Devon Annie wrote:G'day Adam,
I've just started to think about whether the SPOT would be a better thing to go for - it lets you call for help, locates your position and allows you to send messages to your panicking spouse which is more likely to be required than an emergency beacon. The only catch I can see is the price of the service plan, but we often pay more than this for normal phones. What are yours and others thoughts?
Is that mainly because of the battery issue? Or does it have other limitations?taswaterfalls.com wrote:SPOT is not an effective emergency device imho.
Iridium is a global network. If you are only traveling in Australia you might like to take a look at the Optus Thuraya (pdf file) phone and plans that include a dual GSM/Satellite option.tasadam wrote:My thoughts are that if I was considering SPOT, I would spend the extra and get an Iridium sat phone.
There is always the option of carrying a spare battery or two. Last walk I carried two batteries for the GPS, (one fewer than I needed), three batteries for the camera (plenty) and two batteries for the mobile phone. I might as well have left the phone at home though because I had zero coverage the whole trip. All these batteries cost a few bucks on ebay.Devon Annie wrote:... with a sat phone you would still have battery concerns?
corvus wrote:My two bobs worth current moble phone has reasonable coverage in Tas so why if you dont own a sat phone would you get anything else.
Devon Annie wrote:corvus wrote:My two bobs worth current moble phone has reasonable coverage in Tas so why if you dont own a sat phone would you get anything else.
My mobile had coverage briefly at one point on the walk yesterday, but I only found that because someone had sent a message and it beeped. It didn't even have it reception on the peak, and had no coverage until I had driven out to Sensation Gorge a few k's out of Mole Creek. Maybe the new 3G phones are better.
My experience carrying a ZTE F165 on the Telstra NextG network is that my mobile phone only works from the higher peaks. Still, I suppose it reassuring to know that if I break a leg all I need to do is crawl to the top of the nearest mountain.corvus wrote:...current moble phone has reasonable coverage in Tas so why if you dont own a sat phone would you get anything else.
sirius Tas wrote:My two bobs worth re above recent posts.
First...SPOT works on the Globalstar system of satellites...hence has severe limitations for use in southern latitudes....check out thread by tasadam...
Globalstar have been having satellite difficulties...also if you read the above thread you'll find the reason some people are having trouble with satellite reception with these units...mainly as these satellite are inclined to the vetical at quite a low angle.
Hence..if you're stuck in a steep gully or similar...you may not get the distress signal out.
I had heard a figure mentioned by a friend for something more like $1200. I have not done my own research on this, but that is where my "spend the extra" comment came from.Devon Annie wrote:Hmm.... Iridium sat phone $2199! <snip>
My experience is that the NextG phones are a lot better. Coverage at Shelf Camp (Mt Anne), for example.Devon Annie wrote:<snip>Maybe the new 3G phones are better.
I'm not sure exactly what sT is referring to here, but if its just where the satellite is then, the Thuraya-3 satellite is positioned in Geosynchronous Orbit, 35,786 km (22,236 miles) above the Earth, at 98.5 degrees East Longitude (which puts it somewhere near Malaysia). It would be fairly low on the Tasmanian northwest horizon. Weather that gives good or bad coverage, time will tell. As for the dual mode phone with GSM, I'd be more worried about the Optus GMS coverage (pdf) than the satellite coverage.sirius Tas wrote:I'd also steer completely away from the Optus Thuraya...until you actually know what the satellite configurations are....otherwise you may be like all the others with limited ability.
So where is your evidence? It is not "reliable" information if you are only guessing. Is there any evidence that these satellite systems don't work in Tasmania or that they don't provide the necessary coverage.sirius Tas wrote: The Globalstar has %80 ....their stated coverage. The Thuraya system...I would think even less.
...as to what people may or may not use....then that's up to them...but at least they should be reliably informed.
