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Old 07-28-2008, 06:48 AM   #841
BuellDualSport
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SPOTMAKER

Thanks

Appreciate the update
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Old 07-28-2008, 11:35 AM   #842
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpotMaker

So, always leave the SPoT in 911 mode until rescue personnel have made contact with you, so you know your message has been heard!
Thanks for the invaluable info -

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Old 07-29-2008, 12:06 PM   #843
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Tidbit for using Tracking and OK messages together

This may have been said previously in this thread, but I've only read the last 100-120 posts and saw some questions about this and the only answer I saw was turning the unit back off and then back on again. I apologize if it's already been addressed, but I wanted to share in case others were struggling with this like I was and getting frustrated with my SPOT unit.

I saw somebody post that it would be nice if we could just hit OK and the next track message would get sent with a combo track/ok and thats what I would vote for also, but since thats not the case, here's what I came up with.

Keep in mind my entire purpose for this was that I wanted to track my entire trip, but I also wanted to be able to send a few OK messages through out the day. I only have a couple people on my "OK" dist list and that includes my parents, my gf and my sibling, so just family. Yes, they can log in any time and see my track page, however, it's nice to send them an okay message or two through the day too that they get right to their cell phone, especially if they are busy doing things outside the house away from the PC. They knew I was 3k+ miles from home and it was nice to get a few OK messages from me each day.

Here's my post I made in this Thread. Keep in mind when I wrote this, it was really for people that had just gotten their spot, so some of it is elementary to those that have gotten pretty familiar with them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueLghtning
Hey guys, I wanted to share a bit of a tidbit that I finally got figured out on my SPOT about using both the tracking and the OK messages since you technically can't do both at the same time. This took me a bit to get figured out on my SPOT when I got it, but I got it down to a science when using it on my 2 week out West trip, so I wanted to share.

For those of you that have the tracking enabled, you are probably also familiar with your setup pages where you can add e-mail address and cell numbers of people that you want to get your OK messages. As you know, your e-mail addresses and cell phone only get a message when you press OK (or help), and they don't get the track messages. (Their e-mail or phone would get flooded with messages if they did! ) The track messages are only available on the shared web page. Well, when I was on my trip, I wanted my gf and family to get occasional updates during the day that I was okay without always logging in to check my tracking page. So, this meant I wanted to send OK Messages along with the tracking. If you haven't figured this out yet, you can't send an OK message if the tracking in enabled, and you can't track right after the unit is waiting to send an OK message. Also, since the OK and tracking are turned on with the same button, but just holding it down for different amounts of time, it can become even more confusing till you learn to really read what it's doing.

So, this is what I figured out and what I did to communicate to my family. I told them ahead of time what my plans where and how to decipher my messages I would send since each one is generic to how you set it online and you can't change it on the fly unless you have access to your online account.

First thing in the AM, I would turn on the SPOT, let it sit for a few mins to get the satellites, then press the OK button (2 secs) to send out my morning (I'm on my way message). I usually did this while I was getting my bike loaded up. It can take up to 20 mins to send an okay message, but it actually sends 3 identical ones in this time frame. If you watch it, the first one usually gets sent out in the first minute. (You can tell because the OK led goes solid for a few seconds). It will attempt to send out 2 more identical messages, but if the first one actually gets through, the system ignores each identical message, so the next 2 actually get ignored. By allowing all 3 to send though, you have a much better chance that your message got through. So, this OK messages goes to cell phone e-mail addresses you have set up and appears as on OK message on your tracking page.

Once that went out, and the 2nd light stops blinking letting you know all 3 attempts were sent and now you are back to your unit just in standby mode. (Note:, you can not stop on OK message from being sent once you activate it, unless you just turn the unit off, then all remaining OK Messages are dumped).

