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Anyone use the new SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger

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Postby MoapaPk » Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:42 am

peakhugger wrote:MoapaPk and Wastral:

Are y'all referring to your experience with the new SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger? It's only been out a few weeks or so....


Wastral's diversion brought us to the old SPOT, since his experiences were over a year ago, and I purchased mine 1.5 years or so back. The initial part of the conversation dealt more with the differences between a SPOT and avy beacon (e.g. the latter uses a longer lambda). The new SPOT uses the same wavelength as the old SPOT, but may have better reception and stronger transmission. The new unit requires 3 Li AAA, whereas the old one required 2 Li AA. The new unit seems like it may have decreased battery life; I don't know if that is because the battery power is less, or because the transmission power is greater.
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Postby Wastral » Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:19 pm

From SPOTS website on coverage...

SPOT works around the world, including virtually all of the continental United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Australia, portions of South America, Northern Africa, and North-Eastern Asia and hundreds or thousands of miles offshore of these areas. In Russia, the GPS accuracy of your SPOT is limited (degraded) in accordance with Russian regulations restricting the accuracy of GPS performance for devices utilized in Russia.

99% OR BETTER PROBABILIITY OF SUCCESSFULLY SENDING A SINGLE MESSAGE WITHIN 20 MINUTES.
96% TO 99% PROBABILITY OF SUCCESSFULLY SENDING A SINGLE MESSAGE WITHIN 20 MINUTES.
REDUCED OR NO COVERAGE AVAILABLE WITHIN A 20 MINUTE PERIOD.
NO COVERAGE IN THIS AREA.


Last Updated 10/08/2008. 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.

.... They even say it won't work in all places. Would probably get an emergency signal out though to a single satellite but would not have gps coords...

Power on an antenna depends on voltage and current. So if the power difference between the new model and old model are the same for signal strength then they will both work the same. Now if they kept the current the same, but increased the voltage, 3 1.5v batteries vrs 2, then we could be seeing a better SPOT messenger device.

Brian
MoapaPk wrote:
peakhugger wrote:MoapaPk and Wastral:

Are y'all referring to your experience with the new SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger? It's only been out a few weeks or so....


Wastral's diversion brought us to the old SPOT, since his experiences were over a year ago, and I purchased mine 1.5 years or so back. The initial part of the conversation dealt more with the differences between a SPOT and avy beacon (e.g. the latter uses a longer lambda). The new SPOT uses the same wavelength as the old SPOT, but may have better reception and stronger transmission. The new unit requires 3 Li AAA, whereas the old one required 2 Li AA. The new unit seems like it may have decreased battery life; I don't know if that is because the battery power is less, or because the transmission power is greater.
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Postby MoapaPk » Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:36 pm

Wastral wrote:
.... They even say it won't work in all places. Would probably get an emergency signal out though to a single satellite but would not have gps coords...


Rather than use the verbiage on the SPOT web site, just look at the coverage map:
http://www.findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=109
Image
The darker yellow is the > 99% likelihood (within 20 minutes) coverage area.

Most SPOT restrictions are similar to the restrictions for a normal handheld GPS. The few times I did not get a satellite sync on the (older) SPOT, my normal GPS was giving 4-10 time the typical estimated error, possibly due to a freak bad constellation of satellites, and I gave the unit <20 minutes before moving.

Power on an antenna depends on voltage and current. So if the power difference between the new model and old model are the same for signal strength then they will both work the same. Now if they kept the current the same, but increased the voltage, 3 1.5v batteries vrs 2, then we could be seeing a better SPOT messenger device.


I'm referring to the transmission power, which is 0.16 watts for the new model, but is unspecified for the old model (at least I can't find the data). Nominally AAs and AAAs have the same voltage, but the mAh is obviously less for the latter. Supposedly, the new unit has a more sensitive GPS receiver, and more sophisticated directionality for satellite detection. Time will tell.
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Postby Wastral » Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:39 pm

Yea, I looked and could not find the power for the old SPOT antenna under the 2 AA batteries.
Nice picture capture by the way. Was too lazy to do it. +)
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