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Thread: Important information concerning depending on SPOT for rescue

  1. #31
    Touring Panpsychist Theo's Avatar
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    In addition to what alzyck summed-up, I think the example web page that Beemer Bob provided the link for (http://ridetoeat.com/helpexample) is also a valuable item to consider and one part of a more comprehensive attempt at risk management. Please note that I am purposely avoiding any phrase that could be interpreted as "risk avoidance"!!!!

    Bud -- what ability do you have to bring this whole idea up to the MOA officials? I'm not sure the whole technological enchilada needs to be discussed, but perhaps using some MOA webspace and a individualized version of the standard "help template" (link above) for those members (SPOT owners) opting-in?
    Theo

    2009 R1200RT, 2007 Shadow Aero 750 (sold)
    2012 MINI Countryman S, 2004 MINI Cooper S JCW, 2000 BMW 328i

  2. #32
    uvejuxeq
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    If MOA is not able, I'm willing to pay for a domain and hosting that site, but I would need some help to set it up. I am not a web programmer. I know how to spell HTML, but other then that ...

  3. #33
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by THEO View Post
    In addition to what alzyck summed-up, I think the example web page that Beemer Bob provided the link for (http://ridetoeat.com/helpexample) is also a valuable item to consider and one part of a more comprehensive attempt at risk management. Please note that I am purposely avoiding any phrase that could be interpreted as "risk avoidance"!!!!

    Bud -- what ability do you have to bring this whole idea up to the MOA officials? I'm not sure the whole technological enchilada needs to be discussed, but perhaps using some MOA webspace and a individualized version of the standard "help template" (link above) for those members (SPOT owners) opting-in?
    I would suggest that you contact the BOD directly (board@bmwmoa.org) and reference this thread. Why contact them directly? Because they are lonely and almost never hear from the membership, according to Greg. Also, because this is not a Chartered Club issue, but an issue for individual members, it's outside of my area. However, I do have conversations about a wide range of subject while sitting around at a rally and would certainly be happy to raise the subject for all to hear.

    I love technology. I was blown away by the example page showing what could be linked to a SPOT message. Very good stuff. Not sure how much server space we have, but someone does.

    I see something like this as an added value benefit of BMW MOA membership.

    Just as this forum allows issues such as these to be discussed by those of us who choose to sit around this virtual rally.

    As an aside, I applaud the effort at communication in this thread. When we can not see each other talking, we miss a lot of non-verbal clues that make up so much of face to face communication. But good will shown by both parties goes a long way. Sometimes we just agree to disagree. Other times we find common ground. Sometimes minds are changed.

    A response to the original post. It takes some courage to get on a public forum and discuss a situation such as this. So an extra big Thanks to the OP for bringing this issue to our attention.

    Ride Well
    Ride Often
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    I used to post here, but now I don't.

  4. #34
    Happy to be here! :) The_Veg's Avatar
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    Thanks Beemer Bob for posting this. I too have dealt with not-very-helpful emergency services.

    Six years ago I was around the Granbury-Glen Rose area in TexSux when I saw a rider go down. Phone signal was no problem, but the 911 operator wasn't sure whose jurisdiction I was in and couldn't transfer me to a different line. "We're low-tech out here," he said, almost sounding proud of this fact. I had to scramble to find a stick and some flat & sandy soil to write down the number. Two more numbers later, I got someone who could send an ambulance. On top of all this, while dealing with the phone problem I also had to keep an eye on fellow riders who tried to do everything wrong in dealing with an undiagnosed injured person.

    The fact that someone was hurt and the 911 service couldn't help without making me do most of the work (and I didn't even know exactly where I was, as I'd followed a group in an unfamiliar area) was a major point of irritation that sticks with me to this day.

    I accept that life in general is dangerous, but preventable gaps in emergency services deserve a long hard look.
    Bikeless for now...but not for much longer!

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  5. #35
    Amma Holly's Avatar
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    I've ridden in New Mexico so I'm not entirely surprised by the poor response. Thank you Beemer Bob for your excellent post and helpful suggestions. Friends generally monitor my SPOT (and bet on how far I'm going to travel each day.) When I had a problem in Wyoming this July one of them emailed me noting I was stopped too long in the middle of nowhere. If I hadn't replied within a few hours, I'm pretty sure he would have initiated a search.

    Holly
    Volunteer for the 2014 Rally in St. Paul. rallyvolunteer@bmwmoa.org

  6. #36
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    Message sent to the Board of MOA

    For the record, here is what I sent last night to the board@bmwmoa.org address. The subject line was:
    An Opportunity to Excel - http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?t=48168

    This thread on the MOA forum contains some excellent material. It is an opportunity for MOA to do something that is a cut above the rest when it comes to helping its members.

    Before buying a SPOT unit I was using APRS (Automatic Position Reporting System) to let folks back home know where I was. SPOT is far better and, as the thread suggests, could be further enhanced if MOA had a way to send messages to the nearest members who have offered to help, e.g., Anonymous members. I'm suggesting a system similar to what the ST Owners group uses except that the MOA system would be triggered by SPOT help messages instead of requiring manually posting the Help message on the forum.

    I'm a member of the Lonestar BMW Riders (club #252) in Dallas. I'm also its webmaster as well as webmaster of the MC Sailing Association (http://www.mcscow.org). One of the routines I developed to support the 90+ fleets around the country will pull e-mail addresses from the database if they fall within a specified distance from a fleet's home location. That location is its GPS location.

