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Paperless Caching Noob


wrtiii
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Ok So 2nd Time out this afternoon with my new 60csx and PDA. Yesterday I went out found a few caches using GPXSonar. Came home and ended up downloading the GPS Unit to Mapsource and just following my track and manually logging all my caches from mapsource. As I logged them under my account I sent my gf messages on msn with the GC code and whether we found it, didn't or just noted something and then she manually added hers later as well. I never made use of any of the data I inputted into GPXSonar at all.

 

To prepare for going out this afternoon I did a brand new pocket query, I deleted all my files from my PDA and removed all my stuff from my GPS. I then preloaded my gps with the 10 - 15 waypoints I generally like to have at all times... Home, GF's Work, 5 Pita Pit locations, 5 Value Village locations, Cabelas, and Pet Traders store.

 

I purchased cachemate blindly and loaded that onto my pda.

 

So now I loaded the gpx file into mapsource and transfered all that data to my GPS. So now my GPS contains 500 cache waypoints + 12 already existing waypoints.

 

Now I loaded the GPX file into cachemate as well.

 

I noticed that my PQ did not return on 3 caches I knew I wanted to make it to so I manually navigated to those cache sights and downloaded each caches individual gpx file. and used the send to gps option for each.

 

So now I have 4 gpx files on my gps and 515 waypoints on my 60csx.

 

Now I'm ready to walk out the door when I realize I have no way to easily find or know which 3 caches I wanted to go to for sure. So I played with cachemate a little managed to Add a Bookmark column to the display and bookmarked the 3 caches. Now I sort by bookmark and voila.

 

So I went out geocaching found a buncha, logged notes, finds and did not finds into cachemate for each cache I went to.

 

Now I am back home.

 

So I have a 60csx which has 1 Track for the afternoon, 515 waypoints, 5 marked as found caches, and I think 2 caches I did not find and 1 cache was not able to get to so want to log a note on. If I was to rely on only the gps unit then I would have no idea which the 2 DNF and 1 Note caches were unless I took a look at my tracks and used my memory to know which ones.

 

But I have cachemate and I already wrote in my notes and logged my DNF's as well as my finds on cachemate.. So I should be good to go??

 

So this is where my problems begin..

 

I've got GSAK installed but so far have no used it for anything except to load my PQ's into it for no apprant reason.

 

What do I do with my notes in cachemate and how do I get them into logged entries on geocaching.com

I'm using a Dell Axim X3 so best I can tell I have more than enough memory space for caches.

 

What I need to do now.

 

Log my afternoons work.

 

and I need to know how to prepare for next time.. of course as it is now I could just get up and continue on caching with my current setup.

 

How should I run my next PQ? My previous PQ was for All Caches within 100 miles that were traditional and small or large only.

 

It returned 500+ caches. So should I narrow the distance until I get less than 500 returned? that way I know that I have ALL the cahces inside a certain radius? and then just move my center point to one direction by 1 km and rerun the search each time?

 

I am guessing this is where GSAK comes in? IF I was to wipe out my PDA and GPS then I would end up back at caches I've already done. If I leave them as is I am limited to only caching within my already assigned area.. well some nights I like to go outside the city...

 

So I am guessing I just keep running PQ's and building up a large database within GSAK and then use GSAK and filtering options to generate a GPX file tailored to what I plan to go out and do at the moment. I can properly save filter sets so it makes it easy to do?

 

GSAK Filters for Day to DAy USe

GSAK Filters for Going to Snakes Dens

GSAK Filters for Going East of City

etc etc.

 

So right now I need to know what it means and how to "hotsync?" my pda and update my GSAK with my finds etc.???

 

but what about when I do my next PQ and load it into GSAK? Will it update my already found stuff and overwrite it as not found?

 

How do I ensure that when I send my next GPX file to my pda I don't overwrite my already found caches recorded there??

 

I don't want to end up at the same cache twice..

 

I am sure if I manually log all my caches from this afternoon.. Wipe out my PDA and GPS.. Now I would reload my 12 manitoba waypoints. And I would run a new PQ for Traditional Small and Large Caches that I have NOT found and are NOT owned by me.. Then I could load that GPX I am emailed into Mapsource and transfer those waypoints to the GPS and copy the file onto my PDA and open it with Cachemate. And then aimlessly load that one into GSAK which would update any already existing and add any new caches to my GSAK Database which I have not yet made use of.. I imagined it would update a cerain many and probaly add at least 6 new ones which would replace the 6 I found this afternoon. So as long as my PQ stays the same and I keep finding stuff in the area eventually my PQ would start returning less than 500...

 

 

 

Whelp, Thanks for reading my long winded post ( I have read many many other posts and nothing seems to put all this together)

 

Any advice is welcome. Please feel free to speculate on how to do it. It's seems so easy yet so difficult. Really just need someone to walk me through it once I am sure.

 

Cheers,

 

wrtiii

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Wow, I really don't know what you are doing but I will tell you how I did it on my 60CSX and my PDA using GSAK and Cachemate.

