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SPOT Owners Beware: 911 alerted, with a all day no show!!!

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by rhinoeater, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. Klammer

    Klammer Old and Grumpy

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,608
    Location:
    Single track,desert, surf, water & snow ski Heaven
    Thanks for the lesson Tacman. That makes perfect sence to me. A lesson I won't forget!
  2. Torpedo

    Torpedo Gas, brake, turn, repeat

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    29
    Location:
    Paradise
    Only used my SPOT once and it was the HELP function, not 911. Wifey showed up within two hours with the truck. If she can find me from SPOT info, anybody can; she uses a Magellan "Nav Thingy."

    Since I ride too slow for half of you and too fast for the other 10%, I nearly always ride alone. Sure, it's risky but SPOT is one more tool to help mitigate those risks.

    Oh, and for the other 40% of you - shut down your computer and come riding :D
  3. snooker

    snooker AttitudeIsEverything

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,031
    Location:
    Loveland, Colorado
    Great points!
    Could you change your first 3 summary lines so they all mean the same location and not 3 separate random values? And personally I think it helps to put ' for minutes and '' for seconds to help describe the 3 types of numbers. And I know there are MANY ways to do this, not one is right.

    Here is what I mean, tell me if I am wrong, I used your 2nd example:

    3 basic formats for grid coordinates:
    Degrees.DecimalDegrees -> N35.5678 (apparently what SPOT uses)
    Degrees/Minutes.DecimalMinutes -> N35° 34.068'
    Degrees/Minutes/Seconds-> N35° 34' 04"
  4. Drunk_Uncle

    Drunk_Uncle Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,545
    Location:
    Boerne, TX
    Obviously Numbnuts has never used a portapotty in Iraq, nothing like have so many flies in there that they crawl on your butthole while trying to poop. I have a solution for all this latitude and longitude conversion and confusion, just use the MGRS, military grid reference system!!
  5. Jeff aka BOLT

    Jeff aka BOLT Prefer Saturdays Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,611
    Location:
    Somewhere in the desert
    x2 Awesome info !
  6. Tacman

    Tacman just another guy

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    Goodyear, AZ

    Good point. That's definately the best way to do it to elimate confusion about the format. Unfortunately, I've found that 90% of the time that someone hands me a piece of paper with coordinates written on it, those markings are missing because most people just assume that everyone uses the same format that they do(which obviously isn't the case). So how do you take your best guess of the format when they fail to be as courteous as you and make it clear????

    Here's a couple of hints I use....

    Usually a space rather than a decimal point between the numbers means a change in the unit of measure

    If the number right after the decimal point is bigger than 6o it has to be a decimal of the number before it since you can't have more than 60 minutes or 60 seconds. So if you ask me to go to N35 45.78 I know that you do not mean North 35deg 45min 78sec because there is no such thing as 75sec on a map. You must mean 45.78min which would mean 45min 47sec if that is the format I wanted.

    And finally, don't rely on just your electronics if possible. If you have a map plot out the coordinates that you think are right and make sure they make sense to where you think you want to go before following that nice purple line on the GPS


    One more thing while we are on all this map/gps coordinate stuff for you more technical folks...

    If you have a choice when giving a helicopter pilot grid coordinates to come rescue you, choose the WGS84 datum in your GPS. More and more helicopters have terrain avoidance databases and the technical standards for theses databases require that the overlying navigation system use the WGS84 datum. On our helicopter with this system I don't even have the option of switching to another popular map datum such as NAD83. There isn't much difference, but if I know the guy coming to get me is going to be looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack, I'd prefer to give him as much help as possible:evil
  7. ramjet

    ramjet Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,960
    Location:
    Super F'd Up N. California
    Getting up to check the GPS now....
    (Good info. so much I don't know, now it's getting life-threatening!)
  8. snooker

    snooker AttitudeIsEverything

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,031
    Location:
    Loveland, Colorado
    Ok now you've really gone over my head. Don't have a clue as to what you're talking about - but don't explain it for may sake as I haven't studied GPS stuff and am not active in it - maybe someday.

