of the same stuff as those foil blankets - $40 Dry socks - $4, but really priceless... GPSr Magellan eXplorist 100 - $150? (Didn't check the exchange rates when I bought it) Palm Zire 31 - $50 (online auction) with a 1GB SD-card ($25) Camera - Canon PowerShot A100 - Can't be worth more than $50 now, can it? Camera - Olympus mju 35-70 zoom - $50 on auction site Camera - Zenit Horizon 202 - $300 (add another $50 - $100 for postage, Toll and nonsense) Tripod - $50 (old but useable and weighing in at just over half a kilo, it's indisensable) 8 x 2000mA AA cells - $20 (Things are expensive here in Norway) Swag - $20 - $50, depending on mood. 1 - 3 'Gatorade' 1/2litre bottles filled with sports-drink - %.50 (that's the recycling value for all three) If it's cold weather, possibly also a steel thermos (1/2litre) filled with tea... - Priceless... Reusable pocketheaters - $15 for a pair. A lot of the caches here in Norway are on very scenic places, so bringing a camera isn't just a good idea, but it also works very well as 'camouflage'. Nobody wonders about a guy with an expensive-looking camera on a tripod who continually moves it about and looks through the viewfinder and mutters to himself...
  6. I can't see any problems in adding a time-of-day field(assuming timezone local to the cache?), but what's to stop people from messing with it? Anyway, this is most important for FTF, right? Why not just add an option for the cache owner to 'arbitrate' or verify a FTF? Or, set up a system of optional 'passcodes', so that when a cacher creates a new cache, he drops a FTF certificate with a codeword on it in the cache, and also inputs the codeword in a special field in the cache description. Then, the first cacher who finds it takes the FTF certificate, and when logging the find afterwards, he types in the codeword, proving that he really was the first to find it.
  7. I do it because I have a GPS, need the exercise, and as a geek, it probably wouldn't hurt to go outside once in a while... That, and I like the thrill of not knowing what I'll find... :-)
  8. And that's why I wear Army boots and use a backpack for swag and tea... (got a really nice, big steel thermos in there)
  9. I finally found some... In a shop dedicated to birdwatchers and nature photographers... Strange how the same Google search just an hour earlier found nothing. Anyway, they had both vinyl and duct-tape types, so I settled for the vinyl. (It was cheaper... So I ordered 4 x 10meter rolls, just to be safe...) I also noticed that they sold that waterproof paper and pencils, and cheaper than the Norwegian Geocaching accessory shops. So thanks for the offer, but I think I can manage. :-)
  10. Trust me, the people at those stores in THREE towns know me by sight... (I'm a general gadget and hardware maniac) If any sells it online they sure as H! doesn't use the word 'camo' or the Norwegian equivalent in the description. And why aren't any of the Geocaching accessory stores selling it?
  11. Greetings! Does anyone know of a place in Europe(I can't find ayone in Norway) selling this stuff? I've found a few netshops in America which sells camo tape, but I'd rather not pay the shipping and have to wait so long for the tape to finally appear. It would be nice if the same store also sells GeoCaching stickers, but... (None of the stores I've found that sells stickers have the tape. Quite annoying... )
  12. Seems I found this topic a bit late, but... I couldn't get the video to play, but I'm familiar with many models of traffic-counters used here in Norway. Permanent/semi-permanent types are usually built into a steel case which is securely mounted by the side of the road, and is very difficult to mistake for anything else. (Most bombers don't use concrete to fasten their bombs) As for the transient types, they can come in many shapes, but they all have a few points in common... 1. They are steel containers. (Quite often they have milled reinforcements around the ends, and 'military type' cable connectors and fittings, too) They never look as if they've just been thrown together in a basement workshop.... 2. They are marked with serial-numbers and the authority who owns them... 3. There are one or more cables going to the road. These cables can be under the asphalt, in which case it should be possible to see a pattern that has been cut out of the asphalt, then 'glued' back in. Or they may be laid on top of the asphalt, in which case they've been bolted into place. In any case, this type of equipment is 'rather distinctive' and only the most incompetent EOD personnell will blow it up without first contacting the owners... (We have a few incidents every year where people shoot at them with shotguns or rifles, to 'destroy the evidence that they were speeding'... As if the box had a camera. Shooting at the automatic traffic cams doesn't help, either. Those use GSM upload pictures as soon as they've been taken... ) My guess is that one of those EOD bozos recently got a speeding/parking-ticket and decided that this was a good excuse to get revenge.
  13. Build it out of Plywood and 'paint' it using oil-based stains usually used on houses. (Use two or more coats to ensure that the wood is properly saturated. You may thin the stain before applying the first coating for even better saturation.) If the stuff can last 4 years or more here on the weatherbitten coast of Norway...
  14. If you haven't already wasted money on VirtualPC, I'd suggest getting GuestPC, which is not only half the price, but is also known to support USB. In fact, in the animated GIF they have on their site there's an eTrex GPS displayed... WinXP runs 'a bit' slow on my G4/1.33GHz iBook with 1GB RAM, but should work OK on a G5. Now, if someone could send me an eXplorist to test... (My own eXplorist 100 doesn't have any connections at all)
  15. Yeah. :-) Got my first FTF today, myself. (and it was just my fourth find, too) It was almost a pity to scrawl my name and date in the beautiful, empty log. Oh well. At least no one has done the same dirty deed to the two caches I've planted, yet.
  16. I have a Magellan eXplorist 100, which is the cheapest of that series. There's no serial/USB port, no stored maps, no rechargeable batteries... What it does have is a waterproof body. (Which is handy, considering that I also do a bit of cayaking, and aren't always the most stable if I get caught in waves... ) What I'm trying to say is that there's no easy answer to 'what's the best GPS(for me)' type questions. You need to carefully analyze your requirements, then compare available models to find the one most suited to your needs.
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