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Wireless Beacon Cache


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Hello all.  I want to create a wireless beacon Cache but I’m having trouble finding a Garmin chirp beacon.  Can they still be found?  If so, where?  If not, what would you recommend as an alternative?

 

what kind of puzzle or challenge goes well with a wireless beacon Cache.  I want to give Cache hunters something more interesting than the next coordinates.

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19 minutes ago, kilroy18 said:

Hello all.  I want to create a wireless beacon Cache but I’m having trouble finding a Garmin chirp beacon.  Can they still be found?  If so, where?  If not, what would you recommend as an alternative?

 

what kind of puzzle or challenge goes well with a wireless beacon Cache.  I want to give Cache hunters something more interesting than the next coordinates.

 

I don't know where to buy a Chirp.  I had a few Chirp stages for caches, but eventually archived them due to technical issues.   Now I only have one in my car (as a discoverable Travel Bug).

 

The real advantage of a Chirp in the field was it could run on an internal watch battery for a year.  If you have a reliable power source (such as an electrical outlet), there are more options, especially if the device is indoors, where the transmission can be picked up outside nearby.  For example, an FM transmitter (wireless microphone) might broadcast audio.  Or you can probably pick up an old used network Wi-Fi router for cheap, and have the SSID (the network name) set to some clue.  And the clue could be most anything, even a cipher key.

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Yeah, don't think of merely Chirp beacons. Wifi that any mobile device can access is another popular option; it could be a drive-by hotspot or a device operated by batteries in the woods... room to be creative :)

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1 hour ago, thebruce0 said:

Yeah, don't think of merely Chirp beacons. Wifi that any mobile device can access is another popular option; it could be a drive-by hotspot or a device operated by batteries in the woods... room to be creative :)

 

If there's a way to set up a web server at a waypoint, that could be very cool. A stand-alone "web site" (existing only there and not connected to the Internet).

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I have a 'beacon' multi that uses 3 entirely different methods, and not one of them is a Chirp.

As people are suggesting, you may want to think outside the box a bit.

 

Lemme toss one out there that you might not have considered...

Got an old 2.4GHz only WiFi router that you no longer use?  Just imagine what it would look like if the SSID was made up of N and W coordinates.  No need for a server at all.  Of course, you'll need it at your home or a friend's business or home to plug it in and keep it dry.  Too much of a power hog to run on batteries.

 

 

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16 hours ago, ecanderson said:

Got an old 2.4GHz only WiFi router that you no longer use?  Just imagine what it would look like if the SSID was made up of N and W coordinates.  No need for a server at all.  Of course, you'll need it at your home or a friend's business or home to plug it in and keep it dry.  Too much of a power hog to run on batteries.

 

 

 

I've been meaning to get down there and try that one but it's going to have to wait until it warms up.  At least I'll have a clue on one of the 6 stages, if I can get through the previous stages that is.  😁

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Chuckle.  You now have the hint for the most difficult - but not the way you think!  Through a thoroughly unintended stroke of luck, there is a local situation that creates the most AMAZING red herring for that stage.

Remind me to give you my phone number in case you get stuck.

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5 hours ago, icezebra11 said:

Shall I bring my clubs too? 😆

Yeah, but I'd wait a while for that, too.  I see tomorrow will hit about +1F, and tomorrow's low is expected to be -15F.  Not exactly golfing weather.

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On 2/12/2021 at 6:10 AM, kunarion said:

The real advantage of a Chirp in the field was it could run on an internal watch battery for a year. 

 

NFC makes it even better by delivering coordinates with zero power. Disadvantage is that players have to find the tag before they can read it.

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4 hours ago, arisoft said:

 

NFC makes it even better by delivering coordinates with zero power. Disadvantage is that players have to find the tag before they can read it.

 

Aside from the convenience of gathering data without typing, an "NFC" cache stage might be slightly better than an engraved metal tag.  But a key fob version might make a pretty cool TB attachment (especially as an important clue for a cache).

