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Old 02-13-2008, 08:26 AM   #226
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check page 4 of this thread, Spotmaker's posts!
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:43 AM   #227
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpotMaker
Each help, 911, or track message is only sent once, but a new one, with fresh GPS data and a new packet ID (causing the SPoT back office to pump all of them through), is sent every 5 minutes for help/911 or every 10 minutes for track.
I read this as saying that if I self-evac after pressing 911, SPOT will update my location every ten minutes? Basically SPOT updates info every 10 minutes until I de-activate 911?
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:33 AM   #228
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bananaman
I read this as saying that if I self-evac after pressing 911, SPOT will update my location every ten minutes? Basically SPOT updates info every 10 minutes until I de-activate 911?
I think the quoted post said updates every 5 minutes for help/911....

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Old 02-13-2008, 10:41 AM   #229
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aciurczak
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.
Help, 911, and Track update the position with each transmission.

Help transmits every 5 minutes for one hour (total of 13 transmissions).

911 transmits every 5 minutes forever (until canceled or powered off, or, of course, if the batteries die).

Track transmits every 10 minutes for 24 hours.
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Old 02-13-2008, 12:29 PM   #230
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I was wrong

OK I was wrong or confused on what I paid for each service. I bought every one that they had. $100, $50, $8 for Basic, Tracking and Insurance. I think that they are all worthwhile.

Even at $50 for the tracking I think it is more of a "Cool look where Dad/Mom/GF/BF/Brother/Sister/Son/Daughter is now" service. The Help/OK/911 are for the peace of mind and send some or lots of help.

I did find some of my OK messages in my SPAM box so I think that ALL of them were received although not %100 sure. The OK messages are real neat as they do not require anyone to log into the MYSPOT website. You get a email with a link and it takes you directly to Googlemaps. You can then save that spot to a Map and view it in Google Earth. My Mom liked this a lot. She even got photos of the erupting volcano when opening up the link!

Tracking posts look like I received plenty of them, perhaps to many, and most were at roughly 10 miute intervals so they were being sent and received as they should for the most part. I'm sure as I familiarize myself with the importing of the locations and mapping them I can work out the hassels of the duplicate transmissions when stopped.......... it would be a nice option if you could tell it to not transmit if within XX distance of the last transmission.

Biggest thing here though is remembering to turn it off at night. Lunchs, photo-ops and gas stops should not generate to many extra transmissions and I suppose you could use them to decipher where these were. My fault but because of a couple of circumstances the MYSPOT ended up not on the bike I rode so it was not in my view at end of day and not convenient to send OK messages at will during the day.

You can't beat a Satellite phone for remote areas but they are not without faults and they are in another price range all together.
All of the Latin America countries I've been to, and that's a lot, have cheap international phone calls offered in Telephone Cabinas that are located in any small town. They are great for calling home inexpensively.

Like I said before in Ecuador the MYSPOT seemed to work %90+ of the time on tracking and pretty close to if not %100 for the OK. For a device that you can mount to your handlebars and has a cost of less than $15 a month when extrapolated over a 3 year period it is not to bad of a deal.
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Old 02-13-2008, 12:43 PM   #231
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motolocopat
Biggest thing here though is remembering to turn it off at night. Lunchs, photo-ops and gas stops should not generate to many extra transmissions and I suppose you could use them to decipher where these were.
I've gotten in the habit of getting out of tracking mode, sending an OK, then unpacking me & the bike while it's transmitting. By the time I'm done, it's done, and the tank bag (with the SPOT in it) is the last thing off the bike.
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Old 02-13-2008, 03:47 PM   #232
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Yeah it should not be to big of a problem...... have the starting of CRS disease but it is not full blown yet (-:

If it was mounted on my bike then I think I would have remembered most of the time but it ended up on a customers ride so it was not staring me in the face all day. When I reach a Hotel in the evening I have to go into a real work mode of making sure everyone gets settled into a room and get a cold beer so guess the NEW MYSPOT didn't get the attention in deserved.

Hopefully I am trying it out in Mexico and Central America before to long and that the experience of others there was as much operator error as a coverage problem. It did work well in Ecuador and I think with some time if they remain receptive to customer input and committed to making the website a bit more user and guest friendly it will be a great deal for all adventurers......... if the coverage is proven up for all areas as shown on thier website.
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Old 02-13-2008, 05:53 PM   #233
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I hope nobody thinks I'm disparaging anything or anybody. All my comments on this thread are attempts to relay my actual experience. I think this product has tremendous potential. I'm glad to be a bit of a trail-blazer for the ADV community.

