Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 1
31BMSG

Thoughts on logging requirements

Recommended Posts

I'm working on an Arduino powered gadget cache where the cacher has to solve a math puzzle to gain access to the logbook. Even thought I've kept tolerances as close as possible, the thought crossed my mind that someone is going to sign a slip of paper and slide it into the container in order to claim the find with the least amount of effort expended. In my draft I've specified the logbook in the locked container must be signed to claim the find but now I'm wondering if this statement could be construed as an ALR, thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post

Off the top of my head, I can't think of any reason that would be considered an ALR.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
6 minutes ago, Max and 99 said:

Off the top of my head, I can't think of any reason that would be considered an ALR.

I can't either but at times I wonder if cachers visiting my caches are Geocaching lawyers.

Share this post


Link to post

If that happens surely you just delete the log as it's on a separate bit of paper, if it bothers you?

 

As long as you maintain the logbook so it's usable people shouldn't have any need to use separate bits of paper.

  • Funny 1
  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post

Interesting question, you just know someone desperate for the smiley ( especially if it has a high D rating) will try to swerve the field puzzle .

If the reviewer will think you specifying finders must sign the real  logbook is an ALR only that reviewer can say, I'd suggest asking them.

A bigger question to my mind : If the reviewer lets your wording through, and someone slides some paper in rather than signing the proper log, you find this out and delete their online log and they appeal the GS, will their appeal be upheld ?

 

I'd try to avoid the situation (which can only result in bad feelings) by making the cache interior sealed, maybe finding a clip box or other container with a close fitting lid which fills the inside cavity snugly and will defeat any attempts to cheat the puzzle. I can't imagine a reviewer or GS appeals objecting to you saying on the cache page something like " the geocache container inside the lock box must be accessed to sign the log" That way you are defining the inner container as 'the geocache' which must be found, rather than the Arduino puzzle outer box, and any extra log sheet isn't going to find its way in there.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, 31BMSG said:

In my draft I've specified the logbook in the locked container must be signed to claim the find but now I'm wondering if this statement could be construed as an ALR, thoughts?

 

Because cachers can't operate a combination lock and therefore poke a slip of paper through the door, my most recent locked puzzle cache specifies that the slip of paper doesn't count.  I published it that way, it's not an ALR it's the entire R.  "Sign the log book."  There's a warning that it requires a skill you used in high school.  Yes, the puzzle device is just that diabolical!

 

I use Teflon lock lube, I go test it regularly, same as the other ones.  I have no trouble opening a lock.  Yet people can barely turn the combination lock's knob, nevermind figuring out the impossible patterns required to open it.  So this latest one is a 3 Difficulty.  I thought these would be easy and fun.  Silly me.  I get those logs and I don't know if I feel pity or regret or Geocidal or what. But I am hammering my head against the wall a lot.  I wonder if there's a release mechanism that can detect an approaching Geocacher and present the log book to them?  That would be at least a 2.5 Difficulty.

 

The old one still has the slip of paper and the duct tape stuck to a page in the log book by the next finders.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
14 minutes ago, hal-an-tow said:

That way you are defining the inner container as 'the geocache' which must be found, rather than the Arduino puzzle outer box, and any extra log sheet isn't going to find its way in there.

 

What the Scorched Earth People do around here most often is pry/unscrew/break the box apart.  Then they sign the log.  That way, it's all nice and legal and it teaches that Cache Owner a lesson.  "Just toss pill bottles into the bushes, all we want is the Stat".  That's the lesson. :ph34r:

  • Upvote 1
  • Love 1

Share this post


Link to post
21 minutes ago, BethDaddyKaty said:

If that happens surely you just delete the log as it's on a separate bit of paper, if it bothers you?

 

As long as you maintain the logbook so it's usable people shouldn't have any need to use separate bits of paper.

Maintaining the logbook has nothing to do with people not wanting to/be able to do the work required to gain access to the logbook. If they can't get in the way intended and sign the designated logbook, they might try to sign a piece of paper and slip it in/force it in, and then claim a find for the cache. That's the issue being asked.

