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Old 21-04-2012, 13:57   #31
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Re: Spot, Spot II, Spot Connect

This is a shocker as I imagined the coverage was continuous except iffy at the edges. Cuba cannot be at the edges.

Who gave you this info?

barnie
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Old 21-04-2012, 15:01   #32
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Re: Spot, Spot II, Spot Connect

The info came from USCG sector Key West. Not to be a conspiracy type...maybe something to do with Fat Albert? USCG Key West said "we have many reports from this area. without loss" Now it is documented. If they dont land in mexico by the AM I will make calls.
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Old 21-04-2012, 17:32   #33
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Re: Spot, Spot II, Spot Connect

Look up the wx there - there is this massive low thing as pictured in the other thread. If they are sailing (using sails) they may get delayed by too much or too little wind.

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Old 21-04-2012, 21:42   #34
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Re: Spot, Spot II, Spot Connect

Recieved the update @1945 today. Looks like they had a really bad day and took a beat. I am waiting out the same system here in the Florida keys for my north bound route. Was nasty all day here.
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Old 22-04-2012, 07:46   #35
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Re: Spot, Spot II, Spot Connect

Yep. Have a boat sitting out the same wx in Turks&Caicos hence was my guess about possibly adverse conditions. The good thing is I am not in the boat!

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Old 23-04-2012, 07:58   #36
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Re: Spot, Spot II, Spot Connect

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailboatLarry View Post
Is there a way to force my friends spot to send me his location?
No, there is no way to force it to send. And no, they do not automatically send at the same time each day. Your friend has to turn the unit on, be sure it has a satellite lock, and then push the "OK" button for it to send.

I see that you finally got an update. That's one "issue" (if you want to call it that) with the SPOT. Friends get regular updates, then one doesn't come as usual, friends get worried (maybe even panic). This happened last year, I believe, when someone was just having a good time and didn't push the "OK" button at the same time as they had been. Coast guard got called, SAR mission commenced, boat found comfortably anchored in no danger at all.

If you're going to use a SPOT, I think the prudent thing to do is either be absolutely religious about sending out your "OK" message at the same time every day, or make it clear to all your friends that if they don't get an "OK" message for a few days it really is no big deal and nothing to worry about.
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Old 23-04-2012, 08:28   #37
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Re: Spot, Spot II, Spot Connect

I admit to being ignorant to the use of spot. It was my understanding that it would automatically send a ping out everyday. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

Guess my biggest concern is the WX they were in. Normally in this situation my worries would have been less.
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Old 23-04-2012, 09:01   #38
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Re: Spot, Spot II, Spot Connect

Out of two months in the Bahamas, we had one or two days where our OK message did not get to our family recipients, even though we sent it religiously.

The Spot sends each OK three times over a span of about 10 minutes (I think). The system is designed to take those three signals (or two or one, depending on how many actually make it to the satellite in good order) and only convey one OK email to your list of recipients.

Initially we would turn on the unit, set it out in the cockpit, hit OK, wait till we saw the green light flashing, meaning "message sent," and then then we would turn off the unit and bring it back into the cabin. But that green light really only means "first message of three sent." To be sure of your message getting through, leave it outside sending for a good 15 minutes, transmitting all three redundant messages

Once we figured that out (after a mildly alarmed/curious email from family), all OKs went through fine.

That issue leads me to signal strength . . . I think the new ACR SARlink PLBs (and maybe others) have an "OK" function, plus they transmit a stronger signal, plus when sending SOS, they go directly to SARSAT system and not through a private satellite and a control center. If I had it to do all over, I would get one of those.
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Old 24-04-2012, 06:30   #39
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Re: Spot, Spot II, Spot Connect

I had a very similar "problem" (again, if you want to call it that) when I first got my SPOT. I would turn it on, push the "OK" button, wait a few seconds for the flashing light, and then turn it off. Oops! Signal never got out that way. For one thing, it takes it a little while to lock onto the satellites. For another, it may or may not get the message out on the first try.

