I need four original waypoints for my new geocache, this is number three. I made a promise to myself to always make electronic waypoints and as this is my third multicache, I'm not planning on breaking that promise yet. Now, the idea of my new multi is to go a bit further. For the final, it means using some motors and servos. For the waypoints, it means that this time I want them to really blend into the background.
I started off with this fake plant, now I'm trying to get all electronics needed to get the information displayed to the cacher in a snail house. First, let's not worry about being waterproof because it simply isn't. I may take a leap in the dark and try to place it in the woods as is. That means the pcb with display and battery is only wrapped into a heat shrink sleeve which is glued into the snail house. That's only possible if it sustains humidity, but I'm guessing that this will work.
Actually, my other caches contain all electronic waypoints in waterproof containers, but they often fail. Someone forgets to tightly close the cap or the plastic wears off, leaving the electronics exposed. I noticed that the electronics have never failed for that reason (they do fail for a lot of other reasons ;) ) but not because of humidity.
I always use plastic spray on my finished pcbs, including the batteries. The other components I use now (like Oled displays) will sustain bad weather for a long time. Again, these things are not meant to last for years, I'm glad they last one year. As a final test, I hold my finished projects under the water tap and check if they make it. Until now, they always do.
That said, this is the new challenge. I no longer use magnetic switches, so visitors won't need a magnet to activate the snail (well.. the display). I use a tilt switch, so turning them over will start the show. After it has shown its info, the chip will fall asleep and only activate when there's movement. So it doesn't matter how you place it back. I would prefer face down but I know better than that. Also, these things cannot be secured by a lock or a small chain, so they can be easily ripped. We'll see about that, I plan on making a few extra and I never had things ripped before.
This is my prototype for now: