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Re:SPOT feedback

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  • Judy Palmer
    SPOT is not a perfect device, but understanding some its foibles helps to understand what it can, and can not do. 1. Not all signals will get through--the
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 3, 2009
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      SPOT is not a perfect device, but understanding some its foibles
      helps to understand what it can, and can not do.

      1. Not all signals will get through--the satellites are mostly to
      the south, so if you are climbing the north side of a slope, they may
      not get through. Trees and canyon walls also block signals. Some
      signals just don't get through for reasons that are not readily
      apparent, and this may be related to satellite alignment or other
      mysteries.

      2. Unlike "OK" signals, Help and 911 signals are sent out
      repeatedly, so unless you are in an area described above, there is a
      greater chance that one or more will get through.

      3. If you subscribe to the "Track" feature (an extra $50 per year or
      so), a signal is sent out every 10 minutes as you move along--my
      experience on the JMT last year showed that about 70% of those got
      through (by contrast, almost 100% went through during a desert hike
      earlier this year). This makes for great fun for family and friends
      (they had big bets going on my daily JMT progress!), as well as
      letting people know about where you are in case of trouble.

      4. No gizmo is going to be perfect and SPOT is no exception.
      Carrying a SPOT is not a replacement for planning carefully and using
      common sense.

      JP







      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • John Ladd
      The Spot apparently uses an overloaded satellite system that trucking companies use to track their trucks. When too many trucks are all sending their
      Message 2 of 7 , Jul 3, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        The Spot apparently uses an overloaded satellite system that trucking
        companies use to track their trucks. When too many trucks are all sending
        their locations to the satellite, it can become overloaded and only receives
        some of the signals. It is a one-way system with the satellite receiving
        the signal, and then telling ground computers to report locations, but not
        sending a reply to the sending unit (your Spot) that the message was
        received. The Spot therefore never "knows" for sure that the mesage was
        received by the satellite, so the Spot sends messages multiple times in
        hopes that at least one gets thru.

        911 messages are sent much more redundantly than the OK messages and should
        be considerably more reliable because of this redundency.

        from Spot website "OK (SPOTcheck) messages transmit three (3) times,
        discarding any extras after the first is received." while 911 messages are
        transmitted intermittently and more-or-less continuously until you cancel
        the 911 or turn the unit off.

        Note that if the flashing ON/OFF light is blinking in an alternating
        sequence with the OK flashing light, the Spot is telling you that it can't
        find a satellite, so try again a little later from a slightly different
        location.

        "The lights should blink together for the entire 20-minute cycle. If at any
        time the lights begin blinking alternately, move the unit to a different
        location because it is telling you that it cannot obtain a GPS fix. The unit
        will not send an OK message if it does not have a GPS fix.

        You must let SPOT complete the 20-minute OK cycle outdoors in the open to
        ensure best message delivery success. At the end of the 20 minutes, the
        light over OK will stop blinking to indicate the cycle is complete. If it is
        still blinking after 20 minutes, then you have put the unit into tracking
        mode."

        We have had an occasional non-sent OK message, but nowhere as often as your
        experience. It has worked, in general, quite well.

        I tend to send several OK messages every day, from different locations and
        not necessarily at the same time every day. In part because I want my
        family to not become concerned about a "missing" OK.

        When our Spot was being used by my daughter and her friends, they on
        occasion would turn it off too soon. It is my impression that it
        *often*requires a full 20 minutes for a reliable OK.

        I'm unfamiliar with the "steady green" you mention. On my unit, the OK
        light just seems to stop flashing after 20+ minutes, and that's when I turn
        off the power.

        The problem with the cell phone may be one of the following:

        "SPOT sends all North American email and SMS messages via email. This means
        to send a cell phone a text message, we email
        1234567890@... and then they relay that to your recipients.

        Some email providers see noreply@... and depending on their
        policies may put our messages into a Junk mail folder or simply discard them
        without notifying anyone. If the messages are rejected, then Customer Care
        can determine this with you.

        If your recipient does not have text messaging enabled for their cellular
        service, they will not be able to receive the message

        If your recipient´┐Żs cellular provider sees messages from
        noreply@... as junk mail, they may discard it without delivering
        or reject the message. This may also be the case for email providers.

        If your cellular provider does not support email to SMS text messaging
        services, then you will not be able to send SMS messages to them from SPOT
        at this time."

        (from Spot troubleshooting page)

        Here's another interesting item from the website

        "When you use SPOT for the first time and any time your SPOT has moved 600
        miles or more, you should make sure you can successfully receive an OK
        (SPOTcheck) message to be sure your SPOT knows where it is."

        E.g., send a Spot from Yosemite Valley before your trip starts and call your
        family to make sure they got it before you get out of cell phone reception.

        ========= Misc added stuff from Spot "knowledge base" =============
        https://www.findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=1700 (a search page)

        "This is a quick reference guide that we like to keep handy during an
        adventure:

        First use: turn SPOT on, press the OK button and let cycle for 20 min

        - Tracking: Turn unit on, hold OK button for longer than 5 seconds *
        Tracking turns off after 24 hours. Engage Tracking every morning
        - If On/Off light and OK light blink in unison for longer than 20 min.,
        then you are in Track Mode
        - If lights blink in unison for only 20 min., you were in OK mode
        - Once in Track mode, holding down the OK button will cancel Track

        Additional Notes:

        - One set of AA Lithium batteries = 14 days of Tracking
        - GPS Fix = On/Off and OK lights blink in unison
        - No GPS Fix = On/Off and OK lights blink out of unison
        - 9-1-1 Mode: Press and hold for at least 3 seconds unit you see green
        light blink
        - Cancel 9-1-1, press and hold button for at least 3 seconds until red
        light"

        "When the lights blink in unison, the unit has a GPS fix. When they blink
        alternately, move a position with broader exposure to open sky. If you have
        had 180 degrees of open sky for 20 minutes or longer and your lights are
        blinking out of sync, your GPS chip may be defective."

