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Guest
Link to this postPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:54 pm    Post subject: Note Find Me SPOT

I am sitting at my PC Sunday night, reading the NY Times, and my email chimes. There in my inbox is this message from noreply@findmespot.com

SPOT - Hi, thanks for caring... Jamie & I are well, safe and having fun in our travels. Talk to you when return.
ESN:0-7470755
Latitude:43.7441
Longitude:-79.2367
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:08/30/2009 18:14:25 (America/Toronto)
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=43.7441,-79.2367&ll=43.7441,-79.2367&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1


WTF says I so I click on the link and it brings up the street of my buddy who is enjoying his first summer summer of sailboat ownership (Cal 27).

I email him and remind him to take his SPOT into his hot tub as well.

It is a neat little, inexpensive mini-EPIRB that sends a message to email addresses and cell phones and in an emergency, to the rescue folks.

http://www.findmespot.ca/en/index.php?cid=1100
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Auspicious
Link to this postPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 12:21 pm    

It's a cool device. I use it as a value-added service to customers on yacht deliveries.

IT IS NOT A LIFE SAFETY DEVICE AND IN NO WAY COMPARABLE TO AN EPRIB.
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Twanger
Link to this postPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:25 pm    

That's pretty cool. Lots of uses.... sailing, remote hunting trips, mountaineering...
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Auspicious
Link to this postPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:34 pm    

Incidentally, discounts are frequently available. Watch for them. Boat/US members get a discount on tracking service.
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MrBombastic
Link to this postPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:14 pm    

Twanger wrote:
That's pretty cool. Lots of uses.... sailing, remote hunting trips, mountaineering...


and your wife tracking you.
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skip1007
Link to this postPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:41 pm    Post subject: Note Spot

Full disclosure - I am an associate at West Marine Tigard Oregon Store 1205.

Spot is the West Marine Product of the Month for October. You still have some time to visit you nearby West Marine store to get one for $79 and an additional $30 mail in West Marine Gift Card. The event ends this weekend, so get it soon!

Ok that 's the commercial. I got one for my son, who decided after eight months of trying to find a job, to take control of his life. He left Portland on April 15 and rode his bicycle to Cabo San Lucas in anout 45 days. He had a Spot with him and used it throughout his trip to let us, the folks, know where he was. He used the "OK" button at the end of the day to let us know where he sopent the night. The "Help" (non-emergency) button was listed on the email as "Change in course or Picked up Water". These let us know when he changed roads or as a benchmark where water is available inthe Baja desert. If he changed roads, he would go a half mile or so and send a "Help" message letting us know exactly which raod he was on. When he got to Mexico, he checked in with the "Help" button several times a day so that we knew where he was and that he was within about thirty miles of that location.

As an aside, he missed checking in one night and we called the California State Park he stayed at the previous night and they remembered him, confirmed that he had left, and also knew about Spot.

Here is his blog of the trip:

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?o=RrzKj&page_id=109506&v=6a

As Dave (Auspicious) says,it is not an EPIRB, but it is useful, especially if you want a check in device for anywhere on land or on the blue.

I use an example when I talk to customers...here is the link:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-12-07-kim_x.htm?POE=NEWISVA

Cell phones do not work everywhere, especially in areas like the Coast Range of Oregon. If they had a Spot, it would have gotten them help quickly.

Enough of that - if you have questions, let me know, or ask at West Marine...Let them know aht Bob@1205 sent you (no there is no commission).
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MrBombastic
Link to this postPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 10:29 am    Post subject: Note Re: Spot

skip1007 wrote:

Here is his blog of the trip:

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?o=RrzKj&page_id=109506&v=6a

.


Wow!!! Unfrigginbelievable trip and great blog. Did your son keep in contact with the other two guys? If so, how are they doing?
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Scripty
Link to this postPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:33 pm    

What a great trip your son had!! Great blog. A once-in-a-lifetime experience, that is for sure. Good for him for taking the bulls by the horns and shaking up his world for a few months!
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CaptJim
Link to this postPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 7:29 pm    

I used SPOT exclusively on my trip from Florida to the BVI. It performed flawlessly. While not an EPIRB, if you are within the designated coverage area, it performs like one.
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Auspicious
Link to this postPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:13 pm    

CaptJim wrote:
While not an EPIRB, if you are within the designated coverage area, it performs like one.


Nope. Ask the SPOT people. They'll tell you the same thing.
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skip1007
Link to this postPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:23 pm    

Dave is correct. SPOT is not an EPIRB, nor does it act like one. It does, however fill a gap in that it can let friends and family know where you are and that you are OK. Also, you can reconstruct your trip on Google map after the fact or ,as you go on Google Earth (for an extra fee).

Mr. B, I don't know if he has kept in contact with them. I'll have to ask.

