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Navigation - Maps, Compass, GPS How to find your way - traditional map, compass and road signs, or GPS and more
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  • 1 Post By MilesofSmiles

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  #1  
Old 4 May 2012
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SPOT Connect - Anyone used these ?

I had a standard SPOT messenger but stupidly left it in a hotel in Izmir, Turkey a couple of years ago and never managed to get it back (but did manage to get it disabled by SPOT before someone pressed the SOS button).

Anyway, last year on a RTW trip I bought a SPOT Connect in New York-got it back to the hotel and found I couldn't use it because I could not download the App from the US Apple site as I was a UK citizen and had no US address to register with APple plus the added problem that the SPOT Connect wasn't available in the UK at that time so I there was no SPOT Appon the UK Apple site. However, when I finally got back home I found that the UK Apple site was now giving out the App that I neede - I couldn't be bothered at this stage so I just left the SPOT sitting in my garage.

Today I dug out the SPOT and set about activating it.... but it said that I had to update the Firmware. Plugged it into my account OK and started the download but it keeps failing halfway through - Anyone else had this problem ?

I am fast coming to the conclusion that the original SPOT is miles better than the SPOT connect which is totally useless at thge moment and not the most user friendly device I have seen - I am about to chuck it the garbage !
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  #2  
Old 4 May 2012
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Wish I could help, but can't I'm afraid.
However, wouldnt mind your opinion regarding whether you think the Spot Messenger is actually worth having though? Been thinking of getting one for an Africa trip but wasnt sure if worth the expense or how easy it is to set up / use etc.
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  #3  
Old 4 May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wearthefoxhat View Post
However, wouldnt mind your opinion regarding whether you think the Spot Messenger is actually worth having though? Been thinking of getting one for an Africa trip but wasnt sure if worth the expense or how easy it is to set up / use etc.
I used the SPOT for a couple of big trips and it was very useful for my wife to know (a) where I was and (b) that I was OK even when i was in areas without wifi or telephone coverage. I was also comforted by the SOS facility but never actually used it thankfully so I don't know how effective the cavalry really are.

It is a bit on the expensive side though - I thing the unit was £90 something (British pounds) and the annual subscription for all roaming (which includes and update every 10 minutes so that the actual route can be mapped back to Google) cost around £100 - really depends on where you are going I think - if you have good comms/phones/emails etc and not intending to do anything risky like off road on your own then a SPOT might be a bit over the top but nonetheless the Messenger was a good gadget (Can't say the same for the Connect though !)

Martin

PS There might still be a free one lurking around Izmir
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  #4  
Old 5 May 2012
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Well... my problem with SPOT Connect is still not sorted. I emailed the customer service centre and they sent a reply giving me an international number to ring the cost of which will start making this device a costly investment so I have decided to throw it away.

My advice is steer clear of the SPOT Connect - it is nowhere near as good as its predecessor.
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  #5  
Old 20 Sep 2012
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I purchased the original SPOT and to this day I still only use this unit. The later version is small, under powered and batteries run out quickly. As for any other SPOT device, I would just turn away from them as they seem to be even less useful. As with sat phones, the original designs worked the best and had the most power. Later smaller designs have always been underpowered and short batter life.

Stick to the original design.......
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  #6  
Old 21 Sep 2012
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An alternative is "delorme inreach" a two way satellite Messager.

i have a review here:

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...messager-65983

I dont have a spot and can`t compare it. But the delorme device works well, you can also test livetracking in my blog (signature)
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  #7  
Old 25 Sep 2012
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My spot has never failed me during my ramblings about the western states. Even in thick forest cover aside a mountain I got an OK out just fine. My SPOT is always in it's pocket within my Maxpedition backpack, which I must say is about the best riding pack I have ever owned.

IMHO as always.
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  #8  
Old 25 Sep 2012
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Ás one can Imagine, living in a country the size of the continental United States with only a fraction of their population, our communications infrastructure, can leave a little to be desired.

