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Thread: Spot locator

  1. #1

    Spot locator

    A few years ago I borrowed a spot for a coast to coast run, for me it was an added unnecessary gadget but my non biker wife loved watching me get lost and find unplanned routs. I have been riding since the 60s, started with paper maps, tried to use road based GPS only to find out they're not perfect, now use the GPS to tell me where I am and a paper map to look at the bigger picture. I just bought a new Spot gen3 personal locator. I am often out of cell phone service areas and now can send a pre-planned good news message like camping here tonight. Yeah I can save my life with the Sos if I really really need to. I ride to the end of the road but don't try to extend the road. Any suggestions or experience you would like to share? John
    KISS

  2. #2

    Re: Spot locator

    I have had two of them over the years and like them for letting the folks at home know where I'm at. I didn't ride to the end of the road but I used to get in some remote locations that did not have cell phone service. Since Bev has retired I don't do many solo trips like I used to do. Can't seem to get out of the driveway without her. This is not a bad thing. We still use the spot Gen 2 so our friends will know where we are.

  3. #3

    Re: Spot locator

    Lots of twisty, steep and weird roads around here. I use my Spot tracker (Gen 3) when I head out. Hubby still uses the Gen 1 we bought when they first came out. Very handy when he's riding a motorcycle rally. I can see where he is in real time and know he's safe.

    A side note: I like watching the NatGeo channel. There was an episode of North Woods Law that incljuded a lost Appalachian Trail hiker. She headed out without her SPOT and disappeared - her body was found 2 years later within a mile of the Trail. She had a SPOT, but left it behind when she headed out that day. If she had carried it, she probably would have been found when she lost her way.

    An independent tracking device (as opposed to a phone app) can be a life saver! Phone apps only work when in range of cell towers.

  4. #4
    Gordon's Avatar
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    Re: Spot locator

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtyairhead View Post
    A few years ago I borrowed a spot for a coast to coast run, for me it was an added unnecessary gadget but my non biker wife loved watching me get lost and find unplanned routs. I have been riding since the 60s, started with paper maps, tried to use road based GPS only to find out they're not perfect, now use the GPS to tell me where I am and a paper map to look at the bigger picture. I just bought a new Spot gen3 personal locator. I am often out of cell phone service areas and now can send a pre-planned good news message like camping here tonight. Yeah I can save my life with the Sos if I really really need to. I ride to the end of the road but don't try to extend the road. Any suggestions or experience you would like to share? John
    I bought the spot trace. very neat tool, and works very well. I bought it mostly for travelling on my bike and will know if it gets stolen. It sends a text if motion is detected. I also use it when travelling, sending a "share" email, so folks can track my progress. It sends a "cookie crumb" every 5, 10 , 30 or 60 mins, what ever it is set at.

    www.findmespot.com

    --
    Gordon

  5. #5

    Re: Spot locator

    I've been using my SPOT 2 while touring and hiking for quite a few years now. It misses a ping now and then but for the most part it's been reliable.
    I got one after arriving at a remote camground and finding there was no service or any other way to let my wife know that I got there safely, especially since I told her I'd call when I did.
    Sending the occasional "I'm OK" ping as I roll is nice, too.
    I don't need a compass to know which way the wind shines.


  6. #6
    Motocamping Newb sirepair's Avatar
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    Re: Spot locator

    I got a gen1 soon after they were released so momma could keep track of us while I was taking my young daughter to Moonshine. I have upgraded to a gen2 unit.

    Had to use the SOS feature once while leading a group ride in rural SE Ohio. Rider crashed, broke his back. Spot folks dispatched EMS to the location. Rider recovered to ride again!

    I'm sold on the value of having one.

  7. #7

    Re: Spot locator

    They raised their rates this renewal period. I wasn't happy so I gave them a call and asked if there was any kind of discount available. They had one ready instantly. No dickering or arguing, they agreed to give me the same rate as when I first signed up, and I took it. I plan to do the same thing next year. BTW it's the same with Sirius Radio, although I don't have that on my bike.

  8. #8

    Re: Spot locator

    Quote Originally Posted by Beemer Dood View Post
    They raised their rates this renewal period. I wasn't happy so I gave them a call and asked if there was any kind of discount available. They had one ready instantly. No dickering or arguing, they agreed to give me the same rate as when I first signed up, and I took it. I plan to do the same thing next year. BTW it's the same with Sirius Radio, although I don't have that on my bike.
    I've done the same thing for the last two years since they raised their rates. So far SPOT has been agreeable. I wonder if the fact that we're long time subscribers may have something to do with it.

    I cancelled Sirius/XM years ago because they kept taking away the most unique good channels while offering redundant channels of more mundane offerings. I could probably be enticed back if they would allow people to pick and choose instead of paying for numerous unwanted stations. I cut the cable for the same reason. Anyway, it's water under the bridge now...I don't even think my receiver works anymore.

  9. #9
    Site Supporter Bluetick's Avatar
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    Re: Spot locator

    What is the cost of SPOT and a years subscription? Is there a limit on how often you can send a message?
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  10. #10
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    Re: Spot locator

    Post Alaska report of the spot. Like most computers, they are great when working properly....really sucks when it fails. The great thing is family can follow your progress and feel secure in the knowledge of the spot rescue if needed. No limits on the messages sent or dots on the maps. Mine is set to the 5 minute spacing. When not in the motorcycle, my spot is in the family car. I live in a remote area and carry it often. On my return ride south of Laird hot springs the spot died. They must not be hot springs proof. My bad! The problem is my wife watched the spot die in the mountains during a weather event. It was 6 hours until I got to a phone. When I got home she said that was the first time she wasn't sure if I was coming home again. I have a kayak friend that uses the same spots as I use. He has had repeated hardware failures. I renewed my spot subscription just because they sent me a new replacement. I hear that Garmin and maybe others are getting into the personal tracking market. Bottom line is that I will never leave home without a tracker of some kind. Ps they are great when marking a good fishing hole. Spot offers rescue insurance for you and your bike.

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