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Old 09-23-2013, 06:33 PM   #1
Pele2048 OP
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Realtime Tracking?

So I'm new to riding... In fact, I take the MSF class on the 11th-13th of October 2013, so I've only taken the V-Strom around the back yard, cul-de-sac, and puttered around neighborhood streets.


So my wife had a friend who rode Tail of the Dragon and wrecked in the woods. His buddies who were supposed to meet him at the end had to use KillBoy Photos and search for the last photo of him to locate where he slid off the road and went down an embankment.

I do not want this to be me.
If I do not have buddies to meet at the end of the ride, I do not want the buzzards to find me.



I was planning on using Google Latitude to allow friends to track me as I ride... It'd allow me to leave tracks on Google Maps as I'm riding without draining the battery on my phone. However Google Latitude has been discontinued.

Wondering if anyone has an alternative.

Requirements:

Automated - I do not want to have to "check in" or click any buttons to report my location. I can't whip out the smartphone if I'm unconscious.

Low Power - I'd like it to run standalone for a good while on internal battery. I'm pretty sure the bike shuts down if I lay it down.

Continuous - If I'm going at 60 MPH, that's a mile a minute. If the location updates every five minutes, there's a five mile radius my corpse could be in.

Internet accessible - I'd like to integrate it with Google Maps so that it can be seen on a smartphone.



Considering adding a radio setup to the bike and running APRS, but I'm not sure how the lack of a ground plane will affect signal propagation... Also, if I lay the bike down, my antenna is now horizontal... I'm also not sure I want a half or 5/8ths wave 2 meter antenna on the bike.
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:12 PM   #2
HogWild
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A SPOT tracker will do everything you want, and it works even when you're outside cell range:
http://findmespot.com

Even if it reports only every 10 minutes, it's still fine because it will keep reporting the location where you're "stopped".
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Old 09-30-2013, 05:20 AM   #3
bryantjt
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Not entirely sure how well it would work for you, but you can turn on location reporting on Facebook and or/Messenger and people can see where you are. I don't believe it will record a track though.
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pele2048 View Post
I was planning on using Google Latitude to allow friends to track me as I ride... It'd allow me to leave tracks on Google Maps as I'm riding without draining the battery on my phone. However Google Latitude has been discontinued.
Google Latitude has been moved to Google+. You can get about the same thing from there.
Generally, I am good with my cell phone service. BUT, something like Deals Gap, is on the very edge of the Smoky Mountains National park. No cell towers near there, so no cell service. So in that case, you would be invisible for 1/2 hour or so. If it bothers you that much, a Spot or such is the only answer.
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:14 AM   #5
Pantah
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We all use the spot tracker and keep it in the tracking mode during the ride. It sends a signal every few minutes. As an example, when my son is racing Baja, I track him as long as he is riding. When the tracking starts to pile up in one location I know he has stopped for some reason. Then I go to satellite view and can see if he stopped at a building for food or gas, or if he's in a wash somewhere remote and I should be worried. He's been stuck in washes and such.

We have a daily protocol where he sends an 'all is well' signal at the end of the day. He has another message he can send, that basically says he's got a problem and I have 48 hours to have him extracted. Then of course he has an emergency signal too.

The tracking is real time. The device has its own battery system. I use it for my personal adventure rides as well, particularly if I am solo.

The 2014 Alcan5000 rally will require all entries to carry spot trackers and the hosting club will monitor all of us every day.
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:04 PM   #6
Bleemus
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Spot tracker is good and will suit your requirements.

That being said you are a beginner on what many would consider a heavyish bike and the Dragon probably isn't a great choice till you are confident in many conditions. The amount of traffic and yahoos on that road can be overwhelming for a beginner. I wish you a long and healthy riding career.
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:47 AM   #7
XRman
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Spot 2 fan

I add my support for the Spot tracker product.

I hit a roo/ or it hit me and when I came to, I knew I was injured and alone.

I tried my cell phone but in rural Australia the coverage is not 100%.

