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Old 09-30-2008, 10:22 AM   #1006
Absolut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xeraux
I'd suggest posting your question in the SPOT thread in Layin' down tracks.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=282391
sheesh, I didn't even think to look in the GPS forums :
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Old 09-30-2008, 12:03 PM   #1007
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moved to the GPS forum and merged.
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Old 09-30-2008, 01:27 PM   #1008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTO
This is a fantastic thread, of which I have spent an hour or two reading. And I see that reception (or transmission) has been discussed in great detail.

Does anyone know if, like a regular GPS, SPOT would benefit from adding some sort of external antenna? I've seen that someone in this thread has disassembled a unit and has excellent pics of the internals. Is this a possible/plausible tweak to this unit? ...SpotMaker?

Sorry if dumb question.

-Joel
I enjoyed Spotmaker's response and sympathize. In my experience it's the satellite uplink circuit (SPOT device to Globalstar satellite) that's the limiting factor on SPOT performance; thus, improving the GPS antenna would be moot. Spotmaker has already detailed the constraints re: the transmit antenna design, so for practical purposes there's not much left to tinker with.

Perhaps for an extra charge, you could get a SuperSPOT with 3 or 6db extra transmitter gain. That would provide more path margin and the ability to stomp on colliding signals from competing, lesser SPOTs.

Enjoy.
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:21 PM   #1009
lblampman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absolut
Ok, so I did some searching and I don't think this has been covered....


I'm about 10 days away from taking a multi-thousand mile, two week trip around the west coast, my first real lone adventure. I bought a SPOT locater and set up several email addresses for my 'Help' beacon to be forwarded to and it now occurs to me that:
A) I don't have that many friends.
B) Almost none of them are going to be able to help me when I'm more than about 500 miles from home.


Preface:
Though I'm not really sure how to go about setting this up or if anybody would be interested. I understand that I am new here and you guys don't know me at all, but that overall this site is a close knit community.

Idea:
Everybody on here with a SPOT could enter a special email address into the 'Who to email when you need HELP box' and that email would be forwarded to everybody on a list. That way no matter where I am, when I push the Help button I know that at least a few, adventure motorcycle like minded people, are likely to see that I need Help.

I hope that is as clear as it is in my head.

Kinda like the tent space thread, only this is an emergency use only type of thing.

Would this even work?
I know it has the potential for abuse, but I would think that the type of people spending a couple of hundred dollars on a SPOT wouldn't be the type of people to send a Help request just because they are hungry.

Somebody could setup a a gmail account, and people could ask to be added to that account's address book. When that special account receives a Help request from a SPOT, it forwards it to everybody in the address book.
The email for those that don't have a SPOT contains a simple message like "Help, Ive fallen and I can't get up" and a link to a google map with coords.
I think gmail will forward emails even if nobody is logged into the account at the time.

Does this sound like a good idea?
Hi Absolut,

I'm new here too (though an old dude in RL) but I'll take a stab at it for you since I just purchased a SPOT for the trip I start this Sunday.

The crux of the problem is that the "somebody" that gets the "help" message from the spot needs to know what to do when they receive it. Mine says "This is NOT a medical emergency. Call Roadside Assistance at xxx-xxx-xxxx; policy # xxxxxx." This goes to my wife's email and her cell phone. It also goes to my dad's email. When my wife gets a "help" message she knows to call Roadside Assistance at once because the bike is broken and I can't fix it. My dad is supposed to call my wife just to make sure she got the message (in case she's at work and doesn't see the text message or the email). If they both call Roadside Assistance on their own neither knows what the other is doing and all it's likely to do is confuse the Assistance dispatchers that I hope are sending help my way.

So, if your message goes to an email that then forwards to several folks none of them will know exactly what you want done without instruction ahead of time. I think you need to find one person that will handle a "help" message for you and maybe another to act as back up and you'll need to tell them ahead of time what you'd like them to do when they get it. It's a message you have to set up on the computer before you leave; once you hit the "help" button on the SPOT all it does is send out your canned email and/or text message (you can't change it on the fly).

Make sense? If you have the option I'd get a emergency service / roadside assistance program before you leave. There are many and some like mine, as part of my bike insurance, are not very expensive. At least then someone has one phone number to call to get help heading your direction.

