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Ideas on a newer GPS


the_divepirate
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I was out the other day/night with my Garmin GPS V. While it got me to the general spot it was quite challenging to say the least. It was not as precise as I thought it would be. I understand the newer models are a lot more accurate and have some real crazy features. Yes it would be nice to have a picture as the marker instead of some general symbol. But, is it really worth all that? I know that this will open a can of worms, but I really would like to know all your thoughts on the subject. By the way, we never did find the cash..... :antenna: Didn't want to stir up to much curiosity on the corner. We looked for another site but it seemed to be right smack dab in the middle of a parking lot. So, we called it off for the night and would wait for another night and am now on the hunt for a better GPS. I have a couple in mind but would like to hear your thoughts first.

Thanks in advance....

DP

 

One more thing......

What is every ones view on the best prices.

Edited by the_divepirate
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Hi & welcome to Geocaching ;)

 

Yep the Garmin GPS V is a fairly old model, but if you're using it in an open area that has clear view of the sky, and the satellite constellation is in good position, the V is probably (almost) as accurate as a current model. The new ones start to shine when using them in more challenging conditions like heavy tree cover. Yes the newer ones will be a bit more accurate in general, but even *they* won't get you to within a foot or two of the cache,, contrary to some peoples opinions :antenna:

 

Expect the GPSr to get you to within ~15 feet of the spot. Once that close, put the device in your pocket & just use your eyes to find your treasure ;)

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i'd say that under good conditions, my GPSr (oregon 450) reliably gets my within 2-3 meters of the coordinates, which pretty much corresponds to the highest accuracy ratings it shows (3 meters). many times it will get me even closer, within arm's reach, or occasionally will make me almost step on the cache, but since this is not the most common case, i can't say that this is how accurate it is.

 

under not so good reception conditions (heavy tree cover, surrounding hills, rain, etc) accuracy quickly drops and it will start sending me all over the place. however, after several approaches to where it thinks GZ is, each of which will bring me to a different spot, a certain tendency towards some area will become obvious and that's where GZ will be. in other words, i keep following it around and some times it will bring me to some random spot, but overall it will keep me bringing back to the same location. from that i can deduct where the coordinates really are.

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i am surprised no one has mentioned this yet.

you said you were in the middle of a parking lot correct?

 

by chance was there a light pole in the middle of said parking lot?

if so it could be a LPC. more affectionately called a lamp post cache. those that find them are called skirt lifters at times.

 

cachers can be verry creative ppl. so ya might want to spend some time learning a few things.

check out the cool cache container thread for starters

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=62421

get familiar with what containers are deemed what size.

micro, small, regular, large. then there are the nano's. they are not marked as such but in the description it might say they are a nano or a blinkie. (nano and blinkie same thing. these are not much bigger then a pencil eraser)

there are various threads around here to help put a size to a container to help.

 

there are many who still use old gps units as well as some who cannot swing the money for a new fancy unit so they stick with the old and or cheaper units and find caches with them.

 

it will take some time to get things figured out.

 

yes paperless and the new units are great, but as i have read many a time here they are not needed to find caches. it is usually a convenience thing with them. as well as you can load more caches with more info at one time.

 

this however it something that can open a big can of worms and can be a big learning curve. as not everything is a cut and dried thing.

 

spend some time reading.

look up local events to see about getting some help from a local cacher with some time tohelp you out.

 

good luck.

 

we went our first weekend out with 0-7 back in late july. and we went another weekend with less then half since then.

 

another tip you might want to look for 1/1's or 1.5/1.5's in a regular size for starters.

that is difficulty/terrain ratings. they go from 1-5 in .5 increments. 1 being wheelchair accessible.

regulars can be close to size of a shoebox.

 

Monty

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Thanks Monty,

The one that was in the middle of the lot was a ? cache. In the middle of the lot was a man hole. We lifted the cover and nothing. It was dark so I must have not been ale to se the the cache itself. After looking again, the description has changed to a riddle that is coded. How does one figure out these codes? I'm kinda looking for a unit that can usb upload the cache sites.

Joe

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Thanks Monty,

The one that was in the middle of the lot was a ? cache. In the middle of the lot was a man hole. We lifted the cover and nothing. It was dark so I must have not been ale to se the the cache itself. After looking again, the description has changed to a riddle that is coded. How does one figure out these codes? I'm kinda looking for a unit that can usb upload the cache sites.

