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  #1  
Old 05-23-2018, 10:54 AM
flyboy1963's Avatar
flyboy1963 flyboy1963 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Lake Country, B.C. Canada
Posts: 2,401
Default SPOT 2 way Satellite messenger vs InReach costs?

This just popped up on my email from Aircraft Spruce.( Canada)

so, about $350... plus $200 a year for a big orange.....blackberry? ;-)

I doubt anyone has one yet, but I really need a plain English explanation of how exactly this works.

It has a US cel number, but I can use it in Canada....so will there be roaming charges if I text someone?....
or does it go to their satellite base on the moon ( Texas?) and then relayed thru the cel network to my desired contact.

I guess they had to do something to claw back the market share they are losing to InReach.
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RV-9a - SOLD!....
Lake Country, BC

Last edited by flyboy1963 : 08-02-2019 at 12:55 PM. Reason: expand scope of discussion
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  #2  
Old 05-23-2018, 05:35 PM
Canadian_JOY Canadian_JOY is offline
 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,207
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Perry - good questions. The new Spot-X is just like previous SPOT devices, but has a better user interface to support texting.

It's a satellite-based system rather than cellular, so no roaming fees will apply. You're always roaming. :-)

The US-based number is because SPOT is US-based in terms of their ground earth station infrastructure, so they have a block of phone numbers to use for SMS-based text messaging.

A text message sent from the SPOT will go up to the satellite, down to the ground earth station, then it will be patched into the US domestic phone service for forwarding to the destination phone number just as though it were a regular cellular SMS message. Except, of course, for those SOS messages which are handled in a different manner (one hopes) after they hit the ground earth station.

As for InReach, now that it's a Garmin company I'll be doing my best to avoid their product. I'm looking hard at this new SPOT X and am hoping there might be some better deals available at AirVenture this year.
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Old 05-23-2018, 05:52 PM
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rvator51 rvator51 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Peoria, AZ
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its $250 at Aircraftspruce (US) and 200 a year for weekender subscription. Yhis actually doesnt sound too bad to me and is only about 50 a year than my spot subscription. Being able to do 30 text messages a month and unlimited tracking serms like a good deal to me. i do a lot of hiking and cycling where I am out alone and i am thinking its worth $2.50 a month more for the text messaging. Seems like you could also sent text messages while fly8mg if needed.
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  #4  
Old 05-23-2018, 06:24 PM
Aviator Aviator is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Hixson, TN ( Chattanooga)
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I use InReach. Very affordable plans, can be turned off if you dont use it. Reactivate when you want.
Spot has a horrible reputation from what I read on the Off road motorcycle forums (ADV). Please do your research before you decide how to roll.
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  #5  
Old 05-23-2018, 10:28 PM
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flyboy1963 flyboy1963 is offline
 
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Location: Lake Country, B.C. Canada
Posts: 2,401
Default actual user data needed!

to expand on Aviator's comment; my ol spot 1 and 2 seemed to eventually get a sat lock when out on the airport on the dash of my RV.

the Spot 3, for all it's gadgetry, has often failed to acquire sat lock. Perhaps 50% of the time.
on the windowsill of my house, with no obstruction of half the sky....never did connect. On the dash of my truck, same thing.

Last year we did an overnite survival shakedown; one of the guys setup his SPOT in a clearing, with some light trees spaced around the perimeter...certainly no rocks in the way. Failed to send an 'ok' message, as I recall, even after being on most of the morning.

so is the performance up to the hype? Am I gonna invest another 5 or $600 bucks? hmmmmmmm
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RV-9a - SOLD!....
Lake Country, BC

Last edited by flyboy1963 : 05-23-2018 at 10:29 PM. Reason: thread reference
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  #6  
Old 05-24-2018, 08:45 AM
Canadian_JOY Canadian_JOY is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
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By its very nature, SPOT has very little satellite link margin. Unlike a 406MHz ELT that broadcasts its 406 message at 5 watts, the SPOT transmits with a couple of hundred milliwatts. With this little power, vegetation attenuation can literally wipe your SPOT signal off the map.

As an FYI, conifers suck up more signal than deciduous trees. Also, especially for you, Perry, keep in mind SPOT is "line of sight" to the satellite. Put some granite between you and the satellite and you're not going to get a message through.

With this in mind, get out from under the trees, and get up the side of a hill to improve your messaging capability with SPOT. Frankly, the same applies to InReach, too.
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