  • Upvote 2
  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, 31BMSG said:

I'm working on an Arduino powered gadget cache where the cacher has to solve a math puzzle to gain access to the logbook. Even thought I've kept tolerances as close as possible, the thought crossed my mind that someone is going to sign a slip of paper and slide it into the container in order to claim the find with the least amount of effort expended. In my draft I've specified the logbook in the locked container must be signed to claim the find but now I'm wondering if this statement could be construed as an ALR, thoughts?

I do have log book inside containers with codes, and if people can't figure out the puzzle they will sometimes sit there for a long time trying every combination possible. I don't care-as long as they sign THAT log book. There's no way to force a piece of paper into that locked container, but they could certainly sign a piece of paper and leave it in the cache, hoping that would count.

Share this post


Link to post

I've found caches where the point was to find/access the log, and the CO included the requirement to sign the log in the description, and on the cache itself. Some have specified the color of the log in those notices, which might cut down on the "replacement" logs left by lazy geocachers.

Share this post


Link to post
19 minutes ago, kunarion said:

 

What the Scorched Earth People do around here most often is pry/unscrew/break the box apart.  Then they sign the log.  That way, it's all nice and legal and it teaches that Cache Owner a lesson.  "Just toss pill bottles into the bushes, all we want is the Stat".  That's the lesson. :ph34r:

We must know the same bunch of caching "friends" since I've been bit by the same lesson, "we don't want a challenge we just want to add a number". I'll look into finding a better way to seal this up and maybe consider putting a container inside the container that's already in a container. I was concerned with specifying a specific logbook but I'll run that by the reviewer.

Share this post


Link to post
1 minute ago, 31BMSG said:

We must know the same bunch of caching "friends" since I've been bit by the same lesson, "we don't want a challenge we just want to add a number". I'll look into finding a better way to seal this up and maybe consider putting a container inside the container that's already in a container. I was concerned with specifying a specific logbook but I'll run that by the reviewer.

Be sure to list it as a mystery/puzzle cache, if it isn't already. Listing such caches as traditional (even if they are at the posted coordinates) seems to just cause problems. Even if you need to add a trivial puzzle to the cache description, list it as a mystery/puzzle cache.

  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post

While you may feel technically correct in your assumption, and I’m fairly confident that HQ would support your interpretation, like kunarion suggests, I would fully expect the cache to get vandalized in your current design. You’ll have to weigh the benefits of your righteous cause against the amount of time required to put together a cache of this sort and the amount of effort to fix your cache each time it gets broken. 

  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post

Another variant I've seen is to have the gadget system hold a sealed geocache container. Slipping a log into the gadget system (just a type of camouflage, in a way) is not the same as accessing the geocache container inside and signing its log.

  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post
4 minutes ago, Touchstone said:

While you may feel technically correct in your assumption, and I’m fairly confident that HQ would support your interpretation, like kunarion suggests, I would fully expect the cache to get vandalized in your current design. You’ll have to weigh the benefits of your righteous cause against the amount of time required to put together a cache of this sort and the amount of effort to fix your cache each time it gets broken. 

 

The problem is not always that people set out to destroy a container, but that something about the puzzle is not functioning properly today, and it's a mystery.  It's unclear if it's broken, or if it's designed that way.  I see pry marks at a latch and for a second there, I wonder if that's the way, you pry that latch.  One time at one of these, I found a plastic rod on a string, and it took me forever to realize there's supposed to be a magnet on the end (it's missing).  So everyone pries the latch now.  But I have an extra magnet.  So I had to try that..  It worked.  I like to figure out how the cache as originally designed worked.  I might want to make one. :)

Share this post


Link to post
12 minutes ago, Touchstone said:

While you may feel technically correct in your assumption, and I’m fairly confident that HQ would support your interpretation, like kunarion suggests, I would fully expect the cache to get vandalized in your current design. You’ll have to weigh the benefits of your righteous cause against the amount of time required to put together a cache of this sort and the amount of effort to fix your cache each time it gets broken. 

