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Old 20-06-2011, 06:13   #1
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Testing the GlobalStar Spot Messenger

I've been testing out a Globalstar-SPOT MESSENGER in the front window of my car during several trips from the coastal own of Ubatuba to the metropolis of Sao Paulo while the unit transmitted the track data to the satellites every 10 minutes. As you see from the attachment it worked flawlessly.

A Spot-World interface is available FREE of charge to all SPOT users who wish to join this tracking system from New Zealand,presently used for glider planes/clubs but hopefully a marine version for regattas and long distance sailors will soon be available. The test map attached is derived from this interface using the Sao Paulo testbase.

I have as yet not had the time to test it in a marine environment where it should be even more accurate with a totally clear view to the sky.

In my opinion a very valuable new location tracking unit vastly extending the present range of AIS. The SPOT COMMUNICATOR unit is also able to display the track locations on a smartphone running the Android OS.

May I point out that I have no financial connections with Globalstar-SPOT as all equipment is available direct or from their dealer network.
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Old 20-06-2011, 06:27   #2
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Re: TESTING THE GLOBALSTAR SPOT MESSENGER

Nice! I've just ordered a SPOT Satellite messenger last week. Will be receiving it tomorrow. And I'll be using it to track our sailing trip from the netherlands to norway, denmark and sweden.

Any info about battery life when track mode enabled?
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Old 20-06-2011, 08:10   #3
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Re: TESTING THE GLOBALSTAR SPOT MESSENGER

You can also save your tracks in .GPX format from your SPOT account page which can be directly imported to OpenCPN through the Route manager.

See examples attached.
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Old 20-06-2011, 09:39   #4
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Re: TESTING THE GLOBALSTAR SPOT MESSENGER

We hauled the boat, and spot showed us in the exact spot we were in. You can see that with google earth. It has been very accurate for 2,000 miles........i2f
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Old 20-06-2011, 13:05   #5
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Re: TESTING THE GLOBALSTAR SPOT MESSENGER

Globalstar-SPOT provides a FREE 'SPOT ADVENTURE' interface for registered SPOT users.

A really great feature to create your own sailing adventures to share with family and friends. Also interesting to follow other leisure sport activities around the world.

See attached cruise example from 17 June for 's.y. Changing Course' enroute from Wilmington to Portugal having just arrived in Bermuda. Their route shows a mixuture of Tracking and occational I'm OK messages.

Further info: http://www.findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=107
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Old 20-06-2011, 13:17   #6
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Re: TESTING THE GLOBALSTAR SPOT MESSENGER

Used mine for the first time yesterday. Worked fine, and my friends were happy to see my safe arrival at the next anchorage on the tracking with Google maps.

I bought it a few weeks ago, but did not activate it right away. I did not know there were charges for activation when I purchased it. Should have known better. Device and activation with tracking and 100K$ rescue insurance ($15 if I recall) totaled $341 US.

Hoping to never use the SOS button, but I guess it's worth it if I can't hail anyone on the VHF for some reason.
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Old 20-06-2011, 13:23   #7
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Re: TESTING THE GLOBALSTAR SPOT MESSENGER

Quote:
Originally Posted by inSaNo View Post
Nice! I've just ordered a SPOT Satellite messenger last week. Will be receiving it tomorrow. And I'll be using it to track our sailing trip from the netherlands to norway, denmark and sweden.

Any info about battery life when track mode enabled?

The manual (available online) recommends disposable lithium batteries only. It comes with 3 AAAs.

It states 7 days tracking with 100% unobstructed skies and 3.5 days with 50% obstructed skies. I suppose this is because it connects to GPS each time it marks a waypoint, so if it has to try twice each time battery life would take hit.
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Old 20-06-2011, 13:30   #8
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Re: TESTING THE GLOBALSTAR SPOT MESSENGER

But still very good value for money I think. The basic SPOT MESSENGER plus the basic requirement is around US$ 270.- if I remember correctly.

Considering the cost of the cheapest AIS receiver at over US$ 500.- which can only be detected by internet up to 30-40 nm off shore,the SPOT MESSENGER transmits a vessels lat/lon by satellite within the range of the Globalstar satellites.

You are lucky living in the US,Brazil has an 80-95% import duty so here we pay around the double.

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Old 20-06-2011, 13:38   #9
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Re: TESTING THE GLOBALSTAR SPOT MESSENGER

Four Winds..
The 'unobstructed views' becomes imaterial in marine use unless you are sailing under a lot of bridges of through canal tunnels.

The dedicated marine SPOT HUG which comes with a higher price tag can be connected to the ship's supply,keeping the batteries as a safety backup.
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Old 20-06-2011, 13:54   #10
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Re: TESTING THE GLOBALSTAR SPOT MESSENGER

Just stating what he manual says. Didn't seem necessary to point out sailing provides unobstructed view of the sky.

Tracking is $50 extra, so that makes $320 total. I figured I might as well get the SAR insurance as well after that.

Yes, I agree it's worth the money. Especially if I press the SOS button.
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Old 20-06-2011, 14:58   #11
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Re: TESTING THE GLOBALSTAR SPOT MESSENGER

Here is a sample from my own "TEST ADVENTURE" based on tracks collected travelling by car between Ubatuba and Sao Paulo. Later,I will test out the SPOT afloat.

I found some very interesting adventures in the Search for Adventures region.

TEST ADVENTURE: Spot Adventures | SpotAdventures

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Old 20-06-2011, 16:37   #12
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Re: TESTING THE GLOBALSTAR SPOT MESSENGER

I have pointed to this device already a half year ago:
New GPS / Globalstar Puck

Nice to see it is of some use now.

Gerhard
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Old 20-06-2011, 16:57   #13
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Re: TESTING THE GLOBALSTAR SPOT MESSENGER

Car Code..
Yes I remember you telling me.. but they have evolved since then and soon to come out with their SPOT HUG for marine use..

Keep watching this space for further developments

Tore
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Old 20-06-2011, 17:25   #14
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Re: TESTING THE GLOBALSTAR SPOT MESSENGER

Quote:
In my opinion a very valuable new location tracking unit vastly extending the present range of AIS. The SPOT COMMUNICATOR unit is also able to display the track locations on a smartphone running the Android OS.
SPOT and AIS are two very different systems, AIS is primarily to allow you to broadcast your position to other vessels in close VHF range and to also detect their transmissions, It provides deatils of teh targets speed, destination, MMSI etc

SPOT is a way of you telling teh Internet where you are.

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Old 20-06-2011, 17:58   #15
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Re: TESTING THE GLOBALSTAR SPOT MESSENGER

goboaingnow..

As I am sure you must know,AIS targets are also distributed over internet received from shore stations with a LIMITED range. SPOT vastly extends the range from which targets are distributed to the internet and viewers within internet coverage.

Sure,they are two different systems at the outset but they are both able to also transmit target positions over internet from different intermidiaries.

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