Monday, 7 April 2014

Garmin 62s refurb - reposition feature scrambles the data fields section of the screen

April 6 2014. 
Planted a cache and used the reposition function to get more accurate coordinates. The data field section of the screen scrambled. 3rd photo shows the scrambled data field after a tried the reposition feature a 2nd time. That time it split into 2 scrambled boxes. The same problem happened with my previous 62s. Is this normal? Or is it a sign of trouble? 





Tuesday, 1 April 2014

62s refurb - first experience

Picked up my refurbished Garmin 62s Monday afternoon and promptly set it up for a quick geocaching fix before dinner.

I was excited to have new buttons. I expect that these will not rapidly deteriorate.

I remembered to back up the factory set files, just in case a software upload or a profile change messes them up in the future.

Out in the field the compass worked, although I found it odd that I wasn't prompted to calibrate the compass. It was a good thing, calibrating is bothersome, yet I'm a little worried.

I did have one small glitch. At one point I tried to zoom in on the map and I couldn't. I paged out and went back into the map view and could zoom in fine after that.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Did it...sent my Garmin 62s in for a refurb

Last year around this time I just about had it with my lemon of a 62s. Then last month it would turn itself off every time I tried to look at the cache description. Good thing I had my GC phone app with me (and cellular coverage - but it was dicey one bar coverage).  I thought it might be a corrupted file, downloaded new files. Still had the shut-off problem. Was using the latest software update. 

So I started looking at GPS City for a new geocache, and reading the GC forums gps reviews. Every paperless Garmin unit had problems.

I considered buying the least expensive of the Garmin units - one with mapping and a colour screen, the eTrex 20. It was going to cost about $260 with the topo map.

Then I checked Raytech.ca. A 62s refurb would cost me $141. I opted for the refurb. I figure that there's no way I'll get a lemon, since it should be well tested. The chance I'm taking is that it may break down again sometime in the future. My original 62s started off fine but got worse and worse with time. Price wise this seems to be the best chance to take.

I pick up my refurb today at the post office. After testing it out on some geocaching excursions, I'll post the results. 

Monday, 23 December 2013

How to Reward a Caring Cache Owner

Folks, if you find a cache where it looks like the CO tried to provide a nice experience for finders, please write about your cache experience at that particular cache, it's the only reward a cache owner gets for their effort.


Sunday, 25 August 2013

University of Guelph is Geocaching Friendly

 University of Guelph Geocaching Arboretum Banner

From: University of Guelph Arboretum - Geocaches

Geocaches

What is Geocaching?

Geocaching is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure. A geocacher can place a geocache in the world, pinpoint its location using GPS technology and then share the geocache’s existence and location online. Anyone with a GPS unit can then try to locate the geocache. This is a terrific way to get outside and explore new areas.

What is a GPS device?

A GPS unit is an electronic device that can determine your approximate location (within around 6 - 20 feet) on the planet. Coordinates are normally given in Latitude and Longitude. You can use the device to navigate from your current location to another location. Some devices have their own maps, built-in electronic compasses, and voice navigation, depending on the complexity of the device.

Are there Geocaches in The Arboretum?

Yes! There are at least 5 geocaches in The Arboretum. Go to www.geocaching.com and search for our postal code (N1G 2W1). Example caches found here are Twin Oaks, Rabbit Trail, R.J. Hilton's Legacy, Poison Ivy Trail and Arboretum. This site is a great place to learn more about geocaching, too.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

My Garmin 62s -- I want to chuck it

Bought my Garmin 62s in July of 2011 [blog post].

1 year and 9 months later and I'm really frustrated with it. I think I bought a lemon. Almost everytime I'm out on a geocaching excursion I want to chuck it into the nearest trash can and be done with it. I'd buy something else but it's too expensive (I spent about $500 on it) and I'm afraid I'll purchase another lemon of a Garmin.

I loved everyone of my other Garmins: little yellow eTrex, Garmin GPS V, 60Cx. The 60Cx was reliable, durable and accurate. I was hoping the 62s was going to be a paperless version of the 60Cx, but it isn't. 

Scrambled Screen
The dashboard of the screen sometimes gets scrambled when I choose the Reposition Here option.  I was told by a fellow member that my coordinates were consistently off. This really concerned me because we have a reputation for providing accurate coordinates (often (pre-62s) people leave logs commenting on how the coords were spot on). I told him I was using the averaging feature on my 62s. He said that the 62s doesn't always do a great job at averaging coordinates. He suggested using the "reposition here" feature instead. Since using it, I have had fewer coordinate issues (but not getting comments about how spot-on the coordinates are).




Worn Keypad
My keypad is wearing out. 2 years of average use (I use it probably every couple of weeks for a few hours) and it looks like this:
Worn keypad

This forum GC topic explains that it's a manufacturer's default "..the 62s buttons are made from a very fragile rubber with an extremely thin protective layer on top...as soon as this is slightly scratched, the underlying layers rub away rapidly". Apparently some 62s have this problem and some don't.

