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Old 02-11-2008, 03:19 PM   #211
motolocopat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squeaky
s
For what you were doing with it maybe not, but for me, I'd like it to continue to track despite movement. It means that to those looking for me, the unit IS still working, it's just me that hasn't moved - if it didn't report back multiple pinpoints at the same location, the viewer would be stuck wondering if something had happened to me or if I'd turned off the unit.

I've advised my family that if I stop moving for more than 30 or 40 minutes and haven't sent an OK check-in, something could be wrong. It's up to me to remember to check in whenever I stop for fuel, food, etc. but she can check up as needed to keep peace of mind.

It's my understanding that while it's a cool side effect, being able to broadcast for recreational purposes is not what the SPOT was designed for.
I'd have to disagree. The base service that is a minimal fee (at least the first year) and the device are designed to send 911, HELP & OK Signals. The Tracking Service that is $100 a year I consider recreational. My feelings are that the 911, HELP & OK Signals are designed to keep in touch and get some help or a LOT OF HELP. The tracking that they charge the most for and is not a redundant message, or does not get repeatedly sent until success, is IMO more of a "Hey this is cool.....check out where my Son/Brother/Dad is type of feature. That is why the tracking messages are not sent until success.

I'd hate to have to think that I had people hanging on my every movement and if I quite moving for more than 40 minutes they start going into WTF mode. Maybe your family likes you more than mine likes me /-: ......... or maybe my family is more used to me beep-booping around the world.

FWIW the unit seems to work great here in Ecuador. We do a lot of riding up on the mountains and in the Andes at least it is not heavily forested for the most part. Still seemed to have no problems down in the Amazon region....they have a few trees left there (-:
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Old 02-11-2008, 03:23 PM   #212
aciurczak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motolocopat
The base service that is a minimal fee (at least the first year) and the device are designed to send 911, HELP & OK Signals. The Tracking Service that is $100 a year I consider recreational.
Unless there is different pricing overseas, this information isn't correct. The base service is $100/year. That service provides the 911, HELP, and OK signals capability. The tracking service is just an additional $50/year.

That said, I get a heck of alot more use out of the tracking feature and would be willing to pay more for it instead of the base service if it were bundled that way. But it's not.
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Old 02-11-2008, 05:11 PM   #213
Squeaky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motolocopat
The tracking that they charge the most for and is not a redundant message, or does not get repeatedly sent until success, is IMO more of a "Hey this is cool.....check out where my Son/Brother/Dad is type of feature. That is why the tracking messages are not sent until success.
Well, the tracking mode is also good in case I forget to check in - she can still see where I am and that I'm still moving. It will also be worth it's weight in gold if something were to happen and I am unable to get to the 911 button - and they have to find me based on the last tracking signals. Sadly, last year a rider went off a hill in Central TX and wasn't found for three days because his friends and family assumed he was having too much fun out riding to call and check in. The injuries may not have been fatal if he'd been found sooner.

Quote:
I'd hate to have to think that I had people hanging on my every movement and if I quite moving for more than 40 minutes they start going into WTF mode. Maybe your family likes you more than mine likes me /-: ......... or maybe my family is more used to me beep-booping around the world.
I'm nowhere close to being a world traveler. I don't even own a passport (yet). I am, however, a single woman rider whose family thinks bikes are evil and dangerous, so if this little orange tracker is what it takes for them to relax and not worry when I'm on the road and haven't called them in two hours, it's worth every penny to me.
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Old 02-11-2008, 06:18 PM   #214
rocketbunny
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motolocopat
I'd hate to have to think that I had people hanging on my every movement and if I quite moving for more than 40 minutes they start going into WTF mode. Maybe your family likes you more than mine likes me /-: ......... or maybe my family is more used to me beep-booping around the world.
I don't know if my loved ones would freak out if I stopped moving after 40 minutes (and I hope not), but an ex-bf really chewed me out for not calling to check in one night. He was freaking out (ex-LEO) about his crazy gf who goes on 2-week, 6000 mile solo moto-trips.

I like knowing that my family can keep track of me if I choose to turn on tracking. My grandparents love to watch my progress on the map and my trips are big on having fun, but being safe is the prime directive.
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Old 02-11-2008, 07:10 PM   #215
klebel
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Anyone in Alaska using one of these suckers?

I am headed to Prudhoe Bay and would buy one of these in an instant if I thought the coverage up north would be good. Looking at the coverage map looks very iffy that far north. Anyone have feedback yet?
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Old 02-11-2008, 07:14 PM   #216
Maddaddy
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fancy meeting you here

anyone got a good promo code for this bugger??
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Old 02-12-2008, 06:59 AM   #217
bananaman
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I've been off the ride now for two days, and all I've been doing is thinking about the ride- what I did, what I could have done differently, what equipment I used, what equipment I needed, what I could do without.

Based on the 50% success rate of OK messages reaching family in the US, the SPOT wasn't worth carrying. It caused more worry than it prevented. Family got used to the clock-work-like messages coming through while I was in the US, but they started to worry when the messages were sporadic. I called home via Sat phone from El Salvador- I wonder what they would have done if I hadn't called. One or two more days and they would have sent out a search party.

The idea of having them track my every move, and be ready to notify search-and-rescue if I don't move for 40 minutes... totally unworkable in the world I was riding in. I was gone-riding for 5 weeks. Who is going to watch my ride for 5 weeks?

