SPOT

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AZLOT69
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Joined: Feb 12 2002 7:43 pm
City, State: Gold Canyon, AZ

SPOT

Post by AZLOT69 » Dec 12 2007 5:59 pm

NEW PRODUCT- "SPOT" IS A PERSONAL SATELLITE MESSENGER. LIGHTER-CHEAPER THAN A SATELLITE PHONE OR EPERB.

JUST OUT-THIS IS THE FIRST GENERATION AND I'M SURE THEY WILL GET EVEN BETTER. i'VE TESTED IT AND VERY HAPPY SO FAR. IT WORKS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SUPERSTITIONS-FAR AWAY FROM CELL SIGNALS. BESIDES CALLING FOR SEARCH AND RESCUE YOU CAN ALERT AS MANY AS FIVE PHONES VIA TEXT MESSAGE, AND OR COMPUTERS THAT YOU ARE OK AND IT SENDS A MESSAGE WITH YOUR CURRENT GPS COORDINATES AND A LINK TO GOOGLE EARTH WHICH SHOWS EXACTLY WHERE YOU ARE AT. I HIKE ALONE OFTEN SO THIS ASSURES ME AND OTHERS.
It's best for a man to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open his mouth and remove all doubt.
--Mark Twain

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joebartels
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Re: SPOT

Post by joebartels » Dec 12 2007 6:19 pm

I wasn't aware of that, thanks for the info Bruce!
Sounds like round two of the information age, pagers revenge :sl:


Now we just gotta work on those caps. ;-)
Source Wikipedia: ALL CAPS it became solely identified with "shouting"
Hike Arizona it ROCKS!

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Grasshopper
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Re: SPOT

Post by Grasshopper » Dec 28 2007 8:50 pm

Another one of our members, topohiker, also purchased one of these sweet little devices, and he tested it with me via email on 12/22 while hiking in the Cave Creek Wilderness. Here is a sampe of the actual "test" HELP MESSAGE that I received from him while hiking on 12/22:
*******************************************************************************************************
From: noreply@findmespot.com
To: xxxx; xxxx;
Sent: Saturday, December 22, 2007 3:03 PM
Subject: Help Unit Number: 0-73xxxxx

This is a HELP message. Please send for help ASAP.
Unit Number: 0-73xxxxx
Latitude: 33.9172
Longitude: -111.8912
Nearest Town from unit Location: Camp Creek, United States
Distance to the nearest town: 7 km(s)
Time in GMT the alarm was sent: 12/22/2007 22:04:52
*********************************************************************************************************
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")

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te_wa
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Re: SPOT

Post by te_wa » Dec 28 2007 8:54 pm

nearest town is Camp Creek?
he's in trouble already :sl:
:D

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Grasshopper
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Re: SPOT

Post by Grasshopper » Dec 28 2007 9:00 pm

:) ..Yea, well like Bruce says it is just the "first" generation, but still not bad!
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")

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Davis2001r6
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Re: SPOT

Post by Davis2001r6 » Dec 30 2007 9:38 pm

I was talking about this on a trail in the canyon today. I would like to see how the continues route shows up and how accurate it is. If you in the market for a PLB this seems like a viable cheaper alternative.

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mttgilbert
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Re: SPOT

Post by mttgilbert » Jan 03 2008 9:57 am

The SPOT was the Tickle-Me-Elmo of the outdoors world this season. We sold out of them almost as fast as they came in. I like that they come with the option to notify friends or family of an emergency. Some rescue agencies have complained about the proliferation of PLBs and their overuse by the tired/slightly injured hikers/climbers/backpackers. It sounds like the SPOT is already being copied by other manufacturers (just a rumor). A couple more generations and we should all be able to afford one of these.
Cogito ergo ambulo cum sacculo
-Matt Gilbert

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chumley
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Re: SPOT

Post by chumley » Jan 03 2008 1:24 pm

There's a new review in USAToday for anybody who wants a very basic introduction.
I'm hesitant to come down too hard on a gadget that might help save your life. Still, the Spot Satellite Messenger I've been checking out could have been easier to figure out, and more reliable.

Targeted at serious backpackers, boaters, hunters and other committed outdoor enthusiasts, Spot is a chunky, 7-ounce personal tracker whose main purpose is to bail you out of trouble. The product — it looks like a bright orange PDA on steroids — taps into Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites to determine your whereabouts. Then if you get into a pickle, Spot, at the press of a button, will transmit your longitude, latitude and a preprogrammed text or e-mail message to emergency 911 authorities and/or your loved ones. Folks can view your location on Google Maps. Alas, you have no way of knowing if your cry for help has been received.