    Bottom line is that a problem was defined where MOA could be pro-active and extend the Anonymous Book's capabilities into the 21st century.

    Herman

  7. #37
    uvejuxeq
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    Outstanding! I too submitted an artical this morning refering to this thread asking if they felt there was a way that MOA could assist.

  8. #38
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    Talking Probably Should Not..But

    Well after listening to the usual stuff concerning PLBs vs SPOT Vs Satellite Phone...

    Research the PLB information, check the NOAA site...visit the ACR site and review that data...it only takes a brief time to educate yourself...

    PLB = military satellites = international = best chance of someone hearing your request for rescue...remember you register with NOAA and the US Search and Rescue center receives your call...if you are down to the nitty gritty and want to survive use a PLB, it is your best chance of staying alive. SPOTs and Sat Phones are fine for their intended purposes, but understand their limitations and don't buy in because it is the "in" thing to do..for those of you old enough to remember, the SPOT on a rider reminds me of the Sierra Cups of old..more for display.

    As for the "don't ride alone" bilge; please!...well, to each their own and as it has been said a "man has got to know his limits"... sadly many now want a clean and sanitized outdoor experience in which they are following all the pop culture rules...going out alone distills everything and heightens the experiences...but for some it is way beyond their comfort level...so be it...just don't decry those that enjoy solitude.

    I ride my GSA 99% off road and 99.9% alone...would not have it anyother way.
    Phil
    ========
    "In Wallowas"
    ========
    2007 R1200GS Adventure

  9. #39
    Registered User David13's Avatar
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    I like to ride alone. To remote places. So.
    Bob, I enjoyed your Baja report, and I'm still looking for your New Mexico breakdown report.
    I had two trips, and one breakdown in Baja this year. But no problems. What helped me was a forum, not this one, and the ability to speak Spanish.
    I walked across the border with no problem.
    I got a tow, on a trailer, and they drove pathetically slow, and stopped 5 or 6 times to assure the bike was ok.
    So, I think any system is only as good as the people in it, and as good as they are able to do at the time.
    The stories. And one Spot story that I enjoyed.
    dc
    http://bmwsporttouring.com/ubbthread...=765042&page=1
    http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?t=59860
    http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...highlight=spot

  10. #40
    Ed Kilner #176066
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    From About.com Geography,

    Here is how to convert degree, minutes, seconds to decimal:

    The whole units of degrees will remain the same (i.e. in 121.135?? longitude, start with 121??).
    Multiply the decimal by 60 (i.e. .135 * 60 = 8.1).
    The whole number becomes the minutes (8').
    Take the remaining decimal and multiply by 60. (i.e. .1 * 60 = 6).
    The resulting number becomes the seconds (6"). Seconds can remain as a decimal.
    Take your three sets of numbers and put them together, using the symbols for degrees (??), minutes (ÔÇÿ), and seconds (") (i.e. 121??8'6" longitude)

    Handy to know if your GPS offers only the DMS format and you need decimal.
    Ed
    2011 R1200RT Thunder Gray Metallic; 2000 Triumph 900(sold)
    http://triumphantsblog.blogspot.ca/

  11. #41
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    All Righty Then......we should be back to what a discussion on a personal locator in the Gear section should be.
    For those of you who had content that was important to the subject, please re-post. Some of the post had quoted content that had to be eliminated. Thanks, the mod team.
    Last edited by Omega Man; 05-26-2012 at 11:09 PM. Reason: prune-out political, inflammatory postings
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
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  12. #42
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wallowa View Post
    Research the PLB information, check the NOAA site...visit the ACR site and review that data...it only takes a brief time to educate yourself...
    I already have when I started digging for info a few years back...about as long as the SPOT has been around. I wanted to know the strengths and weaknesses of each. I also talked to someone that worked in the SAR center.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wallowa View Post
    If you are down to the nitty gritty and want to survive use a PLB, it is your best chance of staying alive.
    There has to be a reason airlines and ships use PLBs and EPIRBs.

  13. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    All Righty Then......we should be back to what a discussion on a personal locator in the Gear section should be.
    For those of you who had content that was important to the subject, please re-post. Some of the post had quoted content that had to be eliminated. Thanks, the mod team.
    Thanks. I feel that comments insulting a fair number of other MOA members are uncalled for.

  14. #44
    ride far, corner hard davewho's Avatar
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    I'm a first responder. My agency usually has redundant GPS units on all searches we go on.

    When we get coordinates from the RP (reporting party), we take whatever format they are given in, switch our receivers to that format and input the information. We also use topo maps or marine charts depending. There is geography that people get stuck in that GPS will not work (deep canyons, thick canopy). We always cross reference the reported lat/lon with our charts/maps to see how likely the reported coordinates are to be reliable. And as back-ups to the GPS units. (There are some areas people just cannot get to. If all the provided info we have shows they are in an impossible place to be we must declare their reported info unreliable.) Unfortunately we get bad dope a large percentage of the time. (Obviously not a factor in the OP's story.)
    I am dismayed that the one agency said they went to the supposed lat/lon, missed the victim and just gave up. That is not up to par in my book. I've been in that scenario several times and we keep looking and use every source we can to narrow down the possibilities. When we run up against it we usually use thermal imaging cameras whether ground based or air. If the vic is still alive their body temp is usually above ambient.
    Dave Rivers
    Moraga, CA

  15. #45
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum Dave. Thanks for the info. Gary
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200
    Part of the Forum Threadside Assistance Program

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