 

First, I have a set number of PQ's that I run daily and weekly. This gives me a fresh amount of caches weekly of around 3000 caches in my immediate area. I run different ones for what I am interested in. I make sure that I run 4 or less per day so that I can create one immediate PQ for the day if I am going to a new area on the spur of the moment. I usually use the map to center in on the area I want and then select the create PQ option.

 

From here I load it into GSAK and filter out the caches I want to search for and make sure it's less than 500 to load into my GPS. I send that info to the GPS and then I send the same info to my PDA. I do not use the POI loader or have hints on my GPS, that's what I use the PDA for. I do have my settings for the CSX as follows, %drop2 %smart, to get a shortened version of the GC# and the actual name of the cache.

 

I then go out and go caching. I logged my finds in both the PDA and the CSX. For my notes or DNF's, I would make notes on the PDA and move them to a different folder within the PDA under Cachemate.

 

When I got home I would open GC.com and open the first cache that I found and then click on the map to open it. This would allow me to see the caches I went for and I would click on each icon and log them as needed. To remember the order of my finds I would open the calendar feature on the CSX and click on the day and it would list, in order, my finds. I would follow this order in logging on GC.com.

 

I never really got into reloading the info back into GSAK from the PDA. Once I logged my find on GC.com, I would then select the GPXexcahnge File button and update my find into GSAK via this option.

 

Once you make it a find in GSAK, it remain a find. Once you log it as a find on GC.com, it remains a find and will not show up in your PQ as long as you have it set up to not filter your finds. I would update the PDA every time I went out so it would never have anything in there I already found. As long as you keep GSAK up to date when you send the info to your PDA, it will never update your found caches because you should be sending only unfound caches to the PDA.

 

The only thing I used Mapsource for was to create routes of where I wanted to go. This feature was good when I was doing urban caches and needed to drive around a lot. I would start at the first cache and then create routes to every cache that I planned on going to. I didn't use it to remember the caches I visited because I used the calendar feature on the CSX and the PDA to record that information.

 

Does this make sense? I'm a little tired and I started to ramble on also.

 

Edited to add: you can email me via my profile if you have more questions or if I didn't answer something to your understanding.

Edited by ao318
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First, I have a set number of PQ's that I run daily and weekly. This gives me a fresh amount of caches weekly of around 3000 caches in my immediate area. I run different ones for what I am interested in. I make sure that I run 4 or less per day so that I can create one immediate PQ for the day if I am going to a new area on the spur of the moment. I usually use the map to center in on the area I want and then select the create PQ option.

 

What would an example of those 4 PQ's be? So far I have only really run "Run Once Delete After" type ones

 

From here I load it into GSAK and filter out the caches I want to search for and make sure it's less than 500 to load into my GPS. I send that info to the GPS and then I send the same info to my PDA. I do not use the POI loader or have hints on my GPS, that's what I use the PDA for. I do have my settings for the CSX as follows, %drop2 %smart, to get a shortened version of the GC# and the actual name of the cache.

 

What do you mean %drop2 and %smart? shortened versions of the GC#? I don't follow please explain? It definatly is a pain typing out the GC number into the 60csx... I really find the directional rocker button to be quite finicky.. wish I had of seen that as a Con on my reviews of it..

 

I then go out and go caching. I logged my finds in both the PDA and the CSX. For my notes or DNF's, I would make notes on the PDA and move them to a different folder within the PDA under Cachemate.

 

Move them to a different folder??

 

 

When I got home I would open GC.com and open the first cache that I found and then click on the map to open it. This would allow me to see the caches I went for and I would click on each icon and log them as needed. To remember the order of my finds I would open the calendar feature on the CSX and click on the day and it would list, in order, my finds. I would follow this order in logging on GC.com.

 

I never really got into reloading the info back into GSAK from the PDA. Once I logged my find on GC.com, I would then select the GPXexcahnge File button and update my find into GSAK via this option.

 

Once you make it a find in GSAK, it remain a find. Once you log it as a find on GC.com, it remains a find and will not show up in your PQ as long as you have it set up to not filter your finds. I would update the PDA every time I went out so it would never have anything in there I already found. As long as you keep GSAK up to date when you send the info to your PDA, it will never update your found caches because you should be sending only unfound caches to the PDA.

 

The only thing I used Mapsource for was to create routes of where I wanted to go. This feature was good when I was doing urban caches and needed to drive around a lot. I would start at the first cache and then create routes to every cache that I planned on going to. I didn't use it to remember the caches I visited because I used the calendar feature on the CSX and the PDA to record that information.

 

Does this make sense? I'm a little tired and I started to ramble on also.

 

Edited to add: you can email me via my profile if you have more questions or if I didn't answer something to your understanding.

 

I imagine this is just another method of manually doing it.. sorta like what I have been doing now except I have never logged any finds into GSAK and I load my tracks into mapsource from the GPS and then just follow along my tracks for the day and manually input each cache as I get to it. Then I delete all my waypoints from my gps and clear the tracks in prep for next time I will be going out..

