Originally Posted by slide
Does the GPS come with spot built in or are you talking about the GPS and a separate SPOT device?
The Delorme PN-60w with SPOT are two devices, but the spot specifically bonds to the GPS unit and they work together. On the GPS you can then tell the SPOT what to send as far as texts or checkin messages or tracking or emergency call for help.
Both very reliable, run on AA Lithium batteries (or alkaline in a pinch) and durable (many dousings, bangs and mud soakings). I keep the GPS on a holder on the handlbars and the SPOT is clipped to the top of my backpack so it has a clear view of the sky while it transmits tracking info. Also, in case I fall off the bike and can't get to the bike, the SPOT itself has a red button on the side so you can send an "EMERGENCY/911" message out even without the GPS unit.
But like I said, the key to the tracking feature is having someone who will know that you're overdue, and then has access to your SPOT account to look in and tell rescuers where you were.
In addition, the PLB is in my pocket (in case the backpack comes off) and it does one thing, calls for help, but with a very powerful signal that transmits it's GPS location to a different satellite than the SPOT uses.
I also run my boat offshore quite a bit and hike so these two units serve lots of duties.
I REALLY DON'T EVER WANT TO BE ON THAT SHOW "I SHOULDN'T BE ALIVE"...