SPOT Fee Increase - Aarghh!

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maverick
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Re: SPOT Fee Increase - Aarghh!

Post by maverick » Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:42 pm



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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org






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rlown
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Re: SPOT Fee Increase - Aarghh!

Post by rlown » Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:30 pm

Thanks Mav.. Going with the explorer model. Everyone in my party this Sept gets a quick training on it, EXCEPT for the SOS. They will all know where it is. Old GPS stays home. I don't need it for this trip because I can march that trip in my sleep. It is a safety net for us 50+ and my 18yo nephew.

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Re: SPOT Fee Increase - Aarghh!

Post by Vaca Russ » Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:25 am

rlown wrote:Going with the explorer model.
I got the Explorer. It has additional options. I'm not sure how to use these options. I'm a little slow.
comparison-chart.jpg
What is a Waypoint? Why would I want a "Waypoint"? How is this useful?

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Re: SPOT Fee Increase - Aarghh!

Post by rlown » Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:37 am

waypoint? it's a spot on a map that you traverse. I use them all the time.. Just points I need to hit and then look around to see where "next" is.

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Re: SPOT Fee Increase - Aarghh!

Post by longri » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:29 am

I was thinking about buying a SPOT for the occasional x-country solo trip. Having a PLB is a prudent thing in those circumstances and the tracking and limited messaging is a nice bonus for those back home. Relatively lightweight, sturdy, long battery life. Seemed like a good idea.

The SPOT itself is inexpensive. But upon looking into it I found that the cost of the subscription plan is higher than what it costs to rent a SPOT for occasional use.

So that's what I did recently. I rented one.

And upon returning home I was somewhat dismayed to learn that about a third of the messages I sent were never received, despite an unobstructed view of the sky in most of those cases, and of course the SPOT happily blinking that the messages had been sent.

I don't think I'll carry one again, not even if the plan were free.

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Re: SPOT Fee Increase - Aarghh!

Post by Vaca Russ » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:25 am

longri wrote:I was somewhat dismayed to learn that about a third of the messages I sent were never received, despite an unobstructed view of the sky in most of those cases, and of course the SPOT happily blinking that the messages had been sent.

I don't think I'll carry one again, not even if the plan were free.
I have had good success with my Garmin Explorer. I have yet to use all of the options but all of my messages did get through. Of course I haven't used the SOS function, but I am confident it works.

-Russ
"...Or have you only comfort, and the lust for comfort, that stealthy thing that enters the house a guest, and then becomes a host and then a master?"

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Re: SPOT Fee Increase - Aarghh!

Post by freestone » Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:14 am

No problems in sending/receiving messages, after years of use in some fairly remote areas. Last year I exported my signals to Cal Topo to map and plot where I sent messages and the type of messages sent. As seen in the image below, everything I sent was received and the coordinates recorded. I spent my first and last night at Anvil Camp which is timbered and in a deep canyon but the signals got through ok. Lightweight, low profile, fits in a pocket... I like that.
When I send a message, I turn the unit on, get all the green flashing lights then let the unit shut itself off. It certainly does takes it's sweet time to send a message however.



Image
Fram...

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longri
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Re: SPOT Fee Increase - Aarghh!

Post by longri » Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:53 am

freestone wrote:No problems in sending/receiving messages, after years of use in some fairly remote areas. Last year I exported my signals to Cal Topo to map and plot where I sent messages and the type of messages sent. As seen in the image below, everything I sent was received and the coordinates recorded. I spent my first and last night at Anvil Camp which is timbered and in a deep canyon but the signals got through ok. Lightweight, low profile, fits in a pocket... I like that.
When I send a message, I turn the unit on, get all the green flashing lights then let the unit shut itself off. It certainly does takes it's sweet time to send a message however.
I don't know what to say except that I didn't have that experience. There were messages I sent at high passes (e.g. Kearsarge) that didn't make it for some reason. Why not? Each time I sent an OK message I sat there and watched it go through its green light flashing sequence. And each time I left it there for 10 minutes and sometimes more like half an hour. Seems like that should be enough, wouldn't you think?

I wonder if the tracking mode actually cancels OK messages sometimes. The manual is ambiguous but could be interpreted that way. My SPOT was set up to send a tracking message every 10 minutes. Suppose I press "OK" and before the SPOT can send the OK message it's time for another tracking message. Would it cancel the OK message?

Either way, I'm not too impressed with the thing.

Unfortunately, each of the other solutions has a larger up front cost, although they can also be rented. I also got the impression that the Explorer, as well as being heavier, has a more limited battery life.

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Re: SPOT Fee Increase - Aarghh!

Post by freestone » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:47 pm

longri wrote:
freestone wrote:No problems in sending/receiving messages, after years of use in some fairly remote areas. Last year I exported my signals to Cal Topo to map and plot where I sent messages and the type of messages sent. As seen in the image below, everything I sent was received and the coordinates recorded. I spent my first and last night at Anvil Camp which is timbered and in a deep canyon but the signals got through ok. Lightweight, low profile, fits in a pocket... I like that.
When I send a message, I turn the unit on, get all the green flashing lights then let the unit shut itself off. It certainly does takes it's sweet time to send a message however.
I don't know what to say except that I didn't have that experience. There were messages I sent at high passes (e.g. Kearsarge) that didn't make it for some reason. Why not? Each time I sent an OK message I sat there and watched it go through its green light flashing sequence. And each time I left it there for 10 minutes and sometimes more like half an hour. Seems like that should be enough, wouldn't you think?

I wonder if the tracking mode actually cancels OK messages sometimes. The manual is ambiguous but could be interpreted that way. My SPOT was set up to send a tracking message every 10 minutes. Suppose I press "OK" and before the SPOT can send the OK message it's time for another tracking message. Would it cancel the OK message?

Either way, I'm not too impressed with the thing.

Unfortunately, each of the other solutions has a larger up front cost, although they can also be rented. I also got the impression that the Explorer, as well as being heavier, has a more limited battery life.
I have not loaded Basic Tracking on my Gen 3 yet, but I certainly appreciate your frustration. At this point, I have kept it basic, just sending an ok at about the same time every evening, and that has always worked.
Fram...

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Re: SPOT Fee Increase - Aarghh!

Post by psykokid » Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:10 pm

Just a quick question longri - how were you carrying the spot? If it was in the side pocket of your pack or somewhere down low It may have had trouble getting a lock on the satellite. I always carried mine across the top of my pack, lashed to the grab handle and across to where the loop for securing the top strap for my pack rests. In all the time I used my spot, I never had problems with it sending out location pings or OK/check in messages unless I was in a deep canyon or under some really dense tree cover.

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