the new SPOT X satellite transponder


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AZgl1800
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the new SPOT X satellite transponder

Post by AZgl1800 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:51 pm



https://www.findmespot.com/spotx/lander.php


When Garmin came out with their satellite transponder with the ability to send/receive text messages to home, that left the likes of my old SPOT Gen II in the dust.... mine still works just fine, just does not have 2 way capability.


Here is Spot's blurb.
2-WAY SATELLITE MESSENGER

$249.99 No Annual Commitment
New month-to-month Flex Plans


This is kinda neat, it includes its' own little keyboard....
I have to pay for a full year of coverage with my Gen II... which is a shade less than buying this new one, and then just turning it 'on' when you need it... say, just the 3 months you are able to ride w/o snow on the ground.




With the new options available in the market now, there just is no excuse for not having a good method of calling 911 if you have an unplanned off, and get hurt....


Spot Gen II can track at 5 minute, or 10 minute intervals.... you pay for what you want.


this new 'X' model can track at 2½, 5, 10, 30 or 60 minute tracking intervals,


this is my Spot track... it is empty right now, been too cold to get out and ride.


https://share.findmespot.com/shared/fac ... yo4CbCZmdR


~John

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Re: the new SPOT X satellite transponder

Post by WingAdmin » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:53 am

I was thinking the same thing, but I tend to use my Spot (also a Gen II) at random times throughout the year. Motorcycling in warm weather (I ALWAYS have it with me, it lives in my pocket while riding), and in winter whenever I'm off anywhere that I wouldn't want to get stranded. Even just a road trip somewhere - think spinning off a snowy highway and down into a culvert where there is no cell service.

This unit is also a bit larger, to account for the inbound antenna. I think I might pass for now and keep my existing Spot.

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Re: the new SPOT X satellite transponder

Post by Alan_Hepburn » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:26 pm

I'm looking at that "SOS" button and wondering how many times it'll be pressed by accident while the user is just trying to get it out of a pocket...
Alan Hepburn - San Jose, Ca
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Re: the new SPOT X satellite transponder

Post by WingAdmin » Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:06 pm

Alan_Hepburn wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:26 pm
I'm looking at that "SOS" button and wondering how many times it'll be pressed by accident while the user is just trying to get it out of a pocket...
It has a rubber flap on top of it with hard plastic frame underneath so that it can't be pressed accidentally. To activate it, you have to pull the rubber flap up, push the recessed button underneath it down, and hold it for several seconds.
Attachments

SOS flap
SOS flap


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Re: the new SPOT X satellite transponder

Post by AZgl1800 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:19 pm

I have had a Gen 1 for many years, then a friend gave me his 'old' Gen II, and that has been with me for almost 5 or 6 years now...

the 911 button is just about impossible to activate w/o doing it on purpose.
you have to pull the cover, and hold it down for 3 or 4 seconds until it starts flashing....

just a single poke at it? will be ignored....
pushing it 2 seconds and releasing it will be ignored.

How do we know? I have "Activated" tracking and later discovered that it was not tracking me..... you must hold the buttons down until the LED flashes and that means that function is activated.

I will stick with my Gen II for many years..... the extra features of either of the newer transponders is totally wasted on me.... the higher cost of the units, offsets the gains to be saved by only using it for a short period of time....

and, what if, you had it with you, but forgot to call in and activate the new fancy transponders for that "one trip"?

mine is activated thru October 2019, not to worry. it is ready if needed.
and, I chose "auto renewal"...
~John

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Re: the new SPOT X satellite transponder

Post by DenverWinger » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:50 am

Keep thinking maybe I should get one, not just for the bike, I like to take the '85 Cherokee "rock-hopping" up the 4WD trails in the forest. I already have a nice set of "Geo-located" Avenza off-line maps published by the Forest service and these work very well on my iPhone with GPS-only (no cell service in most places) for navigating the trails. Just got an 8" Android tablet for X-mas and loaded all the maps to it. Can't wait for Spring so I can try it. Only down-side of the tablet is no compass. Phone has one, though.

I always take tools, a tow chain, an extra tire (besides the spare), and a hydraulic jack (easy to punch a tire on a sharp rock). And if I'm going down less traveled roads I make a judgement call whether or not to proceed alone, there's been more than once I turned around (road getting too "gnarly") thinking that this road is better traversed with TWO Jeeps, and go attack it again with a 4WD friend along, just in case. The chances of breaking BOTH jeeps at once is small.