At $170 for the device, on top of a $100 annual subscription, Spot isn't cheap. But similar "personal locator beacons," or PLBs, may cost $400 or more. Spot claims it keeps costs down because of its proprietary low-power satellite technology.

Spot is meant to work even in areas where your cellphone won't function, under various environmental extremes — at elevations of up to 21,000 feet and at temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It floats and is waterproof, too, but won't do you any good if it ends up buried in snow. The device requires a clear view of the sky.

Spot can operate in virtually all of North America, Europe and Australia, and portions of South America, northern Africa and northeastern Asia, as well as thousands of miles offshore. It failed at times in the, um, wilds of Manhattan and northern New Jersey, even as I sat uncovered in the stands of Giants Stadium. Tall buildings often block GPS signals.

Products that provide peace of mind are more common these days. GM's OnStar in-vehicle security system can rescue you when your car breaks down. Kid trackers are built into certain cellphones.

Spot is different. It's a one-way device that doesn't actually let you talk to another person.

The company behind the product — Spot Inc., a start-up in Milpitas, Calif., owned by Globalstar (GSAT) — is certainly using jarring selling tactics. "Live to tell about it" is one of the statements plastered on the product's packaging. Another reads: "Opening this box is the first step to making sure you don't come home in one."

Spot is sold online and at leading outdoor specialty retailers. It only recently became available and will be among the myriad gizmos showcased at next week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Here's a closer look:

•Picking your options. The first thing you must do is visit the findmespot.com website to activate the device and choose a subscription plan. The basic $100 annual plan gives you the ability to summon 911 to dispatch emergency responders to your location. The 911 transmissions are sent to Geos Alliance, an international emergency response and security firm. The same plan also lets you send a brief "I'm OK" e-mail and/or text message to predesignated friends or an "I need help" message to your contacts.

For an additional $50 a year, people can track your progress through Google Maps. The device will update your location every 10 minutes.

An extra $7.95 buys you a "search-and-rescue" benefit through Geos, to pay for a helicopter or other services used to lift you out of danger, up to $100,000.

•Using the device. Spot could be friendlier, despite having only four buttons: Help, On/Off, OK and 911. The status lights that blink depending on the functions you have initiated are confusing.

You are meant to press the Help button for a non-threatening emergency and 911 when the situation is critical. You'll have to press and hold the 911 button for at least two seconds to prevent you from accidentally summoning such assistance when you don't need it. Geos will attempt to reach the police, Coast Guard, U.S. Embassy or other appropriate emergency responders during a 911 request.

Spot doesn't have a keyboard or keypad. That's unfortunate, because you cannot compose a specific message that lets outsiders know the nature of your situation, should, say, your vehicle break down. Pressing the Help or OK buttons sends the generic text messages (up to 115 characters) you entered on Spot's website prior to leaving on your journey.

•The technology. Though Spot relies on GPS to determine your whereabouts, it will attempt to send a distress message to your contacts even when it is unable to pinpoint your location. Hopefully, your family members or friends have a general idea where you're heading. Messages are transmitted via a commercial satellite network.

Spot can last about a year on fresh AA lithium batteries, the company says. In tracking mode, the unit can go about two weeks before you must replace the batteries, or up to a week in 911 mode.

Spot is a product you hope you will never have to rely on. But the company cites statistics that say more than 50,000 search-and-rescue missions are initiated in the USA yearly, with rescue workers often not knowing the exact location of the missing party. If you're in that dire condition, Spot might provide the lifeline to bail you out of danger.
Highway to hell

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SuperstitionGuy
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Re: SPOT

Post by SuperstitionGuy » Jan 04 2008 6:10 am

For those of us that like to go solo and off trail this is great news. SAR units will also have to spend less time in the field as they will know exactly where to send their searchers. To bad however that they will not know the cause for the search.

IE - does the rescuee need a paramedic or just another bottle of water?
A man's body may grow old, but inside his spirit can still be as young and restless as ever.
- Garth McCann from the movie Second Hand Lions

Another victim of Pixel Trivia.

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Grasshopper
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Re: SPOT

Post by Grasshopper » Jan 04 2008 11:06 am

SuperstitionGuy wrote:To bad however that they will not know the cause for the search.
IE - does the rescuee need a paramedic or just another bottle of water?
True, but it is also important that IF one does need this type of help, that the help arrives ASAP, and this SPOT device should help assure that this happens..
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")

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joebartels
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Re: SPOT

Post by joebartels » Jan 04 2008 11:17 am

Will SAR go off trail if they know the exact location?
Hike Arizona it ROCKS!