 

I have a bunch of writeable RFID cards (password re-writeable).  One day I might just stick one inside a sealed "bird house" stage, where there's no evidence that finders must scan the outside walls of the bird house with their phone.  Don't tempt me. :P

 

Walk past a Chirp, and your Garmin may be automatically sent the Chirp data (saved as a new waypoint).  That's one of the best qualities of Chirp... no contact (you don't "find" the actual device), and automatic load of the next waypoint (when it all works)... even in the most remote places.  A pretty cool design. 

 

I've thought of placing a Chirp along a walking path, without mentioning which path. That could make a very quiet Mystery Cache. B)

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42 minutes ago, kunarion said:

One day I might just stick one inside a sealed "bird house" stage, where there's no evidence that finders must scan the outside walls of the bird house with their phone.  Don't tempt me. :P

Ooh, that's a good one:ph34r::bad:

 

Where's the evil scheming frog when you need him?:laughing:

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On 2/12/2021 at 9:12 AM, kunarion said:

If there's a way to set up a web server at a waypoint, that could be very cool. A stand-alone "web site" (existing only there and not connected to the Internet).

 

Absolutely. The puzzle could be connecting to the wifi then visiting a URL by ip address which serves a website. (or who knows what other experiences could be provided by that sandboxed wifi) 100% feasible!

 

On 2/12/2021 at 11:08 PM, ecanderson said:

Got an old 2.4GHz only WiFi router that you no longer use?  Just imagine what it would look like if the SSID was made up of N and W coordinates.  No need for a server at all.  Of course, you'll need it at your home or a friend's business or home to plug it in and keep it dry.  Too much of a power hog to run on batteries.

 

Yep, I covered one of those in one my Christmas videos. I think the SSID coordinates may be one of the most common implementations of a simple wifi network puzzle. Mainly because you don't need any other hardware than the working router and it's ridiculously easy to set up :)

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1 hour ago, thebruce0 said:

Absolutely. The puzzle could be connecting to the wifi then visiting a URL by ip address which serves a website. (or who knows what other experiences could be provided by that sandboxed wifi) 100% feasible!


So cachers could visit a waypoint to “connect to my live camera” in the creepiest part of the woods, a camera which “picks up infra-red images” (or other-worldly noises!), but the phenomenon tends to only happen at midnight. :yikes:

 

If I made a sequel to “Stranger Finds”, it might be something like that.  Makes me want to find the most compact and simple (yet still affordable) way to do it. :cute:
 

Edited by kunarion
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oooOOooo...  Yeah making a night cache like that could be great. If you can find a way for the router to be solar powered enough to work each night, then the cachers wouldn't even need to come with batteries, and there'd be less risk of theft of the equipment needed to make it all work.  Depending on the strength of the signal, you could connect other equipment to the local network too - trigger sounds over speakers?  A camera could be pinpointed, but you could play surveillance video that seems like it's "somewhere" nearby and make it seem like creatures are out there around the visitors........ :lol:

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1 hour ago, thebruce0 said:

oooOOooo...  Yeah making a night cache like that could be great. If you can find a way for the router to be solar powered enough to work each night, then the cachers wouldn't even need to come with batteries, and there'd be less risk of theft of the equipment needed to make it all work.  Depending on the strength of the signal, you could connect other equipment to the local network too - trigger sounds over speakers?  A camera could be pinpointed, but you could play surveillance video that seems like it's "somewhere" nearby and make it seem like creatures are out there around the visitors........ :lol:

 

That would be pretty cool!  As long as we’re going to all the trouble of having an off-grid power source, might as well go big! :anicute:

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20 hours ago, thebruce0 said:
On 2/12/2021 at 9:12 AM, kunarion said:

If there's a way to set up a web server at a waypoint, that could be very cool. A stand-alone "web site" (existing only there and not connected to the Internet).

 

Absolutely. The puzzle could be connecting to the wifi then visiting a URL by ip address which serves a website. (or who knows what other experiences could be provided by that sandboxed wifi) 100% feasible!

 

I'm the developer of a couple of web based applications that use a web server and browser but are intended to be used without (or very limited) internet access.  One of them has been installed in hundreds of research locations around the world, exclusively in developing countries.  Another similar project is something called SolarSpell (https://solarspell.org/) that basically a solar powered digital library that can be built (instructions are on the web site) by a local institution in a developing country.  I've met with the the developer of the project several times to talk about some potential collaboration.  

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