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Rick.Garrett

So How Do Mesh Ham And Geocaching

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So, how DO you mesh the two hobbies together? It appears I'm the only ham/geocacher around here. (so far!!!!!) We have lots of hams, and a few geocachers, but no one who combines the two.

 

Thoughts? Experiences?

 

Of course, I'm trying to cross pollinate both hobbies right now with my two circles of friends LOL

 

73 de N9GSU Rick

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I usually carry my ht with me when I cache. I have only talked on it once whiling caching with my partner. That was at the very first cache we found in 2002. When caching with my friend and his wife we usually communicate while driving from cache to cache. There isn't any other hams in my area that I am aware of that Geocache. :P

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I almost always carry my HT while geocaching. i love geocaching in the desert southwest and mobile phone service is sparse. I can always hit a repeater, though. It's nice to have the ability to communicate if an emergency arises.

 

W9JIM

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Like W9JIM, I carry my 2 meter hand-held for emergency use when geocaching. I've never had a desire to "connect" geocaching with ham radio is any formal way. I'm perfectly satisfied to involve myself with the sport of geocaching and the public service elements of amateur radio as separate interests. But I have enjoyed connecting with other hams through geocaching or other geocachers through ham radio. A QSO with another ham about the sport of geocaching adds great interest to the QSL.

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I can say that i plan to carry my ham radio with me when geocaching, and depending on terrain, it can be very effective, or completely useless. it's still nice to have though. mine has a NOAA reciever in it, so it does come in handy at times. i also use aprs with a sound card packet program called AGW packet engine. it has no real use to me, but it's fun to play with. ham radios travel farther than any frs and generally have more features, so that's a bonus if you need communications. no need to waste those cell minutes.

 

oh, and a quick after-thought:

 

hams are ready to jump on an emergency situation, and if you can hit a repeater (this retransmits your low-power walkie talkie signal with more power all over the place ), you are sure to get some form of help. it's the nature of the community.

Edited by escarg0t

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oh, and a quick after-thought:

 

hams are ready to jump on an emergency situation, and if you can hit a repeater (this retransmits your low-power walkie talkie signal with more power all over the place ), you are sure to get some form of help. it's the nature of the community.

Causes me to wonder if you're licensed. Can't think of a ham who wouldn't already know that.

Edited by gallahad

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Uh, did he say something about a repeater? What's that? It sounds like a cool idea. Just think, have a radio that had a high antenna and high power that would be able to hear you on your low powered walkie-talkie and retransmit your signal out all over the place so that you could make contact with people that are too far away from you to hear you just using the walkie-talkie. Man, that would be cool. 73 KB5ZCR

 

ps. The above message is only sarcasm, please don't take me sirius.com. :huh:

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Here in southeast Iowa, most of the geocachers are hams.

In fact, this is how I came to this hobby, hearing it discussed

on a local 2 meter repeater. We keep adding ham radio friends

to this hobby! 73 de K0BKL

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I am from Montana - k7qnz is the call. I also heard about geocaching thrugh ham radio - at a club meeting. There are three of us in the club who geocache now but a few others do have GPS's

 

I have been thinking - just thinking - not on paper yet - about a sort of geocaching fox hunt. I am picturing at least as many caches as participating vehicles - a base station at the final destination which is kept secret. I see each participant being given a sealed envelope with a ten diget code number and the first cords. The first cache for each would be different.

 

When they find the cache they would take one sealed envelope from it with a password in it and radio it to the base station - that way the base station knows they did arrive at the cache - and the correct cache - the base would then give them the coded cords for their second cache which they would decode into the new cords using their ten diget code number. This way since each participant would not know each others code number they could not decode the cords being radioed to others. this seems like it would be good training in message handling - being accurate - and speedy.

 

The final destination would be a picnic or BBQ or something like that.

 

As I say I have just thought about it and hope to try it next summer! Any other ideas?

 

Rich/MrGrubstake

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Our local club, I am the VP. are discussing on building a solar powered Beacon cache. The GPS will only get you close. It is going to be a HAM SWAP cache. Mostly just swapping QSL cards. It will also be on APRS. You will still have to FOX HUNT it though..

If you want the ultimate CACHE you need to try chasing a wx balloon. See this sight.

www.gbronline.com/harrymue/orb/

Two great family hobbies.. Neat thing is you can let your mind run with it as long as it it leagal. "Your imagination is unstoppable, only when it is used" A quote from my Dad.

