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I solved the puzzle...Now what? Puzzles and GSAK

#1 User is offline   MikeAndHike 

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 07:51 AM

Good Morning All,

I figured I might as well get a head start on some puzzle caches for when all the snow does finally go away. So I sat down and started teaching myself how to solve puzzles. Many are still way to difficult for me but I have read all the relevant threads and am starting with some easier ones. I have started on One Bad Ant's puzzles as they are near enough I can actually go find them and some are easy enough that even I can solve them.

My question is not about solving however. It is about what to do once you have solved them. Other than go find them that is. What I want to know is, is there a "best" way to input your solved puzzle co-ords to GSAK? Do you just edit the co-ords manually in the edit screen or is there a better way? Is there then a way to mark which puzzles are solved yet unfound? I wan't to be able to tell on my gpsr that puzzle cache "X" is solved, good co-ords, but puzzle cache "Y" is still unsolved! Is this possible?

I hope this made sense! :huh:

#2 User is offline   E = Mc2 

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 08:05 AM

If I'm reading you correctly... What I would do is to edit the coordinates in GSAK. I would then 'flag' those caches that have not been solved. Create a filter to ignore those caches with a set flag, and then upload coordinates to your GPSr. The unsolved puzzles won't be on your GPSr at all.

When you are done uploading, you can cancel the filter and the unsolved puzzles will still be in your database to peruse at will.

#3 User is offline   Gitchee-Gummee 

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 08:14 AM

w/o using GSAK (or even with, I guess), you could handload the coords, title that waypoint as CGxxxx-1(2)(3)-- corresponding to that particular cache, then simply access the particular waypoint as you need it in the field.

Or you could flag, and un-flag, upload/download. Tongue-in-cheek, but it sounds like work (something I generally avoid). :P

#4 User is offline   yawppy 

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 08:45 AM

What to do, sure everyone has their own routine, so here's mine in a nutshell:

First I solve a "?" or start a MultiC, after that and have confirmed the CORDS I take a few steps.

I'll first utilize the note's feature GS has placed on each listing, with the cords and solved date etc.

Then add them to my trusty solved "?" notebook. Even sometimes will place them into an app on the smartphone, usually just incomplete MultiC's tho.

Finally GSAK.. I use it to keep track of all incomplete MultiC's and solved MysterC's.

For GSAK, What I did was created a database and named it IE:Mystery solved, "?" solved etc

Grab the GPX (Right from the listing, as this ensures you get the children way points, IE: parking Trail heads)

Add the cords as a children waypoint.

Then I run a macro of the data base for a poi, upload it to the gps via Garmins POI LOADER, so then I have them and if in the region, can knock it off the list.

When I find them, I just mark it manually. Re-run the macro, and that is it.

Yep it is a bit,but routine for me, and I like to have that hard copy, just in case the machine goes down (Been there Done That!) The smartphone, is a bit tough to keep updated, so that is usually just to document my hides, and InC-MultiC's.

I like the notes feature on the listing, just as a last resort. So lot of this is a fail safe method for me.

Last checked have 28 to clear up! some way over seas, gotta love the lil "?"!

K hope this helped.

#5 User is offline   Chrysalides 

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 08:55 AM

View PostE = Mc2, on 27 March 2011 - 08:05 AM, said:

If I'm reading you correctly... What I would do is to edit the coordinates in GSAK. I would then 'flag' those caches that have not been solved. Create a filter to ignore those caches with a set flag, and then upload coordinates to your GPSr. The unsolved puzzles won't be on your GPSr at all.

When you are done uploading, you can cancel the filter and the unsolved puzzles will still be in your database to peruse at will.

Using flags is one way of doing it. But I also filter out anything I've found, my own caches, disabled and archived caches. It was getting rather tedious doing multiple "filter, set flag, remove filter" so I came up with this little macro:

$Distance = "50"
USERFLAG type=clear range=all
MFILTER If=$d_Distance < Val($Distance) and not($d_CacheType="U") and not($d_Found) and not(IsOwner()) and not ($d_Archived) and not ($d_TempDisabled)
MFILTER If=$d_Distance < Val($Distance) and not($d_Found) and $d_HasCorrected and not(IsOwner()) and $d_CacheType="U" and not ($d_Archived) and not ($d_TempDisabled) Join=Or
USERFLAG type=set range=filter


#6 User is offline   AdventureRat 

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 09:05 AM

You can put the actual cache coordinates into the Corrected Coordinates field. If the posted coordinates have any real meaning (parking location, trailhead, etc), add a child waypoint for them and set it to the appropriate type. You can indicate that this is a mystery cache that you have solved by updating one of the user fields (User, User2, User3, User4) to say "Solved". A filter can be used to load only solved mystery caches, and a highlight filter (found on Waypoint, Highlight) can be used to visually indicate your solved puzzles by using different colours.

Any subsequent loads of GPX files will not wipe out the corrected coordinates or child waypoints that you've added. If you update the actual coordinates and then move the cache to a separate database, you run the risk of missing out on important updates from the cache owner, or from the logs of future finders.



#7 User is offline   Dgwphotos 

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 11:55 AM

View PostAdventureRat, on 27 March 2011 - 09:05 AM, said:

You can put the actual cache coordinates into the Corrected Coordinates field. If the posted coordinates have any real meaning (parking location, trailhead, etc), add a child waypoint for them and set it to the appropriate type. You can indicate that this is a mystery cache that you have solved by updating one of the user fields (User, User2, User3, User4) to say "Solved". A filter can be used to load only solved mystery caches, and a highlight filter (found on Waypoint, Highlight) can be used to visually indicate your solved puzzles by using different colours.

Any subsequent loads of GPX files will not wipe out the corrected coordinates or child waypoints that you've added. If you update the actual coordinates and then move the cache to a separate database, you run the risk of missing out on important updates from the cache owner, or from the logs of future finders.


You can also add a column that shows whether the cache has corrected coordinates.

#8 User is offline   wimseyguy 

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 12:04 PM

If it's a basic solve at home puzzle, I will edit the waypoint in GSAK, correct the coords, and put a + at the end of the GC# and title to make it stand out from the others in the database. Simple solution, but it works for me.

#9 User is online   niraD 

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 05:54 PM

I maintain a "solved unfound puzzles" bookmark list. I enter the coordinates into the Personal Cache Note field, and in the comments section of the bookmark entry. I also have a PQ for this bookmark list.

I also use boulter's Geocaching Basecamp to store the corrected coordinates for solved puzzles. Then I send the PQ data for the "solved unfound puzzles" bookmark list to Geocaching Basecamp, and download a GPX file with the coordinates replaced by the corrected coordinates.

#10 User is offline   Don_J 

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 07:01 PM

View PostMikeAndHike, on 27 March 2011 - 07:51 AM, said:

Good Morning All,

I figured I might as well get a head start on some puzzle caches for when all the snow does finally go away. So I sat down and started teaching myself how to solve puzzles. Many are still way to difficult for me but I have read all the relevant threads and am starting with some easier ones. I have started on One Bad Ant's puzzles as they are near enough I can actually go find them and some are easy enough that even I can solve them.

My question is not about solving however. It is about what to do once you have solved them. Other than go find them that is. What I want to know is, is there a "best" way to input your solved puzzle co-ords to GSAK? Do you just edit the co-ords manually in the edit screen or is there a better way? Is there then a way to mark which puzzles are solved yet unfound? I wan't to be able to tell on my gpsr that puzzle cache "X" is solved, good co-ords, but puzzle cache "Y" is still unsolved! Is this possible?

I hope this made sense! :huh:


DO NOT edit the coordinates!
Select the puzzle in the grid, right click on it and choose "Corrected Coordinates" from the pop-up menu. Enter your solved coordinates there.

What this does is lock the coordinate field. If you simply edit them, then import a PQ that has that cache in it, they will revert to the listed coordinates and you will have to solve it again.

To identify which ones you have solved, you can put "Solved" in the User Data field.