I think I said I never used it in TRACK mode. For my trip TRACK just didn't make sense. I bought it for the OK and 911 functions. The HELP button is pretty useless to me in Central America.

I'm certain that the OK messages that didn't go through had nothing to do with user error. For example, in Panama City, I would press OK and then set the unit on top of a flower pot next to the driveway. I'd leave it there overnight. Each of the OK messages from Panama City were to convey to my family back in the States that I'd gotten home from whatever adventure I'd been on that day. A few times I got home late, and I didn't want to wake my kids with a late-night phone call. Instead, I wanted them to find an OK message in their phone in the morning. Most of the OK messages from the flower pot didn't go through.
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Old 02-13-2008, 06:25 PM   #234
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bananaman
Most of the OK messages from the flower pot didn't go through.
The flower pot was sabotaging the messages!
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Old 02-13-2008, 07:05 PM   #235
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I knew someone would like that line!

Seriously though, I liked the flower pot because there were flowers in it. Not a lot- and certainly not dense, but enough to kind-of hide the SPOT. If, however, that loose-tangle of flowers was too much for the SPOT signals to penetrate, then, um, well, that would just be sad.
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Old 02-13-2008, 07:44 PM   #236
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motolocopat
Biggest thing here though is remembering to turn it off at night.
Like I tell my troops, be smarter than your equipment.
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:07 PM   #237
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bananaman
Seriously though, I liked the flower pot because there were flowers in it. Not a lot- and certainly not dense, but enough to kind-of hide the SPOT.
Were the flowers wearing tin-foil hats?
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Old 02-14-2008, 07:10 AM   #238
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bananaman
I knew someone would like that line!

Seriously though, I liked the flower pot because there were flowers in it. Not a lot- and certainly not dense, but enough to kind-of hide the SPOT. If, however, that loose-tangle of flowers was too much for the SPOT signals to penetrate, then, um, well, that would just be sad.
Seriously, though. In that part of the world, the throughput of a triple-redundant check-in message should be better than 99%. Really, it should, and is, for most people.

The first time I had a check in message not go through with the SPoT placed in a particular -um- "spot", I'd try another spot (that is, place, not SPoT device ) next time.

As you say, I doubt if the flowers themselves were blocking the signal, but there may be something weird about that particular position that makes the SPoT unhappy.

Without seeing the flower pot and it's position with respect to nearby buildings, etc. with my own eyes I couldn't begin to guess what the problem might be, but it's my guess that something about that particular placement was a problem for the SPoT.
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Old 02-14-2008, 12:05 PM   #239
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpotMaker
Seriously, though. In that part of the world, the throughput of a triple-redundant check-in message should be better than 99%. Really, it should, and is, for most people.

The first time I had a check in message not go through with the SPoT placed in a particular -um- "spot", I'd try another spot (that is, place, not SPoT device ) next time.

As you say, I doubt if the flowers themselves were blocking the signal, but there may be something weird about that particular position that makes the SPoT unhappy.

Without seeing the flower pot and it's position with respect to nearby buildings, etc. with my own eyes I couldn't begin to guess what the problem might be, but it's my guess that something about that particular placement was a problem for the SPoT.
How do you know that your OK message didn't go through?

The flower pot (I can't believe we're actually discussing this!) was about ten feet from the garage. It had about a 90 degree view of the sky. The pot is made of clay or ceramic. The flowers were soft- sorry but I have no idea what kind they were.

Over by Cocuye, where my motorcycle died, I had a pretty good view of the sky.

Sorry but I don't have a photo of the flower pot, but here's the neighborhood.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bananaman
n 9 degrees, 30.945 minutes; w 79 degrees, 14.888 minutes. That's where I left my bike. Check it out on google earth.
Here's a shot of where the bike had to sleep, near Cocuye, just off the bank of the Culebra River.



As you can see from both photos, there aren't obstructions such as mountains, high buildings, or dense forests.
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Old 02-14-2008, 12:37 PM   #240
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bananaman
As you can see from both photos, there aren't obstructions such as mountains, high buildings, or dense forests.
I'm beginning to wonder if your SPoT is defective...
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