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RE: [John Muir Trail] SPOT feedback

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  • 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 1 of 7 , Jul 3, 2009
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      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


      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
      > 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"
      > 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
      > 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
      > 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
      > 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
      > 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
      > 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
      > 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
      > ========= 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
      > 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.
      > > 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
      > > button, indicating a massage had gone out. This was never received and
      > > not registered on my Spot account. The 4th message was sent from 8,700
      > > 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
      > or
      > > trees and 360 degree views. None of the last three messages were
      > > 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]
      > ------------------------------------
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