Mt Whitney Webcam
Mt Williamson Webcam
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 10 guests, and 3 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Spot Device
#39592 08/11/14 09:24 PM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 14
J
JoB Offline OP
OP Offline
J
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 14
I am considering purchasing a Spot Gen3 Messenger. My main purpose is to provide peace of mind for family at home and so they can track my progress. I would have to be in very serious trouble before I would consider making a distress call. Any advice or opinions about if it delivers as advertised? I've read mixed reviews on retailer sites, some love it and some think it's a rip-off, especially citing problems with the subscription service. Any input welcome, thanks.

Re: Spot Device
JoB #39596 08/11/14 10:30 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 8,405
Likes: 87
S
Offline
S
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 8,405
Likes: 87
I really like my Spot II. Wear it on my shoulder, use tracking mode most of the time. You need to understand its limitations: Wear it the wrong place and it won't work. In deep canyons, sometimes tracking signals don't get out. Bottom two miles of the Whitney trail are like that. Don't turn it on, send a signal, then shut it off in 5 minutes -- those signals do not get out very often. Needs to be on for 30 minutes or more -- it sends multiple signals in order to reach a satellite.

Other discussions:
PLB / SPOT / Delorme / Sat Phone

Re: Spot Device
JoB #39610 08/12/14 07:36 AM
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 101
K
Offline
K
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 101
I been using spot for the past 5 yrs, initially with spot 1 and now with spot 2. For one year I did pay for tracking option which I found is battery draining and you need to carry extra set even for a 1 week trek. So I discontinued tracking option.

As Steve pointed out you need to keep it on at least 30 mins to make sure the signal reaches satellite. The way I do this is, at fixed times in the day, one at 9a and one at the end of the day I send the signals. It will send the coords of the place where you pressed it first, even if you are on the move. So I hang the device on my pack (south facing) and continue walking and switch it off at my next hourly stop. This worked very well during my recent HST trip.

Again in the deep valleys like Kern river trench, though the device shows it did send the msg., it was not received by the family. So be aware of that issue and let the family know your intended plan before the trip.

Re: Spot Device
JoB #39613 08/12/14 09:34 AM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 576
Likes: 1
Offline
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 576
Likes: 1
Hi JoB,
I use a Delorme InReach. I selected it over the SPOT because:
- same reasons as SPOT, plus
- Iridium Satellite system
- Two way texting (Including with S&R if the situation warrants)
- Positive indication when messages are successfully sent

The InReach batteries last ~ 7 days, so no real need to turn the unit off after sending a message or leaving a bread crumb. I just let it run. I also carry a spare set of batteries (AA), so even if it did run out of juice I would just change the batteries. It does tell you when the batteries are low (assuming you look at it from time to time). In the case of the InReach, it will continue to "send" the message/bread crumb until it is successful. This info relates to an older model, and the battery life, etc. may be different for the newer models. Check the Delorme web site for better information.

No known problems with subscription services. They even offer a service than you can activate/deactivate as needed. I use the "emergency" plan. Cost is ~ $11.00/month to $20.00/month. $11.00 is if I'm not using. ~$20.00 is if I have done a couple of longer hikes with several messages and many tracking points (bread crumbs).

Re: Spot Device
John Sims #39626 08/12/14 10:22 PM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 14
J
JoB Offline OP
OP Offline
J
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 14
Thanks all. That is great information. I am not gadget savvy so the tips on how to use it are especially helpful. Jo

Re: Spot Device
JoB #39630 08/13/14 02:41 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 8,405
Likes: 87
S
Offline
S
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 8,405
Likes: 87
Clearing up two things above:

SPOT will last over a week even using tracking, if you start out with new lithium batteries.

Using an Iridium-satellite system is just as unreliable when you are in deep canyons. I tried a satellite phone last trip (a friend has one), and it would barely connect in the Kern River canyon, and when it did, the connection lasted only a few minutes. So any device using satellite, no matter which system, will have trouble intermittently in a canyon. In areas with more sky visible, they work great -- 100% of the time on a mountain summit. cool


Link Copied to Clipboard
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4
(Release build 20200307)
Responsive Width:

PHP: 7.4.15 Page Time: 0.035s Queries: 26 (0.026s) Memory: 0.5960 MB (Peak: 0.6629 MB) Data Comp: Off Server Time: 2022-05-26 17:52:17 UTC
Valid HTML 5 and Valid CSS