I've been using the Spot 2, for the last couple of years. I have never had an issue with it not being able to find a satellite (except inside buildings), and the batteries last a trip of several weeks without a problem.

My wife is much happier letting me ride in remote areas when she can see that I am ok.

Connversely to some of the previous posters, I would have absolutely no problem reccomending the SPOT 2, I know nothing about the Connect, and will therefore reserve my opinions on that device.
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  #9  
Old 25 Sep 2012
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My friend brought a Spot GPS Tracker on our trip to Bissau this winter. Problem free. We integrated the map on our blog so our followers could follow us live. Battery time is awesome.

Connect looks cool, as does the delorme inreach, but until I can get a gadget that I can use as a modem, I'm not in the market... I think.

The delorme has maps though... and I do love tech. But I hate clutter
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  #10  
Old 26 Sep 2012
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For what it's worth my original designed SPOTs batteries are still in the unit going on several years now and countless trips. In fact I was just thinking about replacing them last week. What I do not do is keep it on during the trip to track where I am. I feel the battery should only be used for end of day OK and 911.

For those of you who only want one for emergency's then go with a real Emergency Response Beacon like ACR which use the governments sat system not the commercial sat that SPOT uses.
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  #11  
Old 12 May 2013
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If all you want to do is keep someone else informed of your whereabouts, a much simpler (and totally free) solution is 'Google Latitude', an app that runs on various smartphones.

If you leave Latitude running in the background, it will create a breadcrumb trail of where you have been. Be aware that you will incur some data charges from the phone network if you have 'data roaming' enabled. However, if you disable data roaming on your phone, Google Latitude will check in (drop a breadcrumb) every time you connect via Wi-Fi. That's free.

You then get your wife, boss, friend, whomever to set up their own Google Latitude account (also free) on a computer (no smartphone needed), and they can then track where you are, either at a 'city level only' - if you so prefer - or with maximum GPS accuracy, if you enable that option.

In my day job, I deliver new aircraft from Canada to all parts of the world. I use a SPOT to let people keep track of where the aircraft itself is (I leave it on the glareshield of the aircraft), but I use Google Latitude to let people keep track of where I am. Most of my colleagues prefer to use Google Latitude, because they aren't really interested in where I am when I am in flight (transiting), they are interested in where I am at the end of the day.

Michael
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  #12  
Old 28 Jun 2013
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A better app for an Android phone is Real Time GPS tracker. Obviously it requires a data connection and it can also be set to relay it's last position once it is connected to WiFi. Each phone has the app, and the other person simply launches the app to see the other persons position.

I use mine as a GPS locator for my motorcycle incase it's stolen. I have it set to leave the GPS off, once I launch the app on my phone I keep with me it will cause the phone hidden in my motorcycle to activate it's GPS and report it's position, speed, direction and battery status in real time. Once I stop viewing it will turn off the GPS to save the battery. It can also be set to remain always on. I believe there is an option to give a web link for someone to view from a computer. The app is free. Google latitude works, sometimes...
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  #13  
Old 14 Jun 2014
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SPOT Gen 3

Any experience on the newest version? And any experience on the emergency rescue service? I am hearing that it is less than reliable and a big issue is you, the sender, have no feedback that the message was actually received and is being acted upon. Am going across Russia, and it would be nice to have confidence in the advertised features.
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  #14  
Old 20 Jun 2014
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The delorme (InReach) seems more popular than the Spot communicator, for several reasons.

(1) it has full global coverage
(2) reviews from places outside the US seem to imply the delorme is much more reliable at sending and receiving custom messages by satellite.

I am following a bunch of guys now on their delorme units, and only one or two using spot. The guys using spot have to use a third part mapping service like spotwalla to track long term progress. Delorme includes all of that. So easier from the view of the people tracking you too.
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  #15  
Old 20 Jun 2014
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I'm going to replacing my SPOT for a Delorme inReach when my annual subscription is due.

Delorme can be is pay as you go by the month and offers two way communication.

Costs

InReach

This is an interesting model InReach Explorer
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