Another SPOT device issue.

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Re: Another SPOT device issue.

Postby photohiker » Fri 04 May, 2018 8:22 am

Looks like the first real improvement for the InReach and a hiker.
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Re: Another SPOT device issue.

Postby Orion » Fri 04 May, 2018 9:08 am

It's smaller and ~100g lighter. Lower battery capacity than the larger InReach devices, way lower than the Spot. And still a non-removable battery. Still a lot more expensive up front than a Spot.

It doesn't seem like a game changer unless the only thing keeping you from buying an InReach is that extra 100g.
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Re: Another SPOT device issue.

Postby photohiker » Fri 04 May, 2018 11:13 am

50 hours with tracking standard.

Light, and small.

Spot might have better battery but not as good communication or connection to the satellites.

Any of these need a battery backup system in case the battery doesn’t maintain it’s capacity. Mini inreach has 50 hours in standard mode. That’s 5+ days at 8 hours per day.
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Re: Another SPOT device issue.

Postby Orion » Sat 05 May, 2018 1:28 am

The other InReach devices have twice the battery capacity. And those capacity values assume a new battery. As the built-in rechargeable battery ages the capacity will decrease.

The issue with the InReach for longer trips is that you can't just carry a spare battery, you have to carry a battery/charger and a cable. At a bare minimum that's an extra 100g. A set of brand new replacement batteries for a Spot Gen 3 weighs 30g.

So the situation hasn't really changed that much. The Spot still sucks and the InReach is still expensive and has battery limitations. The main difference is that now you can save about 100g -- for shorter trips.
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Re: Another SPOT device issue.

Postby wayno » Sat 05 May, 2018 4:59 am

thats if you have the tracking function switched on all the time you are moving and or you're texting a lot,
an extra 100gm isnt an issue for me at all. and it depends if youre going to use the tracking function much, if you're just updating a few times a day the battery is going to last a long time.
smaller screen and no mapping to run on the mini, means less drain on the battery than the bigger models , the mini is 100gm lighter than the explorer
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Re: Another SPOT device issue.

Postby photohiker » Sat 05 May, 2018 10:55 am

Orion, if you want the battery replacement on an Inreach, just buy the original second hand. It runs replaceable batteries.

It’s a bit of a brick compared to the new versions but I have been running it for years and never had an issue.
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Re: Another SPOT device issue.

Postby Orion » Sat 05 May, 2018 11:46 am

I'm not in the market for an InReach. I decided that a PLB made the most sense for me.

I was just pointing out that the Mini doesn't really change things all that much in terms of deciding between a Spot and an InReach. There are surely people for whom the 100g difference is key but I suspect they are a small minority.

I don't disagree with Garmin's decision to make the battery fixed. It likely increases the reliability. And I'll bet most people are going to be also carrying a phone and probably a USB battery pack to keep that going.
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Re: Another SPOT device issue.

Postby photohiker » Sat 05 May, 2018 5:21 pm

I agree that the mini doesn't change Inreach vs Spot.

I've used both of them and moved to the Inreach because the capability of the Inreach is way better than the Spot. Better dual communication, and better satellites used by the Inreach making better connection all over the world.
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Re: Another SPOT device issue.

Postby RonK » Sat 05 May, 2018 8:55 pm

Orion wrote:I was just pointing out that the Mini doesn't really change things all that much in terms of deciding between a Spot and an InReach.

Oh yes it does - the Inreach Mini is $USD100 cheaper than the Inreach SE, and that makes it a much more attractive option vs the Spot.
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Re: Another SPOT device issue.

Postby wayno » Sun 06 May, 2018 5:47 am

Orion wrote:I'm not in the market for an InReach. I decided that a PLB made the most sense for me.

I was just pointing out that the Mini doesn't really change things all that much in terms of deciding between a Spot and an InReach. There are surely people for whom the 100g difference is key but I suspect they are a small minority.

I don't disagree with Garmin's decision to make the battery fixed. It likely increases the reliability. And I'll bet most people are going to be also carrying a phone and probably a USB battery pack to keep that going.


way better connectivity with an inreach than a SPOT , better satellite coverage...
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Re: Another SPOT device issue.

Postby Orion » Sun 06 May, 2018 10:57 am

RonK wrote:
Orion wrote:I was just pointing out that the Mini doesn't really change things all that much in terms of deciding between a Spot and an InReach.

Oh yes it does - the Inreach Mini is $USD100 cheaper than the Inreach SE, and that makes it a much more attractive option vs the Spot.


That helps, but it's still more expensive.
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Re: Another SPOT device issue.

Postby Orion » Sun 06 May, 2018 10:58 am

wayno wrote:
Orion wrote:I'm not in the market for an InReach. I decided that a PLB made the most sense for me.

I was just pointing out that the Mini doesn't really change things all that much in terms of deciding between a Spot and an InReach. There are surely people for whom the 100g difference is key but I suspect they are a small minority.

I don't disagree with Garmin's decision to make the battery fixed. It likely increases the reliability. And I'll bet most people are going to be also carrying a phone and probably a USB battery pack to keep that going.


way better connectivity with an inreach than a SPOT , better satellite coverage...


