Spot Tracker

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MePower
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Spot Tracker

Post by MePower » Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:30 pm

Just spotted this, http://www.gaynors.co.uk/products-Sm-Gr ... 350002.htm
Seems like a very good price. Anybody use one?

JohnML
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Re: Spot Tracker

Post by JohnML » Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:05 pm

There's been a few discussions about them on here if you search for them. They seem to have reduced the price on the original spot as they have the new version coming out soon which is smaller and lighter. Tried to order one of the newer ones the other day but the supplier said they were not getting them until March.

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MePower
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Re: Spot Tracker

Post by MePower » Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:51 am

Is it worth waiting for a newer version, or wont they be that much different? Did you notice what extra functions the new ones have John?

Tiff
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Re: Spot Tracker

Post by Tiff » Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:57 am

Spot is simply great! I've used mine all over remote Canada and also here in the UK. It sits on the back deck of my boat and after hundreds of miles paddling has never missed a beat. The float plane pilots in B.C. now all carry them, as do alot of the logging teams up in the mountains. Cannot recommend it enough,particularly for reassuring those at home your still alive!

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Re: Spot Tracker

Post by Ceegee » Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:54 pm

Great offer but no mention of the standing charge (in the US it's $100/year).

With infrequent use that is a bit much. If I had one it would probably spend much of the year sitting in a desk drawer (sadly), i.e. maybe one day trip a week for 9 months and a 10-14 day trip in the summer.

If SPOT offered a pay-as-you go system (e.g. leave credit card details, pay by debit for each day the unit is powered up) now there is an idea. Otherwise it may be better to rent for one-off expiditions, trips etc.

Steve
Cheers,
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MePower
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Re: Spot Tracker

Post by MePower » Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:45 pm

Good point Steve, although my vhf cost more than the price of the spot with contract, £75 for the unit + £86 for the basic contract, and this thing pinpoints your position exactly, which a vhf cant. Plus the fact that it doesnt rely on line of sight is a big factor. It does seem expensive when you add it all up, and you`ll be paying every year. But at the moment what else is there on the market at a cost effective price?

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Re: Spot Tracker

Post by JohnML » Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:23 pm

MePower wrote:Is it worth waiting for a newer version, or wont they be that much different? Did you notice what extra functions the new ones have John?
The new one seems to be about double the price of the old one on the site you posted so there is a good saving for sure and wondering if I should get the cheaper one instead. I asked them if I could buy the subscription on the US website as its 99 dollars vs 99 euro and the response was no because there was a higher running cost for the service here or something, can't find the email from them though.

I don't have one yet so not sure if any of the following is better or correct as its just lifted from a sales page, was just the smaller size I was more interested in and my mother always said the best things came in small packages! ;)

• 30% Smaller • 30% Lighter • Faster GPS Acquisition
New Enhancements:
• Enhanced GPS
• Extra Message Button
• Tracking message queuing
• Safety flaps over 911 and help message
• Replaceable button cover (see left)
• Illuminated buttons
• Intrinsically safe
• Sent message light
• Case included (see below)
• Environmentally safe packaging

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Steen Johansen
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Re: Spot Tracker

Post by Steen Johansen » Sat Jan 23, 2010 6:43 pm

MePower wrote:Is it worth waiting for a newer version, or wont they be that much different? Did you notice what extra functions the new ones have John?
Freya's old model failed in her tour around Australia.

Patrick Winterton and Mick Berwick used the old model in their trip from Scotland to the Faroe Islands and it failed the last day (fortunately they did not need rescue from seasicknes this time ).

Erik B. Joergensen is on a trip around Denmark (yes we have a bit of ice now) with a SPOT tracker. It too has failed.

SPOT-2 was recalled by the factory in December 2009.

You may found several reviews of the SPOT tracker on the internet.
Read them yourself. It is a brilliant idea but I would save my money untill it works.

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Re: Spot Tracker

Post by JohnML » Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:57 pm

Steen Johansen wrote:
MePower wrote:Is it worth waiting for a newer version, or wont they be that much different? Did you notice what extra functions the new ones have John?
Freya's old model failed in her tour around Australia.