Bob
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Auspicious
Link to this postPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:49 pm    

Incidentally, please make sure your friends and family understand the limitations of SPOT. A cruiser on S/V Flying Pig recently stopped posting positions on the Bahamas Banks enroute from Lake Worth to Marsh Harbour. A well-intentioned friend called the USCG resulting in a very expensive and risky rescue effort for a crew that was peacefully sleeping at anchor on the Banks waiting for the seas to lay down before proceeding.
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Guest
Link to this postPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 8:52 pm    

Auspicious wrote:
Incidentally, please make sure your friends and family understand the limitations of SPOT. .


My understanding of the SPOT is that it is NOT intended to automatically send out any of its signals be that the SOS, Help, Checkin /I'm OK, Custom Message or Track Progress signals. In every instance the owner has to complete the complicated task of pushing one of the buttons. If he is knocked out, passed out or otherwise occupied then no signal will be sent. That could be interpreted as a "limitation" but when you buy one you know from the get go that this is how it works. If you can't accept that then don't buy one. If you are going to be using it to send off regular status reports then the recipients of those reports should be told in advance what a "no status" situation means and what response or non-response is appropriate. You could be dead, you could have no batteries, you could be out of range, hijacked or lying naked on a secluded beach with no ice for your rum.

http://www.findmespot.ca/en/index.php?cid=102

If the owner simply didn't bother to push one of the buttons that sends off a message then that is a limitation of the RAM contained within the owner's skull. Owner forgetfullness and stupidity is not a technological limitation of SPOT.

Skip, very cool trip. Ohh to have the energy of youth!
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MrBombastic
Link to this postPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:09 pm    

I_AM_CDN wrote:

If he is knocked out, passed out or otherwise occupied then no signal will be sent. That could be interpreted as a "limitation" but when you buy one you know from the get go that this is how it works. If you can't accept that then don't buy one. !



If you are knocked out, passed out or otherwise occupied, no signal will be automatically sent with an EPIRB either (unless of course your boat sinks) confused . While SPOT may be better than "nothing" for boating, an EPIRB is designed for marine use and marine emergencies, SPOT is not (just as an ELT is designed for aviation emergencies - I wouldn't use an EPIRB in a plane). In my book satellite communications and EPIRBS are a requirement for offshore boating, not options and I don't leave home without them. I just think I'm worth the money. To each his own.
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walker
Link to this postPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:43 pm    

[quote="MrBombastic"]
I_AM_CDN wrote:
I wouldn't use an EPIRB in a plane

You would if you were flying over water! The ELT is useless after the plane sinks. We carry an EPIRB (and a life raft) when we fly our plane to the islands - which will happen next month.
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MrBombastic
Link to this postPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:53 pm    

Walker wrote:
MrBombastic wrote:
I_AM_CDN wrote:
I wouldn't use an EPIRB in a plane

You would if you were flying over water! The ELT is useless after the plane sinks. We carry an EPIRB (and a life raft) when we fly our plane to the islands - which will happen next month.


Hmmm...very good point! Didn't quite think of that one. Should have said wouldn't use SPOT on a plane yikes laugh
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skip1007
Link to this postPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 10:39 am    Post subject: Note Bicycle trip update

A few of you have wondered about the continuation of the bicycle trip - recall that my son wrote:

"The next day I was riding around town and ran into a couple dudes riding south, to Argentina. We all ride the same speed so for now riding together, One guy John is from Kansas a mech eng. and the other is Graham from England."

After Chris completed his ride in Cabo San Lucas, John and Graham crossed over into the Mexican mainland. Eventually they split up with John returning to the US. Graham continued on and last week - he arrived in Buenos Aires. That's a long ride!!!

Bob
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philthepilot
Link to this postPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:21 pm    

I had never heard of the Spot before reading about it on this site. Thanks Walker.
I bought one the other day from Bass Pro shop. Looking forward to trying out the tracking feature this May in the islands
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philippd
Link to this postPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:21 pm    

When I found out about SPOT I searched for similar products before buying one. I have bought a Delorme inReach SE now as there are some advantages:
- Spot uses Globalstar satellite network. This means a satellite does need contact to the spot as well as to a ground station directly. When you are far out on the ocean you will not be able to send messages as the satellites above you will not be able to reach a ground station. InReach uses iridium network instead. As iridium satellites will relay you messages from one satellite to another until a satellite is able to reach a ground station you will be able to use inReach everywhere in the world.
- SPOT is only able to send out messages but is not able to receive messages. You donít even know if your message has been sent successfully. inReach is a two-way system. You will get a confirmation that a message has been sent successfully and you will be able to receive messages
- Tracking and SOS mode is also included
InReach is only a little bit more expensive than current spot devices.
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eengstrom
Link to this postPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 3:54 pm    

In charter coastal waters, spot is a fun toy. I need don't use it as much as I had hoped when purchased. However it is fun. Since I charter regularly with random crew recruited from websites, I make use of it to message their families and kin during our trips as I don't really want to have them as "friends" to see Facebook updates and navionics tracks, photos, etc.
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