Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 83

Thread: Spot On

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Once there was a Tavern PAULBACH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ballston Spa, NY; South of the Adirondacks, North of the Catskills and West of The Berkshires and Green Mountains
    Posts
    6,822

    Spot On



    Spot features four key functions that enable users to send messages to friends, family or emergency responders based on varying levels of need:

    • Alert 911 - Dispatch emergency responders to your exact location SPOT sends one message every 5 minutes for one hour or until Help is canceled
    • Ask For Help - Request help from friends and family in your exact location SPOT sends one message every 5 minutes for one hour or until Help is canceled
    • Check-In - Let contacts know where you are and that you're OK - SPOT sends three identical messages to the SPOT service for redundancy
    • Track Progress - Send and save your location and allow contacts to track your progress using Google MapsÔäó
    • SPOT sends one message every 10 minutes for 24 hours or until SPOT is powered off


    Website - Click Here

    StatDawg and I each bought one of these units at Americade. We will be testing it out in the next few weeks. StatDawg and RedRider are head for the left coast and then on to Gillette. I will be testing mine in the Adirondacks, Catskills, Green and Berkshire Mountains.

    Keep coming back for some progress reports. It might be just the device many of use have been looking for where there is no cell coverage and we want to keep families informed of our progress.

  2. 06-11-2008, 01:46 AM

  3. #3
    mrich12000
    Guest
    Nice system. Dog and Red have a great adventure, Hi Paul. Bike is still down.waiting for a hall unit.

  4. #4
    Once there was a Tavern PAULBACH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ballston Spa, NY; South of the Adirondacks, North of the Catskills and West of The Berkshires and Green Mountains
    Posts
    6,822
    I managed to get the unit registered and email addresses and telephone numbers loaded. Not a difficult process but reading of the small print is necessary.

    Help available by phone during normal business hours.

    Headed up to Lake George this morning. Will try to send a satellite signal during the ride.

    It is actually able to keep track of over 200 emails/cell phones.

    Ten profiles are allowed and each profile could have 20 phone numbers. Separate profiles might be used for
    gone riding
    gone fishing
    gone hiking

    All of this must be done via computer before setting out!

  5. #5
    Once there was a Tavern PAULBACH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ballston Spa, NY; South of the Adirondacks, North of the Catskills and West of The Berkshires and Green Mountains
    Posts
    6,822

    SUCCESS! Looks like it does as advertised.

    The first test was a success. Everyone I listed received either an email or a text message. The test was from a road near my house. I hit the check-in button, put SPOT in my riding jacket and got underway.

    This weekend the Vermont MOV is picking up the tab for a chicken barbecue in Lincoln, VT. Will test it to, at and from the ride.

    Statdawg - have you activated yours yet?

  6. 06-13-2008, 01:01 AM

  7. #7
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Canada and the Alps
    Posts
    3,625
    Why a PLB video from ACR...




    These 4 videos from ACR answer just about all questions. I especially liked the Science and Why PLB? videos.

  8. #8
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Braintree, MA
    Posts
    3,091
    I still say you should carry one of each device in truly remote areas. They are all low power weaklings in real world conditions.

    And what is it about companies that trash other systems just to tout their own? This video is just as much a sales pitch as the services and devices they and you are disparaging.

    5 watt UHF beacons do not penetrate tree canopy as easily as the video would lead you to believe. Ask any ham radio operator who commonly uses a 5 watt handi-talkie on the 70 centimeter ham bands (420 - 450Mhz) and they'll tell you that UHF propagation is "line of sight". The video goes on to explain that 1.2Ghz GPS signals get absorbed by tree cover, snow, etc. Yep, they do, just like 406 Mhz. Both are UHF frequencies.

    The GPS L5 "Safety of Life" signal is intended to improve the GPS reception part of the problem. The L5 signal has a 3db improvement in transmitter power, but it still operates in the UHF frequency spectrum. It's a planned launch for 2008. I don't know if it's gone up yet.

    Here's some info on GPS frequencies: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L2C
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  9. #9
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Canada and the Alps
    Posts
    3,625
    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    They are all low power weaklings in real world conditions.

    And what is it about companies that trash other systems just to tout their own? This video is just as much a sales pitch as the services and devices they and you are disparaging.
    There is a difference between bouncing the signal several times around the world and going straight out. The 5W seems to be plenty; the aviation and marine units also output that level.

    Well I guess one of the two companies isn't providing all the facts or at least pretending to be more than it is.


    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    5 watt UHF beacons do not penetrate tree canopy as easily as the video would lead you to believe. Ask any ham radio operator who commonly uses a 5 watt handi-talkie on the 70 centimeter ham bands (420 - 450Mhz) and they'll tell you that UHF propagation is "line of sight". The video goes on to explain that 1.2Ghz GPS signals get absorbed by tree cover, snow, etc. Yep, they do, just like 406 Mhz. Both are UHF frequencies.
    Your line of sight changes when you compare angles near the horizon to those 45?? either side from straight out. And if you are talking "line of sight" well of course going though 10 miles of woods (2 HAM users) is going to be tougher than through 50 feet of leaves (to a satellite).

