SPOT - Satellite Personal Tracker - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 15 Old 12-14-2008, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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SPOT - Satellite Personal Tracker

I have some questions about the SPOT, Satellite Personal Tracker.



http://www.findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=1110

Is anyone using this unit and service? If so, how is it working for you?

The wife and I are the parents of four very active teenagers who like to go up in the woods and head out to go skiing, etc.... Also, the wife said it would really give her peace of mind when I am out doing my ADV riding here in Colorado. Seems to us that the $99 a year fee to 'know' that someone out and about is doing just fine is very little to pay.

Also, I have noticed that the pricing of the SPOT unit is on some crazy sales....concerns me a little. Is this company in trouble of going out of business?

Big John

2007 DL650 - Gone but not forgotten
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post #2 of 15 Old 12-14-2008, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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I just found this set of reviews and comments.....

Comments about SPOT

Very disappointed that SPOT is getting poor reveiws....I really need a unit and service like this that is highly reliable.

Big John

2007 DL650 - Gone but not forgotten
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post #3 of 15 Old 12-14-2008, 06:31 PM
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I just ordered one for my father from Dons outfitting, there is a 50.00 rebate available now, so my toatl cost was 89.99 without the service plan. I don't think he really cares about the email, instead it could save a life, so to me thats pretty cheap.

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post #4 of 15 Old 12-14-2008, 07:24 PM
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Travelling Strom is using one on his world tour.

Check his blog here.

Look at the where am I now link on the right.
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post #5 of 15 Old 12-14-2008, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnoflane2 View Post
Very disappointed that SPOT is getting poor reveiws....I really need a unit and service like this that is highly reliable.
I bought one in July and it works fine for me. I put it on top of my gear in the top box and reset it every morning when I'm away for a few days.

Every single position beacon is not received, but almost all of them get through. The simple tracking beacon is set at a ten minute interval so if you;re riding under an overpass when the thing transmits, the satellite isn't going to pick it up.

-Tom (DL650AL2) (KA1TOX) (E-I-E-I-O)

This message and images are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. http://creativecommons.org
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post #6 of 15 Old 12-14-2008, 08:18 PM
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I use one all the time when riding. Works well, but you have to keep in mind that it is like any other satellite dependent mode of communication, it needs to be able to see the satellite. It's a great tool when out of cellphone range and makes it easy for someone to track and locate you if needed. WAAAAAY cheaper than a sat phone.

Take some time to practice it's functions (not the 911 though), they have great customer service if you need it.


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post #7 of 15 Old 12-15-2008, 06:29 AM
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Hi

I have a unit and can give you some info. This will only relate to Australia at this time.

I needed the unit on me so it was usually in my left hand jacket pocket, or when I had air mesh pants on it was in left hand leg pocket.

I found that on occasion an OK message failed to go through. It will send 3 times, but it does not know if any get through before it stops sending. The only way to check if the OK got through is with an internet connection and check your own email, after setting up your own email addy to recieve one of course. This I could do with wireless access and a laptop.

The actual tracks to start with were a bit dodgy and haphazard. Especially when I was further from the equater(where the geostationary GPS satellites live) and if I was in mountainous country. This problem was fixed by mounting the unit on the dashboard of my Vstrom and attaching a lanyard to it and to my jacket. The open position fixed the satellite visibility issue quite nicely. As I travel solo, this was a good fix, although I would prefer a permanant dashboard location and a 'deadman' cable to the unit. There are no plans for this to happen according to the Aussie importer.

For the price I am happy with it. I am not using Lithium batteries anymore as they are too expensive and continuous operation caused them to run down quite quickley, probably 3 weeks all up if it was 24 hour days. I now use rechargable batteries and swap them every few days. The reason being, Lithium batteries may not be available where I intend to go. I would like the unit to be able to be run from external power that recharges the internal batteries, another modification not about to happen from what I can gather.

I hope that helps. I have read the page referred to above and can see that the GlobalStar network has issues. Maybe some of my problems were also caused by this, but for now, it is usable.

I have not sent a 'help' message but if it does not send a GPS fix, it is as useful as my ashtray. I can only 'hope' that the 911 button works.

Cheers
TravellingStrom

www.TravellingStrom.com

Last edited by TravellingStrom; 12-15-2008 at 06:34 AM.
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post #8 of 15 Old 12-15-2008, 02:24 PM
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My wife and I use SPOT to keep our kids informed during our travels, and when my wife takes off solo, to let me know where she is. The thing works great. Because it needs a view of the southern sky, it might not work for you in a forest or canyons, but often the places we stop don't get a cell signal and we can almost always find a clear space to send. The 911 feature seems worth the money alone. The wife went about 40,000 miles this year, about 15,000 solo and it eased the minds of all left behind.


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post #9 of 15 Old 12-21-2008, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravellingStrom View Post
Hi

I have a unit and can give you some info. This will only relate to Australia at this time.

I needed the unit on me so it was usually in my left hand jacket pocket, or when I had air mesh pants on it was in left hand leg pocket.

I found that on occasion an OK message failed to go through. It will send 3 times, but it does not know if any get through before it stops sending. The only way to check if the OK got through is with an internet connection and check your own email, after setting up your own email addy to recieve one of course. This I could do with wireless access and a laptop.

The actual tracks to start with were a bit dodgy and haphazard. Especially when I was further from the equater(where the geostationary GPS satellites live) and if I was in mountainous country. This problem was fixed by mounting the unit on the dashboard of my Vstrom and attaching a lanyard to it and to my jacket. The open position fixed the satellite visibility issue quite nicely. As I travel solo, this was a good fix, although I would prefer a permanant dashboard location and a 'deadman' cable to the unit. There are no plans for this to happen according to the Aussie importer.

For the price I am happy with it. I am not using Lithium batteries anymore as they are too expensive and continuous operation caused them to run down quite quickley, probably 3 weeks all up if it was 24 hour days. I now use rechargable batteries and swap them every few days. The reason being, Lithium batteries may not be available where I intend to go. I would like the unit to be able to be run from external power that recharges the internal batteries, another modification not about to happen from what I can gather.

I hope that helps. I have read the page referred to above and can see that the GlobalStar network has issues. Maybe some of my problems were also caused by this, but for now, it is usable.

I have not sent a 'help' message but if it does not send a GPS fix, it is as useful as my ashtray. I can only 'hope' that the 911 button works.

Cheers
TravellingStrom
I use my help button a lot, I don't really need help but the fix is sent every 5 minutes instead of 10 for the tracking. Naturally I don't use the 911 feature, but the help messages are only sent to whom you program and I tell them to disregard the " help " caption and instead just think of it in 5 minute tracking fixes. Yes, all the messages don't get through but enough of them do to plot your course and position.

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post #10 of 15 Old 12-30-2008, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElBando View Post
I use my help button a lot, I don't really need help but the fix is sent every 5 minutes instead of 10 for the tracking. Naturally I don't use the 911 feature, but the help messages are only sent to whom you program and I tell them to disregard the " help " caption and instead just think of it in 5 minute tracking fixes. Yes, all the messages don't get through but enough of them do to plot your course and position.
If you are already accustomed to hitting the button manually to update more frequently you might want to check out JasonJonas SPOT Trip Manager. It's free and you can do fun stuff like embed it in your site or blog.

http://jasonjonas.org/spot/index.jsp
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