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Might want to take a look at this thread...I grazed over it for five minutes. I might be inclined to look for a different emergency device/service (someone mentions an alternative in a response on that thread on the second or third page or so).



http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=641478
 

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My dad gets on me about not having anything other then a cell phone on me, but the only place I go isn't that large. Hope no one ever has to go looking for me. Thats why I make sure the boss lady knows where I'm off too. Also you may not know but responders look in your phones for a ICE listing, common listing for In Case of Emergency.
 

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I read the thread also.



It seems to me that SPOT did what is was supposed to. It notified the Sheriff's Dept. The Sheriff's Dept called the guy's wife and the BLM.



The responders were the one's that messed up.



It would be nice to know if the SPOT people follow up on the call, to see if the person was rescued.



jb
 

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I took the time (a lot of time, actually) to read the whole twenty-three pages of the post on Adventure Rider. There was a lot of emotional responses generated by the original poster, who was still in the first stages of recovery from a desert off-road accident which could have cost him his life, and was ranting against everything and everyone. The original poster is still recovering, but calmer heads seem to be prevailing in the discussion as more information is being learned about what went right and what went wrong.



Getting past the initial, typical, 'flaming posts' that the thread contained, it later has some very good information on the Spot's strengths and weaknesses (and how to compensate for some of them), as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the other emergency radio location technology out there, as well as the importance of having realistic expectations regarding technology and EMS response, personal survival gear, errors made regarding 'riding buddies', stress/trauma and how it effects your decision making abilities, EMS protocols regarding the receipt of a "911" signal from a locator beacon, how some beacons/GPS systems use different methods of stating lat/long coordinates (decimal minutes and seconds versus standard minutes/seconds) and how that can create delays due to conversion, and a whole host of other interesting topics.



Skim through the emotional blame-game garbage of the thread, and then really read the meat of it---- there are really some interesting things discussed.



Corey
 

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I did not read the entire thread, but was left feeling the Spot is still the best option for me. One issue that came to light is the importance of having an advocate you can trust, in place to get the ball rolling in an emergency situation. For me, fairly early on, it became obvious that should I go down, I may not be in a position to push the '911' button. I have learned, not all "I'm OK " transmissions go through and as well, you likely will not send them as often as you should. With this in mind, should you not return, and had not been able to activate the '911' button, it can become a real guessing game as to where you are.



In order to buffer myself against an unfortunate situation becomming worse, I now have 24 hour tracking. With this, the Spot unit sends out a transmission automatically every ten minutes. My Spot is now mounted in such a way as to insure (ideally) that in the event of a crash, the antenna will continue facing upward.



Corey, since you spent the time to read through the entire post, I for one would appreciate you putting together "your take" as gleened from that fellows experience. Perhaps then, it could be posted and made a "sticky" in our Adventure section.... Thanks, Gerry
 

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I loaned my spot to my daughter this summer for a trip to Peru, before she left San Diego, I suggested she try out the 911 button to make sure it worked. Big mistake, within minutes, I recieved a cell phone call from the National Emergency Response Center telling me a 911 call was sent out from my spot. I followed my daughters hike from Cusco to Pichu on google earth, I knew where she was at all times, Spot worked perfectly.
 

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I received a SPOT as a Christmas gift. It is still in the box, awaiting registration. I don't think the givers (my in-laws, whom I have to thank for their thoughtfulness), realized it will cost me $100 a year to use the service, (plus what is it, about $49.95?) to use it for tracking if I choose to do that. Overall, it seems like cheap insurance though -IF- it does what it claims, and also seems like a fun toy for tracking trips.



Question... am I correct in assuming that the annual fee is a flat rate and that I could track as many trips as I like under that same fee or is there also a usage fee so that each time I use it (for OK and tracking messages) it incurs additional costs?



As it's still in the box, I could return it at this point. Should I or is this something that is a good, reliable, and well-worthwhile item to have when riding solo, (as I often do). I'm also thinking it might be good to have with me when sailing (which I also do solo on occasion. Whatja think??
 