This is something I considered before I started this project, will I just be wasting money on something that will be destroyed? I have tentative approval to place this in an obvious public spot that's occupied 24/7, my thoughts being it would be less prone to damage. Once I get it sealed up better and assuming I get final approval I think I'll try it and see what happens. I would rather take a risk at placing something I would like to find rather than placing any more 1.5/1.5 park and grabs that the stats cachers want to find.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
11 minutes ago, 31BMSG said:

 a container inside the container that's already in a container.

You could always call it matryoshka :laughing: 

I've come across field puzzle caches vandalized by those desperate for the smiley, it's a sad thing for both the C.O. who set the cache with thought, effort and expense , and the caching community who should be able to enjoy it in the way the C.O. intended.

 

I reckon there are two parts to keeping the field puzzle cache from deliberate damage by cachers. First is the obvious one of ensuring the container is as vandal proof as possible , no exposed screw heads , gaps where a prying tool can be deployed, weak hinges etc.

 

I'm not a great fan of field puzzles myself ( because I'm rubbish at them) but my favourite ever was a complex multi stage puzzle where stage 3 (after 3 small containers with diverse text based puzzles sending you to the next) featured a padlocked ammo can ... the lock code was given in one of the previous containers as yet another puzzle.  We opened the ammo can, only to find inside a block of closed cell foam with an aperture cut to snugly hold .... a transparent 3D puzzle inside which was a micro container that took half an hour to persuade out , and held ... another puzzle. Diabolical ! But the very smart CO had ensured that there was no chance for anyone to add a log in that ammo can, by having the foam block filling it, and it also protected the quite delicate puzzle box. The padlock on the ammo can ensured no casual finder would get in and break that inner puzzle. When we got to the actual final ( another padlocked ammo can) we were no longer sure this would be the end of the expedition until we actually opened it  That field puzzle has been out for 7 years and is still in perfect condition.

 

Second line of defence: , make it an effort to access, not a park & grab, not a traditional icon. A multi or a puzzle, even a very simple one, gets less traffic from folk who want 50 caches in a day and don't have the time to 'waste' on a walk for just one cache. You could even consider making it an easy challenge cache. Anything which discourages people who are in a rush.

 

Oh, and beware giving it an attractively rare D/T rating, which unfortunately makes a cache a prime target for folk who 'need' the find, however they 'achieve' it .... I've had this with puzzle caches, and now will not rate any as D 5 because it is a sure way of having the solution shared on FB groups and elsewhere to 'help' grid fillers.

  • Upvote 1
  • Helpful 2

Share this post


Link to post
35 minutes ago, 31BMSG said:

This is something I considered before I started this project, will I just be wasting money on something that will be destroyed? I have tentative approval to place this in an obvious public spot that's occupied 24/7, my thoughts being it would be less prone to damage. Once I get it sealed up better and assuming I get final approval I think I'll try it and see what happens. I would rather take a risk at placing something I would like to find rather than placing any more 1.5/1.5 park and grabs that the stats cachers want to find.

 

Those public spots are special places when the whole thing can come together.  I found an electronic puzzle cache that's still active, so I'll try not to reveal too much here (that could spoil a surprise).  But it's certainly a big puzzle box, in full view, and next to the sidewalk.  The town is rural and small, and there may not even be a car passing you the whole time you're trying to solve the puzzle.  "Yeah, but what if people are driving by?"... turns out, it's fine.  Nobody walks by, either.  Yet it's right in the main downtown area!  Just finding that spot, and crafting just the right "thing" to put there, that's the hard part... and the CO got it all right.

 

It's electro-mechanical, latched, computer driven, and doesn't release its door every time. Rather than pry it or risk breaking it, I ran through the puzzle a couple of times, decided where "the door" is, and figured out the timing, when I should apply a little pressure to the door so the latch could move.

 

Yeah, and it is very much "in public view", which could make people think twice about prying it apart.  :cute:

 

 

Edited by kunarion

Share this post


Link to post
3 minutes ago, hal-an-tow said:

no exposed screw heads

 

My bird house puzzles all have "JB Weld" gooped up all over every exposed screw head.  :cute:

 

 

3 minutes ago, hal-an-tow said:

beware giving it an attractively rare D/T rating, which unfortunately makes a cache a prime target for folk who 'need' the find, however they 'achieve' it .... I've had this with puzzle caches, and now will not rate any as D 5 because it is a sure way of having the solution shared on FB groups and elsewhere to 'help' grid fillers.

