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drew82

is there a national simplex used for geocaching?

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For some reason I had never thought of this before, but from now on

I will carry my 2M HT and see if I can stir up some Geo-Hams while I

am out and about. This will be really cool as I travel a lot.

 

KD4WVO

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Are we debating in Congress or what?

 

Some of the posts on here sound like a local guy who MONITORS a particular freq. When myself and another ham QSY'd onto the freq. he was MONITORING, asked if it was in use and got no response, he promptly interrupted us and told us that we were on the blah blah blah freq. and needed to QSY. I promptly apologized for interrupting his MONITORING and told him we would leave when our traffic was passed.

 

It doesn't matter what freq. we use, I would just like to know one that when I toss my call out, I will be more likely to encounter a geocacher.

 

I listen to HF, VHF, and UHF while mobile. I think it would be nice to have three freq. that could be put in memories to scan. I know I will hear other hams using those freq's at some time and I know those hams expect to hear other hams on them as well. I bet that is the necessity that brought about the invention of VFO's. If someone wants a private freq., the FCC can issue you one for the proper fee.

 

With the ARRL bulletins on 147.555, I don't feel it is a good choice. Anyone close to Newington, CT will have major issues.

 

Perhaps calling CQ GC?

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Anything agreed upon yet?

 

146.520

 

In reading up on QRZ.com, the concensus among the amateur community is to QSY to another frequency once contact on the calling frequency is made. This is said to apply to the HF, VHF, and UHF allocations. So if this is indeed the preferred practise, or as it was put on the Zed a Gentlemans agreement, what should the frequency be that the hamcaching community QSY's to? We wouldn't want to violate a Gentlemans Agreement steeped in tradition now, would we?

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I actually talked to geocachers the other day on 147.555 for the first time. It was, of course, at geowoodstock where finally I saw other people into both hobbies. In fact, I saw a number of cars with antennas on them. As I was driving away from the event I actually managed to chat with someone for the first time about geocaching. Ever. And the last.

 

We still suffer from a niche in a niche problem.

 

WS6Z

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Finally, almost a year after my first response (8/13/2007) there seems to be some sort of an agreement.

 

I'll be monitoring 147.555

Edited by Drooling_Mongoloid

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Finally, almost a year after my first response (8/13/2007) there seems to be some sort of an agreement.

 

I'll be monitoring 147.555

 

Now just get the Powers to be to list it as one on their website.

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Just a comment about using 147.555 , I still hear packet radio on these frequencies in NW Iowa.

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Be thankful you HAVE chatter. there are only 1 or 2 machines that has a full compliment of operators on channel. it used to be that the machine would turn on in the early AM and not shut off til the timer shut it off.. I guess with Text messaging and phone rates getting cheaper all the time.. 2m and 440 are not as busy.

 

73' DE n2gig

Edited by Giguchan

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You guys are on the right track and your choice of freq is OK but as pointed out there is a reason for 52 and it should be used to establish contact then move to 555 for the geocache freq.

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You guys are on the right track and your choice of freq is OK but as pointed out there is a reason for 52 and it should be used to establish contact then move to 555 for the geocache freq.

 

If 146.52 was actually busy, I'd QSY, but if there's only me and one other person on it, I see no overpowering reason to QSY anywhere. In fact, there's something positive to be said for staying on freq so a third person might actually be able to contact someone.

 

In Ottawa, you're more likely to hear people on 146.595 than .520 in any case.

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Just for everyones info..I will be taking my HT with me and monitoring 147.555 while caching in South Jersey,and for that matter all over.Anyone else out there that Hams please do the same,we can certainly have fun with that... :D

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I don't see many Hams out there with geocaching know-hows anyway. Until geocaching has stock in it, there will be no desinated calling freq for cachers period. The previous comment had the ONLY idea that applies in ham radio. Assuming your liscenced, contact could be made on a CF, for that party would have to move to an unused freq up or down the band.

Now that I think about it, I almost purchased a repeater a while back. I suppose if someone wants to talk locally, that would be a nice option... a cache repeater. That would be something I'd consider however thats just me, around my home town. Another would be to link repeaters through Echolink or something.

If I have a link or repeater set up around the LA area, I'll be sure to post it.

But simplex desination? Not a chance.

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so has anyone made contact with another hamcacher on 147.555 or did the idea die with the thread?

