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Cave Registers

 
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Deafnss



Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 61
Location: Provo/Orem Utah

PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 8:07 pm    Post subject: Cave Registers Reply with quote

Almost all the caves I visited in the last three or four months that have registers, none of them have anything to write in/on. These being (but not limited to) Candlelight, Upper, Blowhole, Spanish Moss, Oak City. The last time I visited Red Barron it was sans register and container.
Usually I know that if a (gated) cave's register is empty then notification to the key holder is in order so that the next group that gets the key can fill the empty container up. As far as non-gated caves that have registers the idea is to let someone know in the grotto(s) that the cave's register needs to be refilled.
It's easy to forget to do so after a few weeks I can understand, been guilty of that myself. But registers are an important part of the cave-management.
I plan to bring this up for the next UGM and hopefully have a stack of those single sheet registers to give to each representative of each grotto and we'll figure out a way to maintain this important part of caving.
Naturally, gated caves' registers can be managed by the key-holder giving instructions along with the key to refill the register as needed.
I am wondering if any of the caves in Logan Canyon Boomerang has one, {probably needs replacing} and Neilsens has one {likewise}, as well as Poligamy and I believe Canteen Springs... but do the others have one?
Was Main-Drain fitted with one?
How about Neffs?
Questions, questions, questions in need of answers.

My toughts tend to go towards the idea of the Vice-chair (gotta have something else to do besides co-host meetings) of each grotto be in charge of making sure that various caves' registers are kept up to date. Designating one person might work if they're committed enough to do it.
Hell, I would if I had adequate transport.

Any other ideas? Thoughts?
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clitchford



Joined: 11 Jan 2006
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FYI- You might also want to add heavens gate to the list. I went to the cave last summer, and the register had been shattered to tiny bits. It needs to be replaced
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tamiejensen



Joined: 16 Dec 2005
Posts: 10
Location: West Valley City, UT

PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 2:15 pm    Post subject: cave registers Reply with quote

My extensive experience with registers, online and on site will help:

Adopting a register places a sense of ownership and responsibility to maintain it and communicate with the visitors keeping good up-to-date info on important elements.

People like to keep count. The trip reports are not well organized to associate statistics of visitation to one particular caver or cave. Maybe Duane would be on board with an expanded format.

Keeping things dry. The elements get into all containers. The more air the container holds, the wetter things tend to get with condensation. Containers only size of what you need to hold helps. But everything inside should be in a zip loc bag.

If you have a pencil to write with, there should be a sharpener. Pens are unreliable and there should be several if pens are your choice.

People are paranoid about registers being bombs. Clear containers let people see inside. Clearly labeled containers help too. That way if the bomb squad is called in, they will know that they are dealing with a paranoid person, not a bomb.


This could be a good opportunity to educate visitors (non-grotto) of the importance of cave conservation. Maybe we could make the info appealing by embedding it in historical or geological info about the cave. I think that the registers would curtail graffiti if placed in the right spots. Maybe even mulit-register caves; placing ones in high traffic areas then ones in the most remote spots of the cave. I believe that they wont feel the need to say "hey I was here" on the walls if they can do it on paper. I think gated caves already collect an abundance of data about visitation. This makes the gated caves the lowest priority for me. But I think if it is a cookie cutter operation from beginning to end, it wont be a big deal. It is too big of a job for one person and his friend with a SUV to manage alone. I have more ideas regarding that too.

Will you get a count of the caves you know have registers, broken, unmaintained, whatever? I dont think the state of it matters. Just that there should be one there today. The next step would be to get a number of the caves we want to put registers in addition to those on the first list. Honestly, here would not be a good place to post a list of the caves because it is an open forum. But I wanted to bring the discussion to the forum for additional input.

Tamie

deafnss@crye.net wrote:

As of yet there's no budget for the registers but I will be asking for
one to be sure. Mainly for the containers and papers. The registers get to the caves by those who are going to them. Either we will place them ourselves (at our expense) or find out who is going and make efforts
to get the register (containers or new papers) to them for placement.
Fortunately most of the caves that have registers are close by me and
thus we can do the work to put them in. Gives us a reason to go there...

