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ok so i have been out of geocaching for quite some time now and looking forward to getting back into it but was wondering if the use of qr codes on a multi cache has been done or would draw enough inerest for me to do one of my own

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ok so i have been out of geocaching for quite some time now and looking forward to getting back into it but was wondering if the use of qr codes on a multi cache has been done or would draw enough inerest for me to do one of my own

 

I have ever only found one and although it has been discussed many times on the forum it seems to be rarely used, at least where I've cached, so it still should be a fun cache.

 

There is a thread on the forum for the longest streak betwenn finds without finding a cache, you might be a contender.

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Most of the QR caches tend to be mystery caches where the QR code is on the cache page and you get the coordinates from scanning that. I've only done one that was a QR code in the field for a multi. I liked it and would do more like it if they were around. There probably isn't many around wherever you cache, so if you place one, it would be pretty unique.

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We have a couple of mystery caches here where there is a QR code on the back of the cache that you have to scan in order to get the lock code to open the locked container.

 

Only folks with smartphones, or folks that tag along with folks with smartphones can find it.

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Isn't there a guideline against hides that require special equipment to find? It seems like this would fall under that. You have to have a device capable of scanning codes.

With a puzzle cache, a QR code on the cache page can be decoded using online software, so that's not an issue.

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Isn't there a guideline against hides that require special equipment to find? It seems like this would fall under that. You have to have a device capable of scanning codes.

With a puzzle cache, a QR code on the cache page can be decoded using online software, so that's not an issue.

 

There is no guideline against it. Using special tools is an attribute.

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Isn't there a guideline against hides that require special equipment to find? It seems like this would fall under that. You have to have a device capable of scanning codes.

With a puzzle cache, a QR code on the cache page can be decoded using online software, so that's not an issue.

 

It's allowed. I would hope, however, that the CO gave a heads up or at least a good clue as to what is in store for their multi. I would not be amused to hike for an hour only to find that I didn't, and most likely will never have the equipment to finish the multi.

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I did a local multi that had 25 stages, each of which was a QR code that took you to a web page. It was tedious in the extreme, although some of the questions within it were clever.

The problem was that phone reception wasn't always reliable so the website which the QR code took me too wasn't always fast and the web server on the other end was sometimes down.

 

It's possible to do QR codes without a smart phone but you would need to take a camera, photograph the code, return home, upload the photo to a qr code reading site ... I don't think I'd bother!

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Just make that you note in the cache description that it is a QR multi. Why? Because not everyone has a smartphone, and cachers will appreciate knowing ahead of time if they have the right equipment or not.

 

If it was me, I would list it as a puzzle and put a QR code on the cache page that had the number of stages, as well as the coordinates to stage 1.

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On my cache of this type, I specify that a smart phone is needed, but it can also be done without one, but that would require more than one trip. Someone without a smart phone could take a picture of the QR code, then decode it at home with the computer, and return to get the final.

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Only folks with smartphones, or folks that tag along with folks with smartphones can find it.

 

Not quite true. I did a QR code multi with my iPod. All you need is the right App.

 

You can also photograph a barcode, upload the JPG to a site where it can be decoded for you.

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Keep in mind also that having a QR at a stage is as "restrictive" to 'finding' the cache as requiring a ladder to nab a container. ANd, depending on the nature of the hide, one might still be able to nab the container without the ladder, just as one could find another way to decode the qr code with a smartphone (as mentioned, photo, take it home, decode, revisit). If 'special equipment required' is an attribute, then even better.

Heck, I'd say having a Chirp as a cache element is even more "restrictive" to the find than a QR code.

 

Nothing wrong with using QR codes in a multicache. Just make sure people know a proper device is recommended (else provide an alternate (more difficult?) method for solving, like many do with Chirp caches for those without chirp devices).

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Bumping a thread that's nearly 3,000 days old, have people's feelings changed towards QR code stage multi's?

 

With mobiles being a bit more ubiquitous and many camera apps having built in QR code capacity, would a QR code stage in a multi still count as "needs special equipment"? It would definitely require at minimum a "this cache has a QR code you need to read" message on the cache page.