Joe

If it was a puzzle cache then maybe there were some numbers written on the manhole cover that you were supposed to find and use, or something like that? I really doubt they wanted you to pull the cover up & crawl inside :antenna:

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I was out the other day/night with my Garmin GPS V. While it got me to the general spot it was quite challenging to say the least. It was not as precise as I thought it would be. I understand the newer models are a lot more accurate and have some real crazy features. Yes it would be nice to have a picture as the marker instead of some general symbol. But, is it really worth all that? I know that this will open a can of worms, but I really would like to know all your thoughts on the subject. By the way, we never did find the cash..... :antenna: Didn't want to stir up to much curiosity on the corner. We looked for another site but it seemed to be right smack dab in the middle of a parking lot. So, we called it off for the night and would wait for another night and am now on the hunt for a better GPS. I have a couple in mind but would like to hear your thoughts first.

Thanks in advance....

DP

 

One more thing......

What is every ones view on the best prices.

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So then night time is not the greatest time I take it.

The GPS works equally well at night as in the day. The satellites are not orbiting the Earth in a geo-synchronous orbit, so they will move across the sky. For best results, you want the satellites to be positioned all over the sky, not bunched up in one spot. The system works by estimating the distance from you to each satellite, and then computing the intersection of those lines. I'm not sure how to tell what the best time of day is. I just know that certain times will be better than other times because of the movement of the satellites.

 

In my experience, the system will work best on days with no clouds in the sky, in places where there are no trees or buildings around.

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So then night time is not the greatest time I take it.

The GPS works equally well at night as in the day. The satellites are not orbiting the Earth in a geo-synchronous orbit, so they will move across the sky. For best results, you want the satellites to be positioned all over the sky, not bunched up in one spot. The system works by estimating the distance from you to each satellite, and then computing the intersection of those lines. I'm not sure how to tell what the best time of day is. I just know that certain times will be better than other times because of the movement of the satellites.

 

In my experience, the system will work best on days with no clouds in the sky, in places where there are no trees or buildings around.

 

I realize how the GPS works..... But it is a little awkward with flashlights swarming around at night on a street corner. For the (in words of another) muggles around that are not into the game. Thanks for your concern though.

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Thanks Monty,

The one that was in the middle of the lot was a ? cache. In the middle of the lot was a man hole. We lifted the cover and nothing. It was dark so I must have not been ale to se the the cache itself. After looking again, the description has changed to a riddle that is coded. How does one figure out these codes? I'm kinda looking for a unit that can usb upload the cache sites.

Joe

If it was a puzzle cache then maybe there were some numbers written on the manhole cover that you were supposed to find and use, or something like that? I really doubt they wanted you to pull the cover up & crawl inside :santa:

 

While I did pull the lid, I did not go in. It looked about 4-5' deep and had water in it. I have looked again and now it has more clues. Claiming it is a riddle. These are the clues to the riddle I guess???

 

BGJAI,ACEIB,FJGFJ,IJEIJ,ACGFB,BJEIB,

BYOP,BTW

 

Then it says in the extra clue, Downhill side of tree.

 

Any help in solving this clue? Is there a book of possible codes?

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I realize how the GPS works..... But it is a little awkward with flashlights swarming around at night on a street corner. For the (in words of another) muggles around that are not into the game. Thanks for your concern though.

Ah, I misunderstood. Yes, I have found it is best to go out in the daytime. First, you can see better with the sun out! Second, the police are more likely to stop you after dark.

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Thanks Monty,

The one that was in the middle of the lot was a ? cache. In the middle of the lot was a man hole. We lifted the cover and nothing. It was dark so I must have not been ale to se the the cache itself. After looking again, the description has changed to a riddle that is coded. How does one figure out these codes? I'm kinda looking for a unit that can usb upload the cache sites.

Joe

 

With many ? caches the posted coordinates are not the location of the cache. You need to solve some sort of puzzle to determine the actual coordinates.

 

As for your GPS V, 8 years ago many considered it to be the cream of hand held GPS units. It should still work fine for geocaching today. You won't gain very much in accuracy with newer units, except under perhaps heavy tree cover. The newer units offer better reception in difficult conditions and features like the ability to load the entire cache page to the unit.

 

Thousands of people geocached successfully with a GPS V over the years and I know a handful of people who still swear by theirs.

 

Even the newest units will only put you in the general area and are often 10-30 feet off and sometimes more.

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So what are the differences between the Oregon and the Colorado versions? I've seen both and wondered what the difference was?

 

One major difference is the input method - the Colorado uses a wheel and buttons and the Oregon has a touch screen. Another difference is that the Colorado is discontinued. A lot comes down to personal preferences, but I think the Colorado is still a great unit. The Colorado wiki lists the technical differences, which does not take into account firmware updates and differences in specific models, but is a good place to start. Groundspeak's gpsr reviews can also be helpful when comparing units.

