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Old 05-08-2016, 08:26   #16
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Re: SPOT Gen3 GPS Tracker

We have used DeLorme Inreach for several years and are very happy with that. Especially since you can now get weather on-demand.
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Old 05-08-2016, 08:53   #17
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Re: SPOT Gen3 GPS Tracker

Interesting timing on this post. I just returned from Canada where I commissioned not one but two Spot Trace units for vehicles used in a residential cleaning business. The Trace units can be hard wired to a vehicle or vessel with a waterproof cable sold as an accessory.

The interesting thing about Trace vs their personal units is the Port feature which will alert you to the asset movement away from the dock or anchorage.

I'm not familiar with the Gen3 tracker but know the Trace can report every 5-10-30 minutes or if you up the plan every 2 minutes. The more reporting the deeper the page reports. The map can be just that or it can be satellite view as well. Changing the filters / reporting frequency can lessen the buildup of information on screen.

I had enough time with their customer service to come away with a feel that English is not the primary language. Their mapping points for movement start / track and stop are numerically backward to the CSV export numbering and didn't help with the needs I had. They aren't as bad as some of the Chinese vendors and the lack of understanding English but there is a minor barrier.

I would look into the Trace vs the 3Gen for use on your boat. The price and Port function as well as the ability to permanently mount and wire is what took me that way.

They also had a 50% rebate in place on Trace which worked for me.
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Old 05-08-2016, 09:41   #18
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Re: SPOT Gen3 GPS Tracker

Curacao to St Croix as the crow flies it was for 4 days and nights spot on
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Old 05-08-2016, 09:48   #19
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Re: SPOT Gen3 GPS Tracker

@bvander,
just need a basic tool to tell friends where I am and a way to say that I made it to anchorage/marina/wherever. Don't need all the other bells and whistles. Delorme looks good but for the price, compared to what I need, just doesn't work.
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Old 05-08-2016, 09:56   #20
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Re: SPOT Gen3 GPS Tracker

I run counter to the above advice. I would strongly urge you NOT to buy the SPOT. It is not reliable. The Delorme Inreach product is superior in terms of reliability and technical strengths.

I recently purchased a SPOT Gen 3 for a trip across the GOM on a delivery. It quit working multiple times, once for about seven hours, scaring the wives of the crew. Upon return, my phone calls to the company were less than helpful. For the specifics, see:

SPOT Tracker (Gen3) issues | SailboatOwners.com Forums

The website has the following quote about coverage areas:

"Last Updated 2015-02-09. Estimated coverage area. Actual coverage may vary. Success rates are forecasts for a SPOT messenger to successfully deliver a single message during a 20-minute period, based on network availability. Additionally, in everyday conditions it is normal for some messages to be blocked by your environment, such as hills or buildings. That 's why the SPOT Messenger is scheduled to automatically send multiple messages in every mode – giving you excellent overall reliability."

Here are the applicable data from my trip. In an operating period of just short of 72 hours, I had a 65-minute stoppage, a 68-minute stoppage, a 39-minute stoppage, a 33-minute stoppage, a 390-minute stoppage (yes, 6.5 hours), a 47-minute stoppage, a 29 minute stoppage, and a 223-minute stoppage (yes, 3 hours and 43 minutes). So much for reliability forecasts. The position of the unit was never changed, and at each check of the unit, the multiple indicator LEDs showed that it was operating properly.

Go with the Delorme. It uses Iridium satellites, which are truly global, and you can pay for service as you need it (although at higher rates than a straight yearly contract). It also allows 2-way texting.

West Marine had no issue taking the unit back for a refund, and SPOT refunded my $150 yearly fee, after using the float on my money "for up to 14 business days" as the company told me when I didn't see a credit after a calendar week.
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Old 05-08-2016, 10:02   #21
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Re: SPOT Gen3 GPS Tracker

Some of my clients use Spots and we did not have problems as discussed above.