Once I hit the SOS button on the Spot, my wife received a call from Spot HQ in the USA to confirm that I was out riding. The Spot crew then alerted the emergency services.

The down side was that the ambulance and police vehicles were not fitted with GPS units that could find my co-ordinates exactly. They were about a kilometre away on the wrong road.

The police contacted my wife who was looking at my spot page on the net and she was able to tell them which road I was on. The tracking function is worth the fee.

I won't leave home without my Spot tracker now. it gives your loved ones confidence that you are OK if they can follow you on the website and see that you are still moving.
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Old 10-09-2013, 05:42 AM   #8
DWiley
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I'll add my support for a SPOT. Fortunately, I haven't needed it for any kind of rescue but the tracking feature comes in handy for friends/family to see where you are at any given time.

Last year my girlfriend and I took our first long trip on the bike and went to Niagara Falls. Our families were able to follow along on the trip with the tracks and a blog I had set up. Great peace of mind for the family.

On a side note, are you taking the MSF class at NVCC? I took it at the Alexandria campus a number of years ago.
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Old 10-10-2013, 03:06 AM   #9
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On Android phone you have multiple options, as long as there is data conenctions available. I have used:
* One Touch Location http://goo.gl/IH1bXP
Very low power requirements but drawback is minimum upadate interval 5 min. And of course you have to swich it on before leaving.
* Cell Tracker http://goo.gl/IYnIsa
* GPS Background Logger Pro http://goo.gl/B8e3mh

Google+ is not too good option as it does not update in real time. Not sure what update interwal is but very often I see my wife still working in office but in reality she has spent few hours at home.
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Old 10-10-2013, 04:39 PM   #10
DRTBYK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pantah View Post
...
The 2014 Alcan5000 rally will require all entries to carry spot trackers and the hosting club will monitor all of us every day.
I believe the ALCAN5000 Regulations state:
5. At least one SPOT type GPS tracking device is required in each cycle "buddy group".
Which would include Delorme inReach devices.
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Old 10-16-2013, 05:04 PM   #11
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SPOT really that good

So i was looking for something to track when cell is out of range. I was looking at the SPOT devices but after looking at Amazon, the reviews were pretty darn bad... i was really bummed when i read that.

But you guys have tried this and can vouch for them?? Is there a subscription fee needed to use the device? Do you physically need a phone present to send out messages and tracking?

Thank you in advance!
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:11 AM   #12
Mastery
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Originally Posted by y0y02369 View Post
But you guys have tried this and can vouch for them?? Is there a subscription fee needed to use the device? Do you physically need a phone present to send out messages and tracking?
I'd recommend one of the Delorme inReach devices over the SPOT, and they are available on Amazon too if you want reviews from there. Each has their pluses and minuses; you'll find negative reviews on all of them from at least somebody.

With either, you buy the unit. Then you buy a plan to use the device. Some devices will allow sync with a Android or iPhone to allow for some features to be used.
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:04 AM   #13
intothenew
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Check out the "Life360" app for your phone. It's certainly not spot caliber, but it's free and lightweight. That'll get you in business immediately, while you shop for something better.

Life360 works with a family group, you get to keep tabs on anyone in the group as well as them keeping tabs on you. It has a few more features that you may find useful.
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Old 10-18-2013, 01:28 PM   #14
y0y02369
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Originally Posted by intothenew View Post
Check out the "Life360" app for your phone. It's certainly not spot caliber, but it's free and lightweight. That'll get you in business immediately, while you shop for something better.

Life360 works with a family group, you get to keep tabs on anyone in the group as well as them keeping tabs on you. It has a few more features that you may find useful.
never heard of it but good to know! Would you happen to know if it uses satellites or strictly cell towers?
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Old 10-18-2013, 01:33 PM   #15
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never heard of it but good to know! Would you happen to know if it uses satellites or strictly cell towers?
Uh, it uses whatever the device you put it on uses. Wifi and cellular, in my case.
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