 

Ooh!  That's a good point!

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, kunarion said:

What the Scorched Earth People do around here most often is pry/unscrew/break the box apart.  Then they sign the log. 

That way, it's all nice and legal and it teaches that Cache Owner a lesson.  "Just toss pill bottles into the bushes, all we want is the Stat". 

That's the lesson. :ph34r:

 

Yep. 

Just a couple weeks ago one I attempted (had it's own power source) had quite a few folks saying that they couldn't access as described on the cache page, but "knowing a bit about electricity, got it to work" or similar.

Electricity heck,  all the damage to the stripped phillips screw heads showed how it was accessed.  

Co will need an extractor to get them out to fix... 

 

  • Surprised 1

Share this post


Link to post
16 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

 

Yep. 

Just a couple weeks ago one I attempted (had it's own power source) had quite a few folks saying that they couldn't access as described on the cache page, but "knowing a bit about electricity, got it to work" or similar.

Electricity heck,  all the damage to the stripped phillips screw heads showed how it was accessed.  

Co will need an extractor to get them out to fix... 

 

 

Yeah.  It seems like this Topic may seem kinda depressing to read.  :cute:

 

But I hope nobody's discouraged from placing a fun cache.  I still like to try some idea I've thought of , a cache that's a little different from the normal ones. With a diversion, a fun little puzzle that's not actually all that hard. Maybe the Finders will all break it apart, maybe it won't ever “work” quite right. I'm gonna try it anyway, because it's a cache I've never found, but I sure would enjoy if I found one like it.

 

OK, and the local caching veterans have all seen that kind before. That's not the point.  B)

 

One of my most recent has parts from cache ideas that I never could get to work just right.  I decided to put them together anyway.  I need to place it in the swamp so that muggles don't walk past and see it (that makes it even tougher to set up). And it has a wireless doorbell, and a birdhouse puzzle to access the doorbell button. It's kind of crazy. I hope at least a few cachers have a great time playing around with that!

 

And you have to walk in ankle-deep mud to get there. So you'll remember it.  :)

 

Edited by kunarion
  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post
49 minutes ago, 31BMSG said:

 I have tentative approval to place this in an obvious public spot that's occupied 24/7, my thoughts being it would be less prone to damage. 

 

I did one (looks like a bird house) a couple weeks ago that you can see from parking (in Winter), only fifteen feet into the woods, and two steps from the trail.

People were walking by with their dogs, just nodding their heads n saying hi like passing on the trail.   

I never would have thought something that exposed would work, but it's doing fine.     :)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
40 minutes ago, hal-an-tow said:

Second line of defence: , make it an effort to access, not a park & grab, not a traditional icon. A multi or a puzzle, even a very simple one, gets less traffic from folk who want 50 caches in a day and don't have the time to 'waste' on a walk for just one cache. You could even consider making it an easy challenge cache. Anything which discourages people who are in a rush.

I do my best to place caches as far away from civilization as possible but it's a challenge as this part of Texas basically has no public land. In the 200 mile + radius around me I'm hemmed in by 50 - 200,000 acre ranches and railroad property. From previous experiences I can tell you that not one of the owners I've spoken with would allow anyone, including a brush fire crew, on their property, least of all cachers. As I'm not going to place a cache I don't have permission to place I have to get creative with the permissions I do have :)

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, kunarion said:

My bird house puzzles all have "JB Weld" gooped up all over every exposed screw head.

I've gone to the extreme in that area. All bolts have had the flats filed off and then filed down until they are only 1-2mm above the surface so pliers can't get a grip. When I test the door and latch I leave a bolt out of one of the hinges so I can thread some cord into the box and attach it to the latch so I don't lock myself out.

Edited by 31BMSG
  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post
9 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

Maintaining the logbook has nothing to do with people not wanting to/be able to do the work required to gain access to the logbook. If they can't get in the way intended and sign the designated logbook, they might try to sign a piece of paper and slip it in/force it in, and then claim a find for the cache. That's the issue being asked.

