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Electronic Caches


BadAndy
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In the Treasure valley there was a short lived cache that made noice when it heard a sound. The way it worked was as you looked all over eventually you would clank around close to the cache and you would hear a faint scream "Let me out..."

 

It could of been motion activated as well. It was an interesting twist to the game. Of course anyone who walked by would set it off as well...

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I heard talk of doing a "night only" cache. You see, the cache container would have a photo-cell hooked to a locking mechanism. The cache would be "locked" anytime like was hitting the photo-sensor, so you could only open the cache to sign the logbook at night. (this would require mounting the sensor out of reach of cachers, so they couldn't just cover it and get the cache to open in daylight)

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I stated in a previous thread:

 

In the near future, you will open the cache and simply plug your keychain jumpdrive into a small box that runs from a self-contained 5-year battery (available from GC.com, of course), and it will load the cache info into your jumpdrive instantly (also available from GC.com for $30, which includes a one-year premium membership). Go from cache to cache, and when you get home at night, you simply plug your keychain into your computer. You will have the option of typing in a log of your adventure, then hitting enter and doing it again for each cache you found, or you can have it automatically enter a pre-written log on each cache page and be done logging your finds in seconds! :P

 

Finally, a way to get rid of cheaters!

Edited by TEAM 360
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Here's a look at a solar-powered beacon I put on my "Hardrocker" cache. It cost about $5 to make from an on-sale walkway light. After removing the diffuser, exposing the LED, and filling the innards with silicone (to make it waterproof) I fabbed up an aluminum bracket to attach it. It's visible for miles once darkness falls. I'm sure a few muggles have seen it from the lake below and would like to thrash it, but it requires some physical exertion to reach so it's quite safe. Lightning is another story...

Edited by [MTB]_Intrepid
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What does F.R.E.D. stand for?  I'm clueless.

Well, trains used to have cabooses' on the end. Then some brilliant accountant figured out money could be saved (and people put out of work) by placing an automated unit there instead and the Rear End Device was born. It wasn't long before those who actually work the train and are ultimately responsible for it's safety came up with FRED (guess what the F stand for?)...hopefully this will enlighten you. ;)

Edited by [MTB]_Intrepid
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Has anyone encountered caches that use electronics or photo-voltaics in the cache, or waypoints?

I found one where you went to the coordinates and tuned in your AM radio to a recording that gave the cache location. The broadcast was from a small transmitter like used by real estate agents.

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There're several caches where blinking LEDs are used e.g. Training Unit Six

Some of these caches have a IR-LED so you need to have a night vision device.

 

Other nightcaches use reactive lights: You need to hit them with a strong flashlight before they start to blink for a short while.

 

 

... did I mention they are all in Germeany?

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_Intrepid,Dec 30 2004, 08:37 AM]
What does F.R.E.D. stand for?  I'm clueless.

Well, trains used to have cabooses' on the end. Then some brilliant accountant figured out money could be saved (and people put out of work) by placing an automated unit there instead and the Rear End Device was born. It wasn't long before those who actually work the train and are ultimately responsible for it's safety came up with FRED (guess what the F stand for?)...hopefully this will enlighten you. :D

The 'F' stands for flashing, right? :P

 

 

Yerocrg

Edited by Yerocrg
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Sure glad we found out what FRED stands for. Here in Bremerton, Washington a cacher had a ammo box hid in his front lawn near the street in some bushes. When the top was opened it sent a radio signal to his house which was down the hill on Puget Sound. Then he would come up and meet the cachers. I believe it may be inactive right now. Dick, W7WT

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I stated in a previous thread:

 

In the near future, you will open the cache and simply plug your keychain jumpdrive into a small box that runs from a ... You will have the option of typing in a log of your adventure ...

My "jumpdrive" also plays and records MP3's, so I would have the option to "record" my log entry on the way back to the car ... unless it's a drive-through-cache :grin:

 

Jan

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Our Haunted Hollow cache contains the inner mechanism of a motion activated Laughing Halloween Rock. I paid $10 for the rock and took it apart and fabricated a small container for it that is fixed to the inside of an ammo can.

 

My original intent is that the photo cell would activate when the box was opened, but it turns out that the shock sensor is pretty sensitive. It's hard to get within a few feet of the cache without setting it off and hearing an echoing "Muhahahaha!"

