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Old 04-25-2012, 11:12 PM   #1
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Spot

Anyone here use SPOT Satellite Messenger besides Chip and Perry? Was thinking about getting one.

Elwin
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:16 AM   #2
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Cool toy...nice to stay in very basic communications with the outside world if you are staying in the boonies for awhile. Not a replacement for a good EPIRB/PLB but a nice backup (the satellite constellation it uses has had an awful reputation for reliability).

The recurring cost is what turns me off if I found myself not using it all the time.
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:56 AM   #3
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I've been using a SPOT Messenger for a number of years on the PNW and Inside Passage and I can't imagine being w/o it now. It's especially helpful where there is no cell phone coverage because it allows you to deviate from your float plan and let family/friends know where you are and that the deviation/delay is intentional and that all is well. Cruising is much more enjoyable when you're able to linger in a nice anchorage, spend some time fishing, or explore a new location w/o worrying about worrying those that expect you to be someplace you're not. It eliminates the pressure to reach a destination before someone reports you as overdue.

It also enables you to request non-emergent assistance from family/friends or emergent distress assistance (Coast Guard) via the SPOT dispatcher.

The new SPOT Connect (which I don't have) also allows you to send text messages via a smart phone.

I've never had a problem with coverage or reliability of the system. I don't leave the harbor without it. The subscription fee (~$12.50/month) is cheap peace of mind.

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Old 04-26-2012, 07:01 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by mitkofisle View Post
I've been using a SPOT Messenger for a number of years on the PNW and Inside Passage and I can't imagine being w/o it now. It's especially helpful where there is no cell phone coverage because it allows you to deviate from your float plan and let family/friends know where you are and that the deviation/delay is intentional and that all is well. Cruising is much more enjoyable when you're able to linger in a nice anchorage, spend some time fishing, or explore a new location w/o worrying about worrying those that expect you to be someplace you're not. It eliminates the pressure to reach a destination before someone reports you as overdue.

It also enables you to request non-emergent assistance from family/friends or emergent distress assistance (Coast Guard) via the SPOT dispatcher.

The new SPOT Connect (which I don't have) also allows you to send text messages via a smart phone.

I've never had a problem with coverage or reliability of the system. I don't leave the harbor without it. The subscription fee (~$12.50/month) is cheap peace of mind.

Norm
'76 CHB 34' DC
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Good to know that it's getting better...hopefully it will offer more and more as we are all getting spoiled about staying in touch...

....me less than everyone else wanting to know where I am!!
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:11 AM   #5
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We have used one for awhile now and are in general happy to have it. It is nice to let friends and family know you are the move and are okay.


Pros:
inexpensive
Pretty reliable
Good communication

Cons:
Your track only lasts one week.
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:38 PM   #6
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READY2GO,

You can retain your track for 30 days if you change the filter setting in your account.

If I want to retain a location on our track beyond the 30 days, I send an OK message which issues me an email with a link to the location on the map. I can then recover the location later via the email message.

Norm
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:43 AM   #7
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I use two, one in the 17' skiff I tow. Even though we don't have wifi everywhere, I can use the sat phone to call someone on the list to give me a location in the event we lose the tow at night.
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:00 AM   #8
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Hi. I use one in Alaska, Prince William Sound. I love it and would hate to be without it. I send it with my family members when there out so I know where they are. I enjoy the track feature especially. I did buy a aqua link yesturday to have the extra protection but I would highly recomend the Spot.
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:37 PM   #9
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Picked one up today. I have sent a couple of messages showing my coordinates and a map to boot and all seems to be fine. I can see it being useful when doing a few boat trips i.e. keeping the family informed as well in the winter doing a few snowmobile trips.

Elwin
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:34 AM   #10
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Good choice!
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:07 AM   #11
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I've been using one of the original SPOT Messengers for hiking, and just fired up one of the new SPOT Messengers yesterday.

