Solving Puzzle Caches: Codes


To read the previous post on Solving Puzzle Caches, go to

Common Codes and other Languages

Numbers can be expressed in many ways. Here are a few common ones:

If you want to see how many ways numbers are represented in a “few” different languages, check out the numbers from 1 to 10 in over 5000 languages here:

Computer Codes

There are a variety of computer and Internet codes that are popular among puzzle cache hiders. If you’ve never seen a code before, it can be difficult to know where to start. The secret is to become familiar with different codes and know where to go to convert them to readable or “printable” text.

Printable text on computers is represented by numbers that are known as ASCII code. For a complete chart, see

“0” = 48    , “1” = 49, “2” = 50, …, “9” = 57, “A” = 65, “B” = 66, “C” = 67, …, “Z” = 90

Other codes like Binary (Base 2), Octal (Base 8 ) and Hex (Base 16) are just alternate representations of those ASCII codes (which are listed in decimal / base 10 above)‏

Here is the same set of coordinates represented using several codes.

Printable Text

N 40 00.532 W 075 02.502

ASCII Codes in Decimal / Base 10


Binary / Base 2

The numbers 0 and 1 only – the native language of modern computers.

01001110 00100000 00110100 00110000 00100000 00110000
00110000 00101110 00110101 00110011 00110010 00100000
01010111 00100000 00110000 00110111 00110101 00100000
00110000 00110010 00101110 00110101 00110000 00110010

Octal / Base 8

The numbers 0 through 7


Hexadecimal / Base 16

Hex for short. The numbers 0 – 9 and also the letters A, B, C, D, E, and F


MIME / Base 64

Normally used to encode non-text data like pictures or file attachments to a text form that can be included in email. This includes the upper case letters A – Z, lower case letters a – z, the numbers 0 – 9, and the symbols “+” and “/”. The symbol “=” also sometimes appears at the end.


Encoder / Decoder Tools

There are many online and offline resources for converting between different formats. Here are a few that I use most:

What’s Next

The next post will discuss ciphers. Check it out here:

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2 comments so far

  1. [...] Solving Puzzle Caches: Codes Good overview, examples, and links for resources and help (including code breakers). Examples include Morse Code, Roman Numerals, Binary, Octal… [...]

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