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Forums —» General Caching —» How To? —» Designing a letterbox
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Designing a letterbox
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Tulameen_Turtles



Joined: Jan 09, 2008
Posts: 347

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:22 pm    Post subject: Designing a letterbox Reply with quote

We're delving into a new cache type - a letter box.. it's a scarry thought designing one as I can see how easy it would be to be off.

I know that there is a projection inverter here on the site but was very confused by it's results.. using Ed Williams great circle calculator

It gave me 3 sets of numbers

And is
nm = nautical miles
km = kilmeters
sm = not sure
ft = feet


Course 1-2, Course 2-1 Distance

Would Course 1-2 be the degrees going from 1st point 2nd point
Would Course 2-1 be the degrees going from the 2nd point to the 1st?

So if it read (using km):

Course 1-2 23.966686640
Course 2-1 203.968336
Distances .3448559370

I would say (if going from point 1 -2) that you need to project 344 meters at 23.96 degrees (now assuming we would need to round which would give you 24?

And is this appropriate for a letter box - total distance of the letter box will be about 3 km of either drive or hike and it's meant to take people along the original tram line that the coal carts ran down. Quite a few of them are still standing so we want to make sure people find them and don't miss them.

This would be done til a point then we would tell people to drive til they find a gate etc and get away from projections for a bit.

Just really hard to just use landmarks up there...
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Mach2003dead



Joined: Nov 14, 2006
Posts: 263
Location: x

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Designing a letterbox Reply with quote

Right, if you are at 1 and want to get to 2, then go 344 meters at 24 degrees. On the other hand, to get back from 2 to 1 you go 344 meters at 204 degrees.
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geodug



Joined: Apr 13, 2004
Posts: 161

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Designing a letterbox Reply with quote

TulameenTurtles wrote:

sm = not sure

sm=statute miles

The distance from one statue to another <g>
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Tulameen_Turtles



Joined: Jan 09, 2008
Posts: 347

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Designing a letterbox Reply with quote

Thanks for the tips - I think I got it ..

greatcoalrush.blogspot.com/

I put it up there while I'm waiting for it to be approved - I did the complicated version on the top - for those that want to stop and see all the sites.

The easier version for those who don't want to make sure they see every nook & cranny

and the simple version by putting the whole projection in the notes.. lol
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Mrs_Landsharkz



Joined: Dec 04, 2008
Posts: 295
Location: Victoria

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:23 am    Post subject: Re: Designing a letterbox Reply with quote

The 'problem' with hybrid letterboxes on gc.com is that they have to have the final location coordinates in the additional waypoints and they have to be visible so folks can just 'go to' them. I guess that's what's makes them a hybrid, but I much prefer the old grandfathered ones that don't have the final coordinates available.

I'm really happy when I see folks post that they did it by following the instructions and I'm also pleased with folks honesty when they say they cheated and went straight to the final location!

I still really like them though, they remind me of when we played Letterbox in the village in Scotland when I was a kid!
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QuigleyJones



Joined: Mar 09, 2005
Posts: 135
Location: Raincouver

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Designing a letterbox Reply with quote

When did GC start requiring final coords?

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Mach2003dead



Joined: Nov 14, 2006
Posts: 263
Location: x

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Designing a letterbox Reply with quote

Mrs_Landsharkz wrote:
pleased with folks honesty when they say they cheated

Sorry but I just re-read that, and had a little giggle.

As far as I know the letterbox hybrid type, the only one listed on GC, has always required the final coordinates to be listed with the cache. Either the actual cache coords need to be the listed ones, or they must be added as an additional visible waypoint.

'Real' letterbox caches are not allowed to be listed at all.
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Mrs_Landsharkz



Joined: Dec 04, 2008
Posts: 295
Location: Victoria

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:30 am    Post subject: Re: Designing a letterbox Reply with quote

Mach2003 wrote:
Mrs_Landsharkz wrote:
pleased with folks honesty when they say they cheated

Sorry but I just re-read that, and had a little giggle.

As far as I know the letterbox hybrid type, the only one listed on GC, has always required the final coordinates to be listed with the cache. Either the actual cache coords need to be the listed ones, or they must be added as an additional visible waypoint.

'Real' letterbox caches are not allowed to be listed at all.

The rules for this style of cache have undergone revision since the first Letterbox geocaches were created... orginally they didn't have the final coords listed and a cacher had to follow the instructions 'to the letter' to find the cache.

Have a look at this one buy viguy - one of the first in BC! GCN4C4 Mister(y)
Those were the good ol' days, eh? Viking
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gearhedd



Joined: Feb 16, 2007
Posts: 124

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Designing a letterbox Reply with quote

Yes, you need to give the final coordinates, however you can make getting them harder then using the letterbox instructions by way of a puzzle.
You need involve the use of your gps in the letterbox directions, like the starting spot, I have been told by reviewer.

