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Thread: Greg, Any Results from your Spot Test to share?

  1. #1

    Default Greg, Any Results from your Spot Test to share?

    Curious on your results on the Spot test you where doing. I already have one for down south but, was wondering if it works on the Yukon aroung Russian Mission or if it workd in the Western Brookes Range. Wondering if it is worth bringing or would it be wasted space and weight for those areas, I know it is on the fringe of the sevice area. If anyone else has used them in these areas please chime in.

    I hunt solo and bought the Spot for my wifes peace of mind, I don't carry a sat phone (GASP) I hunted solo for many years before without the technology and am still here, but the spot was a compromise so I am curious if I can tell her she will get the email or not.

  2. #2

    Default How was it down south?

    Just curious what your results were down south with this? I am following these test pretty closely as I am about to move to AK and I am wondering if this is going to work out or not because of the same reasons that I have seen posted. Just curious as to what you have seen so far.
    Loving God, Loving People, Loving America--Serving All Three

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    Member Tolman24's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backcuntry View Post
    Just curious what your results were down south with this? I am following these test pretty closely as I am about to move to AK and I am wondering if this is going to work out or not because of the same reasons that I have seen posted. Just curious as to what you have seen so far.
    I bought one a couple of weeks ago. I used it in Homer (Halibut Cove) weekend before last. I received every "I'm OK" message I sent. I don't know how long it took. I would send it, then see the 2 green lights blinking together. I would forget about it and then later notice that only one was blinking (on) meaning that the message got a GPS signal and went. Or at least that is what I believe it means.

    Last weekend I was in Seward and sent 4 messages. 1 from the dock, one from Fox Island and two from Mary's Bay. This was over a 12 hour period. All messages went from inside the boat cabin laying on the dash. Forward slanting windows so the low on the horizon sats are good for me. I sent it with my son today so we will see if he remembers to send an "I'm OK" message.

    So far so good.

  4. #4

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    Anybody used it in the Wrangels or the Alaskan Range?

  5. #5
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Default

    How 'bout Southeast?

  6. #6

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    Backcuntry, The way the lights work is as follows.

    • On/OK Lights both flashing at the same time: Means the Spot has a GPS Location.
    • With both lights flashing at the same time, then both lights will stay lit for aprox. 5 seconds, that is when it is sending a message.
    • On/OK Lights alternating flashes, means it cannot find a GPS Signal.

    It works in the south, usually send two OK messages to make sure it goes through.

    The key and most important part of this is people should not do anything being equipped with the best of technology that they would not do with nothing to call for help. People need to rely on themselves, like I have said it is something for the wife, not to save me, my job is to make sure that I do not need saved.

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    I was one of Greg's testers and it worked very well in the Fairbanks area last winter when I was up there. Got to send it up the Haul Rd one day with a friend and it was tested from the Brooks at Atigun Pass and also from the Coldfoot area. None of those tests were successful, so the Brooks may be too far off the grid, but it was very reliable up to Livengood.
    Winter is Coming...

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    Member akhunter3's Avatar
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    Question SPOT work in Chugach?

    I didn't see it in the above posts, has anyone tested this in the Chugach area? (I.E. Eagle lake, ship lake, eagle glacier, etc.)

    I'm wanting to do some solo backpacking but the parents are flipping out about not having a way to "call for help"

    Also any info on whether or not it's worth the $$$ at this point would be most helpfull.

    Thanks,

    Jon

  9. #9
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    If you are going to be near Anchorage you wll probably be in good shape with the spot

  10. #10
    Sponsor Greg @ Anch Sat Phones's Avatar
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    Default SPOT test results from Greg Lee (Sat Phone Guy)

    Hello Everybody!

    Very sorry that I have not shared my SPOT results with everybody.

    I cannot share any info at this time about my SPOT TEST becasue SPOT has taken away my dealership. When the SPOT came out I wanted to sell it because it looked like a very cool gadget that I would also like to take out into the field with me. In theory it is a great idea.

    I can say from my own experience that when my wife floated the Nushagak River she found the "automatic tracking" to be very confusing. She called me several times on our satellite phone because she did not know if the SPOT was working or not. By the way my wife works for DNR and is very knowledable about how GPS devices, etc. work. Also when we did a short 2 mile hike in Seward it did not work at all in the trees. So if you are going to buy a SPOT make sure that you ARE NOT in trees at all and make sure that you have the absolute best view of the southern sky as possible....because that is where the Globalstar Satellites are located.

    I can honestly say that I would never trust my life on a SPOT when gettting way "out there". If I did not have a satellite phone then I would at least have a PLB.

    -Greg Lee

  11. #11

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    Why did they pull the dealership?

