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Old 11-09-2009, 07:40 PM   #1561
idea man
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpotMaker
Actually, the "Satellite" in the title is intending to convey that it's a 100% satellite based device.

Yes, GPS comes from satellites, but the SPoT transmits it's data back to the mothership via satellites, as opposed to GSM (cell phone towers), or another land-based radio technology, so it works where there's no cell coverage.
First of all let me say how cool it is that you post on here and that you give us an insider's look into the spot world. Thank you for that. AND as I've posted in here, I really like your product and will be getting one for Idea Wife for Christmas. (but don't tell her or she'll make me get the old one and I think she needs the Spot II. )
So humor me just a little here. Doesn't the "S" in GPS mean satelite? I suppose I may have been misinformed. I saw some of the copy on a web site and it said about the spot "An affordable alternative to PLBs, satellite phones and cell-based GPS trackers...." If it's cell based, then it's not really a GPS now is it? Or is this a tracking industry thing? GPS is any typing of tracking device now? No big deal. Keep up the good work and thanks again.
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:40 PM   #1562
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerMoney
Thanks Owl. I called my local REI and they had none in stock. I called REI HQ and was told, "We have plenty of them but only in orange, no silver" . An orange one is on it's way to me.

http://www.rei.com/product/784892
you're welcome! the new GPS firmware in Gen 2 is nice, but i think the coolest new feature is that when tracking, the SPOT will send out your current position and your previous 2 positions. so, each track point will get 3 chances for delivery to your google map.
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Old 11-09-2009, 10:45 PM   #1563
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idea man
Doesn't the "S" in GPS mean satelite?
Global Positioning System

There are ground based positioning systems as well as satellite based systems.

The SPOT uses two different satellite systems. It receives signals from the GPS satellite network to know where it is at, then it transmits that position info (and any button push info) up to the Globalstar satellite system, which relays that info back to ground stations which send it out over the internet.
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:13 AM   #1564
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idea man
Fir
So humor me just a little here. Doesn't the "S" in GPS mean satellite? I suppose I may have been misinformed. I saw some of the copy on a web site and it said about the spot "An affordable alternative to PLBs, satellite phones and cell-based GPS trackers...." If it's cell based, then it's not really a GPS now is it? Or is this a tracking industry thing? GPS is any typing of tracking device now? No big deal. Keep up the good work and thanks again.
As Hog Wild posted the "S" in GPS actually stands for "system". But GPS is a satellite based system.

A GPS based tracking device, like the SPoT, determines it's position from GPS satellites.

But then, it needs some medium to communicate that position, that it's obtained via GPS, back to someone.

For the purpose of reporting that position back to somebody, the SPoT uses another satellite system (the Globalstar system), that is completely different from, and has nothing to do with, the GPS satellites.

A "cell-based GPS tracker" determines its position from the GPS satellites, just like the SPoT. Then, unlike the SPoT, it uses the cellular network to report that position back to someone.

The point is that cellular networks have less total coverage than a satellite system like Globalstar.
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Old 11-10-2009, 11:21 AM   #1565
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I really appreciate the information in this thread. I have Gen I SPoT and am likely to upgrade before my current subscription is up in Dec. I have mixed results with the unit - it does the OK calls just fine. But the tracking still baffles me a little. Even when kayaking in a huge lake with the unit in full view of the sky - I still am not getting very accurate results. I really like the idea though of being able to let people know where I am as I do a lot of my motorbiking and kayaking solo.
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Old 11-10-2009, 11:35 AM   #1566
crazybrit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bike-N-Hike
On my BMW the "Spot Personal Trakker" gets mounted in a RAM cradle
on the right side of my 1/2" crossbar on the handle bar handlebar.
The GPS gets mounted on the same crossbar but to the left.
On multple long trips 600+ miles the SPOT effectively trakked about 50-60%,
not bad but when I've placed it in a duffle in the back of the bike and I get close
to 90+% trakking hits (Quite a difference when your trying to view your trip latter
as a GPS file.) For me, handle bar mounting doesn't produce the best trakking results.
Bike-N-Hike. When mounted in the RAM is the unit always horizontal (parallel to ground)? I'd heard this was pretty much a requirement for the SPOT (not sure if this is the orientation when in a duffle?). Not sure how easy it is to maintain horizontal placement using the RAM ball mount.
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Old 11-10-2009, 05:56 PM   #1567
idea man
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HogWild
Global Positioning System
Ahhhhh. Thanks for the clarification. And to Spotmaker, thanks for the additional info. Having been up in the Yukon where there was next to no cell coverage, the spot kept sending off tracking signals every 10 minutes of so. It worked like a charm. People were watching in real time as we went over the Arctic Circle. It was very cool and they were very appreciative.
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:56 PM   #1568
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in store REI West Hartford,CT

they received 6 silver this afternoon (now 5 )
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Old 11-13-2009, 07:08 PM   #1569
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Hayduke, interesting misfire. FWIW, I throw my unit in the pocket of my camelback with no problems. I sometimes wrap a small towel around it when other things are in there.


spotmaker, any comment on accuracy of the unit? I noted some of my track points being quite a distance off of actual (over 100 yds) while in Batopilas.

and , thanks for being here. the peace of mind the spot gave my wife while I am off in remote areas let's me be gone longer

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Old 11-13-2009, 07:28 PM   #1570
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazybrit
Bike-N-Hike. When mounted in the RAM is the unit always horizontal (parallel to ground)? I'd heard this was pretty much a requirement for the SPOT (not sure if this is the orientation when in a duffle?). Not sure how easy it is to maintain horizontal placement using the RAM ball mount.
Does your GPS unit and SPOT need to be a certain distance apart to not interfere with each other or...?
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Old 11-13-2009, 07:52 PM   #1571
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freeflow
Hayduke, interesting misfire. FWIW, I trhow my unit in the pocket of my camelback with no problems. I sometimes wrap a small towel around ti when other things are in there.


spotmaker, any comment on accuracy of the unit? I noted some of my track points being quite a distance off of actual (over 100 yds) while in Batopilas.

and , thanks for being here. the peace of mind the spot gave my wife while I am off in remote areas let's me be gone longer

Are you using tracking while it's in the camelback?
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Old 11-14-2009, 08:53 AM   #1572
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pyrate
Does your GPS unit and SPOT need to be a certain distance apart to not interfere with each other or...?
browsing through the user guide for spot 2, it does state the spot and gps should be 12" apart otherwise the spot could interfere with the gps.
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Old 11-14-2009, 09:18 AM   #1573
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky_Devil
Spot doesn't have the best track record when it comes to processing rebates:
My rebate took about 5 months. Definitely worth the wait to get the unit so cheap.
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Old 11-16-2009, 07:10 AM   #1574
Emmbeedee
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Alternate Power Sources?

I'm sitting here with no Lithium batteries in the house, wondering why I couldn't just drill a hole in the back cover and add an external power cable I could run to an appropriate voltage source from the bike's battery.

Anyone doing this already?

I'm more interested in a constant source of power than total submersion protection... I might feel differently if I was on a boat, but I'm not.

Maybe SPoT should sell a modified back cover with this kind of provision?
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Old 11-16-2009, 07:22 AM   #1575
SpotMaker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoShock
browsing through the user guide for spot 2, it does state the spot and gps should be 12" apart otherwise the spot could interfere with the gps.
Or vice versa.

Some GPS units will interfere with the SPoT. The SPoT will interfere with some GPS units.

Two different models of GPS units may interfere with one another.

Some combinations have no interference issues at all.

To be on the safe side, SPoT should be 12" from another GPS based device, like the guide says.
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