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Never Get Lost Again, Spot GPS

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by Exonoesis, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. After many messages about this from other members, this thread is to notify you of SPOT GPS Technology and my experiences with it from a riders point of view. and encourage all riders to own one, for the reasons below.

    Now for starters there is two Recent spot devices one called (prices in australian stores.)

    -Spot Connect connecting via blue tooth device/Smartphone , iPhone/ipad, androids
    -Spot 2 (replacing old spot)

    i see these devices as a friend to watch your back if you came off. For those who ride alone this is a real value for money if you ever got worried about riding alone

    Spots service allows your friends and family know where you are as well as these options

    -Checking in, Send a pre-defined message allowing your friends and family know that all is OK along with your GPS location. With a push of a button a message is sent via email or SMS to up to 10 pre-determined contacts and your waypoint is stored in your SPOT account for later reference.

    -HELP Message , Request help from friends and family every 5 min for 1 hour. Up to 10 contacts via SMS & email

    -SOS Emergency assistance request sent with your GPS location to GEOS every 5 min until batteries die or until cancelled The GEOS International Emergency Response Center alerts the appropriate agencies worldwide –for example our 000 to emergency services.

    Below are two videos advertising each product.


    SPOT 2

    Now lets get one thing straight the spot connect has a pretty awsome feature when you can use your smartphone to send custom messages but when you come off and have to
    1 Setup the Spot connect by turning it on
    2 Get your smartphone to connect to the spot
    3 activating a SOS or HELP function
    this can be very serious if you have ran off the road on your bike and your in a broken mess. personally this one is good for if your not on the bike, but possibly bush walking etc maybe.

    I Personally thinks spot 2 is the way to go for riders, as we can have it clipped on our pants, and when and if you ever came off you could hit your General family Help or SOS and without all the messing around you could have a emergency team on there way.
    At the end of the day i recommend you to own at least one of these. as one day it might save your life.

    The cost of these devices (one off cost as you should only need to buy it once)
    SPOT 2 $199
    SPOT Connect $249

    Services costs include:

    Standard Service $ 115 USD
    -Check in
    -Custom message
    -Shares location with Facebook & Twitter

    Tracking $49.99 USD per year - Track Progress allows friends and family to follow your progress online in real time or to save waypoints so you can review your entire route at a later date. SPOT Track Progress automatically sends your GPS location waypoint to a Google Map every 10 minutes. In my opinion this isnt worth it as when you send out a checkin/custom message you can be seen from your last checkpoint.

    Type & Send $49.99 USD 500 Msgs *** This only is for SPOT CONNECT!
    Use SPOT Connect or the the PN-60w with SPOT Communicator to send custom email and text messages via satellites to your contacts. Create up to 41 character SOS, Help and Check-in/OK messages. Messages will be sent directly to the contact groups you select via email or SMS. If you encounter problems, you can send a custom SOS message describing your situation, with your GPS position included. Post custom messages on Twitter, Facebook.

    GEOS Member Rescue Benefit-$19.95 USD per year- I will say first this is a must have if you own this devices.
    Geos provide the SOS/911 monitoring included in your Basic Service. You can upgrade to the GEOS Member Benefit for reimbursement of up to $100K in Search and Rescue (SAR) expenses - even coordinating a private SAR contractor if needed to get you to safety.


    To share my personal experiences

    I own a Spot 2

    Activated services
    -Basic serivce with check in, Custom message, Help, SOS $115 USD
    -SOS Geos members benifit For $100k rescue cover.$20USD
    -$20 worth of text messages with auto buy option if i run out.
    Below are my Settings,

    i have also set up tracking which is free which works off a free website SpotWalla
    which allows me to track each individual trip and post it on my blog as seen below


    eachtime i initiated a checkin message it was sent to the mobiles above as well as the email address's with a direct link on google maps to where the spot signal had been sent.


    Please post your comments and if i haven't mentioned it above i will add it to save having to go over it again.

    Ebay Prices
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/SPOT-Connect-Smartphone-Satellite-Communicator-WORLDWIDE-SHIPPING-WESTLAKE-/280780473103?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item415fd2030f --Spot Connect $165AUD Delivered
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/SPOT-2-Personal-GPS-Tracker-Satellite-Messenger-Orange-/400260942138?pt=GPS_Devices&hash=item5d3169493a---Spot 2 $165


  2. Great review, thanks!

    The problem though that I have with these, and most other, GPS related safety devices is the requirement of GSM/3G connectivity. Frequently enough we are out of range of a GSM connection when trouble occurs, thereby rendering such a device useless.

    How has your experience been in this regard?
  3. This is working directly off satellite, no 3g , and it works first time every time. as i mentioned the Connect is all and good if your got the time to set it up and press SOS etc, and keep your iPhone charged out in the middle of no where.

    SPOT 2 is what i am recommending for all riders as it has the advantage of press one button and you have someone receiving your message within 15 minutes. providing you can see the sky. below is a map of its coverage.

    go to http://www.jakk.id.au/?page_id=60 my blog "where is jack" and that is my last trip all those besides start and finish was out of range of mobile coverage.May i also add when u jump on the site, scroll into as close as you can, that is where i was exactly at 2m accuracy which i believe is spot on.

  4. Friend who is a Far Rider uses one of these so I got a Spot 2 for a trip I did over the New Year break: sydney, putty rd denman, rylstone, bathurst, goulburn, braidwood, narooma, tathra, orbost, bairnsdale, omeo, hotham, wangaratta, beechworth, corryong, thredbo, jindabyne, sydney. Travelling on my own and in somewhat remote locations I went with this for the reasons noted in previous posts: runs off satellite, etc.
    Worked well for first couple of days and then failed completely. Couldn't pick up a satellite to send a message from Thredbo, jindabyne, or now anywhere else. Ie standing in a wide open field in sydney it does not work.

    Spot have told me to put in a warranty claim and they will replace, which I am about to do, and will report on how the new one goes. If it does work as claimed (and which it did for first few days) it is a great device for letting people know where you are, tracking your waypoints, etc, and sending out a distress call.

    But web is full of stories of people who have had problems with these. My concern is I want to be sure that when I press the SOS button that the signal will get out. It is not sold as an EPIRB or PLB, and uses a different satellite system to those. I will probably get a PLB as well, just to be sure.

    You also need to be aware that Spot is sold and managed by a commercial organisation, not emergency services. This means that your distress signal goes to their facility and is then passed on to relevant local emergency services, but hidden in the fine print is authorisation for them to use commercial search and rescue and your agreement to pay the cost of recovery/extraction. Perhaps not a big issue if you put in the call from somewhere outside of Thredbo, as the local services will come running, but if you are somewhere remote overseas, could be a costly exercise. And its unlikely you will be in any condition to send the helo away. This is why they have S&R insurance as an add on.
  5. i got mine reasonably recently but i got mine because of a rider who had the first SPOT1 and now owns spot 2 used his for many many years and he has not had a problem with it, and has actually used the "general help" function to save another rider who had fallen off. SOS is obviously life or death situation, but it would be nice to know how efficiently the service actually works, its a disappointment to hear your having trouble with yours, thanks for your experiences with it.
  6. I've got a spot messenger - one of my buttons is programmed to SMS the mrs to ask that more money be deposited into my account for "emergency repairs" :D. Have used the tracking feature which is pretty useful. It's good to have some extra peace of mind - I also took out the optional search and rescue cover which was about $50 I think.