Splitboard.com Forums

The World's first exclusive splitboard discussion forums






It is currently Mon Sep 01, 2014 5:16 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 52 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: SPOT Locators - YOUR THOUGHTS PLEASE
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:54 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:40 pm
Posts: 114
Location: Seattle
I have seen both the SPOT and the McMurdo PLB in action. They are both really for separate uses.

The SPOT is great for people with friends and family following your progress on a blog for instance. It is fun to watch the progress on friends trips. It is less reliable as an emergency location and message service and there is room for user error in terms of messages sent.

The McMurdo is small, and doesn't cost anything for a subscription. It does one thing and one thing only, it sends a very strong and accurate signal immediately that provides a geographic location to emergency services who will determine which agency will be responsible for the rescue.

The SPOT is a little more fun, but the McMurdo or other PLB is bottom line in terms of saving your ass when it matters most. It would be a mistake to buy the SPOT thinking you can have it both ways. Just decide what you are really buying it for and go for it.

None of these of course is a substitute for avoiding these situations to begin with and being self sufficient, but occasionally things happen.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: SPOT Locators - YOUR THOUGHTS PLEASE
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:43 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2006 11:49 pm
Posts: 25
Location: South Shore
I have been using one of the original Spot's for 3 yrs, and I have found it to be very reliable sending out messages when in the open.
It will typically send out a message within 2 or 3 minutes, but sometimes takes up to 5 minutes. Areas without clear view of the sky do not always work. The device has been inadvertantly powered on inside my pack, so I try to store it away from objects that might activate it. It has been very good letting family know that I am ok. And I do trust it in the event of an emergency


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: SPOT Locators - YOUR THOUGHTS PLEASE
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:36 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:57 am
Posts: 152
Location: Canada
After testing during an avy course over the weekend, I found the spot doesn't interfere with a beacon in track mode - THAT I COULD TELL. An ipod against the beacon (being searched for) compared to the spot (running in track mode) against the beacon gave very different results. The ipod would give the tracking beacon dodgey readings on the fine search. The spot didn't seem to affect the tracking beacon's readings during the fine search. Beacon's tested were ortovox S1, tracker DTS and tracker2.

That said I would not carry any electronic device against or in close proximity to the beacon when riding after seeing slight anamolies during search. When I'm tracking with my spot its clipped to the outside/top of my pack though for signal, and we definetely found no interferance at that distance.

Tracking worked awesome though, and the spot ran all day in -35C without a hitch :thumbsup:

http://www.spotadventures.com/trip/view/?trip_id=291512

Thats our map, I need to pay more attention to which way points I export to adventure maps next time though, I added all of the drive in, and none of the day two runs lol but you can zoom right in to see where we got our grind on in bow summit.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: SPOT Locators - YOUR THOUGHTS PLEASE
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:53 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:10 am
Posts: 1176
Location: Denver
So I am going to pick up one of these:

Image

http://www.wildsnow.com/7796/inreach-delorme-review-reach/

Ayone using one yet? I am still deciding on picking up the compatible GPS as well for easier navigation then with just the iphone.

_________________
Phantom Bindings
Furberg Split 167


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: SPOT Locators - YOUR THOUGHTS PLEASE
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:16 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:38 pm
Posts: 819
Location: The Belly of Ham baby!!
Oh, yeah! Those are sick!!

_________________
PROFESSIONAL AMBASSADOR OF STOKE


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: SPOT Locators - YOUR THOUGHTS PLEASE
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:02 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:44 pm
Posts: 34
Just wanted to throw out a story to exemplify a point about PLB's and SPOTs:

Some folks at the Mountain Rescue Group that I'm involved with told me this story (and tell it every time someone talks about PLB/Spots). Basically, two winters ago the SAR group received a distress signal from a PLB coming from the Winter Park/Berthoud Pass area. They rounded up a group to respond to the signal and find the party, but by the time they got on I-70, the signal shut off and did not return. They went to the last signal point and could not find anyone needing assistance. Two weeks later, the same exact thing happened. Signal goes out, SAR responds, signal goes away, no one found. Then one week goes by and the signal returns, this time they respond to the signal and it doesn't turn off, in fact, they track the signal and it is coming toward them at 65 mph down I-70. So they follow it all the way to Boulder and finally come across the signal, intercept the party and find the guy. Turns out, the guy using it thought it was an avalanche beacon. He would turn it on, go on his tour up at Berthoud, then go back to the car and turn it off for the day.

Moral of the story, a PLB/Spot is NOT an avalanche beacon. Right tool for the right job.

_________________
RogueRider | Front Range, CO | http://www.soilandswell.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: SPOT Locators - YOUR THOUGHTS PLEASE
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:33 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:57 am
Posts: 152
Location: Canada
Sounds like darwinsim still works.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: SPOT Locators - YOUR THOUGHTS PLEASE
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:45 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:55 pm
Posts: 290
Location: Whistler, Coast Mtns
I looked in to options and a PLB is what I thought best for me but my girl went out and got me a SPOT 3 months ago and I have been using that at the moment.

