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What is your GSAK string?

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Waypoint Name : %drop2-%typ1-%last4


What this does is for the waypoint name, it drops off the first 2 characters of the geocache code name (every one of them starts with GC so no need to waste 2 characters sending that).


Then is sends a one letter code defining the cache type %typ1 - letters used are as follows: T=traditional, M=multi, B=letterbox hybrid, C=CITO, E=event, L=locationless, V=virtual, W=webcam, O=Other, G=Benchmark, R=Earth, and U=mystery/Unknown.


Then is sends the last four log entries %last4 - Last 4 found/not found logs. Found = F, Not Found = N, No log = 0. For example, if the latest log was a not found, the next a found, and there were no more logs this tag would return NF00. Notes are not included in the %last4 tag


So for a waypoint name a cache coded GCABC123 that is a multi cache and had the last log a DNF and the rest finds, would give a name of ABC123-M-NFFF


Waypoint Description : %shortname-%datelf-%dif-%ter-%con1


For the name (which shows up in the NOTES screen of the waymark) you get %ShortName - very similar to the %smart tag with the sole exception that unique names are not guaranteed. This tag is far more efficient as there is no re calculation of the database if you change the length of your short names. This tag also supports the syntax %ShortName=nn


The you get the date last found as if this shows up as a year ago you might want to look at it better before you waste time looking for something not found for a long time.


Then you get difficulty and terrain with a dash between them. The last bit of the description is %con1 - letters used are as follows: R=regular, L=large, M=micro, S=Small, V=Virtual, and U=unknown. If the cache type is not stated, the letter used is U.


This is for a MAP60CSx with limited characters.... works great so far. Just sent this to my caching nephew yesterday so I only had to cut-and-paste the instructions and explaination. Timing is everything!


I'm going to try this one! B) I have a Venture HC so I also have limited characters. I used to have just %code as the Waypoint Name and then %typ1 %name %dif %ter in the description. This is going to be much more helpful, I think! Thanks!! :)

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I like to be able to tell at a glance what is nearby, so I use both GSAK strings and custom icons.

Traditional = Geocache

Multi = Navaid Orange

Mystery = Navaid Violet



For the name, I start with the name of the cache, followed by the container, type, difficulty & terrain:

%smart=9 %con1%typ1%dif1%ter1

For the description, I start with the GC number, (minus the actual GC), then the hint:

%drop2 %hint


The end result? For this cache, which is a multi called "Gotta Go West?" my screen displays an orange dot labeled GottaGoWe RM31. This tells me I'm looking at a regular multi with a D/T of 3/1. The description gives me GZFP Final cache is at the **********. (I edited the actual hint for this post)


Everything I need in one neat package.


Mine is very similar but since many caches don't have a hint, there is the risk of wasted space with your string (not something you want to do with Garmin's limited display). By added anything else useful after hint you are going to either get the hint if there is one, or if there isn't, you will get your alternative. You have nothing to loose by adding another code. I chose the last four finds. My description reads like this:


%drop2 %hint %last4


My main field reads like this:


%smart %dif1%ter1 %typ=1%con1%bug=*


Sometimes I think I would like to put the GC number up top in the description for the reasons mentioned above, it is useful for caching with others. Also, when I go to log my caches, I use the calendar function and for each date I have to select the cache rather than just look at one screen for the numbers. I might just change it. Presently I have the smart name set for 7 in the set up area.

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After some initial trial and error, I settled on the following strings a few years ago:


Waypoint name: %drop2 %typ1%con1%dif1a%ter1a


Waypoint description: %last4


I've found this small amount of info seems to works best when I'm caching on the fly (GPS only) - just knowing the type, container, difficulty and terrain serves me pretty well.


The GC number makes it easy to find my 'founds' when I get home and stuffing the last four log types in the description helps me decide if I'm 'wasting too much time': if I don't have extra information with me, a string of DNF's may mean it might be best for me to move on until I get that info.


I've played around a bit with smart names, date placed and last found, but have found that I don't use that information enough to justify the clutter.


See? I am low-maintenance.



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For my Gsak string I set the name to 14 characters then its

%drop2 %name

description: %con1 D%dif/T%ter %last4 %datelf

I use this with the custom icon macro to give me all the basic information at a glance

If I need more then I consult cachemate or the website.

I use similar strings for the ones loaded as POI's

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I still think %last4 should be in there regardless of the other selected info. Knowing what the last four visits produced is a great piece of info. Seeing NNNN is a definite flag to whip out the ol' PDA and see what's up with the cache before wasting any time on searching for some MIA cache that the owner hasn't maintained in a year. Or a good time to put some other's to shame finding a cache that's just plain old really hard to find :anibad:

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For use with my Garmin GPSmap 60CSx (I use custom symbols to indicate the cache type):


Waypoint name = "%smart %children %smart%c_Prefix" (with smart name length set to 12)


This cuts the maximum waypoint smart name to 12 characters and tacks on the 2 character "prefix" for additional (child) waypoints. I like to be able to match the child waypoint name to the cache listing using the 2 character designation.


Waypoint description = "%drop2 %con1%dif1%ter1%bug=+-%last4 %ownerName"


The cache's code (minus the useless GC) helps when posting the log and when geocaching with someone who has a GPSr that only supports short waypoint names. (To convert the one digit terrain/difficulty number, which gives you a number from 1 to 9, just add 1 to digit and divide by 2, thus 6 yields 7/2= 3.5)


A cache with travel bugs has a '+' character, otherwise it has a '-' character. That is followed by four characters that represent the last four logs. Lastly, the cache owner name is listed. It often helps to know who hide the cache as different cachers have different styles (e.g. infiniteMPG who posted above :laughing: ).

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Just got a new GPSMAP60csx and need some help in getting the string to show more that the frist so many letters of the hint:


I am running it as follows:


Waypoint name: %code-%bug=YN

Waypoint description: %hint


I thought this gps had up to 88 characters available in the description?

Edited by Team Cobra UK
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Just got a new GPSMAP60csx and need some help in getting the string to show more that the frist so many letters of the hint:


I am running it as follows:


Waypoint name: %code-%bug=YN

Waypoint description: %hint


I thought this gps had up to 88 characters available in the description?

Did you know that you can use this POI Loader macro to put the cache listing on your 60CSx? (and others)


See http://gsak.net/board/index.php?showtopic=8926

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OK, i'm confused ... how do i use "Strings"?
"Strings" is probably a poor, or at least misleading, choice of word for this. The thread is referring to GSAK's "special tags" that can be used to customize what and how GSAK writes the waypoint name and waypoint description to your GPS when sending to your GPS.


Look at the Send Waypoints to GPS and the Special Tags reference in the GSAK help file for more information.

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For export to Miomaps:

Waypoint name: %con=1 %Name %typ=1 bug=%bug %drop2

maximum characters = 60

It can do names up to 109 but it shrinks the text to fit on one line so it gets hard for me to read.

Then I have to run a custom macro that Kai Team helped me develop to make the names render semi correctly in a KML file.


For export to BeelineGPS:

Waypoint name: %drop2 bug=%bug %Name

Cache description:%con=3 (%Dif/%Ter) %macro="DandH"

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So, how does one figure out what works best on their particular GPS? For example, i have an eTrex Summit HC ... are there "preferred" ways of using tags on this unit?


Thanks guys!

Experimentation, you could get recommendations from people that know the limitations of your particular unit but you may still want to experiment to find the "best for you".

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