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MTG
03-07-2013, 03:53 PM
I do not recall seeing a thread on this before, hopefully not a repeat.

Anyone have/use one of these? Thoughts? Reviews?

http://www.findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=116


Today's smartphones provide a level of social connection far beyond what we imagined just a few years ago. But when you go beyond the reach of the grid, your smartphone needs the help of SPOT Connect to keep you in touch with friends, family, and emergency personnel. Simply pair your smartphone with SPOT Connect, and get connected to a global satellite network that lets you send messages and GPS coordinates from virtually anywhere on the planet. Update Twitter and Facebook. Send email and text messages. Request non-emergency help from professional service providers. And in the case of a critical emergency, send an SOS message requesting emergency assistance.

wayoflife
03-07-2013, 04:09 PM
We have one and have fortunately never needed to use it.

LoPo
03-07-2013, 04:18 PM
Robert and I have both considered picking them up in the past. We generally go in larger groups for longer distance runs and our local runs we generally have people that know where we are at... But I think I may pick one up in the next year or so now that I'm going to start including my daughter and probably hit more runs with fewer people/rigs.

MTG
03-07-2013, 04:19 PM
We have one and have fortunately never needed to use it.

I was surprised to see how relatively inexpensive it appears to be. I think it would be a good thing to have and never use. :thumb:

ramin
03-07-2013, 04:45 PM
I have the Delorme version. It's nice to be able to communicate with the family when you are in remote area!
Hopefully I'll never have to use the SOS
Function :)

wayoflife
03-07-2013, 04:48 PM
I have the Delorme version. It's nice to be able to communicate with the family when you are in remote area!
Hopefully I'll never have to use the SOS
Function :)

I have seen this as well and may have considered it if it had come out sooner. I do like the options that it has.

MTG
03-07-2013, 04:54 PM
I have the Delorme version. It's nice to be able to communicate with the family when you are in remote area!
Hopefully I'll never have to use the SOS
Function :)

I saw that one but didn't look at it too closely. It adds a GPS unit correct?

ramin
03-07-2013, 04:59 PM
I saw that one but didn't look at it too closely. It adds a GPS unit correct?

There are 2 version of these. One works with their handheld GPS unit and the other (which i have) works with either an iPhone or android OS.

daveroberts
03-07-2013, 05:12 PM
I have the Delorme version. It's nice to be able to communicate with the family when you are in remote area!
Hopefully I'll never have to use the SOS
Function :)

This is what I have as well. Easy to use small enough to carry in your back pack if you wanted to use it besides just in the Jeep. Cheap insurance policy I think mine costs me $9 a year. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it! Glad I've never needed the SOS:thumb:

Sharkey
03-07-2013, 05:48 PM
http://www.inreachdelorme.com/product-info/inreach-smartphone.php

The SPOT is good basic insurance. I really like the idea of the smartphone/texting and tracking features on the delorme. I think you can pay extra to do it with the SPOT though.

If things go bad, it would be nice to be able to send a message saying "what" help is needed, not just that help is needed.

BlackDiamondBound
03-07-2013, 06:14 PM
looks like a good device, i think ill pick one up this summer. here are some others that have used it as well as other types of similar devices

http://wayalife.com/showthread.php?4700-back-country-communications

Awesome
03-08-2013, 02:56 AM
I have friends that do a lot of desert racing/pre running (ULTRA4) that use this. I am the contact for some friends if something goes wrong..... Thankfully if there is a roll over or the like they are able to get assistance from the crew they run with and have never used the emergency function. It is cool how it "checks in" and send updates fairly often. :twocents:

EDIT

They also have a satellite phone just in case as well...

jkjurny
03-13-2013, 05:04 AM
I have the version with the iPhone. Also paid the extra $50 a year so people can track my progress online.

What I did notice is that it doesn't work well through the windshield on the dashboard with the top on.

With the Freedom Top off, Progress updated every 10 minutes as it should. When I had out the top back on, updates were hit or miss.

You also need to make sure the unit is completely horizontal when you use it. Hiking forums have complaints that a slight 15-20 degree angle can prevent the signal from working.

BlackRockBurner
03-13-2013, 05:33 AM
Another thing to buy when I bug out.

davantalus
03-14-2013, 02:24 AM
Having used a SPOT for two and a half years, I'll weigh in on the caveats:

• As with all radio signals, you need line-of-sight to a satellite in the constallation. Understandably slot canyons will be tough because it won't have a full view of the sky. Expect "spotty" service at best.

• If you're under trees, chances are it won't work very well either. The low-power high-frequency signal the device emits just doesn't penetrate well.

• They don't work everywhere on earth, but North America is pretty reliable I've found.

• It'll attempt to send your "OK" three times after getting GPS lock then stop. You should leave it on and transmitting for at least 15 minutes if you really care about the OK message.

• This may seem obvious, but it has to be pointed correctly at the sky... if you're backpacking that can be a pain. If it's sitting on your hood, it's easy. I've left mine lying forgotten on the ground and had to go back for it two or three times, my favorite place is on the hood, since presumably you'll see it before driving off.

• I've had luck using mine through various windshields, but keep in mind jeeps have a more vertical windshield rake than most.

• The batteries last damn near forever if you're not using tracking mode.

• They're awesome in the desert. I typically will use the "other" transmission as "I'm rappelling into this here abandoned mine shaft. If you haven't received an OK message in 12 hours send my coordinates to the San Bernardino Cave Rescue team."

• If you press the red button and the GPS was unable to obtain a lock (slot canyon or whatever) but the unit was able to send a signal (RX satellite directly overhead), GEOS will contact your emergency contacts to see if they know where you are. (long story there. :P) So tell people where you're going and let them know to answer their phones if they see weird numbers.

• Their website is unacceptably hard to use.

I consider a Sat phone every year but the SPOT had treated me as well as can be expected for a fraction of the price.