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Old 07-31-2012, 07:18 PM   #3166
HardWorkingDog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueLghtning View Post
After reading many of those comments on REI, I'm thinking many of the people had no idea how to use it or didn't understand its limitations...
ding ding ding!

We have a winner!!

This seems to happen every summer, there's a rash of interest in SPOT, people claim it's bogus, talk about Sat phones and plb's and then the successful users talk about how well it has worked for them.

This round was started by some secondhand reports of slow response, but we really don't know what the exact problem is--could be a defective unit, could be user error, could be low batteries.

My take is that SPOT is a useful inexpensive device that can help prevent problems on a remote trip. It requires a significant time investment to learn how the unit works and then to test it on a trial run or three BEFORE you head out on a "bucket list trip."

My SPOT2 has worked well for me, but the chance of failure is always there and I make sure there are other options when things go pear-shaped. And I make sure to test the response and tracking before I head out, with enough time to correct problems that show up.
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Old 07-31-2012, 07:49 PM   #3167
Shov3BR
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Like my SPOT

What say you fellow FF'rs??????

How 'bout a show of hands of who likes and has good luck with their SPOT and those that have not??????[/QUOTE]

Put me on the 'LIKE" list.
I also purchased my SPOT Messenger at REI on one of their sales for use a long ride across Europe and Central Asia.

The biggest problem that i had was deciphering their services; what was included at no charge and what had to be a paid subscription. After some testing, I figured out that a paid subscription is required for continuous tracking.

The second revelation is that there are better tracking sites than the FINDMESPOT shared site.

We are using SpotWalla where every point is saved vs. SPOT where only the last six days are saved (at least that's what I found.) In fact, you can even delete a SpotWalla "trip" and still have the tracking points saved for later Trip use.

I ultimately crashed out of the ride in Southern Russia and was only able to make it to Samarkand, UZ, but I loaned the SPOT to another rider so the ride tracking goes on. Here's a link to the trip so you can see how SpotWalla keeps all the points. Just click "ALL" in History to see the ride from the start in London last May. This Trip also is a good indication of the satellite coverage. The ride is covering some pretty remote areas and so far coverage has been perfect.

http://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?...04fac59d8a10a3

Last point is that since we are using the SPOT only as a tracker and NOT as a safety device I converted it to USB power so we didn't have battery issues. This turned out to be a wise move as we have not been able to find lithium batteriers anywhere since we left Moscow.
-Shov
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Old 07-31-2012, 09:15 PM   #3168
BlueLghtning
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmbeedee View Post
I continued with my Spot I as well after hearing all the bad reports but when I found a II cheaply, I went for it to see for myself how it works. I've been pleasantly surprised to see how well it's working, and it does actually have some advantages over version I.

The smaller size, lighter weight, extra "OK/Custom" message and covers over the Help and 911 buttons are all significant improvements. The only disadvantage so far has been the slightly more expensive batteries.

And if this one craps out, I still have my old original Spot unit to go back to.
Yeah, I can't say I haven't been tempted by a SPOT II, especially for updated GPS receiver, and as you mentioned the extra OK/Custom message and that the 911 & Help are covered. I have to be careful in the dark with gloves on to make sure I'm hitting the right button. I also like the fact it does send the previous two OK messages so that there is a better chance none are missed.

I have several friends with the SPOT II and they haven't had any issues with their units so I know good working units are out there too.
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Old 07-31-2012, 09:58 PM   #3169
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I've got nothing but good things to say about by v2. It either goes in the map pocket or in a RAM mount depending on the bike. All functions and features work as advertised, but I do like SpotWalla better than the proprietary sites.

My father has v1 and sends okay messages from all over the country and Europe. Some from Baffin Island with no trouble. Not sure where he carries it in his canoe and he doesn't use the tracking.

I'd buy another tomorrow. My advice is to spend some time learning how it all works.


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Old 08-01-2012, 06:22 AM   #3170
spidennis
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I *Like* my spot2! and it has ZERO problems. I use it mostly on my sea kayak, but use it in the car, on the bike, hiking, and it always works, even with the normal batteries and not the expensive ones.

