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SPOT Satelite GPS Messenger

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

The spot is a very handy device that I have used in my job and decided to buy one of my own for my personal life. I routinely spend on average ~20 hours a week year round traveling or recreating in the back country in and arround logan canyon where cel service is totally unreliable. The purpose of the spot is to allow very simple communication from anywhere to friends and family and emergency response personnel when I am outside my cel phone coverage area. The spot allows for transmission of 5 preprogrammed messages. These include 911 / emergency service, a check-in feature to tell friends and family you are ok, an active tracking feature to let friends / family know your current location through out the day, a help / assist button to request help of the non-emergency variety from (friends / family / paid subscription service) as well as a custom message.

The setup was simple and took about 3o minutes. In addition to the cost of the device ($150) paid subscription for emergency service is also required for the device to function. The basic service is $100 for 1 year. Tracking is $50 per year, and rescue insurance is $25 per year. I got all this stuff for 2 years. Total $500.

The device its self is very easy top operate. Just turn it on an then press one of the 5 buttons on the front of the spot to send a message. Its important to read the instructions to understand how it works. The spot can only do one thing at a time and it takes a good deal of time to transmit a message. Sending a Check-In message is a process that takes up to an hour and sends multiple redundant signals to make sure that your message gets through regardless of spotty gps reception.

After consultation with my coworkers who have used the spot for 2 years, I am told that not only is the spot water proof, it also floats. And its basically immune to breakage.

I think this device or something similar really should be basic equipment for the back country traveler or anyone who spends a significant amount of time off the grid.

Edited by tromano - 12/29/10 at 8:24am
post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 

This is a screen capture from the spot website.


Its a page that I created and shared in about 10 minutes for the purposes of my wife and baby daughter at home keeping tabs on me when I am out having fun.


spot track.JPG

Edited by tromano - 12/29/10 at 8:54am
post #3 of 6

There is an informal mt bike race from Canada to Mexico completely monitored by SPOT.  One guy had his bike stolen and used it to get it back.  I'll look for a cool time lapse link if I can find it.

post #4 of 6

Here it is:





can't seem to get it to embed

post #5 of 6

Wasn't there a story in the news a year or two ago about an idiot who thought his Spot was an avalanche beacon and turned on the emergency mode every time he went into the backcountry?

post #6 of 6

Cool looking toy.  It would be nice for the cross country MC trips to let family know where I am.  For tracking, does it just display on a web page?


The potential for abuse in non-emergencies is obvious.  What kind of deterrence is there to tripping false calls for help.  I assume emergency assistance should only be used for life-threatening emergencies.

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