GPS safety to ease Mom’s mind and help rescue find you in a stack of needles.
- SOS / 911 function notifies emergency services of your GPS location in the event of a critical or life-threatening emergency and works in the United States (9-1-1) or Europe (1-1-2)
- Notify personal contacts that you’re in need of help in non-life-threatening emergencies with the Help button After an adventure, send out an standard OK or custom message to up to 10 pre-determine contacts using the Check-in / OK button that shoots a message and GPS coordinates via an email or sms message
- Real-time tracking on Google Maps or Spot Assist to notify professional rescue service providers sold separately through SPOT online account in addition to Basic SPOT service plans
- Help button can also be programmed to include additional, separately purchased SPOT services
- Receive $50 with SPOT's mail-in rebate; good from May 1, 2011 through July 31, 2011: get rebate form here: http://www.findmespot.com/rebate50/
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Share your thoughts
I have been fairly happy with my Spot 2. I have been using it for almost three years in case of emergencies. It lives in my ski pack with my multitool and sunscreen and occasionally comes along for bigger trail runs. The I'm OK message is good for letting loved ones know I am back at the car or good for the night. Most of the messages seem to go through, when the view is unobstructed then always. IF there was an emergency though I would be hitting the button over and over until the cavalry arrived. Brought it to Nepal and OK messages worked fine in the Himalayas. I've never felt the need to have the tracking component as it costs extra and would just run out the batteries. Oh yeah, batteries seem to last forever when just saying OK once and a while. I change them more often than necessary just to be sure.
i live in australia,,
will this system work here?? (apart from the 911 call)
also i plan to go to new zealand as well,,will it work there
I borrowed a SPOT from a friend who has owned it for a year, but he seemed to have "spotty" results with it. Figured I would give it a try on a 3-day safe trip in Glacier National Park. Plenty of open sky. I set up the email addresses and did a test message while still in town, and it appeared to be working. My wife and friends back home never got a successful message or tracking update while I was on the trail. Not one... Turned the unit off and on several times to "reboot". Still nothing. I left it on "tracking" for most of the trip with absolutely nothing between me and the sky. I also sent multiple "OK" messages. A safety device that has only one function should have a much higher rate of reliability and a way of verifying that it has successfully performed its function. The various combinations of blinking lights seemed confusing. (Admittedly, I should have carried a copy of the instructions with me into the backcountry.) I'm going to have to have a much better proof of reliability before I take this unit with me again.
I used this while floating 600 miles on the Yukon River in Canada/Alaska. With a touch of a button I could let my family know via email where I was and if I was OK. I never used the emergency button, but it was a huge comfort to myself and my family that I could have help if I needed it. Bottom line: If you spend time in the back country, this is something that can save your life.
I bought the SPOT for my backwoods adventures based on the glowing reviews the unit has received.
In practice however, that is hardly the case.
First of all, the unit does not provide any confirmation that the signal gets out, and just leaves me guessing if the device works or not.
Secondly, I preloaded 5 email addresses so my friends would get check ins. The last time I tried to send a checkin message, I had a good line of sight to the sky, let it sit face up on a rock for 10 min, and later aksed if anyone got the message. No-one did.
I have heard about the SPOT connect. Maybe it is more reliable? But just 1 way as I understand it, so I guess there is no guarantee of ever knowing if it works.
Its been hit and miss for me, and I just cant recommend this device. What if I had the same lack of reliability in a SOS situation?
Need some updated info. Does this $149.95 include any subscription plans? Did anybody ever use this in Asia "yellow" zone where it says "96% TO 99% PROBABILITY OF SUCCESSFULLY SENDING A SINGLE MESSAGE WITHIN 20 MINUTES." Does that claim match the reality?
The price of the unit does not include a subscription of service. The packages range from $90-$160 a year. You can find these on sale for $99 and then get a basic service package and it keeps your cost under $200 for the first year and $90 a year thereafter. I've been happy with mine. I havent had any issues with the unit and the 8x batteries last about 1 year. In the summer the tracking is almost dead on, in the winter with the satilites lower on the horizon the track can sometimes be up to 100yrds off, which is to be expected. When comparing the spot to a satalite phone or avy beacon, I feel the spot is a better value and just as reliable. As with all electronics, I would never put my life 100% in its hands.
SPOT looking to the sky, sending the nightly OK message.
can't wait to use the Spot Connect this next year on all my adventures and know that I'll actually be able to be found using this lightweight and small device. Adventure #1 coming up1
GPS is slow and sometimes inaccurate on SPOT2 - loses power a little fast, and has been missing more transmissions than promised.