        "The SPOT device operates with Energizer 1.5V non-rechargeable size AA
        lithium batteries. Any other brand of AA lithium will be rechargeable and
        high voltage, which will damage the unit. These are required due to this
        technology's unique ability to maintain a high cell volt throughout the life
        of the battery. Additional benefits are a larger operating temperature
        range, up to 8 times longer life than alkaline, an outstanding 15-year shelf
        life and a 30% weight reduction. "





        John Curran Ladd
        1616 Castro Street
        San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
        415-648-9279 (voice and fax)


        On Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 9:22 PM, Barbara Karagosian <barbara@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > Hi there,
        >
        > Just returned from 4 days in Sequoia Nat Park - more to follow. But wanted
        > to tell about SPOT messenger experiences. For this tryout trip, only my
        > husband and I were set up to receive Ok messages, both via text and
        e-mail.
        > The first one was sent from a town called Three Rivers, in a river valley.
        > We both received e-mails but only my husband got a text. The second was
        > sent from Lodgepole campground, in a steep river valley in Sequoia NP. We
        > both received e-mails and texts. My third message was sent from a stream
        > crossing at 7,000 feet, and I did not expect it to get thru because of the
        > steep terrain, but the messenger gave me a steady green light over the Ok
        > button, indicating a massage had gone out. This was never received and is
        > not registered on my Spot account. The 4th message was sent from 8,700 at
        > Calhoun Gap - a high spot with open sky and no terrain on any side. The
        5th
        > was sent from Little Baldy, at 8,500, a bare granite knob with no terrain
        or
        > trees and 360 degree views. None of the last three messages were received
        > or registered on my spot account despite once again getting a steady green
        > light on my OK button.
        >
        > So, I am somewhat disturbed about this "spotty "performance and am
        awaiting
        > feedback from the company..will let you know how it goes. Not that I so
        > much mind about notifying people, but I DO want the 911 to work if it
        needs
        > to. Barbara
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Barbara Karagosian
        Thanks Judy and John for the Spot feedback. We thought we had followed all the directions in the booklet. The steady light I was referring to is Once
        Message 3 of 7 , Jul 3, 2009
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          Thanks Judy and John for the Spot feedback. We thought we had followed all
          the directions in the booklet. The steady light I was referring to is "Once
          activated the indicator light will blink green every 3 seconds and turn
          solid green for 5 seconds when a Spot checking message is being sent. "
          Sometimes this took longer to come on than others. But I think the problem
          may have been not just leaving it on for 20 minutes. I assumed that once
          the solid green light had come on, the message was sent and it was OK, but
          perhaps not. Tho I am confused as to why it has the solid green light come
          on, if it doesn't indicate anything useful. I guess "message being sent" is
          different from "message received." As you say, it is a one way device so
          obviously can't tell you a message was received, only sent.

          I'll still be carrying it, cos it is primarily for the 911 occasions, of
          course.

          Thanks again - Barbara

          -----Original Message-----
          From: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com]
          On Behalf Of John Ladd
          Sent: Friday, July 03, 2009 6:55 AM
          To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] SPOT feedback

          The Spot apparently uses an overloaded satellite system that trucking
          companies use to track their trucks. When too many trucks are all sending
          their locations to the satellite, it can become overloaded and only receives
          some of the signals. It is a one-way system with the satellite receiving
          the signal, and then telling ground computers to report locations, but not
          sending a reply to the sending unit (your Spot) that the message was
          received. The Spot therefore never "knows" for sure that the mesage was
          received by the satellite, so the Spot sends messages multiple times in
          hopes that at least one gets thru.

          911 messages are sent much more redundantly than the OK messages and should
          be considerably more reliable because of this redundency.

          from Spot website "OK (SPOTcheck) messages transmit three (3) times,
          discarding any extras after the first is received." while 911 messages are
          transmitted intermittently and more-or-less continuously until you cancel
          the 911 or turn the unit off.

          Note that if the flashing ON/OFF light is blinking in an alternating
          sequence with the OK flashing light, the Spot is telling you that it can't
          find a satellite, so try again a little later from a slightly different
          location.

          "The lights should blink together for the entire 20-minute cycle. If at any
          time the lights begin blinking alternately, move the unit to a different
          location because it is telling you that it cannot obtain a GPS fix. The unit
          will not send an OK message if it does not have a GPS fix.

          You must let SPOT complete the 20-minute OK cycle outdoors in the open to
          ensure best message delivery success. At the end of the 20 minutes, the
          light over OK will stop blinking to indicate the cycle is complete. If it is
          still blinking after 20 minutes, then you have put the unit into tracking
          mode."

          We have had an occasional non-sent OK message, but nowhere as often as your
          experience. It has worked, in general, quite well.

          I tend to send several OK messages every day, from different locations and
          not necessarily at the same time every day. In part because I want my
          family to not become concerned about a "missing" OK.

          When our Spot was being used by my daughter and her friends, they on
          occasion would turn it off too soon. It is my impression that it
          *often*requires a full 20 minutes for a reliable OK.

          I'm unfamiliar with the "steady green" you mention. On my unit, the OK
          light just seems to stop flashing after 20+ minutes, and that's when I turn
          off the power.

          The problem with the cell phone may be one of the following:

          "SPOT sends all North American email and SMS messages via email. This means
          to send a cell phone a text message, we email
          1234567890@... and then they relay that to your recipients.

          Some email providers see noreply@... and depending on their
          policies may put our messages into a Junk mail folder or simply discard them
          without notifying anyone. If the messages are rejected, then Customer Care
          can determine this with you.

