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SPOT 3 vs Garmin Mini Live Testing

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Re: SPOT 3 vs Garmin Mini Live Testing

Postby longri » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:52 pm

He's off and... walking.

The Spot starts out with a 1:40 gap in reports in the forest. The Garmin unit keeps ticking every 10 minutes (much nicer website too). It's too early to call but right now it's Garmin that's in the lead.


EDIT: An illegal campsite the first night? How disappointing! :-)



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Re: SPOT 3 vs Garmin Mini Live Testing

Postby oldranger » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:54 am

If you zoom in the last track looks like he is more than 300 ft from Shadow Lake. Last time I was by Shadow someone was camped withing 25 feet.
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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Re: SPOT 3 vs Garmin Mini Live Testing

Postby longri » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:33 am

I didn't know that 300 feet was the limit. Zooming in I estimate his Garmin location for last night is about 220 feet away from the shore, but the GPS could be off. The Spot has him still on the trail last night. Who cares, really. I had a Yosemite ranger one time tell me about his all-time favorite camping spot. He described it for us in great detail. When we got to the lake we discovered that it was right next to the shore! Totally cracked us up. We didn't use it though as we thought it wasn't really that great of a campsite. Too much horse poo nearby.


Just based on what I've seen so far I would pay the extra $$ for the Garmin.
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Re: SPOT 3 vs Garmin Mini Live Testing

Postby CAMERONM » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:06 pm

I post a comparison of tracks from a SPOT device, iPhone GAIA and Inreach MINI here:
https://caltopo.com/m/J7GA

My conclusions:
-the best tracks are from GAIA (red), but perhaps if I set the MINI at the more aggressive 1 sec interval rather than 5 minutes, they would be even more similar
-the MINI tracks (orange) are very good, with no serious dropouts, and would assist in a rescue with very great accuracy
-the SPOT tracks (blue)vare rudimentary; not so great for turn by turn viewing, but pretty close for rescue. I sometimes experience large dropouts with the SPOT, particularly in valleys, but on this trip the SPOT was pretty good
-the SPOT share page has always been clunky and unrewarding, with just points generated on a bad map, not tracks
-the MINI share page has tracks and gives a lot more terrain information
-the altitude profiles for all three are very similar
-I am really liking the MINI
-the MINI used about 25% battery for each 8-10 day. It appears to have 40 hours of capacity rather than the 50 advertised, at the somewhat default settings. But perhaps if I had enabled "Extended Tracking", it would be more like the 50 hours as advertised.

BTW, I camped at least 200 ft from Shadow Lake, at a spot that was clearly the go-to used campsite. There was a sign displaying allowed campsites posted at the north end of lake, which I did not see as I came from the south. Two women nearby did camp at the famous lakeside site, and avoided conversation with us because they did not want to engage the campsite topic. There was a wooden plaque nailed to a tree right where they camped that said "no camping".

spot stats.png
mini stats.png
GAIA stats.png
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Re: SPOT 3 vs Garmin Mini Live Testing

Postby longri » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:00 am

CAMERONM wrote:-the SPOT tracks (blue)vare rudimentary; not so great for turn by turn viewing, but pretty close for rescue. I sometimes experience large dropouts with the SPOT, particularly in valleys, but on this trip the SPOT was pretty good

I agree, the SPOT performed well enough. I was wishing you'd have tried to send OK messages periodically as well. In addition to longer dropout periods (hours with a clear view of the sky) I also had a lot of failed OK messages when I tried a SPOT.


CAMERONM wrote:-the SPOT share page has always been clunky and unrewarding, with just points generated on a bad map, not tracks

Why mince words? It sucks.


CAMERONM wrote:-the MINI used about 25% battery for each 8-10 day. It appears to have 40 hours of capacity rather than the 50 advertised, at the somewhat default settings. But perhaps if I had enabled "Extended Tracking", it would be more like the 50 hours as advertised.

That is the one major advantage the SPOT has. The battery lasts a lot longer. And if the trip is long enough you can pop in a fresh set of lithium batteries. With the MINI you're pretty much going to have to carry a USB battery any trip longer than 4-5 days, assuming you're using tracking.


Thanks for doing this. It was kind of fun to see.
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Re: SPOT 3 vs Garmin Mini Live Testing

Postby edhyatt » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:31 pm

Interesting; are you willing to share the .gpx files?
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Re: SPOT 3 vs Garmin Mini Live Testing

Postby CAMERONM » Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:19 pm

Why mince words? It sucks.

Completely unacceptable, really an embarrassment, particularly after SPOT added their surprise tarif last year.
Interesting; are you willing to share the .gpx files?

Please try downloading them from the Caltopo site and LMK if it does not allow it. I don't know if it has permissions problems, as it is my own share page.

BTW, I have been searching hard for good gpx editors to better play with and evaluate the tracks. Each mac-based one seems to have fluky problems or weaknesses. This is what I have found:
https://trackprofiler2.appspot.com/
http://labs.easyblog.it/maps/gpx-simplify-optimizer/
https://opoto.github.io/wtracks/
The Garmin site
Caltopo allowed me to join some tracks, and I see now that it is able to "resample" as well. I don't know if I can manually correct points.
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Re: SPOT 3 vs Garmin Mini Live Testing

Postby wildhiker » Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:10 pm

You can manually correct points in CalTopo by simply clicking on the track and selecting "Edit" (or cllick on the pencil icon next to the track name in the left hand column). Then you pick up and move vertices with mouse button down. If you need another vertex, grab and move the fainter circle between your vertices - it becomes another vertex. Finally, export your edited track.
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