Good luck and if you come up with different stuff let me know

Edited by KD5JXU

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We have a small group of friends here who are HAMS and who are also 'Cachers.... the way we combine the two is to make sure when we go to a Hamfest that we plan on doing some caches in the local area afterwards or along the way home. Ham radio is used mostly to keep in touch between vehicles while traveling in these instances. Haven't really found much need for HAM radio while actually searching for caches, although I always have one with me.

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Out of over 1,000 participants in Wisconsin and over 300 members of our geocaching association, I know of only three hams. Myself and one other were (are) fox hunters. I'm kind of surprised that more of the foxhunters haven't gotten into geocaching. Anyway, the only connection my hamming has with my geocaching are my call sign plates on the cachemobile.

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:blink: --well i have not told my ham club but there is only 2 guys that have GPS units that i know of but going to start a show and tell thingie at the club and see who gets interested--!!--worth a try--!

 

de N7JJY

Cheyenne, Wy

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I learned about Geocaching through my Ham club here in longmont CO. My son-in-law KC0MGP is a cacher and we often keep tabs of each other via HT. My wife Pat is also a Ham which comes in handy because she walks with a cane and can't do long hikes. She will stay in the car and work on the laptop while I'm doing the caches that have harder terrain. We keep in touch via Ham Radio.

 

Jim Reeb (W0MIK) has a real nice Amateur Radio Cache that does a good job of meshing the two hobbies.

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I found out about Geocaching when talking to another ham on a local repeater. We had been discussing APRS, and it naturally flowed from there.

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Eric, Jim Reeb wouldn't happen to be retired from the Navy, by any chance? I served with a Chief Warrant Officer by that name, although I can't recall where.

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Eric, Jim Reeb wouldn't happen to be retired from the Navy, by any chance? I served with a Chief Warrant Officer by that name, although I can't recall where.

Only ran into Jim Reeb once while caching and we only briefly talked. I've done several of his caches but don't know him personally. Perhaps you should send him an e-mail via his cache profile at GCC471 or click on the link in my last msg in this thread. 73, Eric

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Did a little research, and figured out it's a different JR. I guess with almost 300 million people in this country, just about any name can be duplicated, no matter how out-of-the-ordinary it may be. ;)

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my club did a foxhunt/geocache last year. We found the transmitter first, and that had gps coordinates on it that led to the cache. Your fancier combination ideas are great too. Our simple one stirred up some geocache interest because not all of us hunting were geocachers.

 

N2JAC

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Did a little research, and figured out it's a different JR. I guess with almost 300 million people in this country, just about any name can be duplicated, no matter how out-of-the-ordinary it may be.  :o

Boyd,

 

Could it have been Rota? Jim was there as both CTICS and WO if I remember correctly. Believe you and I were there around the same time..'75-80 time frame. If not, then maybe it was the Fort. He was there somewhere in the early and mid 80's as a WO and I ran into him frequently. Later on I had one of his harmonics, who was a CTI3, working for me in Misawa in late 80's.

 

regards,

 

Hank/N3ORX

Edited by BigHank

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Well, my, my, my, as I live and breathe, if it ain't Hank Koebler! Howzit going?

 

Yup, that's the Jim Reeb I was thinking of, but I didn't think he was W0MIK.

 

Didn't realize you dabbled in this R-branch stuff (sorry folks, inside joke), Hank. I can't remember for sure, but weren't you at the Fort in '85 when I made Chief? I seem to remember you harrassing...er, I mean, educating me. :rolleyes:

Edited by boydg

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Nope! Your not the only Ham Geocacher around...KB6EBZ started treasure hunting a couple of months ago. :)

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Well, my, my, my, as I live and breathe, if it ain't Hank Koebler! Howzit going?

 

Yup, that's the Jim Reeb I was thinking of, but I didn't think he was W0MIK.

 

Didn't realize you dabbled in this R-branch stuff (sorry folks, inside joke), Hank. I can't remember for sure, but weren't you at the Fort in '85 when I made Chief? I seem to remember you harrassing...er, I mean, educating me. :)

Hey, Boyd, yup, it's me.....but harass you? Mild mannered, lovable old me? Never. I do recall a rather extensive and extraordinary educational regimen, however. :)

 

No, Jim is not and never was a Ham..... and I never realized you were, either. Do you check into the Frupac net at all? I usually try to check in the midday net on 14.243 Mhz.

 

R branch stuff????? Hey, I thought this was just an outlet for those hidden T-branch urges. :lol:

 

email me at n3orx@arrl.net would like to update on how and what you are doing, etc.

 

regards,

 

Hank

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[snip]

I have been thinking - just thinking - not on paper yet - about a sort of geocaching fox hunt.  I am picturing at least as many caches as participating vehicles - a base station at the [snip]

Sounds like a great idea, but this would only work for a one-day event, right?