 

I'm in negotiations with a business to place a cache near them (they have a nice statue out the front, which I think is worth visiting) but no place to put a proper sized container; I'd rather not put out another nano. So I'd been considering either placing a bit of engraved metal or a sticker with a QR code that finders could get information from to walk around the corner where the container is in a more discrete location for signing. I can put text (or simple numbers) onto a bit of metal, but I figured a discrete sticker might be a bit less intrusive.

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42 minutes ago, Unit473L said:

With mobiles being a bit more ubiquitous and many camera apps having built in QR code capacity, would a QR code stage in a multi still count as "needs special equipment"? It would definitely require at minimum a "this cache has a QR code you need to read" message on the cache page.

In my area, QR codes as multi stages are very common. But clearly saying in the listing, that a QR reader is necessary, is still expected by the cachers (and rightly so).

 

29 minutes ago, fuzziebear3 said:

I would probably think it was part of that other game.

I more than once had it the other way round ;). A high-D multi with several stages, at least one QR code (because it said so in the listing), and at one stage I'm searching and searching ... eventually, I find a QR code, and think "Yes!!" - only to find out it's a m**** :o.

 

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10 hours ago, fuzziebear3 said:

Not a fan of scanning random QR codes, and I wouldn't really recognize it as a stage of a geocache.  I would probably think it was part of that other game.

You could put a sticker (or metal) with the coordinates to the final, that would be more of a stage of a geocache.

 

All you need is an app that you trust, which doesn't "run" whatever is encoded, but just shows you the result of the decode. QR codes are natively 100% safe.  They're only unsafe when it's like an email program that automatically executes email attachments.  Those apps are Bad Bad Bad.  A QR code is just encoded text/characters; no reason to be hesitant about them if you have the right tool. 

 

That other game, for example, recognizes if a decoded qr is an "approved" result and opens it in their own app if so, so  is also entirely trustworthy as far as that is concerned. And to my knowledge the iPhone camera now doesn't do anything with a scanned qr code except show you what it wants to do with it, so you can confirm that action if you wish - but I still prefer apps that just display the decoded response in raw form for you to decide.

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11 hours ago, fuzziebear3 said:

You could put a sticker (or metal) with the coordinates to the final, that would be more of a stage of a geocache.

 

I'm tempted to go more that way, a plain text sticker (or bit of metal) with some text. The only issue is data density - for those of us with less-than-perfect eyesight, small text under something in an awkward spot could be quite difficult for some, less difficult for others. I don't think "bring a child with good eyes" is a valid Special Tool Required item! With a QR code, the person can aim their device at it and then look at the text in the size of their choice, and I could fit more text in a smaller area.

 

As for the Game That Shall Not Be Named, that's a valid point. It isn't very popular in my area, but there's always the chance that some new player will drop by and place one there, leading to confusion.

 

Would it be too spoiler-iffic if the sticker had the QR code, but the information in plain text as well? That would be more inclusive for finders, though it would kind of negate the need to have the QR code at all. Unless someone has a suggestion on how to encode information in a "X marks the spot" kind of way for GeoCachers which will also be meaningless to Muggles? 

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18 minutes ago, Unit473L said:
11 hours ago, fuzziebear3 said:

You could put a sticker (or metal) with the coordinates to the final, that would be more of a stage of a geocache.

 

I'm tempted to go more that way, a plain text sticker (or bit of metal) with some text. The only issue is data density - for those of us with less-than-perfect eyesight, small text under something in an awkward spot could be quite difficult for some, less difficult for others.

Why do you want to present text? Can you not put it in the cache description?

Just put up an easy to read number and make up a formula (in the description) to calculate the final coordinates.

 

I guess there are clever and creative ways to use QR-Codes in stages but I don't understand why holding up a smartphone to get "A=3523" or the next coordinate is so much more fun than finding an (even smaller and less obtrusive) plaque with "A=3523".

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The objectives are, in order of importance:

  • Have information available for finders to get from the listed coords to the container and logbook.
  • Have the information in a format that won't lead non-players to the container.
  • Have the minimum impact on the business.
  • Be different, or at least "fun".

I already have a multi in the city where WP1 has a laminated bit of paper (in a preform tube) which just lists ten numbers. If a random person finds it, they'll see a list of numbers and have no clue what they mean or how to use them to get to WP2. So I already know that works. With a QR code, I can provide a bit of text such as "around the corner, tenth fence post, look in branch" or similar, rather than just numbers. I haven't found any caches in Darwin that involve QR codes, so that would make it stand out a bit - with the trade off being that as noted in this thread, some people are reluctant to scan unknown codes or don't use a smartphone.