    Well if I can pick up a weak GPS signal under extremely heavy tree cover (I pick up 6+ sats in my closed garage or basement), then I'm sure the lower frequency/higher power of the PLB will make it through under those same tree cover conditions. If you are worried about the PLB not cutting it power-wise, then the SPOT won't have a snowball's chance in hell.

    And thats why I'd sooner have 5W than 400 milliwatts of power. We all know what sat TV looks like during a snowstorm. All things being equal, more power is better.

    And in the end, you have to wonder why aviation/shipping and the military aren't installing a SPOT if they are better than a PLB...remember I'm only discussing the SAR aspects. You want family & friends to see your track points move along a-la James Bond, fill your boots and enjoy!

  10. #10
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Braintree, MA
    Posts
    3,091
    Carry both, Alex. When your family doesn't see your track move after days or weeks of following you, they'll make the 911 call for you....if you're worried about emergency response.

    In the areas I ride in, New England and Atlantic Canada, Spot works.

    Hams use satellites too, btw. You need a high gain antenna.
    Last edited by tommcgee; 09-13-2008 at 09:11 PM. Reason: speling and grandma
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  11. #11
    That road looks good! Norwood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    From NW AL to WNC
    Posts
    247
    I have used SPOT since June without any problems, I don't use the tracking because a friend created a map with my locations in trip form.

    While I didn't use the 911 feature in this trip, I have learned that SPOT has a "Good Smartian" clause, if you happen upon an emergency (in a area without cell service) you can use the 911 for that emergency, even if you are not a part of the emergency. (please confirm with SPOT, with you concerns about this)

    Spot placement is important as stated...you need a clear view of sky, but the signal is repeated as well.

    Then the question would arise....do you need SPOT attached to your person if you are thrown from the bike?

    Would depend on your needs and uses, but for the price and I can't yell very loud, I think it's a good deal and great piece of mind for family and friends.

    Another use for SPOT would be this week, if you are located or live in the path of IKE, you could signal to family that you are OK or you need Help by creating a psuedo trip for a few days.

    I have used SPOT for about 12,000 miles thus far and don't have any issues...I have used the HELP one time.

    Here is link to my SPOT trip to Nova Scotia, a flower sniffn adventure with some friends during July.... zoom in and check out the ferry rides and bridges on the outer banks.

    http://jasonjonas.org/spot/tripViewer.do?id=132

    BTW, have friends that use SPOT in Australia, Europe, China and South America, and it's been to Prudhoe Bay as well...no problems.

    May be a group buy going on at this site as well with another motorcycle forum.
    http://www.mylivetracks.com/ contact them to find out.
    2011 R1200 GSA (My Radio Flyer)
    75 R90/6 with Velorex sidecar

    " Oh Lord I pray, Let me live long enough to do everything they say I've done"

  12. #12
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Canada and the Alps
    Posts
    3,625
    Quote Originally Posted by PAULBACH View Post
    Alert 911 - Dispatch emergency responders to your exact location SPOT sends one message every 5 minutes for one hour or until Help is canceled
    Paul, its a nifty little device for all the other features it offers, but as far as the 911 feature is concerned, I wouldn't bet my life on it.

    I've spent the last week (thanks to ADVRider) researching the differences between SPOT's 911 feature and a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon). I came across tons of info...enough to steer me clear of the SPOT if Search & Rescue is of prime importance. When it comes to SAR, sort of good doesn't cut it in my books.

    Thats after speaking to people at SPOT and Cospas-Sarsat.

    The trouble with SPOT and GEOS as far as SAR is concerned is that they are privately run and contract out. Do you really want that type of reliability when it comes to your life?

  13. #13
    ChiTown
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalRider View Post
    Paul, its a nifty little device for all the other features it offers, but as far as the 911 feature is concerned, I wouldn't bet my life on it.

    I've spent the last week (thanks to ADVRider) researching the differences between SPOT's 911 feature and a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon). I came across tons of info...enough to steer me clear of the SPOT if Search & Rescue is of prime importance. When it comes to SAR, sort of good doesn't cut it in my books.

    Thats after speaking to people at SPOT and Cospas-Sarsat.

    The trouble with SPOT and GEOS as far as SAR is concerned is that they are privately run and contract out. Do you really want that type of reliability when it comes to your life?


    So in other words you've read a 60 page thread on ADV for "a week", have no first-hand experience, yet you want to come in hear and declare the SPOT as being unfit for life and death situations... along with not listing any alternative product - in that price range.

    nice

    I've been following the SPOT thread on ADV too, except I've been following and posting on it with first hand experience as a SPOT owner since the day they came out. At no time have I felt like I would be putting myself in danger by carrying a SPOT.
    Not everyone can afford a PLB, plus I really like the tracking and OK message feature. While there are limitations, it's my opinion that having a SPOT is better than not having anything at all to call for help, and from my extensive first-hand experience I do trust the SPOT to summons help if needed from the very good track record I've seen with the tracking and OK messaging when used correctly.

    I'm not going to be irresponsible and come in here and declare the SPOT the best tool for all 911 type emergencies for everyone, as you shouldn't do the same saying it's not- with second hand information. Do you believe everything you read on the web??
    Being "The Global Rider" some people might actually listen to your opinion and not buy one, then not have it for an emergency when they need it, all because you read some intranet forums... I'd say educating people with your extensive knowledge about SPOT's possible limitations (something you must know with all your "research" to form such a absolute opinion), or maybe teaching others proper usage for best results would be more productive than just giving your negative opinion about a product that actually could save someone's life.

    If any of you want to read this very extensive thread, with many postings by the SPOT engineers themselves, and become experts on the SPOT too, or maybe to decide for yourself if it's worth a measly $150 here ya' go....

    This is just my little opinion, and it's worth exactly how much you paid for it.


    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=282391


    BTW, when in 911 sending mode the SPOT sends messages every 5 minutes until it is turned off, not for an hour as you quoted...


    Once activated, SPOT will acquire its exact coordinates from the GPS network, and send that location along with a distress message to a GEOS International Emergency Response Center every five minutes until cancelled. The Emergency Response Center notifies the appropriate emergency responders based on your location and personal information – which may include local police, highway patrol, the Coast Guard, our country’s embassy or consulate, or other emergency response or search and rescue teams – as well as notifying your emergency contact person(s) about the receipt of a distress signal.


    http://www.findmespot.com

  14. #14
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Canada and the Alps
    Posts
    3,625
    Quote Originally Posted by ChiTown View Post
    So in other words you've read a 60 page thread on ADV for "a week", have no first-hand experience, yet you want to come in hear and declare the SPOT as being unfit for life and death situations... along with not listing any alternative product - in that price range.

    nice
    No, I didn't because it was quite clear after a while and after reading a few posts that there were a few that had "interests" in the product. A good portion of the thread read more like a product evaluation in a magazine by those few.

    But I'll tell you what I did find out.

    I'm talking solely about the 911 feature.

    When it comes to Search & Rescue, there is nothing half way about it; you want it to work all the time and in an emergency, every second counts. In an emergency, I wouldn't want more people in the equation relaying messages than is absolutely necessary, because that costs time.

    The service provided by SPOT may or may not be around tomorrow. Do you want to head out for a week on some remote tour and find out that SPOT or Globalstar went belly up the day after you were out of communications? I wouldn't and that won't be the issue with Cospas-Sarsat as it is government run and so is the maintenance of that system. Your taxes paid for that system...use it! Profits aren't a concern with them simply because profits and saving lives don't go hand in hand.

    The SPOT uses the Globalstar sat-phone network to relay information and I've read enough about them (from someone in the sat-phone business and from users) to know that I don't want to rely on Globalstar.

    The SPOT doesn't even have a failsafe against accidental activation of the 911 button...serious unit that it is. I have to wonder why all the airlines, shipping and cruise companies aren't running out to buy a SPOT and why the government hasn't approved the SPOT as a SAR device...simply because they're not even remotely in the same league.

    But MOA members can make their own informed decisions....

    If you want a background history of the system (it was interesting reading), go to the NOAA SARSAT link below and click on Background/History at the top left.

    NOAA-SARSAT is a part of the international Cospas-Sarsat Program to which 38 nations and two independent SAR organizations belong to. To find out more about SARSAT please feel free to explore our website. We hope you enjoy your visit!

    NOAA Cospas-Sarsat

    A discussion of SPOT versus PLB.

    BTW, I have no interests or bias towards either system as I don't own any of them yet (and neither do I have to to make an informed decision), but I do know what I'll be buying when the time comes; a Personal Locator Beacon.

    You mentioned product and price range. Not really a concern when life is at stake (I'm sure you'll think that way when you're in serious trouble), but here is something in that price range; the ACR Terrafix 406 ($475) which works out to the cost of a SPOT and 3 years subscription. After that, the PLB gets cheaper and you also have a unit with one purpose in mind. BTW, there are no annual fees with a PLB and registration with the government is free.

  15. #15
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Canada and the Alps
    Posts
    3,625
    Quote Originally Posted by ChiTown View Post
    Some people might actually listen to your opinion and not buy one, then not have it for an emergency when they need it, all because you read some intranet forums...
    Yup, those same forums that kick you off because you are discussing alternatives and one that is most likely better. You really have to wonder about a forum like that.

    I'd never tell them or imply that.

    What I am saying is, IF the 911 feature is of PRIME importance and the PRIMARY reason YOU are buying the unit, then I'd suggest getting something designated and accepted for that purpose.

    I think it very irresponsible of the company to put that level of hope in buyers. Just read all the fine print on the GEOS site. SAR and fine print don't go together.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •