Spot II locator beacon

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Willis

Guest
I purchased a Spot II last winter. I have used it to check in on several hikes. I am leaving on a canoe trip in the Adirondacks this weekend. This will be its first use in the real wilderness.

That fact that I have it makes my wife happier about me going off alone.
 
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Guest

Guest
Re: Spot II locator beacon

If it doesn't work one night, you'll soon discover that the expectation is worse than not having it. I screwed up and didn't wait long enough for transmission two nights in a row - a firestorm of anxiety at home. Then there was the Rebecca Falls drowning incident year before this. Someone not in danger had a Spot and used the SOS. His wife freaked for the interval until the Rangers showed up and let him use their sat phone. While the SOS incident is perhaps unavoidable, make sure anyone depending on the “I’m OK” message understands that it can fail and that you are still safer where you are than they are in a car anywhere. We got a Spot but I can see a sat phone in my future, not without regrets.
 
W

Willis

Guest
Re: Spot II locator beacon

I'm back from a short trip in the Adirondacks. My Spot II functioned perfectly.
 
G

Guest

Guest
I have a Spot2 as well. Gen1 definitely had connection issues. I always tell people not to worry unless
they get an 'I need help' message because technology can fail but it has always worked based on carefully following directions. That said I have replaced with a Delorme so 2 way communication is possible.
 
Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Messages
694
Location
Western Adirondacks
I gave my gen1 SPOT to my canoe partner when I bought the gen2. Both continue to work as they should. SPOT devices are required equipment by the rules during the Yukon River canoe races, and we had no problems with both of our devices in our voyageur canoe on any of our 4 race trips down the river so far. I don't see any real difference in operation and performance between gen1 and gen2 - but that is under open sky when on the river.

There are a couple of tips that may make for better performance. If you intend to go under tree canopy or areas with limited sky view, it will help to turn the unit on and make sure it is transmitting under a clear open sky view before you go under leaf cover. Give it at least 15 minutes of clear sky view if it has not been turned on in the area for a long time, or if it has been moved very far from where it was last operating. Once it starts tracking a strong signal, it will be less likely to lose signal when it becomes weaker.

Even more important is to understand what happens when you press the "OK" button. It can take up to 20 minutes for a signal to be sent out after you press the OK button. Often less, but still many minutes are common. Here's the important part.... if you press the OK button again before the previous signal has been sent out, it will cancel the first message and the 20 minute clock starts over again. Keep pressing the OK button that often and a signal will never go out.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,392
Location
Raymond, ME
Yup. On my first trip with SPOT Gen 1 it didn't work a couple of times over the eight day trip. It was operator error. Read the book..
Since that time, 2007, my Gen 1 SPOT continues to work. It does what I want. I have no plans to upgrade till I have to. It gets used a lot.. some fifty days of paddling overnights per year. So I guess the operator is finally trained.
 
Joined
Oct 27, 2012
Messages
136
Location
Ottawa, Canada
My wife is fully aware that my daily I'm OK message is not guaranteed. As she's spent 35 years not getting any kind of notices whatsoever, she finds the OK messages interesting/fun but not crucial.
I use my Gen I on every trip now and have never had a problem with her getting an OK message.
I leave it on for the recommended 20 minutes so all 3 messages are sent. I also make it a point to put it in the most open area I can find near the camp.
I've even used it up in the Arctic Ocean and once in Inuvik on the dash of my north facing truck. And still the OK message got through.
All this being said, I would not trust my life to with it.
Cheers Ted
 
Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Messages
694
Location
Western Adirondacks
Oh, and one more tip. The first required use of SPOT on the Yukon races was in 2009 on the first Yukon 1000 mile race. Paddlers were reminded several times prior to race start that the unit performs best from a horizontal position (the device, not the paddler) with a clear view of the sky. But several paddlers were given significant time delay penalties because the race director received no location signal at required time intervals. Turns out they had not heeded the directives and had placed their SPOT devices either randomly in a pack, or dangling from their PFD or some other non-optimum orientation.
 
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