The deal is this assumes you're out there where you don't have cell phone converage. Otherwise you can call someone to locate help for you; you can't be really proactive with only a "help" button to push on the SPOT so the person on the other end has to know what actions to take upon receipt of your message.
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:32 PM   #1010
Absolut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lblampman
Hi Absolut,

I'm new here too (though an old dude in RL) but I'll take a stab at it for you since I just purchased a SPOT for the trip I start this Sunday.

The crux of the problem is that the "somebody" that gets the "help" message from the spot needs to know what to do when they receive it. Mine says "This is NOT a medical emergency. Call Roadside Assistance at xxx-xxx-xxxx; policy # xxxxxx." This goes to my wife's email and her cell phone. It also goes to my dad's email. When my wife gets a "help" message she knows to call Roadside Assistance at once because the bike is broken and I can't fix it. My dad is supposed to call my wife just to make sure she got the message (in case she's at work and doesn't see the text message or the email). If they both call Roadside Assistance on their own neither knows what the other is doing and all it's likely to do is confuse the Assistance dispatchers that I hope are sending help my way.

So, if your message goes to an email that then forwards to several folks none of them will know exactly what you want done without instruction ahead of time. I think you need to find one person that will handle a "help" message for you and maybe another to act as back up and you'll need to tell them ahead of time what you'd like them to do when they get it. It's a message you have to set up on the computer before you leave; once you hit the "help" button on the SPOT all it does is send out your canned email and/or text message (you can't change it on the fly).

Make sense? If you have the option I'd get a emergency service / roadside assistance program before you leave. There are many and some like mine, as part of my bike insurance, are not very expensive. At least then someone has one phone number to call to get help heading your direction.

The deal is this assumes you're out there where you don't have cell phone converage. Otherwise you can call someone to locate help for you; you can't be really proactive with only a "help" button to push on the SPOT so the person on the other end has to know what actions to take upon receipt of your message.
The roadside assistance number is a good idea.

Mine says something like "I'm stuck somewhere but it is NON-life threatening. Please send help ASAP"

I also have a link to a web page I set up outlining what to do and who to call, and now I'm going to include the roadside assistance number.

The more I think about it, I don't know if an email list would work, given the complete unknown about what has happened and the need to give out personal info in a mass email to random people on the net.
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Old 10-01-2008, 05:21 PM   #1011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTO
I just bought one last week. If you search ebay, you can easily purchase one for half the retail cost (169.99). I've seen them go for as little as $60 for the unit. I also searched for a discount code and found that not only can you get a discount on the unit, but also the services. My first year of both the basic satellite service AND tracking was FREE. I found this through a Yahoo site called Fire Eagle. Some type of online community (?); I registered with them just to get my "unique promo code" (expires Dec 31, 2008). You can use this code to get the unit for $149 (no big discount...buy elsewhere). You can also use this code to get free basic and tracking service for 1 year. Buying the unit and signing up for service are 2 different transactions, so buy anywhere and use the promo code when signing up on SPOT's website for free service.

Check here for promo- when you register on Fire Eagle, you will find it has actually been extended to Dec 31.

As far as a review, I first used this last weekend on a 2-day, 400 mile dual sport ride. I kept it inside the outer pocket of my backpack towards the top. On day 1, it sent out all 5 "OK's" that I sent, but 0 tracks. I believe I did not set it properly to report tracks. On day 2, it sent out all 5 "OK's", and 11 tracks (it's supposed to send out a track every 10 minutes) over 7 hours. Again, part of my problem may have been not getting it into tracking mode correctly. However at least 1/3 of day 2 was under dense tree cover. My "OK's" were all sent with the unit out of my backpack.

Overall, I think the unit is useful for giving the family back home some peace of mind. Hopefully, it will also save the day in an emergency. It does seem to need a good view of the sky to transit the signal, so better positioning should definitely improve its performance (RAM already makes a mount for it). For the money I'm out of pocket, about $90 with free service, it's well worth it.
Does anyone else get this error on the SPOT page when trying to sign up for the 1 year free tracking service?

Error


PROMO1001:Promo code is invalid or has already been used. -

I emailed both fireeagle and spot, but no response yet.
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Old 10-01-2008, 09:45 PM   #1012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BustANut
Does anyone else get this error on the SPOT page when trying to sign up for the 1 year free tracking service?