The new one has a wicked killer improvement in that you don't have to stare at the 'send' LED to make sure a message gets out, because there is a new 'send' LED that flashes green for half an hour if the message was successful, or red if the message didn't go through. The new one also worked inside our house...a HUGE gain in sensitivity that should prove useful in BC's thick forests.

I hike and photograph solo quite a bit out of cell phone range and it is massively comforting to see that message being sent off, especially when I'm on an entirely different mountain than the one I had told my wife about in the morning (sometimes the photography gods lead you where you never intended to originally go). Back in the olden days I would have had to drive back into cell phone range...grrrr!

With our boat, I'm looking forward to the peace of mind of having family know where we are and that everything is okay, and the freedom to change course plans or length of adventures on a whim.

Another good thing is that if a search is ever needed they can start from your last message, as opposed to anywhere along your intended route, or from your vehicle at the base of the mountain.
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:19 AM   #12
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The new one has a wicked killer improvement in that you don't have to stare at the 'send' LED to make sure a message gets out, because there is a new 'send' LED that flashes green for half an hour if the message was successful, or red if the message didn't go through. The new one also worked inside our house...a HUGE gain in sensitivity that should prove useful in BC's thick forests.
Hey Murray I have the SPOT Connect that I access with my iPhone. I do found it is intermittent in sending messages but I think it is when it hasn't established a good GPS signal. It also eats the batteries like crazy. The features I like though are as you described, I can send txt messages to family, Facebook & Twitter even when I don't have a cell-phone signal or a low signal which happens from time to time. Bottom line I feel comfortable knowing that I have a means of communication when all else fails.
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:36 AM   #13
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Hey Murray I have the SPOT Connect that I access with my iPhone. I do found it is intermittent in sending messages but I think it is when it hasn't established a good GPS signal. It also eats the batteries like crazy. The features I like though are as you described, I can send txt messages to family, Facebook & Twitter even when I don't have a cell-phone signal or a low signal which happens from time to time.
Sadly, my cell phone is so not smart that our 11 year old daughter is embarrassed to use it even when nobody is watching

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Bottom line I feel comfortable knowing that I have a means of communication when all else fails.
That's what it's all about.

We have lots of stories up here, mainly from hunters, who would have died or had serious complications from their injuries because of delays caused by being in the middle of nowhere, but because of their SPOT and the SOS button were a fast helicopter ride from a hospital and a chance at a normal life.

Cheap insurance for a $99.99 per year subscription fee!
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:20 PM   #14
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Yup, it works in the forest

Tested it out this morning, and here's the results. Click on the link below (it's the link my wife and a couple other contact people get via email) and check out the satellite view;

Findmespot.com

Below is the forest I was in and a straight up shot from where I sent the message. The GPS light went red once, then started blinking green once it was locked into enough satellites, and took about 30 seconds to send the message.

The original SPOT device could never send a message from under these trees.

Two thumbs up on the new version!!
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:05 PM   #15
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Has anybody compared the Delorme InReach with the Spot? I think I'd like to get one or the other but I'm not sure which.
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:01 PM   #16
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InReach

I have both and the hands down winner is InReach if positive two way communications is required. Using the Iridium satellite constellation makes it much more reliable in northern latitudes (it provides worldwide service). It's more expensive if you opt for year round service, but it's a true two way device.

Tom
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:04 PM   #17
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I have both and the hands down winner is InReach if positive two way communications is required. Using the Iridium satellite constellation makes it much more reliable in northern latitudes (it provides worldwide service). It's more expensive if you opt for year round service, but it's a true two way device.

Tom
The SPOT basic service is $99.99 per year, and the InReach is $119.00 per year.

There are two basic differences that I can see;

1) The SPOT lets you know when a message has been sent, and the InReach lets you know that a message has been received.

2) In the least expensive subscription plans the InReach limits you to 10 messages per month, then $1.50 for every message thereafter, and SPOT has no limits.

Is that correct?
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:32 PM   #18
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You are correct for the basic plan. Here is a link to the subscription plans:

InReach

I opted for the seasonal plan.

Tom
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:43 PM   #19
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Thanks. Welcome aboard
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