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Old 12-11-2013, 06:09 PM   #31
krussell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HogWild View Post

Where can you get a PLB for free, and where can you get a cell phone for free with free monthly service? They are NOT free.
The PLB has no service cost. It does have an upfront price, and periodic battery replacemnt. For the ACR Resqlink, figure about $250 up front, and $100-150 for a factory battery replacement every five years. I just figure $50 / yr.
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Old 12-13-2013, 04:03 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by HogWild View Post
The Iridium satellte system that the DeLorme inReach uses is a far bigger constellation than ANY military built satellite system.

Where can you get a PLB for free, and where can you get a cell phone for free with free monthly service? They are NOT free.
The military uses Iridium satellites.. plus others.. There are PLB's that use multiple constellations on a universal frequency without a subscription (free). A cell phone can call 911 without a paid subscription (free)... Spot and Delorme require a paid subscription for a response on a private frequency, but they provide additional non-emergency services as well.

I'm in a "poor coverage" zone right now. The tracking is degraded here just the same.. difference is the GPS will go red for periods. The tracking was degraded in Europe and NA where coverage was "99%".. The tracking is degraded in a plane with a clear sky. A $100 HDMI cable won't make your 1's and 0's look any better either. It's either connected or not.

Everyone says inReach tracks better than Spot because "it has more satellites"... yet they don't seem to be testing it in South Africa or Greenland?.. I suspect the real reason is because the Delorme has a better transmitter. GPS works by receiving a weak signal thanks to a good algorithm. Maybe the weaker point of Spot is the transmitter.

Spot and Delorme are good for tracking and non-emergency messages. PLBs are still better for SOS and emergencies. I shouldn't have to worry about my Spot breaking because it was on my person.. It could break just as easy on the motorbike.. and being exposed increases the chance of failure. I would like to see something more "military" built..
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Old 12-13-2013, 09:54 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squawk77 View Post
The military uses Iridium satellites.. plus others..
Iriduim was built by a private company with private funding. The fact that the military uses it just shows how good the system is. And actually, just about every military satellite is also built by private companies, the same companies that built the Iridium system and the Globalstar system that the SPOT uses.

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Originally Posted by squawk77 View Post
There are PLB's that use multiple constellations on a universal frequency without a subscription (free). A cell phone can call 911 without a paid subscription (free)...
Neither the PLB nor the phone are free, and you can't use the system without the device. The system that supports the PLB and 911 are not free either. We pay for those through taxes and increased monthly phone bills. Are you suggesting SPOT and inReach should pass on their operating costs to you and me through taxes and on your monthly phone bill? Somehow, some way EVERYTHING has to be paid for. I like the SPOT and inReach approach of charging the people who use it rather than taxing and adding fees for everyone, even if they don't need or use the system.


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Originally Posted by squawk77 View Post
The tracking is degraded in a plane with a clear sky.
Airplane? There is NO PLACE in a typical airplane where you can give a SPOT a clear view of the WHOLE sky and still see the lights and have access to the buttons. And if you're operating in marginal areas, you really should study the system more, and understand the roll of the ground stations and their position relative to your location.

Quote:
Originally Posted by squawk77 View Post
Everyone says inReach tracks better than Spot because "it has more satellites"... yet they don't seem to be testing it in South Africa or Greenland?.. I suspect the real reason is because the Delorme has a better transmitter.
You're missing a bunch of other factors that play a major roll in how well inReach and SPOT work. Antenna type and size, transmit power, receive sensitivity, ground station location, satellite cross-link capability, satellite orbit altitude, etc.

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Originally Posted by squawk77 View Post
Maybe the weaker point of Spot is the transmitter.
I think the weakest part of SPOT is the user. Very few people seem to understand the limitations and the right way to use it. Mounting it on your body (except the top of your head) is not going to give the best results. Using it in an airplane may well not give good results. Using it in a marginal coverage zone and not knowing where the nearest ground station is could give less than optimal results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by squawk77 View Post
I would like to see something more "military" built..
Excellent systems already exist. They just cost an arm and a leg. You seem to want the highest end equipment, yet you don't want to pay for it.
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Old 12-14-2013, 09:01 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HogWild View Post
Iriduim was built by a private company with private funding. The fact that the military uses it just shows how good the system is. And actually, just about every military satellite is also built by private companies, the same companies that built the Iridium system and the Globalstar system that the SPOT uses.

