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Old 07-27-2012, 05:56 PM   #3151
cwc
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Battery indicator for SPOT 2

Has anyone tested a SPOT 2 to see "about" how long tracking continues to function after the on/off button starts blinking red?

The above question assumes use of the suggested lithium batteries.
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:58 PM   #3152
Twohondas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwc View Post
Has anyone tested a SPOT 2 to see "about" how long tracking continues to function after the on/off button starts blinking red?

The above question assumes use of the suggested lithium batteries.
I did such a test several times .....on a MC you can reliably get the tracks/OKs out for the rest of the day when the unit starts blinking red.

On a trip across the country in a moving truck I was able to get signals out after a day and half of blinking red. The trouble is that after a while (another day) the unit is still blinking red and the signals are not getting out.

For motorcycle use, I recommend replacing your batteries the evening of the first blinking red batteries occurrence. That way if you go into a ditch you still have some SPOT tracks piling up in the ditch (providing the SPOT is pointed in the right direction).
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Old 07-28-2012, 06:59 AM   #3153
sandalscout
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twohondas View Post
For motorcycle use, I recommend replacing your batteries the evening of the first blinking red batteries occurrence. That way if you go into a ditch you still have some SPOT tracks piling up in the ditch (providing the SPOT is pointed in the right direction).
The problem with this thought is that the SPOT uses the batteries more quickly if you do hit the 911 button on the unit, and could potentially prove useless if you are low on juice and have an accident.

As cheap as batteries are (especially when compared to my safety), I plan on replacing the batteries as soon as the light starts flashing. That said, I got my spot used from a buddy, put new batteries in it in February and used about once a week for about 4 hours ever week since February. I've also it used it daily for a week in March, daily for a week in May and I'm still on my first set of batteries.
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Old 07-28-2012, 10:49 AM   #3154
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Are you SPOT users registered here?

http://www.WhereAmIRiding.com/

By riders, for riders. It's free. The problem we found is that trying to remember your SPOT link is near impossible. Well those days are over and we're here to make this easy.

Eg: http://strega.whereamiriding.com

You don't have to remember your spot link anymore, then again, no one could memorize it before anyway. Now it's SUPER easy to remember and easy for friends and family to follow you on your trip. Also, the site is in constant development and I've taken many user ideas and integrated them into the site.

I ride, and being that I have some technical abilities, I want to share that with my riding friends.
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:24 AM   #3155
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SPOT vs. SAT phone....

Since this forum has to do with satellite communications, felt this might be the appropriate Spot (bad pun??)

A couple other ADV members, two of my riding pals have been using the SPOT transponder now for several different trips. Of one of those, his tracks have never been available for viewing by others, The other his tracks could only be followed for a couple days then...nothing.

He is currently on his dream "bucket list" trip north thru the Sierras, north to Banff then back down thru the Rockies. His wife purchased a SPOT so she'd not worry and he could check in daily. Turns out we could only track the route for two days. Last weekend he wrote, says the "I'm OK" daily check in is taking up to 24 hours to show up in emails, leaving his wife rather anxious. Leaves me to wonder if the SOS feature would do the same????

I forwarded his note regarding functions not working, delayed reporting, etc. to SPOT since he's still on the road asking what to do, adjust, set-up, whatever. Been a week now but NO reply from SPOT. Since then I've seen that others are having similar troubles. See link..
http://www.gpscity.com/spot-satellite-gps-messenger-reviews.html

I just purchased one from REI but after these reports and others here has me thinking I've wasted money. The other thing that bothers me is the automatic debiting and up-charging to one's credit card for each additional year of subscription. Just like the damned cable companies do.

I can see both the safety and novelty aspects of owning a SPOT, but if the service, features and customer help is unreliable, why bother??

I just learned that one can rent a satellite phone for as little as $15.00 week excluding cost of calls. Maybe it would be better to rent just for a trip rather than the combined cost of the SPOT and additional subscription cost??

What say you fellow FF'rs??????