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My Spot is now mounted in such a way as to insure (ideally) that in the event of a crash, the antenna will continue facing upward.


Can you elaborate on this comment? I'm wondering should I keep my SPOT, whether to wear it, mount it on my bike, or what?? If you mount the device on your bike, but then are thrown off and not close to the bike, I'd wonder if you might be lucky enough to crawl back to the bike to activate it. It makes more sense to me to wear the device, perhaps on an arm or something. If I'm hurt badly enough to push the -RED- button, I'm guessing I'm probably not gonna be very mobile.
 

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...Question... am I correct in assuming that the annual fee is a flat rate and that I could track as many trips as I like under that same fee or is there also a usage fee...
The annual fee is for unlimited usage.



As for sailing (offshore?), an EPIRB would be better IMO.



I have had a SPOT (1st generation) for two+ years, and carry it in my tank bag. However, I don't know if I would bet my life on it. Many of the trails I ride have a tree canopy, and SPOT, or any other personal locator, doesn't seem to work unless it has a clear path to the sky.



My feeling is that the SPOT is better than not having any means of calling for help.



jb
 

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Using a cut-up camera case and a rod, I was able to fashion a sort of gimble mount. It is attached to the right side of the handlebars and is 'within' a protected triangle; the front wheel and handlebar guards. When I fall, the Spot just pivots (swings) on the rod always leaving the top face (antenna) to point towards the sky. Having used the Spot now for a few years, Im of the opinion that "Tracking" is really a must have. A location signal is transmitted every 10 minutes. Even if a few transmissions are blocked, what searchers will have is a pretty well established route showing 'intent' as well as last known position. Should you be having a heart-atack, I would be inclined to doubt that things (rescue) would move fast enough that aid would likely reach you trailside within a few hours, and thats if you pressed 911. With Tracking, should you not arrive home by nightfall, I expect you would be in a warm bed by morning. In my opinion, far better than laying on the trail for two days. Gerry







 

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I'm still thinking that rather than go to all of this work to rig the SPOT to the bike, it would be better mounted to ME (say strapped to an arm or something). If I take a spill off the bike and am lying broken on the ground, how am I gonna crawl back to the bike to push the SOS button? If the SPOT needs to have the orange upper surface facing up to the sky, for riding maybe a good piece of velcro on the shoulder of my riding jacket could do the trick, (with a short piece of cord tied elsewhere as a safety strap). Unless you have a way to have the SPOT self-activate in a crash like the emergency locators on airplanes do, you gotta have a way to be able to push the button manually and if you are still concious and able to do that, you can also probably place the gizmo on the ground facing up.
 

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After my crash in october my family bought me one for christmas . I havent set it up yet but I will be keeping it on my body . In the shape I was in I couldnt have gotten to it on the bike . I wear my cell phone on a lanyard around my neck and it sure was handy , I managed to make calls with 2 broken arms . Mine came with a clip like a cellphone a lanyard a caribiner clip , whistle , flashlight and signal flag with survival tips printed on it. Weather they would ever find me or not it will give peace of mind to my family as I mostly ride alone. I have the spot 2 messanger and will activate it when I start riding again. If you Join DAN ( Divers Alert Network ) there Insurance is the cheepest and best coverage in the world . They will pay for medivac from anywhere pay for a loved ones travel to where your takin and pay for lodging for them untill you can be moved. A medivac flight can cost upwards of 50 grand from some remote spots , its worth the money. Even if it doesnt work the folks at home will feel better about me going and thats worth a lot.
 

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I have had 2 spot 2's go belly up on me. Both were replaced under warranty (one was dead right out of the box the other worked for one dry ride)



I got in the habit of doing a "OK" transmit before I leave with it. I tend to ride in a area that is about 20 miles from cell service (unless I climb 800' up a local peak).

