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Old 05-08-2013, 06:53   #1
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New SPOT 3 / GEN3 tracker - FAIL!

I had high hopes with the new SPOT3

It works great, just had a couple huge problems that make it all but unsuable

First the good (Don't want to sound TOO negative) great performance compared to my SPOT1, New second 'ok' message', better tracking , can power from a usb cable in addition to batteries. Can have unauthorized movement and notification to BOAT/US (if you buy that service) will stop transmitting if anchored (nice)

For the bad - most annoying, but not unsafe issue - their spotadventures page now shows a flag every 5 minutes when a track point is added - which makes the map look like a sea of flags - check it out - View A SPOT Adventure imagine your GPS plotting this way!! totally unreadable

second issue - huge safey issue but annoying none the less - the LED lights are BLINDING at night on your helm (or dashboard of a car or cockit of your plane) and you will have momentary blindlness every 5 seconds or so. The LEDs are BRILLIANTLY BRIGHT - no dimmer or cover. I guess you could cover them with some black electrical tape - but othewise this is a fail.

I called them and told them to recall the SPOT3 til this is fixed. This is a huge safety issue.

Lost my SPOT-1, got to get another off ebay and replace the 3 with it. It is unusable to me.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:47   #2
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Re: New SPOT 3 / GEN3 tracker - FAIL!

No way to shift to 60 minute interval then? Website says it is user select.

Too bad the manufacturer did not think about the diodes. I found this an issue with many other toys.

Just imagine new Motorola phones shine when you look at them, then switch the screen off when you look away ... mass market rulez, I know.

b.
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:07   #3
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Re: New SPOT 3 / GEN3 tracker - FAIL!

You can change the interval, no problem, there will still be flags on the track. I like the shorter segments at 5 minutes (from 10 from spot 1, 2) but I can't see the track for the flags!

Your chartplotter doesn't put flags on your track..why would spot?

Their regular tracking (spot 1 and 2) do not put flags on the route.. Just the 3.

Guess I will have to wait til SPOT Gen4 for them to fix the problems again!
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:28   #4
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Re: New SPOT 3 / GEN3 tracker - FAIL!

Perhaps "FAIL!" is a bit harsh?

I regularly put red electrical tape over offending LEDs. That's not going to be a deal-breaker for me if the gear otherwise works.

You don't like the web interface. Perhaps if people complain the Spot folks will improve it. That's a relatively easy thing to do.

It sounds like the important features are working.
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:40   #5
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Re: New SPOT 3 / GEN3 tracker - FAIL!

Yes the new cool features work. But its a unsafe at night safety device. cant believe they overlooked it.

it is a fail to me.. its going back.

I have complained to spot about it, obviously, I just get 'thank you for your comments'

take a look at my link in the opening post. unless you zoom allllllll the way in, you can't see the track.. zoom out.. its a sea of flags!

Its a fail to me.
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Old 05-08-2013, 22:01   #6
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Re: New SPOT 3 / GEN3 tracker - FAIL!

Why do you want an emergency becon out on your dash, if you really need it out turn it away from your face you really don't need to watch it second to second......
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Old 05-08-2013, 22:35   #7
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Re: New SPOT 3 / GEN3 tracker - FAIL!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nwdiver View Post
Why do you want an emergency becon out on your dash, if you really need it out turn it away from your face you really don't need to watch it second to second......
it is best when it is facing the sky (ie face up) and have a clear view of the sky (front of the windshield is best, steel roof blocks gps/satellite signals), so the dash is the best place for it.
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Old 05-08-2013, 23:47   #8
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Re: New SPOT 3 / GEN3 tracker - FAIL!

Yeah that's pretty silly that you're calling the entire unit a failure for bright LEDs.
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Old 06-08-2013, 05:51   #9
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Re: New SPOT 3 / GEN3 tracker - FAIL!

everyone has their own threshold.

will be less silly when a serious accident is blamed on it..then it will get their attention!
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Old 06-08-2013, 05:55   #10
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Re: New SPOT 3 / GEN3 tracker - FAIL!

i keep my spot inside--it still works...and it is a gen 1 and leaves flags on all the marks.
if the damthing blinds ye-=-keep it in a place where it doesnt blind ye. behind mast is a good place...mine is in galley.
stuff it into a sock....lol there are ways to make no n adjustable lights less obnoxious.
go to spot site and readjust your settings.

my mommy likes it, therefore i use it
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:17   #11
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Re: New SPOT 3 / GEN3 tracker - FAIL!

The SPOT1 has flags for checkin/OK, but not on the tracking mode. With the Spot3, in 'unlimited tracking' it puts a flag on each track point

couple of examples - first one has a couple 'check in' and a track. the second you can't see the check ins for the sea of tracking flags

spot 1 tracking - View A SPOT Adventure

Spot 3 tracking - View A SPOT Adventure

I am more of a fix the problem than treat the symptom type person. First step in a safety device, like a doctor, should be - "do no harm!" causing a distraction and/or ruining night vision should be, at minimum, harm.
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:21   #12
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Re: New SPOT 3 / GEN3 tracker - FAIL!

i have been using spot 1 for 3 yrs now--it has no tracking mode.
all posts have flags and you push button for each posting.
gen 2 is every 10 mins, which i think is a little too frequent. flags on everything.
go to your spot site and adjust your particular settings. do you know how to do that???
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:37   #13
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Re: New SPOT 3 / GEN3 tracker - FAIL!

I suppose they would need to add a light sensor (as most smartphones have) so the LEDs could have a daylight viewable level and a nighttime dimmed level.
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:37   #14
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Re: New SPOT 3 / GEN3 tracker - FAIL!

SPOT 1 does have tracking mode - its extra cost. It is 10 minutes as well, but doesn't put a flag on each track point like the spot 3 does (see my links in my last post )

Been using spot1 for 5 years. To enter Tracking mode (if purchased) you press and hold CHeckin/OK for 5 seconds. A momentary press enters check in mode
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:38   #15
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Re: New SPOT 3 / GEN3 tracker - FAIL!

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Originally Posted by Cormorant View Post
I suppose they would need to add a light sensor (as most smartphones have) so the LEDs could have a daylight viewable level and a nighttime dimmed level.
exactly.

Even though it is a satellite tracker, there really is no need for satellites to have the ability to actually SEE your tracker from space!!
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