 

I can easily put together a bit of aluminium with some numbers stamped on it, but the manager isn't too keen on that. We both agreed that a small sticker under a fence railing would be quite discrete. I bumped this thread to get a bit of a sense how the GC community felt about QR codes these days. :)

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50 minutes ago, Unit473L said:

I can easily put together a bit of aluminium with some numbers stamped on it, but the manager isn't too keen on that. We both agreed that a small sticker under a fence railing would be quite discrete. I bumped this thread to get a bit of a sense how the GC community felt about QR codes these days. :)

 

As a senior geocacher who only uses a GPSr, I have done two caches with QR codes.  One was a LetterBox Hybrid.  I took a photo of the QR Code, Scanned it into the computer, and returned another dy for the final.  The other was a multicache.  Five stages.  Took me five days to photograph the QR Codes, return home, scan into the computer to read, and return for the next stage.  As a GPSr geocacher, I hate QR Code caches!  Not Geocaching if I need to take photos of the code and come back for the next sage.  

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On 6/10/2021 at 4:52 PM, Unit473L said:

Bumping a thread that's nearly 3,000 days old, have people's feelings changed towards QR code stage multi's?

:)

Similar to fuzziebear3, we spot them from another "game" everywhere in an area we fish for salmon/steelhead, and I mean everywhere.  

- One light pole had newer ones holding older ones to it.  I thought that wasn't to be that way...

Anyway, I guess if someone said what they were doing on the cache page, we'd notice, and head out (or not).

I think it was around 2009 when we did a multi that had a stage that turned up "missing" a lot. 

The CO placed a QR code sticker on a nearby object, and mentioned it on the cache page "JIC" it turned up missing again.

It was, the other 2/3rds scanned it, and we were able to continue with me leading again with a GPSr. 

I prefer not to use a phone, but maybe in a pinch...

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2 hours ago, Unit473L said:

...

With a QR code, I can provide a bit of text such as "around the corner, tenth fence post, look in branch" or similar, rather than just numbers.

...

a small sticker under a fence railing would be quite discrete.


You can put text on a sticker. :anicute:

 

If it’s just coordinates, the last 3 decimal digits for Lat and Lon tend to be OK on display (especially if cachers must add or subtract numbers from the posted ones).

 

If I encounter some stage where I must connect to the internet, I’m like Harry Dolphin... I have to at least go find a hotspot, to go decode it.  I can be in the middle of town and have no phone service.  Sure, everyone keeps telling me that a different company will fix it, but nobody ever offers to pay for that. :ph34r:
 

But it seems to be a popular thought to use specifically “QR Codes”, although I haven’t seen a stage in the field like that.  I have fifty NFC cards that can be password protected re-writeable.  I think they’d be very cool, but I also think those cards would annoy most cachers. B)

 

Edited by kunarion
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15 hours ago, Harry Dolphin said:

As a senior geocacher who only uses a GPSr, I have done two caches with QR codes.  One was a LetterBox Hybrid.  I took a photo of the QR Code, Scanned it into the computer, and returned another dy for the final.  The other was a multicache.  Five stages.  Took me five days to photograph the QR Codes, return home, scan into the computer to read, and return for the next stage.  As a GPSr geocacher, I hate QR Code caches!  Not Geocaching if I need to take photos of the code and come back for the next sage.

 

As a geocacher who often geocaches without All Of The TOTTs, I have done countless caches [on islands, up trees, using Chirp, with Wifi, in flooded culverts, with UV, in the dark, with QR or bar codes]. They've been a variety of types.  I've either skipped or made return trips another day for the final with the tool or someone else with the tool. Sometimes they take days, weeks, or months to return for the next stage or the final.  As a geocacher who often geocaches without All Of The TOTTs, I love these geocaches!  It's still geocaching if I can't find the geocache the very first time I visit it or any particular stage and need to come back later.

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Just scanning a QR code to get coordinates is simple and fairly common. We have a whole series of QR caches here, with various twists, with things like recoded images that you have to process in some way to make is valid to scan. There are many variations of the concept once you leave the simple "scan QR to get final".

At least that is what it looks like here. QR codes are fairly common.

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