On line registers. Well, that would depend if the folks visiting the cave
actually remember to go on line (say at the forum or one of the grotto
websites) and fill the forms out. But it is an idea and a good one. A more
detailed register like that would be akin to a trip report however... wouldn't ya think?

I'd like to hear more of your ideas and give you the feedback based on my experience with them. I will be making queries on the NSS discussion board as well as the Utah Cave forum.

I could use the help. It'll be fun to be assurred.

TTYL

Ralph

quoting eagle way :

> On the registers:
> Ive been thinking about the scope. I have some ideas that we could
> talk about. First is there a budget? Second, how do we get the
> registers to the caves? Third: How do we maintain them? wouldnt it
> be fun to have a place on line to register your visit too? that way
> you could get real-time info about the cave, register, injuries,
> visitation numbers ect. Just some thoughts. This will be a lot of
> fun to work on with you.
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TigerStripe40



Joined: 21 Dec 2005
Posts: 10
Location: My Own Little World

PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that some small ammo cans painted white, with CAVE REGISTER PLACED BY THE NSS, PLEASE FILL OUT in black painted on the sides would be a good cave register.
Printed on the pages of the register sheets at the top or at the bottom is a note that says to put any silica gel packets from bags of beef jerkey into the register. That would be VERY beneficial in keeping water out.

HTH
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jonjasper



Joined: 09 Dec 2005
Posts: 54
Location: St. George, UT

PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 11:14 pm    Post subject: Register info Reply with quote

Here is the information I seem to remember about the registers in our surrounding caves.

Spanish Moss Cave, which I was just at on Friday, has a register with paper and pens. It claims it was placed by Ralph in 2003.

I seem to remember that the Pink Lime Pit register was in working order but maybe lacking pen or pencils?

Bloomington Cave has a successfully running register since 1998.

Apparently Neffs now has paper, but no pens?

Candlelight, Blowhole, Upper have tubes but no paper or pens.

A tube was placed in Oak City about 3 year ago. It nicely collects water even when placed in a zip-lock baggy. The register never returned any decent information.

The registers in Little Brush Cave and Nutty Putty Cave have been removed.

Register placed by others - Ely BLM loves folks who can drop off the register places in Indian Burial, Crystal Cave's ammo can register was replaced during the gating by the Salt Lake BLM, Bloomington Cave is routinely collected by Kyle of the St. George BLM, and Whipple has a register occassionally maintained by Ely BLM.
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Deafnss



Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 61
Location: Provo/Orem Utah

PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TigerStripe40 wrote:
I think that some small ammo cans painted white, with
CAVE REGISTER PLACED BY THE NSS, PLEASE FILL OUT in black painted on the sides
would be a good cave register.
Printed on the pages of the register sheets at the top or at the bottom is a
note that says to put any silica gel packets from bags of beef jerkey into the
register. That would be VERY beneficial in keeping water out.

HTH


Ammo cans are good... so are the PVC tubes that we've been using as of late. The
BIGGEST problem is keeping the contents dry. Both types of containers have been
found to allow water in, particularly ammo cans unless they have a gasket of
sorts around the lip of the lids. Same applies to the PVC tubes.
Utilizing clear tubes or containers is probably more costly. Simply writing on
the exterior is sufficent. Those containers that have been declared as BOMBS
didn't have any indication of what exactly they were.

90% of the caves that have (or will have) registers are caves visited by cavers
and the occasional spelunker that happens upon them, on line or elsewhere.
Basically putting in a lot of information (in those specified caves) that
cavers already know is wholly redundant.

Basically what I am going to need is a system that will allow me (and my
assistants Wink to be able to keep on top of the registers so that this
lapse won't happen again. Suggestion for that would be appreciated.
If need be I will make the effort to travel to/from these caves and take care of
the papers/pens and over all maintainence <sic> but I don't think this is really
the best option, particularly when there's going to be a number of caves
involved.
If I can be assurred that cavers will at least report to me (or my helpers) that
this register or that register needs taking care of then great. Then whatever
action is necessary can be performed by my (team) or by cavers returning to the
cave at a later date.

