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22 April 2007 @ 09:44 pm
another failed geocaching attempt!  

Originally uploaded by mollydot.
Tried one in Carlow this time. We couldn't get the coordinates spot on, as I think we'd have to go into the river. I'm not sure about that though, as the GPS was completely useless as a compass. West could have been in any of four directions. We'll bring a real compass next time, if we can find it (I wonder what it's coords are?). We also forgot to take into account that the reading was only accurate to 5 metres. Pretty good; I've never seen it do better, but it did mean that the cache could have been on the other side of a wall going alongside the path, which was only a metre or two away. We got a nice walk and a couple of nice photos out of it, so it wasn't a complete waste.
exigentlyexigently on April 22nd, 2007 10:19 pm (UTC)
I think there's a way of calibrating the magnetic compass in that GPS receiver so it gives the right direction — although if you're moving it tries to work out the direction you're pointing based on your direction of travel.

In any case, I'd expect the magnetic compass to get confused if you're standing next to any large metal object (car/lamppost, etc)

And yea, I expect the ~5m accuracy makes actually finding the damn thing a little bit of a challenge...

Let us know as soon as you successfully find a cache!
a very caring potatomollydot on April 23rd, 2007 07:02 am (UTC)
Oh, there's a magnetic compass in it? I assumed it was working it out from satellites, though now that I think about it, I don't know how it would. I couldn't understand how it was getting it so wrong, when it was getting a good reading from so many satellites - no buildings, the only tall things were Lovely Man and me.
Yeah, it was when I was turning around that it seemed to be worst. It was consistent enough that I didn't notice a problem when we were trying to find the approximate location. It was only when we were trying to get it within 2 seconds that we got stuck.
Also, we found we have no idea of distance in comparison to arc. We thought we were nearly at it where we parked, but ended up walking for a good bit further.
a very caring potatomollydot on April 23rd, 2007 07:34 am (UTC)
Oh, btw, can you tell us how to use the GPS properly? We hadn't put the cache coords in. We just compared the coords for where we were with the coords written on a piece of paper. If we'd put them in & told it to navigate to there, we would have at least known the distance.
exigently: pain burning robotexigently on April 23rd, 2007 05:35 pm (UTC)
You create a new waypoint and set its coordinates to be those given for the cache. Then you tell the receiver to navigate to that waypoint (can't remember the exact steps for that bit, it's easier when the receiver is in front of you…)

Once that's done, it gives the distance to the waypoint and the direction it's in. I find it's easy to go around in a spiral and not look where you're walking, 'cos if you walk in the approximate direction when it's (say) 50m to the waypoint, then look down again, you might be 20m away yet the waypoint is now to your left. Repeat until tired and/or you find the waypoint, but you can easily end up going in a spiral.

Waypoint's also a good way of taking note of where you started from, so you can set one for your current location where you (say) park the car, then you have a way of getting back to where you started. Alternatively, you can get it to record your path as you travel (amusing, 'cos you can then view how lost you got onscreen later…) and tell it to navigate you back to your starting point by following the path it recorded.
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a very caring potatomollydot on April 23rd, 2007 09:32 am (UTC)
Cool! What one did you find?
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a very caring potatomollydot on April 23rd, 2007 09:46 am (UTC)
So do I, despite not finding one yet.
Do you want to meet up some weekday evening and do one? I find weekends hard to plan due to housebuilding. Perhaps with davidg666 too?
a very caring potato: lj todomollydot on April 23rd, 2007 09:34 am (UTC)
Or I could just look at your journal entry...
Blinkunblinkered on April 23rd, 2007 02:03 pm (UTC)
Oooooh. You've got me looking at GPSs now. Sounds like a lot of fun!
a very caring potatomollydot on April 23rd, 2007 02:11 pm (UTC)
Join us... join us...
Blinkunblinkered on April 23rd, 2007 02:14 pm (UTC)
I think I may have to! A bog-standard GPS thingy should do the job, shouldn't it? I was looking at used ones on ebay...
a very caring potatomollydot on April 23rd, 2007 02:21 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I'm using a borrowed one that I don't know how to use, so any features besides showing where you are right now are unused.
I think it would be easier if you could input the point you're looking for, but I think most allow that. The more accurate the better too. I haven't started comparison shopping yet, so I don't know how much accuracy affects price.