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Old 06-13-2011, 07:18 AM   #2626
TinkerinWstuff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1200gsceej View Post
As to the Tracking - can one just send OK messages or custom messages sevaral times a day? Does that include location? It is not 'real time', but isn't $50 either.
Problem is, you have to BE ok to send an OK message. If something happens where you are physically unable to send an OK or an SOS message, no one will know where to look for you except based on your last OK message. That could be 2 minutes ago or three hours ago.

I cover a lot of ground on a bike, so the tracking feature allows someone to see my last known location - reporting every 10 minutes. I send an OK message at night when pitching a tent and in the morning when taking off on the move again. My custom message is for when I'm leaving the woods and headed for home.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:04 AM   #2627
MeanStreaker
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What does the collective wisdom think about this?

A friend and I went on an overnight trip down through KY and we had frantic wives on the way back because my SPOT wasn't transmitting. This is its first trip, it sits in a RAM mount on the bars, and has worked well on short test runs. It worked great the first day. But the second day it did not start sending tracking messages until after lunch.

You can see below the Custom message (yellow 42) I sent at our campsite Fri night, and then nothing until we got further west south of Paris the next day.



I figured I just didn't hold in the tracking button long enough or something that morning, but then I just looked at my findmespot tracking page. It shows one track from the second morning at 8:15AM that went through, and then nothing until lunch. So that tells me I did correctly turn on tracking. I'm guessing the orange dot for a track on the spotwalla page above is hidden behind the previous night's custom yellow 42 since it was the same location.




Any thoughts?

I do vaguely remember (can't 100% guarantee) seeing the tracking button blinking at lunch after the wives told us it wasn't working, and I turned off the whole SPOT and turned it back on and that's when it started working again for the rest of the trip.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:18 AM   #2628
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeanStreaker View Post
Any thoughts?

I do vaguely remember (can't 100% guarantee) seeing the tracking button blinking at lunch after the wives told us it wasn't working, and I turned off the whole SPOT and turned it back on and that's when it started working again for the rest of the trip.
No idea why yours didn't work, but that's another reason why I prefer to send OK messages. Since my own phone is set as a recipient for the OK messages I send, I know for sure when they are getting out, and there's nobody at home wondering what's happening...

Sure, there will be times when I won't have phone reception, and won't get the immediate confirmation I expect, but it's fairly rare for me to have extended periods of no phone service, and once i get back into a serviced area, I'll get the missing messages.
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:17 PM   #2629
DangerMoney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeanStreaker View Post
What does the collective wisdom think about this?

A friend and I went on an overnight trip down through KY and we had frantic wives on the way back because my SPOT wasn't transmitting. This is its first trip, it sits in a RAM mount on the bars, and has worked well on short test runs. It worked great the first day. But the second day it did not start sending tracking messages until after lunch.


I figured I just didn't hold in the tracking button long enough or something that morning, but then I just looked at my findmespot tracking page. It shows one track from the second morning at 8:15AM that went through, and then nothing until lunch. So that tells me I did correctly turn on tracking. I'm guessing the orange dot for a track on the spotwalla page above is hidden behind the previous night's custom yellow 42 since it was the same location.

Any thoughts?

I do vaguely remember (can't 100% guarantee) seeing the tracking button blinking at lunch after the wives told us it wasn't working, and I turned off the whole SPOT and turned it back on and that's when it started working again for the rest of the trip.



I ran into the same problem. Based on my own experience below with three SPOT II units, I'd call SPOT and ask for a new unit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerMoney View Post
After reading several posts along the lines of "my SPOT works for a while and then stops reporting my position" I wanted to pass on my SPOT II experience.


I bought one of the first production SPOT IIs and then received the recall notification that there was a battery problem: the unit either drains batteries very quickly or incorrectly reports batteries are drained. I never experienced any problem with my SPOT II, battery or otherwise. It always worked perfectly so I didn't return it. After having the unit for almost a year, SPOT sent me a letter saying if I didn't return it by date X, they would terminate my service. I returned the unit and about a week later, I received a replacement.

I would run the new one for 8-10 hours while riding and all the lights indicated the unit was always functioning normally. The problem was after about 3-4 hours it would stop sending position updates. I then tested it by leaving it on the dash of my car during work for a couple of days. Every day after about 3-4 hours it stopped updating my position but all the lights indicated normal operation.

I called SPOT and told them what the problem was. The bad news was they had no record of me getting a new unit through their mandatory recall program and said my unit (what they thought was still my original unit) was out of the warranty period. The good news is I had purchased their "insurance policy" so they sent me yet another one which cost me 30 USD. This third unit works perfectly.

If you're SPOT II looks like it's always working but your position stops updating, it's possible the unit is bad.
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:43 PM   #2630
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Ah man, I don't want to hear that.

I did check the serial number and it's not one that needs a recall....


So you think this one might be bad? It worked great all day on day 1.
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:57 AM   #2631
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Question SPOT s/n recall list?

So there is a published list of SPOT-2 s/n which can be checked to see if it was recalled? Can someone post that link? (or is it buried somewhere in the prior 2600 posts)?
thanks
-ceej

Quote:
Originally Posted by MeanStreaker View Post
Ah man, I don't want to hear that.

I did check the serial number and it's not one that needs a recall....


