Are you happy with your SPOT?

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by bluegroove, Aug 22, 2017.

  1. bluegroove

    bluegroove Motorcycle junkie

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    594
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    I'm about to buy. Not thrilled with cost of device and service, but seems like not much else available. Do you like yours? Did a message ever NOT get thru? I will be riding in the Sierra Mtns and CA/Nevada mostly if that makes a diff..??
    #1
  2. Margus

    Margus Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2013
    Oddometer:
    11
    Location:
    Sweden
    If you're not sure and not happy with cost, why you dont rent it?
    www.findmespot.com/SPOTRental/lander.php

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
    #2
  3. bluegroove

    bluegroove Motorcycle junkie

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    594
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Nice idea, but this is the cost (from their site):
    1-3 days will cost $75 plus shipping and taxes and each additional day will cost $15.

    And you have to set it up each time you rent it. Maybe ok for just one big trip, but I have multiple weekend trips, so not worth it to rent.
    #3
  4. Schmokel

    Schmokel I got peed on today.

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2015
    Oddometer:
    11,665
    Location:
    Up. And to the right.
    I had a 1st gen. Messages for 50/50 at best. Pings were even less reliable. It worked, sure, but not the price point they have it at.

    I'd just go the PLB route.
    #4
  5. motokeith

    motokeith Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    516
    Location:
    Roseville, CA
    I think many many folks that have had SPOT service for years are bailing and moving to the Garmin InReach. The SPOT plan cost is getting to be comparable with the InReach plans, but the InReach gives you two-way communications and GPS-like features all on a better satellite network. I know I will not be renewing my SPOT plan when it comes due.

    I previously had a Gen2 and now have a Gen3 SPOT, for a total of about 5 years, and I do think performance has gotten better with the new device. I mostly use my SPOT when I'm out roaming around in the Nevada desert where it's open and it's been pretty flawless out there. If you are in steep canyons or under vegetation it can have difficulty sending out a message, but I have never really had an issue with OK messages or Track points being lost because the unit retries messages several times until successful and every time the unit sends it's track position it sends the last several positions. Basically, if you are moving then chances are it's going to get a clear shot at the sky at some point and send whatever it may have missed while you were under cover.

    Now I have thankfully not had the opportunity to try out the SOS feature, but obviously this could be a different story if you are immobile and are located where the signal cannot get out.
    #5
  6. Okie Preacher

    Okie Preacher Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,129
    Location:
    In the middle...
    Not only "no," but "Hell No!" Their customer service is staggeringly poor and the performance of the device itself was sketchy at best. To be fair, it was a Spot Connect and not their stand alone unit.

    I dumped my Spot earlier this year and picked up a DeLorme InReach SE for a bit over $200 on Amazon. I don't need the upgraded features of the newer Garmin units and simply want a means of emergency contact if and when it becomes necessary.

    Yours is a good question to ask, but I think if you search the experiences of this site and others you will move away from Spot and their products.
    #6
  7. Norhasken

    Norhasken Tryin' to find my way

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    30,413
    Location:
    On the couch
    My SPOT expires next year. I'll leave it expired and get something else. Didn't work in Hawaii at all.
    #7
  8. WYO George

    WYO George Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,023
    Location:
    left of nowhere, WY
    I have a gen 2 and as soon as my service contract is up I'll be giving it away free to someone here.
    #8
  9. HH

    HH Hurricane Harry

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,004
    Location:
    Seattle/Dahlonega
    I have a Gen3. My wife loves it. She has the phone app and can follow along on my rides and I can let her know everything is good.
    Works good in the PNW and in the Appalachians. Every once in a while it misses a ping.
    #9
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  10. s1marks

    s1marks Mercedes

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    887
    Location:
    Banks, Oregon.
    I dumped mine and bought an ACR ResQlink PLB device. Good for 5 years and a little over $200 (one time payment).
    There is no messaging, no 2-way-messaging, no tracking but (provided I am at least able to turn it on) this device provides me with the best chance that the cavalry will arrive.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005E1OU1A/

    I can turn my IPhone 7 into a tracking device (look for SWConnect and Spotwalla) it only works when I am in range of a cell phone tower but that is 'Most' of the time for me. See my sig line for more details.

    I agree with previous comments that SPOT was just not reliable enough (I'm not sure SWConnect and Spotwalla combination is either yet....but it is FREE!).

    S1
    #10
  11. terryckdbf

    terryckdbf Pickles

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    Jun 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,582
    Location:
    Perry, Ga
    Mine has never missed a beat, never ride without it, just saying.

