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View Full Version : Paperless caching. Help please.......



arkansasboy
12-23-2009, 12:16 AM
Being as how I am new to this sport I have a bit of a learning curve to deal with. I am wanting to start paperless for obvious reasons but I need a little help.

I just bought a Dell Axim50 PPC off ebay and I have been downloading some programs to use on it for my searches. Question is, which one do I need for my set-up and how does it all work. I understand you can download info from gc.com but then what?

I am not completely computer illiterate so hopefully learning to do this wont be too painful for me. I just want to make it as efficient as possible.
I am hoping to get a handheld GPS soon as well.

bluesybreeze
12-23-2009, 05:59 AM
Download the program GSAK (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife). It is THE software to use for organizing your caches. From this software you can create databases of your pocket queries from Geocaching.com and download large batches of caches directly into your GPSr. It is also free to preview and very cheap (under #30) to purchase with free upgrades. There are others on here that know a lot more than me about the program and I know will be willing to help you out.

OldRiverRunner
12-23-2009, 08:32 AM
I have used a Dell Axim Pocket PC for years for my paperless geocaching. You will need to load an application on it for the paperless caching. I use GPXSonar, which was free. There used to be a link to the download site for this from Geocaching.com, under the Resources section. However, i see that the link is no longer there. I checked the GC.com Forums and found this discussion (http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=234788&hl=gpxsonar), which says that GPXSonar is no longer supported, but still available. Also, I'm not sure whether it would work with your version of Windows on your Pocket PC. But it's worth a try. Others might suggest another application which is still supported.

GPXSonar works great. I use GSAK to interface with it. I first run a pocket query on GC.com (you have to be a premium member to use this feature) and then open the zipped file into GSAK. I then save the information into a gpx file which I copy to the Pocket PC and open with GPX Sonar.

If you don't have a handheld GPS receiver unit, you need to get one! Put that at the top of your "to get" list if you are serious about geocaching.

grzz51
12-23-2009, 08:34 AM
GSAK is a must, but you'll get "nag" screens unless you anti-up with a one time donation of about $25. I use Easy GPS to get the waypoints to my Lowrance GPSr. Perhaps others could list their set-ups.

paris1time
12-23-2009, 08:38 AM
I know that others have used a Pocket PC, but I never have. I have used the program Cachemate on a Palm device and really liked it. There is a version of Cachemate that is available for Pocket PC at http://www.smittyware.com/ppc/cachemate/

I'm not 100% sure, but to get a pocket query into the Cachemate it might take a file that has been generated using GSAK.

I HIGHLY suggest downloading Geocaching Swiss Army Knife (GSAK) at http://www.gsak.net/

It is free to try for 21 days. After that it still can be used, but there are some nag screens that pop up each time you "click" on something and it is several minutes before you can proceed. It costs $25 to register and a user may install it on as many computers that they have for their own use.

I have a BlackBerry and I am currently using CacheBerry.

If you have any questions drop me a line at paris1time@yahoo.com.

jclaudii
12-23-2009, 09:52 AM
We use cachemate on the PDA and input data via GSAK. There is a option in GSAK to "export" the data your looking at into a cachemate (.pdb file I believe). You can try cachemate out for free, but it will only let you load 10 caches into it until you buy the full version (i think it was less than 25...we won ours at an event)

Good luck getting it going, just post up if you have issues/problems.

SJClimber
12-23-2009, 10:58 AM
Good morning, our approach is identical to ORR's using an Axim X51v and Garmin C/Sx. I had a post sometime back about using a program to place cache info as POI's on a Garmin C/S or C/Sx. The topic is "C/Sx "cache page" info" under General Discussions. You can avoid multiple devices and software by purchasing a receiver that holds all the cache data (DeLorme and Garmin devices) found on Geo.com. Good luck..

arkansasboy
12-25-2009, 06:05 PM
I know that others have used a Pocket PC, but I never have. I have used the program Cachemate on a Palm device and really liked it. There is a version of Cachemate that is available for Pocket PC at http://www.smittyware.com/ppc/cachemate/

I'm not 100% sure, but to get a pocket query into the Cachemate it might take a file that has been generated using GSAK.

I HIGHLY suggest downloading Geocaching Swiss Army Knife (GSAK) at http://www.gsak.net/

It is free to try for 21 days. After that it still can be used, but there are some nag screens that pop up each time you "click" on something and it is several minutes before you can proceed. It costs $25 to register and a user may install it on as many computers that they have for their own use.

I have a BlackBerry and I am currently using CacheBerry.

If you have any questions drop me a line at paris1time@yahoo.com.

I downloaded GSAK and I have around 317 caches ready to transfer. I also downloaded cachemate but I am unsure how this works. Do I place the cachemate file onto my Axim x50 PPC? I couldnt find a set-up or .exe file in the program.

Or,do I export the files from GSAK directly to my GPS?

paris1time
12-25-2009, 10:24 PM
GSAK can be used to send waypoints directly to your GPSr, depending on the brand.