          If your recipient does not have text messaging enabled for their cellular
          service, they will not be able to receive the message

          If your recipient's cellular provider sees messages from
          noreply@... as junk mail, they may discard it without delivering
          or reject the message. This may also be the case for email providers.

          If your cellular provider does not support email to SMS text messaging
          services, then you will not be able to send SMS messages to them from SPOT
          at this time."

          (from Spot troubleshooting page)

          Here's another interesting item from the website

          "When you use SPOT for the first time and any time your SPOT has moved 600
          miles or more, you should make sure you can successfully receive an OK
          (SPOTcheck) message to be sure your SPOT knows where it is."

          E.g., send a Spot from Yosemite Valley before your trip starts and call your
          family to make sure they got it before you get out of cell phone reception.

          ========= Misc added stuff from Spot "knowledge base" =============
          https://www.findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=1700 (a search page)

          "This is a quick reference guide that we like to keep handy during an
          adventure:

          First use: turn SPOT on, press the OK button and let cycle for 20 min

          - Tracking: Turn unit on, hold OK button for longer than 5 seconds *
          Tracking turns off after 24 hours. Engage Tracking every morning
          - If On/Off light and OK light blink in unison for longer than 20 min.,
          then you are in Track Mode
          - If lights blink in unison for only 20 min., you were in OK mode
          - Once in Track mode, holding down the OK button will cancel Track

          Additional Notes:

          - One set of AA Lithium batteries = 14 days of Tracking
          - GPS Fix = On/Off and OK lights blink in unison
          - No GPS Fix = On/Off and OK lights blink out of unison
          - 9-1-1 Mode: Press and hold for at least 3 seconds unit you see green
          light blink
          - Cancel 9-1-1, press and hold button for at least 3 seconds until red
          light"

          "When the lights blink in unison, the unit has a GPS fix. When they blink
          alternately, move a position with broader exposure to open sky. If you have
          had 180 degrees of open sky for 20 minutes or longer and your lights are
          blinking out of sync, your GPS chip may be defective."

          "The SPOT device operates with Energizer 1.5V non-rechargeable size AA
          lithium batteries. Any other brand of AA lithium will be rechargeable and
          high voltage, which will damage the unit. These are required due to this
          technology's unique ability to maintain a high cell volt throughout the life
          of the battery. Additional benefits are a larger operating temperature
          range, up to 8 times longer life than alkaline, an outstanding 15-year shelf
          life and a 30% weight reduction. "





          John Curran Ladd
          1616 Castro Street
          San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
          415-648-9279 (voice and fax)


          On Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 9:22 PM, Barbara Karagosian <barbara@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > Hi there,
          >
          > Just returned from 4 days in Sequoia Nat Park - more to follow. But wanted
          > to tell about SPOT messenger experiences. For this tryout trip, only my
          > husband and I were set up to receive Ok messages, both via text and
          e-mail.
          > The first one was sent from a town called Three Rivers, in a river valley.
          > We both received e-mails but only my husband got a text. The second was
          > sent from Lodgepole campground, in a steep river valley in Sequoia NP. We
          > both received e-mails and texts. My third message was sent from a stream
          > crossing at 7,000 feet, and I did not expect it to get thru because of the
          > steep terrain, but the messenger gave me a steady green light over the Ok
          > button, indicating a massage had gone out. This was never received and is
          > not registered on my Spot account. The 4th message was sent from 8,700 at
          > Calhoun Gap - a high spot with open sky and no terrain on any side. The
          5th
          > was sent from Little Baldy, at 8,500, a bare granite knob with no terrain
          or
          > trees and 360 degree views. None of the last three messages were received
          > or registered on my spot account despite once again getting a steady green
          > light on my OK button.
          >
          > So, I am somewhat disturbed about this "spotty "performance and am
          awaiting
          > feedback from the company..will let you know how it goes. Not that I so
          > much mind about notifying people, but I DO want the 911 to work if it
          needs
          > to. Barbara
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



          ------------------------------------

          Yahoo! Groups Links
        • John Ladd
          My guess is that the OK light first turns solid green when it makes the first of its 3 attempts to send an OK message up to the satellite. So if you leave it
          Message 4 of 7 , Jul 3, 2009
          • 0 Attachment
            My guess is that the OK light first turns solid green when it makes the
            first of its 3 attempts to send an OK message up to the satellite. So if
            you leave it on for the 20 minutes, it should turn solid green on three
            occasions. Eventually the "OK" light will stop blinking and stay dark. I
            leave it on until then, when possible (not always possible at short rest
            stops). If I'm right ,you are losing the advantages of redundancy by
            turning it off after the first solid green.

            John Curran Ladd
            1616 Castro Street
            San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
            415-648-9279 (voice and fax)


            On Fri, Jul 3, 2009 at 8:06 AM, Barbara Karagosian <barbara@...> wrote:

