The Great Big SPOT Thread

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

  1. DangerMoney

    DangerMoney Loud Helmets Save Lives

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,466
    Location:
    Escondido, CA, USA, Earth, Milky Way, Local Group
    You're doing nothing wrong. That's all they get.

    They have to go to the webpage to see the previous locations (tracks).
  2. Hikertrash

    Hikertrash Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,003
    Location:
    Arizona
    I've been using the whereamiriding.com website for tracking and its very simple and easy to remember.
  3. jimrobinette

    jimrobinette Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    380
    Location:
    Monterey, CA
    :clap:clap on whereamiriding.com!!!
  4. ER70S-2

    ER70S-2 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    7,984
    Location:
    SE Denver-ish
    205'd but it's already typed:

    Somewhat new to the SPOT II myself, so this is a guess. Have you set up a 'share' on the SPOT site? (oops, you already did this)

    Can you login to SPOT and find your tracks?

    With my Sister, I just gave her my login and she can use it just like myself.

    Do you know how to check the individual boxes (My GPS Locations) and then ask to see them on the map?

    fwiw and bears repeating since it seems to trick new users: it can take up to 20 minutes after pressing OK before the coordinates are sent (sounds like you already understand this part). The OK LED will blink until the info is sent and then the footprint LED will resume blinking. This is when it's ok to turn the unit off at the end of the day.

    :freaky
  5. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    10,118
    Location:
    Near Ottawa, ON, Canada
    You can create up to 10 shared pages per Spot unit on http://login.findmespot.com and it works fairly well, but even better than that is Spotwalla!

    Go ahead and create your shared page, then get the url for the shared page then hit Spotwalla and create a Trip or Location page.

    Here's an example of a "Location Page". It's the ADVRiders one.
  6. TheMuffinMan

    TheMuffinMan Forest Ranger Magnet

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,558
    Location:
    Denver, USA
    I've had my SPOT 2 for a year now and got it mainly for an 8200 mile, 4 week bike trip last summer. I got a ram ball headded bolt replacement for my handlebars and got a RAM cradle. It tracked flawlessly, batteries lasted about two weeks of every day tracking and an OK message once or twice a day. I left the spot 2 out on the bike in downpours, riding in downpours, and such and it's still working so no issues on the waterproofness.

    Is it expensive yeah, but it was nice for my dad to login to a website and see where I am. Also when I was getting close to his place he would just check and knew right when I was going to get there which was nice. The tracking isn't granular enough for plotting out a trail though. Mine sent a track location every 15 minutes or so. Moving at 65-70 mph makes track acquisitions less frequent.

    It took about 90 minutes but I did get an OK signal to send from a campsite in the bottom of a ~100 ft somewhat-narrow canyon. OK signals took about 15-20 minutes to send in an open location.

    Here's the mount location on my bike:
    [​IMG]

    The Canyon:
    [​IMG]

    Overall I like it. I won't keep the tracking next year mainly because I'm going back to school and money is a bit tighter now. I also have a handheld GPS unit for making tracks.

    If money was no object I'd probably supplement the SPOT with a PLB and keep that on my person so I have something on the bike and in person. But money is, so the SPOT alone is acceptable enough for me.
  7. norton(kel)

    norton(kel) vintage

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,352
    Location:
    CO.
    I bought my spot this spring, as most of my riding is solo and my wife isn't comfortable with me riding solo, so to make her feel better I got the Spot. Well--- I crashed this May in a remote area of Colorado with no cell service, so the Spot came in very handy to summon rescue assistance. I broke my clavicle(shoulder blade), sternum, 8 ribs and had a concussion. I was riding with others but before they realized I was missing and came looking for me I had tried to get up and get to my bike, but simi-blacked out 4 times. The Spot was in my tank bag and if I had no help, getting to the Spot could have been a problem. I now carry it in by jacket breast pocket. And hope I never need the SOS button again.:lol3 And it worked as advertised, a Forest Ranger and a County Sheriff showed up in about an hour and the Forest Ranger took me to the Highway where a ambulance was waiting which took me to the Hosp.
  8. TravellingStrom

