The Great Big SPOT Thread

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

  1. B.C.Biker

    B.C.Biker mighty fine

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    Thanks for all the replies. It has been when traveling by plane but then by bike or car for a week or two after. Guess ill try a phone call to Spot about the reset sandalscout mentioned. Then maybe a new unit or explore other options ......
    Hope it's something simple, sure do like the piece of mind it gives and of course Spot checking your friends from a trip down south while they are working in the snow up north is priceless! :D
  2. TravellingStrom

    TravellingStrom Been here awhile

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    When you fly and arrive at a new location, like any GPS it will need time to 'relocate' itself. By sending an OK and making sure you get an email is the best way to check buoy may have to send a couple of oks until it is set to go
  3. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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    Yep best bet is to leave it outside with an open view of the sky and not moving. 15-20 mins, it should find its new location. The OK message will confirm that.

    If you are moving, it takes way longer.
  4. DangerMoney

    DangerMoney Loud Helmets Save Lives

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    If the SPOT has the SiRF III chipset (or newer) it should get the first fix in less than 5 minutes given a clear view of the sky.

    Anybody know what's in it?
  5. B.C.Biker

    B.C.Biker mighty fine

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    When using the Spot I did it all as per the book. Had a couple phone calls with them over the last two days. First woman was fairly rude and condensending. Could picture her chewing gum and doing her nails. Requested someone that wanted to help customers. Next woman was pleasent enough and we went through the whole start up and send procedure, messages did not work. Next day a couple did work like normal up here.
    Next day call from Spot she said their techs checked and the tracking worked down south but they said I didn`t send any ok messages. I reminded her that was the problem, the half dozen contacts and I received no messages at all. She responded with device was fine even though with her ``supervision``the messages did not work. Asked if she thought I was just a crank call making it up. Asked if I was the only one to ever phone with this problem. When she started talking in circles I cancelled my spot contract renewal.
    So, disappointed with the whole thing. Had a few good years with the Spot but can`t trust it now. Maybe if they had proper customer service or an actual door you could walk through to talk to someone I wouldn`t be using lithium AAAs in my tv remote right now.
  6. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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    So your tracking was working, but your OK messages were not?

    Edit: Nevermind, just went back and realized you had a Spot II, so my SPOT 1 reply wasn't relevant. That actually makes more sense since the tracking and OK are two different options on that device. I would think its a device issue with the OK button, but who knows.
    Did you happen to try the Custom messages also? Were they not working either?

    You could always pick up a SPOT 1 on the used market. They seem to be more robust than the SPOT II's and have a better history of working as they should.

    Thankfully, I've never had to deal with their Customer Service, but my SPOT 1 is still going strong after 5+ years now I think?
  7. B.C.Biker

    B.C.Biker mighty fine

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    Tried all the buttons except help and sos. Unit was left on sometimes for the better part of a day before trying sending a message. A few times the message sent button would light up, but nothing showed up. They said tracking was working but it never showed up anywhere I or any of my contacts could see it so as far as I`m concerned it didn`t work. Not knowing if messages go out could mean the differance between making up a crutch and walking for a couple days on a fractured leg or broken ribs to safety or laying where I crashed and waiting for a rescue that never happens. The differance between finding my body and closure for my widow because the tracking works or an unsolved mystery to live with.
    Sure I can carry a PLB as well, $ well spent if you need to use it. Also still have my Gen 1 spot in a box. But with my latest trouble and customer service that leaves me wall punching mad what is the point of encouraging poor quality and bad attitude with giving them my money....
  8. TravellingStrom

    TravellingStrom Been here awhile

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    It's broken
  9. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    Cross-posting from Perfect Line...
    An inmate friend is riding in the Central Mexico / Copper Canyon area. (Ding dong is out riding to Batopilas on a Wee-Strom, as if it were a Real Adventure Bike [​IMG]:loco:deal).