    But you missed my MAIN point about your original 3 example formats - one point was to show the ' and " for minutes and seconds, but my MAIN point was the numbers - I think your first example used 3 random values that don't refer to the same coordinate??? SO I tried to make an example where all 3 formats pointed to the same location? Am I right? Look at my post 344 where I show your 3 "random" format numbers in RED and my 3 new "identical" format numbers below...
  9. Tacman

    Tacman just another guy

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    Goodyear, AZ
    Yes, you are correct. My apologies for any confusion.

    @Rhinoeater: Sorry if all this coordinate stuff highjacked some of your thread, I was just trying to help someone avoid finding themselves in a bad situation like you regardless of who's at fault. This thread has been a good reminder for me to think through contingency plans before something bad happens. Hope you're doing better.
  10. 'Rett Butler

    'Rett Butler Happily Married

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,145
    Location:
    Phoenix-Sedona-Flagstaff-Crested Butte
    ...but I think the info could be useful here too since the terms coordinate systems, degrees minutes seconds and datums have all been used lately.

    I can try to help anyone trying to understand coordinate systems and geodesy. I've been doing this professionally over 10 years and I still have to do research sometimes. It can be quite confusing if not used daily.
  11. Mik

    Mik Riding big jugs airheads

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    598
    Yes.

    I considered a SPOT device after seeing them last July at a m/c retail chain on sale, and then early Aug. at the WMRS roundup several riders had them, cool and all that...I was nearly sold then...

    After WMRS I did some online research, found the 406mhz PLB info, then found an ACR 406 mhz (edit) PLB device with GPS for 200 bucks no annual fee 5-year battery...NO BRAINER had it my tankbag 3 days later (way rapid online registration with NOAA)
  12. RAZR

    RAZR u may run the risks my friend but I do the cutting

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    11,783
    Location:
    L.A.

    YUP!

    i'm looking at them right now and i will run the ACR with the SPOT until my annual subscription runs out with SPOT and make a decision if i'm completely done with SPOT or maybe keep it for piece of mind with my GF at home (tracking mode).
    but i know that the newer ACR has the "OK" button, so she might be happy with that one as a "check-in".



    BTW, what's the status with rhinoeater? :dunno
  13. mac inger

    mac inger Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    771
    Location:
    Los Angeles - Chicago
    Link ?
  14. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    19,717
    Location:
    Villa Maria Sanitarium, Claremont, CA. USA
    Don't keep it in yout tank bag now, we want to find YOU not your bike.
  15. Mik

    Mik Riding big jugs airheads

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    598
    Won't find the old bike or me if I don't hit the button.

    Thanks, I know you're right, when I'm riding where I assess the probablity of needing the PLB is greatest, I carry it on me not the bike.
  16. mac inger

    mac inger Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    771
    Location:
    Los Angeles - Chicago
    Hey Mik,..got a link to the 408 mhz PLB ?
  17. Mik

    Mik Riding big jugs airheads

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    598
    The ACR Terrafix 406 I bought was discontinued, hence the closeout price, the online retailer no longer carries them.

    www.hodgesmarine.com

    I think there are competing 406 mhz PLB models now for under $350, and they're getting smaller and lighter.
  18. RAZR

    RAZR u may run the risks my friend but I do the cutting

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    11,783
    Location:
    L.A.


    http://www.acrelectronics.com/



    they have a lot to choose from.

    i am looking at the one with the "OK" feature.:deal
  19. mac inger

    mac inger Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    771
    Location:
    Los Angeles - Chicago
    I guess i was just confused by the 408 mhz as i only see 406.

    Thinking about the same one.
  20. RAZR

    RAZR u may run the risks my friend but I do the cutting

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    11,783
    Location:
    L.A.

    yup.
    it's a 406mhz personal locator beacon.:deal