Dec 14, 2009 at 10:26 pm #1252672
Mark VerberBPL Member
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
possible performance issues: http://www.findmespot.com/exchange/Dec 14, 2009 at 10:35 pm #1553836
Looks like Santa is bringing me a defective toy. Thanks for sharing.Dec 15, 2009 at 12:13 am #1553846
@foundLocale: Sacramento, CA
Lame. I was going to buy one tomorrow!
Seems like they should offer something more than a free month of service.Dec 15, 2009 at 6:37 am #1553875
Hart –BPL Member
@backpackerchickLocale: Planet Earth
December 14, 2009
Dear Valued Customer,
Spot LLC is dedicated to providing the highest quality and best performance products to our customers, therefore,
Spot LLC will be conducting a voluntary return on any new model SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger ™ (SPOT 2)
purchased since October 1, 2009. During recent testing, we discovered that some of the new SPOT 2 devices might
not meet battery and messaging operating specifications.
We highly recommend you return your product for replacement at your earliest convenience. Please visit
http://www.findmespot.com/exchange for complete details. Replacement product will be available in early 2010. Spot LLC
guarantees we will exchange your product free of charge and send your replacement unit when product is available.
This notice does not affect the original SPOT Satellite Personal Tracker (SPOT 1) devices. Customers can easily
identify the unaffected SPOT 1 product as it is clearly marked as the SPOT Personal Tracker. The operating condition
does not apply to any other SPOT products.
The SPOT TeamJan 13, 2010 at 10:20 pm #1562546
Got this today…
Dear SPOT customer,
We thank you again for your cooperation with the SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger (SPOT 2) Return Program. You recently submitted your return claim at http://www.findmespot.com/exchange.
Your return materials have been sent to the address that you provided. They should have already arrived or will be arriving any moment now! Please follow the instructions enclosed with your return materials to send back your SPOT 2 as soon as you can. Please disregard this message if you have already done so.
Have a great day,
The SPOT TeamJan 23, 2010 at 4:40 pm #1565638
Hikin’ JimBPL Member
@hikin_jimLocale: Orange County, CA, USA
How nice. And until they replace the you're left w/o a safety device I take it? That's really great if you had a trip planned.
HJJan 23, 2010 at 6:04 pm #1565665
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> And until they replace the you're left w/o a safety device I take it?
Given past experiences with SPOT 1, does it really count as a reliable safety device yet?
CheersJan 23, 2010 at 6:17 pm #1565670
Dean F.BPL Member
@acrosomeLocale: Back in the Front Range
As far as my wife knows… yes, it is a faultlessly reliable safety device. Don't screw this up for me, Rog.Jan 23, 2010 at 7:49 pm #1565687
George MatthewsBPL Member
Can you imagine a Spot company meeting where they are sitting around planning their future?
On their website they are looking to fill a position since Nov…
Globalstar is currently seeking an Interface Engineer for a 6 month assignment/contract to work on two new SPOT products. Both products require significant new hardware and software development.
MAYBE Spot 3 and Spot 4.Jan 23, 2010 at 8:01 pm #1565691
I just saw that ACR has an "I'm OK" feature on their new PLBs. My SPOT2 is going back to REI.Jan 23, 2010 at 8:16 pm #1565694
I see that, but I also see "Optional subscription service." Do you know anything more about it?
RickJan 23, 2010 at 8:20 pm #1565696
George MatthewsBPL Member
@jt – Thanks for the ACR news
saw this related…Jan 23, 2010 at 8:34 pm #1565700
I confess this concept has me more interested than the one-box solution.
RickJan 23, 2010 at 9:29 pm #1565713
406Link: $39.99 Annual Subscription
With 406Link you can test your beacon multiple times through the COSPAS-SARSAT satellite system! You’ll get peace of mind knowing your beacon is working properly with self test confirmation messages sent to your cell phone and email. (With this basic package, messages are sent only to the account owner.)
406Link Plus: $59.99 Annual Subscription
With the 406Link Plus, you get all of the testing power of the basic 406Link plan, PLUS the added features of multiple SMS and email messaging (up to 5 contacts), trip planning, and GPS test location — all for $59.99. Newer, GPS-enabled PLBs will also allow you to send “I’m Ok, I’m here” messages with a hyperlink map of your GPS location.Jan 23, 2010 at 10:52 pm #1565720
Thanks Juston, good info.
Man, Roger gets left out again (but those lucky Kiwis…).
RickJan 24, 2010 at 6:31 am #1565751
Devin MontgomeryBPL Member
@dsmontgomeryLocale: one snowball away from big trouble
Here's what I see as the problem with the ACR "I'm OK" service. The battery costs $160 and has to be installed by a dealer. That's makes for pretty expensive messaging, and since you can't bring spare batteries, may leave you SOL when you're not "OK."Jan 24, 2010 at 8:25 am #1565779
Roleigh MartinBPL Member
@marti124Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
I contacted Spot to ask them if they have fixed their problems. After pressing submit: "High e-mail volume:
Currently we are experiencing a high volume of e-mails. Response to e-mails can take up to 5 business days. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause and look forward to assisting you."
ps – I will update with their response when I get one.Jan 24, 2010 at 10:07 am #1565803
Michael MartinBPL Member
@mikemartinLocale: North Idaho
I agree with Devin. The ACR looks like a nice step in the right direction, but the expensive proprietary battery (not to mention the 9-oz weight) means it's not gonna be in my pack this year.