            >
            >
            > Thanks Judy and John for the Spot feedback. We thought we had followed all
            > the directions in the booklet. The steady light I was referring to is "Once
            > activated the indicator light will blink green every 3 seconds and turn
            > solid green for 5 seconds when a Spot checking message is being sent. "
            > Sometimes this took longer to come on than others. But I think the problem
            > may have been not just leaving it on for 20 minutes. I assumed that once
            > the solid green light had come on, the message was sent and it was OK, but
            > perhaps not. Tho I am confused as to why it has the solid green light come
            > on, if it doesn't indicate anything useful. I guess "message being sent" is
            > different from "message received." As you say, it is a one way device so
            > obviously can't tell you a message was received, only sent.
            >
            > I'll still be carrying it, cos it is primarily for the 911 occasions, of
            > course.
            >
            > Thanks again - Barbara
            >
            >
            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com <johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com>[mailto:
            > johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com <johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com>]
            > On Behalf Of John Ladd
            > Sent: Friday, July 03, 2009 6:55 AM
            > To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com <johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com>
            > Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] SPOT feedback
            >
            > The Spot apparently uses an overloaded satellite system that trucking
            > companies use to track their trucks. When too many trucks are all sending
            > their locations to the satellite, it can become overloaded and only
            > receives
            > some of the signals. It is a one-way system with the satellite receiving
            > the signal, and then telling ground computers to report locations, but not
            > sending a reply to the sending unit (your Spot) that the message was
            > received. The Spot therefore never "knows" for sure that the mesage was
            > received by the satellite, so the Spot sends messages multiple times in
            > hopes that at least one gets thru.
            >
            > 911 messages are sent much more redundantly than the OK messages and should
            > be considerably more reliable because of this redundency.
            >
            > from Spot website "OK (SPOTcheck) messages transmit three (3) times,
            > discarding any extras after the first is received." while 911 messages are
            > transmitted intermittently and more-or-less continuously until you cancel
            > the 911 or turn the unit off.
            >
            > Note that if the flashing ON/OFF light is blinking in an alternating
            > sequence with the OK flashing light, the Spot is telling you that it can't
            > find a satellite, so try again a little later from a slightly different
            > location.
            >
            > "The lights should blink together for the entire 20-minute cycle. If at any
            > time the lights begin blinking alternately, move the unit to a different
            > location because it is telling you that it cannot obtain a GPS fix. The
            > unit
            > will not send an OK message if it does not have a GPS fix.
            >
            > You must let SPOT complete the 20-minute OK cycle outdoors in the open to
            > ensure best message delivery success. At the end of the 20 minutes, the
            > light over OK will stop blinking to indicate the cycle is complete. If it
            > is
            > still blinking after 20 minutes, then you have put the unit into tracking
            > mode."
            >
            > We have had an occasional non-sent OK message, but nowhere as often as your
            > experience. It has worked, in general, quite well.
            >
            > I tend to send several OK messages every day, from different locations and
            > not necessarily at the same time every day. In part because I want my
            > family to not become concerned about a "missing" OK.
            >
            > When our Spot was being used by my daughter and her friends, they on
            > occasion would turn it off too soon. It is my impression that it
            > *often*requires a full 20 minutes for a reliable OK.
            >
            > I'm unfamiliar with the "steady green" you mention. On my unit, the OK
            > light just seems to stop flashing after 20+ minutes, and that's when I turn
            > off the power.
            >
            > The problem with the cell phone may be one of the following:
            >
            > "SPOT sends all North American email and SMS messages via email. This means
            > to send a cell phone a text message, we email
            > 1234567890@... <1234567890%40yourcellprovider.com> and
            > then they relay that to your recipients.
            >
            > Some email providers see noreply@... <noreply%40findmespot.com>and depending on their
            > policies may put our messages into a Junk mail folder or simply discard
            > them
            > without notifying anyone. If the messages are rejected, then Customer Care
            > can determine this with you.
            >
            > If your recipient does not have text messaging enabled for their cellular
            > service, they will not be able to receive the message
            >
            > If your recipient's cellular provider sees messages from
            > noreply@... <noreply%40findmespot.com> as junk mail, they may
            > discard it without delivering
            > or reject the message. This may also be the case for email providers.
            >
            > If your cellular provider does not support email to SMS text messaging
            > services, then you will not be able to send SMS messages to them from SPOT
            > at this time."
            >
            > (from Spot troubleshooting page)
            >
            > Here's another interesting item from the website
            >
            > "When you use SPOT for the first time and any time your SPOT has moved 600
            > miles or more, you should make sure you can successfully receive an OK
            > (SPOTcheck) message to be sure your SPOT knows where it is."
            >
            > E.g., send a Spot from Yosemite Valley before your trip starts and call
            > your
            > family to make sure they got it before you get out of cell phone reception.
            >
            > ========= Misc added stuff from Spot "knowledge base" =============
            > https://www.findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=1700 (a search page)
            >
            > "This is a quick reference guide that we like to keep handy during an
            > adventure:
            >
            > First use: turn SPOT on, press the OK button and let cycle for 20 min
            >
            > - Tracking: Turn unit on, hold OK button for longer than 5 seconds *
            > Tracking turns off after 24 hours. Engage Tracking every morning
            > - If On/Off light and OK light blink in unison for longer than 20 min.,
            > then you are in Track Mode
            > - If lights blink in unison for only 20 min., you were in OK mode
            > - Once in Track mode, holding down the OK button will cancel Track
            >
            > Additional Notes:
            >
            > - One set of AA Lithium batteries = 14 days of Tracking
            > - GPS Fix = On/Off and OK lights blink in unison
            > - No GPS Fix = On/Off and OK lights blink out of unison
            > - 9-1-1 Mode: Press and hold for at least 3 seconds unit you see green
            > light blink
            > - Cancel 9-1-1, press and hold button for at least 3 seconds until red
            > light"
            >
            > "When the lights blink in unison, the unit has a GPS fix. When they blink
            > alternately, move a position with broader exposure to open sky. If you have
            > had 180 degrees of open sky for 20 minutes or longer and your lights are
            > blinking out of sync, your GPS chip may be defective."
            >
            > "The SPOT device operates with Energizer 1.5V non-rechargeable size AA
            > lithium batteries. Any other brand of AA lithium will be rechargeable and
            > high voltage, which will damage the unit. These are required due to this
            > technology's unique ability to maintain a high cell volt throughout the
            > life
            > of the battery. Additional benefits are a larger operating temperature
            > range, up to 8 times longer life than alkaline, an outstanding 15-year
            > shelf
            > life and a 30% weight reduction. "
            >
            > John Curran Ladd
            > 1616 Castro Street
            > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
            > 415-648-9279 (voice and fax)
            >
            > On Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 9:22 PM, Barbara Karagosian <barbara@...<barbara%40mkpe.com>>
            > wrote:
            > >
            > >
            > > Hi there,
            > >
            > > Just returned from 4 days in Sequoia Nat Park - more to follow. But
            > wanted
            > > to tell about SPOT messenger experiences. For this tryout trip, only my
            > > husband and I were set up to receive Ok messages, both via text and
            > e-mail.
            > > The first one was sent from a town called Three Rivers, in a river
            > valley.
            > > We both received e-mails but only my husband got a text. The second was
            > > sent from Lodgepole campground, in a steep river valley in Sequoia NP. We
            > > both received e-mails and texts. My third message was sent from a stream
            > > crossing at 7,000 feet, and I did not expect it to get thru because of
            > the
            > > steep terrain, but the messenger gave me a steady green light over the Ok
            > > button, indicating a massage had gone out. This was never received and is
            > > not registered on my Spot account. The 4th message was sent from 8,700 at
            > > Calhoun Gap - a high spot with open sky and no terrain on any side. The
            > 5th
            > > was sent from Little Baldy, at 8,500, a bare granite knob with no terrain
            > or
            > > trees and 360 degree views. None of the last three messages were received
            > > or registered on my spot account despite once again getting a steady
            > green
            > > light on my OK button.
            > >
            > > So, I am somewhat disturbed about this "spotty "performance and am
            > awaiting
            > > feedback from the company..will let you know how it goes. Not that I so
            > > much mind about notifying people, but I DO want the 911 to work if it
            > needs
            > > to. Barbara
            > >
            > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            > >
            > >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            > ------------------------------------
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Prapanna Smith
            Hi All, I am heading out in two days (Sunday, the 5th) for a couple of weeks in the Southern Sierra. I will be taking my new SPOT and will let you all know
            Message 5 of 7 , Jul 3, 2009
            • 0 Attachment
              Hi All,