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SuperstitionGuy
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Re: SPOT

Post by SuperstitionGuy » Jan 04 2008 8:52 pm

If the helicopter doesn't get there first - you bet!!!!
A man's body may grow old, but inside his spirit can still be as young and restless as ever.
- Garth McCann from the movie Second Hand Lions

Another victim of Pixel Trivia.

Current avatar courtesy of Snakemarks

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chumley
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Re: SPOT

Post by chumley » Jan 09 2008 11:30 am

Doesn't specify if it was a SPOT, but an older couple got stranded in the Bradshaws and used their PLB to be rescued.
Republic
Jan. 9, 2008 09:01 AM
A Peoria couple stranded in the Yavapai County wilderness were rescued Monday after they activated a personal locater system in their vehicle, authorities said.

Ken and Quinn Golash, who are in their sixties, were found stuck near Forest Roads 711 and 132 southwest of Crown King after a night of inclement weather, said Sgt. Karl Bentz, a spokesman for the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office.

The couple was airlifted by a Department of Public Safety ranger to a Forest Patrol station and are in good condition, officials said.

Bentz said the couple exercised good judgment by activating their personal locator beacon, or PLB, which sent their coordinates out. The United States Air Force Rescue Coordination Center received the signal and immediately found the couple's location.

"The signal from the PLB proved to be very accurate and was of great assistance in locating the Golashes," Bentz said.

The Sheriff's Office urges people to prepare for the worst when traveling in the wilderness and to keep PLB registration updated.
Highway to hell

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joebartels
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Re: SPOT

Post by joebartels » Jan 09 2008 12:01 pm

I like it, just don't care for the lack of preparedness it likely creates.

If one wishes to jump out without sufficient research and training then surely it's worth a few thousand dollars to pay for your own rescue.
Hike Arizona it ROCKS!

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davidanthonyporter
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Re: SPOT

Post by davidanthonyporter » Jan 13 2008 1:19 pm

Santa brought me a Spot for Christmas. So far my hikes have been fairly close in and/or on fairly populated trails. However, once my physical and experience levels rise, I like that fact that I can push a button and get help if I get in trouble. I especially like the "I'm ok button" and the "non emergency help" buttons.

I look at this as valuable insurance. The device costs around $100 and the annual service is similarly priced.

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djui5
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Re: SPOT

Post by djui5 » Jan 13 2008 6:58 pm

Wow what a cool device, though I can see the large window for abuse.
I really would like to have one when the price comes down, especially since I hike in some dangerously remote regions. This would make my wife more comfortable if anything, and that is worth spending money on, trust me :scared:

hey, it's even endorsed by Les Stroud...haha

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Sun_Ray
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Re: SPOT

Post by Sun_Ray » Mar 27 2008 5:26 pm

Was about to post a question to see if anyone had any info on this device. Sounds like it does what it says it will do. Like the ability to send the "OK" message as I hike allow at times, take a wrong turn and end up out longer that I've discuss with my spose. I've been out lost over night years ago and believe me the price of this item will look cheap when you really need some help. Thanks for the info.
Brian
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday......there is no SOMEDAY!

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nonot
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Re: SPOT

Post by nonot » Mar 27 2008 7:38 pm

There's something you can get out there that will call for help and likely get anyone nearby to come find you. It has no recurring monthly fees and is fairly cheap. It's called: a whistle.
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
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big_load
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Re: SPOT

Post by big_load » Mar 27 2008 8:54 pm

nonot wrote:There's something you can get out there that will call for help and likely get anyone nearby to come find you. It has no recurring monthly fees and is fairly cheap. It's called: a whistle.
Yeah, but if I picked the right hike, there's nobody close enough to hear it. (I still always carry a really loud whistle, though.)

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Jeffshadows
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Re: SPOT

Post by Jeffshadows » Mar 28 2008 7:51 am

djui5 wrote:Wow what a cool device, though I can see the large window for abuse.
I really would like to have one when the price comes down, especially since I hike in some dangerously remote regions. This would make my wife more comfortable if anything, and that is worth spending money on, trust me :scared:

hey, it's even endorsed by Les Stroud...haha
I was actually thinking the exact same thing, if the wife can log on and see where I am periodically, that will make life a whole lot easier for us both. One thing - supposedly Backpacker is going to have a not-so-nice article about these coming up in an issue, soon. I'm not really sure why they'd trash it, but I've heard rumors that it doesn't work everywhere and has battery problems. I guy I used to work with has one and he used to send those periodic "check my progress" messages out to everyone to brag that he was at the Grand Canyon or wherever while the rest of us were stuck at work. It looked like it worked pretty well, but I think I remember him mentioning a hefty price tag for the unit and a heftier one for the service?
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