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Old 07-02-2014, 10:34   #1
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pirate Spot Orange

Anyone got any real use information/experience with the Mk3 Spot Orange GPS/Messenger...
I've read the blurb but real life info is more valid..
I'm thinking of getting one so owners can follow/be aware of their boats progress across Oceans on any deliveries I do.. or is there a finite range to their reliability further away from land masses..
Is the basic package adequate
Thanks...
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:51   #2
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Re: Spot Orange

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Anyone got any real use information/experience with the Mk3 Spot Orange GPS/Messenger...
I've read the blurb but real life info is more valid..
I'm thinking of getting one so owners can follow/be aware of their boats progress across Oceans on any deliveries I do.. or is there a finite range to their reliability further away from land masses..
Is the basic package adequate
Thanks...
Boaty... Not MK3, but 2nd generation... It worked really well.... As in "did everything they advertised" So... I would trust that the newer ones would work as advertised...

I'm a bit dismayed with the service cost now... and mine is deactivated currently.... What was originally $90/yr auto billed to $180 last year with all the added fees....

Personally, I think I'll go with InReach next time..... Seems to have more "newer" features that "I" would want...

I'd be happy to lend you my Spot if you want to see how she works... re-register it until you're done with it... Don't see needing it for year....
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:15   #3
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Re: Spot Orange

If you truly want coverage "across oceans", SPOT will not provide that. There are large gaps in their service area...mostly over open ocean.

The reason is that it uses the GlobalStar network which is not truly a sattelite network, but rather land terminals interconnected by sattelites. The SPOT device does not actually talk to sattelites, but to the land terminals. So, if you are out of land terminal range you are out of touch.

In my experience, SPOT also drops a lot of messages, but this may depended upon geographic location.
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:17   #4
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pirate Re: Spot Orange

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMdRSailor View Post
Boaty... Not MK3, but 2nd generation... It worked really well.... As in "did everything they advertised" So... I would trust that the newer ones would work as advertised...

I'm a bit dismayed with the service cost now... and mine is deactivated currently.... What was originally $90/yr auto billed to $180 last year with all the added fees....

Personally, I think I'll go with InReach next time..... Seems to have more "newer" features that "I" would want...

I'd be happy to lend you my Spot if you want to see how she works... re-register it until you're done with it... Don't see needing it for year....
Cheers for that.. bit of a fee's jump at 100%..
I'll take a look at InReach and see what they're about..
Not urgent as the Lagoon this month has AIS fitted so she'll only be 'off grid for 10-14 days total at most on the trip.. but I am considering something for later jobs.. slowing crawling out from the 18th century...

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Old 07-02-2014, 11:24   #5
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Re: Spot Orange

The InReach looks interesting.

Starting in March, you can get a "no contract" plan, whatever that means.
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:30   #6
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Re: Spot Orange

I had one and had the same experience as Happy - did what it advertised, but the yearly service is way over priced for what you are getting.
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:33   #7
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Re: Spot Orange

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Cheers for that.. bit of a fee's jump at 100%..
I'll take a look at InReach and see what they're about..
Not urgent as the Lagoon this month has AIS fitted so she'll only be 'off grid for 10-14 days total at most on the trip.. but I am considering something for later jobs.. slowing crawling out from the 18th century...
You bet... Just looked up Spot's fees, and basic is now $49... Looks like their features on the new models fare with the InReach too... But now your service fees go way up!

Offer is open any time if interested... PM me and I'll drop it in the mail.. er ... post...
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:37   #8
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Re: Spot Orange

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I had one and had the same experience as Happy - did what it advertised, but the yearly service is way over priced for what you are getting.
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We should do one of those boycott things... pool our money and have a party.... That'll show 'em!
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:37   #9
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Re: Spot Orange

InReach is total global and Iridium based.

InReach

But the rates are higher than you think:

http://www.inreachdelorme.com/produc...tion-plans.php
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Old 07-02-2014, 12:14   #10
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Re: Spot Orange

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InReach is total global and Iridium based.

InReach

But the rates are higher than you think:

InReach

For occasional text usage, $120 doesn't sound all that bad. It would of course require a lot of discipline.
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Old 07-02-2014, 12:54   #11
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Re: Spot Orange

BoatMan 61

First time that I used the Spot was in 2008, the original orange one, on a Crossing from Panama to Marquesas.
Worked really nice until 3 days after Coco Island, and after that no coverage at all. Just had coverage again in the Marquesas Islands.
Still having the same unit, and it works really nice since that time. Just changed the batteries once to be sure that wolud work on the last long trip.
All over South America, Caribbean and 2 Atlantic Crossings.
Last year on a delivery from Saint Maarten to Palma worked perfect again and was the main contact for all the crew with the family. Great for big crew, since you can put up to 5 emails.
Go for it, just look at the coverage area on theyr website and don┤t espect it will work on the no coverage areas.
Abrašo e bebe uma Sagres ai por mim.
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:06   #12
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Re: Spot Orange

have the spot 3. works great. biggest problem is the INSANELY bright lights when used at night, and the spot unit is anywhere in the cockpit.

The higher price service is for new tracking features. unless they changed it, my service price didnt change. They now have tracking a lot more frequently, and fenced in tracking, tracking that doesnt stop at 24 hours like the basic tracking.

I like it, just HATE the way too bright lights. It needs a light sensor, or far dimmer LEDs or something.

their website should indicate their service area, it is not everywhere
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:35   #13
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Re: Spot Orange

I have a 2nd gen spot, and hav used it along side the Delorme Inreach for 2 years now.

They both track well, I suggest the spot plan that does not have the automatic tracking option.... No real advantage to it.

The Delorme capability to send short texts (160 characters) is nice, but I would not have a delorme as my tracking device. It EATS batteries! Both units require use of lithium batteries, and if you cheat with normal batteries you get a very very short battery life (measured in hours).

My spot has been on for 3 weeks currently... O the same batteries. When I am underway I hit "ok" once ever couple hours or on passages at watch changes.

The delorme has gone through 5 or 6 sets of batteries in the same time. I did the suggested software update which helped a little, and I changed the tracking frequency to 1 hour from the default 15minutes.... Neither have helped.

If you go with the delorme, bring lots of batteries! Keep in mind that you are going to pay 2 - 3x as much for the lithium that it requires.

One person here suggested that the delorme will run when powered by the USB plug under the batter compartment. I have tried this with a few different adapters and they light the "red light" on the power button,,,, this results in either limited transmit or failure to transmit position data.
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