The Great Big SPOT Thread

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

  1. brad21

    brad21 Gunga galunga.

    Joined:
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    3,668
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    Hello Brad,

    My apologies but the promotion for a year of free tracking is only for new activations.

    Regards,

    Johanna

    SPOT USA Sales
    866-OK1-SPOT
    www.findmespot.com

    :doh:doh:doh:doh:doh:doh:doh:doh:doh:doh:doh

    I just activated about a month ago. MF'ers.
  2. BuellDualSport

    BuellDualSport Banned

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    Jeffm:

    At one time you could get that type of step down converted in the Tandy/Radio Shcak catalogue (not at the stores).

    Might need to do a Goodle or Yahoo search, but I also seem to recall that McMaster Carr had something along that line also. Will look further when we get back to NC

    Good Luck

    tom
  3. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

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    It's hard to imagine why you would need this. The SPOT isn't like a typical GPS unit that can run a set of batteries down in a matter of a day or two. The SPOT batteries will last for weeks of continuous use. Plus, with the wired connection, you loose the option to walk away from your bike with the SPOT in hand. And, when you're in the middle of nowhere, and your electrical system (and thereby the SPOT) dies on you, leaving you stranded, that may be the exact time when you need the SPOT to work. Add to that the fair chance that you'll fry the SPOT while testing the regulator circuit, and it seems you're at high risk of the SPOT not being able to do what it was intended to do.

    If you still think it's a good idea, all sorts of voltage regulators are available at www.digikey.com
  4. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke █║▌│ █│║▌ ║││█║▌ │

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    Here is my second real test of the tracks. Pretty much worked flawlessly - even in some semi-covered areas.

    [​IMG]
  5. TomW

    TomW Long timer

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    I agree. Not necessary. I forget what a pair of AA batteries is rated for in SPoT -- I think I recall seeing 2,000 transmissions in there somewhere. Well, let's say the real number is half that. That's roughly 10,000 minutes of operating time in tracking mode, or about 14 12-hr days in the saddle. Going to an external DC source seems...not necessary. Take an extra pair of batteries if you're really, really worried.

    Cheers.
  6. jeffmccracken

    jeffmccracken n00b

    Joined:
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    Thanks for the replies about the battery life stuff. It sounds pretty reasonable to use batteries. I guess I was just thinking of the benefits of being able to plug it in and forget it, forever.

    It's pretty easy to build a +3V regulated "supply". A small 5v regulator and a 2 resistor voltage divider. These are small enough that you can build it and heat shrink it right on the power cord so all you need to do is plug it into a bike or car voltage source. I did something similar for my MP3 Player and plug it into the USB port. Now I can run the back light all the time with no battery concerns.

    On another note, I did a couple of quick searches and haven't seen any mention here about jasonjonas' SPOT Trip Manager (STM) web site. He uses the OK and Help messages to implement tracking on sharable Google map pages that are pretty slick. Way better that the Star-Traxx implementation, as far as I can see. http://www.jasonjonas.org/spot/.

    Thanks again for the input

    JeffM
  7. TomW

    TomW Long timer

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    Check out SpoT's implementation of the same thing. It's in beta, and not perfect...yet, but seems reasonable as a first try. I've not used it in a while, so I may be fuzzy on the details, but basically you get a public page showing your tracking or check-in locations for the previous 24-hrs that you can provide for your family and friends. Details (with inevitable commentary) earlier in this thread.

    Cheers
  8. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

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    I just read this. I think this means SPOT coverage has just expanded to the areas listed. Hopefully this type of upgrade will continue across the globe. Lots of us need Argentina fully covered by January!
  9. emerson.biguns

    emerson.biguns All idiot, no savant

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    Did a test run this morning with my new SPoT. Traking mode worked well. Got a position every 10 minutes (once or twice it took 11 or 12 minutes.) It was in a pack facing up on the rear of my DR350.

    Website is a little clunky and the way that the tracking is "shared" isn't that user friendly.

    Also, can't activate an "I'm OK" message while tracking.

    I'd give it a solid B+. A little work on the firmware and the website and it could easily be an A+.


    Emerson the Skeptic




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  10. ajayhawkfan

    ajayhawkfan Rock Chalk

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  11. BuellDualSport

    BuellDualSport Banned

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    Back about 30 pages ago, Spotmaker suggesting turning the unit off, to stop tracking, send an OK message, then restart tracking.


    Seems to work for us.

    Good luck
  12. ajayhawkfan

    ajayhawkfan Rock Chalk

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    I need a little help with me SPOT.

    Is there a way to delete a message from the website and the personal map? I can't find it if there is.

    Thanks,
    Eddie
  13. PhilSpace

    PhilSpace The Gov Administrator

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  14. ajayhawkfan

    ajayhawkfan Rock Chalk

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    The promotional code said it was expired although the web site said it was good until the middle of July. I called and they set it and plugged in a code for me.
  15. emerson.biguns

    emerson.biguns All idiot, no savant

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    Not really a functional solution for the way we use the terminal on the go.



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  16. BuellDualSport

    BuellDualSport Banned

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    Reach Up. Turn Spot Off

    Turn Spot On, Send Ok

    Repeat for tracking

    Seems easy to us.

    Ride Em
  17. daveg

    daveg no longer homeless

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    Hey,
    Any of you try to scrape the public shared map page from findmespot? I'd like to be able to keep the tracked data myself and present it how I want to on my website.

    I'm a pretty lousy but functional web programmer, but get all conufuzzled with this Web 2.0 stuff. :rofl They also use ajax to do their login to the main page too.. uhg.

    All I want to do is own my own data I generate!
  18. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke █║▌│ █│║▌ ║││█║▌ │

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  19. PhilSpace

    PhilSpace The Gov Administrator

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  20. emerson.biguns

    emerson.biguns All idiot, no savant

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    Reach behind and dig out of bag on my rear top case.

    Turn Spot off.

    Turn Spot on, send OK.

    WAIT until OK message completes. (Watch LEDs in the mean time and lose track point while this is happening.)

    Turn Spot off.

    Turn Spot On, enable track mode.

    Turn around and put spot back in bag.


    Not so easy when going 60mph on dirt.... :dunno




    A firmware mod to allow a OK button press while in track mode to make the next message an OK would make a lot more sense than the way it works now.




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