 

How about setting up a beacon that broadcasts an offset to the posted coordinates. That way even non-hams could participate? You might could even get your local repeater to do the work for you, rebroadcasting every other hour or some other sked. A CW beacon would make it really interesting for non-hams, especially if faster than 5 wpm :-)

 

Keep me posted.

 

=

Giwiganz, KK5QZ

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I don't think they mesh, I carry my ht with me but only hear repeater chatter, no local talk. Most of my ham friends don't hike so I don't think they go together.

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There was a cache down in Klamath Falls, OR that used FRS, but could just as easily be adapted to Ham. The hider hid a film can with instructions in it near his work. The instructions said basically: on FRS Channel X call out "Rubber Duckie to Mother Goose". If he was around and not busy he'd answer you with the coords of the actual cache. I guess that's why he called it Hit or Miss, 'cause it was hit or miss if he would answer or not. Kinda fun idea.

 

I thought about doing something similar on 2m, but never had the time to do it. Besides, I'm so busy right now I doubt anyone would ever be able to get the cache.

 

Also, while not strictly Ham related it could give some ideas, another guy there made a multi stage cache where the first stage was a CD with morse instructions on how to find the second stage. I never got around to doing that cache, so I'm not sure how it worked out, and I suppose it would be real easy for that CD to get "lost", but maybe it'll help foster some other ideas for Ham-caching

Edited by Gloom

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Combining 2 metres with Geocaching might be something handicapped hams could try. They would be the cache to be found. Coordinates and/or a frequency could be given for their location or a repeater where they might be reached. Like a virtual cache you would TNLN but could record it as a find. They could be helpful for ham travelers 1) with tourism information 2) be able to tell you of other handicapped ham caches farther along the route you are traveling 3) give frequencies of local repeaters you might not know about. You might brighten up their day by with a bit of fresh conversation. Not everyone is able to climb to the top of a mountain to retrieve a cache or maybe not even able to drive to a cache, so let the geocachcers come to them. 73's from VE7EVA (new to Geocaching with one find so far).

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As I begin to study on HAM radio, the nock on 2 meter is the low power aspect that prevents clear signal. The guys who use their HAM rigs to chase weather balloons have little mini transmitters that send a signal on 2 M frequencies that can be tracked. What if you built an ammo box or decon box cache with a small low voltage, weak, 2M transmitter that had say a 1 mile range on open ground. You put the cache in a dead tree or some other normal hide. The tree being in the middle of a forest, or in the bottom of a valley so the signal was degraded in a significant way in all but 1 or 2 directions. Instead of giving the coords to the cache, you gave the coords to the location with the best signal from the box, then let the trackers use their radios to triangulate to the box?

 

Possible?

Practical?

Would anyone think its fun?

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As I was thinking about the other thing, I was wondering if this could be created:

 

A water tight container (ammo box) with a low voltage GPS receiver and transmitter inside along with a logbook and appropriate informational pages. The cache is placed in a stream (like the Missouri river near Omaha). The transmitter is programmed to transmit its signal once a day, then shut off. The signal would be its current GPS coords. The transmitter would signal once a day no matter what or once every 4 hours if moving.

 

A moving geocache, I realize, but a cool idea to see just how far the thing could go and where it would wind up. Might be the bottom of the river, but it would then be a 5/5 trad.

:rolleyes:

(pardon the flights of fancy)

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Both are such great hobbies and both can offer so much to each other. The problem is that in order for them to merge up, there would have to be a considerable amount of coordination of some sort. Let's face it, it makes about as much sense for you and your cache buddy to carry radios to talk to each other while you both look for your same cache as it does for you and your girlfriend to carry radios around your one bedroom apartment to talk to each other. Though, if someone were to make an event cache using ARPS, then hams, and in this case non-hams too, could look at a web-site at a given time and get the location of a cache they could later go find. Or perhaps, several hams working as teams could combine efforts. Let's say one ham team find cache A and that has a hint in it that they pass on, over some frequency or through some repeater, to another team. When that other team finds cache B, they relay back to the other team a hint they found at their cache. Now both team A and team B have all the information to find some point C. Point C could be a cache or perhaps a picnic area for a large group to have a gathering. There really are a lot of possibilities. Problem is coordination and finding local ham/geocachers in the area. I'm in Nothern Virginia/DC area. Anyone else in this area who might be up for this type of caching?

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I was searching for a GPS'r for APRS when I stumbled across a review that mentioned geocaching. 10 months later we've cached our 100th.

