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  #1  
Old 07-18-2017, 01:47 PM
LouFly's Avatar
LouFly LouFly is online now
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: St. Louis MO
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Question Spot Tracker

As the list of squawks on the 6A has shrunk was planning to use it for more remote adventures. The SPOT tracker seemed attractive and at $75 (50% off this summer) + $150 per yr sounded interesting to keep the wife happy and perhaps a notch more safety.

I'm kind of a geeky guy but lots of irons in the fire. Also ability to pull SPOT off the plane and clip the onto a backpack or bike seems really attractive.

The SPOT website however seems to note that all of its products are "No Longer Being Manufactured but are supported".

Any recent good/bad experiences, alternatives or other input??

Thanks
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Last edited by LouFly : 07-18-2017 at 01:51 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-19-2017, 03:50 PM
pilotsafety pilotsafety is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Decatur, TX
Posts: 1
Thumbs up Spot by Globalstar

LouFly,

I fly all over the country and love my Spot Gen 3. Their older products are not being manufactured but they are still manufacturing our SPOT Gen3 and SPOT Trace. The support is great and when you pair it with 1800wxBrief enhanced tracking I really feel safer especially in the mountains. If you have any questions I know they have a booth at OSHKOSH in EPIC Hangar C this year.

Gary
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  #3  
Old 07-19-2017, 04:59 PM
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ChuckGant ChuckGant is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Collierville, TN (M41)
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Default

We bought our SPOT after performing a forced landing into a cow pasture, due to an engine failure. I now feel much more comfortable about my ability to get help if it were to happen again in a more remote location.

We got our SPOT for free (with purchase of the subscription) as a show special at Sun-n-Fun last year The initial subscription was $164.61. However, this last year, they raised the rates without telling anyone, so I was surprised to be charged $235.94 when I renewed my subscription. I wasn't happy about that, but still like to have my SPOT. So, you may want to verify that $150 rate before you commit and you might see if you can get a better deal with an Oshkosh show special.

Good luck!
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  #4  
Old 07-31-2017, 11:41 PM
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KRviator KRviator is offline
 
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Location: Sydney, Aust.
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Default

I couldn't see where Spot says they're going out of production? If you are worried though, another good alternative is SpiderTracks.
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  #5  
Old 08-01-2017, 07:12 AM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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Default

We've had Spot's for years now, and use them quite a bit to keep track of each other (Louise and I). We carry PLB's for actual rescue situations, after finding that the Spot's aren't that great if you are down in a canyon....but other than that, they work well for seeing cross-country progress, hiking, bicycling, etc.

I bought Louise her first one when she was commuting 100 miles to work a few times a week in her plane, and it worked well to let me know when she was on the way home so I could start dinner....
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  #6  
Old 08-01-2017, 07:34 AM
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LouFly LouFly is online now
 
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Default Spot Tracker

Hey thanks for the feedback yall. I see Garmin has a nifty Inreach too.
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  #7  
Old 08-01-2017, 09:39 AM
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Wayne Wayne is offline
 
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Default possible interference

I love my SPOT as well but have had to discontinue using it in my RV10. It has caused error messages and interference on my G3x and GTN750. Garmin calls the SPOT a GPS jammer and are well aware of the possible issues. I use a Ham Radio APRS now which works great but doesn't have the SOS capability. Looking at a PLB to take care of that.

Interesting side note is that I had a friend who crashed this spring in the mountains (Hes ok). Looking at the detailed accident report it shows immediate response from 1st responders when the SPOT SOS was activated vs a 46 minute gap before the 406 ELT beacon was even received !
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  #8  
Old 08-24-2017, 09:01 AM
VHS VHS is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Napa, CA
Posts: 291
Default APRS SOS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
I love my SPOT as well but have had to discontinue using it in my RV10. It has caused error messages and interference on my G3x and GTN750. Garmin calls the SPOT a GPS jammer and are well aware of the possible issues. I use a Ham Radio APRS now which works great but doesn't have the SOS capability. Looking at a PLB to take care of that.

Interesting side note is that I had a friend who crashed this spring in the mountains (Hes ok). Looking at the detailed accident report it shows immediate response from 1st responders when the SPOT SOS was activated vs a 46 minute gap before the 406 ELT beacon was even received !
Actually, APRS does have an SOS feature. It is sent by transmitting the "Emergency" MIC-E packet. Of course it still relies on being within reach of a digipeater of I-Gate. If you are going to wager your life, I would select a PLB or ELT. The SPOT is nice, but you should seriously consider a Garmin INREACH. These will allow you to use the SOS feature, or for the more common issues, you can send SMS-style messages through the Iridium Satellite network. The basic subscription fees are minimal, certainly nothing that would shock any private aircraft owner, who should be well used to being raped by suppliers...( I exclude myself, naturally)

Allen
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  #9  
Old 08-24-2017, 01:51 PM
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flyboy1963 flyboy1963 is offline
 
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Location: Lake Country, B.C. Canada
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Default SPOT cashes in!

I have similar sentiments to the others; great little tracker, useful, good backup to ELT, but not the ideal PLB perhaps.
THEN I get the renewal notice that the basic plan, plus tracking, is now gone, and you can ONLY get with tracking, for $200++. Yikes!
...now something that sat in my flight bag most of the time is going to cost me a dollar a day? I think it would be more fair to actually charge for those who use it to daily track their kids hiking or dog or whatever, and leave the 'emergency user' at a reasonable rate.

...so....I did NOT renew, due to this perceived predatory pricing scheme.

I get a call, and offer to 'let me renew' at the old rate. Then I'm hooked, and they hope I won't notice next year when it goes up $100 again? No thanks!

then I get a 'super special offer' email.....for me to come back! FREE subscription upgrade.....for only $50, on top of some other charges.
what the heck? how is that FREE?

....so my SPOT gen 1 and SPOT gen 3 are sitting on a shelf, collecting dust, until either they play nice, or come up with a basic plan that works for the 80% of us that only use it a few hours a year!

end rant!
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  #10  
Old 08-24-2017, 03:55 PM
Bevan Bevan is offline
 
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My spot also sits on the shelf sans service plan. APRS (free real time tracking) has been working flawlessly and 406 ELT is a good value.

Bevan
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