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Old 05-31-2008, 03:54 PM   #721
acejones
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I just keep mine in the top of my tankbag in the mapcase. That way I can just punch the OK button whenever. I figure if I go off a cliff I'll have bigger problems than trying to find Spot.
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Old 05-31-2008, 05:04 PM   #722
BuellDualSport
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Spot

Mounted ours on a RAM Platform mount with some soft velcro.

Works like a charm

Good Luck
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Old 05-31-2008, 05:50 PM   #723
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I'm using mine mostly on the dirtbike. No tankbag... and, theres is no way I want it mounted to the bike anyway. Separation from my bike is all but guaranteed in any crash I'd have to hit 911 for.

Gotta say that for a device with a belt clip on it, it's unfortunate if it really doesn't work well in a clipped-to-a-belt vertical orientation!
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:12 AM   #724
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pfb

Gotta say that for a device with a belt clip on it, it's unfortunate if it really doesn't work well in a clipped-to-a-belt vertical orientation!
That's true, but it can be hooked on a horizontal strap. Given a choice I prefer having the belt hook than not having it.

I went on a trip and used checkin and track. I used check in for the US leg and tracking for the Mexican leg. But I screwed up one of the Mexican legs. I guess I didn't simultaneously hold down the button for 5 sec when turning on the unit. I had rebooted from the check in mode when crossing the border.
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Old 06-02-2008, 01:37 PM   #725
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pfb
Gotta say that for a device with a belt clip on it, it's unfortunate if it really doesn't work well in a clipped-to-a-belt vertical orientation!
Well, for those that don't use/don't subscribe to the tracking feature, it makes it handy to keep it out of the way while you hike/bike/other. Then when you need it, you reach for it, set it out while you take a break, etc. I personally took the belt clip off mine to make for a flatter profile, but I like knowing it's an option for storage.

You know, if they didn't iunclude a belt clip there would probably be plenty of hikers annoyed that they didn't include it.
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Old 06-03-2008, 02:42 AM   #726
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pfb
I'm using mine mostly on the dirtbike. No tankbag... and, theres is no way I want it mounted to the bike anyway. Separation from my bike is all but guaranteed in any crash I'd have to hit 911 for.

Gotta say that for a device with a belt clip on it, it's unfortunate if it really doesn't work well in a clipped-to-a-belt vertical orientation!
The Garmin 76 should be held vertically, i.e. with the logo up. The Spot messenger should be held horisontally, i.e. with the logo up. Isn't that obvious? And then, the garmin doesn't have a belt clip so you'd be excused to believe that it should be held horisontally...

The reason is that the garmin has an internal stub antenna for GPS whereas the Spot has a large flat ceramic patch antenna which serves for both gps and the satellite uplink. It only fits lying flat in the device.
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Old 06-03-2008, 02:43 AM   #727
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The face of SPoT
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Old 06-03-2008, 07:54 AM   #728
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonasolof
The Garmin 76 should be held vertically, i.e. with the logo up. The Spot messenger should be held horisontally, i.e. with the logo up. Isn't that obvious? And then, the garmin doesn't have a belt clip so you'd be excused to believe that it should be held horisontally...

The reason is that the garmin has an internal stub antenna for GPS whereas the Spot has a large flat ceramic patch antenna which serves for both gps and the satellite uplink. It only fits lying flat in the device.
Actually, the Garmin 76 has a helical antenna that works almost equally well vertical or horizontal. It's actually designed to be held in your hand in a natural position like a palm-pilot for optimal reception. (Where its "face" would be around 45 degrees to the sky.)

On the other hand, the Garmin eTrex Legend, and virtually all the Magellan hand-held GPS units have a patch antenna and work best lying in a horizontal position, much like the SPoT.

So, a helical antenna is much more forgiving about being in different orientations.

Globalstar balked at certifying a helical antenna as a transmit antenna for use on their network. Admitedly, the helicals do produce a rather odd looking pattern, and Globalstar's looking for a flat, even parabola.
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Old 06-03-2008, 03:59 PM   #729
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I just received mine today and tried it out in tracking mode this afternoon. I seem to be getting a lot of variation in the amount of time it takes the website to register trackpoints after they're sent. Sometimes it's just a couple minutes and other times it's 2-3 hours.

Is this common?
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Old 06-03-2008, 04:14 PM   #730
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valmis
I just received mine today and tried it out in tracking mode this afternoon. I seem to be getting a lot of variation in the amount of time it takes the website to register trackpoints after they're sent. Sometimes it's just a couple minutes and other times it's 2-3 hours.

Is this common?
I think that is pretty common. I turn it on in tracking mode on my way home from work so my wife can know when I will be home. There are plenty of times that the tracks don't show up for a couple hours after I am already home. Now if they would just keep the tracks for more than 24 hours!
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Old 06-03-2008, 04:22 PM   #731
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klebel
Now if they would just keep the tracks for more than 24 hours!
They DO! Seven days - just log into your account and check the "messages" tab. The shared page (which is still in beta mode) is only the last 24 hours of messages.
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Old 06-03-2008, 04:28 PM   #732
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squeaky
They DO! Seven days - just log into your account and check the "messages" tab. The shared page (which is still in beta mode) is only the last 24 hours of messages.
I'm sorry I should have been clearer. I was talking about the Shared Page.
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Old 06-03-2008, 08:09 PM   #733
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Alright, here's my trial run with this contraption. You can ignore the mess at the bottom because I had it on at work and at home for awhile. During my ride it didn't miss a beat and it looks like the signal went through at each interval. Impressed so far.

Oh, and I had it zip tied face up to the rack on the back of my R1100RT. Think I'll keep using it that way.

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Old 06-04-2008, 12:57 AM   #734
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So, just to enlighten those that would have thought that a more omnidirectional antenna would have made the SPoT more forgiving to handle:

Why would a cardioid (heartshaped) radiation pattern be less efficient? Is the transmitted power in the best direction less than the power from the flat patch antenna with its near hemispherical envelope? This would be presumable since the cardiod envelope is approaching a globe more than the patch envelope and the antenna is thus less directional.

Would the near field effects of objects in the proximity be more pronounced with the helical antenna than with the patch antenna even if those objects aren't blocking the antenna in the optimal direction? I.e. you still couldn't count on the antenna working well if the unit was kept in a jacket pocket close to the body.

There was a lot of discussions among users of consumer GPS receivers about the virtues of patch vs quadrifilar helical antennas. The latter were often fitted to top of the range models and it could be that other elements in the design helped to give the impression of superior performance - for reception that is.

As for helical antennas, Sarantel (www.sarantel.com) had some good white papers on their design but I'm afraid they dropped them now. I've tested some of their compact ceramic antennas for GPS reception. The over all efficiency was not as good as that of larger (garmin) helical antennas but that seems to come from the compromises made to diminish near field sensitivity. Their antennas could still be of interest for the two way communications of Axonn products such as the SPoT. The hand held XM radio receiver shown on their site makes you think.

It's understandable that Global Star would prefer a parabolical antenna - if directed towards the satellite that is. Or does the modulation technology interact with antenna design??
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Old 06-04-2008, 01:34 AM   #735
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It isn't easy to design a handheld device which communicates two ways with satellites, not even for the military. This is a comment on the pilot rescue radio program CSEL:

"the spokeswoman for the GPS Joint Program Office said the low success rate was due to incorrect orientation of the radio in relation to the communications satellites. To increase the probability that a CSEL radio will receive messages, software at the base station will be upgraded to continue sending messages until an acknowledgment is received from the pilot's CSEL unit, the spokeswoman said."

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