The Cachemate application must be installed on what ever type of device your using, PDA or Pocket PC, for paperless caching. The type your using will depend on which version of Cachemate you must download. i.e. Palm OS or Pocket PC. GSAK is then used to "export" the waypoints into a "Cachemate" file that then is placed on the application on either your PDA or Pocket PC.

arkansasboy
12-26-2009, 12:39 AM
GSAK can be used to send waypoints directly to your GPSr, depending on the brand.

The Cachemate application must be installed on what ever type of device your using, PDA or Pocket PC, for paperless caching. The type your using will depend on which version of Cachemate you must download. i.e. Palm OS or Pocket PC. GSAK is then used to "export" the waypoints into a "Cachemate" file that then is placed on the application on either your PDA or Pocket PC.

I downloaded cachemate version 4.1.2 but this is where I will need a little help. After syncing my PPC to my laptop do I just drag and drop the file from my laptop to the PPC and it does the rest? Does GSAK allow me to export my saved cache files directly into cachemate then for use in the field?
And as a side note,when you have found a cache how do you mark the cache as found using the PPC and can all of your cache finds be archived so you know what you have found and what you havent?
I sure do hope I can attend the event on the 9th so I can ask more questions,but you guys might decide to run me off for asking so many!hahaha. Once I get a better understanding of using the software,and actually do it, then it will all make alot more sense. Thanks for everyones help.
David

OldRiverRunner
12-26-2009, 09:11 AM
I remember that nonnipoppy and Golfnutz put on some GSAK / paperless geocaching classes at some of the Clarksville events a few years back. They even used a projector connected to their laptop to demonstrate how to do it. Unfortunately, they are no longer as active as they once were. Perhaps someone else could put on a class at the Paris event or some future event? There appears to be a lot of interest in this.

gingerose
12-26-2009, 11:06 AM
The great cachers of the Searcy area did this at the their event. (projector and all) It was very helpful and gave me things to think about.

jclaudii
12-28-2009, 09:04 AM
Yea, I remember that. I think it was called like gsak 101 and Paperless caching 101 or some such.

I'm starting to think a caching demo area is a great idea, cause even if the person doing the talking don't know the answers to every question, there is someone at the event that probably does. Also, it will give us a way to show how to set up the PDA, cachemate, gsak, and even some hands on experience of different GPSr's

The one event I loved, was the accuracy test! That is a blast!

AR boy, have you gotten any caches to the device yet? Now, in trial mode...cachemate can only allow a handfull of caches like 10-20 or so to be loaded into the program.

The way I remember doing mine was I moved the file to the device and installed it there, then I just did the "syncing" folder thing by placing a file I want synced to the device in that folder. It would then tell me i'm done. Then the first time I open cachemate, it will look for that file or files and upload them to it's "database". I say files cause I can load different areas to that coincide with my Pocket Queries of different geocache areas.

Good Luck, and again...feel free to post up to get you going, hopefully we can find someone to do some kind of 101 class for us all.

arkansasboy
12-28-2009, 12:43 PM
Yea, I remember that. I think it was called like gsak 101 and Paperless caching 101 or some such.

I'm starting to think a caching demo area is a great idea, cause even if the person doing the talking don't know the answers to every question, there is someone at the event that probably does. Also, it will give us a way to show how to set up the PDA, cachemate, gsak, and even some hands on experience of different GPSr's

The one event I loved, was the accuracy test! That is a blast!

AR boy, have you gotten any caches to the device yet? Now, in trial mode...cachemate can only allow a handfull of caches like 10-20 or so to be loaded into the program.

The way I remember doing mine was I moved the file to the device and installed it there, then I just did the "syncing" folder thing by placing a file I want synced to the device in that folder. It would then tell me i'm done. Then the first time I open cachemate, it will look for that file or files and upload them to it's "database". I say files cause I can load different areas to that coincide with my Pocket Queries of different geocache areas.

Good Luck, and again...feel free to post up to get you going, hopefully we can find someone to do some kind of 101 class for us all.
Yeah,it will only let download so many to my gps before I purchase the full version. I have found one cache using the info from GSAK. I have recently found that I can add notes in GSAK for transfer to my device.

Another paperless caching class is a great idea and I for one would attend.

apache_scout
12-29-2009, 03:37 PM
A note about the Groundspeak Iphone app. As a GPS it is woefully inadequate. In conjunction with a GPS it makes a good paperless reference.

drmo913
12-30-2009, 12:06 PM
I found the iphone app works well for urban caches (redman and skirtlifters). It's access to constantly updating google maps is awesome as well. I've found a quite a few caches after work just by looking at the maps on the phone. The GPS will get you within about 50 feet, and at least for me, that's usually enough to point me in the right direction to hunt.

captaincooder
02-25-2010, 01:31 AM
Echo that about the iPhone. Not a GPS, but a darn fine mo-chine for geocaching. Other than that, I feel sorry for all you chumps out there who don't have a DeLorme. Surely the new Garmins must be similar, no?