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Spot Personal Tracking Device

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  • #16
    "In my way of thinking, that makes you not an entirely unbiased reviewer, and it's something that should have been disclosed in your original post, in my opinion."

    I agree. You shouldn't be surprised by the fact that forum members would question your opinion about SPOT when you were not up-front about the fact that you sell them.

    Comment


    • #17
      Spot personal tracking device? Sounds cool. This is the first timee i ever heard of this sort of thing. It's interesting though.



      Regards,
      Sahara
      http://simulationpretimmobilier.net

      Comment


      • #18
        Umpteen and eleven years ago, because he knew I led trips for AYH, a friend gave me an item to "test". He was a dealer for them, it was a new thing, never saw it before. It was a portable strobe light, VERY bright, powered by two C cells, water proof, it would float upright, clip to your belt, very rugged ( I dropped it on purpose a couple of times). Flashed about once a second, VERY bright. Came with a request stuck on the case to call this number (pre online) if it EVER SAVED YOUR LIFE WE WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT!!.
        I used it alot as the tale end of many bike trips, night rides, etc. Never saw it in a store tho. Nice unit, I thought, but it eventually burned out. Can't say it saved my life, but it was bright.

        Anything to give another layer of safety, but leave the adventure in, yes?

        Woody Allen and "Sleeper", anyone?

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        • #19
          I still believe it is a bad idea.

          I had no clue that he owned the store that he posted a link to. We all know there are bloggers whose job is to do exactly what he did. Post info about a product in forums and review the product on websites selling it. I believe his first post was way out of line.

          Since this was originally posted I came a crossed a story of a lady who needlessly scared the tar out of her family and wasted resources.

          http://postholer.com/journal/viewJournal.php?sid=f75f18070a41ae1e7d4e6c364069e8 a6&entry_id=8688

          IMHO it is a crutch used by people to over extend themselves beyond their physical and mental ability. She panicked.

          Comment


          • #20
            About a year ago I was on a sailboat delivery with a friend of our family. We were taking his boat from Huatulco, Mexico, to Puerto Vallarta. Now we were only in cell range maybe once every 4 days. Twice a day we would hit the little ok button, and an email with our location would get sent to my parents, grandparents, and several other people. It gave my mother peace of mind when we were a couple days late getting in to port. She would see that we only made 40nm that day, then she could go look at the weather and see, oh there isn't any wind that is why they are late. They didn't get run over by a container ship (a very real possibility) or anything.

            Having Spot made her feel better, and I learned after the fact that my Grandpa was bragging about me to all his friends because he was able to actually go on google earth and see where I was.

            You know something, **** happens, stuff breaks, people get lost. It may never be needed, but it is just another tool that has its uses.

            Comment


            • #21
              Yes, saying it was seen on TV and then added to Troop equipment does read a little a deceptive. Maybe it wasn't meant to, I don't know. But if the equipment has been used there must be experiences - good or bad - that go along with it. That's the point of this forum, right? Sooo, back to equipment reviews.

              For those with "SPoT" experience:

              Any problems with transmission - in the mountains, in canyons, in inclement weather, etc?
              Has anybody dropped it - does it still work, how about below freezing?
              How long did your batteries actually last - alkaline or lithium?
              Any drops in the water, uses while rafting where the device got wet - does it really float?

              Sailing, thanks for your experiences with the device. Any problems with corosion, exposure to salt water?
              joel322 - You stated you use this regularly - what are your experiences?

              Comment


              • #22
                I have a SPOT and used it on our Bissett NTiers trek. Put every scouts parent on the email distribution. Every night after setting up camp, I'd send a message. About 70% got through. But the parents really appreciated it. Is it necessary, absolutely not. But neither is GPS or cell phones.

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                • #23
                  I have not replied before because of the hostility expressed toward my "inappropriate" posts. I am only replying now because ntrog8r asked a specific question of me.

                  Any problems with transmission - in the mountains, in canyons, in inclement weather, etc? Poor transmission in heavily forested areas, it likes to "see the sky." Not all transmissions get through with a lot of overhead canopy.

                  Has anybody dropped it - does it still work, how about below freezing? Yes, my scouts have dropped it multiple times, no problems. We are in the south so the coldest we have used it is mid 20's but no problems.

                  How long did your batteries actually last - alkaline or lithium? Requires Lithium batteries, last about 1 year in standby mode, 2 weeks with tracking activated. I usually replace them before each trip just to be safe.

                  Any drops in the water, uses while rafting where the device got wet - does it really float? Have not used it rafting or canoeing, have used it in heavy rain without problems.

