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gcnurse

First Gadget Cache Build, Where to Hide?

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This is on track to be my third geocache, the first two I had a planned area and built the caches around the area. This one I had an idea for a cache, now I need to find somewhere to hide it. Anyone have good recommendations on typical locations for gadget caches like this? I don't want to freak anyone out seeing a mysterious "suitcase." I've got a plan to lock this case down using a bike chain lock as well as locking the physical case so I'm hoping theft won't be the main concern.

 

It's a small Apache "pelican-style" case from Harbor Freight with a cheap RFID cabinet latch from Amazon to lock off the main compartment. The parts were all cheap, but it did end up taking about 4 hours to build and about $50, so I would really like to put it out somewhere that it'll be safe and not freak out the public.

 

I'm also still debating about throwing  a puzzle box I have inside to store the log book and possibly camouflage painting the case, so if you have any feedback on those ideas as well, it's appreciated.

GadgetCache Latch.jpg

Gadget Cache Interior.jpg

Gadget Cache Exterior.jpg

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4 minutes ago, geocachingnurse said:

This is on track to be my third geocache, the first two I had a planned area and built the caches around the area. This one I had an idea for a cache, now I need to find somewhere to hide it. Anyone have good recommendations on typical locations for gadget caches like this? I don't want to freak anyone out seeing a mysterious "suitcase." I've got a plan to lock this case down using a bike chain lock as well as locking the physical case so I'm hoping theft won't be the main concern.

 

It's a small Apache "pelican-style" case from Harbor Freight with a cheap RFID cabinet latch from Amazon to lock off the main compartment. The parts were all cheap, but it did end up taking about 4 hours to build and about $50, so I would really like to put it out somewhere that it'll be safe and not freak out the public.

 

I'm also still debating about throwing  a puzzle box I have inside to store the log book and possibly camouflage painting the case, so if you have any feedback on those ideas as well, it's appreciated.

 

 

An RFID lock is pretty cool!  I have a phone that can read and program RFID, and I bought a few cards to program.  Wasn't sure what to do next, once I realized iPhones don't read RFID, never mind that most phone models also don't.  But an RFID reader in the cache, that has possibilities!

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That's pretty sweet, I love gadget caches! How does this one work - does the finder need to locate the rfid chip which is placed elsewhere? And do you have a rough idea of how long it'll go before needing to replace / recharge the battery?

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Very nice! Although I'm not answering your original question, may I make a suggestion? Please label that it is a geocache on the outside of the container. Other than that, it looks awesome!

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The more public the location, the more likely it is to get noticed by non-cachers.  That could lead to it being muggled or broken by anyone not aware of what they would need to do to open it.  The label suggestion is one I'd say should be mandated, not suggested.  That will, to some extent, help.  Regardless, though, it won't stop someone determined enough to take it or break it.

 

Private property would solve part of that issue but getting permission would be the hurdle to clear.  Local/state parks and walking trails would work, making sure you have the appropriate permission forms filled out, if required, and it meets their stated guidelines, if required.  Since they're public lands, you'd have to make sure it wasn't in an area with a lot of pedestrian traffic.

 

There's a gadget trail along a state road in Indiana that borders crop fields but they're all owned by family members so permission for those was probably easier than regular private property that wasn't family owned.  You'd want something with somewhat accessible parking and somewhat safe walking from parking to GZ.

 

I wouldn't camo it until you know where it's going to go.  That way you can customize to the location it's going to be placed.

 

Indoors (public library?) might work as well.  A lot of that is going to be predicated on saturation and availability of a location.  If you opt for a park or trail, I suggest you place something similar in size in your desired GZ for a period of time to see if it gets taken or disturbed.  I also suggest that you take into account seasons because something that's hidden in summer growth can suddenly be quite visible in winter's lack of growth, as well as more accessible.

 

 

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On 8/28/2020 at 5:24 AM, Unit473L said:

That's pretty sweet, I love gadget caches! How does this one work - does the finder need to locate the rfid chip which is placed elsewhere? And do you have a rough idea of how long it'll go before needing to replace / recharge the battery?

