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Old 02-08-2013, 02:17 PM   #1
dwoodward OP
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SPOT custom notifications?

An inmate friend is riding in the Central Mexico / Copper Canyon area. (Ding dong is out riding to Batopilas on a Wee-Strom, as if it were a Real Adventure Bike ).

Yesterday he hit the 'Custom' button on his SPOT 2 several times, which he's using to mean "not in need of help, but not completely OK", when he was stopped dealing with a flat tire and a couple other issues. None of them came through, although his OK and tracking points did. On previous trips (inside ConUS), Custom messages have come through fine.

Anyone have any experience with sending the 'Custom' message from a Spot 2 in that region? Either his device is malfunctioning, or whatever hardware and software is between him and the SPOT facility doesn't handle them.
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:29 PM   #2
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Sounds like he adjusted his distribution group for his custom message for this trip and maybe messed something up... If the regular OK works and the custom doesnt AND he's getting positive notifcation of message sent (green vs red) then its most likely but not for sure user error.
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:48 PM   #3
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You might get more help here:

SPOT thread in the GPS sub forum
Not all who wonder are confused
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:19 AM   #4
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My son used my Spot 2 in Baja the last two years. It always worked and his custom message did too. Somebody needs to go into your friend's account and make sure the distribution list is set up properly with both email and text messages with copies to himself.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:45 AM   #5
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Let me clarify: I didn't say nobody got notified- I checked the settings for him, they're the same as all others- The messages didn't come trhough. They're not logged in the SPOT database, with the tracking and OK messages.

[Edit- posted to Spot thread- another is having a similar issue. Caveat emptor and all that.]

dwoodward screwed with this post 02-09-2013 at 08:13 AM
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:38 AM   #6
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It could be a temporary glitch in the system - totally unprovable. Or, the trouble location could be outside of area of coverage: the receiving satellites are not geostationary and, conceivably, there could be periods of blackout during hand-off.

Or, of course, it could be that dang Mexican water...

Seriously, though,, that is how I would think about that. If other types of messages are getting out (you did write that, didn't you?) that means that the transmitter is operational. Radio hardware does not know what kind of data content is being processed. The same would hold for the relaying network.

Paths of the custom messages diverge from other messages at the beginning and the end of the process. At the beginning: could the switch button be defective? Did the tracker confirm command by flashing the button LED?

At the end: is the custom message working now? Still not shown logged? Are you sure there are no settings to disable receipt?

Finally, how about going to the source itself, instead of inviting our speculation? Did you file a report with SPOT?

For what it's worth, both tracking and custom messages work for me without any issues, as experienced in US, Canada and North Africa. If you find out that there is a real problem that could affect other users, please post details here. That would be useful info.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:03 AM   #7
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As just posted by rdwalker, if the transmission is working for some messages, it is working period.

The custom messages are set up by the user on a web page and require entry of an email or cell number for text message reception.

I would bet a beer that is where your friend's problem lies. User error in data entry.

No doubt these devices can have hardware fail (mine has been fine for several years) or network (satellite or ground station) issues but they are going to be a work/fail issue.

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Old 02-09-2013, 12:08 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Montague View Post
As just posted by rdwalker, if the transmission is working for some messages, it is working period.
I agree- if some messages are getting through, then it's not a radio problem. That leaves remote hardware (SPOT device), id10t errors, and and SPOT's data center / software. The Custom messages on the device have worked in the past; he's on the road now so I can't ask, but as an experienced user I expect he has reason to believe a message was queued and sent. When he's back closer to civilization, I'll ask him to send a custom message and we'll see what happens. Have to coordinate it carefully so as not to panic his family...

Meanwhile, if you check the SPOT thread mentioned above, where recently a Canadian user reports having problems with OK messages, but only in the southern US.
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