    TravellingStrom Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    397
    Location:
    Rockhampton, Australia
    Well good news it worked. And that you are ok but you maybe should think about having the unit sitting in clear sky view on the bike but attached to you via a lanyard

    That way when you and the bike part company you will still have access, without crawling and doing more damage, to the Spot. You will still need to wake up of course to push the button

    Cheers and get well soon
  9. norton(kel)

    norton(kel) vintage

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,352
    Location:
    CO.
    "you still need to wake up to push the button" ---What, I'am hardly ever awake:lol3 Thanks for the kind words though.
  10. Jäger 1

    Jäger 1 Osons

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    819
    Location:
    NW MT/SE BC
    Yes, the NiMH rechargeables work, I use them constantly.

    The caveat to that is that they have nowhere near the useful life/time of the lithium batteries, and you have to keep that in mind. I'm sure that's the reason that SPOT recommends and says lithium only. I always have tracking turned on as a safety feature (i.e. if I'm unconscious... or dead I suppose... the large collection of location markers in one place is probably a good clue of where to go looking for me), so I have to consider that puts a further drain on the batteries.

    So my rechargeable battery solution is to have lithiums ready to go in the tank bag, NiMH's in the SPOT, and another set of NiMHs charging in a small charger in the tank bag. BTW, I ride a WR250R, so I'm forced to be very minimalist and space conscious to begin with. All of this takes up about as much space as an apple would.

    I regularly swap the NiMHs out throughout the day at rest stops, munchie breaks, etc. It only takes about two minutes, so it's not exactly onerous, and once again you're on fresh batteries. I'm aware that an accident can happen anywhere, anytime, particularly around here where deer, elk, and moose are not shy about leaping in front of your bike on a backroad to bodycheck you. But when I do think I'm going into an area where reception might be more difficult or whatever, the rechargeables come out and the lithiums go in.

    I ride primarily in the forests and mountains of NW Montana and SE BC. I've been using this method and ground truthing it for two years now. I get reliable tracking signals, OK and custom messages, etc, so I know this approach works as long as I keep in mind the shorter useable lifespan of a rechargeable battery versus lithium.

    However, I don't use my SPOT in the winter months, so I have no idea how well this would work for those who use SPOT in temperatures at or below freezing.
  11. GlennR

    GlennR Playin' in the Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,264
    Location:
    Boone,NC
    I went riding & trail clearing on my Rancher last Monday and put the Spot in my pocket to carry along. Well, after running the chainsaw 15-20 on a big log pile, that was blocking a key intersection of the logging roads I ride, I got hot and took off my jacket and bungeed it onto the quad's front rack for the rest of the day.

    After I got home I couldn't find the Spot, and I was pretty sure I'd carried it along. So, I'd been looking around for it all week, half hoping it would turn up...and half hoping I'd "have to go back and search the trails for it"! :wink:

    Anyway, I found my Spot today.

    I'm thinking I should have purchased the "replacement plan". :lol3 (If I hadn't been too cheap to subscribe for tracking I would have known where it was "parked"!!)
  12. TravellingStrom

    TravellingStrom Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    397
    Location:
    Rockhampton, Australia
    Did anybody else have any issues with SPOT not relaying emails yesterday or in the past 36 hours?

    I usually send an OK every morning and afternoon, and have tracking enabled during the day

    Yesterday I tried three times in the morning but did not receive any confirmation emails at all, nor in the afternoon

    But, the tracking was working fine. It was as if the OK was getting out, but the SPOT server had failed in some way

    It works fine now?

    Cheers
    TravellibgStrom
  13. MedicineBow

    MedicineBow Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    26
    Location:
    Northern Colorado
    I do the same thing with my SPOT-1, run it with high-capacity NiMH rechargeables, but carry a set of Lithiums for just-in-case. An advantage of the '1' is it takes larger AA size, and I have run it for a week tracking 12-14 hrs/day, on a single charge of (2) 2000mAh NiMH batteries. The battery indicator turns red after 24-48 hrs, but I believe that just reflects the 1.2v operating voltage of NiMH. No apparent drop-off of tracking rate - it was consistently 70-80% the entire time.