As J-5 once said... "Need more input"
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jonjasper



Joined: 09 Dec 2005
Posts: 54
Location: St. George, UT

PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 1:49 am    Post subject: Visitation Stats on Timpanogos Grotto website Reply with quote

Just updated the visitation statistics for Bloomington Cave and thought that I haven't seen any references to the visitation data on the Timpanogos Grotto website that was mostly collected with cave registers.

There is fairly detailed visitation data on Bloomington Cave, Nutty Putty Cave, Little Brush Creek Cave, and Crystal Cave. Concerned managers eat this stuff up; cavers think their neat to read their names somewhere in the caves.

http://www.caves.org/grotto/timpgrotto/
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jonjasper



Joined: 09 Dec 2005
Posts: 54
Location: St. George, UT

PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 2:14 am    Post subject: Registers as Bombs Reply with quote

If you look at the Nutty Putty Cave statistics you can see visitation broken out in 15 minutes intervals. This data was collected using a light sensing datalogger.

Well, interesting enough, the original approach was a total failure using a very weak light sensor. To make it work the device was placed somewhere that would attract a cavers light - like a cave register with reflective tape. So the light sensor datalogger was built into the top of a tube shaped cave register hanging just inside of the cave.

Apparently a caver sitting in complete darkness near the register could see a small LED light flashing from the register. Hence fancy electronics in a large tube equals a large pipe bomb. The Utah County Bomb Squad was called out to destroy the device, err cave register. Potientially this story could have lead to the end of Nutty Putty Cave; however, someone did think, "maybe its a cave register." The county finally got ahold of Spencer Christian, the closest Utah Cave Rescue member to Nutty Putty Cave. He confirmed that there was a cave register hanging just inside of the entrance.

Now there is an inside joke about being sure to mark the cave registers. Spencer's register in Little Brush read, "Cave register - not a bomb." Nutty Putty register was label as a "Cave Register" across the reflective tape. However, in the constant high warm humidity, the writing easily came off as well as most of the reflective tape.

So later in different light sensing datalogger was used. It was nicely hidden in a clear water-proof contain on a hard-to-reach ledge. The plan was to collect a continuous year of data and then move it to another cave. However, at last collection of the year, the not-so-free logger was gone. Even though the case was was labeled with my email and phone number, I believe it was ironically removed by scouts thoroughly cleaning the cave.

Anyway the Nutty Putty Cave register has been the most challenging register to maintain. The cave's humidity completely ruined right-in-rain paper after about 2 months. So the register was moved to the surface. However, then the register (a 70-page blank notebook) would fill up in about 2 months. However, when surface register was first placed bets were taken on how long they would last before being vandalized. Most thought that it would be gone within a week to a month. The register was recently taken down by me about a month ago. It was up for almost three years!
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TigerStripe40



Joined: 21 Dec 2005
Posts: 10
Location: My Own Little World

PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deafnss wrote:


Ammo cans are good... so are the PVC tubes that we've been using as of late. The
BIGGEST problem is keeping the contents dry. Both types of containers have been
found to allow water in, particularly ammo cans unless they have a gasket of
sorts around the lip of the lids. Same applies to the PVC tubes.
Utilizing clear tubes or containers is probably more costly. Simply writing on
the exterior is sufficent. Those containers that have been declared as BOMBS
didn't have any indication of what exactly they were.


As long as the ammocan hasn't been deformed, and the original gasket in the lid is still pliable, they shoudl keep water out.

There are also dessicant containers available that can be monted inside the cans. They run about $7 a piece.
I don't know if there is a budget for cave registers...

The problem with PVC pipes is that they don't have a provision for a rubber gasket, or if they do, they are very fiddley. PVC pipes weren't designed to be opened and closed all the time, thety are designed to be bonded together, and left in place.
Also, pvc pipe registers look like pipe bombs.