 

Good times.

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;) Hi everyone I like these unusual caches,

and some of the ideas on this thread are great,

I used an old PC disc drive fitted inside a hollowed out piece of wood, I removed lots of the origional componants and fitted a recording of the mission impossible theme, and used the open and close switches to open the tray and reveal a small logbook inside, this was then all put inside an old tree, its called secret squirrels logbook, GCJPX2. I love the idea of the screaming cache,

all the best Major Tom & Family.

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Hey all,

 

I have been intending to make a cache that has some kind of sound record/playback module in it. I already have a sound playback chip from ®adio shack that cost all of $9.95. It uses a 9V battery for power. What I am trying to find out is what KIND of battery would work best for all weather conditions? for example, would NiMH work best or is there a better make. I assume that by paralelling sevral batteries, this will increase the life expectancy of the battery (I am looking for a 3 Year solution).

 

Any input is welcome.

 

-LM

 

Edit: Just got a call from a friend of mine who recomended the Ultralife battery (this is not an ad, just what I have found)

 

The Ultralife lithium 9-volt battery is a consumer-replaceable battery that lasts up to 5 times longer than ordinary alkaline 9V batteries and 10 times longer than carbon-zinc batteries. This primary battery has the highest energy density, flattest discharge voltage curve, longest shelf life, widest operating temperature range, and lightest weight of any comparable 9-volt battery. Ultralife 9-volt batteries are available in blister pack, foil pack, Contractor Pack, and bulk packaging.

 

A 10-year service life makes the Ultralife lithium 9-volt battery the choice for major smoke alarm manufacturers for their premium lines of 10-year ionization-type smoke alarms. And as a consumer-replaceable battery, consumers can instantly upgrade their smoke alarms, too.

 

The UL-recognized Ultralife 9-volt lithium battery contains no mercury, lead or cadmium and has a patented safety mechanism. These batteries are ideal for OEM applications, including medical, wireless security, safety, and industrial uses, or as a consumer-replacement battery in 9-volt devices for home safety, music/audio, and recreation.

 

Spec Sheet HERE: http://www.ulbi.com/techsheets/UBI-3001_U9VL.pdf

 

I hope this will help anyone who is interested in making electronic caches.

 

-LM

Edited by Lone Monkey
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For a good laugh you can always use a modified refigerator magnet. There was one in Portland, OR that played "Money Money Money" every time you openend it. No matter how mad you were at how hard the cache was to find, you would really laugh. It was stuck somewhere fairly protected from the perpetual rain out here but needless to say as the batteries started to go from all those finds and as the dampness got to it, it became really really funny sounding ... like a really really sad electronic rendition of the song. :lol:

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Hey all,

 

I have been intending to make a cache that has some kind of sound record/playback module in it. I already have a sound playback chip from ®adio shack that cost all of $9.95. It uses a 9V battery for power. What I am trying to find out is what KIND of battery would work best for all weather conditions? for example, would NiMH work best or is there a better make. I assume that by paralelling sevral batteries, this will increase the life expectancy of the battery (I am looking for a 3 Year solution).

 

Any input is welcome.

 

-LM

 

Edit: Just got a call from a friend of mine who recomended the Ultralife battery (this is not an ad, just what I have found)

 

The Ultralife lithium 9-volt battery is a consumer-replaceable battery that lasts up to 5 times longer than ordinary alkaline 9V batteries and 10 times longer than carbon-zinc batteries. This primary battery has the highest energy density, flattest discharge voltage curve, longest shelf life, widest operating temperature range, and lightest weight of any comparable 9-volt battery. Ultralife 9-volt batteries are available in blister pack, foil pack, Contractor Pack, and bulk packaging.

 

A 10-year service life makes the Ultralife lithium 9-volt battery the choice for major smoke alarm manufacturers for their premium lines of 10-year ionization-type smoke alarms. And as a consumer-replaceable battery, consumers can instantly upgrade their smoke alarms, too.

 

The UL-recognized Ultralife 9-volt lithium battery contains no mercury, lead or cadmium and has a patented safety mechanism. These batteries are ideal for OEM applications, including medical, wireless security, safety, and industrial uses, or as a consumer-replacement battery in 9-volt devices for home safety, music/audio, and recreation.

