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Old 02-08-2009, 09:32 PM   #1
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The Spot Messenger now has pretty good coverage for coastal cruisers - worldwide (almost).

SPOT COVERAGE

Anyone here have this unit?
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:34 PM   #2
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Extracted from Spots guarantee :-

" SPOT is an electronic device that uses GPS as a portion of its service. Using other GPS devices and operating SPOT in areas of high interference such as airports and cellular or satellite towers can throw off the coordinate reporting and sometimes even block message transmission."

From a Cruisers point of view : an interesting disclaimer re using other GPS devices.
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Old 02-09-2009, 04:20 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMNETSEA View Post
Extracted from Spots guarantee :-

" SPOT is an electronic device that uses GPS as a portion of its service. Using other GPS devices and operating SPOT in areas of high interference such as airports and cellular or satellite towers can throw off the coordinate reporting and sometimes even block message transmission."

From a Cruisers point of view : an interesting disclaimer re using other GPS devices.
Well - I dont own one but on a recent delivery from Savannah to BVI the yacht owner asked me to use one for daily reports. It worked a treat in giving 24 hour reports of position and the owner made up a graph of our trip which was quite interesting.

Its got additional features like a "call your friends" (you can list up to 10) if you are in trouble and also a 999/911 button to call the cavalry but I wouldnt trust it.....best to use a marine grade 406 epirb I reckon. Tony
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Old 02-10-2009, 01:30 PM   #4
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I have sold a number of these. My sense is that they are great "fair weather toys." My customers like them and enjoy the social aspects of the device - keeping in touch with family and friends. However, I would not want to put my life on the line with one. They are not very rugged and the battery life compared to an EPIRB is very short. Also, I don't think that they would broadcast very well floating in the ocean. On the other hand they are a very low cost substitute to an SCS modem, SB Radio, and Laptop for telling people where you are.

As an aside there is no readout screen although the package seems to have a place designed for a screen. It makes me wonder if there will be an next generation SPOT that looks like the old ETrek.
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Old 02-10-2009, 08:06 PM   #5
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they are a very low cost substitute to an SCS modem, SB Radio, and Laptop for telling people where you are.
That's what I thought. Seems good if you're a hiker in Utah who doesn't want to carry alot of extra weight but on a boat you'll have an EPIRB for emergency and HF/SSB for communications if you need something. Further, I know some folks who carry a sat-phone just for emergency use.

Dunno, seems like cruising is the wrong place to be using this particular technology unless you're on a pocket cruiser or shoe string budget w/no real radio capabilities. On the other hand, I'd have loved to have this on some of the wilderness canoe trips we've done. In the past, giving someone a topo map with our route planning laid out and eta for getting back...leaving about 3 to 4 weeks of unknown time where anything could happen and no one woulda known about it...THAT's the application for this technology, IMO.
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