Infrared hides code combination on geocache puzzle

[AJ] and [Brian] are making sure the geocache challenges they set up take some ingenuity to solve. They’ve just rolled out a two-part cache which uses a code hidden in infrared light.

The first part of the cache is a box (the black one on the left) which contains a mysterious hand crank and a smaller box that has a combination lock on it. The second stage is the wooden box on the right. It’s got a hole in the side to receive the hand crank. This connects to the dynamo inside, letting you build up some electricity as it spins. Inside the case you’ll see two red lights blink as the crank is turned, but when you push the button on the outside of the box nothing will happen. That is, unless you’re looking through a camera which can pick up infrared light. The code (710 in this case) is displayed in an array of IR LEDs, and is used to open that combination lock. We wonder if there’s any clues about using a camera or if you have to figure this out on your own.

Don’t miss the video after the break for a full demo of the system.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNIHNy-bjG0

Comments

  1. Rob R. says:

    Awesome! I love geocaching, where are you guys putting it? Somewhere in north-eastern NJ I hope?!?!

    Great puzzle, I love the really involved ones that make you think! Just going to find a box is fun, but figuring out clues to where the box is is even better.

    One thing, are you expecting them to return the hand crank to the 1st box? Might wanna make it close so they don’t flake on it.

    Great Job!

  2. Ren says:

    I think the inner box is being held upside down in relation to the camera. The clue is “OIL”, maybe the hand crank needs oiling or something.

    • CoolMod says:

      Reminded me of this joke: A blonde goes to a auto parts store and asks for a Seven Ten cap. Everybody look at each other and ask, “What’s a seven ten cap?” She says…, “You know, it’s right on the engine. Mine got lost somehow and I need a new one.” “What kind of a car is it?” they ask.
      She says that it’s a Buick. “Okay, Lady, how big is it?” She makes a circle with her hands about 3 1/2 inches in diameter. “What does it do?” She says, “I don’t know, but it’s always been there.”
      One of the guy gives her a note pad and asks her if she can draw a picture of it. So she makes a circle about 3 1/2 inches in diameter and in the center she writes 710. The guys on the opposite side of the counter are looking at as she writes it…and they just fall down behind the counter laughing so hard. One guy says, “I think you want an OIL cap.”

  3. Brian says:

    These are in Western PA. I can’t give away the coords because that would violate the TOS of geocaching.com. We have another one on the site that uses QR codes that link to unlisted youtube videos. It uses a person to explain the clues for the next leg. Here is the video / process. http://www.suburbiahell.com/2012/03/04/digi-muggle-multi-cache/

  4. fightcube says:

    This is really cool if this is normally the LEVEL at which certain geocaching circles operate these days. Can you rate the level of difficulty with this one? How certain are you people won’t just think that the cool-ass crank and box are THE CACHE and just take it and replace it with a pack of gum?? I dunno.. I don’t do geocaching so I guess I wouldn’t know what the heck I’m talking about… Awexome idea though! BTW, my iPhone doesn’t seem sensitive to IR light like some of my previous phones… kind of stinks for me.. and maybe anyone with an iPhone finding this cache.

    • M4CGYV3R says:

      You can probably use phosphorescent material to absorb the IR and re-emit at a visible wavelength. That won’t require a camera/phone at all. Just a sheet of glow-in-the-dark material.

    • Brian says:

      The clues on the cache detail page mention the crank and it’s importance. that particular crank was used because it is easily replaced if stolen. It also has marking on it indicating it is part of the puzzle. That is unfortunate for Iphones We will have to check that out, The LEDs are very bright so perhaps they will just show up dim on the Iphone. I like the phosphorous material idea above as well.

  5. KG4MXV says:

    Brian,
    Actually Garmin is opening geocacheing for free.

    check there WWW page.

  6. medwardl says:

    I geocache a little, while an interesting puzzle without a way to see the infrared light it would take me about 10 minutes probably less to guess the combo on the lock wouldn’t be the first time I’ve brute forced the combo on those kind of locks the rotary ones on the other hand take much much longer.

  7. jedi says:

    people go geocaching without an android in their hand? in 2012? the hint i would use would be a riddle about something that can’t be seen with the naked eye, along with some cryptic references to wavelengths and shit

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