This post has been edited by Don_J: 27 March 2011 - 07:05 PM


#11 User is offline   MikeAndHike 

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 07:55 PM

Thanks for the advice everyone. And a special thanks for a cool macro to Chrysalides. I haven't started playing with macros but I think I shall half to. Seems far to handy to pass up. Again thanks to all it was a big help. I will try out your ideas and hopefully everything goes peachy. If not, I'll be back! :D

#12 User is offline   The Jester 

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 07:14 AM

View PostAdventureRat, on 27 March 2011 - 09:05 AM, said:

You can put the actual cache coordinates into the Corrected Coordinates field. If the posted coordinates have any real meaning (parking location, trailhead, etc), add a child waypoint for them and set it to the appropriate type. You can indicate that this is a mystery cache that you have solved by updating one of the user fields (User, User2, User3, User4) to say "Solved". A filter can be used to load only solved mystery caches, and a highlight filter (found on Waypoint, Highlight) can be used to visually indicate your solved puzzles by using different colours.

Any subsequent loads of GPX files will not wipe out the corrected coordinates or child waypoints that you've added. If you update the actual coordinates and then move the cache to a separate database, you run the risk of missing out on important updates from the cache owner, or from the logs of future finders.

You don't really need to put anything in a user data field, when filtering in GSAK on the Other tab you can choose caches with/without Corrected Coordinates.

Another thing I do is put
CacheType="U" and not(HasCorrected)
in Waypoint=>Highlight and change the color of puzzles without CC's. That way I can see puzzles that I need to work on (I don't need to see puzzles I have solved). This is dynamic, so when I solve a puzzle (enter CC's) the hightlight goes away and the cache will load to my GPSr (using macro code like listed earlier).

#13 User is offline   AdventureRat 

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 09:05 AM

View PostThe Jester, on 28 March 2011 - 07:14 AM, said:

View PostAdventureRat, on 27 March 2011 - 09:05 AM, said:

You can put the actual cache coordinates into the Corrected Coordinates field. If the posted coordinates have any real meaning (parking location, trailhead, etc), add a child waypoint for them and set it to the appropriate type. You can indicate that this is a mystery cache that you have solved by updating one of the user fields (User, User2, User3, User4) to say "Solved". A filter can be used to load only solved mystery caches, and a highlight filter (found on Waypoint, Highlight) can be used to visually indicate your solved puzzles by using different colours.

Any subsequent loads of GPX files will not wipe out the corrected coordinates or child waypoints that you've added. If you update the actual coordinates and then move the cache to a separate database, you run the risk of missing out on important updates from the cache owner, or from the logs of future finders.

You don't really need to put anything in a user data field, when filtering in GSAK on the Other tab you can choose caches with/without Corrected Coordinates.

Another thing I do is put
CacheType="U" and not(HasCorrected)
in Waypoint=>Highlight and change the color of puzzles without CC's. That way I can see puzzles that I need to work on (I don't need to see puzzles I have solved). This is dynamic, so when I solve a puzzle (enter CC's) the hightlight goes away and the cache will load to my GPSr (using macro code like listed earlier).


What you need to remember is that there are other "unknown" type caches that you can find without corrected coordinates. One example is a challenge cache. In many instances, the cache is at the posted coordinates, you just have to have satisfied the challenge requirements in order to log the find. Another example would be a puzzle that is solved by visiting the posted coordinates to gather information, and then calculating the final coordinates. So while it is true that you don't necessarily have to update one of the user fields, for the examples I've listed, you will need to save the posted coordinates as the corrected coordinates in order to have these caches picked up by the filter indicated above.

#14 User is offline   MikeAndHike 

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 11:15 AM

Going to start by saying that this forum has an incredible amount of very friendly very helpful people.

Thanks again to everyone for their advice. I am using a hybrid method of those posted. I am using a combination of User Data and Highlights and Corrected Coords.

View PostThe Jester, on 28 March 2011 - 07:14 AM, said:

Another thing I do is put
CacheType="U" and not(HasCorrected)
in Waypoint=>Highlight and change the color of puzzles without CC's. That way I can see puzzles that I need to work on (I don't need to see puzzles I have solved). This is dynamic, so when I solve a puzzle (enter CC's) the hightlight goes away and the cache will load to my GPSr (using macro code like listed earlier).


I didn't even know about the highlight function in GSAK until you mentioned it. I also created the opposite highlight. Lets see if I can do this:
CacheType="U" and (HasCorrected)
Red for unsolved, Green for solved. Makes it easy to manage as I am a very visual person.