Compass Calibration
I can't use the compass because it won't calibrate. Fails every time on the third step, where I need to rotate the GPS from front to back. It use to work after several attempts but now, after updating the firmware it will not calibrate. 

Map
When moving towards a cache, the map sometimes shows me moving away from the cache.  So I end up following the numbers instead. If the number of meters are decreasing then I know I'm moving in the correct direction. 

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

I see dead things

I found a nice country road drive-by cache today. It was planted by a 7 year old boy. Took the cache to the car to sign the log and leave swag. Put it back and headed for home. A couple of hours at home and I decide to head out to do some shopping. I get into the car and there's the cache's logbook on my passenger seat. Oh no.

I decide to go back to the cache and afterwards do some quick grocery shopping. I drive up to the cache. I step toward the cache with logbook in hand. I get startled.

There's a small coyote next to the tree. It's sleeping...no it doesn't seem to be breathing and it's slumped over the logs next to the tree. I toss a stick near it's snout just to be sure it isn't sleeping. No reaction. Poor little thing. I gingerly replace the cache in the nook at the base of the tree and wonder how I didn't see it a couple of hours ago.

Originally, I approached from the north and was so focussed on the cache I didn't see it. This time I approached from the south. Maybe, but it's highly unlikely, the coyote perished at the tree sometime after I left and before I arrived. So it wasn't there when I first visited.

I'll have to tell the young CO that the cache is going to be inaccessible soon due to the deterioration of the carcass. It currently had no odour but that won't last long.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Virtuals


Challenge Caches have gone belly up. This was GC management's 2nd 'virtual' game response to the ever-present 'bring back virtuals' request.

Their first new 'virtual' game to appease the masses was/is Waymarking, more like Locationless caches, not really like old-fashioned Virtuals, so the beseeching continued.

The now defunct Challenge Caches were introduced just a few months ago. They are more like a photo location game - 'go somewhere, do something', post a photo. Almost nothing like old-fashioned Virtuals where you needed to visit the location and prove that you found the cache by answering questions that could be answered by physically visiting the location.


Maybe geocaching.com management might re-consider bringing back real circa 2002 Virtuals.  But to control them, so they don't get out of hand - charge $5 per virtual hide. People will probably be more selective about where they put a Virtual cache if there's a small monetary investment involved. The idea comes from the Munzee site. Virtual munzees got out of hand and were abused but are more controlled now that Munzee management put a price tag on them.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Secret Munzees

There are secret munzees. When you find them you can scan them via your computer screen and capture them for points. Tonight I found 4 and I'm on the hunt for more but it's not easy. Here's the forum topic that got me started: Special Hidden Munzees

1. Google munzee contra
2. Try to get a Page Not Found on munzee.com, you'll get a cap-able munzee with a frownie face
3. Google Plano Texas Fire Department. There's a munzee on their homepage.
4. The munzee on the munzee.com homepage is cap-able
5. I remember finding one at a Boy Scouts Jamboree site this summer. I think this is the NOAC Boy Scout munzee:
6. I think the Munzee creators list of deployed munzees will likely have lots of these. The trick is to figure out on what webpage they put the munzee qr code.
7. Ketchup
8. Wikipedia
9. Face book
10. Deuce of Hearts munzee:
11. Most of the munzees in the Munzee Store

Update: someone posted a list of "arm chair" munzees in the forums. Here's the list:
Armchair Munzees -  GeoJewett's blog about secret munzees

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Munzee List for Hiders

I was impressed with this list of principles that Zalgariath follows. He posted the list to the Munzees: Have I been doing it wrong? forum discussion. I thought I'd share it here:

  • I will make durable, quality Munzees... and usually with a custom skin. Laminated and designed to last.
  • I will take care the location I deploy in is scanable, sensible, and has at least some interest.
  • I will attach my munzees in a decent manner and NOT damage the fixture with permanent glue or things.* Once they go, I want NO SIGN they were ever there.
  • I will deploy a Munzee in each of MY geocaches or at least nearby
  • I will deploy while travelling a long way from home if I find an awesome spot.
  • I will maintain cache Munzees
  • I will not maintain, I will simply archive, all my long distance ones if reported missing.
  • I will deploy series and trails, spaced close, in large numbers but taking into account the above quality / interest concerns.
  • I may or may not vigorously maintain these series, depending on if they are meant to work together and should be kept whole (like Munzopoly) or if they are a nature trail with so many along a walk the loss of a few won't matter.
  • I will help my fellow Munzeers with events, custom Munzees and advice.
  • I will comment on and rate every Munzee I find.
  • I will tell a Munzee owner if I think their deployment is a bit rubbish or needs a rethink... in a nice way  
  • I will Cap Virtuals... I will not comment on them, unless done really well. Effort for effort!
  • I will Cap anything, but prefer walks and trails with a Munzee every 100-200m hidden in a variety of ways.
Density is good.... BUT! VARIETY VARIETY VARIETY.... 50 munzees under every seat? No fun. 50 Munzees under seats, on poles, on trees, behind signs, fences... much better

* Some glue jobs are fine. Guard rails, Trolls, Backs of some old signs... but I have seen a number that are stuck to places that they really should be like statues :(