              I am heading out in two days (Sunday, the 5th) for a couple of weeks
              in the
              Southern Sierra. I will be taking my new SPOT and will let you all
              know how
              it worked after I get back...

              Prapanna

              On Jul 3, 2009, at 8:26 AM, John Ladd wrote:

              >
              >
              > My guess is that the OK light first turns solid green when it makes
              > the
              > first of its 3 attempts to send an OK message up to the satellite.
              > So if
              > you leave it on for the 20 minutes, it should turn solid green on
              > three
              > occasions. Eventually the "OK" light will stop blinking and stay
              > dark. I
              > leave it on until then, when possible (not always possible at short
              > rest
              > stops). If I'm right ,you are losing the advantages of redundancy by
              > turning it off after the first solid green.
              >
              > John Curran Ladd
              > 1616 Castro Street
              > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
              > 415-648-9279 (voice and fax)
              >
              > On Fri, Jul 3, 2009 at 8:06 AM, Barbara Karagosian
              > <barbara@...> wrote:
              >
              > >
              > >
              > > Thanks Judy and John for the Spot feedback. We thought we had
              > followed all
              > > the directions in the booklet. The steady light I was referring to
              > is "Once
              > > activated the indicator light will blink green every 3 seconds and
              > turn
              > > solid green for 5 seconds when a Spot checking message is being
              > sent. "
              > > Sometimes this took longer to come on than others. But I think the
              > problem
              > > may have been not just leaving it on for 20 minutes. I assumed
              > that once
              > > the solid green light had come on, the message was sent and it was
              > OK, but
              > > perhaps not. Tho I am confused as to why it has the solid green
              > light come
              > > on, if it doesn't indicate anything useful. I guess "message being
              > sent" is
              > > different from "message received." As you say, it is a one way
              > device so
              > > obviously can't tell you a message was received, only sent.
              > >
              > > I'll still be carrying it, cos it is primarily for the 911
              > occasions, of
              > > course.
              > >
              > > Thanks again - Barbara
              > >
              > >
              > > -----Original Message-----
              > > From: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com <johnmuirtrail
              > %40yahoogroups.com>[mailto:
              > > johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com <johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com>]
              > > On Behalf Of John Ladd
              > > Sent: Friday, July 03, 2009 6:55 AM
              > > To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com <johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com>
              > > Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] SPOT feedback
              > >
              > > The Spot apparently uses an overloaded satellite system that
              > trucking
              > > companies use to track their trucks. When too many trucks are all
              > sending
              > > their locations to the satellite, it can become overloaded and only
              > > receives
              > > some of the signals. It is a one-way system with the satellite
              > receiving
              > > the signal, and then telling ground computers to report locations,
              > but not
              > > sending a reply to the sending unit (your Spot) that the message was
              > > received. The Spot therefore never "knows" for sure that the
              > mesage was
              > > received by the satellite, so the Spot sends messages multiple
              > times in
              > > hopes that at least one gets thru.
              > >
              > > 911 messages are sent much more redundantly than the OK messages
              > and should
              > > be considerably more reliable because of this redundency.
              > >
              > > from Spot website "OK (SPOTcheck) messages transmit three (3) times,
              > > discarding any extras after the first is received." while 911
              > messages are
              > > transmitted intermittently and more-or-less continuously until you
              > cancel
              > > the 911 or turn the unit off.
              > >
              > > Note that if the flashing ON/OFF light is blinking in an alternating
              > > sequence with the OK flashing light, the Spot is telling you that
              > it can't
              > > find a satellite, so try again a little later from a slightly
              > different
              > > location.
              > >
              > > "The lights should blink together for the entire 20-minute cycle.
              > If at any
              > > time the lights begin blinking alternately, move the unit to a
              > different
              > > location because it is telling you that it cannot obtain a GPS
              > fix. The
              > > unit
              > > will not send an OK message if it does not have a GPS fix.
              > >
              > > You must let SPOT complete the 20-minute OK cycle outdoors in the
              > open to
              > > ensure best message delivery success. At the end of the 20
              > minutes, the
              > > light over OK will stop blinking to indicate the cycle is
              > complete. If it
              > > is
              > > still blinking after 20 minutes, then you have put the unit into
              > tracking
              > > mode."
              > >
              > > We have had an occasional non-sent OK message, but nowhere as
              > often as your
              > > experience. It has worked, in general, quite well.
              > >
              > > I tend to send several OK messages every day, from different
              > locations and
              > > not necessarily at the same time every day. In part because I want
              > my
              > > family to not become concerned about a "missing" OK.
              > >
              > > When our Spot was being used by my daughter and her friends, they on
              > > occasion would turn it off too soon. It is my impression that it
              > > *often*requires a full 20 minutes for a reliable OK.
              > >
              > > I'm unfamiliar with the "steady green" you mention. On my unit,
              > the OK
              > > light just seems to stop flashing after 20+ minutes, and that's
              > when I turn
              > > off the power.
              > >
              > > The problem with the cell phone may be one of the following:
              > >
              > > "SPOT sends all North American email and SMS messages via email.
              > This means
              > > to send a cell phone a text message, we email
              > > 1234567890@...
              > <1234567890%40yourcellprovider.com> and
              > > then they relay that to your recipients.
              > >
              > > Some email providers see noreply@... <noreply