Ammo cans are designed to be opened and closed, they are also designed with a seal and gasket (provided thatall the apprpriate surfaces are flat and square). and most importantly, don't look like Pipe bombs...
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Deafnss



Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 61
Location: Provo/Orem Utah

PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I am going to figure out if I can get a budget that can be supported by the three grottos. BRG will have to wait until they get re-organized and restructured.
Just how to get that buget of course relies upon the treasurers of the grottos. Assuredly I could foot the bill for ammo-cans and PVC pipes and the grottos can do the reimbursement thingy... but as it stands unemployment puts a crimp in that plan. So something will have to be figured out.

Considering that 90% of all registers are filled out by cavers, this is excluding Nutty Putty, Crystal, Goshute and a couple others that are frequented by non-cavers (read: spelunkers), a container made out of PVC isn't going to be mistaken for a bomb.

Sharpie brand pens and other ink based marking devices are notorious for not being as permanent as they say, particularly against moisture proof plastic like PVC or even ABS. BUT! (and there's always a but), regular enamel paint isn't smear proof (after it's dried), though it is prone to chipping and scratches. Still a clear coating over it or even wide clear adhesive tape can reduce the wear and tear.
Using copious amounts of reflective tape, yea even unto cutting letters out or using pre-cut reflective lettering (like those used on mail boxes and houses) would serve just as well. Thing of it all relies of course the budget... if there's going to be one. I'm not about to make that assumption without talking to individual grotto officers about it first.

Anyway, I could still use more suggestions/ideas/thoughts and anything else that anyone has to give me related to this project. I don't mind heading it but I would appreciate the input that can be provided by you members on this forum and beyond it.

Batty
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caverdale



Joined: 22 Dec 2005
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deafnss wrote:
Well, I am going to figure out if I can get a budget that can be supported by the three grottos. BRG will have to wait until they get re-organized and restructured.
Just how to get that buget of course relies upon the treasurers of the grottos.
:batty:


I will personally match, dollar for dollar, any money contributed by any Utah Grotto. I would need some accounting of funds.

On a slightly different topic, ammo boxes for registers are collectors' items in many cases, even locked caves. PVC registers go missing sometimes also but not as often. You need a method of keeping them in place. A steel cable anchored to one end is used in many caves I have been in.
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caverspencer



Joined: 16 Mar 2006
Posts: 6
Location: Eagle Mountain, UT

PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I has been my experience from all the geocaching http://www.geocaching.com/profile/?guid=956c6002-ce3c-41c7-b968-4526f1de7e37 I have done that ammo cans leak and rust. I imagine they would even be wrose underground. PVC or ABS for cave registers is a better option. the Black ABS also seems to be a little more flexible and durable and seems to be better the PVC which gets brittle and shatters easily.
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clitchford



Joined: 11 Jan 2006
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is an idea, why couldn't we use those "nalgene" waterbottles (the widemouth ones)?
They are supposed to be virtually indestructible, come in bright colors (so people can see them) and have a lifetime warranty. If they did fail we could trade them in for new ones
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Deafnss



Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 61
Location: Provo/Orem Utah

PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

clitchford wrote:
Here is an idea, why couldn't we use those "nalgene" waterbottles (the widemouth ones)?
They are supposed to be virtually indestructible, come in bright colors (so people can see them) and have a lifetime warranty. If they did fail we could trade them in for new ones


Oooh, sneaky... me like the idea. Considering the cost of each they'd be a worthy investment since they're warrantied. But as Dale pointed out they can be proned to be moved elsewhere.
I like what Jon J. has been doing and attaching a cable to PVC ones so that they don't *ahem* walk off to another part of the cave or right out of one. Thing is if we use nalgene bottles and end up having to drill a hole for the cable (on the bottom) then wouldn't that void the warranty? I mean drilling holes in a water bottle isn't exactly what "they" had in mind as far as normal wear and tear.

Keep the ideas/suggestions coming folks... it's helping the wheels of thought keep turning.

By the way, Thanks Dale for your very gracious offer... anyone else? Do I hear Two dollars for every dollar? (heh) .... (just kidding).
Batty
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clitchford



Joined: 11 Jan 2006
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you have a good point there. I also thought that people might potentially walk off with them as well if they were not modified to be unattractive to steal. I was just trying to be creative.
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