A Spot unit would be nice on both the bike and as a carry-along in the Jeep.
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Re: the new SPOT X satellite transponder

Post by AZgl1800 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:23 am

DenverWinger wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:50 am

I always take tools, a tow chain, an extra tire (besides the spare), and a hydraulic jack (easy to punch a tire on a sharp rock). And if I'm going down less traveled roads I make a judgement call whether or not to proceed alone, there's been more than once I turned around (road getting too "gnarly") thinking that this road is better traversed with TWO Jeeps, and go attack it again with a 4WD friend along, just in case. The chances of breaking BOTH jeeps at once is small.

A Spot unit would be nice on both the bike and as a carry-along in the Jeep.
If you break a leg while taking a bad fall, having that SPOT in your pocket "could" pay big dividends in a hurry.

You might only have to lay there for 2 or 3 hours, versus laying there until you expired...
Even if you leave it turned OFF, and no tracking.... just having it to turn ON, then when it is flashing green, hit the 911 button....
I would prefer having it track though, friends/help can find you if you don't report in as scheduled.
~John

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Re: the new SPOT X satellite transponder

Post by minimac » Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:34 am

I'm sure it works well, but the ongoing costs are making me look at other options.

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Re: the new SPOT X satellite transponder

Post by Rednaxs60 » Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:57 am

Looked into these units and compared all the models of the SPOT and inReach - Garmin and Delorme, and checked out PLB - Personal Locator Beacons. As with everything, your needs, budget and location generally dictate what you purchase.

Being north of the border, we generally pay a premium for items, fact of life.

I purchased a new Delorme Explorer, registered it and have been trialing it this month, Garmin is supporting this unit regarding functionality, and until parts are expended.


The Delorme units have been around for a while, and in this respect don't expect to have issues if any for a while. By that time something new will be out to tempt me and my pocketbook. I use the Garmin Earthmate app on my cell phone to do most functions, works well.

The price for the Delorme Explorer was less than the newer Garmin inReach Mini, SE+ and Explorer+ models, but has the functionality of the Explorer+. It was not much more than the new SPOT X, but has more features than thee SPOT X.

I would also submit that sometimes it's better to go for the model that is one step up from what "will do" for what you want because it gets costly to upgrade depreciating assets.

A few more thoughts on the issue.
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"

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Re: the new SPOT X satellite transponder

Post by WingAdmin » Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:28 pm

Rednaxs60 wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 11:57 am
Looked into these units and compared all the models of the SPOT and inReach - Garmin and Delorme, and checked out PLB - Personal Locator Beacons. As with everything, your needs, budget and location generally dictate what you purchase.

Being north of the border, we generally pay a premium for items, fact of life.

I purchased a new Delorme Explorer, registered it and have been trialing it this month, Garmin is supporting this unit regarding functionality, and until parts are expended. inreach explorer.jpg

The Delorme units have been around for a while, and in this respect don't expect to have issues if any for a while. By that time something new will be out to tempt me and my pocketbook. I use the Garmin Earthmate app on my cell phone to do most functions, works well.

The price for the Delorme Explorer was less than the newer Garmin inReach Mini, SE+ and Explorer+ models, but has the functionality of the Explorer+. It was not much more than the new SPOT X, but has more features than thee SPOT X.

I would also submit that sometimes it's better to go for the model that is one step up from what "will do" for what you want because it gets costly to upgrade depreciating assets.

A few more thoughts on the issue.
I wrote up a review of the Spot tracker vs the ACR PLB a while back: viewtopic.php?f=18&t=29654

There are pros and cons to both of them. I bought both, the Spot for myself (easily carried in my pocket for my bike) and the ACR PLB for my father (for his airplane and hunting up in northern Ontario).

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Re: the new SPOT X satellite transponder

Post by echinus1988 » Sat Feb 23, 2019 12:38 am

I have never considered one of these but riding in the mountains a lot it makes good sense because phones just plain don't work in a mountains very well.

I have to ask though, looking at reviews (on the REI site) have me a bit concerned. Lots of negative comments. Yet here it sounds like it works very well. Any input because I just happen to have about $300 left on my REI gift card and I can see where this would be a really good thing to have. Looking at the plans but I'll have to decide on that as I go along. I would like to have it also on my trip this May when I ride old US Highway 80.

Any input would be appreciated. And as always, this is a great site and I love being a member.

Since I am writing, WingAdmin, any idea when we can add pictures again? I know you're busy, just curious.

Ride Safe.

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Re: the new SPOT X satellite transponder

Post by Rednaxs60 » Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:25 am

Did my research and as I have posted settled on the Delorme inReach Explorer. Probably more than I need but taking price, features, peace of mind into account, settled on the Delorme Explorer. Always nice to have the extra features, too late to want them after a purchase.

