Spot Owners....

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Martin
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Re: Spot Owners....

Postby Martin » Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:52 am

Spot, Cracks in the system?

Must admit I'm reflecting on the use of my Spot as a SOS device. There are a few reports out there of failed SOS activation , (One recently, in the Backcountry of Mount Baker in Washington state). To be clear, every device out there is subject to failures of the system/device but the basic function of the SOS has brought in question for the incidents posted. The failures have been sourced to the device Spot Gen3 and the actual activation of the SOS process.

If your a Spot Gen3 owner, I highly recommend contacting Spot customer service and request a SOS test of your unit (Don't just press the SOS! you need to do the test via customer service). There is a possibility that certain Gen3 units are defective and they should be tested.

I hope to get a chance to test both of my units shortly....

Martin

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Martin
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Re: Spot Owners....

Postby Martin » Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:46 am

Follow-up....

Just ran SOS tests on both of my Gen3 units and both passed, from pushing the SOS button to confirmation.

The procedure to test is not so straight forward but understandably so. If you call Spot you will be given a number to call GEOS, the systems operating center (1-888-460-4554). They will send you a test request form, fill it in and send it to :

testing@geos911.com

I left the date and time blank on the form and they called me right back. Service was prompt and courteous.. they mentioned that they had been getting a few requests... (note, I think if you just send a request for the form to the email address above, I believe you will get your form without doing the phone call).

I'm 99% convinced the device will work when I need it, my 1% reservation is based on the fact that if its electronic and it relies on a man made system to work, its prone to failure. On the other hand, I was satisfied that the 2 Gen3 units that I have work. Beyond all the comparisons between Spot and Garmin, I do believe if you want the best in personal emergency safety (from a technology)... then you should purchase a PLB/ELB... and even with that option, you can still have a bad day !

Cheers

Martin

Claudia
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Re: Spot Owners....

Postby Claudia » Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:09 pm

Thanks for posting the SPOT test procedure, good to know!

I just read a blog on the accuracy of PBLs and they didn't come out all shiny. The post is from 2011, so things may have changed. The author (Northshore SAR member) describes that PBL rely on radio signal to get location fix and that is limited under trees and in tight valleys (some PBL have GPS in addition). http://blog.oplopanax.ca/2011/08/person ... rspective/

The main problem with PBL is that they only work if the user is capable of activating it. Spot and Inreach leave a breadcrumb trail...

I posted earlier on this forum on the importance of informing your emergency contacts on what to expect and what to do when the Inreach Emergency center (Texas) calls to confirm emergencies: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9741

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Martin
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Re: Spot Owners....

Postby Martin » Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:11 pm

Good point on the contact settings, the Geos people will ask if you want the SOS message information reviewed, they read back what I had in the system for information (Glider/Ham frequencies/contacts and so on...)

Martin

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Martin
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Re: Spot Owners....

Postby Martin » Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:38 am

For anybody that takes the time to test their Spot's, please post your experience with the process and if you had any issues (or not).

I would also encourage owners of the Garmin InReach to also test their devices and maybe give some feedback on the experience and results here on the forum.

The interesting about both systems (as I understand it) the administration of either SOS call on either of the two services comes down to the same ground base service, GEOS, International Emergency Rescue Coordination Center (IERCC). The differences are in the technology that delivers the signal (and of course the differences in how the devices work).

Thanks

Martin


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