Now, when using it, I turn it on and set it somewhere with a clear view of the sky for a minute or two. Then I push the "OK" button and leave it sitting for another couple of minutes. This way the message almost always gets out.

Bottom line is that this is a nice little device to have and use. You and those you are sending the "OK" messages to, however, need to understand how it works, both so that the messages will get out, and so that those back home don't panic when they don't get a message exactly when expected.
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Old 01-05-2012, 13:53   #40
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Re: Spot, Spot II, Spot Connect

"That issue leads me to signal strength . . . I think the new ACR SARlink PLBs (and maybe others) have an "OK" function, plus they transmit a stronger signal, plus when sending SOS, they go directly to SARSAT system and not through a private satellite and a control center. If I had it to do all over, I would get one of those.[/QUOTE]

Cormorant---One of the biggest unadvertized advantages of the 406 beacons when you need help, is the new ability of the USCG air craft to home in on your 406 transmission every approx. 52 seconds. This allows the pilots to go directly to you, especially if you are in an area with current. The GPS position given to the pilots could be old information by the time the pilots get on scene. Not every rescue is in a boat or life raft that is not moving quickly.
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Old 01-05-2012, 14:16   #41
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Re: Spot, Spot II, Spot Connect

denverdon -

i think that even a few minutes is not enough. i have the original spot and if i remember correctly it tells you in the instructions to leave it out for twenty minutes. i actually sat in the cockpit one evening watching it work and if i recall it took about 15 minutes to do the three transmission cycles, after which it stops sending. i think this is needed because the globalstar satellites are not always visible and it may be waiting for one to get into view before it transmits. don't really know, just guessing....
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Old 02-05-2012, 22:56   #42
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Re: Spot, Spot II, Spot Connect

I think these things are awesome. They keep getting compared to epirbs but at this price point its not really a sensible comparison. I mean, my chevette doesn't get there as fast as your corvette but would you expect it too?
I even put a link to our spot site on my blog so it's easy for everybody to keep track of us. Haven't run into any really major (more than an hour or two) dead spots so far on the Mexican coast and the position has been right on every time I've checked. My only complaint is that our old tracks dissapear after a few weeks. Would like to see the path we've followed over the last few months or even last year.
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Old 02-05-2012, 23:09   #43
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Re: Spot, Spot II, Spot Connect

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Originally Posted by Astral Blue View Post
While I do not own a SPOT unit nor have friends who own one, a friend pointed me to this post recently. In this situation, SPOT was off by 17 miles! If this is true, I find it unacceptable -- even if it has already been corrected. Here is the post.

Assuming this account is true, it would be enough to discourage me from purchasing a SPOT unit and relying on it if an emergency arises. I might use it to let my friends know where I am, but that's it.

For emergencies, EPIRB units are proven to be reliable.
This apparently was a conversion problem. SPOT uses decimals, was converted incorrectly by towboat operator to min/sec.
Didn't we crash a satellite this way?
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:16   #44
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Re: Spot, Spot II, Spot Connect

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My only complaint is that our old tracks dissapear after a few weeks. Would like to see the path we've followed over the last few months or even last year.
Just save them on spotadventures. I have all my tracks since day 1, you can see your track, post pictures, write a story, see your speed, etc...and its a free service from SPOT.
SPOT Adventures by phantomracer - page 1 - order: trip date | SpotAdventures
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:20   #45
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Re: Spot, Spot II, Spot Connect

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Originally Posted by ovrmyhead View Post
They keep getting compared to epirbs but at this price point its not really a sensible comparison.
The difference is that with a SPOT you have to pay a yearly subscription. Not so with a PLB or an EPIRB.

So, if you use your SPOT only as a substitute for a PLB or an EPIRB then the break-even point is about 2 years compared to the smaller, cheaper PLBs, and about 5-6 years compared to the larger, more sophisticated EPIRBS. After that, the SPOT is costing you more, because it is costing you every year.

It is the "I am OK" messaging capability that gives the SPOT some additional value above and beyond a basic EPIRB, and (at least for some people--certainly not everyone) makes it worth the subscription price.
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