I initially asked her to take it back, after researching it I did not feel very confident.
My reasons:
-In an emergency a distress signal will NOT go straight to Search and Rescue, it goes to a call center which then relays a message to the appropriate authorities.(PLB's go direct)
-It is based on just one satellite system(Globalstar I believe), significantly less reach than a PLB
-subscription, after the up front purchase fee there is the annual subscription.
This didn't bother me too much until I read further reviews about how hard it is to opt out of automatic subscription renewal. There are LOTS of complaints about the poor customer service relating to this also.


After it sitting around the house for a few weeks I figured, what the hell, I'll try it out.

Simple subscription($99 a year) that allows no 'tracking' but I can send a message('ok') whenever I feel like it. Set it up so it sends any messages to both my, and my girls phone(via text) and her email.
I've taken it out hiking and on a few biking trips. It definitely takes a few minutes for it to be relayed. Without a good view of the sky(treecover/steep hillside) it does not always get a message off. I've missed several messages I tried to send out.

With that been said I've found it useful.On a 55km bike loop through the Chilcotins I send out 7 messages, about one every hour. My girl could keep an eye on my days progress through Google Earth mapping. As soon as I get back in cell range all the messages I sent show up on my phone. I get home and check it out and can get a good idea of timing.

My overall thoughts. I'm not completely confident with it, but in most circumstance it will do the job.
It is useful for leaving 'breadcrumbs' so my girl knows where I am.



HikeforTurns wrote:
So I am going to pick up one of these:

Image

http://www.wildsnow.com/7796/inreach-delorme-review-reach/

Ayone using one yet? I am still deciding on picking up the compatible GPS as well for easier navigation then with just the iphone.





I'm pretty sure forum user DaveB and his regular partner(one of the Treadway brothers) are using the Delorme. I saw a bunch of facebook updates from a one of their icefield trips.
It uses the same satellite system as the SPOT.

If you want to throw down some cash the new PIEPS(just bought by Black Diamond) is pimp....$800 and $25/month

http://www.pieps.com/en/pieps-globalfinder#&panel1-3


I also carry a pair of cheap GMRS radios for communication between my partners and have just picked up a VHF radio.
Taking a course to get the proper license as once you start using the VHF band things become very regulated. In many cases you will be able to get out a signal via VHF. We also do lots of heli drops so if needed we can also get in touch with our heli operator.



I think a PLB is the way to go, this is what mariners and pilots use. Simple.

_________________
Jamie May


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: SPOT Locators - YOUR THOUGHTS PLEASE
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:53 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:59 pm
Posts: 200
Location: SLC, Wasatch front.
"Help, I've fallen and I can't get up!"

_________________
"Finding hope in uncertainty is far different than temping fate."

Burton Freebird/spark blazes/ burton ruler boots


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: SPOT Locators - YOUR THOUGHTS PLEASE
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:40 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 11:42 am
Posts: 529
Location: Oakland, CA
whistlermaverick wrote:
-In an emergency a distress signal will NOT go straight to Search and Rescue, it goes to a call center which then relays a message to the appropriate authorities.(PLB's go direct)


Not exactly true.

SPOT messages go to SPOT's dispatch center, who then in turn contacts the local jurisdictional authority based on your GPS coordinates (such as county fire dept, sheriff's agency, etc.). SPOT's dispatch center refers your registration details, GPS coordinates, and time of emergency distress signal to the agency.

PLBs work in nearly identical fashion. In North America, the signal goes to the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC), with a copy of your PLB registration which is on file with NOAA. The AFRCC will then coordinate the state rescue agency (CalEMA in my case) with your registration details, GPS coordinates, time of distress signal etc. Then, the state emergency management or rescue agency initiates with the local rescue resources.

A great case study of PLB-initiated rescue is the NOLS class that came under grizzly bear attack in Alaska last year. This article breaks down the layers of rescue coordination, their roles, decision making process, and available resources.
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/a ... ?page=full

So don't just think you buy a device and it's instant insurance. Your response is going to be very dependent on your location, the rescue resources available to your local teams, and their decision making protocols.

whistlermaverick wrote:
-It is based on just one satellite system(Globalstar I believe), significantly less reach than a PLB


SPOT is based on the Globalstar network.

PLBs use NOAA low-earth orbit weather satellites, and in addition the distress signals can be detected by international COSPAS-SARSAT satellites used by many European government agencies.

Another advantage of PLBs is that they are a redundant system. The devices typically include a 121 MHz local distress signal that can be detected by aircraft flyover. Many search agencies do not like using the equipment because it is not precise, but they still have it, in case the GPS coordinates are unavailable in the distress signal (a PLB can generate a 406 MHz distress signal to a SARSAT even if it's unable to attain a GPS fix). This 121 MHz frequency is the same frequency used by aviation and nautical craft EPIRBs.