A lot of people like to throw money at a problem, buy something and expect it to work with zero training on it or testing it before they need it.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:51 AM   #3171
HardWorkingDog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spidennis View Post
I *Like* my spot2! and it has ZERO problems...A lot of people like to throw money at a problem, buy something and expect it to work with zero training on it or testing it before they need it.
Yup. Came across this today on hacker news. Learning to use SPOT is like learning to ride a bicycle. It's not terribly difficult, but you need to give yourself the time to do it, and you can't be under the pressure of needing to use SPOT now.

http://www.johndcook.com/blog/2012/0...icycle-skills/
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:32 AM   #3172
TravellingStrom
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Well I can say I am finally on my second set of batteries, forget the time, consider the distance and area covered.

All of Western Europe, Balkans, west Asia and 30,000kms

I just got the red led tonight, so I am on my third set of LI batteries on a V1 unit

That is 15,000km per set in track mode

I really need to do this math before I go for a ride, but at least now I have real data

Cheers from Aktobe, Kazakhstan


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Old 08-01-2012, 07:45 PM   #3173
Emmbeedee
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Gratuitous Spot picture...

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Old 08-02-2012, 08:01 PM   #3174
Greg the pole
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Spot Connect-FAIL

not sure how many guys have these spot connects (www.findmespot.com). I bough one 3 days ago, got it registered, uploaded the latest software for it, paid the annual subscription, and tried it out.
In the three days that I have had it, I managed to sync my iphone 4s to it once.
I followed the instructions provided, as well as further instructions on their website (http://faq.findmespot.com/index.php?...ntry&data=1344)
Is there a trick to this spot connect? or am I technology challenged
I know the regular SPOT unit (orange jobbie) is a straight forward operation, the only reason I went to the spot connect is the ability to follow your maps off cell phone grid.
If their customer support is unable to help me I will return the spot connect and get a regular spot, bit of a pain
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:07 PM   #3175
beemerphile
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I think the first Spot is the best Spot. I would not upgrade for anything. The possibilities for failure rise quickly when more than one device in a chain has to work for something to happen.
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:26 AM   #3176
tuckerman
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I almost bought the connect, but I didn't because if a problem arises with the Bluetooth it's worthless outside of SOS. Just one more thing to go wrong I guess.


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Old 08-04-2012, 08:30 AM   #3177
BlueLghtning
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg the pole View Post
the only reason I went to the spot connect is the ability to follow your maps off cell phone grid.
If their customer support is unable to help me I will return the spot connect and get a regular spot, bit of a pain
I'm not sure why you need the SPOT Connect to do this? There are lots of map programs out there for Android and iPhone that allow you to download offline maps to follow when you don't have cell service? I'm not even sure how having the SPOT Connect hooked up would benefit you? Does it have some sort of off line map program attached to it?

I've read a few reviews of the SPOT Connect that weren't favorable. I liked the sound of the idea at first, especially being able to send text messages, but then like someone else mentioned it just seems to be one more thing that can go wrong. I decided the simplicity of the SPOT 1 as won me over.
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Old 08-04-2012, 03:42 PM   #3178
Emmbeedee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beemerphile View Post
I think the first Spot is the best Spot. I would not upgrade for anything.
I think a good working Spot II is better than a Spot I. But I'm keeping my old Spot I in reserve, just in case...
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:51 AM   #3179
Renegade_Azzy
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I just set my Spot II up over the weekend, and went out on a run in the Jeep with it. No problems with tracking, although I only got a few messages. It seems odd, if I send an "Im OK" message, tracking turns off. if I put back ont he tracking too soon, the OK message never gets sent.
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Old 08-06-2012, 09:00 AM   #3180
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renegade_Azzy View Post
I just set my Spot II up over the weekend, and went out on a run in the Jeep with it. No problems with tracking, although I only got a few messages. It seems odd, if I send an "Im OK" message, tracking turns off. if I put back ont he tracking too soon, the OK message never gets sent.
Once again, from the above post...

"Learning to use SPOT is like learning to ride a bicycle. It's not terribly difficult, but you need to give yourself the time to do it, and you can't be under the pressure of needing to do use SPOT now."


Theres tons of info here and in other places that explain the behavior you describe. By understanding the device, most of the errors and "failures" described in this thread can be avoided.

S
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