SPOT MESSENGER - Update

Submitted: Monday, May 05, 2008 at 18:57
ThreadID: 57305 Views:4249 Replies:4 FollowUps:8
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Well I received my SPOT messenger unit today and have used their on-line setup and register option (no issues, went well)

I have only tried the 'OK" button so far but can report that from pushing the "OK" button to recieving an e-mail with the google earth/maps link was about 30 seconds - it took me that long to come in side and check my e-mail :-)

The reference was within about 2 meters from where had I sent the actual signal

On the weekend I will head out of town and use the 'tracking' option to see how that works - but so far - very happy and feel the unit will 'fill the gap' (for me) between GSM/Next G contact and an EPIRB response.
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Reply By: Member - Footloose - Monday, May 05, 2008 at 19:01

Monday, May 05, 2008 at 19:01
Where did you get it from ?
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Follow Up By: KiwiAngler - Monday, May 05, 2008 at 19:33

Monday, May 05, 2008 at 19:33
E-bay

Do a search you will see a few for sale I got mine for $US134
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Reply By: Oldman - Monday, May 05, 2008 at 19:13

Monday, May 05, 2008 at 19:13
Kiwi,
Does the base cost include the first years subscription or is that an extra?

Oldman
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Follow Up By: KiwiAngler - Monday, May 05, 2008 at 19:35

Monday, May 05, 2008 at 19:35
No the unit cost is seperate form the annual subs

I took all the options - base subscription plus tracking plus Insurance (which for Australia is US$12.50)
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Follow Up By: Oldman - Monday, May 05, 2008 at 22:15

Monday, May 05, 2008 at 22:15
Kiwi
Is the insurance one applicable to Australia. My chasing around indicate that what they provide can got for free in OZ - Different if overseas though

Oldman
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Follow Up By: KiwiAngler - Monday, May 05, 2008 at 23:56

Monday, May 05, 2008 at 23:56
Oldman

Quite possibly - but for $US12 what the heck :-)))

I did 'toss and turn' about this one but in the emd went ahead with it.

I travel overseas a fair bit (just back from Malaysia) so it's a cheap bit of insurance IMHO
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Reply By: mike w (WA) - Monday, May 05, 2008 at 22:07

Monday, May 05, 2008 at 22:07
Kiwi,

good to hear. I shall await your next report on the tracking option

Mike
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Reply By: DIO - Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 09:22

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 09:22
Certainly sounds different. Guess it has its uses, just so long as the GEOS Emergency Response Centre has enough knowledge to contact the appropriate authorities who will apparently contact the Emergency 911 Service who then if they know what they are doing manage to apparently contact the relevant 000 Emergency Services in Australia. A couple of BIG if's considering your life (or someone elses) might be depending on it. I think the EPIRB (with GPS GME ) in Australia is till the BEST means of alerting authorities in a real emergency. Are the extra features of SPOT really worth it for Australia? I guess that depending on your experiences with it, such devices might become 'the rage' in OZ. Good luck with your o/s travels.
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Follow Up By: KiwiAngler - Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 13:38

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 13:38
DIO

I 'sort of' have similar concerns thats why I have not put total reliance on the SPOT unit for those 'life and death' situations ( I actually have 2 EPIRB's also. One that I carry with me when I am away from the vehicle (this is the new type with built in GPS) and another unit that is in the vehicle (also new type but not with GPS)

Dont forget the 'reaction time' when an EPIRB is set off isn't immediate either - not suggesting that it is better or worse than GEOS - I am work at the moment so cannot refernce a very good - independent and unbiased look at the SPOT system and that reviewer expresses some concerns that he has about the system and efers to the EPIRB/SPOT differences - when I get home I will add the URL to this post

I have purchased the spot unit to fill the gap between life and death situations and a more simple (not life threatening) break down situiation

The other reason I purchased the SPOT unit was to be able to take advanatage of the "I am OK" and "Tracking features' that it offers

Both these feature are of interest to me as I travel mostly on my own and my kids back in NZ and friends here in Aussie like to 'keep tabs on me' and I think once I get beyond GSM and Next G contact then SPOT gives me another option

PLUS
And this is the real reason - I love my toys :-))))))))
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Follow Up By: KiwiAngler - Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 17:20

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 17:20
As promised

This is the report/review done last year before the SPOT product was fully released

SPOT Messenger Independent Review
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Follow Up By: Oldman - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 19:33

Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 19:33
Kiwi a full on review and one that is believable as not a full "its a great product".

If you can get at the Ebay price then not a big investment and probably worth it.

Not sure I want to pay the near $248 then $112 for subscription for it if bought from local dealer.

Let us know how you find it as I reckon it sounds very promising.

Oldman
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Follow Up By: KiwiAngler - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 20:01

Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 20:01
Hi all

well I have been 'playing around' with the SPOT unit last night and can report

1) the "I am ok' works well - basically you just set up who you want to receive the message via their e-mail addy, on your web page. When you send out the signal it sends an e-mail that shows a simple message that you can set-up yourself. Mine says "Hi this is Terry I am all OK" it also states your lat/long - the nearest town and how far away from that town you are and the time and date of the signal. It also has an hypertext link to a page on Google maps that shows where you are.

2) I also went for a drive last night so I could test the 'tracking' part. Basically once activated the unit sends a signal once every 10 minutes. These signals are numbered. You can then grant access to as many people as you want to a web page that is part of your account with spot. They then log-in and can view the waypoints that SPOT has sent out.

I haven't tested the "Help' or the EPIRB parts, for obvious reasons :-))

But so far I am very happy with what I have got and it is performing as outlined on the SPOT website.

The only thing that I haven't been able to figure out is how to set-up the sms txt message part. I have had to send an e-mail to SPOT for advice on that. My problem is that when you set up the sms txt you get a menu drop-down of companies that are the 'default' service provider - unfortunately Telstra Aust isn't on the list and I cannot figure out what to do next.

So hopefully I will get advice from SPOT and get it sorted for next report :-))
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