Patrick Winterton and Mick Berwick used the old model in their trip from Scotland to the Faroe Islands and it failed the last day (fortunately they did not need rescue from seasicknes this time ).

Erik B. Joergensen is on a trip around Denmark (yes we have a bit of ice now) with a SPOT tracker. It too has failed.

SPOT-2 was recalled by the factory in December 2009.

You may found several reviews of the SPOT tracker on the internet.
Read them yourself. It is a brilliant idea but I would save my money untill it works.
Had heard about some of these, any solid details from the users/spot as to what the problems were and if they have been fixed? Fairly important for a device like this.

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Re: Spot Tracker

Post by journeyman » Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:32 pm

There are a few unhappy bunnies in these comments. Wouldn't give me much confidence in the system.

@Tiff - you seem to have had a positive experience, did you have the original one? I assume you purchased it in the UK and then took it to Canada. If you did it, would make me want to find out why they are sticking to the £99 in the UK and $99 in the US for the subscription. (Seems a bit like the 99cent US and 99pence UK i-tune argument to me).

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Jim
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Re: Spot Tracker

Post by Jim » Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:41 pm

How is subscription renewal handled?
Having paid for a unit (which may or may not be reliable in the harsh environment we want it for) and a subscription, is there a chance that the first time you need it your subscription expired 3 days ago because you never got a reminder or something????

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Re: Spot Tracker

Post by MikeB » Sun Jan 24, 2010 3:56 pm

journeyman wrote:There are a few unhappy bunnies in these comments. Wouldn't give me much confidence in the system.
Certainly doesnt seem to be something on which to rely in a real emergency - - -

Mike.

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Re: Spot Tracker

Post by JohnML » Sun Jan 24, 2010 5:11 pm

MikeB wrote:
journeyman wrote:There are a few unhappy bunnies in these comments. Wouldn't give me much confidence in the system.
Certainly doesnt seem to be something on which to rely in a real emergency - - -

Mike.
"Emergency services were not promptly, if ever, notified by SPOT."

Okee, not so good, thanks for that link.

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MePower
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Re: Spot Tracker

Post by MePower » Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:34 pm

..... mmmm, doesnt sound good. Even at £75, it sounds like a good idea gone wrong. This is supposed to be a life saving device that works EVERY time. If its only 99%, it is as good as a paper weight. Maybe some shops are desperate to get rid of stock. I`ll be waiting to hear reviews about the next incarnation before i waste my cash. Will the new one stay on the dying Global network, or move to a better one?

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Re: Spot Tracker

Post by mick m » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:43 pm

I youse a spot and am very happy with it, I youse it to let my partner know im of the water and in camp , good peace of mind for her. It must be rememberd that it si not in the same leag as a 406 eperb and if a resque device is wonted get a 406 instead. thers no ongoing rego charges and in Australia its mandotory to cary one as soon as you ventyre a cupal of miles off shore. also thers an add for spot yousing a tasmanian resque as a testomonial , in short when spot finaly got onto a police station in Tassie, the cop dident know what spot was and imformed the oporater that all destress calles need to go through A.M.S.A.R our maritime resque coordinater thay wernt even regesterd with them, the poor paddler was actualy resqued becos an onlooker called " 000" and got onto the police through the right prosedur . as per a convisation with AMSAR 6 munths back Spot still havent colaberated with them , a bit strange for a resqu becon not to wont to deal with a peack body for resque in Australasia ?
I cary both a 406 for resque and a spot for contacting home

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Re: Spot Tracker

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:50 pm

Mick has hit the nail on the head..spot on.

Douglas

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Re: Spot Tracker

Post by ian johnston » Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:29 am

As others have said, the SPOT tracker looks like a good idea gone awry. Ultimately, my thinking goes along the lines of:

406Mhz EPIRB - part of the Global Maritime Distress & Safety System.