              > %40findmespot.com>and depending on their
              > > policies may put our messages into a Junk mail folder or simply
              > discard
              > > them
              > > without notifying anyone. If the messages are rejected, then
              > Customer Care
              > > can determine this with you.
              > >
              > > If your recipient does not have text messaging enabled for their
              > cellular
              > > service, they will not be able to receive the message
              > >
              > > If your recipient's cellular provider sees messages from
              > > noreply@... <noreply%40findmespot.com> as junk mail,
              > they may
              > > discard it without delivering
              > > or reject the message. This may also be the case for email
              > providers.
              > >
              > > If your cellular provider does not support email to SMS text
              > messaging
              > > services, then you will not be able to send SMS messages to them
              > from SPOT
              > > at this time."
              > >
              > > (from Spot troubleshooting page)
              > >
              > > Here's another interesting item from the website
              > >
              > > "When you use SPOT for the first time and any time your SPOT has
              > moved 600
              > > miles or more, you should make sure you can successfully receive
              > an OK
              > > (SPOTcheck) message to be sure your SPOT knows where it is."
              > >
              > > E.g., send a Spot from Yosemite Valley before your trip starts and
              > call
              > > your
              > > family to make sure they got it before you get out of cell phone
              > reception.
              > >
              > > ========= Misc added stuff from Spot "knowledge base" =============
              > > https://www.findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=1700 (a search page)
              > >
              > > "This is a quick reference guide that we like to keep handy during
              > an
              > > adventure:
              > >
              > > First use: turn SPOT on, press the OK button and let cycle for 20
              > min
              > >
              > > - Tracking: Turn unit on, hold OK button for longer than 5 seconds *
              > > Tracking turns off after 24 hours. Engage Tracking every morning
              > > - If On/Off light and OK light blink in unison for longer than 20
              > min.,
              > > then you are in Track Mode
              > > - If lights blink in unison for only 20 min., you were in OK mode
              > > - Once in Track mode, holding down the OK button will cancel Track
              > >
              > > Additional Notes:
              > >
              > > - One set of AA Lithium batteries = 14 days of Tracking
              > > - GPS Fix = On/Off and OK lights blink in unison
              > > - No GPS Fix = On/Off and OK lights blink out of unison
              > > - 9-1-1 Mode: Press and hold for at least 3 seconds unit you see
              > green
              > > light blink
              > > - Cancel 9-1-1, press and hold button for at least 3 seconds until
              > red
              > > light"
              > >
              > > "When the lights blink in unison, the unit has a GPS fix. When
              > they blink
              > > alternately, move a position with broader exposure to open sky. If
              > you have
              > > had 180 degrees of open sky for 20 minutes or longer and your
              > lights are
              > > blinking out of sync, your GPS chip may be defective."
              > >
              > > "The SPOT device operates with Energizer 1.5V non-rechargeable
              > size AA
              > > lithium batteries. Any other brand of AA lithium will be
              > rechargeable and
              > > high voltage, which will damage the unit. These are required due
              > to this
              > > technology's unique ability to maintain a high cell volt
              > throughout the
              > > life
              > > of the battery. Additional benefits are a larger operating
              > temperature
              > > range, up to 8 times longer life than alkaline, an outstanding 15-
              > year
              > > shelf
              > > life and a 30% weight reduction. "
              > >
              > > John Curran Ladd
              > > 1616 Castro Street
              > > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
              > > 415-648-9279 (voice and fax)
              > >
              > > On Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 9:22 PM, Barbara Karagosian
              > <barbara@...<barbara%40mkpe.com>>
              > > wrote:
              > > >
              > > >
              > > > Hi there,
              > > >
              > > > Just returned from 4 days in Sequoia Nat Park - more to follow.
              > But
              > > wanted
              > > > to tell about SPOT messenger experiences. For this tryout trip,
              > only my
              > > > husband and I were set up to receive Ok messages, both via text
              > and
              > > e-mail.
              > > > The first one was sent from a town called Three Rivers, in a river
              > > valley.
              > > > We both received e-mails but only my husband got a text. The
              > second was
              > > > sent from Lodgepole campground, in a steep river valley in
              > Sequoia NP. We
              > > > both received e-mails and texts. My third message was sent from
              > a stream
              > > > crossing at 7,000 feet, and I did not expect it to get thru
              > because of
              > > the
              > > > steep terrain, but the messenger gave me a steady green light
              > over the Ok
              > > > button, indicating a massage had gone out. This was never
              > received and is
              > > > not registered on my Spot account. The 4th message was sent from
              > 8,700 at
              > > > Calhoun Gap - a high spot with open sky and no terrain on any
              > side. The
              > > 5th
              > > > was sent from Little Baldy, at 8,500, a bare granite knob with
              > no terrain
              > > or
              > > > trees and 360 degree views. None of the last three messages were
              > received
              > > > or registered on my spot account despite once again getting a
              > steady
              > > green
              > > > light on my OK button.
              > > >
              > > > So, I am somewhat disturbed about this "spotty "performance and am
              > > awaiting
              > > > feedback from the company..will let you know how it goes. Not
              > that I so
              > > > much mind about notifying people, but I DO want the 911 to work
              > if it
              > > needs
              > > > to. Barbara
              > > >
              > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              > > >
              > > >
              > >
              > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              > >
              > > ------------------------------------
              > >
              > > Yahoo! Groups Links
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
              >



