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Thread: SPOT Personal Messenger

  1. #1
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    Default SPOT Personal Messenger

    While not all of Alaska is covered by this "alternative" to PLBs or Sat Phones, this seems like it may be an interesting option. Lightweight, more than just for emergencies, reasonably priced...Does anyone have any experience?

    http://www.findmespot.com/

    Available at REI.

    http://www.rei.com/product/766529

    Bryan

  2. #2
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default

    As I said in the gear forum on this, it looks great but I will hold out untill Irridium offers one. Globalstar is in the process of replacing their satelite constelation and upgrading it but there will be numerous outages over the next 4-5 years. Take a look at their website and you will see they are trying to get long term subscriptions to maintain an income durring this upgrade and are giving deep discounts to sat phone users. I have not seen a new coverage map based on their expected coverage with the new constalation. For my money I will hold out for the same service on a better network. I also couldn't tell how to text from reading the web site or how someone would recieve the messages. I assume it would be a web based feature but it was unclear from the info provided. Overal very cool though!

  3. #3
    Member DanC's Avatar
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    Default Spot

    We seem to think alike....

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=21241

    Needless to say, I am in complete agreement.

    -Dan

  4. #4
    Member AKGUPPY's Avatar
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    Do all PLBs have a yearly/monthly fee?

  5. #5
    Member DanC's Avatar
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    Default PRB fees

    Quote Originally Posted by AKGUPPY View Post
    Do all PLBs have a yearly/monthly fee?
    Nope.

    The 406 mHz system is subsidized by various national governments and SAR agencies.

  6. #6
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    from what I gathered reading the website the SPOT actualy transmits your gps position back to a "911" system the operator there then takes the info and notifies the proper authorities and a designated emergancy contact specified in your subscription. The system will continue to broadcast your location at 5 minute intervals so you can continue to attempt to rescue yourself while awaiting your assistance. The only problem I see is that it operates on Globalstar. The site also does not show how one would input a text message...It is not in the instructions either? That is one of the biggest selling points I would think that it would be front and center. Also ne explanation of how the recipient would recieve them...I bet iridium will beat them soon.

  7. #7

    Default More Info

    I did some research on them and e-mailed the company. I am not convinced it has the coverage I would bet my life on. It does use a different satellite signal than the Globalstar phones do(simplex vs. duplex?), and it is much more reliable than the phone. You cannot send a text message. You program you message in so when you hit the OK message button, it will send that message to the people you have chosen. They said they did testing in Alaska and their coverage map is up to date and accurate. I am still inclined to get a MicroFix by ACR, and a sat. phone for base camp. There is a complete write up here:
    http://www.equipped.com/SPOT_ORSummer2007.htm
    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."

  8. #8
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Default SPOT Update

    Craig Mildred posted a review of SPOT in the Sunday ADN. Nice review and it makes this little guy sound a bit better. Key point is that you have to let the thing sit for at least 20 minutes after you send a message for that message to go through with coordinates and everything. There is also a $99 yearly user fee.

    http://www.adn.com/outdoors/story/256352.html
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  9. #9
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default ACR...

    The $99 yearly fee would be a deal breaker for me. I have the ACR Terrafix w/gps built in and it is a very high quality product. Not cheap, but no fees of any kind after the initial purchase. And it works anywhere in the world. Perhaps worth looking at and comparing to the SPOT system. They have a new smaller and thinner model out now. However, it does not float like the original version. All are waterproof and work at extreme temps.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  10. #10
    Sponsor Greg @ Anch Sat Phones's Avatar
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    Default Who wants to test out a SPOT for me????

    Hello Everybody! This is Greg from Surveyors Exchange, we are a sponsor of the Safety Forum. Since the recent article in the newspaper I have gotten a lot of calls about this SPOT. Since it works off of the Globalstar Satellites I am definitely skeptical about its reliability. Just because it works once does not mean it will work when you really need it to. Eagle Enterprises (Your complete Aviation, Marine and Outdoor Safety Store) tested out a SPOT and they hoped that it would work. But they were very unsatisfied with its reliability and refuse to sell it. I also cannot & will not sell any product that I don't believe in. So I am looking for volunteers! Please email me at greg@tse-ak.com if you would like to try one out. I will be on vacation until 2/20/08 so I will contact everybody once I return. Of course my co-workers will be watching over my shop for me but I am handling this complete SPOT testing project.

    Iam looking forward to getting this SPOT tested out. But I am afraid that I already know the answer....I would NOT depend upon the SPOT. If you can afford to buy an Iridium satellite phone that is still thee best option. Please also email me if you woudl like my new sat phone info. Airtime is getting a lot cheaper. For only $198 you can keep a sat phone active for 6 months with 200 included minutes. Our website is still under construction so it is best to email me at greg@tse-ak.com if you are interested in some sat phone info.

    My Best,
    Greg Lee
    AKA: Greg Sat Phone Guy

  11. #11
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    Greg,
    Do you have any results back on the SPOT yet? I have been thinking about buying one but was waiting to hear some first hand info.

  12. #12
    Sponsor Greg @ Anch Sat Phones's Avatar
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    Default Who can test out a SPOT for me in March???

    Hi,

    This is Greg from Surveyors Exchange. I have one person out right now testing out a SPOT around Cantwell.

    Please email me if you would like to test out a SPOT for me in March. Iam looking for immediate volunteers.

    My Best,
    Greg Lee
    Surveyors Exchange

  13. #13
    Member AKGUPPY's Avatar
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    Default

    Well, I finally bought one the other day, and it works fine here in Skagway. I was a little concerned the first time I tried it and read up on them some more. I was facing the front of the SPOT up, when I shoulda been facing the top up. Anyway, both Help and OK messages went through in text messaging and email.

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