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so has anyone made contact with another hamcacher on 147.555 or did the idea die with the thread?

 

I did once at the geowoodstock event as I was leaving the parking lot. That was the only time. I've spoken to others on repeaters and things, but never on 555. I even have my scanner set to search 555 and frequently hear random people driving around in my area, but they're never looking for a cache :-/

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147.555 is still a packet frequency in some parts of Iowa/Illinois

You might hear a zaaaaapppp now and then!

 

K0BKL

Washington, IA

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147.555 is still a packet frequency in some parts of Iowa/Illinois

You might hear a zaaaaapppp now and then!

 

K0BKL

Washington, IA

 

i have just started to list the local repeaters and the ones i monitor on my cache pages for anyone that doesnt already know. i have yet to talk to anyone on triple 5.

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I actually got started in geocaching thru Amateur radio. A ham mentioned geocaching in his APRS beacon. I heard him on a HF net a few days later, asked some questions and the rest is history. 7.555 works for me; I scan .52 as well, still have a working HTX-202 'beater' that could go in my cache bag.... Done!

 

73 KI7SY Frank in NV

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After all these years I've just stop bothering with ham radio while geocaching. Unless it's a long hike type cache, I'm just too busy caching. I will talk on the local repeater sometimes, but I'm sure the others don't like that I keep coming and going with while in and out of the car (and the HT isn't strong enough to hit the repeater).

 

Of course I've also lost a lot of interest in ham radio too. Just isn't fun anymore. Too many weirdo, hamsexy (for those that know what I'm talking about) operators out there that need a life. Pretty much just comm with the level headed 'cool' hams, and none around here seem interested in geocaching.

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New to geocacaching, :mellow::( so far a great time. 146.520 works for me.

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Just wondering if anyone has brought up the Idea of having it coordinated as an official frequency suggestion? That way it shows up on band plans etc...

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146.52 using a pl would allow monitoring without listening to other converations. 147.555 sounds good to me.

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I think you people are wasting mental energy for no good reason. 146.52 is the National Simplex CALLING frequency, not the National Simplex RAGCHEWING frequency. Depending on 'channel spacing' in your part of the country, 15kHz or 20kHz, just move up 'one'. 146.555 aka 'triple nickel' is commonly used for local rag-chewing, not weak signal work, like '52. The comments "what if I have an emergency in the middle of nowhere?" and "I dont want to change frequencies." etc. Does your radio have a "Call Channel" or "Priority Channel" button? That's what it's for, you don't have to 'fiddle' with the controls to get what you need.

146.52 is perfectly acceptable in the middle of nowhere. You might even find other Hams using it for INTERMITTENT communications like backpacking, kayaking, fishing, etc. If you wanna chew the fat all day long get a cellphone! or FRS. There are ops who monitor '52 for DX work, and they might not like hearing you all day long. Ditto for the '555 ragchew crowd. 146.535Mhz is 15kc's up from '52, is not used for weak signal DX work, and is not as common a ragchew channel as '555. '570, '585, etc are options too.

Every 'group' under the sun wants their 'own' simplex frequency. Have you ever heard of something called a BAND PLAN? Try using it. Pick a freq, any freq. As long as it's not interfering with other users, your good to go.

How do you get other local hams interested in geocaching and let them know where to find you on the radio dial? Have you ever heard of something called a NET? It's were a group of hams, usually affiliated as a CLUB meet once a week on a local repeater to COMMUNICATE with each other about what they are doing in the ham radio hobby. Since I'm giving you credit for having planned out your geocaching activity in advance, you could always let other hams know during the "Announcements or Items of Interest" part of the Net your Simplex and Repeater frequencies you will be monitoring. If you plan on using CTCSS, it might be a good idea to include that as well.

Final Summary: A ham in Vermont does not need to be on the same frequency as someone in Florida. They need to know where to find people in their own geographic area. Not the other side of the planet.

I'm being sarcastic for a reason. I want you to think about agreeing on a useful choice of frequecies to use LOCALLY that will enable you to ENJOY Geocaching AND Ham Radio. Do I have to remind you to charge your batteries too?

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147.555 is fine for me also. Im in Foresthill, California. Btwn Sacramento, Ca. and Reno, Nv.

Ill monitor this when I Geocache.

 

I hate all that argument stuff............

 

Ned

N6RDX

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I think you people are wasting mental energy for no good reason. 146.52 is the National Simplex CALLING frequency, not the National Simplex RAGCHEWING frequency.

