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Thread: What do you think of the "Spot" tracking system?

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    Default What do you think of the "Spot" tracking system?

    I’m thinking about getting one of those “Spot” satellite tracking systems for an upcoming hunt. Anyone have any experience with them? I have seen mixed reviews on them posted other places and am hoping for some input from people here using them. Thanks

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    Member oakman's Avatar
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    My brother got one for xmas last year. He's loaning it to me for my upcoming sheep hunt. I have played with it a little on a few short trips. It seems to work ok. What I don't like is that there is an annual subscription fee that isn't cheap.

    Ask me again about this at the end of sheep season. We'll see how it works in the Alaska Range.

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    We used one on our sheep hunt a few weeks ago and it worked super well. It was possible to check in at the end of each day by relaying an ok message to family and friends. It was able to "mark" coordinates of our exact location so they knew exactly where we were when we sent the message.

    Our's had a help button on it that we could use if there was a life-threatening or severe emergency if we needed immediate help.

    Obviously the Spot is limited in what it can do but it is a nice emergency device that could save you or your buddies life. I am pretty sure it is a fraction of the price of renting a satelite phone for 1 to 2 weeks. If you do much outdoor stuff (hunting, fishing, skiing, snowmobiling, 4 wheeling, boating) it would be something that would be nice to bring along on any trip during the year.

    The only downside we had w/our spot was that it took several minutes for the satelite to pick up and send our message. It worked every time we tried no matter if we were in a canyon or out in the open.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wholden View Post
    I’m thinking about getting one of those “Spot” satellite tracking systems for an upcoming hunt. Anyone have any experience with them? I have seen mixed reviews on them posted other places and am hoping for some input from people here using them. Thanks
    I wouldn't buy one right now, they are going to be releasting a new version of the device and it appears to be MUCH improved! 30% smaller and lighter, an additional preprogrammed message that you can send out, covers for the emergency buttons instead of just "recessed" like the original. I will likely be purchasing a new one and knowing it is coming out soon I would not waste my money on the current model!

    http://www.findmespot.com/en/pressro...article&id=315

    http://www.gpsmagazine.com/2009/07/n..._is_smalle.php

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    I got one this fall and have had limited success. While caribou hunting off the taylor highway we took one late and needed to relay to family that we were going to be getting in much later than was originally planned. It had been working earlier in the day but the "OK" message that we sent about 10 PM was not recieved by family members.

    I drove through Canada and was trying to send an "OK" message after every night of driving to let family know where I was, but NONE of the messages were recieved by them. We are going to get a hold of the SPOT people and see what may have caused this.

    While these messages were not recieved I think because of the "911" feature it would be valuable to have if hunting be yourself or in very remote areas.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    I asked for one.. but she said she wants me to keep the sat phone...

    she like me to HEAR how much fun she is not haveing when she stays home...
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Youngmurph, did the blinking ok lights quit when your messages went through? It sometimes took over 20 minutes on our trip for our spot message to go through and you may not have waited long enough? If so, I would be curious to find out what the problem was!

    That's great they are coming out with a new, smaller/lighter version with more features!

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    Default spot questions

    I took one to colorado for an elk hunt last year and you have to be patient and let it sit about 20 minutes for your messages to transmit. That is well documented but I am not sure folks read that carefully.

    It lets you add close to 10 names (emails or cell phone numbers for texting) for each of the two kinds of messages. It has an annual subsciption fee and the new unit will be better with an extra message (and smaller size) but dont wait for it if you need one.

    fyi---> I bet the 3 guys they just found yesterday floating 8 days (after coast guard gave up on them in the Gulf of Mexico) off Texas's coast wish they had one instead of living off diesel water and gum/crackers for over a week hanging onto their overturned boat hull.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimss View Post
    Youngmurph, did the blinking ok lights quit when your messages went through? It sometimes took over 20 minutes on our trip for our spot message to go through and you may not have waited long enough? If so, I would be curious to find out what the problem was!

    That's great they are coming out with a new, smaller/lighter version with more features!
    jimss,

    Everytime we sent a message we left the SPOT unit on for well after 20 minutes. We were doing the same thing evey time to send the message so I don't think it was a user error, although I need to make sure that wasn't case. On several of our attempts the two lights stopped flashing in using which I think means the SPOT unit doesn't have a good connection to the sattelite. I need to do more infeild testing of it though for sure. Good luck with yours

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    works great on Kodiak Island. The wife never worries anymore.

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    If your life is of some value to you or someone else, I'd recommend an ACR PLB. They're a little more expensive, but no annual fees. And they work everywhere.

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    Member Magnum Man's Avatar
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    Ive used mine a lot. It can have probleme sending or getting hooked to the satellite if say your cruising 30mph in the boat. It has always been accurate within 50 feet or so for me as long as I wasnt moving. I like it because it is simple/foolproof. Has its limits but I like it.

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    Check out the Mcmurdo Epirb. No fees ever. Costs half or less than the ACR. Replace the batteries for a few bucks every five years and you are good. I just think spot is a scam charging fees every year. Epirb is same rescue beacon as commercial pilots would use so you will get someones attention. If you need to call in then a satellite phone is better than spot also.

    http://www.rei.com/product/791972
    “I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. “ Fred Bear

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    Arrow Don't leave home without it

    I take my SPOT on every outing and love it. Take the time to figure out how it works well and it'll work well; it always has for me.

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    I would not waste my money on the current model!
    Guess it wasn't a waste when I got mine....since it was free.

    Might have to pony up for a new one if its 'that good', but we'll see...

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Pics of the 2 side by side...


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    Quote Originally Posted by youngmurph View Post
    On several of our attempts the two lights stopped flashing in using which I think means the SPOT unit doesn't have a good connection to the sattelite.
    I believe this says, "the lights stopped flashing in unison", and when the SPOT does that, it means that the GPS half of the unit does not have your position, therefore it isn't going to send the text message. When you see this situation, the attempt to send a message is over. You must reposition your SPOT to get a clear view of the sky and reattempt to send a message by starting the process over again.

    Even sitting inside of an automobile is enough to block the GPS signal for this unit. It is unfortunate, but it uses the basic GPSr technology (the new version coming out this fall has upgraded that). So your ability to lock onto the GPS sats is diminished.

    If you can't lock onto the GPS sats, then there is even less chance that you'll be able to hit the Comm sats to actually send a message.

    Once you understand how to use the SPOT, anyone who travels afar (out of cell phone range) will find that it is worth every penny. There is no other communication service you can buy for a measly $8.25 per month. And for just over $13 per month you can have the live tracking feature and Rescue Insurance in addition. The live track is an awesome tool for the folks back home to know where you are in real time (within the last 10 minutes). Folks who complain about the price haven't got a clue. This is super cheap for all the features you get. I mean seriously, it's the price of 3 fru-fru coffees per month.
    Winter is Coming...

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  19. #19

    Question where is ...

    Where is the new Spot? So if you have an emergency and need a chopper do you push a button and wait for someone back home has to see you need help and make the call for you?

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    http://findmespot.com/assist/ road side assistance now aval. also...
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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