 

So I guess I wanna try and make the manually method of inputting them easier.. I mean why spend the time on the trail typing notes into the pda if you gotta just type them out again when you get home.. my memory is not so bad that I would forget what I did thoughout the day..

 

Bill

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I have been wondering the same thing, I have only been using cachemate for a week or so and haven't figured out how to get my notes from cachemate back to my desktop and able to use them either through GSAK or GC.com to log finds/dnfs/etc. I will see if someone smarter than me can answer here or I will search google tomorrow heh. Too tired to search tonight:)

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First, I have a set number of PQ's that I run daily and weekly. This gives me a fresh amount of caches weekly of around 3000 caches in my immediate area. I run different ones for what I am interested in. I make sure that I run 4 or less per day so that I can create one immediate PQ for the day if I am going to a new area on the spur of the moment. I usually use the map to center in on the area I want and then select the create PQ option.

 

What would an example of those 4 PQ's be? So far I have only really run "Run Once Delete After" type ones

 

On Wednesday I run traditional only in area of 15 miles not found and do not own, puzzles in an area of 30 miles not found do not own, etc. I then send these PQ’s to GSAK for updating my current data base. I do not delete these PQ’s as I have them checked to run weekly.

 

From here I load it into GSAK and filter out the caches I want to search for and make sure it's less than 500 to load into my GPS. I send that info to the GPS and then I send the same info to my PDA. I do not use the POI loader or have hints on my GPS, that's what I use the PDA for. I do have my settings for the CSX as follows, %drop2 %smart, to get a shortened version of the GC# and the actual name of the cache.

 

What do you mean %drop2 and %smart? shortened versions of the GC#? I don't follow please explain? It definatly is a pain typing out the GC number into the 60csx... I really find the directional rocker button to be quite finicky.. wish I had of seen that as a Con on my reviews of it..

 

It appears that you are entering your things by hand, that’s what GSAK is for when you use the send to GPS function.

In GSAK, open your help window. From here, look up the “smart names” option and click on it. Once you have read that, open the “special tags” option and it will list everything that you can have to put on your GPS for the name and number etc.

 

I then go out and go caching. I logged my finds in both the PDA and the CSX. For my notes or DNF's, I would make notes on the PDA and move them to a different folder within the PDA under Cachemate.

 

Move them to a different folder??

 

In cachemate, you can edit your categories. I created one for DNF’s and one for Note’s. Once I edited the information on the PDA I would then send that cache to one of the specified locations. It automatically moves it when you mark found but when I made a note or DNF’d, I would select the category I wanted to classify the cache into. Here is where I would pick DNF or Note. From the main cachemate page you can click on the arrow on the right and select just the caches in that selection you want. Found, DNF, Note, Not found, etc. Here is all the info you logged into your PDA.

 

When I got home I would open GC.com and open the first cache that I found and then click on the map to open it. This would allow me to see the caches I went for and I would click on each icon and log them as needed. To remember the order of my finds I would open the calendar feature on the CSX and click on the day and it would list, in order, my finds. I would follow this order in logging on GC.com.

 

I never really got into reloading the info back into GSAK from the PDA. Once I logged my find on GC.com, I would then select the GPXexcahnge File button and update my find into GSAK via this option.

 

Once you make it a find in GSAK, it remain a find. Once you log it as a find on GC.com, it remains a find and will not show up in your PQ as long as you have it set up to not filter your finds. I would update the PDA every time I went out so it would never have anything in there I already found. As long as you keep GSAK up to date when you send the info to your PDA, it will never update your found caches because you should be sending only unfound caches to the PDA.

 

The only thing I used Mapsource for was to create routes of where I wanted to go. This feature was good when I was doing urban caches and needed to drive around a lot. I would start at the first cache and then create routes to every cache that I planned on going to. I didn't use it to remember the caches I visited because I used the calendar feature on the CSX and the PDA to record that information.

 

Does this make sense? I'm a little tired and I started to ramble on also.

 

Edited to add: you can email me via my profile if you have more questions or if I didn't answer something to your understanding.

 

 

I imagine this is just another method of manually doing it.. sorta like what I have been doing now except I have never logged any finds into GSAK and I load my tracks into mapsource from the GPS and then just follow along my tracks for the day and manually input each cache as I get to it. Then I delete all my waypoints from my gps and clear the tracks in prep for next time I will be going out..

 

So I guess I wanna try and make the manually method of inputting them easier.. I mean why spend the time on the trail typing notes into the pda if you gotta just type them out again when you get home.. my memory is not so bad that I would forget what I did thoughout the day..

 

Correct. It's just another way of doing it. You can import your notes and info from the PDA back into GSAK via downloading but I never did it or tried it because I usually only went out for no more than 10-15 caches max. I can remember which ones I DNF'd and I made notes on the PDA and moved those to the appropriate category on the PDA for reference later on.

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Cachemate has a plugin that you need to install. It is on the Smittyware website and is called Colorado Notes Export. This will allow you to export a field notes file that can either be uploaded to GC.com for logging or can be used with the Field Notes Import and Log macro for gsak. Either way, exporting the field notes file from Cachemate is the missing link. Hope this helps.

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