It also doesn't work well near another GPS device...which is a huge minus!nonot wrote:Odds are that the unit is transmitting every 10 minutes but the satellites are not picking it up. To improve your odds the following general recommendations may help:
In general, have an open/unobstructed view of as much sky as is possible, based on coverage maps it looks like the two most relevant birds are somewhere above south Texas/northeastern Mexico and off the coast of California.
Optimumly orient the unit towards the sky (since I couldn't find the antenna pattern on their website, the most likely guess is to have the unit be held flat horizontally like setting it on a table, perhaps this is in a manual?)
Don't place the unit near metal objects like a digital camera or in a cast-iron pot .
Don't use the unit near other transmitters/radio towers.
I don't have one but it sounds like a fun gadget that could help save someone's life.
Maybe the reason topohiker's unit now seems to transmit better while moving.. we moved his SPOT unit from the front daypack shoulder strap (which was the strap next to the GPS unit) to a compresion strap on the back top area of his daypack.Jeff MacE wrote:It also doesn't work well near another GPS device...which is a huge minus!
I think that may be it, Hank. We're going to try that next time, in fact...Grasshopper wrote:Maybe the reason topohiker's unit now seems to transmit better while moving.. we moved his SPOT unit from the front daypack shoulder strap (which was the strap next to the GPS unit) to a compresion strap on the back top area of his daypack.Jeff MacE wrote:It also doesn't work well near another GPS device...which is a huge minus!
Jeff, what was the end result of you relocating the SPOT unit to an upper back section of your daypack?Jeff MacE wrote:I'm going out tomorrow sans GPS so I'll see if Hank's suggestion works...
Very cool, thanks Jeff. I'll be getting one of these on my birthday next month.Jeff MacE wrote:Well, it looks like the formula for success goes something like this:
I) Regardless of which direction you're hiking, point the top of the front face where "SPOT" is printed toward the southern sky (Not the top of the unit), because the antennae is located there. Relocate it around your pack, as necessary.
II) Leave the unit turned on for the entire duration of your hike, even if you don't use tracking.
III) Keep the unit away from other GPS devices and radios, etc. The distance needs to be at least 18".
IV) When sending an "OK" message, wait until you are stopping for some reason and pick a spot that has an unobstructed view of the southern sky. Point the spot toward the sky as in Part I, above. Make sure it is high on your pack, or atop a large rock or tree with the "SPOT" inscription facing due south. Watch for the steady green light and then leave it in place another 30s or so.
Doing all of these things consistently seems to lead to a 90% message success rate.