I'll carry it on my next Latin America ride to be able to better report on it's success rate. My Garmin GPS always works. Each time I hit OK I'll record time, GPS position, and view of the sky.

Regarding an up or down vote... I wish I'd put the money toward renting a sat phone.

ride report "Latin America!" here: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=302175
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:29 AM   #218
aciurczak
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It's hard to dispute your observations; you were there, you used the device, you weren't happy with its results. But I do wonder if you would have felt differently about the gadget's performance if instead of hitting OK a bunch of times per day, you just enabled tracking each morning so it would be sending messages up once every 10 minutes until you turned it back off at night. For one thing, figuring out areas with bad coverage would be awfully easy afterward the trip. (though that has little bearing on helping you during the trip). I also think that if you took the time to learn how to operate a satellite phone, it would have been helpful for you to take a look through the SPoT manual so you are better aware about what the different light sequences are telling you, so for example you'd know if the SPoT wasn't getting a GPS signal, or if it had finished or was still in its OK transmit sequence. That may or may not have made a difference in its ultimate performance, but you would be much better informed about describing exactly how and why the device wasn't working as expected.
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Old 02-12-2008, 07:48 AM   #219
mars
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I think the problem most of you have is, you don't need it!
For myself, this is the greatest thing to happen since I moved to Idaho. I love to ride alone

in my backyard, there are no phone booths to call home if there is trouble. I complete confidence that spot will send my location if needed.
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Old 02-12-2008, 12:10 PM   #220
bananaman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aciurczak
It's hard to dispute your observations; you were there, you used the device, you weren't happy with its results. But I do wonder if you would have felt differently about the gadget's performance if instead of hitting OK a bunch of times per day, you just enabled tracking each morning so it would be sending messages up once every 10 minutes until you turned it back off at night. For one thing, figuring out areas with bad coverage would be awfully easy afterward the trip. (though that has little bearing on helping you during the trip). I also think that if you took the time to learn how to operate a satellite phone, it would have been helpful for you to take a look through the SPoT manual so you are better aware about what the different light sequences are telling you, so for example you'd know if the SPoT wasn't getting a GPS signal, or if it had finished or was still in its OK transmit sequence. That may or may not have made a difference in its ultimate performance, but you would be much better informed about describing exactly how and why the device wasn't working as expected.
I was on a RIDE, not a "let's see how this latest gadget works" kind of trip. I want something simple. I'm already on a complicated motorcycle. Sat phones are easy: turn them on, dial, talk. SPOT is supposed to be easy: turn it on, press OK, ignore. (I left mine on for the entire trip.) Leaving it in "track" mode really isn't an option. If I'm stopped in, for example, Honduras, what does that mean? Am I taking a nap? Am I dead? I needed to be able to communicate "OK," otherwise being stopped is useless information for my family to have. I'm not going to sit around for 20 minutes wondering, Did my OK signal go through? I'm not going to wander around looking for a "better" view of the sky.

With a Sat phone, you dial, and if you get static, you walk around- just like a cell phone. With a Sat phone, you don't just have a few options (ok, help, 911). A Sat phone is more expensive, but in the context of global travel, the Sat phone is a better tool.
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Old 02-12-2008, 04:52 PM   #221
aciurczak
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I hear you, makes sense. I wasn't suggesting to use Track mode only and never use OK messages where appropriate; I was suggesting that using track mode throughout in addition to OK messages would give a much better picture of where you are, what you were doing, and would also have been much more reliable at getting that info out to whomever you wanted that info to go to. You mentioned that you were carrying extra batteries, and 2 lithium AA's will power the thing for 14 continuous days of tracking mode, so I'm not sure why you feel that leaving it in track mode wasn't an option. That's all.
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Old 02-12-2008, 04:58 PM   #222
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mars
I think the problem most of you have is, you don't need it!
Wow. You're amazing!
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Old 02-12-2008, 10:31 PM   #223
Maddaddy
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totaly amazing

Quote:
Originally Posted by mars I think the problem most of you have is, you don't need it!
Quote:
Originally Posted by UK Jimbo
Wow. You're amazing!
Yeah, really. I can be less than an hour away from my home in the national forest just kicking around for the day, have a spill. No one would probably find me for days if at all and there is no cell phone reception. You make it sound like you have to be the original Grizzly Adams before you need one.
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Maddaddy screwed with this post 02-12-2008 at 10:39 PM
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Old 02-13-2008, 05:09 AM   #224
bananaman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aciurczak
You mentioned that you were carrying extra batteries, and 2 lithium AA's will power the thing for 14 continuous days of tracking mode, so I'm not sure why you feel that leaving it in track mode wasn't an option.
I was changing the batteries every 10 days so that I would have plenty of juice if I had to press 911. My understanding is that it continuously updates your position, which enables you to attempt self-evacuation. Your location when you first press 911 could be miles away from where you end up.

My PLB also continuously updates location.

I like redundancy when it comes to life-or-death types of scenarios.
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:21 AM   #225
aciurczak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bananaman
Your location when you first press 911 could be miles away from where you end up.
Actually, now that you mention it, I'm not sure how the unit behaves during a 911 signal. With an OK signal, it does not update position during that 20 minute period, even if you are moving at the time. The 3 redundant messages that it sends all include only the initial position where you pressed OK.

I am not sure (and the manual doesn't clarify) if you press HELP or 911, does it continually update position, or does it send out the location from where you first pressed it. I sure hope it would update, but I guess it will take some testing. If I remember, I'll test the HELP mode this weekend to see if position changes.
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