Error


PROMO1001:Promo code is invalid or has already been used. -

I emailed both fire eagle and spot, but no response yet.
Where did you get your promo code? Did you register with Fire Eagle and then go to their offer page for SPOT, or did you use someone else's code? Each person that signs up with Fire Eagle gets a unique code (and may only be able to use it once apparently). Try signing up with a different email address or name to get another code.
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JTO screwed with this post 10-01-2008 at 10:07 PM
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Old 10-02-2008, 07:01 AM   #1013
BustANut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTO
Where did you get your promo code? Did you register with Fire Eagle and then go to their offer page for SPOT, or did you use someone else's code? Each person that signs up with Fire Eagle gets a unique code (and may only be able to use it once apparently). Try signing up with a different email address or name to get another code.
More like signing in than signing up because if I'm logged into yahoo fireeagle asks me for my yahoo password. I've tried two different yahoo accounts, got different codes, but the same error . Maybe I'll try creating a new account from scratch. Still no response from the email I sent fireeagle.
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Old 10-03-2008, 12:25 PM   #1014
inverted
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fire eagle code doesn't work...

Spot arrived today, went to activate and got the same error message as Bustednut, says code invalid or already used. shitty...
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Old 10-03-2008, 02:16 PM   #1015
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I just got one from Thumpertalk (decent price, one year free tracking). Seems a bit overkill for me, but my wife read about it and decided I need one since 90% of my riding is solo. Hey, if it gives her the warm fuzzies and lets me ride more/farther, then I'm all for it! I told her if I ever send her a help message, come here to advrider and post a message for help, someone will know what the hell to do. Just kidding, sort of... It would be nice to have 2 help message options. One when I'm accessible by a towing service with a message saying to call them, and one when I'm waaaay the fuck out there and she needs to get in the van with a buddy and another bike to come and get me. Hopefully I'll never use either one, I've made it this far, right? I don't see this thing replacing being fully self sufficient and creative out there.

The tracking thing seems a bit big brotherish to me, sort of like hiding a GPS in your kid's car, which I must admit I could see doing...
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Old 10-03-2008, 02:42 PM   #1016
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Doesn't make sense. Here is a screen capture of the promo on Fire Eagle. Captured today 10/3/08.
Really pisses me off since I opened my mouth about it - sorry guys. I've sent an email to Fire Eagle, and I'll keep searching for more info.


UPDATE: Works Now..... at least until Dec 31st expiration
.

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Old 10-03-2008, 03:28 PM   #1017
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I called SPOT and emailed them the screen capture above. The person I spoke to (Jamal) said they probably needed to either reset the expiration date on their system, or issue new promo codes with the new expiration date. I should hear back from them on Monday. He also mentioned that their marketing Department handles these promos. I asked if he could be the contact for others with this problem, and he said yes.

Give him a call:

SPOT
1(866)651-7768 or 1(408)933-4518
Jamal - ext. 5969

OR if you want to contact the Marketing Dept.
marketing@findmespot.com
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Old 10-03-2008, 05:21 PM   #1018
inverted
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTO
I called SPOT and emailed them the screen capture above. The person I spoke to (Jamal) said they probably needed to either reset the expiration date on their system, or issue new promo codes with the new expiration date. I should hear back from them on Monday. He also mentioned that their marketing Department handles these promos. I asked if he could be the contact for others with this problem, and he said yes.

Give him a call:

SPOT
1(866)651-7768 or 1(408)933-4518
Jamal - ext. 5969

OR if you want to contact the Marketing Dept.
marketing@findmespot.com
nice work JTO, thanks. I spoke to a lady when I called Spot, she didn't have any idea how to address the issue. great idea with the screen cap....
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Old 10-03-2008, 07:40 PM   #1019
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good news....

Spot registration has been updated to accept Fire Eagle discount code! activated mine at 8:30pm mountain standard time, everything went through no problem.
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Old 10-03-2008, 08:37 PM   #1020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inverted
Spot registration has been updated to accept Fire Eagle discount code! activated mine at 8:30pm mountain standard time, everything went through no problem.
Good News!!!!! Glad to hear that. Much faster response by SPOT than I would have imagined.
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