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Re: [John Muir Trail] SPOT feedback

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  • 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 1 of 7 , Jul 3, 2009
      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 2 of 7 , Jul 3, 2009
        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 3 of 7 , Jul 3, 2009
          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 4 of 7 , Jul 3, 2009
            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 5 of 7 , Jul 3, 2009
              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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