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Discussion Starter #1
I am off on the bike alone pretty often and my wife gets worried so I decided it would be a good idea. I bought one today and look forward to checking it out soon. Anyone have one? Any pointers to get the most out of it?
 

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I have one and do not use it enough.

They seem to keep family feeling good about traveling alone and the 911 function is a huge plus. Keep the unit within arms length.
 

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I bought one last fall mainly for snowmobiling. It worked great. Got me safely back across a lake in snow & fog, just followed the breadcrumbs.

I now have the mount on my bike and a 12V outlet. I used it a couple of times on the bike. It’s nice to have and can be very handy at times but daily riding it’s not necessary at all.

I have the Garmin GPSmap 60CSx. I have the Basecamp for down loading, tracking, and saving routs with TOPO which has all mane roads, secondary, and most sesaonals but I need to get another program to be able to rout a trip like you would do on Mapquest. Which one did you buy?
 

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I have one and do not use it enough.

They seem to keep family feeling good about traveling alone and the 911 function is a huge plus. Keep the unit within arms length.
Ditto! Best money spent on riding next to gas. I got one a few months back and had a hard time remembering to take it with me until my wife caught on. now she reminds me every time I leave alone, regardless of how far I planned to go. I turn it on and send a check message first thing. We are not always in cell range and this thing is a great and CHEAP insurance policy.
 

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I bought one last fall mainly for snowmobiling. It worked great. Got me safely back across a lake in snow & fog, just followed the breadcrumbs.

I now have the mount on my bike and a 12V outlet. I used it a couple of times on the bike. It’s nice to have and can be very handy at times but daily riding it’s not necessary at all.

I have the Garmin GPSmap 60CSx. I have the Basecamp for down loading, tracking, and saving routs with TOPO which has all mane roads, secondary, and most sesaonals but I need to get another program to be able to rout a trip like you would do on Mapquest. Which one did you buy?

I think you're confusing a GPS with a SPOT locator (http://international.findmespot.com/ )

I have a SPOT and admit that it seems expensive for the service. But at the same time, I also am paying for the tracking service. This means that every 10 minutes (in theory), a signal is sent out. That way your family/friends can track your progress as you ride.

The other (basic) option is the "Press To Alert" service, where you have to physicallly press the "OK" button (or "send help", or "911"). I didn't like this level simply because I knew that I'd forget to press the button often enough.

Overall its a good peace of mind to have, not to mention fun for those left behind :character00286:
 

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I think you're confusing a GPS with a SPOT locator (http://international.findmespot.com/ )

I have a SPOT and admit that it seems expensive for the service. But at the same time, I also am paying for the tracking service. This means that every 10 minutes (in theory), a signal is sent out. That way your family/friends can track your progress as you ride.

The other (basic) option is the "Press To Alert" service, where you have to physicallly press the "OK" button (or "send help", or "911"). I didn't like this level simply because I knew that I'd forget to press the button often enough.

Overall its a good peace of mind to have, not to mention fun for those left behind :character00286:
So this is like an Onstar service? I have heard of something like this for hiking. I never looked into it. Do you pay a monthly fee?

I for sure would not remember to press the "OK" button.
 

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So this is like an Onstar service? I have heard of something like this for hiking. I never looked into it. Do you pay a monthly fee?

I for sure would not remember to press the "OK" button.

I've used a SPOT for a couple of years, works great. I ride alone in areas that don't have cell coverage so except for a sat phone it's the only thing I know of that will let you contact help.

The basic device/service has the OK and the 911 functions mapped to buttons. The OK sends an email and or text message, 911 alerts emergency personal. Both functions send the lat/long location that shows on a Google map. Tracking is an optional service that will send your location approx. every 10 mins
 

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I opted for tracking service as well. It is kind of expensive, but if you ever truly need it it would pay for itself ten fold. I figure I will try it for a year and see how I use it, or if I use it at all. I was envolved with a search for a missing rider last summer, and it really got me thinking about how easily one could get into trouble in this sport. I will post a report as to how I like it after I try her a few times. Be kinda cool being able to look at my route on the computer after Im home.
 

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I opted for tracking service as well. It is kind of expensive, but if you ever truly need it it would pay for itself ten fold. I figure I will try it for a year and see how I use it, or if I use it at all. I was envolved with a search for a missing rider last summer, and it really got me thinking about how easily one could get into trouble in this sport. I will post a report as to how I like it after I try her a few times. Be kinda cool being able to look at my route on the computer after Im home.
There was a Gold Wing rider lost up in Colorada last year that had run off the road and got killed a few days before he was found. I don't know if this is the search that you were involved in but I think of that guy every time I think about my SPOT. Had he had one he may have been saved. Never know but he surely may have been found earlier. That search was well discussed and updated on the bike boards, especially the GL1800 Riders board. Was sad to hear how it ended.
 

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There was a Gold Wing rider lost up in Colorada last year that had run off the road and got killed a few days before he was found. I don't know if this is the search that you were involved in but I think of that guy every time I think about my SPOT. Had he had one he may have been saved. Never know but he surely may have been found earlier. That search was well discussed and updated on the bike boards, especially the GL1800 Riders board. Was sad to hear how it ended.

