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Old 12-01-2011   #11
Riverton, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 337
Canadian is right... 2 versions of the SPOT locator and now the messenger.

I too found that to send messages you really want to get it out in a clear view of the sky, push the button, and let it sit for 10 minutes or so... that way you are sure it gets sent out.

Don't get me wrong, I like having the SPOT... It could just have a better user interface. I know it is priceless for the updates I can send home to the wife... not what I was expecting when I bought it, but after using it a couple of times, when I leave on a trip my wife always says "You taking SPOT? Don't forget to check in". If it makes her a little more comfortable with me being off in the middle of no where then its worth it. Luckily, and knock on wood, I haven't had to use the 911 feature.

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Old 12-01-2011   #12
Helena, Montana
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 488
Thats pretty much the reason I'm looking at them.

Never get out of the boat
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Old 12-02-2011   #13
Palisade, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 181
I've used the SPOT for 3 years so when I'm up at my mountain property I can "call" the wife. She calls it the G-SPOT 'cause she says it makes her feel good when I check in. I have it programmed thru the web site / service to send an email to my home account so when I check in I get Lat / Lon co-ordinates as well. I use it sometimes for mapping as well.
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Old 12-02-2011   #14
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Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,404
SPOT is great and has worked for me in the deepest canyons of the lower 48. However, the additional frequency transmitted to SAR by ACR Aqualink and other products make it a better deal, IMO.

Check out PLBs, SPOT devices, SAT phones, and all the other options before you decide on one.
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Old 12-04-2011   #15
Beaverton, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 569
My woman is a big fan of the check in as well. I mostly leave mine in the truck to check in when we get done with a river and hit the button. I know it is only an hour's difference between the check in and proper cell reception, but it keeps the home team happy.

I've found mine to be dead nuts accurate if it has been on for longer than a minute; accurate to even which lane of the road I'm on.
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Old 12-05-2011   #16
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 310
I also have the second generation spot aka: The Boyfriend Tracker, Agent Orange, and Big Brother. For the most part it does what it says it's supposed to do. It has often had trouble getting a gps signal where other gps units on the trip do not.

A note about calling it waterproof- I've already killed one of these units and fortunately (after several emails and phone calls) the parent company decided that it was in fact a warranty issue and gave me a new one without much discussion. It was a pain in my ass to get them to acknowledge me. It took something like 5 months.

That being said, they aren't really waterproof. I took the broken one apart as much as I could without leaving any visible marks, and the waterproofing seems to be the big external black rubber o-ring that comprises the sides of the unit when it's in ones hand. It is not a pressure fit. Easy to remove without any tools. There is an o-ring to help keep water out of the battery compartment.

I'm think mine died due to a Grand trip while on a raft. It was stuck in the rig bag on top of the table (so no true submersions, no flips) but due to all the splashing and waves water eventually got into the thing and killed it.

Since I'm less interested in the tracking feature, I would personally look into a PLB that doesn't require a yearly fee if I was doing it over again.
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Old 12-05-2011   #17
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,404
This is what you want

I'm going to order one rather than renew my SPOT this year. Pro deals are available for guides.
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Old 12-06-2011   #18
st2eelpot's Avatar
Professional Transient, See above.
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 310
Randaddy- Where does one look/who does one contact for the potential pro deal you mention?

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Old 12-06-2011   #19
Bilge Rat's Avatar
Lindon, Utah
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 36
Delorme "in Reach"

Has anyone used one of these? 20

Sounds pretty cool!

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Old 12-06-2011   #20
thornton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 600
Originally Posted by MountainMedic View Post
I have been on a few trips over the last two years where at least one person has had one of these. Seems like a decent idea (in theory, at least).

I have seen prices as low as $99 for the unit. What is the monthly cost? can you deactivate the contract in the off season, or do you pay for a full year in one pop?

I had the Spot second generation thing, it worked ok when I played around with it at home. I gave it to my daughter's boy friend, I said screw it. I want the real thing, so I'm looking into a sat phone with gps. No guessing this way if it worked or not. I'm looking at a Isatpro phone for about 500$. The plans for usage look reasonable to me, not to steep.

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