You mention negative reviews. Never put much stead in these. Never able to please everyone. Anything made by man can be a lemon. Just have to do your homework, find a unit that fits your needs. Nothing is perfect.

Hadn't thought about a satellite tracker until we started planning for our trip this year to the Yukon/Alaska, but with the number of cell phone dead zones when local riding, and if alone, a satellite tracker makes sense.

For the newer Garmin models if you are already GPS equipped, the SE+ or Mini would do nicely. Also work with the Earthmate app. If you can find a Delorme Explorer or SE model at a good price, be a good purchase. These Delorme units are supported by Garmin, but once parts run out, no more repairs. A good feature because of the text feature is being able to correspond with the response agency about the emergency. Getting the assistance for the need such as running out of gas, or a tow because your tire failed is different from a busted up body issue, less expensive as well.

The SPOT Gen 3 has limited capability in this regard, but will bring out the "calvary" when needed. The Spot X has more features, similar to the Garmin inReach models, but is new to the market. Probably need a couple of years to work out the kinks.

Look at the different plans, annual versus monthly. What insurance coverage is available to pay for the response given.

I agree with WingAdmin, if you just want a come and get me function, the SPOT Gen 3 unit or equivalent will fit the bill, maybe a personal locator beacon (PLB). If you want more functionality, the SPOT X or inReach products may be the way to go.

Just like buying a house, make a list of need, want and nice to have features, and budget, and go from there. Lots of info comparisons on the web.

Cheers
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"

Ernest

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Re: the new SPOT X satellite transponder

Post by AZgl1800 » Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:55 am

I agree with Earnest.

You need to decide what features are most important to you.
for the Negative comments, I throw those out with the dishwater....
you just don't know if they are gibberish from a troll who just wants to incite trouble.

I have used the SPOT for ten years.... never needed the 911 button thank God.
but, the tracking feature has given me a "lot of enjoyment", but my family doesn't seem to be too concerned with my track, as much as they are with the "Beginning of Day, and the End of Day Buttons.

Here is the way those look when I use them.

This is my Start of Day button, it tells my family that I am now starting out for the day.... if they click on the link in the SMS or Email they receive, it will take them directly to the map you see on the right.








This is my End of Day button.....

You can zoom in on these images to get more detail:
or, you can go direct to the image host: https://jtcraigjr1337.imgur.com/all/




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Re: the new SPOT X satellite transponder

Post by echinus1988 » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:25 am

I am very aware of how many people will put a negative down just because they can. If it's one or two I pay no heed but these seem to be fairly evenly distributed so I was just looking for a little more info from people who are using them.

The Delorme is out of my price range at this time. I have about $200 in gift certificates for REI and was thinking of a better sleeping bag but then saw this and thought the Spot X might be a better idea because of riding in the mountains, often alone.

I'll do some more research but I most definitely appreciate the input of information and will do some more study before purchasing.

As always, this site is fantastic with people always willing to help. Thank you!!!!

Ride Safe!

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Re: the new SPOT X satellite transponder

Post by Rednaxs60 » Sun Feb 24, 2019 10:50 am

The Spot X being new to the market is not without it's issues, but I would submit that any satellite tracker is better to have if you ride solo and alone quite often. Here is a review of the SPOT X and it is much the same as other reviews I have read: http://www.alpinist.com/doc/web18f/ms-s ... -messenger I would surmise that as the SPOT gets updated and the glitches are taken care of, there may be a chance for an upgraded one - cost to be haggled with of course.

My Delorme Explorer is not without a glitch as well. The SOS button on it can inadvertently be pressed, but knowing this I can safe guard against it.

The article mentions that electronics sometimes take over our lives, but the peace of mind for those who follow our travels is worth the price.

Cheers
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"

Ernest

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Re: the new SPOT X satellite transponder

Post by AZgl1800 » Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:26 pm

echinus1988 wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:25 am
I am very aware of how many people will put a negative down just because they can. If it's one or two I pay no heed but these seem to be fairly evenly distributed so I was just looking for a little more info from people who are using them.

The Delorme is out of my price range at this time. I have about $200 in gift certificates for REI and was thinking of a better sleeping bag but then saw this and thought the Spot X might be a better idea because of riding in the mountains, often alone.

I'll do some more research but I most definitely appreciate the input of information and will do some more study before purchasing.

As always, this site is fantastic with people always willing to help. Thank you!!!!

Ride Safe!
I still have my old Gen I SPOT,
it is still working, you can look up its' specifications on the SPOT page.
It will need Lithium Batteries, and a subscription.....
the minimal subscription w/o tracking should be all you need....
However, if you bought Tracking, your family could monitor your progress,
and know where you are within a 15 minute circle usually.


