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Old 03-09-2018, 02:05 PM   #16
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I can say from personal experience that SPOT's signal does indeed become an issue when riding in super dense backcountry. This past summer signal didn't go out for a few hours when I was riding down in canyons in Idaho... That was not comforting to see when I got home.

I was tempted to renew for 85 bucks, but I really disliked the fact that in certain spots it didn't send out signal, kinda defeating the purpose IMO.
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Old 03-09-2018, 09:35 PM   #17
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I'm with you on this - it is a lot of money for the Spot service. I ride alone a lot and have looked into the ResQlink but if I'm reading it correctly, it says:

Battery, Typical Performance 30 Hours @-4įF (-20įC)

It also says:

Battery, Replacement Interval Replacement due six (6) years from date of manufacture or after emergency use

OK - I don't get it. Can you explain?
If you need to use the ResQlink in an emergency, it will send out a signal for 30 hours.

If you have not used your ResQlink for an emergency, after 6 years you will need to send it into ResQlink for battery replacement.

Should you need to use your ResQlink in an emergency, ResQlink will replace the battery's at no charge.
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Old 03-09-2018, 10:21 PM   #18
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Any sat based comm system will have problems in deep canyons.
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Old 03-19-2018, 07:32 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by FreeRyde View Post
I can say from personal experience that SPOT's signal does indeed become an issue when riding in super dense backcountry. This past summer signal didn't go out for a few hours when I was riding down in canyons in Idaho... That was not comforting to see when I got home.

I was tempted to renew for 85 bucks, but I really disliked the fact that in certain spots it didn't send out signal, kinda defeating the purpose IMO.
My spot wasn't uploading my position for most of Fish Rock Road between Hopland & Gualala. Very disappointing.
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Old 03-19-2018, 07:54 PM   #20
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If you need to use the ResQlink in an emergency, it will send out a signal for 30 hours.

If you have not used your ResQlink for an emergency, after 6 years you will need to send it into ResQlink for battery replacement.

Should you need to use your ResQlink in an emergency, ResQlink will replace the battery's at no charge.
Awesome! Thanks, Geoff...
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Old 03-20-2018, 07:10 AM   #21
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How does it transmit in deep canyons and gorges when others don't?
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Old 03-20-2018, 08:45 AM   #22
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I was never impressed with SPOT, specifically with how horrible the tracking feature worked. Started using SPOTWalla and found it much easier to use and more reliable.

FWIW, I used to work at the company who developed the core system (GlobalStar) and it was always a failure. I figure SPOT was just an attempt to recapture some of the millions in losses the government wasn't picking up.
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Old 03-20-2018, 09:24 AM   #23
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I was tempted to renew for 85 bucks, but I really disliked the fact that in certain spots it didn't send out signal, kinda defeating the purpose IMO.

I have never really noticed much of a skip or miss on my tracks. After all of this I am going to start scrutinizing it more closely though. I ride mostly in the Sierras. Now, if we were talking Garmin, I'd get on the complaint bandwagon. That thing has more skips and misses than some of my old vinyl.
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Old 03-25-2018, 03:30 PM   #24
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How does it transmit in deep canyons and gorges when others don't?
Different type of signal / wavelength
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Old 03-26-2018, 10:08 AM   #25
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Correct me if I'm wrong but that's about a 60% discount. Not 110%.
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Old 04-01-2018, 07:35 PM   #26
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I've got one of those ACR beacons I would let go cheap, due for a new battery so find out how much that costs and we can work something out.

But, the reason I don't want it anymore is because I have an Inreach and they really are the best option, you pay monthly but the two way communication is GOLD!

Inreach uses a satellite network that is far better than spot and is truly worldwide, unlike spot that does not cover high latitudes and parts of the ocean. Not a problem for moto riders, but for sailors it is important.


Last edited by bpw; 04-01-2018 at 07:40 PM..
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Old 04-03-2018, 09:57 AM   #27
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Correct me if I'm wrong but that's about a 60% discount. Not 110%.
Get outa here with your maf stuffs!
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Old 04-03-2018, 11:25 AM   #28
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Old 04-30-2018, 04:18 PM   #29
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I was never impressed with SPOT, specifically with how horrible the tracking feature worked. Started using SPOTWalla and found it much easier to use and more reliable.