The Spot gets the most tracks through when the unit is pointing face up to the sky because that's how the internal antenna is oriented. So in my case I keep the Spot in my tank bag when riding vs. on my person. My reasoning is at least there will be a track trail in case of an accident. If it's in my jacket I may not be able to activate it anyway. I have tried it in my jacket and the tracking is hit or miss.

There's a long Spot thread on ADV in the GPS section. One of the Spot employees answers some of the questions. He's the one that explained the antenna positioning.
 

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So this is like an Onstar service? I have heard of something like this for hiking. I never looked into it. Do you pay a monthly fee?

I for sure would not remember to press the "OK" button.

They sell only annual service agreements. Something like $150/year or so for the full tracking plan as mentioned above. I don't recall the price exactly.
 

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Just bought the Spot 2 and have been trying it out. I think that knowing what I now know, I would have bout the original as they are on sale everywhere. I paid $149 for the new one and I recall seeing the older ones for sale for about $90. I have also seen them listed on CL often.
The Spot 2 says that you can send a custom message, which I thought could be done somehow from the device. Rather it is a pre-programmed message that you can customize on your computer and send with a button touch. Since you can customize all of the other messages, seems kind of pointless. That said, I am still learning the functions and perhaps will feel differently after I use it for a while.
The fees were $99 per year with add-ons. It was another $49 for real time tracking, another thing that I probably won't do again. They also offer some other services for more dough.
Otherwise, it works well and posts locations to phones & email via Google maps. Seems well worth the money.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
KLR Zin , I programmed a "Im having fun riding" message on the "OK" button. A " Im having trouble but Im ok" on the second button. A " I need someone to help me get out" on the third button. That way my wifes knows my status and can send a friend if the need arises. I did kinda have a hiccup today with it though. I went for a ride, since its still new my wife was watching my progress thru out the day. Twice during the day there was a delay on the tracking mode, I disappeared for about an hour each time. I had the spot in my bad strapped to my nerf bars, I assume I was getting signal. I will try a better place next time and see if that cures it.
 

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Bull,
thanks for the advice. Good ideas for the messages. I also paid for the tracking. So, is the paid tracking service an automatic breadcrumb trail sort of thing? As I understand it, it will leave a track each time I press the button and mark the map if I opted not to pay for tracking. Is this correct?

I think that it was money well spent either way.

Dave
 

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Dave after you start the unit, hit the bootprint for five seconds. It will send a signal every ten minutes and leave a trail of where you were. Giving searchers a map of your day until you needed help.

Heres mine for yesterday..http://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=5212
 

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My Plan A, for my upcoming trip, was to sign up for my cell phone providers kid tracking option, as it would have been cheaper at $10 month.
Unfortunately, they don't have good coverage in NorCal on the minor roads we'll be on.

I picked up a SPOT 1 and am trying it out now. Seems to work pretty well so far. I got the basic coverage plus the tracking. I considered not getting the tracking option and just using the 'I'm OK' button from time to time, but I'm planning on sticking it in my tail bag, so I'd probably not remember to punch the button often enough to be worthwhile. If it works on the road as well as it's worked in test, it will be money well spent.

Tom
 

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My Plan A, for my upcoming trip, was to sign up for my cell phone providers kid tracking option, as it would have been cheaper at $10 month.
Unfortunately, they don't have good coverage in NorCal on the minor roads we'll be on.

I picked up a SPOT 1 and am trying it out now. Seems to work pretty well so far. I got the basic coverage plus the tracking. I considered not getting the tracking option and just using the 'I'm OK' button from time to time, but I'm planning on sticking it in my tail bag, so I'd probably not remember to punch the button often enough to be worthwhile. If it works on the road as well as it's worked in test, it will be money well spent.

Tom
Are you getting service with it in your tail bag?
 

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Tim -

I haven't tried it yet, but my tailbag (Cortech) has a pocket in the top flap, so the SPOT can lay flat and will have ony one layer of Cordura to transmit and receive through.

This week I'm testing it on my bicycle in a very similar environment with the tail bag there - in a pocket in the top flap, laying flat. It worked well this morning.

Yesterday it was sitting in the back window of the Camry as the wife and I drove around. It worked fine transmitting through glass.

Tom
 

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Are you getting service with it in your tail bag?
As long as it's pointing up, it should be able to get through anything non-metallic.

I forgot about mine the other day and left it in tracking mode over night in our garage. No windows, metal doors under a portion of the house. I didn't think there would be any messages received, but to my surprise, about 20 of the messages went out over a period of 12 hours. Nothing spectacular, but I figured it would have been zero.
 

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As long as it's pointing up, it should be able to get through anything non-metallic.

I forgot about mine the other day and left it in tracking mode over night in our garage. No windows, metal doors under a portion of the house. I didn't think there would be any messages received, but to my surprise, about 20 of the messages went out over a period of 12 hours. Nothing spectacular, but I figured it would have been zero.
Last year I had mine in my Wolfman tankbag and it did not track. The next day I attached it to the normal exterior position and it tracked. Guess I will test it again in the tankbag.
 
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