Simply set the tick to once a day and the whole passage fits into one tracking screen.

At times users set the ticker to once every 5 minutes this sure generates problems. But it is not a hardware issue, it is an operator issue.

The interface can be seen as lacking, but so are InReach and Yellobrick interfaces, just in their own way.

b.
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Old 05-08-2016, 10:02   #22
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Re: SPOT Gen3 GPS Tracker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teknishn View Post
All,
Thank you for the feedback. I am not a cruiser. I'm repatriating to the States after being gone for 20 years and will be moving aboard my little pocket cruiser in April of next year. The plan is to gunkhole up and down he East Coast of the States until I grow up (ain't gonna happen) or figure where I want to live. No living family and no place I have to be, so a pocket-cruiser suits the purpose. Was enquiring about the SPOT Gen3, and like devices so that I can tell friends (all 2 of them...anymore is too much maintenance) that I have reached my destination and can transmit back that all is ok. I have a tendency to disappear for weeks/months at a time without telling anyone, last time into the Eastern Desert of Egypt for nearly 3 months (just me and the dog). As age catches up to me and I will be reaquainting with old friends that have always been there, I was looking for a way to let them know where I am, and that I am safely anchored somewhere. Something basic....don't need anything exotic here.
Teknishn,

If you are planning to gunkhole along the east coast of the US, have you considered how often you won't have a cell signal [Not often from what I gather- at least on a daily basis...]

You mentioned simple...

For tracking updates, we rely on either our cell phones [or an Iridium sat phone] to send a simple formatted email to Farkwar [free mapping service sponsored by a fellow cruiser...] to show our daily position [when we choose to...] Your friends can subscribe to Farkwar for free and will be notified every time you update your position.

You can also send messages more often than daily to show our progress, [i.e., breadcrumb trail] but we rarely do this.

Most travelers I know [water and land cruisers alike] prefer a device that provides two-way communication when cell is unavailable, and DeLorme Inreach seems to be the choice of those not requiring/justifying a sat phone. [Although I contend they cost about the same in the long run- especially if weather is needed- and sat phone/ sat hot spot offers far more capability... ]

You didn't mention needing a notification device for emergencies, and Spot and DeLorme offer that capability via a private company [as does our Iridium sat phone...] We instead choose to each carry a PLB on our person while on the boat or on land [in addition to EPIRBS on the boat... Remember PLBs are registered to a person; EPIRBS to a vessel...]

I've expanded on your question a bit, but the short version is you can use any device that can send an email or a text to update your position on online [free] tracking services.

Best wishes deciding what is best for you.

Cheers! Bill
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Old 05-08-2016, 10:26   #23
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Re: SPOT Gen3 GPS Tracker

@wrwakefield,
All good points. Yes, I have considered the areas where cell signals are not available....First thing, I hate that people feel that they have to be constantly connected to the world by a leash called an Ipod or Blackberry, And yes, you did expand on my original question in a good way. Thanks for that :-)
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Old 05-08-2016, 10:47   #24
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Re: SPOT Gen3 GPS Tracker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teknishn View Post
@wrwakefield,
All good points. Yes, I have considered the areas where cell signals are not available....First thing, I hate that people feel that they have to be constantly connected to the world by a leash called an Ipod or Blackberry, And yes, you did expand on my original question in a good way. Thanks for that :-)
Teknishn,

I agree about the electronic leash... My observation is it is an addiction for some, a necessity for others.

I now realize in my last post I didn't make my one point clear with regards to cell signals [or lack there-of...] I was implying that lack of cell signal on the US east coast may be so rare [while gunkholing...] that you won't need a sat comm device but could instead rely on a smart phone for position updates [and turn it off the rest of the time if desired to cut that eLeash...]

I have always told people [even when I was in business] that I carry a mobile phone for my convenience, not everyone else's...

