Best SPOT alternative??.

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by BigFatAl, Mar 7, 2020.

  1. BigFatAl

    BigFatAl Long timer

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    Gave up on my SPOT gen 3 after there RIDICULOUS billing practices.
    What else is out there ??.
    #1
  2. drrod1

    drrod1 Long timer

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    I quit Spot and went to Garmin InReach.

    https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/561269

    If you are looking for a tracking device this will work. It also allows 2-way text communication which I find the biggest difference from the Spot.
    If you are just looking for a PLB, then there are other (better?) alternatives.

    If you look around on Advrider there are several threads about this topic.
    #2
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  3. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

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    I have used the SPOT for many years for tracking and messages camping in remote areas solo. When I started motorcycling into remote areas I wound up buying a InReach and using that. Its a great device with reasonable rates. Saying that I do keep the SPOT in my coat pocket in case I get separated from my bike or the InReach stops working. I have never had to use it anymore except for testing. The InReach connects to my phone so I can send data back and forth just like a regular text message. I have used it for several years now. I bought it back when it was owned by Delorme and I have been using it every trip since and have been very satisfied.

    KR
    #3
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  4. seasdes

    seasdes Adventurer

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    Have a look at YB Tracking. I have been using it flawlessly around the world for at least 5 years now.
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  5. BigFatAl

    BigFatAl Long timer

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    Very interesting,I’ve never heard of that one.
    #5
  6. phreakingeek

    phreakingeek Big Ear Inc - Virginia Provider Super Supporter

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    I used a SPOT gen3 for a couple years before switching to a Garmin InReach. I love the InReach tracking website over the SPOT and the 2 way txt is pretty good. Not the fastest way to txt, but it worked all the way through Canada and Alsaska last summer.
    #6
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  7. thirsty 1

    thirsty 1 Rider Supporter

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  8. seasdes

    seasdes Adventurer

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    The YB3 handheld is the one to go for.

    Has been around for years and used by real adventurers

    Have a look at these sites
    https://www.ybtracking.com/blog
    https://www.ybtracking.com/index

    Their rates are reasonable.
    Good coverage.
    Rugged construction.
    Not just for sailing.
    #8
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  9. terryckdbf

    terryckdbf Bumbling BackRoad Riders™

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    is the cost of the device $689 + $15/month + $0.16/tracking point? Is that correct?

    Terry
    #9
  10. seasdes

    seasdes Adventurer

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    Hi Terry
    There are now two models of YB3, Non Bluetooth and Bluetooth model. I purchased the Bluetooth model in 2014. Not sure if non Bluetooth was available at the time.
    The cost of ownership includes the following:
    Cost of YB3 unit.
    I think you can even rent the YB3
    Monthly line rental for the months that you want to use the unit. I pay annually
    Cost of credits. The more credits you buy the cheaper the credits become (per credit). Credits do not expire. Only proviso is that you have to use at least 1 credit within a 12 month period.
    The following sites have more details
    https://www.ybtracking.com/shop-product-detail?productId=1
    https://www.ybtracking.com/shop-product-detail?productId=2
    https://www.ybtracking.com/event-rental-other
    #10
  11. seasdes

    seasdes Adventurer

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    Terry
    You can set within the YB3 how often it transmits. The trick is to determin how hazardous the environment is. For touring I set the transmission to every 10 - 20 minutes. For bushwalking in mountainous terrain you might set it more frequently. You can even set it to transmit once per day.
    #11
  12. seasdes

    seasdes Adventurer

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    Terry
    Sorry info not quite correct. Transmission can be set from Continuous (which will eat up your credit verrry quickly) to once every 12 hours. Set transmission frequency to suit conditions and hazards.This can be changed in the field.
    #12
  13. terryckdbf

    terryckdbf Bumbling BackRoad Riders™

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    seasdes, thank you very much, I appreciate it.

    Terry
    #13
  14. dirtmarine

    dirtmarine Been here awhile

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    My SPOT Gen 3 was set to renew on March 20. I called to cancel the $220 re-up and was told a billing person would contact me that morning or the next by phone. Never heard again and then I get an email that I could continue for $99 but I would have to call in again. I checked my credit card today and saw the $220 charge so I disputed it and will get a credit. So I guess they are trying everything to keep customers. I will not be using my SPOT this summer it seems so don't want any renewal. Will consider an InReach in future I guess. Kept getting notices that the Gen3 was updating mapping, etc. but every time I looked it looked the same as always.
    #14
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  15. chrisjk

    chrisjk Been here awhile

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    I've had YB (then called Yellow Brick) and Inreach (before Garmin). Inreach was better than YB costwise and also for the app connectivity. Neither was especially fast in terms of sending a text and the addressee receiving it - sometimes it could take 20 minutes. These days, I eschew both in favour of a phone; where I go nowadays using tracking apps, I am never far from the last point recorded/transmitted. If I really needed communication or help outside phone connectivity, I would go for a satellite phone - rented when I needed it, plus a beacon, in case someone actually came to look for me.
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  16. dirtmarine

    dirtmarine Been here awhile

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    I tend to agree with the phone. Most of my rides nowadays have mobile connection anyway. Back in the day I needed something with sat connection, not so much now. A question for you - my wife can locate me using Life 360 but it doesn't lay down a track on a map that can be preserved later to send to friends. After a certain ride I'd like to be able to lay my route on a google map and then send it to family. The SPOT would do that but seemed convoluted. Folks here on advrider commonly attach maps but that method seems to escape me. Is there a phone app that will do that?
    #16
  17. chrisjk

    chrisjk Been here awhile

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    On IOS I use this https://apps.apple.com/us/app/raah-tracker/id525298475 and on Android, this https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.loctome.app.loctome

    Both apps record tracks on Google maps. Anyone to whom I have given the appropriate login can follow my progress in real time in a web browser on desktop or phone. If I want to display a track for a forum, I just take a screenshot and post that. The IOS app allows the keeping of all your recorded tracks on the tracker's server - I have recorded all my rides for several years now.
    #17
  18. Woody2627

    Woody2627 Grey Wobbler

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    BubblerGPS in conjunction with Spotwalla does what you want, and it's free.
    #18
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  19. dirtmarine

    dirtmarine Been here awhile

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    Thanks for ideas!
    #19
  20. scootertrog

    scootertrog Jedi Fart Master

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    Do these require that the "tracked" phone has an active data plan? I use a "no data" go-phone plan.
    #20