 

Generally I do not load puzzles (? caches) into the gpsr unless I have solved them and can determine the coordinates or clues. But one of the biggest differences between older units and some of the newer ones (like the 62, Oregon, or Colorado) is the paperless information - the description, hints, and recent logs - that the latter provide. This can make a big difference when you get to a busy street corner and are not sure where to begin your search. Even under the best conditions, if your unit is "accurate" it does not mean that the cache coordinates would take you to where the cache is placed, there are a lot of variables. It can be handy to have the cache information on your gpsr in such circumstances.

Edited by mulvaney
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glad i could help.

how about the GC number of that ? cache you were trying to find and we can offer up some help with that.

tonight there were 2 new puzzle caches posted here. i have been working on them.

at the beginning of a puzzle cache (?) it will say whether or not it is at the posted coordinates. well usually it does. there are exceptions of course.

 

the first was easy and had it solved on the second attempt. mispelled word on my part.

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...a4-ca0ede5661b9

 

the second one i have tried twice already and have not solved it yet. so i will shelf it for the night and try again tomorrow.

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...6d-3005495b2250

 

i believe these are on the easier end of things. straight forward to figure out words and put into the spot and then do some converting of letters to numbers and mayb some simple math and then use geochecker to check your answer.

sometimes they use the a=1 b=2 c=3 and sometimes they use the method to encrypt the hints on here. whichis offset by 13 i think.

 

there are some where you have to solve in the field with info on signs and headstones and such. again putting the found info into a formula to solve. but no geochecker in the field.

 

i have solved a few puzzles but have yet to go out and find them. we normally stick to traditional caches. have only done 3 multi's so far.

 

definite benefit to having more info on the gps with a paperless unit as well as being able to load it from the computer vs printing out cache info. less chance of error in entering coordinates.

it comes down to you and money available to buy a new unit as well as well as what you want out of it.

 

so many things to ask and figure out.

personally i would use what you have for right now. as you figure out things then make a feature shopping list and then look mayb into a new unit.

 

good luck

 

Monty

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Joe

 

I too have a golden oldie, a Magellan Meridian Gold which was top of the line (for about 10 minutes) back in the day. :huh:

 

I've recently bitten the GC bug again and after doing some reading on the new hardware I think I would give a vital body part for a new Oregon 450 but I just can't justify the expense for the inner techno geek in me. Plus my old Magellan has worked perfectly for the limited time I've been able to get out and hunt.

 

I think you will find, like I did, after you get used to entering the coordinates manually into you V it's really pretty fast unless you're going to do some marathon 100 cache day or something. I can enter 10 caches in under 10 minutes

 

Welcome to a fun sport!

 

Bob

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Joe

 

I too have a golden oldie, a Magellan Meridian Gold which was top of the line (for about 10 minutes) back in the day. :huh:

 

I've recently bitten the GC bug again and after doing some reading on the new hardware I think I would give a vital body part for a new Oregon 450 but I just can't justify the expense for the inner techno geek in me. Plus my old Magellan has worked perfectly for the limited time I've been able to get out and hunt.

 

I think you will find, like I did, after you get used to entering the coordinates manually into you V it's really pretty fast unless you're going to do some marathon 100 cache day or something. I can enter 10 caches in under 10 minutes

 

Welcome to a fun sport!

 

Bob

 

I used a meridian until it gave up the ghost, but never trusted manually entered coordinates. I used the serial cable to transfer my pq, but from what I recall you could also use the sd card and transfer the coordinates to the unit through GSAK.

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Thank you all!!! So, in reality, my Garmin V is acceptable for caching in the modern day. I should just get out during the day and see what comes of it. Thanks again!!!

Joe

Eventually you might find the better reception, paperless caching and other features in newer units to be enticing, but until that day comes your GPS V will absolutely do the job.

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Thanks Monty,

The one that was in the middle of the lot was a ? cache. In the middle of the lot was a man hole. We lifted the cover and nothing. It was dark so I must have not been ale to se the the cache itself. After looking again, the description has changed to a riddle that is coded. How does one figure out these codes? I'm kinda looking for a unit that can usb upload the cache sites.

Joe

 

I have the Garmin Dakota 10 and i love it for this exact reason. All I do is plug the usb cord in and on the geocaching.com site I hit send to GPS and it's done. Then, on the GPS i can view the hints, description and the logs, which is super helpful

 

As for accuracy, in the city it's not very friendly and can send us into drunken bee dance mode for a while but if we walk away and approach from a different angle it can lead us in the right direction. On average I say it can get us within +/- 15 feet of it.

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