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Barbara Karagosian
              Yeas I think you are right and I know we didn t keep it on for 20 minutes but turned it off after the first green - glad I did a trial run of that at least!
              Message 6 of 7 , Jul 3, 2009
              • 0 Attachment
                Yeas I think you are right and I know we didn't keep it on for 20 minutes
                but turned it off after the first green - glad I did a trial run of that at
                least!



                _____

                From: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com]
                On Behalf Of John Ladd
                Sent: Friday, July 03, 2009 8:27 AM
                To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] SPOT feedback








                My guess is that the OK light first turns solid green when it makes the
                first of its 3 attempts to send an OK message up to the satellite. So if
                you leave it on for the 20 minutes, it should turn solid green on three
                occasions. Eventually the "OK" light will stop blinking and stay dark. I
                leave it on until then, when possible (not always possible at short rest
                stops). If I'm right ,you are losing the advantages of redundancy by
                turning it off after the first solid green.

                John Curran Ladd
                1616 Castro Street
                San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                415-648-9279 (voice and fax)

                On Fri, Jul 3, 2009 at 8:06 AM, Barbara Karagosian <barbara@mkpe.
                <mailto:barbara%40mkpe.com> com> wrote:

                >
                >
                > Thanks Judy and John for the Spot feedback. We thought we had followed all
                > the directions in the booklet. The steady light I was referring to is
                "Once
                > activated the indicator light will blink green every 3 seconds and turn
                > solid green for 5 seconds when a Spot checking message is being sent. "
                > Sometimes this took longer to come on than others. But I think the problem
                > may have been not just leaving it on for 20 minutes. I assumed that once
                > the solid green light had come on, the message was sent and it was OK, but
                > perhaps not. Tho I am confused as to why it has the solid green light come
                > on, if it doesn't indicate anything useful. I guess "message being sent"
                is
                > different from "message received." As you say, it is a one way device so
                > obviously can't tell you a message was received, only sent.
                >
                > I'll still be carrying it, cos it is primarily for the 911 occasions, of
                > course.
                >
                > Thanks again - Barbara
                >
                >
                > -----Original Message-----
                > From: johnmuirtrail@ <mailto:johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com>
                yahoogroups.com <johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com>[mailto:
                > johnmuirtrail@ <mailto:johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com> yahoogroups.com
                <johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com>]
                > On Behalf Of John Ladd
                > Sent: Friday, July 03, 2009 6:55 AM
                > To: johnmuirtrail@ <mailto:johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com>
                yahoogroups.com <johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com>
                > Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] SPOT feedback
                >
                > The Spot apparently uses an overloaded satellite system that trucking
                > companies use to track their trucks. When too many trucks are all sending
                > their locations to the satellite, it can become overloaded and only
                > receives
                > some of the signals. It is a one-way system with the satellite receiving
                > the signal, and then telling ground computers to report locations, but not
                > sending a reply to the sending unit (your Spot) that the message was
                > received. The Spot therefore never "knows" for sure that the mesage was
                > received by the satellite, so the Spot sends messages multiple times in
                > hopes that at least one gets thru.
                >
                > 911 messages are sent much more redundantly than the OK messages and
                should
                > be considerably more reliable because of this redundency.
                >
                > from Spot website "OK (SPOTcheck) messages transmit three (3) times,
                > discarding any extras after the first is received." while 911 messages are
                > transmitted intermittently and more-or-less continuously until you cancel
                > the 911 or turn the unit off.
                >
                > Note that if the flashing ON/OFF light is blinking in an alternating
                > sequence with the OK flashing light, the Spot is telling you that it can't
                > find a satellite, so try again a little later from a slightly different
                > location.
                >
                > "The lights should blink together for the entire 20-minute cycle. If at
                any
                > time the lights begin blinking alternately, move the unit to a different
                > location because it is telling you that it cannot obtain a GPS fix. The
                > unit
                > will not send an OK message if it does not have a GPS fix.
                >
                > You must let SPOT complete the 20-minute OK cycle outdoors in the open to
                > ensure best message delivery success. At the end of the 20 minutes, the
                > light over OK will stop blinking to indicate the cycle is complete. If it
                > is
                > still blinking after 20 minutes, then you have put the unit into tracking
                > mode."
                >
                > We have had an occasional non-sent OK message, but nowhere as often as
                your
                > experience. It has worked, in general, quite well.
                >
                > I tend to send several OK messages every day, from different locations and
                > not necessarily at the same time every day. In part because I want my
                > family to not become concerned about a "missing" OK.
                >
                > When our Spot was being used by my daughter and her friends, they on
                > occasion would turn it off too soon. It is my impression that it
                > *often*requires a full 20 minutes for a reliable OK.
                >
                > I'm unfamiliar with the "steady green" you mention. On my unit, the OK
                > light just seems to stop flashing after 20+ minutes, and that's when I
                turn
                > off the power.
                >
                > The problem with the cell phone may be one of the following:
                >
                > "SPOT sends all North American email and SMS messages via email. This
                means
                > to send a cell phone a text message, we email