That’s my plan...hide the RFID chip a short distance away so it’s kind of a multi-cache, but not too far that someone will decide it’s not worth the trek to return it. The description of the item says 15,000 opening from the 2 AA batteries. So I’m hoping if I do annual battery changes I’ll be good. 

On 8/28/2020 at 9:05 AM, TmdAndGG said:

Very nice! Although I'm not answering your original question, may I make a suggestion? Please label that it is a geocache on the outside of the container. Other than that, it looks awesome!

Definitely going to label it, I’m just waiting to see what kind of camo I want to do and where it’s going to go. 

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Your front porch?

 

I once looked for a cache similar to yours. Not a gadget cache, just a box with a lock keeping it closed, and a stout chain with a stouter lock connecting it to a tree. When I went to look for it, I found the remains of the two locks and the chain. So I'm afraid you do need to worry about theft. If someone finds the box, they're likely see all the locks and decide it's valuable. If they happen to be carrying bolt cutters 'cuz they're cruising the area looking for bikes to steal, your cache is toast.

 

I'm not saying this to discourage you. In fact, kinda the opposite: I'm hoping you'll keep in mind that someday, this will likely disappear, so that when it happens, you'll shrug it off and keep hiding great caches, maybe even a replacement. All caches are expendable. It sounds like you have great plans for minimizing the risk for this one, and that will help a lot, but from what I've seen of caches of this class is that they eventually come to an end after a few years. Sometimes they're stolen. Sometimes the electronics fail, typically because water gets in for one reason or another. It happens. Don't let it get you down. Sounds like a really cool idea!

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4 hours ago, geocachingnurse said:

I’m just waiting to see what kind of camo I want to do and where it’s going to go. 

 

Similar to dprovan,  I'd place it where it's most safe.  We've always found an awesome spot first, then decided what we're gonna place in it.   :)

 

Finding my last one similar...luckily I'm never in a hurry, as it appeared the condition it was in showed many had no patience.   ;)

What could have been easy was now a box warped outta shape, and it was even more of a pain-in-the-can to reclose.  

By the markings on that one, and a couple found,  TOTT for some is a mini crow bar.    

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There is always a trade-off with cool gadgets - safety of the cache vs number of finds. If you want a lot of finds, you'll probably need to compromise on cache safety, and place it where it might me more likely to get muggled. If you want it super safe, place it in a well-off-the-beaten track spot, and it won't get found much.... Placing the container behind a reasonably simple puzzle might help prevent hoardes of first-time cachers wrecking it too.....

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On 8/27/2020 at 11:56 PM, geocachingnurse said:

if you have any feedback on those ideas as well, it's appreciated.

 

I have a gadget cache that has moving parts, and a separate nearby final stage.  I placed it in a dry spot within a muddy swamp.  People won't find it by accident.  Even park maintenance people won't mess with it.

 

There's a cache I hunted that's a large magnetic maze gadget cache in the middle of a peaceful country town.  Next to the sidewalk.  The trick is placing it, not necessarily where nobody goes, but where it's not messed with or broken when someone happens to notice it.  But right in a town square, some cachers (OK, me :P) may feel a little uneasy working on a puzzle cache as cars slowly pass.  At least don't make me "place the strange electronic box with military camo" next to a wall or whatever when I'm done.  People may not have seen me retrieve it, and now I'm "hiding it".  :o

 

 

Edited by kunarion
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Consider using something large to attach the RFID chip (like a short length of 1x3).  After finding the final cache, a cacher might slip the RFID into their pocket, or even place it on the ground while signing the log, and then forgetting about it.  A group of cachers might even be more susceptible to forgetting to return the RFID.  It's not about being too lazy to return the RFID, it's just forgetting to; an unusual task.  Also, if someone drops it, a large "keychain" will make it easier to find in the weeds, snow, leaves, etc.

 

(I once walked  few hundred yards away after signing the logbook for a difficult cache, when it occurred to me that I didn't re-hide the container.  I returned and rehid it.)