So you think this one might be bad? It worked great all day on day 1.
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:28 AM   #2632
cyborg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1200gsceej View Post
So there is a published list of SPOT-2 s/n which can be checked to see if it was recalled? Can someone post that link? (or is it buried somewhere in the prior 2600 posts)?
thanks
-ceej
http://findmespot.com/exchange/
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:17 AM   #2633
MeanStreaker
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Anyone else have thoughts on my predicament? Thanks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MeanStreaker View Post
What does the collective wisdom think about this?

A friend and I went on an overnight trip down through KY and we had frantic wives on the way back because my SPOT wasn't transmitting. This is its first trip, it sits in a RAM mount on the bars, and has worked well on short test runs. It worked great the first day. But the second day it did not start sending tracking messages until after lunch.

You can see below the Custom message (yellow 42) I sent at our campsite Fri night, and then nothing until we got further west south of Paris the next day.



I figured I just didn't hold in the tracking button long enough or something that morning, but then I just looked at my findmespot tracking page. It shows one track from the second morning at 8:15AM that went through, and then nothing until lunch. So that tells me I did correctly turn on tracking. I'm guessing the orange dot for a track on the spotwalla page above is hidden behind the previous night's custom yellow 42 since it was the same location.




Any thoughts?

I do vaguely remember (can't 100% guarantee) seeing the tracking button blinking at lunch after the wives told us it wasn't working, and I turned off the whole SPOT and turned it back on and that's when it started working again for the rest of the trip.
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:57 AM   #2634
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeanStreaker View Post
Anyone else have thoughts on my predicament? Thanks.
Your body, head, and arms are blocking half of the sky. It needs a full view of the WHOLE sky else it can't get the signal to the satellites. On a motorcycle, the ONLY place it can get that is if it's mounted on the top of your helmet.

Even with your major blockage problem, it normally does better than yours shows. But at that particluar period, the satellites may not have been in the most optimum positions.
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:09 AM   #2635
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HogWild View Post
Your body, head, and arms are blocking half of the sky. It needs a full view of the WHOLE sky else it can't get the signal to the satellites. On a motorcycle, the ONLY place it can get that is if it's mounted on the top of your helmet.
I don't know, Hog. I had my original SPOT-1 mounted on the bars like this for two years and I never had a problem with dropouts.



Even mounted directly next to my GPS (which SPOT recommends against). And the SPOT-2 is supposed to have a better antenna. I suppose it's possible that that it's getting blocked somehow. But I'd also look for other causes.

Sorry MeanStreaker, no help from me, I'm afraid.
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:11 AM   #2636
James Adams
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If you have your SPOT mounted on the handlebars, this may be the case. The Globalstar satellite network doesn't have that many satellites. It's not like GPS where there could be 5 or even 6 satellites easily in view. It's also possible that your SPOT broke somehow--maybe jarred once just the wrong way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HogWild View Post
Your body, head, and arms are blocking half of the sky. It needs a full view of the WHOLE sky else it can't get the signal to the satellites. On a motorcycle, the ONLY place it can get that is if it's mounted on the top of your helmet.

Even with your major blockage problem, it normally does better than yours shows. But at that particluar period, the satellites may not have been in the most optimum positions.
And the coverage out in Oregon might be more solid than in the woods of Kentucky.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodWorks View Post
I don't know, Hog. I had my original SPOT-1 mounted on the bars like this for two years and I never had a problem with dropouts.

James Adams screwed with this post 06-16-2011 at 07:17 AM
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:20 AM   #2637
MeanStreaker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drcoopster View Post
If you have your SPOT mounted on the handlebars, this may be the case. The Globalstar satellite network doesn't have that many satellites. It's not like GPS where there could be 5 or even 6 satellites easily in view. It's also possible that your SPOT broke somehow--maybe jarred once just the wrong way.



And the coverage out in Oregon might be more solid than in the woods of Kentucky.

I appreciate the responses. I'm just trying to decide if I need to send it back or if this is just "how they are".

Wish I had a better picture, but you can see the SPOT mounted on the left of my KLR650 handlebars in a RAM Mount.



The half day it didn't work, we started out in somewhat deep forest (but it worked in that 100% the day before), then we had much clearer views as we took pavement heading home. So the view of the sky should have been much better during the time it wasn't working.

After I turned it off and back on at midday, it tracked the rest of the way home.

This was a shakedown trip in preparation for a longer and more remote trip at the end of July.
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:23 AM   #2638
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So what would you do if this was your SPOT?

Thanks.
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:25 AM   #2639
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodWorks View Post
I don't know, Hog. I had my original SPOT-1 mounted on the bars like this for two years and I never had a problem with dropouts.
I DO know. Your body WILL block the signal (as well as trees and mountains, and maybe a rear-view mirror). The users manual even says it needs a full view of the sky to give optimum results. The fact that yours has worked well in that position on your rides doesn't mean it will work in a different geographic location at a different period of time for a different person with slightly different mounting. And as drcoopster pointed out, other factors such as tree cover and mountains can affect it as well. If it's mounted on your bars, and the nearest satellite ground station is behind you, you might get poor results.
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:29 AM   #2640
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I wonder if I would be better off having it under a bungee net on the tail rack than mounted on the bars?
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