Cheers! Bill

PS: Thanks for letting me know I hadn't strayed too far in my prior post...
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Old 05-08-2016, 13:04   #25
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Re: SPOT Gen3 GPS Tracker

Teknishn,

You might also want to consider Ham radio. It is a hobby that will allow you to do what you want and much more.

Paul
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Old 05-08-2016, 13:11   #26
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Re: SPOT Gen3 GPS Tracker

We just returned from sailing through NYC to Martha's Vineyard, all points in between and back here to the Chesapeake Bay.

I turned it on every morning and evening as well as all new ports, and sent OK messages as well as turning the tracking on for a couple of hours. My own email was included in the list and it was linked to Facebook as well.

Our family and friends received every SPOT (37) and it worked like a charm. We were able to see the emails on my phone as well as the notes on FB.

Inexpensive and fun addition to all our safety gear.
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Old 05-08-2016, 13:12   #27
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Re: SPOT Gen3 GPS Tracker

the spot has hook up to cost guard for $15 per year with sos button +gps /w proof
works ok in Australia/free pre programed messages/most used- check in all ok sfly at anchor. personalised messages cost 50 cents au/down side does not float/send only/needs to connect to phone or pc to message but will work on sos without pc or phone
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Old 05-08-2016, 13:20   #28
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Re: SPOT Gen3 GPS Tracker

My experience with SPOT 2 and 3.
Very good in Europe Caribe, North & South America.
Polynesia does not work.
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Old 06-08-2016, 07:18   #29
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Re: SPOT Gen3 GPS Tracker

Quote:
Originally Posted by SFS View Post
I run counter to the above advice. I would strongly urge you NOT to buy the SPOT. It is not reliable. The Delorme Inreach product is superior in terms of reliability and technical strengths.

I recently purchased a SPOT Gen 3 for a trip across the GOM on a delivery. It quit working multiple times, once for about seven hours, scaring the wives of the crew. Upon return, my phone calls to the company were less than helpful. For the specifics, see:

SPOT Tracker (Gen3) issues | SailboatOwners.com Forums

The website has the following quote about coverage areas:

"Last Updated 2015-02-09. Estimated coverage area. Actual coverage may vary. Success rates are forecasts for a SPOT messenger to successfully deliver a single message during a 20-minute period, based on network availability. Additionally, in everyday conditions it is normal for some messages to be blocked by your environment, such as hills or buildings. That 's why the SPOT Messenger is scheduled to automatically send multiple messages in every mode giving you excellent overall reliability."

Here are the applicable data from my trip. In an operating period of just short of 72 hours, I had a 65-minute stoppage, a 68-minute stoppage, a 39-minute stoppage, a 33-minute stoppage, a 390-minute stoppage (yes, 6.5 hours), a 47-minute stoppage, a 29 minute stoppage, and a 223-minute stoppage (yes, 3 hours and 43 minutes). So much for reliability forecasts. The position of the unit was never changed, and at each check of the unit, the multiple indicator LEDs showed that it was operating properly.

Go with the Delorme. It uses Iridium satellites, which are truly global, and you can pay for service as you need it (although at higher rates than a straight yearly contract). It also allows 2-way texting.

West Marine had no issue taking the unit back for a refund, and SPOT refunded my $150 yearly fee, after using the float on my money "for up to 14 business days" as the company told me when I didn't see a credit after a calendar week.
Don't agree, for 7 years have had good success with SPOT, eastern Seaboard US, Bahamas, also NY to Bermuda, and 2 trips Chesapeake to Virgins. Sent spot twice a day and all on list received all locations.
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Old 06-08-2016, 07:52   #30
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Re: SPOT Gen3 GPS Tracker

I have used the old Spot for 6 years with no issues. Several crossings of the GOM and America's Great Loop. Off shore we "Pusha the Button" every shift change. Family and friends like the update of position. Inshore we send the OK when we pull the anchor and when we put it down. It is not fancy but it's not expensive either.
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