    I believe the 'Lithium-only' is just lawyerly CYA from SPOT. Mine has run flawlessly on a steady diet of rechargeables for almost 2 yrs.
  14. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Oddometer:
    2,786
    Location:
    Corral de Tierra CA, Ketchum ID
    New firmware for Connect and ios app out this morning. I haven't looked at any of it or tried to load it.
  15. TravellingStrom

    TravellingStrom Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    397
    Location:
    Rockhampton, Australia
    I would be more concerned when/if you ever use the 911button. That sends a message every 5minutes until the battery runs flat. If you are lying there with a broken leg, how will your mind be affected if you see it flashing red?

    Are the messages getting through or arent they, you will never know until/if someone turns up looking for you

    Are you sure you want to chance it? A set of Lithiums last around 15,000km in track mode all day while moving, that is before the red light comes on, this is still a cost, but in my mind, safer than the nicads I had been using on occasion
  16. BrzGSAdv

    BrzGSAdv Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
    50
    Location:
    Sao Paulo, Brazil
    I have been doing some research but wanted to pick the folks brains on the SPOT gps.

    Does it really work / is worh the investment?

    I have found a lot of love (and an equal ammount of hate) for it on the web so am a bit confused.

    I like the idea of giving my loved ones the ability to track me down and rest knowing I am ok and my whereabouts. I plan to ride mostly alone in Brazil / South America. I think the SPOT idea is great if it works as expected.

    Any feedback on the gadget is going to be greatly appreciated...
  17. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,796
    Location:
    SoCal USA
    It's worth it just for that. Plus you get the added bonus of the 911 feature! See the BOG SPOT thread here:
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=282391

    Be aware it won't work in the southern part of Argentina and Chile. Those regions are outside the coverage area. If that's a problem, get the Delorme InReach instead, which costs more but also does more.
  18. BigToad

    BigToad The Bone Destroyer

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Oddometer:
    196
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    I would never leave home without it, read the story under this youtube video pasted below......

    It's good for tracking however I will never mount it to my bike again. In this crash which broke my femur if had it been mounted to the bike I would not have been able to activate it as the bike went over the bank and I could not move.

    http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=qgJqZ1TaZ5w&desktop_uri=/watch?v=qgJqZ1TaZ5w
  19. JimNtexas

    JimNtexas Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    298
    Location:
    Austin Tx
    SPOT is an excellent investment for anyone going off the beaten track. It works well. Battery life is amazing. One thing I really like about the SPOT is the ten minute position updates.

    A worst case scenario is crashing your bike in such a way that the SPOT is destroyed and you are crippled and unconscious. If your friends or family are following your SPOT updates and updates suddenly stop, then at least your watchers will have a good idea of where to search for you. This is a huge advantage over a PLB device.

    I strongly suggest SPOT users check out the excellent free spotwalla.com web site.

    Spotwalla provides a superior map display of your SPOT tracks, and (unlike the official SPOT site) saves them forever, giving you a nice souvenir of your ride.
  20. FL_biker

    FL_biker Dakar Withdrawl

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    477
    Location:
    Tampa Bay area
    I'm a HUGE fan of SPOT but only if used with www.spotwalla.com.
    The issue with findmespot.com (the mfg's site) is that your trips go away in 30 days - not good if on a 44 day trip like I bought mine for!!

    I've used mine from Key West to Prudhoe Bay and back to Tampa:

    http://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=2ced4dd5420cac0ea


    A trip to MD and back:

    http://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=54ec5044b194030cf



    And even a silly short trip to AL and back (Barber Vintage Days):

    http://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=58e050768109d9e52


    My wife likes it so she knows where I am, but I DO have to agree that if it is mounted onteh bike it could be useless to signal for help in a crash. I mounted mine on my bike, but risked not being able to signal for help if I crashed.

    I especially like the spotwalla integration and ability to post links to photos on spotwalla, even if I never HAVE linked a lot of mine (started but got busy)...

    Dave