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Old 11-05-2012, 11:21 AM   #3256
Wired
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Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Grand Junction, CO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhino89523 View Post

Does this spot thing need care and feeding? my plan was to mount it to my camelback semi permenant and just turn it on when I leave. I don't need to be touching it and playing with it all the time do I? I
You don't need to, if you want to use the tracking feature. Turn it on, let it get a signal, then enable the tracking and ride. That will send a message every 10 mins on your location.

If you need to summon help or 911 though, you will need to manipulate it to do those things.

Where to mount it is always a point of debate. On the bike or off the bike? On the bike seems more robust and like it will survive a crash. I can also manipulate mine while riding as I don't use the tracking feature as that costs extra. The down side here is if you and your bike get separated, you have to get to your bike. On your person is good too. In the event of the crash, you will have the unit with you and not need to get to your bike. The downside here is will the unit survive the crash or hurt you more if it's mounted to you. These things you will have to decide.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:27 PM   #3257
HogWild
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Joined: Nov 2003
Location: SoCal USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhino89523 View Post
my plan was to mount it to my camelback
To work best, it needs a full view of the WHOLE sky, and needs to be "pointed" with the face of the unit straight up. If it's in or on your pack, or anywhere on your body except the top of your head, then your body and head will block it from seeing a major part of the sky. The result is it will miss some tracking points at unpredictable times. That's probably not a big deal given what you want it to do, just don't complain that it drops some points.

Also, it stops tracking after it's been on for 24hrs, so if you leave it on all day and night you need to put it back into tracking mode every 24hrs.
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:52 AM   #3258
spidennis
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Joined: Nov 2006
Location: South Padre Island, Texas .... far from anything
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhino89523 View Post
O.K. help!!! All the GPS stuff and this spot stuff makes my head hurt.

I am not a tech junky and I ride alone way more than I care to admit. I am a fairly hardcore off roader and get myself pretty far out into the middle of nowhere often. My wife would sleep better if my phone always worked out there and if I could be tracked. I started looking into this spot deal and it seems like the way to go for me. Would you guys get the 2 or the latest that links to the phone....why? HELP!!!! and thanks in advance.
My advice is once you get it USE IT. and I mean all the time and a lot. play with the features and get used to it. Program the two buttons with messages that mean something to you and for who will be watching. I use the custom button to say I'm starting an adventure/training session, doing a location check, taking a break. the OK button is for when I stop for the day, at either home or a campsite and then I can turn the unit off for the day. The tracking I use anytime the unit is turned on. Also, if you have to use the 911 and send in the marines use other Help button first! because what I've heard is once the 911 Help button is pushed none of the other buttons will work. call home first before the marines! I love my spot and hadn't had any problems with it at all. I also keep it inside a dry bag to keep it dry. I use it on my kayak, canoe, boat, hiking, biking and on my dirtbike, sailing, well, you get the point. oh yeah, I use it in the car as well! It's great for xcountry trips ....... etc, etc. have fun!
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:18 AM   #3259
dondesmo
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Location: Fed Way PNW
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Spot 2 Customer Service A+++++

I have had a Spot 2 for 9 months. I don't use it for tracking my route, but just to notify my wife that I have arrived safely, as I do a lot of solo riding, both on pavement as well as in the woods, on my KTM. I was reluctant to purchase a Spot 2 because of all the negative comments posted here.

I was testiing my Spot 2 a little over a week ago and noticed that the green led light for "gps" was not working. I got on line with customer service and did a "email chat line" with a representive explaining my problem. The customer service rep said the the led was probably burned out and since the unit was still under warrantee he emailed a form to fill out. I filled it out and returned the email. Next I was sent a RMA form instructing me where to ship the unit and the return number.

I just received my new unit yesterday and activated it to my current account. It took 8 calander days from when I contacted customer service and when I received my new unit. I was very pleased with the service I received.

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Old 11-17-2012, 03:40 PM   #3260
Rapid Dog
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Question Tracking how?

I have my wife and best friend on my tracking/help/mesage list.
I always set the little wafflestomper print to 'on' (blinking).
When I send an OK message they get it with the location linky but no tracks.
WTF am I doing wrong? I have a public shared page setup. So what's the dig?
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:04 PM   #3261
DangerMoney
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You're doing nothing wrong. That's all they get.

They have to go to the webpage to see the previous locations (tracks).
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Old 11-17-2012, 05:59 PM   #3262
Hikertrash
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Joined: Aug 2011
Location: Arizona
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rapid Dog View Post
I have my wife and best friend on my tracking/help/mesage list.
I always set the little wafflestomper print to 'on' (blinking).
When I send an OK message they get it with the location linky but no tracks.
WTF am I doing wrong? I have a public shared page setup. So what's the dig?
I've been using the whereamiriding.com website for tracking and its very simple and easy to remember.
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:21 PM   #3263
jimrobinette
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Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Monterey, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hikertrash View Post
I've been using the whereamiriding.com website for tracking and its very simple and easy to remember.
on whereamiriding.com!!!
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:19 PM   #3264
ER70S-2
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205'd but it's already typed:

Somewhat new to the SPOT II myself, so this is a guess. Have you set up a 'share' on the SPOT site? (oops, you already did this)

Can you login to SPOT and find your tracks?

With my Sister, I just gave her my login and she can use it just like myself.

Do you know how to check the individual boxes (My GPS Locations) and then ask to see them on the map?

fwiw and bears repeating since it seems to trick new users: it can take up to 20 minutes after pressing OK before the coordinates are sent (sounds like you already understand this part). The OK LED will blink until the info is sent and then the footprint LED will resume blinking. This is when it's ok to turn the unit off at the end of the day.

