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Old 11-07-2011, 03:54   #46
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Re: Testing the GlobalStar Spot Messenger

Anyone been to Marshall Islands/Kiribati with the spot. Coverage on the map appears to be null in that area. We will be there helping medical/dental teams for 2-3 years.
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Old 11-07-2011, 05:37   #47
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Re: Testing the GlobalStar Spot Messenger

As you rightly say,the Globalstar-SPOT coverage map does not appear to have satellite coverage for this area presently. However,many new satellites have been launched and more will come next spring,increasing the coverage areas further.

If you read an earlier report here,(thread #31), from the Indian Ocean,6 out of 10 messages were successfully transmitted in spite of the fact that the Globalstar-SPOT map does not show coverage there.

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Old 19-07-2011, 06:39   #48
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OpenCPN - SPOT Adventure data exchange

You can easily exchange Route and Track data in .GPX format between OpenCPN and Globalstar SPOT as well as the SPOT Adventure module.

The attached shows a summer cruise in Scandinavia from the base in Farsund,Norway,
yet to be completed.

SPOT Adventure is ideal for storing your cruise memories with Tracks,Routes and photos enroute. With the OpenCPN Google Earth plugin,you can also use captured harbour details in your adventure for later use.

View full cruise details and photos here:
s.y. Ocean Viking - Holidays- July 02 - 2011 - Sailing trip - Spot | SpotAdventures

Here is another cruise 'Adventure' from the US East coast:
http://www.spotadventures.com/trip/view/?trip_id=235103

Tore
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Old 27-07-2011, 07:35   #49
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Re: Testing the GlobalStar Spot Messenger

Has anyone tried using GPS Babel to convert SPOT derived .GPX files into NMEA format with output to an OpenCPN COM port?

Current SPOT data can be polled from the Globalstar-SPOT database in .GPX format,which can be imported by the OpenCPN Route Manager,but it would be more consistent to have the track/route/waypoints displayed directly on the OCPN map at the touch of a button, which would activate the poll/collection/translation process.

This would be another very welcomed plug-in,enabling the use of the SPOT satellite originated location data,far outside the range of AIS land stations.

For the moment,this would only be possible when within the range of internet,but I envisage future possibilities to use the Globalstar duplex facility to do the data polling independently of internet connection across the oceans.
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Old 27-07-2011, 08:18   #50
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Re: Testing the GlobalStar Spot Messenger

re my #49

Here are the various settings I am trying in order to convert and output NMEA data to COM:7 in my OCPN. Somehow GPS Babel does not find COM:7

As can be seen from the GPS Babel event report,the whole process can be activated in a command line contained in a plug-in.

Ideas anybody?
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Old 27-07-2011, 09:12   #51
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Re: Testing the GlobalStar Spot Messenger

re my #49-50 CORRECTION

The data file polled from the Globalstar-SPOT database is in .xml format (NOT .gpx)

GPS Babel accepts both GPX or XML files as input and converts it for output to a OCPN COM: port.
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Old 09-08-2011, 13:18   #52
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Re: Testing the GlobalStar Spot Messenger

As an update to this thread please note I have made suggestions/inquiries to Globalstar-SPOT regarding the following:

1. Option to display ALL track/route info in the 'Adventures' module. Presently shows only the red route line but no data such as date/times,waypoints and info.

2. Option to display all marine activities in nautical miles. Presently in KM and Miles.

3. Option to receive purged data in .GPX format for ease of assimilation in nav.progs.

4. Improvement of the 'Adventure' pop-up info notices similar to those in the major SPOT account map showing all data info. Present pop-up is very crude.

5. Future option to poll SPOT data via Globalstars duplex satellite connection for users outside internet coverage.

6. Future facility to also receive the transmitted data on a local Windows laptop via bluetooth,making the purchase of a second GPS superflous.

The Globalstar-SPOT system is excellent as a concept but lacks a lot of foretought and consultation with marine users before manufacture. Hopefully this will improve in the future. The Globalstar-SPOT concept could be a very cost saving alternative to the new AIS based ELRIT system,especially suitable for the cruising yachtsman.

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Old 10-08-2011, 09:21   #53
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Poole - Santander sailing trip

Here is a good sample of SPOT tracking,downloaded from Adventure as a .GPX file and imported to OCPN via the Route Manager. In this case all the correct data is shown such as data/time,waypoints an info. This is NOT the case when only the I'm OK position reports are used which only results in a route line without data.

