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Pocket query questions? Radius and updating PQ?


Mofino
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Hi fellow cachers, I recently got back into caching and have a Garmin Dakota 20 on the way. (should be here tonight!)I figured out how to do a pocket query easy enough but when I use my zip code or home position as starting point and set a 50 mile radius I preview on the map and all the caches are south of me. I thought a 50 mile radius should go around my area like North South East and West equally. Instead most of the caches are below my home area. What am I doing wrong?

 

My next question is if I do another PQ north of my area and it duplicates some of the caches in my original 50 mile radius will the Garmin delete any duplicates once I put them on the device?

 

And last (thanks for bearing with me here) is how do I update the caches on the device once I download a pocket query? Like if I want to update them every week so new caches are on there or so any that are disabled no longer show do I have to delete the PQ and do and new one every week or is there a way to hook up the Dakota to the computer and update the caches?

 

Thanks so much for any help, happy caching! (update: UPS just showed up and I now have it next to me!)

 

Bob

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Tossed this out to somebody the other day that used postal codes.....

 

FORGET 'EM. Use the maps, find an area you are going to work on, pick a specific cache as your centerpoint and use that GC# to base the PQ on.

 

You see, postal codes encompass an 'area'.... using such you are allowing for the centerpoint to be anywhere in that area -- and you don't get to choose where that is. Use a centerpoint, you'll be much happier with the results.

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Thanks, I'll try an area on the map although I did also try using my home location besides the zip code. Any idea about updating the PQ?

 

I use POI Loader, free from Garmin. And GSAK. Every week, I creatw a new file of caches. I use POI Loader to delete the old ones from Gupy, and install the new set.

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I tried using the nearest cache to my home (right down the street) as a starting point and still none of the towns north of me showed caches. All the caches are only a few miles north of me and the rest all south east and west. I selected a hundred mile radius so something is messed up with how the pq selects a radius. I guess I will do another pq for north towns...

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As far as updating goes, that is a mixed bag. Depends on the unit. We use a Delorme and any again-loaded cache will show up labelled as: GC######-1.

 

I believe you could screen them using GSAK.

 

What we do is simply dump the old PQ and load the new one. Primarily because we found out some time ago that stale data is bad data.

Keep that PQ data available over 3-4 weeks and there will be new caches you do not have AND you will be hunting up caches that may well be archived (and aren't there at all)! So.... fresh is best!

 

Edit to add: PQ's are cheap. At five per day, you can afford to run plenty of them.

Edited by Gitchee-Gummee
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Are you creating a new PQ or are you resubmitting the first PQ? As I understand it, when you resubmit an older PQ, it can take longer for the servers to generate the PQ as new ones get priority. It's possible you are just seeing old data. Try creating a new one with home coordinates selected and see if you get different results.

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does north south cross state lines? or maybe into Canada? just a thought - I would think the query would handle that, but maybe not.

 

If your query area has more then 1000 caches in it, the way the extras are dropped is pretty convoluted.

No it isn't - those closest to the center point are returned first.

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I created a PQ using the zip code 14075. It created a faily circular spread of caches with it's center somwhere between Lackawanna and Blasdell, and goes as far north as Amhurst It did spill over into Canada as well. Looks normal to me.

 

Yea but it did not spill up into Tonawanda and Niagara Falls area which is in a 100 mile radius of Hamburg. I even tried it starting with a cache down the street from me...weird...

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What is the cache code that you are centering on? What was the original zip code that you used? If someone here can duplicate the problem we'll be farther ahead in trying to solve it.

 

GC3CEGQ AND ZIP 14075. A hundred mile radius should have reached well up and past North Tonawanda and Niagara Falls but it only went as far north as Amherst...

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I created a PQ using the zip code 14075. It created a faily circular spread of caches with it's center somwhere between Lackawanna and Blasdell, and goes as far north as Amhurst It did spill over into Canada as well. Looks normal to me.

 

Thanks for looking. That's what I thought was weird was that a 100 mile radius from Hamburg only went as far north as Amherst. It should have gone at least up to North Tonawanda and Niagara Falls.