 

Spec Sheet HERE: http://www.ulbi.com/techsheets/UBI-3001_U9VL.pdf

 

I hope this will help anyone who is interested in making electronic caches.

 

-LM

Why 3 years most caches wouldn't last that long. It also depends on the environment cold and heat will sap a battery life. SO it depends.

cheers

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Edit: Just got a call from a friend of mine who recomended the Ultralife battery (this is not an ad, just what I have found)

 

The Ultralife lithium 9-volt battery is a consumer-replaceable battery that lasts up to 5 times longer than ordinary alkaline 9V batteries and 10 times longer than carbon-zinc batteries. This primary battery has the highest energy density, flattest discharge voltage curve, longest shelf life, widest operating temperature range, and lightest weight of any comparable 9-volt battery. Ultralife 9-volt batteries are available in blister pack, foil pack, Contractor Pack, and bulk packaging.

 

A 10-year service life makes the Ultralife lithium 9-volt battery the choice for major smoke alarm manufacturers for their premium lines of 10-year ionization-type smoke alarms. And as a consumer-replaceable battery, consumers can instantly upgrade their smoke alarms, too.

 

The UL-recognized Ultralife 9-volt lithium battery contains no mercury, lead or cadmium and has a patented safety mechanism. These batteries are ideal for OEM applications, including medical, wireless security, safety, and industrial uses, or as a consumer-replacement battery in 9-volt devices for home safety, music/audio, and recreation.

 

Spec Sheet HERE: http://www.ulbi.com/techsheets/UBI-3001_U9VL.pdf

 

I hope this will help anyone who is interested in making electronic caches.

 

-LM

 

Ok, so I'm a little late in responding to this....

 

I just thought I'd chime in and mention that I've been a *VERY* satisfied user of the UltraLife 9 volt batteries. I first started using them around 1996, and was easily getting 4-6x longer run time as compared to standard batteries.

 

I can attest to the fact that, one of these batteries will easily last the lifetime of a smoke detector. I just recently replaced one that was installed in December 1998 (I wrote the date in the compartment).

 

I get them at dealer cost (i have a small business), so they are especially a good deal for me. Only problem is, I end up buying so many, and replacing them so infrequently, my supplier starts to think I've gone elsewhere to buy them.

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How about a cache using black light? It seems you could lay out coords to a multi just about anywhere and have cachers use a battery powered black light to read the coords. It could be a cool variation for a night cache.

 

I'm sure the specialized equipment would keep the numbers down though.

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How about a cache using black light? It seems you could lay out coords to a multi just about anywhere and have cachers use a battery powered black light to read the coords. It could be a cool variation for a night cache.

 

I'm sure the specialized equipment would keep the numbers down though.

That is in my plans for a future cache. Using invisible paint (only visible via UV light) to mark coords. Another handy use for the UV light is to mark your own caches. Suppose your cache turns up missing (overgrown vegetatio, etc), you can use the UV light to re-find your cache.

 

Does anyone have the schematics for making a blinking LED set-up for caches. I'm not talking about the sill party LEDS for your shirts, I want to make one using a 9 volt battery.

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I have a solar powered lawn light that I would like to somehow incorpoate into a cache. Any ideas??? It uses 1 battery and will stay lit maybe 3 hours after the sun goes down. I guess if only night cachers searched for it I would have to tell them the light can only be seen from about sundown and 3 hours beyond sundown... Not sure how often it would need a battery change either but I think they last quite a while..............Maybe I can hang the light in a tree? Maybe have the cache attached to it or in a hole in the tree? Or make it a multi with coordinates attached to the light? Or say the actual cache is so many feet away in a certain direction? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.............what to do..........

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Does anyone have the schematics for making a blinking LED set-up for caches. I'm not talking about the sill party LEDS for your shirts, I want to make one using a 9 volt battery.

If you search 555 timer schematics you will find lots of stuff for flashing LED's These can be adapted with a little work to your cause

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Ok, I've been toying with this idea for a while and thought that maybe I'd bounce it off the forum community.

 

These solar powered walkway lights are getting pretty cheap and I wanted to see if I could incorporate one into a cache. I went to Home Depot and picked up a set of 4 for $20.00. Then I went to Radio Slack and got a 2 pack of cheap 2-way radios ($20.00). So I'm out $40 bucks. Now what?

