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Peter_SS

SPOT GPS locator

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So this unit and its pros and cons has been hashed over in previous threads. :poke: Has any one used one in real life. How does it work for you. Has any one had to call for aid either low priority to your personal contacts or 911?

Edited by Peter_SS

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I have sent multiple OK messages with mine. Some havent gone through, but I suspect it was mostly my impatience. One was used recently on rescues on dragontail and up near whistler. It seemed it did a good job alerting rescuers, although the reescuers seemed to lack an efficient response protocol.

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I've sent lots of OK messages, and 9 out of 10 get through. More than feeling some security because of the 911 option, I really wanted to be able to keep my loved-ones from calling out the cavalry just because I'm a bit tardy. You can use the "in-between" button for anything you want, like we worked out mine means I'll be 12 hrs later than expected (we got benighted somewhere, or whatever). If I'm kayaking with it, it might be the "we're ready to get picked up" message. I was the one that used it on dragontail recently, and the coordinate was precise according to the search team.

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Ya the lights flash in particular ways, letting you know the message transmitted, got F'ed up along the way (so do it over), or is still trying to send. If I'm trying to send an OK message, I'll punch the buttons, put it in to top of my pack, next to the tent, etc., and just check it whenever it next occurs to me. Seems like it takes between 10-20 min, or at least that's when I check it and it's usually sent.

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the biggest problem is that it still lacks the ability to do two way comms with rescuers. Once the call goes out, all they know is "something is wrong" and have no idea whether of not it's life-threatening or a false alarm or what. It is a useful first step though.

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I have one. Mind you, I wasn't the one who purchased it, but if it keeps everyone happy at home, then so be it. It has worked great every time except once. You need to make sure you keep it powered on for about 20-30 minutes after you press one of the buttons (in my case, I've only pushed the "OK" button). I immediately turned mine off after I sent the message and it never got a chance to go through. It needs to be able to keep trying if the first one fails. Other than that, it's a pretty cool, straight forward tool.

 

The only drawback is that it is making my map case pretty full. SPOT, Compass, altimeter, GPS, map, cell phone, flares, boombox, pint of vodka... :grlaf:

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I have one that I was trying to use in some pretty remote places in Peru, and out of the 10 or so "I'm ok" messages that I tried to send only 1 worked. They say there is coverage down there, but I hope it's better up here.

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I am part of King County Search and Rescue. We got called out in a mission for the first time that was activated by a SPOT. The hiker accidentally hit the "help" button. Other than having a hard time getting to the hiker's account (SPOT would not give the sheriff access to the account) the device coordinates were right where he activated. Since he was OK we found him about 15 miles north continuing on his hike.

 

So in the end I would definitely go for one but I am not convinced it was much of a test since we have had great weather around here so reception should be strong.

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