Telstra don't operate the Iridium system, it is owned and operated by Iridium Satellite LLC, which is privately owned by Iridium Holdings (which bought it out of bankruptcy in 2000). Last September Iridium Holding announced a proposed merger with GHL Acquisition which would see the company listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Not sure if this has happened. Might be worth buying some shares. They have (or had, no sure which) big plans to invest in new satellites, environmental monitoring systems, geographic positioning system to complement the current GPS and even ubiquitous wireless networking. ...but you probably didn't need to know all that.sirius Tas wrote:The ONLY SATELLITE PHONE that gives %100 worlwide coverage is the IRIDIUM system operated by Telstra.
Message or Enquiry:
I would like to clarify what your thoughts are with regards to safety on whether a PLB...say GME410G or equivalent or the latest SPOT Messenger Service and distress beacon has any preference by Rescue Search Authorities here in Australia and whether there may be any deficiencies that you people may be aware of with regards to the SPOT system as opposed to the PLB's.
Any feedback would be most welcome as there has been considerable discussion here in Tasmania with regards to what bushwalkers may or may not wish to use.
Our advice as a SAR authority is that a properly registered 406 MHz distress beacon equipped with GPS is the best SAR alerting device apart from two way radio/satellite communications. SPOT appears to be a good tracking device with an auxiliary alerting feature. The distress button on the SPOT product is labelled as '911', the distress message is transmitted to the SPOT office in Texas USA.
AMSA is the Australian SAR Authority for the Australian SAR region. AMSA does not have direct access to the SPOT system as it is privately owned and operated. If a SPOT alert is detected within the Australian SAR region we (AMSA) rely upon SPOT to notify AMSA of the alert, coordinates and registration details to coordinate the SAR response. If AMSA is not notified of the SPOT alert then we can not coordinate a SAR response.
In relation to a PLB, AMSA has direct and immediate access to the Cospas-Sarsat system to receive the distress message and coordinate the response. We also have direct access to the beacon registration database.
If you wish to discuss further please contact me.
406 MHz / MMSI DATABASE MANAGER
PLANNING & BUSINESS SUPPORT
EMERGENCY RESPONSE DIVISION
Level 3, 25 Constitution Avenue, Canberra ACT 2601
GPO Box 2181, Canberra ACT 2601
p +61 (0)2 6279 5041 or 1800 406 406
f +61 (0)2 9332 6323 or 1800 406 329
GET A BETTER FIX WITH 406
Distress Beacon Information & Advice
Online Beacon Registration
MMSI & VHF-DSC Information
Paul wrote:Spot & Sat Phone,
Spot performed amazingly well during our entire expedition. It exceeded the expectations of all involved. It missed very few of its 10 minute signals and we were in the deepest of ravines, the thickest of vegetation, the denses of canopies and the foulest of weather conditions. Great conditions for a walk hey !
Spot was carried the entire expedition in the top most lid of my backpack, which was at a height of just above my head height.
I have heard of other situations where Spot has not been carried as high, or as exposed and the results have not been as good.
It appears to me that Spot needs to be carried high with only the pack shell covering it. ( my thoughts anyway)
Paul wrote:This information on battery usage of the SPOT messenger might be valuable to some, and provides data of actual field usage under the most extreme conditions the South West of Tasmania could have thrown at us on our expedition.
I carried the SPOT messenger device through the South West, from Coal Head (Macquarie Harbour) to Ouse for the duration of 23 days. It was turned on every day between 7:30am and approx 5:30pm ( 23d X 10 hrs = 230 hours) and I never had to replace the batteries for the entire expedition.
Includes 2 AA lithium batteries; under normal usage a full battery charge should meet or exceed the following
Power on, unused: Approx. 1 year
SPOTcasting tracking mode: Approx. 14 days
9-1-1 mode: Up to 7 consecutive days
SPOTcheck OK/√: 1900 messages
Verdict: Unique Features. A Great Idea. Not Sensitive Enough.
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