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Spot Connect

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Spot Connect

Postby jareds » Wed May 11, 2011 12:12 am

Anyone used this?
seems like a great piece of tech for keeping in touch with loved ones, etc. i.e. "don't cal SAR honey i'm just running a little behind..."


http://www.findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=116

Type & Send: Use SPOT Connect to send custom email and text messages via satellites to your contacts. Create up to 41 character SOS, Help and Check-in/OK messages. Messages will be sent directly to the contact groups you select via email or SMS. You can even post custom messages on Twitter and Facebook. If you encounter problems, you can send custom SOS messages describing your situation, with your GPS position included.


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Re: Spot Connect

Postby peninsula » Wed May 11, 2011 1:41 am

I've used the Spot Messenger the past few years and I'm thinking about upgrading. What I have works well, the check-in option is nice for keeping friends and family posted. It is pretty cool technology in the right hands.
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Re: Spot Connect

Postby DukeJH » Wed May 11, 2011 6:39 pm

My dad has one and enjoys the hell out of it.
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Re: Spot Connect

Postby jareds » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:11 am

UPDATE:

bought the spot CONNECT at REI for $150. Activated it for like $120.

Took it camping/skiing around Mt. Dana in Yosemite over teh Memorial Day weekend.

Tried sending texts, tried sending facebook and twitter updates. No real indication of whether or not it was sent successfully. The app is built poorly, needs a V2 that has all the details and bugs ironed out.

Got home, my wife said she never got any texts. no fb or twitter activity. apparently it failed but gave no notification.

So I have a $300 paperweight.

TOTAL FAIL. ZERO OUT OF FIVE STARS.

Haven't spent any time on it since to see why it went wrong.
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Re: Spot Connect

Postby Luc » Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:53 pm

My buddy had one going up Hidden peak this winter, anyone could log-in and see their progress (when the site wasn't down)
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Re: Spot Connect

Postby MoapaPk » Thu Jun 16, 2011 6:26 pm

jareds wrote:Haven't spent any time on it since to see why it went wrong.


Complain to the company and bring the unit back to rei.

My first spot2 started giving erroneous "sent" signals after a few months. I contacted spot company, and they said some units were just bad; I got a new unit at REI. What struck me is that the spot folks were very attentive about the problem, once I broached the subject; but they were not proactive in telling folks beforehand which serial number units had the problem. I was also struck that they were never able to tell me, with any clarity, what the algorithm was for deciding if a check-in should be sent, or was erroneous.

They seem to have changed the algorithm for when the ground station decides to forward a message to the end user (e-mail, cell phone, etc). A check-in can send 3 signals over time, to increase the probability that the satellite has actually received and processed the signal, and relayed the result to the ground station. The check-in is really meant for a unit sitting still and facing the sky for the entire time it takes to try 3 messages, which could be as long as 20 minutes. Apparently the ground-based processing of the signal waits for a certain amount of time to see how many of the 3 it received, and decides if the check-in should be forwarded. I surmise that if 2 or 3 signals are received from the same check-in, and one of the GPS readings disagrees with another significantly (in that set of 1 to 3), the algorithm may decide the reading is bad and send nothing. Ironically, it seems that if the ground station receives just one signal in the time it waits, that position gets relayed anyway. Hence if you are moving, you have to shut the unit off shortly after the first indication is given for a message being sent. If the connect uses a similar algorithm, and has no indication the message is sent, there could be a problem. Note this shouldn't be the case for tracking.

I've changed my use of the SPOT2, so I expect that a lot of messages won't get through if I am moving, but I send a lot, and try to turn off the unit as soon as I see the "sent" light. The send light turns on after the first of 3 is sent, and gives no indication if the 2nd is sent.
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