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Reverse Geocache completed!


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My friend and I spent the last 7 months building a reverse geocache. He actually was the brains behind it because I'd never have been able to do this or understand it all. But I really wanted to make it for my family. We made some modifications to the original design, including putting in an SD card that creates a file that shows the path someone took to getting to the correct location, which can then be displayed using gpsvisualizer.com, which is a REALLY nice added feature. Here are some pix of the box, which we also made, the innards, where you can see all of the mechanisms, the makers, and then one example of a map from a search.

 

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Annmap.jpg

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Did you build this for fun / to amuse your friends and family, or did you plan on listing this as a geocache for people to find? If this will be listed, then (1) you'll want to be careful how much you divulge here, and (2) there may be a listing guideline issue.

 

Either way, impressive work - thanks for sharing your talent.

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I's not going to be a published geocache. Just using the geocache idea and interest that my family has in caching to make something for them. With all the time and effort and expense that went into this, there's no way I'd let it out of my sight, or the sight of someone I trust. And it certainly wasn't built to be out in the elements.

 

And yep, it does exactly that- opens when it gets to a pre-determined location. I've tried it out with a few of my cacher friends over the last few days and so set it up to take them somewhere specific, and once they get to the correct location, then it opens. Some of the people that have made these have used them to take someone somewhere special, like maybe a romantic location, and then when they're able to open the box, an engagement ring might be inside, with a proposal, just to giv an idea of how it can be used.

 

sshipway, I'll have to ask my friend about sketch code, since I don't even really know what that means! :blink:

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Could a mechanism like this be placed as the first stage of a multi? Obviously there would be issues with a finder returning to replace it for the next searcher, and a mechanism to alert cachers that the "box" was in the field in use, but no more so than multis that have a key at one stage and a locked container at the next.

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What was the approximate cost of this unit? I've used the parallax version of the Arduino and I know that thing would run $200+ with the parallax version.

 

$200 seems too high for me.

 

A minimal version would be approximately:

Arduino: $25

GPS module: $30

Servo Motor: $10 - $15

LCD Screen: $15

Wood Box: $10

Miscellaneous: $20

--------------------

Total: $115

 

(as an aside, why on Earth would you buy an Arduino from Parallax? These are the people that still charge $30 for a Basic Stamp!)

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I've seen these before. This is an improved version, but the initial version only displayed 2 pieces of information. How far you were from the GZ, and how many attempts you took. It would only let you push the button 50 times to zero in on the GZ coordinates, so you had to triangulate where GZ was, take the box there, and et voila, it would open.

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Its like an Arduino Wherigo!

 

That's a great way to put it. Except it has the log built-in! You could build a cache in which the user has to go to a sequence of locations, and then upon return to the original spot the container opens and the log can be signed.

 

Heck, you could even make it more like a Wherigo by having multiple-choice questions at each waypoint, where the user has to push the correct button in order to proceed.

 

Unlike a Wherigo, it would not be easily hackable.

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What was the approximate cost of this unit? I've used the parallax version of the Arduino and I know that thing would run $200+ with the parallax version.

 

$200 seems too high for me.

 

A minimal version would be approximately:

Arduino: $25

GPS module: $30

Servo Motor: $10 - $15

LCD Screen: $15

Wood Box: $10

Miscellaneous: $20

--------------------

Total: $115

 

(as an aside, why on Earth would you buy an Arduino from Parallax? These are the people that still charge $30 for a Basic Stamp!)

I didn't buy the Parallax board, it was one my school purchased. And I was going off the Parallax prices for my very rough estimate.

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Actually, it ended up costing WAY more than $200, just in parts. I think the arduino we ended up having to get, after the first one wouldn't work b/c there wasn't enough memory, was around $75. $40 or so for the GPS. $10 to $20 here and there for assorted parts, like the LCD screen, pusbutton, servo, SD card, card reader, etc. Special shield from Mikal Hart was another expense that I can't even remember the cost of. Could have bought a generic box somewhere like Pier 1- still don't think I could get any decent quality box for $10 as projected above, but I did want to do this on my own, so maple and then dyed birdseye maple veneer and Alumilite to fill the top and such ran over $150. I can't even remember what all else went into it as far as expense, but there was a lot. Mikal Hart, who made the original one, sells them on comission, and I thought at first that making my own would be a money saving project, but I could easily have bought one from him for less than what all I put into it in parts, let alone other costs. But this way I did it myself, which is priceless.

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Very cool.

I have built 2 of these and have both listed as caches:

CacheDuino and CacheDuino II

I use a TB as the "locator" for the caches, which has problems of it's own (someone grabs the TB and holds onto it for weeks)

The cache will open at 1 of 4 random locations. For the most part everything works well.

 

There is also another listed on Vancouver Island Pandors'a Box and there was a 4th also in BC but it was archived recently.

If anyone wants the sketch or help on building one just drop me an email. I hope to do an "Instructable" on the build of it in the near future.

Costs were approx...

GPS ~ $60

LCD ~ $7

Arduino & shield ~ $40 but could be was less with other arduino clone options

Servo ~ $17

etc

 

I also have an "Arduino" booklist:

Cheers

Team K1W1

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Very cool.

I have built 2 of these and have both listed as caches:

CacheDuino and CacheDuino II

I use a TB as the "locator" for the caches, which has problems of it's own (someone grabs the TB and holds onto it for weeks)

The cache will open at 1 of 4 random locations. For the most part everything works well.

 

There is also another listed on Vancouver Island Pandors'a Box and there was a 4th also in BC but it was archived recently.

If anyone wants the sketch or help on building one just drop me an email. I hope to do an "Instructable" on the build of it in the near future.

Costs were approx...

GPS ~ $60

LCD ~ $7

Arduino & shield ~ $40 but could be was less with other arduino clone options

Servo ~ $17

etc

 

I also have an "Arduino" booklist:

Cheers

Team K1W1

Nice but reading Pandora's Box the last holder of the TB listed they put it in Pandora's box. Wasn't it suppose to go in a different cache?

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Nice but reading Pandora's Box the last holder of the TB listed they put it in Pandora's box. Wasn't it suppose to go in a different cache?

 

For "Pandora's Box" I think the actual cache is kept at the CO's place and the TB has instructions on getting the cache.

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