Here is the SPOT Adventure:Blue Spirit - Poole to Santander March 2011 - Sailing trip - Spot | SpotAdventures

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Old 10-08-2011, 11:48   #54
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Re: Testing the GlobalStar Spot Messenger

Quote:
Originally Posted by sinbad7 View Post
As you rightly say,the Globalstar-SPOT coverage map does not appear to have satellite coverage for this area presently. However,many new satellites have been launched and more will come next spring,increasing the coverage areas further.

Tore
I think you're misunderstanding how Globalstar works. Globalstar is not Iridium - the Globalstar satellites are essentially simple (well, not really) relays between ground stations and phones. Unlike Iridium, the satellites do not communicate directly with each other. This means that connections can only work when a satellite is able to see a ground station from low earth orbit. The exposed areas on the coverage map are either too far away from land, or too far away from a location Globalstar has been able to construct a ground station for the satellites to see them. A phone in mid-ocean may be able to see a satellite, but a call will not be possible if the satellite cannot also see a ground station. This fact is true of the second generation satellites as well, so the open holes in mid-ocean are not going to be closed by the upgrade.

If you need truly global coverage you'll have to use Iridium or an Inmarsat system (e.g. BGAN). In the former the satellites communicate directly with each other, allowing them to relay connections between satellites until one is able to communicate with a ground station. The latter typically uses geosynchronous satellites always in view of one or more ground stations.
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:10   #55
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Re: Testing the GlobalStar Spot Messenger

gjorgensen..

I can not personally disagree with what you say as I do not have detailed knowledge of how the Globalstar satellite system communicates. However,if you read #47 one of our SPOT users managed 6 out of 10 messages successfully in the Indian Ocean which is not even supposed to have coverage. The attached coverage map in the same message shows total coverage across the Atlantic and most popular areas although scant in the Pacific. I don't think Globalstar SPOT would issue such erroneous information as you are indicating. At a cost of around US 100.- plus a similar annual fee it sure beats the cost of similar satellite based systems.

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Old 10-08-2011, 12:44   #56
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Re: Testing the GlobalStar Spot Messenger

I'm not saying the coverage map is wrong or that Globalstar is lying. Nor am I denying that RF boundaries are not at all absolute so you may get coverage beyond the limits shown on the map (and may also find holes not shown on the map). I was trying to make two points:

1) Your comment that "many new satellites have been launched and more will come next spring,increasing the coverage areas further" is not generally correct. New satellites are being launched to replace the old ones and add some additional capabilities especially with regards to data speeds. Coverage will stay about the same.

2) The design of the Globalstar system means that the broad uncovered areas in mid-ocean will remain uncovered. Of course you may get additional coverage beyond the edges of the covered areas on the coverage map, but deep into the uncovered areas you will not find coverage. This is important for people to understand, so that no one attempts to rely on SPOT for complete coverage when, for example, doing the Pacific Puddle Jump.

Most cruisers stay around the coasts where Globalstar coverage is solid, so most people don't care that much. But an ocean crosser needs to be very aware of Globalstars limitations.
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:59   #57
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Re: Testing the GlobalStar Spot Messenger

gjorgensen..

Rather than elaborating further on this subject I'd suggest interested parties read the comments from Panbo experts and SPOT users here:
Panbo: The Marine Electronics Weblog: SPOT Connect(s), the mobile apps way

Tore
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Old 10-08-2011, 14:17   #58
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Gjorgensen +1 on globalstar coverage. It was always a technical limitation to not do satellite to satellite relay, unlike the vastly superior iridium system.

Iridium SBD modem units are bow starting to appear, so they will offer complete worldwide coverage ( including the polar regions )

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Old 10-08-2011, 14:32   #59
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Re: Testing the GlobalStar Spot Messenger

Quote:
Gjorgensen +1 on globalstar coverage. It was always a technical limitation to not do satellite to satellite relay, unlike the vastly superior iridium system.
AND wastly more expensive. - Not perfect,but the best we've got!
You pays your money !

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Old 10-08-2011, 14:38   #60
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Spot is cheap because globalstar are ( were) desperate to offer something, anything as their voice system was and is failing. Spot virtually is there only revenue stream.

Iridum SBD will no doubt compete with SPot it will have to to survive. Equally as globalstars voice issue is fixed with the new birds it will be interesting to see where Spot figures is the future product mix.

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