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 Post subject: SPOT Locators - YOUR THOUGHTS PLEASE
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:38 pm
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Location: The Belly of Ham baby!!
Had a bit of an epic last week on Mt Stuart. My lady friend and I spent an unplanned night shivering on an alpine ledge high on the complex and technical West Ridge. Long story short, we were a day late coming out, and both our families freaked out and called search and rescue. We were met by a group of my old climbing buddies hiking up the trail on the way out! It was amazing to see how many people cared about us!

My question is how many of you guys/gals use SPOT locators? It occurred to me that being able to send an "I'm going to be late but am okay" message would have saved a lot of grief for our parents and families.

Anyway, I may buy one of these for those multi-day trips where cell service is nowhere to be found.

Thanks!!

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 Post subject: Re: SPOT Locators - YOUR THOUGHTS PLEASE
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 8:20 am 
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Location: St. Croix Falls, WI
Russ... get one homeeeee. I bought one when they 1st came out. If you consider your life worth a couple hundo. Do it... plus, my ability to send an "OK" gives my wife a sense of peace when I'm out for a few days w/o any other method of contact.

Some people may give you shit, but them peeps got a salty ball-bag they can nibble on.

A minor injury in difficult terrain w/o help...will kill you. That's all the motivation you should really need, eh?

OBTW.. glad you both made it out safe Russ :thumpsup:

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 Post subject: Re: SPOT Locators - YOUR THOUGHTS PLEASE
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:55 pm 
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Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
yep, I got one. wouldent trade it for the world!

I would definatly recomend you get one. the best part is that famlie and friends get the piece of mind from the OK message and awesoem to have when you need help.

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 Post subject: Re: SPOT Locators - YOUR THOUGHTS PLEASE
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:19 pm 
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Location: Surfing or Splitboarding Downunder
russman
I made a board for a guy that has one.
He tours 90% of the time by himself and its a cheap insurance policy in my mind.
I think it has 3 options for signaling for help, distress and OK but will be late.
Great thing is that it not run on the mobile phone network so signal isnt an issue.

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 Post subject: Re: SPOT Locators - YOUR THOUGHTS PLEASE
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:50 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 2:23 pm
Posts: 453
Location: Howell Mt., Napa Valley
Two words -Satellite phone

ok, here a few more words.
My satellite phone is month to month. No contracts.
$37 a month provides me with unlimited minutes/texting.
I'm solo 95% of the time. I could never feel comfortable with a button...nothing replaces a two-way conversation.

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 Post subject: Re: SPOT Locators - YOUR THOUGHTS PLEASE
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:59 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2008 7:44 pm
Posts: 127
Location: Japan
I got one of the 1st generation unit & very happy with it. I have tested it in Japan & the French alps. It works very well except when under a thick tree canopy in which case you may have to find a river bed with no overhead obstruction etc...

New units have come out since. 1 smaller with pre-registered messages, 1 where you can use your iphone + blu tooth link as a keyboard to send a specific message via the unit, etc... The old units had only 3 types of messages: OK, Help, 911.

You can register useful info on the web site such as your blood type, etc... The insurance that comes with it is a good deal imho as well.

Unless you are in an area where you are sure you have cell reception or have a portable radio and know how to use it to call for help this is a worthy investment. I had done a review of mine a couple of years back here: http://japanpeuf.50.forumer.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=9

It is also easy to use for the people who receive the emails as it is basically a google map with an arrow pointing exactly where you are.

Example for my last outing is here:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=44.99714,6.55081&ll=44.99714,6.55081&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: SPOT Locators - YOUR THOUGHTS PLEASE
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:29 pm 
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Location: white room
Hey jibmaster, can you provide more info about your sat phone and plan? That's cheaper than my regular phone, and if it works anywhere I'd switch in a second. AT&T and Verizon both suck in my house, nevermind out in the boonies

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 Post subject: Re: SPOT Locators - YOUR THOUGHTS PLEASE
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:10 pm 
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Location: Howell Mt., Napa Valley
I have this one.
Image
http://www.globalstar.com/shop/index.ph ... ucts_id=99

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 Post subject: Re: SPOT Locators - YOUR THOUGHTS PLEASE
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:35 am 
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Location: St. Croix Falls, WI
Jib is that a combo pocket BC dildo and sat phone? :thatrocks:

pretty sick device... I thought about that, but opted out on the expensiveness of it.