Also , you don't need to have a stamp in your letterbox.......I disagree and would hope to find a stamp.. handmade or store bought.
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hollyburn



Joined: Jul 22, 2006
Posts: 162
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 10:48 am    Post subject: Re: Designing a letterbox Reply with quote

I don't see where it states that final co-ords need to be posted. It says a letterbox hybrid should "involve GPS use as an integral part of the hunt". Doesn't this leave a bit of flexibility so that the cache location does not need to be identified?

Letterbox Hybrid

Letterboxing is another form of treasure hunting that uses clues to direct hunters to a hidden container. Each letterbox contains a stamp which is the signature for that box. Most letterboxers have their own personal stamps and personal logbooks. They stamp the letterbox logbook with their personal stamp, and use the stamp contained in the letterbox to "sign" their personal logbook.

Letterbox hybrids are a mixture of letterbox and geocache. They should contain a signature stamp that stays with the box, and they must conform to the guidelines for geocaches and therefore must contain a logbook and involve GPS use as an integral part of the hunt. A letterbox hybrid cannot be designed to be found using only clues. Whether or not the letterbox hybrid contains trade items is up to the owner. In most cases personal stamp and personal logbook are not necessary to be a seeker of a letterbox hybrid.
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Mrs_Landsharkz



Joined: Dec 04, 2008
Posts: 295
Location: Victoria

PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:20 am    Post subject: Re: Designing a letterbox Reply with quote

hollyburn wrote:
I don't see where it states that final co-ords need to be posted. It says a letterbox hybrid should "involve GPS use as an integral part of the hunt". Doesn't this leave a bit of flexibility so that the cache location does not need to be identified?

Letterbox Hybrid

Letterboxing is another form of treasure hunting that uses clues to direct hunters to a hidden container. Each letterbox contains a stamp which is the signature for that box. Most letterboxers have their own personal stamps and personal logbooks. They stamp the letterbox logbook with their personal stamp, and use the stamp contained in the letterbox to "sign" their personal logbook.

Letterbox hybrids are a mixture of letterbox and geocache. They should contain a signature stamp that stays with the box, and they must conform to the guidelines for geocaches and therefore must contain a logbook and involve GPS use as an integral part of the hunt. A letterbox hybrid cannot be designed to be found using only clues. Whether or not the letterbox hybrid contains trade items is up to the owner. In most cases personal stamp and personal logbook are not necessary to be a seeker of a letterbox hybrid.

I think it's the bit I've highlighted.

I had comments from mtn-man on our letterbox via the 'reviewer notes' but they are gone now now that it's listed. This quote is a tidbit that's left from an e-mail... "That one is grandfathered in. We don't allow that on new ones."

mtn-man said that the letterbox hybrid had to have the coordinates as an additional waypoint or as a hint. But he clarified that if it was a hint, then I had to have the additional waypoint also. A letterbox hybrid is required to have the coordinates on it so that it can be found by ‘geocaching’ instead of letterboxing. Thus the hybrid bit. He could probably explain it better than me!
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QuigleyJones



Joined: Mar 09, 2005
Posts: 135
Location: Raincouver

PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 2:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Designing a letterbox Reply with quote

I designed mine by taking a compass heading, measuring the distance to the next path intersection, new heading. Very simple but its in a park.
And I guess I was early enough not to have to post the final coords.


You could make a track log for people to upload and follow (been thinking about doing this for awhile)

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tlgTakingAbreak



Joined: Jan 05, 2004
Posts: 418
Location: In your face.

PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 9:10 am    Post subject: Re: Designing a letterbox Reply with quote

Why not post it on one of the letterboxing sites? Or are the smilies really that important? Rolling Eyes

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pgcachers.blogspot.com
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QuigleyJones



Joined: Mar 09, 2005
Posts: 135
Location: Raincouver

PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 6:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Designing a letterbox Reply with quote

Because even fewer people would find it then.

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tlgTakingAbreak



Joined: Jan 05, 2004
Posts: 418
Location: In your face.

PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 10:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Designing a letterbox Reply with quote

QuigleyJones wrote:
Because even fewer people would find it then.

Might last longer then?

Put the link to the letterbox cache in one of your traditional caches - making it an unexpected bonus.

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Tulameen_Turtles



Joined: Jan 09, 2008
Posts: 347

PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Designing a letterbox Reply with quote

One last question - using Ed Williams great circle calculator it will give me True North - right?

I missed this info on the cache page and not sure and have been asked and want to verify this before someone goes out - as apparently it can make you 17 degrees off which is huge on this one.. lol
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Mach2003dead



Joined: Nov 14, 2006
Posts: 263
Location: x

PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Designing a letterbox Reply with quote

All those calculators use True North, magnetic varies by the exact position you are at at the time. Ie: Magnetic north pole is not at the "actual" north pole. Around here it is 18 degrees variance.
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Tulameen_Turtles



Joined: Jan 09, 2008
Posts: 347

PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:57 am    Post subject: Re: Designing a letterbox Reply with quote

Thank you very much!

All this help is helping me branch out in directions I never thought I would go to he he..

Projections seemed so complex at the beginning but after doing a few and working through this one they are becoming fun now and offering another challenge..

Gives me an idea to add in for the spring planning..
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