Hardly anyone follows that rule anymore....sorry to say. It is the 'lets talk here' frequency. Too many don't follow the rule now to change it back. It's another ham radio reality in today's climate of the hobby.

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I was taught that 146.520 is where you make a contact and then request to QSY (change frequencies).

 

Personally, when I'm out hiking or whatever, I'll monitor 146.520 (as well as FRS frequencies) on my HT. I think as long as 147.555 is open (always ask "QRL?") I'll suggest moving there for Geocaching, but I believe that 146.520 should still be used to make initial contacts.

 

I could understand if 146.520 is busy in other areas, but here it is not in use 99% of the time. I think it makes sense though to designate a frequency for event caches.

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I think you people are wasting mental energy for no good reason. 146.52 is the National Simplex CALLING frequency, not the National Simplex RAGCHEWING frequency.

Hardly anyone follows that rule anymore....sorry to say. It is the 'lets talk here' frequency. Too many don't follow the rule now to change it back. It's another ham radio reality in today's climate of the hobby.

Yes, in the last 20 years there has been an increase in "Let's find a Secret Frequency to talk, gossip, and cuss on!" These same persons, using a HT connected to a Base Station Antenna, get so much front-end overload that they have to use PL squelch. Since they are too lazy to change the PL to one not commonly used by repeaters in the area, they are also too lazy to break out a calculator and ADD or SUBTRACT 600kHz to the frequency they are 'using'. You do the math! :D

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Another suggestion: Simplex on a repeater Output. As long as you are not right on top of the 'machine', you can talk over the same distance when the machine is not in use, and up to a quarter mile or more when it is in use by non geocachers, while still monitoring for calls by geocachers using the repeater. The only requirement would be using tone encode if the machine transmits a PL. The use of tone encode will allow others using CTCSS to hear you. Unless you agree to not use it in advance.

Southern California is the Land of Tone Squelch. PL-Decode is not an option. It is a necessity! When you walk to the top of a hill, you can hear two or three machines on the same pair your local machine is on.

'Hitting' a repeater 100+ miles away with a HT is not uncommon. It can add an element of entertainment to any outdoor activity. Using low power on the output of a repeater is acceptable operating practice. Many more people do it than you realize. If you cant hear them, you dont know they are there. I often 'dump' the memory channel into the VFO, turn off the 'shift', and use the VFO/Memory buttons to toggle between the two. With the simple push of a button, you can go from 'Local' to 'Wide Area' mode very easily. Very handy should an emergency arise, every one is already listening to the same frequency.

There are two major drawbacks to this form of operating. Whether you are Bicycling, Hiking or Geocaching: 1, A hilltop will allow your comms to be heard over a very wide area. Turning the antenna sideways will reduce this. 2, Once the 'regulars' using the repeater find out what you are doing, they might become interested in Geocaching, and pester you every 5 or 10 minutes wanting an update on your progress. :D

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Wow!! It must be neat to be in a part of the country where there is actually a chance of catching another cacher within VHF simplex range. Here in Wyoming, it ain't gonna happen. It is basically impossible to find ANY ham on simplex, let alone another cacher.

 

What I do is carry along a handheld and scan the local repeaters that I normally use. Although, I have NEVER even met another cacher in this state, let alone a ham cahcer. A majority of the caches that I "stalk" are very remote and I access them with a 4 wheeler. Up to 100 miles can be covered to find some of the better caches. This is after almost 100 miles in a truck, just to get to the drop off point.

 

What I employ is a better system and I will share it with folks here. If you are ever caching in the remote areas of Wyoming, it may come in handy.

 

When I cache in a remote area , I carry an HF rig with me. It fits easily on my 4 wheeler and is powered by the wheelers battery. I take some small wire dipoles that can be thrown up into a tree or stretched between some low sagebrush (Since we are focusing on NVIS propagation). With that, I am able to get onto the Wyoming state 80 meter and 40 meter frequencies where there is always a few hams monitoring somewhere in the state. 3.923.5 on 80 and 7.260 on 40, with the 80 meter freq. being primary.

 

On these frequencies, I have always been able to raise somebody. I have also checked in via CW which has worked very well when confined to low power. My wife is also licensed and she will monitor the appropriate frequencies while I am out. This system also works in other rocky mountain states as they all have some "usual" 80/40 meter hangouts.