So, now with the unit back in standby with only the power light LED blinking, you know you can now activate the tracking. You do this by holding down the OK button for 5+ seconds. For me, this is seeing the OK led go solid until it disappears, and then both the power and OK led's flash in unison. This is letting you know that track is enabled, although technically, it does exactly the same thing when an OK message is being sent. The only difference is the tracking stays on till you turn it off, or 24 hrs passes. There were a few times where I didn't hold the button down long enough and I had just sent another OK message, but this is easy to see when the unit goes back to 1 light after about 10 mins. If you make it past the 10min mark and both LED's are still flashing, you know you have tracking enabled.

Now comes the tricky part that took me a bit to figure out. You can turn the tracking off, by holding the OK button for about 3-5 seconds. You'll get about 3 blinking red LED's in the OK spot, and then a solid one letting you know the tracking is turning off. Once it deactivates, it goes back to standby with only the power LED flashing. Now you can send on OK message once again and repeat the above.

So what I did is every time we stopped for say lunch or somewhere, I knew we'd be for at least 20+ mins, I'd send an OK message so my family back home would get an update that I was still okay. When I came back out from lunch/dinner, I would turn the tracking back on till my next major stop. Since I would be standing still that entire time anyways, it was useless to keep the tracking enabled and I could squeeze in an OK message. I'd send one last OK message at the end of the night to let them know I was done for the night. All in all, I would send about 3-5 OK messages through the day usually and that kept my family at home at ease that everything was good even if I didn't talk to them by phone that night.

You also may not know this, but the tracking will automatically shut off after 24 hrs straight. You just have to re-activate it again.

This is what I came up with and it worked well on my trip and I thought I would share it with others that may be struggling with using both the OK and the tracking messages together and trying to send OK messages to their loved ones, but still having tracking messages too.

So, in review.
  • Turn on in AM and send ok message (hold down 2 secs)
  • Wait till ok message sends (~20mins) then turn on tracking (hold down 5+ secs)
  • Turn off tracking (hold down 3-5 secs and watch for red lights)
  • Send Ok message (hold down 2 secs)
  • Turn tracking back on
  • Repeat

BTW, I have to say I've been totally impressed with the battery life on this thing. The directions say that with tracking enabled for 24hrs straight the lithium batteries should last about 2 weeks which I have to say at first I thought I was going to be disappointed in. If you don't run the tracking, it's much longer, but I can't recall the times off the top of my head. I think 6mo to a year or more with occasional OK messages and 2+ years if it's just sitting on in standby mode.

Anyway, I got my SPOT a few weeks before I went out west for 2 weeks, so I was playing with it a lot and using it quite a bit around the house and a few weekends before. I really thought I'd be replacing my batteries on my trip since I had the tracking enabled everyday, usually for 15+ hours during that 2 weeks. As it turned out though, I'm still on the original batteries, and that is after 15+ straight days of tracking, plus a few weekends before hand!

Way to go SPOT for getting this right too! :)
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:42 AM   #844
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Just picked up a SPOT.

During activation, the US$7.95/yr for the additional rescue coverage is a no-brainer.

However, other than the novelty of people being able to look at where I'm going on the map, what's the advantage of the additional US$49.99/yr for the tracking? I can see how if I got separated from the SPOT someone might eventually notice where my track stopped, but that seems a little iffy. Is it really worth the extra US$49.99/yr?
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:46 AM   #845
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xeraux
Just picked up a SPOT.

During activation, the US$7.95/yr for the additional rescue coverage is a no-brainer.

However, other than the novelty of people being able to look at where I'm going on the map, what's the advantage of the additional US$49.99/yr for the tracking?
Iin track mode you fall get knocked out. You aint moving and are missing, the Spot gives your position every 10 minutes or so. Without trakcing you actually have to be concious and able to activate a signal if you get in a spot of trouble. Not sure that is always possible. That is why we added tracking to ours.
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:49 AM   #846
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steverino
Iin track mode you fall get knocked out. You aint moving and are missing, the Spot gives your position every 10 minutes or so. Without trakcing you actually have to be concious and able to activate a signal if you get in a spot of trouble. Not sure that is always possible. That is why we added tracking to ours.
Okay, so I wasn't off base when I thought someone might notice that I've stopped moving somewhere I shouldn't have.