Neither the PLB nor the phone are free, and you can't use the system without the device. The system that supports the PLB and 911 are not free either. We pay for those through taxes and increased monthly phone bills. Are you suggesting SPOT and inReach should pass on their operating costs to you and me through taxes and on your monthly phone bill?
Sounds like semantics. Most everything in the military today was built by a private company. A good PLB has better coverage than a SPOT/Delorme. PLB is better for emergency and requires no additional paid service. Spot/Delorme can do non-emergency tracking/messaging at additional cost. I hope they don't have financial incentive to call in a "private" $$$$ SAR when we already paid for a military equipped and trained one. Or do they call the 911 we already paid for?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HogWild View Post
Airplane? There is NO PLACE in a typical airplane where you can give a SPOT a clear view of the WHOLE sky and still see the lights and have access to the buttons. And if you're operating in marginal areas, you really should study the system more, and understand the roll of the ground stations and their position relative to your location.

You're missing a bunch of other factors that play a major roll in how well inReach and SPOT work. Antenna type and size, transmit power, receive sensitivity, ground station location, satellite cross-link capability, satellite orbit altitude, etc.
An airplane is higher up.. An airplane can see more sky than on the ground.. You can never see the "whole sky" because of the Earth.. I'm saying the transmit power is the weak point because GPS algorithm works great to receive weak signals with typical obstacles and trees etc... I work on an airplane with a myriad of antennas including Iridium.. Your theories are right but in practice not a major "roll". Spot works by retransmitting a weak signal until it goes through..

Quote:
Originally Posted by HogWild View Post
I think the weakest part of SPOT is the user. Very few people seem to understand the limitations and the right way to use it. Mounting it on your body (except the top of your head) is not going to give the best results. Using it in a marginal coverage zone and not knowing where the nearest ground station is could give less than optimal results.
So get the user with a broken leg to find the nearest ground station? Walk around with it on your head? Why aren't these explained in the instructions if required? Remember this is an SOS device so the user shouldn't be the weak point. If you call them, of course they will try to say it's "user error" not "we put a weak transmitter" In practice, it tracks the same whether it's upright in view of the entire sky or in my pocket.. There is good satellite coverage over the US and Europe..

Quote:
Originally Posted by HogWild View Post
Excellent systems already exist. They just cost an arm and a leg. You seem to want the highest end equipment, yet you don't want to pay for it.
I just want something built more like a Garmin 60CSx rugged... or they could at least back their SOS device up when it fails on a trip by replacing it.
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:30 AM   #35
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SPOT Gen 3 Updater

This seems like a rather broad discussion, and there are a few streams of thought happening here. I have been having trouble with the firmware updater and SPOT keeps insisting that I need to update firmware, yet when I attempt to do the update I am instructed to contact Customer Care. So I did. After two weeks of a few emails we have finally reached a point where they are referring the problem to the "Technical Department"... which makes me wonder who the hell I've been talking to for the last two weeks. SPOT Customer Care has a very poor response time. Don't expect a reply in less than 5 days.

From various references I have seen around the net, I' not the first to express my dismay. The unit itself seems to work really well, but the company appears to not pay much attention to their customers.
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Old 08-21-2014, 01:24 AM   #36
DRZ RIDER
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Spot Gen 3

Need some advice. Purchased the Gen 3 thinking of only the SOS tracking and SAR incase i'm hurt.
Do I need to have friends, family, phone #s, email addresses and contact information for anyone but me?
I have no one to "tell" when and where i'm going or anyone that could help me if I were broken down. No one "tracks" me and I know where i've been while riding, why place tracks on a website? If I do break down, I'm totally alone and responsible to get myself out.
Can the Spot Gen 3 be used just as an SOS beacon, or do I have to have "others" involved from Spot point of view?
Maybe you could recommend something better for me than Spot?
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Old 09-15-2014, 11:49 AM   #37
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Custom

Mu custom message, which is reserved for just a few key and very responsible friends / sons, is : If you receive this message followed by the "I need help at this location" then I am jammed up and need "NON Emergency" assistance at this location. Please contact the closest support service to extract me from this location.

I know I know, the message I shared above exceeds the number of characters I can actually use for that message, but I am sure you catch my drift.. it is a "confirmation" message to be taken seriously.
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