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 Post subject: Re: SPOT Locators - YOUR THOUGHTS PLEASE
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:00 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 2:23 pm
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Location: Howell Mt., Napa Valley
Yeah, it's a bit pricey, but I lucked out. My buddy, jibC sold it to me for only $100.
He got married and never goes anywhere anymore, so he wasn't using it.

The new ones look to be a little smaller.

Quite a difference in price I see.
http://www.findmespot.com/shop/index.ph ... ucts_id=15

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 Post subject: Re: SPOT Locators - YOUR THOUGHTS PLEASE
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:23 pm 
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA/Ashland, OR
I have one Russel. Never used it other then to check the non-911 messages.

There's a button to alert SAR/911 from the device. There's one to alert non-911 help (your preprogrammed number) and a "custom" button (if I recall correctly) the custom can say whatever you want..but I think the standard is "I'm running late but I'm ok".

Hopefully I'll never have to use mine either, but being one of those "mostly solo" splitters, and having a wife that told me she's gonna call SAR whenever she worries enough (in spite of my coaching that she should ALWAYs give me 24 hours cushion), I find it to be cheap, no brainer insurance.

It's also pretty compact and light.

JimW has one as well as uses the "track" feature I think so you could ask him.

Also, they have a new device which has only a 911 button, but can connect to your Bluetooth phone so you can do simple one way txt messaging via their satellite network. It's more expensive..as is the service plan (btw..all spot devices require an annual subscription fee), but I would at least consider it if I was buying today.

Regarding the Sat phone..I'm not sure what 37/month gets you but I'm guessing it's little more then access that will cost you 6 bucks a minute..and the initial cost of the phone is prohibitive if you don't get the bro deal that Jib got.

that said, if someone offered me the phone for 100 and it was 37 a month for only the months I'd use it..I'd jump on that in a heartbeat.

One other thought. If you can contact SAR and carry a 2-way radio, once they're on site you can use your 2way to talk w/ rescuers. That happened in Powerhouse chute this season actually. Spot device triggered a rescue copter and the friends of the injured were able to talk to on ground rescuers via 2-way.

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 Post subject: Re: SPOT Locators - YOUR THOUGHTS PLEASE
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:06 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 2:23 pm
Posts: 453
Location: Howell Mt., Napa Valley
jbaysurfer wrote:
Regarding the Sat phone..I'm not sure what 37/month gets you but I'm guessing it's little more then access that will cost you 6 bucks a minute..and the initial cost of the phone is prohibitive if you don't get the bro deal that Jib got.


Not real sure how to use my phone other than calling, but the $37/month provides unlimited calling and texting - no additional charges. I've never texted anyone before, but this conversation has prompted me to download the globalstar user manual for my phone.
Something I should have done by now. :oops:

I talked jibC into selling it to me after janzalo got lost on Shasta
:lol: :scratch: :nononno:
http://www.thebackcountry.net/bb/viewtopic.php?t=1641
and his phone didn't get good reception.

Gotten lucky so far - have never really "needed" it, but it's fun to call some buddy's during my midweek tours and make them all jealous as they sit in their offices, working away!

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 Post subject: Re: SPOT Locators - YOUR THOUGHTS PLEASE
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:17 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 8:56 pm
Posts: 470
Location: Meyers, CA
Will Gadd has an interesting and fairly negative review of the Spot Connect up right now...

http://gravsports.blogspot.com/

The tone of most responses so far has been more positive than I would have expected. One of my buddies has owned and returned 2 or 3 Spots due to them not working reliably. Another hardcore desert rat buddy (who once passed out somewhere in the Grand Canyon and woke up in a hospital in CO), doesn't trust them and prefers the pricier/bullkier PLB options.

The last two years a buddy has brought a Spot on our spring trans Sierra tours and sent those "everythings cool and this is where we are" notice each night from camp. It has worked, although sometimes it takes a long time to find a signal and then give the sent notice.

Luckily my better half never seems to notice when I'm late....


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