  12. #12
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    Default Globalstar

    I fully intended on being a SPOT tester for Greg but time just got away from me... With that said I'll add this:

    We spent 15 days in Kiliuda Bay, Kodiak. We rented an iridium phone from Greg and took my ACR Microfix PLB. At the last minute a friend offered his Globalstar phone for free (including unlimited minutes) SOOOO we took it along as well. Our idea was use the Globalstar for calling the wives and just checking in.

    I will admit that we used that phone until the battery died but I will also admit for every minute we spent talking we spent 15 or 20 trying to get connected or stay connected. I can't really complain because it was free but I'm talking we stood on top of the highest point of land, not a tree for miles around and skies as clear as can be... NADA!!! We were really put out with Globalstar service...

    Thank God our life never depended on it...

    Iridium phones and PLB for me...

  13. #13
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Spot...

    I have read lots of reports of the SPOT's not working. If someone is going to be way out, I would suggest an ACR Terrafix w/gps (built in). The original model is now $450 at REI and the newer (lighter and smaller) version is $550. That is with a $50 mail in rebate. But this is the best prices I have seen. It works anywhere in the world. Great device.
    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.

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    If you can afford to get "way out", you can't afford NOT to have an Iridium phone with you. A PLB is better than nothing in an emergency, but its worse than nothing in a non-emergency when your wife is freaking out because you're overdue for the overwhelmingly typical non-emergency.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    I have read lots of reports of the SPOT's not working. If someone is going to be way out, I would suggest an ACR Terrafix w/gps (built in). The original model is now $450 at REI and the newer (lighter and smaller) version is $550. That is with a $50 mail in rebate. But this is the best prices I have seen. It works anywhere in the world. Great device.
    PLBs are the way to go, but I REALLY wish SPOT worked. The idea of being able to track someone while they are out and about is pretty nifty. My Dad is getting older and likes to hunt like he did when he was younger. Seing that his dot was still moving around would be a nice touch.

    On a side note... It appears SPOTs have mixed results in Alaska. Any news on how well they work in the lower 48?

  16. #16
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Good thought...

    Pid makes a good point. Best of both worlds is the ACR and an Iridium sat phone. I just don't have a need to keep in touch as I take my wife with me on my float trips. The last thing I want in my Ally pack canoe is a phone. But I can see the efficacy in having a sat phone if she was back home. Also, it would be nice to be able to communicate with the bush pilot if something came up. Like changing pick up location, delays due to weather, and such. For $50/week, it is hard to argue against them. As for saving your hide no matter what/where, the ACR is the ticket. The sat phone and an ACR locator beacon are a perfect match I suppose.
    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.

  17. #17
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Thumbs up working?

    "Any news on how well they work in the lower 48?"

    I don't have any first hand info, but I have read reports (from all over the US) that these things don't work all of the time. Tree canopies are a big factor. Then coverage in remote areas like northern Alaska and such creates different issues I would guess. Numbers of satellites and all. Much like the reason why Globalstar is garbage in NW Alaska. Even it the SPOT worked 90% of the time, that is not good enough. You would not trust your life to a firearm that worked 90% of the time would you? Nope. Me neither. Do yourself a favor and have the family pitch in and get him a new chartreuse green ACR Microfix. I saw them at REI for $550 with the rebate. Cheapest by far I have seen the new, smaller model. $550 is cheap insurance from near/certain death.
    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.

  18. #18
    Sponsor Greg @ Anch Sat Phones's Avatar
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    Default Why a SPOT DOES NOT work everywhere

    Has anyone seen this commercial on the Discovery Channel yet?

    It is a comical cartoon....but extremely true.

    http://www.acrelectronics.com/08sumcom/08ACRcom.mpg

    This cartoon shows why I would highly recommend for you NOT to only bring a SPOT out into the field with you. A SPOT is a cool device that can be brought along with either your Satellite Phone OR PLB. A SPOT should only be used for its tracking capability just as long as you understand that the SPOT will NOT work everywhere. It is definitely NOT a replacement for a PLB.

    If you would like information about buying or renting a satellite phone please call me at 907-561-6501 ext.4 OR email at greg@tse-ak.com. Our website address is www.tse-ak.com but we are currently updating our website so it would be better for you to email me to get the most up-to-date info.

    If you would like to rent a satellite phone for August or September please reserve as early as possible to ensure that you get the BEST Sat Phone....an Iridium 9505A. The 9505A model has a stronger signal strength and better voice quality than the older model Iridium phones.

    If you want info about a PLB I would recommend calling Eagle Enterprises @ 907-562-2331. If you call them please let them know that Greg from Surveyors Exchange sent you their way.

    Happy Hunting & Fishing!
    -Greg

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