 

Hiding place?  I'd suggest out in the woods, but that's just a personal preference.  Might want to make sure it's open woods to minimize the creation of a geo-trail off of a main trail  through the weeds and undergrowth.

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23 hours ago, dprovan said:

Your front porch?

 

This is actually the best suggestion yet, although it need not be your front porch.  Somewhere on your property that makes sense.  If that's the route you go, make sure to mention it to your neighbors (to explain any unusual traffic) and then make sure to give a detailed description of your property (house, condo, fence, or other easily identified markers) so as to make sure cachers go to the right location.  Finally, I would think that you'd want it limited to certain hours (?) so as to not have night cachers on your property.  You could make it a multi and have both stages on the property.  That way you get to control all the aspects related to this cache.

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1 hour ago, coachstahly said:

 

This is actually the best suggestion yet, although it need not be your front porch.  Somewhere on your property that makes sense.  If that's the route you go, make sure to mention it to your neighbors (to explain any unusual traffic) and then make sure to give a detailed description of your property (house, condo, fence, or other easily identified markers) so as to make sure cachers go to the right location.  Finally, I would think that you'd want it limited to certain hours (?) so as to not have night cachers on your property.  You could make it a multi and have both stages on the property.  That way you get to control all the aspects related to this cache.

 

Some place where there is a caretaker, but does't require interaction with the caretaker would work.  A library or chamber of commerce building, for example.  I found a cache at the chamber of commerce in Kansas City.  The coordinates took me to a spot where I could see the cache.  Even though I didn't have to talk to the woman working there to find the can I had a nice chat while signing the log. 

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2 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

Some place where there is a caretaker, but does't require interaction with the caretaker would work.  A library or chamber of commerce building, for example.  I found a cache at the chamber of commerce in Kansas City.  The coordinates took me to a spot where I could see the cache.  Even though I didn't have to talk to the woman working there to find the can I had a nice chat while signing the log. 

I've found a few caches that have been in plain view of an office or visitor center or something similar. Those seem to be relatively safe locations, where a cache can survive even if it's on the larger side.

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On 8/29/2020 at 8:08 AM, geocachingnurse said:

. . .  someone will decide it’s not worth the trek to return it.

 

 

I hate to be a downer here, but sooner or later someone is not going to return it to it proper location.

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On 8/31/2020 at 6:07 AM, niraD said:

I've found a few caches that have been in plain view of an office or visitor center or something similar. Those seem to be relatively safe locations, where a cache can survive even if it's on the larger side.

I DNF'd a cache in Wellington, New Zealand. It was so hard trying to be stealthy when GZ is across the road from the multi storey police HQ building. I've been back a couple of times since but decided against searching again, just a bit to self conscious for that sort of thing.

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7 minutes ago, colleda said:

I DNF'd a cache in Wellington, New Zealand. It was so hard trying to be stealthy when GZ is across the road from the multi storey police HQ building. I've been back a couple of times since but decided against searching again, just a bit to self conscious for that sort of thing.

I found a cache that was hidden outside the police department building. (It was hidden by two of the officers, who were geocachers.)

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On 8/31/2020 at 3:16 PM, NanCycle said:

I hate to be a downer here, but sooner or later someone is not going to return it to it proper location.

Anticipated that, I've got 4 RFID tags that are all duplicated and more can easily be obtained for cheap on amazon.

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Update:

 

Added some camo!

 

I found a local park that has some thick shrubbery/woods next to a trail with a few off shoots that are less traveled. My plan is to put it there, secured with a lock around a tree.  I wrote to the director of parks and recreation who manages the trail and got her permission to place it. Now I just need to find the perfect spot along the trail and get it posted! I’ll post back with the cache code once it’s live if anyone is in PA and wants to stop by for a find. Hopefully it won’t go missing, fingers crossed!

71B4A553-3B1F-456A-9F0C-E11D5E640ABA.jpeg

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Update: just went live! GC8ZQ5X
 

thanks all for your help, we’ll see how it fairs out in the wild. 

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