SPOT Tracker - commercial venture using satellites and an ad-hoc, but not coordinated, organisational model.

For me, it's a no-brainer. I should add that I'm a seafarer and responsible for the GMDSS equipment onboard ships, so my view may be slightly coloured by my familiarity with the GMDSS system.

One aspect that hasn't been discussed in this thread is the potential loss of independence that using a SPOT tracker to call in an "Ops Normal" message brings. I paddle/walk/climb almost exclusively in Scotland these days, and don't generally feel the need to be on an electronic tagging system. I try to be self-reliant whenever possible whether in the mountains or sea kayaking - which is as much a state of mind as anything. What happens if you can't call in your daily "Ops Normal"?

All food for thought...

cheers

Ian

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Re: Spot Tracker

Post by mick m » Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:04 am

ian johnston wrote:As others have said, the SPOT tracker looks like a good idea gone awry. Ultimately, my thinking goes along the lines of:

406Mhz EPIRB - part of the Global Maritime Distress & Safety System.

SPOT Tracker - commercial venture using satellites and an ad-hoc, but not coordinated, organisational model.

For me, it's a no-brainer. I should add that I'm a seafarer and responsible for the GMDSS equipment onboard ships, so my view may be slightly coloured by my familiarity with the GMDSS system.

One aspect that hasn't been discussed in this thread is the potential loss of independence that using a SPOT tracker to call in an "Ops Normal" message brings. I paddle/walk/climb almost exclusively in Scotland these days, and don't generally feel the need to be on an electronic tagging system. I try to be self-reliant whenever possible whether in the mountains or sea kayaking - which is as much a state of mind as anything. What happens if you can't call in your daily "Ops Normal"?

All food for thought...

cheers

Ian
If im out and about , Lynn likes to know im off the waterand in camp, if I cant get an Ops Normal mesage to her she wont call out the marines, but if she got a destress or in the "Spot " sistem a help mesage that states that Im OK but in need of asistance to get home she wold ring the duty ofeser of out coast gard, give him the lats and longs of wher I am, and that im OK and only in need of a lift home. he wold then at his lesher look at a map and then some time the next day send a work boat out to bring me home. At this point I probably woldent hear the last of it from the rest of the crew, and it wold cost me derly at the bare after my next shift with the coast gard ! . But if I was in trubal the 406 wold get me home within about 2 hours from hiting the buton , with a few more questions to be anserd at the end of my ride home.

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Re: Spot Tracker

Post by Tiff » Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:10 pm

journeyman wrote: @Tiff - you seem to have had a positive experience, did you have the original one? I assume you purchased it in the UK and then took it to Canada. If you did it, would make me want to find out why they are sticking to the £99 in the UK and $99 in the US for the subscription. (Seems a bit like the 99cent US and 99pence UK I-tune argument to me).
Hi, mines an original and was brought in Canada for me a while back before we flew out there. It's on a Canadian subscription payed for by my uncle out in B.C., but obviously works anywhere.

I really do love the unit and cannot fault it. Like I said previously, nearly all the float plane pilots now carry them and they have no problems either. Its just visible on one of the planes we were in on the dash here:
Image

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Re: Spot Tracker

Post by burpblade » Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:09 pm

Aaah; is that a Beaver, Tiff? Love the old instruments - glass' just isn't the same. 'Had the pleasure once - landed on the salt flats at Edwards AFB with maybe just one small bounce, but unlike on a lake with water I couldn't really run out of space!
Anyway, greta idea, but like aircraft, I'm thinking this gadget comes under the same adage of "never (fly) buy the Mark 1 version". Anyway, surely those SAR techs will find you, with or without!

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Re: Spot Tracker

Post by TechnoEngineer » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:51 am

Any update on this?

I came across a couple of people using them at the weekend - they're both more than happy with its performance (didn't notice whether it was a SPOT1, 2 or 3). One of them had been lost on one side of the country and was found washed up on the other!
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Andy Harpur
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Re: Spot Tracker

Post by Andy Harpur » Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:18 pm

I ordered a McMurdo FastFind 220 GPS PLB on Friday and already carry VHF, a selection of flares, jotron strobe, whistle, etc...