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Old 11-19-2012, 04:23 AM   #3265
Emmbeedee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ER70S-2 View Post
205'd but it's already typed:

Somewhat new to the SPOT II myself, so this is a guess. Have you set up a 'share' on the SPOT site? (oops, you already did this)

Can you login to SPOT and find your tracks?

With my Sister, I just gave her my login and she can use it just like myself.

Do you know how to check the individual boxes (My GPS Locations) and then ask to see them on the map?

fwiw and bears repeating since it seems to trick new users: it can take up to 20 minutes after pressing OK before the coordinates are sent (sounds like you already understand this part). The OK LED will blink until the info is sent and then the footprint LED will resume blinking. This is when it's ok to turn the unit off at the end of the day.

You can create up to 10 shared pages per Spot unit on http://login.findmespot.com and it works fairly well, but even better than that is Spotwalla!

Go ahead and create your shared page, then get the url for the shared page then hit Spotwalla and create a Trip or Location page.

Here's an example of a "Location Page". It's the ADVRiders one.
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Old 11-23-2012, 03:11 PM   #3266
TheMuffinMan
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Location: Denver, USA
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I've had my SPOT 2 for a year now and got it mainly for an 8200 mile, 4 week bike trip last summer. I got a ram ball headded bolt replacement for my handlebars and got a RAM cradle. It tracked flawlessly, batteries lasted about two weeks of every day tracking and an OK message once or twice a day. I left the spot 2 out on the bike in downpours, riding in downpours, and such and it's still working so no issues on the waterproofness.

Is it expensive yeah, but it was nice for my dad to login to a website and see where I am. Also when I was getting close to his place he would just check and knew right when I was going to get there which was nice. The tracking isn't granular enough for plotting out a trail though. Mine sent a track location every 15 minutes or so. Moving at 65-70 mph makes track acquisitions less frequent.

It took about 90 minutes but I did get an OK signal to send from a campsite in the bottom of a ~100 ft somewhat-narrow canyon. OK signals took about 15-20 minutes to send in an open location.

Here's the mount location on my bike:


The Canyon:


Overall I like it. I won't keep the tracking next year mainly because I'm going back to school and money is a bit tighter now. I also have a handheld GPS unit for making tracks.

If money was no object I'd probably supplement the SPOT with a PLB and keep that on my person so I have something on the bike and in person. But money is, so the SPOT alone is acceptable enough for me.
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:58 PM   #3267
norton(kel)
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Location: berthoud,colo.
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I bought my spot this spring, as most of my riding is solo and my wife isn't comfortable with me riding solo, so to make her feel better I got the Spot. Well--- I crashed this May in a remote area of Colorado with no cell service, so the Spot came in very handy to summon rescue assistance. I broke my clavicle(shoulder blade), sternum, 8 ribs and had a concussion. I was riding with others but before they realized I was missing and came looking for me I had tried to get up and get to my bike, but simi-blacked out 4 times. The Spot was in my tank bag and if I had no help, getting to the Spot could have been a problem. I now carry it in by jacket breast pocket. And hope I never need the SOS button again. And it worked as advertised, a Forest Ranger and a County Sheriff showed up in about an hour and the Forest Ranger took me to the Highway where a ambulance was waiting which took me to the Hosp.

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Old 12-03-2012, 06:12 AM   #3268
TravellingStrom
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Well good news it worked. And that you are ok but you maybe should think about having the unit sitting in clear sky view on the bike but attached to you via a lanyard

That way when you and the bike part company you will still have access, without crawling and doing more damage, to the Spot. You will still need to wake up of course to push the button

Cheers and get well soon
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:17 AM   #3269
norton(kel)
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"you still need to wake up to push the button" ---What, I'am hardly ever awake Thanks for the kind words though.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:59 AM   #3270
Jäger
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Location: NW MT/SE BC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
I hate the idea of disposable batteries. I don't understand why SPOTs don't come with a rechargable battery pack, like phones, cameras, walkie talkies, etc.

I didn't find Lithium rechargable AAA batteries, but did find the NiMH AAA batteries. They are said to be good at -10c degrees. They are 1.2 volts each. Will they work?

If not, does anybody have a rechargable battery solution?
Yes, the NiMH rechargeables work, I use them constantly.

The caveat to that is that they have nowhere near the useful life/time of the lithium batteries, and you have to keep that in mind. I'm sure that's the reason that SPOT recommends and says lithium only. I always have tracking turned on as a safety feature (i.e. if I'm unconscious... or dead I suppose... the large collection of location markers in one place is probably a good clue of where to go looking for me), so I have to consider that puts a further drain on the batteries.

So my rechargeable battery solution is to have lithiums ready to go in the tank bag, NiMH's in the SPOT, and another set of NiMHs charging in a small charger in the tank bag. BTW, I ride a WR250R, so I'm forced to be very minimalist and space conscious to begin with. All of this takes up about as much space as an apple would.

I regularly swap the NiMHs out throughout the day at rest stops, munchie breaks, etc. It only takes about two minutes, so it's not exactly onerous, and once again you're on fresh batteries. I'm aware that an accident can happen anywhere, anytime, particularly around here where deer, elk, and moose are not shy about leaping in front of your bike on a backroad to bodycheck you. But when I do think I'm going into an area where reception might be more difficult or whatever, the rechargeables come out and the lithiums go in.

I ride primarily in the forests and mountains of NW Montana and SE BC. I've been using this method and ground truthing it for two years now. I get reliable tracking signals, OK and custom messages, etc, so I know this approach works as long as I keep in mind the shorter useable lifespan of a rechargeable battery versus lithium.

However, I don't use my SPOT in the winter months, so I have no idea how well this would work for those who use SPOT in temperatures at or below freezing.
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