To claim a find you have to sign *the* log, not a piece of paper in the cache.

 

To me that's just a standard expectation, I can't imagine any cacher reasonably justifying not signing a serviceable log book, or reasonably complaining about their log being deleted.

  • Funny 1

Share this post


Link to post

It's definitely not an ALR to require people sign the real logbook. That comes up in so many other situations, not merely difficult gadget puzzles.  However, placing say a code on the real logbook that you have to report back to the CO to verify your find - that is an ALR.  Ultimately it means it's up to the CO to verify signatures on the real logbook, not the cache finder to verify to the CO their true completion.

 

 

This whole thing about vandalizing of puzzle caches (or finding 'creative' ways to succeed) sounds very much like the hurdles escape rooms have to jump through when explaining how to play. People will do what they can to solve puzzles, and if it's not clear what can't be done, they'll try it because "oh it must be allowed". So now there are stickers and signs over everything unrelated to the puzzle or story, which unfortunately can take you out of the experience. Similarly with gadget caches you may have to describe what not to do in order to keep it in good condition, which of course could potentially hurt some of the puzzle design or solution discovery.

But people will be people =/

  • Helpful 2

Share this post


Link to post
On 1/26/2020 at 10:37 AM, niraD said:

Another variant I've seen is to have the gadget system hold a sealed geocache container. Slipping a log into the gadget system (just a type of camouflage, in a way) is not the same as accessing the geocache container inside and signing its log.

 

This. Or redesign the door so that paper can't be slipped in.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
7 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

It's definitely not an ALR to require people sign the real logbook. That comes up in so many other situations, not merely difficult gadget puzzles.  However, placing say a code on the real logbook that you have to report back to the CO to verify your find - that is an ALR.  Ultimately it means it's up to the CO to verify signatures on the real logbook, not the cache finder to verify to the CO their true completion.

 

 

This whole thing about vandalizing of puzzle caches (or finding 'creative' ways to succeed) sounds very much like the hurdles escape rooms have to jump through when explaining how to play. People will do what they can to solve puzzles, and if it's not clear what can't be done, they'll try it because "oh it must be allowed". So now there are stickers and signs over everything unrelated to the puzzle or story, which unfortunately can take you out of the experience. Similarly with gadget caches you may have to describe what not to do in order to keep it in good condition, which of course could potentially hurt some of the puzzle design or solution discovery.

But people will be people =/

I've already got step by step instructions on how to access the logbook the intended way, which I will include on both the cache page and in the outer container. I'm sure I can come up with a list of things not to do but may have have to resupply my print paper stock :)

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, bflentje said:

 

This. Or redesign the door so that paper can't be slipped in.

I spent a few hours today looking at a redesign of the door and believe I can do this without starting from scratch. This is my first so I'm taking copious notes when/if the next one comes around.

Share this post


Link to post
2 minutes ago, 31BMSG said:

I've already got step by step instructions on how to access the logbook the intended way, which I will include on both the cache page and in the outer container. I'm sure I can come up with a list of things not to do but may have have to resupply my print paper stock

I like that!

 

May I add to this: We recently did a geotour that required some field puzzles, and we were so disappointed that several of them were left in the solved position, taking away a little of the fun for us. It may not apply to your cache experience at all, but something to consider is a reminder of how to put the cache BACK to the intended position before leaving.

Share this post


Link to post
1 minute ago, Max and 99 said:

I like that!

 

May I add to this: We recently did a geotour that required some field puzzles, and we were so disappointed that several of them were left in the solved position, taking away a little of the fun for us. It may not apply to your cache experience at all, but something to consider is a reminder of how to put the cache BACK to the intended position before leaving.

I considered someone not latching the door securely after getting it open and included a large spring on the outside of the inner door, when the outer lid is closed it pushes the inner door into the latched position. This won't solve the problem of filling the inner container full of rocks to keep it from closing or even just leaving the outer container open but I not sure how far I want to delve into this aspect, may just have to settle for a pill bottle thrown under a bush :)

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 1

×
×
  • Create New...