How 'bout a show of hands of who likes and has good luck with their SPOT and those that have not??????
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:37 AM   #3156
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You have to call in or is it email to cancel the auto renewal, which is a PITA. There are sites that will keep the SPOT tracks longer and maybe indefinitely, don't know where they are. I tried to set one up some time ago and had no luck. The SPOT worked well for me and don't see why it would be too much problem that tracks only last a few days, unless personally wanting to keep a record of the trip. As long as the SO, checks every day then he/she will know your alive and moving.

Some places rent SPOT's too.
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:45 AM   #3157
Montague
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Spot 2

I have both a Spot 2 and also a Global Star sat phone due to the fact that my cabin is way out of cellular range.

The Spot 2 was purchased when they first came out and has worked flawlessly on many trips and regular weekend use so I am always surprised at how many people report bad units.

Perhaps I just go lucky. I have some heart issues and live alone so when I am out in the boonies, having this is a big comfort factor for me and my grown kids.

The track me feature has worked from here to James Bay to Halifax to Edmonton, at the worst it misses one or so track points.

I actually lost my Spot a couple of years ago during hunting season when the crappy supplied case let it fall off my pack but I have the tracking feature and was actually able to go to the nearest village with public wifi, download my tracks, transfer them to my Garmin and go back a few days later to find it buried in leaves under heavy tree cover.

All I can say is it works well for me but I bought the sat phone so I could have 2 way conversation if some complicated sh*t happens.

Although you have a couple of buttons with less urgency than the 911, it is still likely to cause panic to those who you have designated so I want to be able to actually describe the need by phone.

The Gstar works okay, it was dirt cheap due to the limited constellation they had in orbit but that has been mostly corrected and there is decent service with only minimal gaps in my area.

YMMV
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:37 PM   #3158
larryroak
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I have had a Spot one, original, for about 5 years and use it only for "check in ok". Have not had to use 911 or help good thing. If you want to have a track record of where you went I would use a GPS not the Spot.
My Check oks have been about 98% and show up on email fast. Tree cover will affect the reception and transmittting, it is not perfect but I don't leave home without it.
A friend uses his Spot check ok to post automatically to Facebook, works great.
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:08 PM   #3159
Emmbeedee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tin Bender View Post
s not working, delayed reporting, etc. to SPOT since he's still on the road asking what to do, adjust, set-up, whatever. Been a week now but NO reply from SPOT.

I just purchased one from REI but after these reports and others here has me thinking I've wasted money. The other thing that bothers me is the automatic debiting and up-charging to one's credit card for each additional year of subscription. Just like the damned cable companies do.

How 'bout a show of hands of who likes and has good luck with their SPOT and those that have not??????
Best to phone Spot to get instant service and answers...

I've had a Spot almost since they were released and also bought one each for my wife and son since we all ride, sometimes separately. All three are the originals, Spot 1, but just last week I took over a friend's Spot 2 when he quit riding, and phoned Spot, and they transferred the 2 to upgrade my oldest V1, and it has worked perfectly since.

The people I spoke to were more than helpful each time I called.

Re: the service renewal. They never add services, in my experience, and when they renewed for me, a month later I called and told them I wanted to drop the Tracking option and they were prompt in refunding me almost 100% of the annual fee.

So call their 1-800 number if there's a problem, and use yours now to get used to it before you really need it.

Don't wait for a trip of a lifetime to find out how.

SPOT LLC
300 Holiday Square Blvd.
Covington, Louisiana 70433
Customer Care:
1 (866) OK1-SPOT
1 (866) 651-7768
From outside of North America:
+1 (408) 933-4518
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"The motorcycle, being poorly designed for both flight and marine operation, sustained significant external and internal damage," police noted.

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Old 07-30-2012, 03:24 PM   #3160
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And if you want your tracks to remain visible, why not use Spot Adventures or SpotWalla?
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"The motorcycle, being poorly designed for both flight and marine operation, sustained significant external and internal damage," police noted.
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Old 07-31-2012, 09:53 AM   #3161
Renegade_Azzy
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I just picked up a spot from an inmate, (Model PT2), are there still any discount codes available for the service?
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:04 PM   #3162
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Continue to be pretty happy with SPOT2. Depending on terrain, most tracking and "I'm OK" signals getting through. Travelled across the US and Canada to the southern end of Mexico and had consistent tracking.