And, the only reason I know so much about this shit because I had lung surgery in 2010 and there was some fear for repeat spontaneous pneumothorax in the future ... not good to happen way deep in the field, so I had to figure out how to work out appropriate emergency evac plans for myself (and partners) ...

It's good to make a point to include relevant medical conditions and details in the SPOT or PLB registration file, such as any equipment that is needed or likely means of travel (will be on skis) etc. If I ever trigger my PLB, the County SAR will know that I have "history of spont pneumo and needle thoracostomy may be req"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: SPOT Locators - YOUR THOUGHTS PLEASE
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:53 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 11:42 am
Posts: 529
Location: Oakland, CA
SchralphMacchio wrote:
A great case study of PLB-initiated rescue is the NOLS class that came under grizzly bear attack in Alaska last year. This article breaks down the layers of rescue coordination, their roles, decision making process, and available resources.
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/a ... ?page=full


That article by the way calls out the challenge that rescuers have if they don't have any information about the scope of the incident. Which is why THIS

HikeforTurns wrote:
So I am going to pick up one of these:

Image


is useful because you can indicate the nature of the emergency - multiple vics, what kind of terrain, rescue resources might be needed etc.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: SPOT Locators - YOUR THOUGHTS PLEASE
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:44 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:55 pm
Posts: 290
Location: Whistler, Coast Mtns
SchralphMacchio wrote:
whistlermaverick wrote:
-In an emergency a distress signal will NOT go straight to Search and Rescue, it goes to a call center which then relays a message to the appropriate authorities.(PLB's go direct)


Not exactly true.

SPOT messages go to SPOT's dispatch center, who then in turn contacts the local jurisdictional authority based on your GPS coordinates (such as county fire dept, sheriff's agency, etc.). SPOT's dispatch center refers your registration details, GPS coordinates, and time of emergency distress signal to the agency.

PLBs work in nearly identical fashion. In North America, the signal goes to the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC), with a copy of your PLB registration which is on file with NOAA. The AFRCC will then coordinate the state rescue agency (CalEMA in my case) with your registration details, GPS coordinates, time of distress signal etc. Then, the state emergency management or rescue agency initiates with the local rescue resources.

A great case study of PLB-initiated rescue is the NOLS class that came under grizzly bear attack in Alaska last year. This article breaks down the layers of rescue coordination, their roles, decision making process, and available resources.
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/a ... ?page=full

So don't just think you buy a device and it's instant insurance. Your response is going to be very dependent on your location, the rescue resources available to your local teams, and their decision making protocols.

whistlermaverick wrote:
-It is based on just one satellite system(Globalstar I believe), significantly less reach than a PLB


SPOT is based on the Globalstar network.

PLBs use NOAA low-earth orbit weather satellites, and in addition the distress signals can be detected by international COSPAS-SARSAT satellites used by many European government agencies.

Another advantage of PLBs is that they are a redundant system. The devices typically include a 121 MHz local distress signal that can be detected by aircraft flyover. Many search agencies do not like using the equipment because it is not precise, but they still have it, in case the GPS coordinates are unavailable in the distress signal (a PLB can generate a 406 MHz distress signal to a SARSAT even if it's unable to attain a GPS fix). This 121 MHz frequency is the same frequency used by aviation and nautical craft EPIRBs.



And, the only reason I know so much about this shit because I had lung surgery in 2010 and there was some fear for repeat spontaneous pneumothorax in the future ... not good to happen way deep in the field, so I had to figure out how to work out appropriate emergency evac plans for myself (and partners) ...

It's good to make a point to include relevant medical conditions and details in the SPOT or PLB registration file, such as any equipment that is needed or likely means of travel (will be on skis) etc. If I ever trigger my PLB, the County SAR will know that I have "history of spont pneumo and needle thoracostomy may be req"








PLB's are made with a country code, and the 49th parallel makes a big difference.
I'm in Canada, you guys are in the US.
In Canada they are registered with a registry run by the Department of Defence.
Coast Guard, Air Force, or local Search and Rescue are alerted and dispatched.
The article quoted is worrying.
With our west coast search and rescue base(CFB Comox) right on the doorstep of the Coast Mountains I hope a similar problem would not occur in this area.

Another caveat.
If you travel out of country be aware and find out how your device will relate a signal to authorities.

_________________
Jamie May


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: SPOT Locators - YOUR THOUGHTS PLEASE
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:04 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 11:42 am
Posts: 529
Location: Oakland, CA
ah, I totally missed your Whistler location. Well, now anyone reading this from US knows how it works here!

Yeah I should direct an inquiry to AFRCC about what happens if a GPS location and distress signal originate from a country different than registration.

I would imagine if the signal is picked up by an older COSPAS satellite under operation by a foreign government, they may not have access to decode the GPS information and would initiate a 121 MHz flyover search according to their own protocols ... and budget :)


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 52 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: THESYSTEMSPLIT and 12 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  





Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group