For Connect, I have worked with customer care reloading the app and trouble shooting with them on multiple occasions. The customer service was friendly and nice, but they are not up to speed on the device. They couldn't answer many questions, and after spending countless time on the phone, without resolving the issues, they said someone would call me back.
I didn't get the call back twice. When I recently followed-up I actually, got a call back the next day. The guy admitted to some of the faults and said they are working to fix them. They sent me a new unit, but I still have all the same problems. They then gave me the number of the SPOT sales rep for my area, Rocky Mountain, and he seemed very rushed on the phone, and really didn't have any more to offer than care did. What is a customer to do?
And SPOT has already collected a full year of service up front!
I live in Alaska and drive from Southeast Alaska to Interior Alaska on a regular basis. Is there a similar device which will work in Northwest Canada?
According to their coverage map (http://www.findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=109) you can get this device for coverage where you are looking for it. If you are looking for something less expensive you can get one of their less expensive models. I have the SPOT Personal tracker and it tracks and send OKs just fine. I think it is around $100 plus services.
I used this device in Northern Canada while floating 600 miles on the Yukon River from Johnson's Crossing to Dawson City. It worked flawlessly.
This is a great little device with some great features... and it has proven to be a life saver for some. Learn more in my video review:
I used the Spot for my 6 day solo hike of the STS. My wife got every "Check OK" I sent her. Great for giving the ones who worry about you a piece of mind .
Works well and haven't had too many problems with it. The yearly subscription seems to be a little high for the few things that it is able to do.
I am in South Africa and looking at doing an extended hike from source to delta of one of our rivers here. I am looking for a device that will allow interested parties to track our progress online (on google maps) and also be able to communicate out the co-ordinates if need be. The hike will not be on roads. I need to know if this product will work for this? And is there coverage in South Africa - specifically Kwa-Zulu Natal from the Drakensburg through to Port Shepstone.
check out the spot coverage map from Spot. Sending a single also depends on how unobstructed the sky is. In deep narrow canyons, dense forest with canopy sending a single is harder.
I was very disappointed with the GPS performance of this device. I picked this unit partly because of the tracking feature. Well, given todays GPS technology, this device performs very poorly. Yes, I know the directions state the unit has to be oriented upward to get good signal, but it is ridiculous how sensitive it seems to be. If you hang it from a pack or put it in a pack pocket, GPS reception is terrible. Even when hand holding it the reception is poor. After poor results I tested it along side my Garmin wrist mounted Forerunner 205 and another handheld I have. The SPOT regularly failed when the other GPS worked fine. So the tracking feature that I though would be cool was really pretty useless. Instead of a reading every 10 minutes as supposed, I would be lucky to just a few over a full day adventure (unless I carried it in my hand with unit oriented correctly - and even then it regularly indicated no signal). If you just want something that can save your life by calling the cavalry in a life or death emergency, I'm guessing it would be a worthwhile purchase. But I selected this unit because of other advertised features and it failed to deliver.
With the 911 and family help buttons, is there a way to cancel a distress signal that was accidentally sent? It seems like it would be a bit too easy for one of those buttons to be hit.
To Cancel an SOS call: Press and hold the SOS button until it blinks red. Let SPOT work until the SOS button stops blinking red. The Message Sending light will blink green indicating it has sent the Cancel message.
Buy an ACR Sarlink. It's not a toy. By the time you buy this unit and pay for an annual subscription, and maybe get your signal out, maybe not, the extra money you spend up front for the ACR might actually save your life. It also takes pressing two buttons very deliberately and deploying a small antenna to activate.
Google 'reviews of Spot Messenger' and just start reading.
On the latest version as shown in the picture above there are safety covers over the buttons to help prevent from hitting them by accident.
I have had the older unit for a while now, and hitting the buttons by accident has and is not a concern, it just does not happen. They are small and recessed, it takes an effort to push them.
NO! As soon as the "SOS" signal is sent, the 911 call is placed. Turning off the emergency signal by holding it another 5 seconds will cause the signal to stop but help is already on the way! If you accidentally sent a "SOS" message--- LEAVE THE SIGNAL ON! When help arrives, be very appoligetic and hope they dont kick your ass!
ONLY push the "SOS" button if your LIFE is in danger! This is not a signal to have someone bring you water or help you back to the car. It's perpose is to save a life, not assist in mistakes.