 

The light charges during the day and when the photo cell stops detecting light it turns on the LED. I clipped off the LED and soldered on wires and then ran them to the pos and neg posts on the Radio. I then soldered the LED to the speaker output. The radio fits inside the light chamber, so the unit is self contained and 'mostly' waterproof. During the day the radio is now off. When it gets dark the radio powers up. When a 2-way signal is received by the radio the LED pulses to the audio that would otherwise be heard.

 

My idea is to place the radio-light in a tree and have the cacher go to a set of nearby coords and 'call' on a specified channel. (I think it would be funny to make the cachers sing yankee doodle dandy but I've got a wierd sense of humor.) The radio- light picks up the signal and pulses to the call signal, indicating the location of the cache at the base of said tree.

 

Field test (my back yard) provided really good visability at 50 yards without any obstructions. I am currntly testing the units charging and battery life capability in the lab (again, my back yard). The light, on a full charge is supposed to run for 8 to 10 hours. I predict the radio will put less drain on the batteris than the constantly lit LED would. $15 bucks a piece isn't THAT bad.

Edited by Johnnie Stalkers
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Ok, I've been toying with this idea for a while and thought that maybe I'd bounce it off the forum community.

 

These solar powered walkway lights are getting pretty cheap and I wanted to see if I could incorporate one into a cache. I went to Home Depot and picked up a set of 4 for $20.00. Then I went to Radio Slack and got a 2 pack of cheap 2-way radios ($20.00). So I'm out $40 bucks. Now what?

 

The light charges during the day and when the photo cell stops detecting light it turns on the LED. I clipped off the LED and soldered on wires and then ran them to the pos and neg posts on the Radio. I then soldered the LED to the speaker output. The radio fits inside the light chamber, so the unit is self contained and 'mostly' waterproof. During the day the radio is now off. When it gets dark the radio powers up. When a 2-way signal is received by the radio the LED pulses to the audio that would otherwise be heard.

 

My idea is to place the radio-light in a tree and have the cacher go to a set of nearby coords and 'call' on a specified channel. (I think it would be funny to make the cachers sing yankee doodle dandy but I've got a wierd sense of humor.) The radio- light picks up the signal and pulses to the call signal, indicating the location of the cache at the base of said tree.

 

Field test (my back yard) provided really good visability at 50 yards without any obstructions. I am currntly testing the units charging and battery life capability in the lab (again, my back yard). The light, on a full charge is supposed to run for 8 to 10 hours. I predict the radio will put less drain on the batteris than the constantly lit LED would. $15 bucks a piece isn't THAT bad.

I love it! A Rube Goldberg if there ever was one! :D

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Ok, I've been toying with this idea for a while and thought that maybe I'd bounce it off the forum community. 

 

These solar powered walkway lights are getting pretty cheap and I wanted to see if I could incorporate one into a cache. <snip>

There's some critical point where the recharge day is shorter than the discharge night. Thats the reason you see dim path lights in the winter. If you really can use less power with the radio than the LED, you might be in business.

 

I have a light that I'm experimenting with too. I want to have the LED light up a set of coordinates but make it visible only at night. I'll keep working on it in my spare time.

 

:D Did I just say spare time? Bwahaha!

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Yea, it's almost a cache-22 (hehe). Right now these days are long, which limits night caching time, and the batteries are going to get full charge. In the winter, when there is a surplus of darkness for caching, there will be limited power supply.

 

I'm hoping that by not transmitting I am increasing the energy conservation enough to balance it out. The LED drai is minimal.

 

For a cache name I am considering Nocturnal Remisson. To risque?

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I take it these radios have a real "on/off" button, and not a momentary switch? No "auto power off"?

That's correct, the radios I selected have manual on/off-volume switches and no time delay shutdown. This actually helps keep the cost down because the cheaper radios fit my needs. So far testing is going well. I have researched some less expensive radios and I can get my per unit cost down to $10. Of course, this envolves an initial cost of $40 for 4 radios and 4 solar lights.

 

So does the need of an FRS radio to complete the cache qualify as special equipment? We don't have a 5/5 cache locally and this concept on the proper terrain could potentially be a 5/5.

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