Quick and Dirty GSAK Macros

This blog entry is long overdue and it’s going to be a geeky one! 🙂 A big thank you to the comments and emails I received following my GSAK 8 beginners guide blog post. I’m delighted that so many Geocachers have got to grips with GSAK after reading it.

Macros provide a way of automating GSAK, however require that you write code to create them – something that terrifies a lot of people! The Master Macro Index provides some great macros written by the community. Personally, I don’t spend much time writing big hefty macros, however there are a couple of quick and dirty ones which I have created that I often use with filters when quickly loading my GPS up for a caching trip (Particularly useful if you’re caching whilst on holiday)

When I’m heading off caching I will load the GPS up with a good thousand or so caches. Maybe I’ll be going for a walk around a series, maybe I’ll be hoping to quickly stop off and grab a cache as a drive-by as I see it appear. When Geocaching the best thing to do is check the cache description, check the logs to make sure everything is ok, etc. but let’s be honest… We don’t always do that. We end up hunting for 10 minutes for a cache only to realise it’s disabled or has a string of 5 DNFs on it or we go looking for a place to park for what looks like a “cache and dash” only to find it’s on a footpath that passes along a motorway.

The following macros modify the title field of the cache so that you can instantly see on your GPS if a cache is missing, disabled, a cache and dash or has a lot of favourite points. Just those useful little things when you’ve not done a lot of planning and want to see cache information instantly.

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Automatically display cache names on maps

You may have seen my previous posts where I mentioned how I knock up my cache maps using paint and enter the cache names over the top to prepare a map for my travels with the caches clearly identified on it. Well, I had created all of my trails in GSAK, got them all nice and tidy and thought “I need to make a map” however, I thought rather than creating a map of over 1150 caches on it and manually labelling them maybe, just maybe there is a better way! 😀

So, I posted a message on the Geocaching forums and a lovely UK user got back to me. (I must say everyone on the Groundspeak forums seems so friendly, it’s great!) And YES there are ways to do it…

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GSAK Lock Multiple Records

I’m getting on pretty well with GSAK 🙂 We’re very good friends now! I loaded 2 PQ’s of the areas we are camping and used my trail macro to update the user data fields to identify trails. Some it missed, as they only had a few characters matching in the trail names so I did these manually. I then discovered my PQ’s didn’t quite cover all of the area that I’d hoped so I needed to import another set. I realised that this would overwrite my data that I’d enterred and whereas I could run the macro to replace most of the trail data, I would need to do the manual stuff all again.

So, I quickly knocked up a GSAK macro. It took about a minute. I turned on a filter for all records where User Data 2 is not empty (i.e. those I’ve labelled as trails) and then written a bit of code that just loops through the records shown by the filter and locks them all. Simples:

GOTO position=top
WHILE not ($_EOL)
$d_Lock = true
GOTO position=next

GSAK Macro to label all trails (With num of caches in trail)

Did I ever mention that I like cache trails? (Yes Cass, a HUNDRED times!) OK well, as I like trails so much and I’m playing around with GSAK at the moment I had a thought on how I could get myself a little macro to sort the data in GSAK into trails. I thought my prayers had been answered when I found this post on the macro list, but all that did was show me a list of trails in a pop-up box, it didn’t give me anything to sort my data with. So I decided to utilize the code from that one to make my own…

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