If it wasnt for ham radio, not sure I'd have discovered geocaching.

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Has anyone placed a ham radio related cache such as GC11QP6 that popped up this weekend on our local cache radar? The lat & long are in 5WPM Morse audio file Decode to find the location.

 

If so, how was it different from this one and was it successful? I'm still trying to shake the cobwebs loose to remember enough CW to decode.

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Like W9JIM, I carry my 2 meter hand-held for emergency use when geocaching. I've never had a desire to "connect" geocaching with ham radio is any formal way. I'm perfectly satisfied to involve myself with the sport of geocaching and the public service elements of amateur radio as separate interests. But I have enjoyed connecting with other hams through geocaching or other geocachers through ham radio. A QSO with another ham about the sport of geocaching adds great interest to the QSL.

 

Yep, that's pretty much how it works for me as well.

 

I go a little higher tech... I set my dual-band in the car on a repeater I can hit from the car, then use that radio to x-band repeat to my handheld as i roam around. This allows me the safety aspect with a lot more reliability in that there are many places I go where I can hit a repeater from the car, but not from a HT in the woods, but I've never wandered so far that i couldn't hit my car with the HT :ph34r:

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Like W9JIM, I carry my 2 meter hand-held for emergency use when geocaching. I've never had a desire to "connect" geocaching with ham radio is any formal way. I'm perfectly satisfied to involve myself with the sport of geocaching and the public service elements of amateur radio as separate interests. But I have enjoyed connecting with other hams through geocaching or other geocachers through ham radio. A QSO with another ham about the sport of geocaching adds great interest to the QSL.

 

Yep, that's pretty much how it works for me as well.

 

I go a little higher tech... I set my dual-band in the car on a repeater I can hit from the car, then use that radio to x-band repeat to my handheld as i roam around. This allows me the safety aspect with a lot more reliability in that there are many places I go where I can hit a repeater from the car, but not from a HT in the woods, but I've never wandered so far that i couldn't hit my car with the HT :laughing:

 

My YL and I communicate via ham radio when we are out caching. Makes it more covert when you are searching and you don't want to shout.

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Like W9JIM, I carry my 2 meter hand-held for emergency use when geocaching. I've never had a desire to "connect" geocaching with ham radio is any formal way. I'm perfectly satisfied to involve myself with the sport of geocaching and the public service elements of amateur radio as separate interests. But I have enjoyed connecting with other hams through geocaching or other geocachers through ham radio. A QSO with another ham about the sport of geocaching adds great interest to the QSL.

 

Yep, that's pretty much how it works for me as well.

 

I go a little higher tech... I set my dual-band in the car on a repeater I can hit from the car, then use that radio to x-band repeat to my handheld as i roam around. This allows me the safety aspect with a lot more reliability in that there are many places I go where I can hit a repeater from the car, but not from a HT in the woods, but I've never wandered so far that i couldn't hit my car with the HT <_<

 

My YL and I communicate via ham radio when we are out caching. Makes it more covert when you are searching and you don't want to shout.

 

You guys are making me wish I could get my YL to get her amateur radio operator's license.

 

I used to do the transmist to the car and let the car be the repeater technique in the past, but my radios don't get a lot of use these days.

 

One really cool use of amateur radio is APRS. I have been experimenting with APRS a bit lately. APRS is a GPS based position reporting system that constantly transmits your location to the network of other APRS stations out there and eventually onto the internet. Using google maps, google earth, or findu.com, you can enter the APRS callsign of the user you are interested in and you can see his location, speed, and everything mapped out semi-live.

 

I am a light-aircraft pilot and working on a homebuilt aircraft, so most of my APRS experimentation is to see how effective it would be to track an airplane as it buzzes around the country so that friends and family can see exactly where I am and tell when I have arrived, if I have left or not, or how far away I am. It is also useful in case someone steals your car, boat, truck, or airplane.... just see where it is on the map.

 

Using it with geocaching would enable others to see on a live map exactly where you are at any time. I wouldn't put an expensive radio in a geocache site just to be able to monitor if it was moved or not.

 

Other uses of APRS include reporting temperature, pressure, rainfall, and other parameters. It would be easy enough to set up a wireless notification system indicating every time the lid was opened on a cache site, for example. Still, it would take a little clever work with programming, making batteries last a long time, and setting up a switch or motion sensor.

 

Regards,

 

Dan

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I like to use my handheld 2m to communicate with others in my party. If I know I will be hitting a high point during the hike, I'll see if anyone else is on or try to hit different repeaters.

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