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Old 01-25-2008, 04:19 PM   #181
TomW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpotMaker
...Those of you who would like to design a transmit antenna, are you willing to go through the Globalstar and FCC certification process?
Me? No thanks, but perhaps for the next product, how about this:

Preface
Garmin has handled several issues (including feedline loss) with respect to XM satellite reception by building their XM receiver into the external GXM-30 hocky puck that goes on top of your [insert type of vehicle here]. The cable that plugs into your XM-ready GPS only carries binary data, not weak RF signals.

Pitch
So, given all this, in the next product (meant for vehicular use) consider doing what Garmin did with their GXM-30 -- using the same GlobalStar- and FCC-approved antenna/transmitter -- put the antenna/transmitter in a puck with magnetic base to be mounted externally, and have a processor/control head inside the vehicle with an external DC jack. Since power consumption is no longer a big issue, you can leave the GPS receiver on all the time (switching off when transmitting) and give folks who worry about such things an indication of valid position data on the enhanced display unit. Since we're all motorcyclists here, the control head should be waterproof of course.

Whew.
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Old 01-29-2008, 02:41 PM   #182
Squeaky
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A question for SpotMaker and the rest of you goons...

The instructions say that to get in or out of tracking mode I can hold down the OK button for 5 seconds. This works great to turn it on, but when I try it to turn it back off (to send a check-in message) I get a RED flashing light instead of green or no light. I end up having to power down and then back on to send a check-in, then wait the 20 min, then turn tracking back on.

Am I doing something wrong? What does the red light indicate? Am I just misreading that it has turned the feature off as requested?

Other than that, I'm loving it. Did my first overnighter this past weekend in deep East Texas with touch-and-go cell service, but mom and sis were able to keep up with my thanks to the SPOT on the top of my tailbag.
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Old 01-29-2008, 02:44 PM   #183
aciurczak
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The red flashing light means it is coming out of tracking mode (or coming out of 911 mode, or Help mode, if that's the mode you were in). If you let it sit for a short while, the red light should stop blinking and the unit will go back to just being "on" and not in any transmitting/tracking mode.
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Old 01-29-2008, 02:55 PM   #184
Squeaky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aciurczak
The red flashing light means it is coming out of tracking mode (or coming out of 911 mode, or Help mode, if that's the mode you were in). If you let it sit for a short while, the red light should stop blinking and the unit will go back to just being "on" and not in any transmitting/tracking mode.
Ok. I guess I freaked and I just assumed shutting it down would prevent a mishap like a false help/911 send if I'd royalled messed it up.

I'll wait next time and see how long it takes. Thanks for the super fast reply!
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Old 01-29-2008, 03:02 PM   #185
Squeaky
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Oh, and since this thread is all about reporting back your experience using the SPOT, I'll add mine. Anyone that hasn't sprung for one yet might want to see the screens...

Here are the 'geek' results of this weekend's check-in points. I kept it in tracking mode most of the weekend for my mother and sister to "keep and eye on me" as a test for an upcoming solo trip, but at stopping points I sent out a Check-In message for a few people that wanted to see how the group was progressing.

Here are the images of the check-in locations. I can't think of any that it missed, so it was a pretty good test.

Staging area in Moscow at the Post Office on Saturday morning


Fuel stop just before lunch near the Sam Rayburn Dam


Departing from lunch at The Stump just down the road


Arrival at Harborlight


Departure the following morning


Fuel & lunch at the gas station in Etoille


The interface is nothing fancy, but has most of the basics covered ("sort by" column headers, etc.)


Overview of the two days. You can see that I forgot to turn the tracking back on when we left Harborlight in the morning on Sunday, but turned it back on after a break when I went to check in and realized it.


Zoomed-in view of a few points after leaving The Stump and heading towards Harborlight Saturday afternoon.
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Old 01-29-2008, 04:59 PM   #186
rocketbunny
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The end of the month is fast approaching..... any update on ETA for guest login?
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Old 01-29-2008, 05:41 PM   #187
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketbunny
The end of the month is fast approaching..... any update on ETA for guest login?
I was told that the beginning of second quarter there would be a number of new features offered including more versatile guest/friends viewing options.
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Old 01-30-2008, 07:42 AM   #188
SpotMaker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squeaky
Ok. I guess I freaked and I just assumed shutting it down would prevent a mishap like a false help/911 send if I'd royalled messed it up.

I'll wait next time and see how long it takes. Thanks for the super fast reply!
I'll probably get reprimanded for reveling this but this was a "feature" of the user interface that I argued vehemently against. (It wasn't the only one.) I stated it would be confusing. (Flashing red OK LED also means hardware failure, unless you're coming out of track mode. )

I lost that argument.

Personally, I terminate track mode by simply turning my unit off.
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Old 02-03-2008, 11:30 AM   #189
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Eh?

I just checked the Spot website. It shows a guest tracking service as an add on extra service at an extra $49. That isn't exactly what I had in mind. The gist of the service when I bought one was to be able to let others track you. That is why I bought it. I do not need to tell myself where I am. My GPS does that.

Yes, the 911 service is good, but I don't think I would have purchased the unit knowing the new price. I thought I was lead to believe it was possible with the then current package. I remember reading about "buy now" at a good price The improvements are in the wings. I guess they were, I just didn't think it would increase the annual service contract price by 50%. It appears the info about guest login is there, but I see no way to add it on line.
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Old 02-03-2008, 12:35 PM   #190
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This pricing format has always been the case. You weren't bamboozled... if you hadn't notice before now, you just weren't paying attention.
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Old 02-03-2008, 01:03 PM   #191
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It's not $49.99 for guest tracking, from the very beginning it has always been that same $49.99 for any continuous tracking capability. The pricing below has been clearly described in every review I've ever read about the device, and certainly hasn't ever changed on the SPoT website...

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Old 02-03-2008, 01:11 PM   #192
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My mistake. You are right. In fact I bought the tracking service. I guess the guest tracking is not yet available.
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Old 02-09-2008, 11:06 AM   #193
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I took delivery of my unit last night (a friend living in the US brought one back for me) and have had a bit of a play with it today.

I've sent a couple of test OK messages and they seem great - accurate to 25m or so.

The only gripe I have is that it seems there's a lack of SMS support for international mobile phone networks. As far as I can gather the messages are sent via email to sms gateways so if your network doesn't have one then you can't receive messages on mobiles. It would really nice if they could route to any mobile number using a service like http://www.bulksms.com/

At the moment it means that a big part of the reason I bought it (alerts to mobile phones) is totally unusable.

Other than that it seems great.
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Old 02-09-2008, 11:46 AM   #194
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Since email works fine, are there any email to sms gateways that work for your cell phone provider? Here's one that claims to work for just about every provider:

https://www1.teleflip.com/

But not sure if that's the case for UK mobile as well.

here's another:

http://www.ipipi.com/email_to_sms.htm
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Old 02-10-2008, 06:48 PM   #195
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aciurczak
Since email works fine, are there any email to sms gateways that work for your cell phone provider?
There definitely are - I think my provider offers this as a subscription service.

My point was more that the marketing material mis-represents the service as being able to send SMS when it can't, I didn't expect to have to pay extra for an email to sms service.
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