Just in case my spot dies I always leave my wife with a map with where I plan on going and a backup area I might change my mind and go to if the weather does not cooperate.I also bring along odd colored survey tape, paper map and my garmin gps to prevent me from getting lost. I haven't found a place to mount a can of survey paint like Mr. Gizmow has.
 

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I have had 2 spot 2's go belly up on me. Both were replaced under warranty (one was dead right out of the box the other worked for one dry ride)



I got in the habit of doing a "OK" transmit before I leave with it. I tend to ride in a area that is about 20 miles from cell service (unless I climb 800' up a local peak).

Just in case my spot dies I always leave my wife with a map with where I plan on going and a backup area I might change my mind and go to if the weather does not cooperate.


My Spot (old style) has been pretty reliable, and I have found the 24 hour tracking a real plus as sometimes I would forget to press "ok". Now my unit sends out a signal every ten minutes on it's own. I let Saskia know where I 'plan' to go and as well, have provided her an inked tread copy of my rear tire on a piece of cardboard. If you ride an area frequented by other bikes it is nice when you can let searchers know which is the right tread print to follow. I learned this when I helped search for a 'lost' Mt. biker. I knew he was using Specialized "Crossroads" and the local bike shop had pair that allowed a photocopy to be made and passed out. Two years latter they found a few bones and his bike in a river within the search perimeter. Gerry
 

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Using a cut-up camera case and a rod, I was able to fashion a sort of gimble mount. It is attached to the right side of the handlebars and is 'within' a protected triangle; the front wheel and handlebar guards. When I fall, the Spot just pivots (swings) on the rod always leaving the top face (antenna) to point towards the sky. Having used the Spot now for a few years, Im of the opinion that "Tracking" is really a must have. A location signal is transmitted every 10 minutes. Even if a few transmissions are blocked, what searchers will have is a pretty well established route showing 'intent' as well as last known position. Should you be having a heart-atack, I would be inclined to doubt that things (rescue) would move fast enough that aid would likely reach you trailside within a few hours, and thats if you pressed 911. With Tracking, should you not arrive home by nightfall, I expect you would be in a warm bed by morning. In my opinion, far better than laying on the trail for two days. Gerry











mrgizmow That is a sweet jousting set up aren't you suppose to hold the lance though?
looks like your ready for some serious trail riding nice set up.
 

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Anybody who depends on a gadget for their personal safety ought not leave the house. Remote areas generally lack a tax base to support adequate emergency services for weekend warriors who can't take care of themselves. You may call 911 to your house in the city and have professionally trained firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and other responders show up in $1.25million aparatii, but that sort of service often is not availlable in the boonies where a county's resident population is under 3000 people, mostly dirt poor ranch hands.



Lots of people have bad experiences with SPOT and other tracking and communication devices. The devices usually do as they should, but you're generally dealing with a low-budget bubbanoid with a badge and a gun and a wife with 3 teeth. Such bubbanoids aren't exactly the sharpest tools in the shed. Bubbanoid is clueless about the various absolute location systems, and if his GPS isn't using the exact same system and algorithms as yours, his X can easily be a half mile or more away from yours. A half mile might as well be on the moon across some of the terrain I've ridden. Searchers need to be aware that Xes can vary and that it is wise to travel all roads and trails within 2 miles or so.



I recommend carrying a Citizens Band walkie talkie, know how to use it to maximize range, and make sure your SPOT message includes the fact you carry a CB and monitor Channel 9 so rescuers will know to bring such capability along. I recommend a scanning feature that allows monitoring Channel 9 while checking all the other channels for a chance encounter with a nearby person. Of course, a CB does not really bring the rescuers any closer unless you know exactly where you are. You should know how your SPOT's X varies from the best topographic maps available, and you should have the ability to find your exact coordinates on that map. Assuming the bubbanoids know how to use a map, the CB/map combination provides a common X and you'll be more easily found.



A satellite phone works as often as anything else, and allows real-time 2-way communication. Kind of expensive, though.
 
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