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Cacheberry review

Yesterday Team JNLe4 and I went on a cache run to the south east of Columbus. The plan was to do about 30 caches but we managed 20. This is still the highest number of caches I’ve done in a day so I was pretty pleased.
This was also my first time using the registered version of Cacheberry and it worked really well. I’ve purchased a 4gb SD card for the Blackberry that I used to store the data on which also made it easier to transfer the gpx data from gsak to the blackberry.
The ability to quickly search for a cache,open the logs and hints really helps when out in the field and the option to save cache logs whilst out in the field and email the log file for “one click logging” is very useful.
As we did 20 caches with several travel-bug pickups I was actually saving the travel-bug information in the Blackberry note feature – but that was because I wasn’t sure how the field-note logging works. However, now that I’ve logged when I was back home I now know that I didn’t really need to do this.
It’s better to write the travel bug information into the field note in cacheberry and then as you log the cache itself by clicking on the saved log within the website you can delete the travel-bug information.

What would be nice would be a separate function to pick up the pre-existing travel bug information. Currently cacheberry knows that there is a tb in the cache but there is no interface to say that it’s been found or discovered. If you’ve used gpxsonar in the past you will be used to this function.

The other thing I’d like would be to have the time that the cache was found added to the online log function, I like to know how long it took me to go between each cache but once the caches are logged online this information is not available anymore (unless I go back to the cacheberry application).

I didn’t use the new compass facility (as I was using my gps) apart from one test cache find. For this cache I had both the gps and the blackberry running a search for the nearest cache. The Blackberry normally had the distance to the cache about 5-6′ shorter than the gps, but when it came to ground-zero, both the gps and cacheberry had the same information. I was very impressed at how quickly cacheberry updated itself with the position and it wouldn’t certainly make a good emergency gps if the main gps battery dies or if looking for that ftf without a gps available. I’m not sure how much using the gps affects the battery but I suspect it does make the battery life shorter.

Overall, this app is well worth the $15 registration fee for those blackberry owning geocachers

A cache!

I actually got to go out and do some geocaching this evening as the weather was so nice. Unfortunately I only found one cache, Wyandot Trading Post due to the number of muggles at the other caches I tried to do. However I posted some pictures at flickr and whilst doing this I noticed that the time on the gps was wrong as it hadn’t updated automatically. I thought that the gps’s got their time from satellites (which I still think they do) but they don’t know that Daylight Saving has kicked in. Once I turned it on in the gps the time was correct. I also had to change the time on the camera, but that was because it was set to 8.24am and not 8.24pm which meant the process of geotagging the images was very painful.
I did upgrade my gps by using the Garmin Web Updater which upgraded me 4 versions of firmware – some of the newer garmin gps’s have new firmware available.

Caching update

I won a Legend C with North america maps on ebay last night which is great – the autorouting should come in very handy for work too – and if the route just so happens to go past a cache – well “I am only following directions gov” 😉
On a slightly similar note, the weekly notification of caches arrived today (the uk cache notification!) but it had the interesting news that you can now get a query of caches along a route. If this works, it’s going to be great news for geocaching. Firstly there will be great rejoicing from the caching community and secondly this seriously reduces the need to horde cache information in gsak. Now I can get live cache data from a route online rather than having to download all of ohio into gsak, export all the caches as streetmaps pushpins, import them into streets and trips, create the route and then show caches within .2 miles.

Newport Kentucky

Kristen and I had the day off so I tried to find a couple of geocaches – but unfortunately one was unreachable as they were doing work on the bridge, and the other one was just hidden too well (or missing).
I did manage to find the virtual peace Bell, but then as its about 30′ high it is a bit difficult to not be able to find it. We originally heard the bell chiming at midday but when I went to see the bell later in the day they were actually testing the bell so I got to see it in action and heard it chiming and chiming and chiming – I feel sorry for anyone who actually worked in the vicinity, especially if they were working nights. I did manage to get a video with the camera of the bell which I’ve uploaded to YouTube
On the way home from Cincinatti today I had the gps on the dashboard of the car tracking our journey. I turned around to get something out of the back seat and there was a bang – the gps had fallen off the dashboard to the floor – I didn’t think that was a problem as it has fallen on the floor before. However, as we got out of the car I picked the GPS up and the screen had cracked AND it had also damaged the LCD crystals so I now have a functional gps but no screen that I can actually use.
I’m going to be looking for a new gps now – the garmin autorouting ones look great (but expensive) – in the meantime I’ll just have to cache with some buddies and use their gps.