Is the tracking hard to access for someone's parents who aren't computer illiterate, but aren't exactly 7eet hAXorz, either?
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:55 AM   #847
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xeraux
Okay, so I wasn't off base when I thought someone might notice that I've stopped moving somewhere I shouldn't have.

Is the tracking hard to access for someone's parents who aren't computer illiterate, but aren't exactly 7eet hAXorz, either?



You have exceeded my knowledge of the Spot and your parents. Maybe someone more knowledgeable of the Spot functionality can expound on the operation and provide you with information that will permit you the ability to assess the chances of successful navigation of the system by your parents.




damn I sound like an ass, but not trying to be
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:03 AM   #848
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steverino
damn I sound like an ass, but not trying to be


Nah. I get what you're saying.

I just ride by myself so much (translation: nearly always) that it's silly for me not to have one of these.

I was just wondering if the tracking was something that I could just e-mail the parents a link that they could click to check periodically. The easier it is to check, the more often someone might.
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:05 AM   #849
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xeraux


Nah. Don't worry about it.

I just ride by myself so much (translation: nearly always) that it's silly for me not to have one of these.

I was just wondering if the tracking was something that I could just e-mail the parents a link that they could click to check periodically. The easier it is to check, the more often someone might.
We have not used ours in track mode yet. Gwen is on her way back from SC right now and sends an occasional "OK" message.

We are going to have to get smarter on the tracking. I think you get sent a link to the track log and have to enter a code to view it. IIRC. But I don't mind being stupid.
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:11 AM   #850
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xeraux


Nah. I get what you're saying.

I just ride by myself so much (translation: nearly always) that it's silly for me not to have one of these.

I was just wondering if the tracking was something that I could just e-mail the parents a link that they could click to check periodically. The easier it is to check, the more often someone might.
It also allows them a webpage with your tracking info so they don't get sent lots of OK messages that they may not check? But then again if they don't check the webpage it ain't much use. I got it anyway just in case, my dad in Scotland uses it more to see where I am off too. You do need to set expectations on the messagers recivers side. I normally tell my wife, I will "try" and send OK messages every morning and night, but it may not get through depending on where I am.
That way she doesn't worry if she doesn't get an ok message. But if she does it is extra piece of mind.

I just wish the help message text could be longer, hard to put vin number or member number for towing/help and a message in the # of characters allowed.
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:29 AM   #851
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xeraux


Nah. I get what you're saying.

I just ride by myself so much (translation: nearly always) that it's silly for me not to have one of these.

I was just wondering if the tracking was something that I could just e-mail the parents a link that they could click to check periodically. The easier it is to check, the more often someone might.
The track page is just a link that you could send them that they can just add to their favorites and always check. Your shared page will be the same. You can see my shared page in my sig, although it won't show anything since I haven't had my spot in in 24hrs. If they can handle that, then they are good.

The OK messages go to their e-mail or cell phones depending on how you set it up. It also comes with a link, but only to that exact point where the OK message was sent from.
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:30 AM   #852
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryScot
I just wish the help message text could be longer, hard to put vin number or member number for towing/help and a message in the # of characters allowed.
+1. I'm a little disappointed at how short the help message is. I realize it's probably for cell phone limits, but it would be nice to have the ability to send longer messages to e-mail addresses.
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:35 AM   #853
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueLghtning
+1. I'm a little disappointed at how short the help message is. I realize it's probably for cell phone limits, but it would be nice to have the ability to send longer messages to e-mail addresses.
My work around is to send the folks on my help list an email with my information and the help message directs them to the date time of that email for details, have not tried it yet as it requires the help list folks to have email available, but then again no one on my help list is very mobile txt message savvy anyway!
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:58 AM   #854
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueLghtning
The track page is just a link that you could send them that they can just add to their favorites and always check.
Okay, that's what I was getting at. I don't know why I didn't just ask that specifically.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryScot
...but then again no one on my help list is very mobile txt message savvy anyway!
I have the same problem. I'm not sure Mom or Dad would know what to do with a text message.
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Old 07-30-2008, 11:36 AM   #855
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