    Yesterday he hit the 'Custom' button on his SPOT 2 several times, which he's using to mean "not in need of help, but not completely OK", when he was stopped dealing with a flat tire and a couple other issues. None of them came through, although his OK and tracking points did. On previous trips (inside ConUS), Custom messages have come through fine.

    To be clear: I don't just mean nobody got notified- The messages didn't come trhough. They're not logged in the SPOT database, with the tracking and OK messages.

    Anyone have any experience with sending the 'Custom' message from a Spot 2 in that region? Either his device is malfunctioning, or whatever hardware and software is between him and the SPOT facility doesn't handle them.
  10. dwoodward

    dwoodward Long timer

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    Ah... sounds almost familiar.

    Read the fine print- I think you have to send them a letter to cancel. If you just let it go with non-payment and try to reactivate later (new device, for example), they'll bill you for ALL the time in between.
  11. Twohondas

    Twohondas Long timer

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    You have to renter all the emails/phone #s for the custom msg. Perhaps he thought he was sending the custom message to everybody who was getting the OK msgs but did not fill the contact info in the custom msg section on the web site.????? I do not believe Custom messages are posted on the track & OK web site.
  12. UnclebudinTX

    UnclebudinTX Been here awhile

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    Many have posted a similar experience.. and i always wonder... if they pushed the button long enough to get the confirmation "flashing button"...???? It is hard to see in bright light and almost impossible to do with gloves on (especially winter gloves) .. I have not had a problem with messages getting through... i have pushed the button and no confirmation flashing button so i pushed again.. :freaky
  13. B.C.Biker

    B.C.Biker mighty fine

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    Thanks for that suggestion, dwoodward. I do have an email from them that I cancelled my services. It is due for renewal in a couple weeks, we shall see. It's one of the reasons I didn't want to screw around with it for to long.
    Seems with the inReach it is monthly billing that you can suspend or cancel every month. I like that better. Reactivating my Spot1 device and trying it out long enough to see if that fixes my problem would cost me a whole years service. The $ wouldn't keep me from eating three square meals a day but does reward their business model and "not my concern" customer service. Only way I can see to make them take notice is vote with my wallet.
    Might just be the work ethic passed to me by my parents or the way I run my own affairs but it really bothers me. Of course the major issue is not being able to trust the service. Even looked at as a toy when it doesn't work as planned for a couple days through a certain area or time frame can lead to problems. Think wives or employers ect wondering if he is hurt bad or goofing off ect. I use it in work situations as well. Kinda like a crazy "spell check induced" message only it could take days to clear up. inReach lets you know if the message was received because of the two way aspect. Two way texts as well. No confusion. Instead of .4 watts I think it is 1.6 watts and a multidirectional antenna. There is some other competition for them as well. I'll see what the next couple weeks brings.
  14. CatTomb

    CatTomb Adventurer

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    I started looking at these last night until my brain hurt.

    The way I read it... inReach is an annual service that charges you monthly. If you cancel before the end of the year you are still responsible for the unpaid months.

    The inReach seems like it has the most bells, whistles and farkles. I ride alone 90% of the time and am looking for something reliable that will call SAR if I am seriously hurt and somehow to contact my girlfriend to come retrieve me if I or my bike is broken down somewhere outside of cell range.

    I am becoming technology (bell, whistle) sensitive after wasting too much money on iPhones. The iPhone5 is not demonstrably better then the iPhone4 and Siri is worthless.... and I am considering putting a dog cone around my neck so I don't look at it every two minutes.