FWIW, I used to work at the company who developed the core system (GlobalStar) and it was always a failure. I figure SPOT was just an attempt to recapture some of the millions in losses the government wasn't picking up.
I did some consulting for Globalstar back in the day and sat in on one of their initial presentations about the economics of the system. I laughed through most of it and intermittently throughout the evening. The economics were a fucking joke.
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Old 05-03-2018, 08:47 AM   #30
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Long post...

Last night I had an interesting chat with two industry experts. One being the head of a Southern California Search and Rescue team and a Coast Guard small boat rescue captain. They brought some stuff to my attention...


Iridium/Inreach/Garmin: While it appears to be very similar to the SPOT setup, the Iridium network and satellite constellations are backed by and heavily used by the United States gov (bailed out by the gov a few years back). The network is more advanced, more saturated with little things in the sky.

Global Star/Spot: Both of the guys I talked to thought that STOP and Global Star will never be able to keep up with the conglomeration of Iridium/Inreach/Garmin. The Global Star network has had issues in the past with satellites going down, and the company was slow to respond.

Both of these companies use low-orbit satellites, which have faster orbits than the rotation of the earth itself. This is a plus and a minus, plus being that they wiz around pretty damn fast, and your chances of getting a ping to the emergency center can be increased. Sadly, if you are stuck in a canyon somewhere, the limited amount of time that the satellites are overhead wonít allow the entire signal to get out. The basic SOS will get out, with the ID number of your device, but thatís about it.

I knew all this stuff for the most part, but what I didnít know was with services like Garmin and SPOT, if you smack that SOS button and only your SOS signal and device ID go out, the emergency center will get that information and can start making calls to try and pinpoint where you are. If your device is not able to get out GPS coordinates to the satellite constellations, these types of networks go into a ďsearchĒ mode. Where passing satellites try to triangulate your transmission signal based on signal strength as they approach or leave your area. This allows networks like Global Star and Iridium to give a rough area (of a few miles) where the signal came from, even if the GPS coordinates are not able to be sent. These type of ďsearchesĒ can take anywhere between 30-120 minutes depending on satellite orbits. The S&R teams are usually able to get a 1-4 mile search radius after these searches are finished by the satellites. That's pretty damn good without GPS coordinates!


ACR/ Personal Locator Beacon:

PLBís run off global weather satellites, which are higher orbit devices. Most of these devices run a higher signal strength, because they have to send it further. The huge plus is that with the satellites sitting overhead longer, your signal can be pinpointed pretty quickly, if you have a clear line of sight to the skyline. The major downside to the PLBís is if you are stuck in a canyon in Idaho, and the GWS (global weather satellites) are running in an orbit south of you, there is no signal getting out, period. This is why PLBís are often more heavily used by ocean going travelers and less by adventure back country folks. Not saying that they are not useful, but if you spend a lot of time riding in the back woods in canyons and valleys, this is just good information to have.

With this information Iíd probably make the switch over to a Garmin device. Knowing that some sort of signal would likely get out, and then a rough location area even if there was no GPS is better than nothing. Pair that with ability to pay per month, itís a pretty cool little service. (I'm not even touching on the 2 way messaging)


The Search and Rescue feller also had some other viable options, running Spotwalla on your phone, sharing the link with family members is a free and pretty accurate service. But you just have to remember to keep the phone charged and on. But again, thatís only good for places you have cell reception. This allows family members to simply make sure youíre still moving day in and day out.

He also came with the option of a HAM radio or CB setup. While this is not too common out in this part of the country, CB radios are all over the rest of the country. There are usually emergency frequencies programed into CB radios. It turns out that the S&R leader is also a HAM radio expert, and suggested that as another option, but I am not sure that would work because HAM radio operators are somewhat a dying breed and require specific repeater dialing to work, and then hope someone is listening.



Sorry for the long winded post, but this was cool information to me and thought it could be interesting to others as well!


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