I've also been thinking about getting a SPOT for a solo trip on the West coast but seem to be finding plenty of reports of people moaning about their unreliability. This article was an eye opener too. I'd like one to stop my lady from worrying, not cause stress and meltdown at home just because the device fails. Currently I'm thinking of saving my hard-earned cash for something else.

3 years on from when this thread was first opened, what are peoples experiences ? Are they more reliable than they were ?
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Ligan
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Re: Spot Tracker

Post by Ligan » Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:39 pm

www.yellobrick.com, they do cost more but unlike the spot tracker they will work globally via the iridium sat network which is actively being upgraded, unlike the spot globalstar network which is gradually dropping out of service.
The yello bricks also allow 2 way coms via sms and email. and are fully waterproofed.

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MartinW
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Re: Spot Tracker

Post by MartinW » Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:44 pm

I think Ligan's link should be http://www.yellowbrick-tracking.com.
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Andy Harpur
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Re: Spot Tracker

Post by Andy Harpur » Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:01 pm

MartinW wrote:I think Ligan's link should be http://www.yellowbrick-tracking.com.
Yeah, I found it. Cheers both. Have sent the sales team an e-mail requesting a rental quote. On the face of it, it seems a good bit of kit if you're doing lots of expedition type paddeling. Seems a bit pricey if there's only a week here and there though.

Anyone already got one? opinions ?
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Andy Harpur
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Re: Spot Tracker

Post by Andy Harpur » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:03 pm

For anyone else who may be thinking of http://www.yellowbrick-tracking.com for an expedition
I received the following quote for 10 days rental,
You'd be looking at a price of
£100.09 plus VAT, which includes delivery to you, the unit itself,
data costs (for transmissions every 4 hours) and an online map (which
can be embedded into your website if you have one) showing current and
historic tracks.

I'm thinking about it... kind of goes agains the grain because I've always endeavoured to be self sufficient/reliant
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Geebee
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Re: Spot Tracker

Post by Geebee » Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:10 pm

I used a Spot device for my Lands End John O'Groats trip, and had no issues with it at all. http://www.kayakingnorth.com/the-route-taken.php

I switched it on every morning, left it tracking all day, and switched it off when I'd finished paddling for the day. I didn't use the messaging services as I didn't need to. The unit cost £60 from the states, and I registered it for 120euro which gave me the ability to display the track in my website.

I had it in a VHF Aquapac on top of my deck bag with my VHF. It used 2 sets of 4 AAA lithium batteries in total for the whole 32 day trip. This was the only only GPS tracking device I had running, it was great at the end of the day to go onto the website and see where I'd been or what my tidal track looked like on crossing etc.

You're welcome to borrow it for your trip if you like, it's just sat in my kit bag now doing nothing.... The registration runs until April next year.

Cheers
Glyn

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Re: Spot Tracker

Post by geoffm » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:44 pm

There is a new product out now that appears to be far superior to the Spot. It is the DeLorme InReach SE. I should have one shortly for a solo trip I am doing in Greenland.
The unit allows 2 way satellite messaging with confirmation of message received, not just sent.
http://www.inreachdelorme.com/product-i ... eachse.php
More expensive to buy and run than the SPOT but what price on your life?
Geoff

Ligan
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Re: Spot Tracker

Post by Ligan » Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:09 am

I think there a number of products using the iridium network / board
http://www.iridium.com/Products.aspx that provide the same functionality as the yellow brick.

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Andy Harpur
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Re: Spot Tracker

Post by Andy Harpur » Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:44 pm

Glyn, Thanks for the offer of loaning your Spot, but I don't like being responsible for other peoples gear and knowing my luck I'd probably break it! ;)

Geoff, Remember our paddle to Soay? I was out there again recently :) Good luck on your Greenland trip, I've already got an eye on your expedition page.

Ligan, Thanks for the Iridum link, very informative. I'll enjoy having a browse later.
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