Now a couple of questions.
1. Do highlighted caches still get sent to my gpsr?
2. Can I create a Highlight that will look for specific data in the user data field? ie. Highlighting caches orange that have "On Site" in the user data field. And is there a way to make on highlight higher priority than another?

View PostAdventureRat, on 28 March 2011 - 09:05 AM, said:

What you need to remember is that there are other "unknown" type caches that you can find without corrected coordinates. One example is a challenge cache. In many instances, the cache is at the posted coordinates, you just have to have satisfied the challenge requirements in order to log the find. Another example would be a puzzle that is solved by visiting the posted coordinates to gather information, and then calculating the final coordinates. So while it is true that you don't necessarily have to update one of the user fields, for the examples I've listed, you will need to save the posted coordinates as the corrected coordinates in order to have these caches picked up by the filter indicated above.


I am hoping that my 2nd question above will allow me to sort these none at home puzzlers out.

Thanks again.

#15 User is offline   Don_J 

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 12:36 PM

View PostMikeAndHike, on 28 March 2011 - 11:15 AM, said:

Now a couple of questions.
1. Do highlighted caches still get sent to my gpsr?



Everything in the grid gets sent.

#16 User is offline   AdventureRat 

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 12:42 PM

1. Highlighting is for visual effect only. It is not at all related to which caches are sent to your GPSr. The caches in whatever filter you have active at the time are the ones that are included in the send operation.

2. Yes, highlight filters can be based upon just about any variable in your GSAK database. The highlight filters are applied in the order specified in the highlight filter list. According to the help documentation, if a cache matches multiple highlight filter criteria and the same column is being modified, the first filter wins.

If that last line creates a problem for you, consider having your highlight filters each modify different fields. For example, I have a highlight filter that highlights the selection box green if the User field is "Solved" (for solved mystery caches), and I have another filter which highlights the last found date red if the cache was last found more than 90 days ago (to remind me to perhaps take a closer look at the logs before selecting the cache for loading).

Everyone has their own way of micromanaging their GSAK databases. You just have to find what works best for you.

#17 User is offline   Joshism 

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 12:45 PM

I keep track of solved puzzles this way:

1) I keep a Solved Puzzles GPX file. I use GSAK's Corrected Coordinates feature for the solved location.

2) I also have a "Solved Puzzles" Bookmark list. I run a PQ on this about once a month and download that PQ into the Solved Puzzles file in GSAK. My solved coordinates are kept (because of the Corrected Coordinates) but I get updated logs and find out if anything gets Disabled/Archived.

#18 User is offline   DanOCan 

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 03:10 PM

As they said, everyone has their own method. Here's mine:

1) I keep all Unknown/Mystery caches in a seperate GSAK database and load it from its own PQ.
2) When I solve a puzzle I put the answer in the Corrected Coordinates field in GSAK.
3) I make notes about the solution in User Notes. (website links, etc.)
4) I then check the User Flad field. (As noted, not all Unknown caches will have corrected coordinates.)

I then filter out Archived, Disabled or any caches without the User flag set before sending them to the GPSr. (Well, actually my macro has a whole bunch of other functions it does at the same time, but most of those aren't relevant to this discussion. :laughing: )

#19 User is offline   fizzymagic 

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 03:33 PM

Here's mine!

I keep all my solved coordinates in a single text file that uses the GPX Spinner format.

  • I run all my PQs through a program I wrote that replaces the coords in the GPX with the corrected ones and adds a note to the short description with the old coords and the distance to the new coords. The program also adds any notes from an XML notes file to the short description. The program, which works on both my Mac and my PC, runs in about 1.5 seconds for a 500-cache GPX file.
  • I then import the GPX files into GSAK, where I have a macro that applies the coordinates from the aforementioned text file to the caches in the database. This is useful because it marks all the corrected coords and adjusts any new ones I have solved since I last loaded the gpx file.
  • I then use some fancy GSAK macros I wrote to apply several filters to any non-puzzle caches and then include all the solved puzzle caches in a set of polygons. The results are automatically written to GPX files for loading into my GPS unit.