 

If you are near any repeaters, then use them. But if you are not, there is a FAR FAR FAR better chance of being heard on HF. If you ever make it to Wyoming, try to stick to the HF frequencies I listed. If not, contact a local club ( www.Casperarc.net is a good one) and get some repeater information on where coverage may (or may not) exist. Or get on www.QRZ.com and ask in the Q&A section. One of us from Wyoming will pick you up.

 

Happy hunting,

 

BTG

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I'm with you on all that Brad.

I live in an area sometimes known as the "Silicone Rainforest" and there are a lot of HAMs here.

Even so, there is Very little simpex use.

Out in the woods where lots of 4X4s roam, CB is used.

Repeaters are usually handy for EmComms.

But up in the real mountains, HF or Sat phone is the only way to go.

 

If you are with a group Geocache hunt I think a 2m freq could be decided at the time.

 

I will monitor 146.52 also for anyone needing help. That's what HAM is about.

 

Randy

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I don't know about these days, but I remember 147.560 being used for TCP/IP packet radio networks a few years back, at least here in the Detroit area. It seems like 147.555 might have the potential to interfere.

 

I'd vote for 146.550 as a primary and 146.490 as a back-up. It seems to me like 146.520 would be a good frequency to monitor or call CQ for general QSOs instead of something more specific, like geocaching. I'm not saying 146.520 SHOULDN'T be used, but it seems less appropriate.

 

Someone else brought up the idea of using UHF. That'd be OK, but VHF covers a bit more ground in hilly or wooded terrain. UHF would be better suited to downtown areas with lots of buildings and large obstructions. How about 446.550 as a primary UHF frequency? We'd have to listen around and see just who has their crossband repeater inputs/outputs there, first, before we commit to any one frequency. Those things are popular in that frequency range.

 

FWIW, I really think this is a great idea. Since this has been a long-running thread, has anyone had any luck finding any other cachers on the radio? What frequency/ies did you use?

 

 

-Steve

N8FM

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Greetings

 

Why not the Int'l frequency 146.520 ? Anyone can use it and probably has it programmed...

What you thing "Hamsters" I thought the Hamster forum was about Ham radio--hehehe

 

73

alex

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HEAR-HEAR- Scan and if you hear anyone, sign in. Be creative and lets keep all our frequencies -Use them.

 

73 My actual call is VE7AL but i use the VA7AB as a Geocaching handle because it was one of my previous calls. It belongs to someone else now in HAMDOM.

alex

 

147.555

 

Sounds Good To Me.....

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after reading all this ...... i think that i will leave the handi talkie home and just take the cell phone for 911 if needed

 

73 all

 

mike wd8pib

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I am organizing W7G, the special event station at GeoWoodstock 8 in Washington. We are planning on having two-meter simplex to check in on for Geocachers at the event to get a QSL card. We are thinking about using 147.555 for our simplex. Any thoughts?

 

73!

Mr.Moo

KI6ZON

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I use, among others, a Kenwood Dual-band TH-D7 HT, TMD-700 Dual-band Mobile and a TS-2000x All-band Base; one VFO on each is always tuned to 146.52... when I operate monoband or HF, as I do on my Icom IC-746, I keep a seperate radio on .52. Not much traffic, but occasionally someone needs a call answered. When they do, they know where to tune, no matter where they are... .52!

 

While traveling to/from geocaching events (that's most of my travel) I am often called by other hams whenever they see my call sign tag and/or antennas, and by geocaching hams who see the geocaching logos on my truck.

 

The common theme is that all another ham has to see is another ham's 2-meter antenna going down the road to know that a call on .52 will likely raise them.

 

Why mess with that?

 

Call on .52, if no answer call on .55, if no answer call on .58? No thanks!

 

Keep one VFO scanning all the time? No thanks!

 

A LOT of work goes into national band plans, and all of it takes .52 into consideration as the 2-meter simplex CALLING frequency.

 

Once you establish contact, move off to any appropriate frequency you want.

 

If you want geocachers to agree to move to .55 or wherever for geo-chat, cool, but there's no reason to try to make it a calling frequency.

 

It's not that we're set in our ways and resistant to change so much as "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

 

This is the problem with standards... everyone wants their own!

 

73 de W4AGA

 

Very Well Said.