                  I would appreciate it if the personal attacks against me and my motives for posting would end here and now. I apologize to anyone who felt my posts were inappropriate. If you want a Spot, go buy one, lots of places sell them. If you think it's a bad idea, then don't. My opinion is a scout should be prepared.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Has anybody dropped it - does it still work, how about below freezing?
                    How long did your batteries actually last - alkaline or lithium?
                    Any drops in the water, uses while rafting where the device got wet - does it really float?

                    Sailing, thanks for your experiences with the device. Any problems with corosion, exposure to salt water?

                    __________________________________________________ ___________________________________________

                    There were a couple times when the weather was rough and it got bounced around the cockpit. I would definitely say that it is not fragile. I have not seen any indication of corrosion, and yes it did get exposed to saltwater. Everything on that boat got exposed to saltwater. I got lucky and stuck my personal gear in the one single dry locker on the boat.

                    The batteries lasted 15 days, and we haven't really had cause to use it again since. Every single message that we sent got through.

                    I just pulled it out and looked, still no corrosion visible even after two years stowed on a boat.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      SPOT is definitely not fragile.
                      In fact I lost mine while glissading down a mountain peak. I had it clipped to the top of my pack when we summited. I activated the OK button on the summit and left it clipped on the outside to send its message. We then dropped into a couloir and glissaded down about 2000 ft. When I stood back up to remove the SPOT, it was gone. A few non-scoutlike words and we continued our decent. At the trailhead while enjoying some beverages, another climbing team came down asking if anyone lost a SPOT. Still working fine. I've had mine for about 6 months and am on the original lithium batteries. My only complaint is you never know if the message gets through until you get home to check your email. Some messages just don't get through due to signal strength or no passing satelites when you transmit.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Thanks to all, including joel, for their reviews. Sounds like SPoT is pretty reliable for those that choose to use it. This sounds like it could be pretty useful when used appropriately by folks out for extended periods. I know there's a few times when we were in AK my wife would have liked to hear from me.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Reviving an old thread, with an update.

                          SPOT now has a product that turns your cell phone into a satellite phone that can send small text messages or emails. Note this is one-way communication - it cannot receive any type of messaging.

                          After talking with another Troop down the road that is using a SPOT, we have decided to take a look at them. We have a Crew headed to MOHAB (see the April, 2011 issue of Boy' Life, article on ultralight hiking) where we will be out of the cell contact for just about the entire trip. MOHAB doesn't provide sat. phones and recommends that the Crew bring one. Before everyone goes off on "helicopter parents" please note that Northern Tier provides either emergency radios (Ely) or satellite phones (Canada).

                          The SPOT Connect works with the IPhone or Android, and also has the other features of a regular SPOT (911). Cost appears to be around $170 with a $100/year service contract. Text/email capability is extra, at either .50 per message or a package: 100 messages for $29.99 or 500 for $49.99.

                          I think the biggest benefit is the GEOS Search & Rescue program that can be purchased for $12.95 for the owner. This provides $100,000 in SAR coverage ($50,000 each for 2 events). Additional memberships can be added for around $18 per year. The company also offers a Medivac+ program that will fly you to a hospital near your home, which could be very expensive. The Medivac+ program is available in either a short-term plan at $2.25 per day or an annual plan at $98.95 per year.
                          A few years back, the SPL of one of our local Troops had a "Hey, watch this!" moment and jumped across a fire ring, made from a corrugated metal pipe buried in the ground. He missed, cut his arm on the pipe, and burned himself pretty good. This was at Summer Camp, at Woodruff. The staff took him to the local hospital and he was flown by chopper to Atlanta to Grady Hospital, to the Burn Unit. The flight cost was around $18,000, so I heard. That cost would have been covered, under the Medivac+ program, along with up to $10,500 in medical costs.

                          I think for our High Adventure Crews, this is something work looking in to.

                          SPOT Connect: http://www.findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=116

                          GEOS SAR: http://www.findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=104

                          Medivac+: http://www.geosalliance.com/medivacplus/index.html

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Great information. Medivac/SAR insurance coverage seems to be the next gotta-have, after WFA, for high adventure treks.

                            I wonder if Garmin will soon offer a GPS product with an integrated satellite message uplink? Delorme did market their Earthmate PN-60 with a separate SPOT device. Bundling two separate, existing products together is often a hint of new product direction.

                            My $0.02


                            (This message has been edited by RememberSchiff)

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                            • #29
                              >


                              Please post that video on U-Tube!

                              Now I'm wondering how long it will be before we're required to carry such stuff on Scout outings and make regular reports that everything is A-OK.

                              Failure to report A-OK will no doubt result in a helecopter assault on wilderness areas by rescue agencies, if not helecopter parents.



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