                > 1234567890@yourcell <mailto:1234567890%40yourcellprovider.com>
                provider.com <1234567890%40yourcellprovider.com> and
                > then they relay that to your recipients.
                >
                > Some email providers see noreply@findmespot.
                <mailto:noreply%40findmespot.com> com <noreply%40findmespot.com>and
                depending on their
                > policies may put our messages into a Junk mail folder or simply discard
                > them
                > without notifying anyone. If the messages are rejected, then Customer Care
                > can determine this with you.
                >
                > If your recipient does not have text messaging enabled for their cellular
                > service, they will not be able to receive the message
                >
                > If your recipient's cellular provider sees messages from
                > noreply@findmespot. <mailto:noreply%40findmespot.com> com
                <noreply%40findmespot.com> as junk mail, they may
                > discard it without delivering
                > or reject the message. This may also be the case for email providers.
                >
                > If your cellular provider does not support email to SMS text messaging
                > services, then you will not be able to send SMS messages to them from SPOT
                > at this time."
                >
                > (from Spot troubleshooting page)
                >
                > Here's another interesting item from the website
                >
                > "When you use SPOT for the first time and any time your SPOT has moved 600
                > miles or more, you should make sure you can successfully receive an OK
                > (SPOTcheck) message to be sure your SPOT knows where it is."
                >
                > E.g., send a Spot from Yosemite Valley before your trip starts and call
                > your
                > family to make sure they got it before you get out of cell phone
                reception.
                >
                > ========= Misc added stuff from Spot "knowledge base" =============
                > https://www. <https://www.findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=1700>
                findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=1700 (a search page)
                >
                > "This is a quick reference guide that we like to keep handy during an
                > adventure:
                >
                > First use: turn SPOT on, press the OK button and let cycle for 20 min
                >
                > - Tracking: Turn unit on, hold OK button for longer than 5 seconds *
                > Tracking turns off after 24 hours. Engage Tracking every morning
                > - If On/Off light and OK light blink in unison for longer than 20 min.,
                > then you are in Track Mode
                > - If lights blink in unison for only 20 min., you were in OK mode
                > - Once in Track mode, holding down the OK button will cancel Track
                >
                > Additional Notes:
                >
                > - One set of AA Lithium batteries = 14 days of Tracking
                > - GPS Fix = On/Off and OK lights blink in unison
                > - No GPS Fix = On/Off and OK lights blink out of unison
                > - 9-1-1 Mode: Press and hold for at least 3 seconds unit you see green
                > light blink
                > - Cancel 9-1-1, press and hold button for at least 3 seconds until red
                > light"
                >
                > "When the lights blink in unison, the unit has a GPS fix. When they blink
                > alternately, move a position with broader exposure to open sky. If you
                have
                > had 180 degrees of open sky for 20 minutes or longer and your lights are
                > blinking out of sync, your GPS chip may be defective."
                >
                > "The SPOT device operates with Energizer 1.5V non-rechargeable size AA
                > lithium batteries. Any other brand of AA lithium will be rechargeable and
                > high voltage, which will damage the unit. These are required due to this
                > technology's unique ability to maintain a high cell volt throughout the
                > life
                > of the battery. Additional benefits are a larger operating temperature
                > range, up to 8 times longer life than alkaline, an outstanding 15-year
                > shelf
                > life and a 30% weight reduction. "
                >
                > John Curran Ladd
                > 1616 Castro Street
                > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                > 415-648-9279 (voice and fax)
                >
                > On Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 9:22 PM, Barbara Karagosian <barbara@mkpe.
                <mailto:barbara%40mkpe.com> com<barbara%40mkpe.com>>
                > wrote:
                > >
                > >
                > > Hi there,
                > >
                > > Just returned from 4 days in Sequoia Nat Park - more to follow. But
                > wanted
                > > to tell about SPOT messenger experiences. For this tryout trip, only my
                > > husband and I were set up to receive Ok messages, both via text and
                > e-mail.
                > > The first one was sent from a town called Three Rivers, in a river
                > valley.
                > > We both received e-mails but only my husband got a text. The second was
                > > sent from Lodgepole campground, in a steep river valley in Sequoia NP.
                We
                > > both received e-mails and texts. My third message was sent from a stream
                > > crossing at 7,000 feet, and I did not expect it to get thru because of
                > the
                > > steep terrain, but the messenger gave me a steady green light over the
                Ok
                > > button, indicating a massage had gone out. This was never received and
                is
                > > not registered on my Spot account. The 4th message was sent from 8,700
                at
                > > Calhoun Gap - a high spot with open sky and no terrain on any side. The
                > 5th
                > > was sent from Little Baldy, at 8,500, a bare granite knob with no
                terrain
                > or
                > > trees and 360 degree views. None of the last three messages were
                received
                > > or registered on my spot account despite once again getting a steady
                > green
                > > light on my OK button.
                > >
                > > So, I am somewhat disturbed about this "spotty "performance and am
                > awaiting
                > > feedback from the company..will let you know how it goes. Not that I so
                > > much mind about notifying people, but I DO want the 911 to work if it
                > needs
                > > to. Barbara
                > >
                > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                > >
                > >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                > ------------------------------------
                >
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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