    I don't want my locator to require a second cone
    :kboom
  15. clocklaw

    clocklaw Long timer

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    There is something coming that I think you guys will like.......
  16. 81husky

    81husky Been here awhile

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    That's quite the tease. I'd like to get something by late Spring, so I guess I'll sit on the fence a while longer.
  17. CatTomb

    CatTomb Adventurer

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    Maybe a little more info ???
  18. HardWorkingDog

    HardWorkingDog Harvey Mushman

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    Walnut Crick, Cal.
    Just got back from 6 weeks trip, used the Spot 2 & tracking. The Spot worked perfectly. Started the trip with old but still usable lithiums, had to change them twice during the trip. Works out to roughly one set (3) of lithiums every 2.5 weeks. I did make sure to turn the unit off overnight & when we weren't traveling.
  19. clocklaw

    clocklaw Long timer

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    Not meaning to tease, but it isn't my project and I think that it should be left up to him to post it up....I think you'll like it and I think he'll be along shortly :evil
  20. bungie4

    bungie4 Frostback

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    Sudbury Ontario
    Okay okay clocklaw... I'm here...

    You are cordially invited to take part in the Assistance List. Blatant ad below. Two things, you can use this offroad as well as off via your Spot device, and I've built in the capability for it to take over the Tent Space List.

    The Assistance List is available for you to sign up!

    http://www.assistancelist.com

    What is it?

    The Assistance List started life in 2006 as a voluntary on-road assistance list for the FJR Forum. It's a co-operative, you volunteer to help somebody traveling in need of assistance, and in return, you get the same when you travel. Since that time the list has grown immensely with nearly a 1000 participants all over North America and the world. Over the years, it's helped many people and proven its value over and over again.
    It originally was distributed monthly via an email .pdf file, then, in 2009, a GPX file for your GPS was added. It got to be a bit of beast to manage on a monthly basis manually, so it's been automated and made available to any organization, group or forum.

    Simply put, the Assistance List only maintains the bare minimum of information about you to get the job done. Your forum handle, your first name only, the city, state/prov and country your in, some telephone numbers for travelers to contact you and the types of assistance you can provide. This information is only available to other participants and not publicly available on the website.

    So, what is new and how does it affect me.


    1. The assistance list is no longer manually maintained. You maintain your own data via the website[/*]
    2. The list is available on demand 24/7. Ready for printing or for downloading the GPX file.[/*]
    3. It is no longer just the FJR list. It is for any group or organization who wants to have their own list. You decide which groups you want to participate in. Your information is only available to the groups you join. This can greatly expand the the amount of, and reduce distance to, the help you require. If your a member of another forum and want to start a list, just send me an email and I'll add it.[/*]
    4. You can filter the list for only specific countries, state/provinces or even assistance types. Keeping the size small for printing.[/*]
    5. Secure, the assistance list uses your email address to send you a 24 hour access code, after that 24 hours, you must generate another access code.[/*]
    6. The assistance list is Telephony enabled! This means we can send out Text Messages in real time in addition to email when you request assistance.[/*]
    7. You can access the assistance list at any time from any device. Desktop, tablet, or smartphone.[/*]
    8. Speaking of Spot Trackers, we've wired up your Spot Tracker directly to the assistance list. Press HELP and we'll contact as many people as you define via email and via text message in addition to any members within a 100 mile radius of your location. That's right, the list is now fully location aware.[/*]
    9. When we know your location, we even send a google map link to your exact location in both email and text message so responders know exactly where you are.[/*]
    10. Don't have the list printed or on your GPS. Text our number with your location and we'll contact your Spot Contacts via email/SMS.[/*]

    DISCLOSURE

    The assistance list has been, and will continue to be free. You can use it to participate and generate a list or GPX file and seek help in any way you see fit. Just like always.

    However, the telephony component (Text Messages, Voice access which is coming soon!) will carry a $5.00 Cdn charge for each incident request. It doesn't matter if we send out 1 or a 100 SMS Text messages, it is still the same rate. This is to cover the cost of providing that service and to offset the cost of running the website. I seriously doubt anybody will be getting rich off this.

    You have a 3 day grace period from the date of sign up to configure and test the website SMS functionality and I will wave the charges. Don't kill me m'kay! It shouldn't take more than a couple of tries to verify it works. After that, add as many 'Spot Contacts' in both email and telephone and your good to go.