Tracking was getting spotty a couple of years ago and I phoned SPOT - they reviewed my tracks and immediately sent me a new unit.

Use Spotwalla - very versatile and saves your tracks/trips.

A pretty cheap gadget that gives both myself and my family a bit of comfort.

However for a big trip coming up, may suppelment SPOT with Personal Tracker just for different/better 911 service.
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:11 PM   #3163
sandalscout
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RexBuck View Post
However for a big trip coming up, may suppelment SPOT with Personal Tracker just for different/better 911 service.
If I were going somewhere especially crazy, I would definitely get one of these. Prices have come down significantly over the last several years, it's hard to say no to one.
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Old 07-31-2012, 06:31 PM   #3164
BlueLghtning
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tin Bender View Post
Since this forum has to do with satellite communications, felt this might be the appropriate Spot (bad pun??)

A couple other ADV members, two of my riding pals have been using the SPOT transponder now for several different trips. Of one of those, his tracks have never been available for viewing by others, The other his tracks could only be followed for a couple days then...nothing.

He is currently on his dream "bucket list" trip north thru the Sierras, north to Banff then back down thru the Rockies. His wife purchased a SPOT so she'd not worry and he could check in daily. Turns out we could only track the route for two days. Last weekend he wrote, says the "I'm OK" daily check in is taking up to 24 hours to show up in emails, leaving his wife rather anxious. Leaves me to wonder if the SOS feature would do the same????

I forwarded his note regarding functions not working, delayed reporting, etc. to SPOT since he's still on the road asking what to do, adjust, set-up, whatever. Been a week now but NO reply from SPOT. Since then I've seen that others are having similar troubles. See link..
http://www.gpscity.com/spot-satellite-gps-messenger-reviews.html

I just purchased one from REI but after these reports and others here has me thinking I've wasted money. The other thing that bothers me is the automatic debiting and up-charging to one's credit card for each additional year of subscription. Just like the damned cable companies do.

I can see both the safety and novelty aspects of owning a SPOT, but if the service, features and customer help is unreliable, why bother??

I just learned that one can rent a satellite phone for as little as $15.00 week excluding cost of calls. Maybe it would be better to rent just for a trip rather than the combined cost of the SPOT and additional subscription cost??

What say you fellow FF'rs??????

How 'bout a show of hands of who likes and has good luck with their SPOT and those that have not??????
After reading many of those comments on REI, I'm thinking many of the people had no idea how to use it or didn't understand its limitations.

Is your friend using the tracking along with the OK, or just the OK messages? Is he keeping it in a well visible spot on the bike with a clear view of the sky facing upward?

I'm also one of the original SPOT 1 users and got my unit not long after they came out. I'm going on 5 years now with no issues what so ever. I used my SPOT all through the Western US and even up into Canada and never had any issues. I know I've read several ride reports where guys used their SPOTS all the way up to AK, so although sat coverage may be more hit or miss, from what I've seen, it works fine.

I know several SPOT II's had reliability issues and along with the shorter battery life, that has kept me from upgrading as I know exactly how to use my SPOT 1 and understand how the OK/Tracking work separately even though the same button activates them on the SPOT 1.
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Old 07-31-2012, 07:05 PM   #3165
Emmbeedee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueLghtning View Post
I know several SPOT II's had reliability issues and along with the shorter battery life, that has kept me from upgrading as I know exactly how to use my SPOT 1 and understand how the OK/Tracking work separately even though the same button activates them on the SPOT 1.
I continued with my Spot I as well after hearing all the bad reports but when I found a II cheaply, I went for it to see for myself how it works. I've been pleasantly surprised to see how well it's working, and it does actually have some advantages over version I.

The smaller size, lighter weight, extra "OK/Custom" message and covers over the Help and 911 buttons are all significant improvements. The only disadvantage so far has been the slightly more expensive batteries.

And if this one craps out, I still have my old original Spot unit to go back to.
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Want to know more about the Garmin Montana? See the Wisdom and FAQ Thread.
Want to know more about the Garmin VIRB? See here.
"The motorcycle, being poorly designed for both flight and marine operation, sustained significant external and internal damage," police noted.
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