The Great Big SPOT Thread

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by John E Davies, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. AngryScot

    AngryScot .

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    There was mention at a trade show that new service contract options were going to become available soon. I just recieved my unit and wondering if it is worth waiting or not. I really want to try this thing out but will hold off if I can purchase a better plan in a short time frame.

    :thumb
  2. NordieBoy

    NordieBoy Armature speller

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    You sound like an ideal tester.
    Picky, anal and willing to write it all up.

    I for one like to read "all" about a product before investing.

    So Mr SpotMaker, need anyone to do some product testing down in NZ?
    I'm willing to sacrifice my time.
    You can be out of cellphone reception here within 30mins of starting a ride.
  3. jeffmccracken

    jeffmccracken n00b

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    Just a lurker coming out of the darkness. I called Star-Traxx today and talked with them about the tracking feature they offer. This is how it works: You buy a Spot from them, set up a user account and activate the $100 basic service. Now since the Help button is kind of worthless you use this feature to act as tracking. You assign an email address they give you to the Help button. Then you press the Help button and it sends out "Help" messages to their email address every 5 minutes for an hour. Hit it again to repeat the hour long process. They use the location info from the email and plot your locations on the map. The user account they give you allows you to create a few logins with various permissions. You create one with limited permissions and then distribute that info to anyone you want to and they can view your progress. The Star-Traxx Google Map route example to Baja was created by the guy I talked to using just this method. It's kindof ingenous given they are a third party company, although it does require a little manual interaction. It could save you $50/year and it would keep you from having to switch back and forth from tracking mode to OK/Help/911 mode (I think I read that you would have to be in a different mode if you wanted Spot tracking). Hope this helps.
    JeffM
  4. fasteddy

    fasteddy Been here awhile

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    I'm also wondering about the new service contract options, can someone provide some detail on what they will be?

    Thanks:ear


    Ed...
  5. Squeaky

    Squeaky A Few Loose Screws...

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    News to me. SpotMaker, got more info? :ear
  6. AngryScot

    AngryScot .

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    My spot is sitting in the box, I just have not had time to activate it yet, plus would love to hear if I can get a good activation deal with any new options and features that might be available!

    ALL EARS!!!
    :lurk
  7. TomW

    TomW Long timer

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    Go ahead. I'd imagine they'd make any new features available to existing customers, and I don't see them discounting their existing service (and alienating their existing subscribers). In my experience, waiting for upgrades/new products just denies me the use of whatever product I'm waiting for. Then, when the new stuff comes out there's the temptation to wait for the next upgrade....

    Cheers.
  8. aciurczak

    aciurczak Been here awhile

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    "If you're always waiting for the next wave, you never get to surf." :wink:
  9. SpotMaker

    SpotMaker Been here awhile

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    I have no more access to information about future features of the website than any of you guys. Basically, when I ask, my questions are answered by the same people who'd answer you if you sent an email.

    Remember, we make the SPoT device, SPoT Inc. provides the service.

    Asking me about future service features for SPoT Inc. is sort of like asking an engineer who works on the design of Motorola Cel Phones about AT&T Wireless' or Verizon's future pricing plans. He might know something, or he might not.

    However, here's my history with this issue:

    When the SPoT website launched on November 1, 2007 I was told that, on November 1, 2007, the very first day of operation, the account would have a "guest login".

    This would be a user name and password that you could set up that would give your friends access to your GPS data, but nothing else. (Basically, they'd have access to the "messages" tab on your account.)

    In early November, I set up my own account and poked around and could find no "guest login".

    So, I asked some people at SPoT: "Where's the guest login?"

    Their answer was, "It's not finished yet. It's coming soon."

    From time to time, I've asked when the guest login will be done. It's always "coming soon".

    I've stopped holding my breath. I was going to suffocate.

    (I haven't totally given up hope, though.)
  10. Squeaky

    Squeaky A Few Loose Screws...

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    Gotcha. He said he was told this by the company, so I thought I was just missing it somewhere on their website and you could point it out.

    Thanks... so when are you getting your first bike? :evil
  11. aciurczak

    aciurczak Been here awhile

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    Squeaky - JeffM was describing what Star-Traxx offers for SPoT subscribers. The Star-Traxx service has nothing to do with SPoT; though they do sell the devices. They have come up with a neat way to allow for friend tracking that has nothing to do with the SPoT tracking service (using the HELP feature in a novel way), that may serve as a work-around until SPoT finally puts their own guest tracking service into production.
  12. khpossum

    khpossum poster

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    SpotMaker: The coverage map is a but fuzzy for this region. What kind of coverage can I expect in the North West corner of India (Ladakh - Kashmir region).
    KP
  13. SpotMaker

    SpotMaker Been here awhile

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    I've heard no first hand reports about coverage in that part of India.

    However, I have heard first hand reports that the SPoT, as well as other Globalstar Simplex transmitter based devices that we make (exact same power, frequencies, and antenna pattern as the SPoT) work fairly well in Pakistan. So, since this part of India is basically adjacent to Pakistan, to go out on a limb and guess now, I'd expect the SPoT to generally work, but not quite as well as it does in North America or Europe, for example. Check-in messages (sent with triple redundancy) will probably be noticeably less than the "near 100%" performance that they are in North America and Europe.

    That being said, if 50% of 911 messages get through (or, heck, 10% for that matter) you still get rescued.

    It is true, also, that once you get to central or southern India, you have no coverage at all.
  14. MisterMo

    MisterMo mach schnell!

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    I've been following this thread along with your departure and re-emergence. I just wanted you to know that your involvment with this board was a significant factor in my decision to buy and use a Spot. Thanks!....and please stick around!
  15. Squeaky

    Squeaky A Few Loose Screws...

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  16. Geezerider

    Geezerider Just coastin'

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    +1

    I bought a SPOT based on the technical information provided by SpotMaker. SPOT works very well for me.
  17. bcrider48

    bcrider48 Adventurer

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    Location:
    Fort Collins, CO USA
    Just purchased a SPOT from the guys at Blue Ridge Racing while looking for a tool kit for my upcoming trips to CO, UT and Baja. According to BRR they have several customers who've used the 911 feature with 100% success in the U.S. One in particular was buried in an avalanche and local search and rescue saved the guy! Haven't read all the posts on this thread and I'm a newbie but I may start another thread with SPOT stories if someone hasn't already.
    Cheers
  18. AngryScot

    AngryScot .

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    just activated the spot :clap
    My silly serial number was printed wrong on the unit! :baldy
    it was 00123456 (not really the number:deal) but it needed to be 0-123456 to be used to activate.
    Maybe I got a fairly old unit?:dunno
    Anyway it powers on and seems to get lock, but my short time in tryign to get an OK message sent didn't work.
    Guess I need to do this over lunch and have it sitting out for a while to insure lock and transmission. :dunno

    Can't wait to get my first message to make sure it is working corectly! damn work gets in the way :baldy
  19. mars

    mars Starbucks anyone?

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    Did you get a really good "Deal" on it.
  20. AngryScot

    AngryScot .

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    Yup, was going to give you a pm if this one didn't work out.
    New for $65! :clap (i was pre-owned but not used, i have no source for more)

    although I have not been succesful sending any ok messages yet! Just activated it this afternoon

    It is sitting out in the yard now trying :lol3

    time will tell if I got a deal or not :deal


    **Edit**
    Logged into my account and it looks like I have not been charged yet, so I guess I might need to wait until they charge and "activate" the unit?
    anyone time how long that took? can't be more than a day I would imagine