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147.555 is fine with me, if there is another one to use then just let me know and I'll just add it to my radio... Since my radio holds a lot of freq's and I don't even use half of what my radio holds....

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I have been a member for only a few months and browse the forums pretty much for a specific read and just stumbled across this one. I am just getting into ham but if there is enough interest maybe the agreed on freq can be put on Groundspeak and geocaching banners so new members will recognize the unofficially official freq to find like minded people while doing the drunken bee dance. Not to mention the need to phone a friend.

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I hate to beat a dead horse, but as a local repeater trustee I have to chime in..

 

146.52 is the national calling freq, so as such I always have it in my scan list. This is a great freq that everyone has, including those who are using re-purposed commercial radios. It's simple, it's easy and it's in the band-plan for everyone to use. Plus, many hams who don't read this forum will monitor it as well. Until today I didn't even know about this debate.

 

A second note is the slow demise of the local repeaters. We've seen the amount of time our transmitters are on the air diminish dramatically since cell phones became so ubiquitous. Here in the Florida Keys (great years round caching!) we have a system that is linked throughout the 110 mile long county and almost no one uses it. If someone wants to rag-chew on the system while caching, then go right ahead. That's what it's there for.

 

With the proliferation of lower powered HTs it almost doesn't make sense to even try simplex here. The local repeater is always up, able to be hit in most areas, and has so little traffic that it almost always available. You can always try "Anyone on frequency geocaching?" as your call.

 

Just my $0.02

 

Chris

N9LCK

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I've been hamming a lot longer than I've been geocaching. I'll listen (if I have my radio with me) on .555, (and .52 for folks in trouble) and even give a blind call once in a while if I can juggle it in. But, I expect I'll hear a lot of dead air. It's not argument. It's just the truth. And, yes. I do have a scanning function. 555 is as good as any other freq. Thanks for the thought-provoking idea. Let's all put a little fire in the wire, eh?

There are a lot of good points in this thread. I for one have programmed a bank for Caching. That bank has the national calling freq 146.520 and 147.555 in it and a couple others. So, when I'm out Geocaching all I need to do is select that bank and scan it. If a non cacher is in need of help and I hear that signal, I will be able to help. If a cacher is on the 555, I will be able to hear that too. By only having a couple freqs in the bank, the radio will scan very fast so not to miss a thing. Also, my radio is the ICOM 92AD which is a duel band, full duplex radio. So, not only can I scan the caching bank, I can also monitor a repeater if I wish. B)

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Another suggestion: Simplex on a repeater Output. As long as you are not right on top of the 'machine', you can talk over the same distance when the machine is not in use, and up to a quarter mile or more when it is in use by non geocachers, while still monitoring for calls by geocachers using the repeater. The only requirement would be using tone encode if the machine transmits a PL. The use of tone encode will allow others using CTCSS to hear you. Unless you agree to not use it in advance.

Southern California is the Land of Tone Squelch. PL-Decode is not an option. It is a necessity! When you walk to the top of a hill, you can hear two or three machines on the same pair your local machine is on.

'Hitting' a repeater 100+ miles away with a HT is not uncommon. It can add an element of entertainment to any outdoor activity. Using low power on the output of a repeater is acceptable operating practice. Many more people do it than you realize. If you cant hear them, you dont know they are there. I often 'dump' the memory channel into the VFO, turn off the 'shift', and use the VFO/Memory buttons to toggle between the two. With the simple push of a button, you can go from 'Local' to 'Wide Area' mode very easily. Very handy should an emergency arise, every one is already listening to the same frequency.

There are two major drawbacks to this form of operating. Whether you are Bicycling, Hiking or Geocaching: 1, A hilltop will allow your comms to be heard over a very wide area. Turning the antenna sideways will reduce this. 2, Once the 'regulars' using the repeater find out what you are doing, they might become interested in Geocaching, and pester you every 5 or 10 minutes wanting an update on your progress. :D

Check your band plan before you use a repeater output! It's not legal. There are set freqs for simplex, and you can not just pick your freq and go for it. That is a fast way to loosing your ham ticket.

 

73

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Wow...you guys are still talking about this. Man, that's funny. Has anyone even talked to someone during caching since this thread started?

 

When ham radio can touch the rest of the mobile world technology and relevance wise, maybe I'll buy my VHF/UHF gear back. If you want to catch me while caching...probably be more fun/cooler to do it via a foursquare type check in via the caching apps.

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