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George Johnson
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Joined: 11 Jul 2007
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George Johnson
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PostTue Nov 06, 2007 12:28 pm 
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If anyone is planning on getting one of these: http://www.globalcomsatphone.com/spot/

(also http://www.findmespot.com/ )

...I'd be interested to know if it works well in the mountains/forests of the Pacific NW.

For a bit more information, see: http://www.equipped.org/SPOT_ORSummer2007.htm

with an update at: http://www.equipped.org/blog/?p=73
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Grizzy
Yellow Cedar Hugger



Joined: 16 Jul 2006
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Location: Switchbacks
Grizzy
Yellow Cedar Hugger
PostTue Nov 06, 2007 3:48 pm 
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Wow, I like the price...seems like a great "solo hinker" item...I too would like to know about whether it works well in forest cover....

--------------
All the birds have flown up and gone;
A lonely cloud floats leisurely by.
We never tire of looking at each other -
Only the mountain and I. ~Li Po~
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Spotly
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Spotly
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PostTue Nov 06, 2007 4:02 pm 
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Nice. I'll hold out for one with text messaging ability though. Would be very nice to say "Running a day late" or "I'm ok" or "pick up some beer"
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JimK
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JimK
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PostTue Nov 06, 2007 4:13 pm 
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The base unit price does not include the extra $100 per year to make it work. It does not take many years for the larger initial outlay for a PLB to be more cost effective. The base unit is cheap enough but gets expensive over time.

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Hiking Northwest
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Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore



Joined: 15 May 2003
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Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore
PostTue Nov 06, 2007 5:33 pm 
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Oh, you're no fun anymore. huh.gif

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"...Other than that, the post was more or less accurate."

Bernardo, NW Hikers' Bureau Chief of Reporting
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Coasty
I like Salmon!



Joined: 02 Apr 2006
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Location: Kodiak, AK
Coasty
I like Salmon!
PostTue Nov 06, 2007 5:52 pm 
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We are testing these at Backpackgeartest.org.  Look for initial reports soon.

Jason

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http://www.BackpackGearTest.org
The Most Comprehensive Interactive Gear Reviews and Tests on the Planet!
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George Johnson
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George Johnson
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PostTue Nov 06, 2007 9:43 pm 
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JimK wrote:
It does not take many years for the larger initial outlay for a PLB to be more cost effective.

That's true, but the nice thing about this is the "I'm OK, no need to call SAR" function. I think that PLBs only emit an emergency signal (or nothing), so it's tough to directly compare the two devices. I can recall a number of recent SAR cases that could have been avoided if something like this were available.

What appeals most to me about this is the check in function. My wife is a worrier and usually cannot join me and the kids on outings. If it works well around here, it would help her a lot. It seems most places I go, cell phones do not work.

Coasty, it's good to know you're testing this. I look forward to reading the reports.
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Grizzy
Yellow Cedar Hugger



Joined: 16 Jul 2006
Posts: 1934 | TRs
Location: Switchbacks
Grizzy
Yellow Cedar Hugger
PostTue Nov 06, 2007 9:56 pm 
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George Johnson wrote:
What appeals most to me about this is the check in function. My wife is a worrier and usually cannot join me and the kids on outings. If it works well around here, it would help her a lot.

This is a huge factor in my interest in this device as well.

--------------
All the birds have flown up and gone;
A lonely cloud floats leisurely by.
We never tire of looking at each other -
Only the mountain and I. ~Li Po~
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George Johnson
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George Johnson
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PostTue Nov 06, 2007 10:02 pm 
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Coasty wrote:
We are testing these at Backpackgeartest.org.  Look for initial reports soon.

I hope you're able to test these with heavy cloud cover and heavy weather. Luckily, we're heading into the right time of the year for that.
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JimK
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JimK
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PostTue Nov 06, 2007 10:37 pm 
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I'll be interested to see how well it really works. The idea has merit.

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Hiking Northwest
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Magellan
Brutally Handsome



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
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Location: Inexorable descent
Magellan
Brutally Handsome
PostTue Nov 06, 2007 10:44 pm 
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Grizzy wrote:
George Johnson wrote:
What appeals most to me about this is the check in function. My wife is a worrier and usually cannot join me and the kids on outings. If it works well around here, it would help her a lot.

This is a huge factor in my interest in this device as well.

Double ditto!

The price seems totally reasonable.  It has occurred to me that satelite phone prices won't drop like cell phones did ten years ago, because the demand is not the same.  I would love to be able to take a sat phone with me whenver I go.
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GeoHiker
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Joined: 26 Feb 2005
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GeoHiker
Rocky Walker
PostWed Nov 07, 2007 1:02 am 
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Wow, that's very cool and about time.  With the full scale satelite coverage that's available,  it's about time they came out with a interactive unit for a decent price.

There's no excuse for not having a communication device that covers anyone outdoors if they wish.  The technology has been there for years.  Let's hope it gets promoted and known.  I'll be waiting for the reviews.

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You call some place paradise, kiss it goodbye......Eagles
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Coasty
I like Salmon!



Joined: 02 Apr 2006
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Location: Kodiak, AK
Coasty
I like Salmon!
PostWed Nov 07, 2007 5:53 am 
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I will post a link to the initial reports once they are posted.  As for me testing it... I unfortunately didn't get selected.  Happens.  Our testers for this item are in Salt Lake, Arizona, and South Carolina.  Regardless I think we can get most questions answered by them, they are a good group of testers.

I expect there to be some problems.  These units are their initial units released to the publc.  Also I am not sure but can't you turn the service on and off.  So you don't have to always have it activated.

Jason

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http://www.BackpackGearTest.org
The Most Comprehensive Interactive Gear Reviews and Tests on the Planet!
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Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore



Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 14140 | TRs

Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore
PostWed Nov 07, 2007 8:26 am 
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Why won't they choose a tester in an area of valleys, fog and rain?  Seems they need to have a variety of conditions;  Salt Lake, Arizona and S Carolina?  C'mon. huh.gif   What kind of a test is that?  A great percentage their potential market lives in a fog up here.

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"...Other than that, the post was more or less accurate."

Bernardo, NW Hikers' Bureau Chief of Reporting
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Grannyhiker
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Grannyhiker
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PostWed Nov 07, 2007 9:17 am 
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After reading this article and the links therein, it appears there is some concern about the viability of the company.  Scary thought--put out the $$$ and no service?

There is also a question of FCC regulations which require mobile phones to be able to access 911 whether or not they subscribe to a service.   With the SPOT, you have to buy the service even to access 911.  If you could access 911 without the service charge, I'd be more interested.

This gizmo sounds like something I might want, but, as JimK points out, with the annual service charge you'll soon equal the cost of a PLB.  With that and the  company's problems, I'll pass for now.  What I'd really like is a PLB that is lighter and less pricey than the ones made now.   Until that arrives, I'll rely on old-fashioned methods, like leaving  my itinerary with a family member and not deviating from it, my wilderness skills and the "ten" essentials.

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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.--E.Abbey
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