Geocaching Take 1

After learning about Geocaching, I finally got around to try it out. If you don’t know where to find the information. Here is the site where you can find out all about it.

I went on the site to find nearby geocaches. Surprisingly, there are a couple of geocaches within 2 minutes drive from my home. I was in a hurry, so I didn’t enter the info into NoniGPSPlot. I just wrote down the coordinates on a piece of paper and off we went. I thought I was prepared. Boy, was I wrong!

The first trouble I ran into is that using NoniGPSPlot is not enough to find the geocaches. From the coordinates reading, I knew I was close. But I didn’t know which way to go. We walked in the wrong direction for several minutes before I found out. NoniGPSPlot also crashed several times. In the end, NoniGPSPlot stopped updating the coordinate reading.

I then tried to use MioMap to find the geocaches. However, I quickly found out MioMap uses a different format for the coordinates. The coordinates I wrote down on paper were useless. I finally gave up on searching for them. In the end, we didn’t find any of the three geocaches we set out to find. Fortunately, I didn’t waste much time.

If you have been using Mio GPS to do Geocaching, please share your experience here. Thanks!

  • c230

    Amida,

    I have no geocache experience yet, but I wanted to point out that in Cockpit Settings, you can change the coordinate display format (there are 3 different types available) to hopefully one that you were expecting. Hopefully something develops in one of our blogs to advance straight-line navigation using the C230 🙂

  • murphyfields

    Too bad your first experience didn’t go well. It really is a lot of fun, especially with kids. So far I just use my Garmin. I have been experimenting with just going out in a field with my mio and recording my position, then coming back to it.

    Have you tried modifying some of the dynamic navigation GPS settings? I have been a little afraid to try, yet, until we find a good application.

  • CD

    I 2nd c230. Change your coordinate types. There are 3. Actually, there it a 4th, UTM. That is the best, IMO. The military has adopted it, as it works really well. Maybe the Mio will do it one day.

  • amida168

    @C230 and CD,

    Do you refer to Quicksilver skin? The settings are not in the factory skin.

    @Murphyfields,

    Yes, my next step would be trying some utilities to change GPS settings. Geocaching is really a lot of fun. Even though our first experience didn’t go well, my daughter still can’t wait for weekend to come.

  • CD

    I’m pretty sure I changed them when I first got my c230. I will have to go back and look at the original skin.

  • amida168

    CD,

    Thanks. I found that I can get the coordinates in the format that MioMap uses. It’s actually easier to use the default format (Degree Decimal: DeciDeg).

  • murphyfields

    Has anybody found a good method for turning off static navigation

    If I try to run SirfTech I get an eternally turning hourglass.

    APLSirf runs, but I cannot see all of the buttons.

    MMSirf: I can get the cab file onto the c230, can get it to create MMSIrfSetup.exe, but get the message of “Cannot find ‘MMSirf Setup’ (or one of its components).

    What has anybody else tried?

  • amida168

    Murphyfields,

    SirfTech does run on Mio C230. You have to create a directory and put SirfTech.exe inside the directory. If you put SirfTech.exe in Script folder, it’s not gonna run because it’s not compatible with the aygshell.dll in the same folder. BTW, what does turning off static navigation buy you?

  • murphyfields

    Check out the discussion at

    http://c230.wordpress.com/2008/01/11/nonigpsplot-for-mio-c230/

    Basically, as it is set, the c230 does not update well with small changes in location or low speeds. Making the change should help, but have not been able to do it yet.

    I tried SirfTech in a different directory, at first, but no luck.

    I give more details tomorrow.

  • c230

    Amida,

    I’m surprised you have trouble running SirfTech from the Script folder. It runs fine for me in that folder in conjunction with AYGSHELL.DLL

    Anyways, here is the procedure I use:

    Set to COM2 @ 38400, Open, Go to the Sirf tab and hit the last option, switch to NMEA protocol, OK, and then Exit. Now when you start the program back up, you’ll see the data filling the screen.

    It is actually better to rotate to portrait mode first, but you don’t have to. Also I noticed that a new version was posted Sunday that allows for parallel mode NMEA and SIRF together, which might be ideal for Mio, but I haven’t tried it yet.

  • c230

    I’ve added the procedure for using SirfTech to change the Static Navigation setting in the C230 to my NoniGPSplot blog to help others avoid the confusion. Just make sure to return the setting when going back into MioMap. 🙂

    Here is the procedure I use to run SirfTech, if using the program to change the Static Navigation setting:

    Set to COM2 @ 38400, Open, Go to the Sirf tab and hit the last option, Switch to NMEA protocol, OK, and then Exit. Now when you start the program back up, you’ll see the data filling the screen.

    Click on the Sirf tab again, click on Static Navigation and uncheck Static Navigation, Set, OK and then Exit.

    When done and you want to return the GPS chip back to the settings ideal for MioMap, Start up SirfTech, click on the Sirf tab again, click on Static Navigation and check Static Navigation , Set, OK, Switch to NMEA protocol, OK, and then Exit.

  • murphyfields

    Any decent way to automate this? Probably a real pain from a script, but might be possible. Or, if anyone knows the right commands, are there any simple (and free) programming languages we could use to code it up?

  • c230

    Sounds like a great option for the author of NoniGPSplot to add in for those that contribute – just build into the program. Let’s see if we can find a better program first though.

    Amida, along those lines, I was in contact with the author of Tracky today, to see if he could help figure out why we get the frustratingly common “Cannot find ‘Tracky’ (or one it’s components)” error message. He offered up some DLLs but no dice.

    Have you hit on the common reason we keep getting this error message for so many programs? Is it missing DLLs, or just the fact that the registry hasn’t been set up properly for the variation from an assumed precise install procedure?

  • amida168

    C230,

    Thanks for your instructions on using SirtTech.

    Yes, I have thought about why we got the “Cannot find …” error messages so often. I read something about how Microsoft is not consistent about various versions of PocketPC and Windows CE. It’s very difficult for the developers to have one version of software that can run on all versions of PocketPC and Windows CE. The developers might need to compile the programs for Windows CE Core 5 for them to work on our devices.

  • murphyfields

    I notice Mortscript can access the serial port. Does anyone know the commands that need to be sent? I would prefer not to rely on noniplot for this, just in case something like GPSimply starts working.

    By the way, my 230 needs port 2 @ 4800 baud to work. Also got SirfTech working, but have no idea why it did not work to begin with.

    Finally a piece of advice for your first cache…pick a few that are easy to find (difficulty and terraine <= 2), have been found recently, and are larger than micro.

  • murphyfields

    Here is a good link describing static navigation and what it does or does not do

    http://www.gpspassion.com/forumsen/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=25575