    Terry
    #11
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  12. Smoke Eater 3

    Smoke Eater 3 Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,679
    Location:
    Lincolnville, Maine
    My Gen 3 is in on the shelf. I'm waiting for a deal on an Inreach.
    #12
  13. kaptainkatsu

    kaptainkatsu Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    78
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    I'm buying an inreach and subscribing to the yearly recreation plan ($300/year). I feel this is probably the best deal. Yes it costs more than the spot but it has two way messaging. I plan on loaning it out to friends for $20 or so if they need it.

    Note on discounts! Sign up for Experticity and see if garmin is in one of your brands. See if any of your associations you are a part of is a member of experticity. For example, I am part of USA Cycling and they have a partnership. I'm not going to disclose the price but it's a heck of a deal
    #13
  14. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    11,106
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Do they check to see if our USCF license/number is current?
    #14
  15. Chuck in Indiana

    Chuck in Indiana Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    421
    Location:
    South of Indianapolis
    I've had a Gen 2 Spot for six years or so. It costs me about $150. annually for the service, with tracking. My wife likes me to have it. I turn it on when I leave in the morning, turn it off when I'm through riding for the day, after I call her so she knows I'm OK. It gives her peace of mind, that's important. I roll 10-12K miles a year, generally in the Greater Mid-West.

    I'm 84 this month, don't have too many more years to ride. I'll probably keep the Gen 2 unless they attempt to increase the price dramatically.

    Ride safe out there.
    #15
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  16. Motor7

    Motor7 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    Oddometer:
    927
    Location:
    East Tennessee
    Buy a gen 2 or 3 used...fleabay<$50. Call SPOT and work out a deal...usually well under $150 a year. Go ride. My SPOT has never failed to report. Spot let me re-up for a $100 and change so I'm sticking with them. I don't need to be able to txt personal shit when out of cell service, a simple Spot "i'm ok" is fine.....................
    #16
  17. kaptainkatsu

    kaptainkatsu Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    78
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    The experticity code is under the benefits page. So I would assume to access that you need to be current
    #17
  18. EnduroRdr

    EnduroRdr Woods Racer & D/S Rider

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,351
    Location:
    Formerly South MS, LR-Ar, Houston-Tx, now BR-La
    Agreed:!!!!!!!!
    I too dumped my gen 1 and moved over to a Delorme SE. (New old stock unit was $225 on Amazon).
    Yes service is more $ but why have spot if it is less reliable and customer service sux. To save $100 a year? (Less than $10 a month savings?) my life is worth more than an extra $10 a month. I piss that away on soft drinks.
    Besides, you get way better communication options - you're not limited to just a pre planned text while in the middle of nowhere!
    That feature alone is worth paying the extra $ for service.
    Spot has lost this 7 year customer - and many others.

    So "OP", to answer your question:
    Not only "no," but "Hell No!"

    Links:
    http://advrider.com/index.php?threa...e-to-delorme-garmin-inreach-se.1232048/unread

    http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/spot-code-in-my-email.1244206/

    http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/spot-warning.1202642/

    http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/spot-gen-3-activated-sos-by-itself.1234295/

    Read those then decide for yourself!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #18
  19. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Farto Motografist

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    4,203
    Location:
    Twin Cities, Minnesota USA
    Had one, loved it. Fees kept escalating, and got tired of the auto-renew thing.

    Sold it and moved on.
    #19
  20. shu

    shu ...

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,420
    Location:
    Colorado
    SPOT gen 3. I've used a SPOT for several years and I'm pleased with it. Not perfect, but rarely misses a message. Battery performance on the 3rd Gen (especially with Lithium) is awesome.

    I want 3 things from the device:

    1. ability to let my wife know when I stop for the day, and when I start in the morning if I don't have cell service (often).
    2. ability for my wife/brother etc to see where I am (and possibly find me if they don't get any OK or SOS messages)
    3. ability to send SOS for an injured rider.

    The SPOT has done all 3, including on trips in South America, Central Asia and Colorado backcountry. My buddy's SPOT got us an ambulance when a rider in our group hit the deck and broke the head off his femur.

    The only time it didn't perform well was on a hiking trail in a deep steep walled canyon with dense woods. It has its limitations.

    Personally, I don't want or need the texting option. If I'm in a pickle, but I'm safe and unhurt, I'll find a way out.

    .............shu
    #20
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