How would $40 including shipping sound?





~John

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Re: the new SPOT X satellite transponder

Post by AZgl1800 » Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:29 pm

Once I start out, I never turn it off until I am done for the day.
I get razzed a lot by close friends who do track me.....

"John, you are parked behind the WhatAburger, how come you didn't invite me?" :lol:

Just two weeks ago, I stopped at a gas station in Russellville, AR....

the SPOT sent up a beacon as I was parked there..... and it showed exactly where I had parked.... zoomed into as close as possible, and turned on 3D on Google Maps. and you can see the gas station and the stripes on the parking lot.
~John

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Re: the new SPOT X satellite transponder

Post by AZgl1800 » Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:37 pm

SPOT also has links to allow you to download the whole trip ( page at a time )


here is the end of day portion in a CSV format that I upload into Office.
Note that the beacon reports are almost exactly in 10 minute intervals.





~John

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Re: the new SPOT X satellite transponder

Post by echinus1988 » Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:38 am

I appreciate the offer but I had $210 in REI gift certificates. I did my research and decided I was being dumb to worry about the negative reviews when I had guys here that I know will speak honestly about stuff. Plus as an REI member I get 10% back so it is only $225. I went ahead and got it.

I did the firmware update and setup. Just working on charging it now.

Thank you for the input guys! I like the idea of having it especially when I plan on mountain riding and going down Old US Highway 80 in May.

Thank you for your help!!

Ride Safe!

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Re: the new SPOT X satellite transponder

Post by AZgl1800 » Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:49 am

You will NEVER regret that decision.

It just gives you a bit of a warmer feeling, knowing that IF, for some reason, which none of us expects to have happen, we end up with face down, and the ELT transponder within finger's reach....

and your cellphone can't get a signal, that is if, it survived the off event.

And, there is no charge to you, if you use it to save someone else's life.
Read the Blogs posted by the ELT companies....

SPOT alone has saved over 5,000 lives https://www.findmespot.com/en/spotemergency/

Read here about a dog that woke up his master, because the human had quit breathing.... then the SPOT was used to get help
https://www.findmespot.com/en/spotemerg ... d=10280083
~John

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Re: the new SPOT X satellite transponder

Post by echinus1988 » Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:24 am

I know I won't regret it. I ride the mountains quite often and think this will definitely give me peace of mind. Tracking and if needed help. I suggested to my son to get one also. We usually ride together but we have one day off each that don't match. We both go into the mountains and I feel it would be a very good idea.

I'm very anxious to go out and see how it works, how it tracks, how to show other people the track. It will be fun.

Ride Safe!

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Re: the new SPOT X satellite transponder

Post by Rednaxs60 » Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:34 am

Which unit did you get? I'm thinking the SPOT X.

All are good units and a great discussion topic. It's interesting to see friends who may have heard of these but not thought much about them, how they react when someone they ride with has one.

Enjoy the peace of mind and passing on your experiences with the new unit.

Cheers
"When you write the story of your life, don't let anyone else hold the pen"

Ernest

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Re: the new SPOT X satellite transponder

Post by AZgl1800 » Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:48 am

I like to do screenshots of my old tracks, to see where I actually ended up going.

it is interesting to use the tracks later to compare routes to where I've been, and what I have missed.
~John

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Re: the new SPOT X satellite transponder

Post by AZgl1800 » Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:15 pm

A note here on me making screenshots of my tracks...
I just got a call from SPOT support a few minutes ago.
------------------------------------------
SPOT LLC, the producers of the 'SPOT' tracker have a very good Tech Support crew.

my cellphone which is rooted on Kit Kat 4.4.4 stopped working with the SPOT app.... it had worked for years w/o any problems. and then it just suddenly stopped.

When I first reported the problem, it was by email on a Saturday night 2 weeks ago.... I was driving home from Andy's house and got a call on Sunday... I could not believe it, tech support calls you on Sunday?

we talked a bit, and I pulled over and went thru all the tests he wanted..... no joy. he said he would talk with the programmers and get back to me.

Well, he did just that, the same guy called me again today, and my cellphone is still 'no joy'.... but in the meantime, I have acquired a VZW Tablet and wondered if that would work? Yes it does!

So, he says he will talk with the programmers and see if they can figure out why the update killed 4.4.4's compatibility with the app.... Meanwhile, I have a way to get into my account with the Tablet.
~John

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Re: the new SPOT X satellite transponder

Post by WingAdmin » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:04 pm

I go visit this page every once in a while to read the stories - people who have been rescued because of their SPOT:

https://www.findmespot.com/en/spotemergency/



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