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Are you creating a new PQ or are you resubmitting the first PQ? As I understand it, when you resubmit an older PQ, it can take longer for the servers to generate the PQ as new ones get priority. It's possible you are just seeing old data. Try creating a new one with home coordinates selected and see if you get different results.

 

I created a new one. Tried again and got same results...

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It may be obvious, but are there actually any caches in the areas not south of you?

 

The postal code/coordinates suggestion above is probably a good bet too.

 

Thanks for trying but yea there are tons of caches up in Tonawanda and Niagara Falls which are well in a 100 mile radius of Hamburg

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As far as updating goes, that is a mixed bag. Depends on the unit. We use a Delorme and any again-loaded cache will show up labelled as: GC######-1.

 

I believe you could screen them using GSAK.

 

What we do is simply dump the old PQ and load the new one. Primarily because we found out some time ago that stale data is bad data.

Keep that PQ data available over 3-4 weeks and there will be new caches you do not have AND you will be hunting up caches that may well be archived (and aren't there at all)! So.... fresh is best!

 

Edit to add: PQ's are cheap. At five per day, you can afford to run plenty of them.

 

Thanks, that makes sense and is easy enough. I'll just delete the old files from the GPX folder on the device and put the new PQs in there every week.

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What is the cache code that you are centering on? What was the original zip code that you used? If someone here can duplicate the problem we'll be farther ahead in trying to solve it.

 

GC3CEGQ AND ZIP 14075. A hundred mile radius should have reached well up and past North Tonawanda and Niagara Falls but it only went as far north as Amherst...

I set up a pocket query centered on GC3CEGQ. I left everything at the defaults, except that I asked for 1,000 caches. Previewing the query gave me a list of 1,000 caches, which means that, very likely, there are more than 1,000 caches within a 100-mile radius of that location, and probably a lot more. In that situation, the algorithm grabs caches beginning at the center point and moves outward until it reaches the number of caches you've specified. When I click "Map this Location", the map shows caches out to, but mostly not including, Tonawanda. The circle of caches doesn't include anything anywhere near Niagara Falls.

 

The circle of 1,000 caches simply doesn't extend out to Niagara Falls.

 

Using a zip code of 14075 gave me roughly the same result, except that the resulting circle of caches is centered a bit south compared to using GC3CEGQ.

 

This all looks normal to me. You simply can't get caches in Niagara Falls using a query centered where you want to center it and given the 1,000-cache limit, because of the way the algorithm grabs those 1,000 caches, starting at the center.

 

--Larry

Edited by larryc43230
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I would have to set up 8 PQs to grab all the caches within 1000 miles of where I live. I can get the max 1000 caches at 20 miles from my home, after that, the caches wont appear. If you want to grab all the caches within 100 miles, use a number of date based PQs as described here. http://www.markwell.us/pq.htm#tips

 

Also this PDF file has some good tips about pocket queries and using GSAK. http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2015732/PQ%20GSAK%20101.pdf

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What is the cache code that you are centering on? What was the original zip code that you used? If someone here can duplicate the problem we'll be farther ahead in trying to solve it.

 

GC3CEGQ AND ZIP 14075. A hundred mile radius should have reached well up and past North Tonawanda and Niagara Falls but it only went as far north as Amherst...

 

You are running up against the fact that a PQ can have a maximum of 1000 caches and there are 4998 caches just within 50 miles of that particular cache. There is no way that you are going to get caches 100 miles away unless you center it 100 miles away, or you narrow your criteria.

 

What is your objective? If it is to get all caches within 100 miles, then you would have to set criteria based on dates. For example, if you set it to get caches published between 1/1/00 and 12/31/04, you get 995 caches. 1/1/05 to 5/31/06 gets you the next 1000. I'll let you figure out the rest, but you are probably looking at over 10 PQs.

 

If you simply want caches located in Niagara Falls, go to the map, pick a geocache in the middle of town and use it to base your PQ on.

Edited by Don_J
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