Spot personal GPS

Submitted: Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 09:32
ThreadID: 80408 Views:3375 Replies:6 FollowUps:2
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I am giving serious consideration to purchasing one of the SPOT personal messaging GPSs and would be interested in other's experiences of this piece of equipment and the tracking system. Also is there a car charger for it or is it AAA battery only?
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Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 10:04

Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 10:04

I have used SPOT for over 12 months and have found them great. Not so much for the driver in the vehicle but more for family and friends that what to keep track of your trip.

I have the first generation SPOT and have only just replaced the AAA lithium batteries. It was in use for about 5 months straight last year so the battery life was very good. The second generation SPOT did have a battery problem when they first came out but I believe that problem has been fixed.

As far as I know there is not a car charge option available as yet but i think that would be only a matter of time before one would be available.

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Follow Up By: The Landy - Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 11:28

Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 11:28
Hi Wayne

I thought mine was doing well at 3 days, after reading the promotional material. It is good to know that the battery life will last much longer.

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Follow Up By: The Landy - Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 11:28

Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 11:28
30 days..not 3
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Reply By: PajDIDauto - Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 10:35

Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 10:35

Well worth the piece of mind from an emergency point of view, and brilliant for letting others know where you are. The Google maps email link is fantastic. The small size is also good if you walk away from your vehicle at any stage. Lithium batteries last for ages. I've had mine for 2-3 years and changed the batteries once. I notice that the police in the High Country use them now too.
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Reply By: The Landy - Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 10:52

Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 10:52
Good question. I have always been sceptical of such devices, however on our recent trip I purchased one so friends, and family could track our progress on ExplorOz, which I might add is a great development by the EO team.

Apart from tracking, which is only one feature, you are able to nominate an email and mobile phone number to which a pre-populated message can be sent to, such as “arrived at today’s destination – all going well” (this is what we used). It also has the ability to record a second message, the third is a “I need assistance” type alert, and another button is for emergencies that is potentially life threatening. Spot tracking monitor the emergency alerts and contact authorities if activated. The SPOT website will describe these more fully.

So it provides a range of contact abilities, as well as tracking, which is in contrast to an EPIRB for instance. And I am not suggesting that SPOT makes EPIRBS redundant – they don’t.

As for reliability, each day my family contact received the SMS text within minutes of it being activated by myself, and I verified this on a number of occasions as I also had one going to my email address.

Ongoing battery power – I purchased a number of batteries before our recent trip as mine requires AAA lithium batteries as it is the smaller unit. It uses three and it suggests that if used 24 hours a day they might last up to 4 days, but probably longer. We used ours for 30 days for at least 8 hours a day and I have not changed the original batteries.

I will be walking in Papua New Guinea in a few weeks time and I will be taking it with me, more so people can follow the trip, and it will be interesting to see how it performs as I will be in and out of the jungle canopy.

I guess I could be classed as a convert and once again, thanks to the ExplorOz team for the way they have been able to integrate these devices into thier offering.

Good luck with it...

Cheers, The Landy
AnswerID: 425731

Reply By: Member - Ian A (NSW) - Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 11:53

Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 11:53
We bought one for our Darling River trip last year for peace of mind as we were travelling by ourselves.
Sent the link to family in the UK so they could see where we were and they loved it.
Set up a message that let someone know we were OK and also gave them our itinerary so if you stay a day extra somewhere you can send them an OK message and they do not worry that you have not moved.

Set up the request for help with our NRMA membership details so if we sent that message they could contact the NRMA and send help to our coordinates.

Spot 2 has ability to send a message on top of standard functions.
You can also store your whole track for later reference.

Will be using it in a few days time on our trip to the Red Centre, although this time bought a Sat phone as extra insurance.

A great piece of kit and will use the EOTrackMe as well.

The reason there is no in car charge kit is that it is waterproof and floats so it would compromise the cases integrity to have a power outlet.

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Reply By: Going Bush - Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 18:02

Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 18:02
1st gen Spot Meseenger takes AA lithiums not AAA, I bought enough for 3 months at two weeks each but Before starting this trip I tested it for 8-10 hours per day at work in tracking mode and it lasted 60 days & batteries still OK, I put fresh ones in for the trip. I think the SPOT battery usage is vert conservative,
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 19:21

Friday, Jul 30, 2010 at 19:21

Just to balance out the facts to assist you in determining the total cost, one little fact that hasn't been mentioned is that to gain full use out of the device, you need to factor in a annual cost of US$99 for network access.

I guess it all gets down to what you need such a device for, but IMHO the $500 investment I made in a quality EPIRB, gives me piece of mind that it is going to work without checking battery level for some 7 years or so.

I could use the iPhone for tracking purposes I guess, but our son doesn't really need to know where we are at any given moment of the day. Just an occasional phone call is all that my wife requires to be satisfied that all is OK at home.
As for me, I don't give a bugger when I'm "out and about".
I don't listen to news services and don't read newspapers. I go on holidays to get away from all that "important" stuff.


I'm diagonally parked in a parallel Universe!

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