One more advantage of the correction macro: In my opinion, it would have made more sense in the GSAK design to keep a separate table of corrected coordinates and notes that would be applied to caches in ANY database; as it is, if you have corrected the coordinates for a cache in one database and load that cache into another, the corrected coords do not appear in the new database until you correct them again. The macro avoids all the trouble of identifying those caches and just applies all the corrections.

#20 User is offline   fizzymagic 

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 03:37 PM

View PostJoshism, on 28 March 2011 - 12:45 PM, said:

2) I also have a "Solved Puzzles" Bookmark list.

Wouldn't it be awesome if there were some way to move a cache from one bookmark list (Solved Unfound) to another (Solved Found) with just a couple of clicks?

Heck, wouldn't it even be awesome if you could delete a cache from a bookmark list from the cache page?

I have figured out the shortest way to do the latter: on the cache page, click "Add to bookmark list" and try to add it to the bookmark list again. That brings up an error page that has a link to edit the bookmark. Click on that and you get a page where you can delete the bookmark. Voila! Only 3 clicks! Painful, but not as bad as the alternatives.

#21 User is offline   GeePa 

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 03:57 PM

I use the 'corrected coordinates' in GSAK
I display the GSAK field that indicates there are corrected coordinates (view menu, add/remove columns, check box that says 'corrected coordinates indicator'

Now when I export to my GPSr I run a filter so I do not download caches that are unknowns unless they have corrected coordinates using code like this in the Where tab of the search dialog:

Status = 'A' and not Found and not IsOwner and
(
g_Contains(CacheType,'TMBCELVWGORAZXIY') or
(HasCorrected and Distance <= 100 and g_Contains(CacheType,'U'))
)

#22 User is offline   MikeAndHike 

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 07:33 PM

Okay so I want to set another Highlight function but can't figure out how. I have googled and searched the gsak forums to no avail. You are my only hope! <_< Unless I sign up to another forum, but I don't want to.

What I want to do is create a highlight for when User Data = on site. I've tried:
User Data = on site

User Data = "on site"

"User Data" = on site

"User Data" = "on site"


I should mention I have zero programming/scripting experience and knowledge but am eager to learn. If anyone knows of a good book that would teach me the right kind of language that gsak uses I would be eager to buy one. Thanks for your help.

#23 User is offline   Don_J 

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 07:46 PM

View PostMikeAndHike, on 28 March 2011 - 07:33 PM, said:

Okay so I want to set another Highlight function but can't figure out how. I have googled and searched the gsak forums to no avail. You are my only hope! <_< Unless I sign up to another forum, but I don't want to.

What I want to do is create a highlight for when User Data = on site. I've tried:
User Data = on site

User Data = "on site"

"User Data" = on site

"User Data" = "on site"


I should mention I have zero programming/scripting experience and knowledge but am eager to learn. If anyone knows of a good book that would teach me the right kind of language that gsak uses I would be eager to buy one. Thanks for your help.


You really should read the help file and the GSAK support forum. I have absolutely no programming skills but was able to do a few tricks to quickly get the proper expression.

g_contains('On Site', UserData)

Using that, you should be able to set other highlights based on UserData contents.

#24 User is offline   MikeAndHike 

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 08:03 PM

I have been reading the help files and just couldn't find what I needed but of course as soon as I ask on the forum I finally find my way into the right area. Figured out I was looking in the wrong area. Found my way into the mFilter help files. Then just stumbled around until I found what I needed.

$d_UserData="on site"
in case anyone is interested.

#25 User is offline   The Jester 

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 06:56 AM

View PostMikeAndHike, on 28 March 2011 - 08:03 PM, said:

I have been reading the help files and just couldn't find what I needed but of course as soon as I ask on the forum I finally find my way into the right area. Figured out I was looking in the wrong area. Found my way into the mFilter help files. Then just stumbled around until I found what I needed.

$d_UserData="on site"
in case anyone is interested.

While that works, it's "old style" within GSAK. The data files are all SQL now, and column data fields don't need the "$d_" in Where statements anymore (I was reminded of this myself just the other day on the GSAK forums). The current 'correct' form is
UserData="on site"
Your problem before was the space you had between "User" and "Data".

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