Another year or two should bring some really innovative and lightweight messaging devices for backpackers. :)Jan 24, 2010 at 12:40 pm #1565833
You make a great point. I didn't realize that the battery was that costly. Average runtime of 30 hours. Not cost effective. Perhaps I'll stick with SPOT2 after all.
Thanks for your input.
ETA – Let's not forget the ability of the SPOT system to track your progress. Some enjoy this feature. Especially for trip reports. I know I do. Let's hope with the recent advance with ACR, that SPOT will follow suit and lower their annual subscription fees.Jan 24, 2010 at 1:31 pm #1565851
@jdw01776Locale: Southeast Texas
SPOT and PLBs are 2 completely different devices using different technologies.
The ACR (and other) PLBs are designed to summon SAR to your location, and must meet fairly stringent international standards. PLBs transmit their signal at a much higher strength than SPOT.
I would guess that having a low cost, user replaceable battery would make it difficult for a PLB to meet the necessary standards…Jan 26, 2010 at 9:17 am #1566356
Roleigh MartinBPL Member
@marti124Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Just received 11 minutes ago:
When a battery-light indicator issue was identified with the Spot-2, notice was sent to all customers who had already activated Spot-2 units, and to all dealers carrying the product. We advised all dealers to return any unsold units to us so that we can address the issue, and replace their stock with new, unaffected units that are ready to activate right away. We expect to have replacement units in stores in early 2010.
To answer your question below, at this time, no retailers should have any Spot-2 units available for sale. If by chance, you should purchase one, when you go online to activate it, you will likely get a message advising of the current exchange program, and a link taking you to a form to submit your information.
Once we have manufactured enough new units to distribute to retailers, you will be able to purchase and activate the Spot-2.
If you have any further questions, please contact Customer Care, Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to midnight, EST.
Spot Customer Service
North America: 1-866-651-7768
EU Dial: + 353 12 909 505
AU/NZ: 0424 21 7768 / 0800 11 7768
[END QUOTE]Feb 16, 2010 at 8:34 am #1574410
Some really good questions and comments on this thread about http://www.406Link.com that I think I can help with.
Battery Life is a big question we keep getting asked about our PLBs. ACR PLBs have the capability to do around 420 self tests over the life of the battery before the battery witness seal is broken and this feature is disabled so that you do not start using the required 24 hours of emergency life remaining in the battery. This ensures that in an actual emergency you will still have enough battery life to be rescued. Our new SARLink and AquaLink PLBs can also send GPS coordinates through http://www.406link.com, these are limited to 12 GPS tests with the basic model and 60 GPS tests with the new View models (that also sport an awesome new digital display). We put a hard count on these GPS tests as they use up more battery than a normal self test.
The other big question I get asked all the time is “Will it work with my PLB or EPIRB?” The service will work with all 406 MHz ACR PLBs and EPIRB and most of our competitors. If you have a PLB that has an external antenna that can be deployed your beacon will work with our system. The only beacons that we know will not work with http://www.406Link.com are PLBs that have a single use antenna that is wrapped inside of the beacon and are only deployed when you activate the beacon (such as the McMurdo FastFind PLBs).
The service is not a bread crumb tracking service, it is an added way to send some peace of mind back home to let your friends and family know you are ok and everything is fine. I have been using it for the past two month and my family is really thankful. On hunting trips I send an I'm ok message when I get to my stand and another at the end of the day so they know everything is fine. If I'm running late and don't want them to worry I send another I'm ok message.
The response time to receive our "I'm Ok" message once you perform a self test is around 30 seconds from the completion of the test. With our new PLBs that can send GPS, this test typically takes less than 2 minutes to download your coordinates and another 30 seconds to reach your cell phone. It really is impressive especially considering the message is traveling 22,000 miles into space and 22,000 miles back to earth.
If you have a PLB and want to give it a try we have a free 2 day trial on our homepage that doesn't require any credit card or payment, it’s absolutely free to test your beacon out.
Hope this helps guys.Feb 16, 2010 at 4:29 pm #1574648
Barry FosterBPL Member
The Spot service was really bad when introduced a couple of years ago. I recently, last month in fact. It's better than before and the battery life is much better. But I can see no reason to buy a spot 2. The battery life is cra* .
On my boat I use a ACR PLB and now they are offering a "I'm OK" service I will probably upgrade.
The spot and other PLB's are only really insurance. The tracking is nice, but not really necessary.
BazFeb 16, 2010 at 4:41 pm #1574655
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
"With our new PLBs that can send GPS, this test typically takes less than 2 minutes to download your coordinates and another 30 seconds to reach your cell phone. It really is impressive especially considering the message is traveling 22,000 miles into space and 22,000 miles back to earth."
No, it isn't that impressive. The up- and down-link transit time is around a quarter of a second. It's the ground links and processing times that add up.
–B.G.–Feb 16, 2010 at 4:49 pm #1574658
My concern with the ACR 406 link option is the $160 battery swap noted earlier in the thread, if that's indeed what it costs. If I understand the 406 Link literature correctly, subscribers will be making fairly frequent use of the battery replacement service. $160 buys a lot of AAA lithiums.
That said, I have more confidence in the PLB system than I do SPOT's, until such time as SPOT proves otherwise. I finally saw SPOT 2 in the store last weekend and it's really quite small now. (The SPOT that pairs with Delorme GPSs will be even smaller.)
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