Yes, I agree completely. But that has nothing to do with what I was saying.
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Re: Another SPOT device issue.

Postby Nuts » Fri 11 May, 2018 1:13 pm

"The guides are all complaining there's mobile reception and hot showers," Godfrey laughs.
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Re: Another SPOT device issue.

Postby wildwanderer » Fri 11 May, 2018 2:27 pm

Battery life of 50 hours (10 minute tracking) on the mini is a bit disapointing considering you can get 200 hours out of a Suunto Ambit 3 gps watch. (at 60seconds tracking).

Granted the mini may need to communicate on a different band/signal for the text msgs. Is there a way to turn that off? and allow the device to be purely be a gps tracker ? Then turn the text msg facility back on for the 12 hourly 'im safe sms' and postion update. Seems like that could save a ton of battery.
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Re: Another SPOT device issue.

Postby wildwanderer » Fri 11 May, 2018 2:30 pm

Nuts wrote:https://gearjunkie.com/spot-x-2-way-satellite-messenger-review


tracking via google maps is a bit disapointing. Should have comeup with a openstreetmap/mapbox solution. Still not perfect but way better resolution/detail for wilderness areas. I guess though the tracking is for family etc to see where you are via computer are so maybe they dont need the level of detail. (plus probably free for SPOT to integrate with google maps)
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Re: Another SPOT device issue.

Postby wayno » Fri 11 May, 2018 2:41 pm

wildwanderer wrote:Battery life of 50 hours (10 minute tracking) on the mini is a bit disapointing considering you can get 200 hours out of a Suunto Ambit 3 gps watch. (at 60seconds tracking).

Granted the mini may need to communicate on a different band/signal for the text msgs. Is there a way to turn that off? and allow the device to be purely be a gps tracker ? Then turn the text msg facility back on for the 12 hourly 'im safe sms' and postion update. Seems like that could save a ton of battery.


you can manually choose to update at specific times of your choosing rather than have it track automatically.
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Re: Another SPOT device issue.

Postby Mark F » Fri 11 May, 2018 3:28 pm

wildwanderer wrote:Battery life of 50 hours (10 minute tracking) on the mini is a bit disapointing considering you can get 200 hours out of a Suunto Ambit 3 gps watch. (at 60seconds tracking).

Granted the mini may need to communicate on a different band/signal for the text msgs. Is there a way to turn that off? and allow the device to be purely be a gps tracker ? Then turn the text msg facility back on for the 12 hourly 'im safe sms' and postion update. Seems like that could save a ton of battery.


Unless I am terribly mistaken the Suunto doesn't transmit anything until you connect it to your smartphone and then only though BlueTooth to the smartphone app, so no real-time viewing by family or friends until you are in an area with mobile reception and then it is the phone, not the Ambit, which is sending out the tracking and no phone battery I know of will last 200 hours doing this. The Spot/InReach can transmit after every track point via their satellite systems and thus a massive increase in battery requirements but you get almost real time tracking back in suburbia.
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Re: Another SPOT device issue.

Postby Orion » Sat 12 May, 2018 12:59 am

wildwanderer wrote:
Nuts wrote:https://gearjunkie.com/spot-x-2-way-satellite-messenger-review


tracking via google maps is a bit disapointing.


The resolution of topo lines with the Google Maps terrain layer is on par with the OSM Cycle layer. When I used Spot tracking last year the quality of the map wasn't really an issue. The way it was organized on their website (and the limited persistence of the data) were more annoying.
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Re: Another SPOT device issue.

Postby Orion » Sat 12 May, 2018 1:10 am

Nuts wrote:https://gearjunkie.com/spot-x-2-way-satellite-messenger-review


Interesting. It's as heavy as the InReach but considerably less expensive. The same satellites though so I would expect tracking mode to be just as inconsistent as on their smaller Messenger. The same crappy website and company too.

They also switched over to an internal rechargeable battery. But still far better battery life than the InReach devices. I wonder why. Less transmit power?

If the Spot website is to be believed the coverage for 2-way communication is limited to about half of the normal 1-way message coverage. Australia and most of Asia aren't currently covered.

Image
https://www.findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=108
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Re: Another SPOT device issue.

Postby wayno » Sat 12 May, 2018 4:46 am

Orion wrote:
wildwanderer wrote:
Nuts wrote:https://gearjunkie.com/spot-x-2-way-satellite-messenger-review


tracking via google maps is a bit disapointing.


The resolution of topo lines with the Google Maps terrain layer is on par with the OSM Cycle layer. When I used Spot tracking last year the quality of the map wasn't really an issue. The way it was organized on their website (and the limited persistence of the data) were more annoying.


i'm not happy either with the fact that SPOT tracking online only leaves the tracks you've done online for only three or 4 months, if you want to keep a record you have to remember to export it off the website and save the gpx file or find another permanent place to put it online, ironically you can put it on some websites permanently for free, but you pay for the spot sub and you only get a temporary online presence...

if you're in remote areas for a long time , the chances of you loosing that online record increase and its extra hassle to have to find a way to save the data or remember to get it in time...
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Re: Another SPOT device issue.

Postby wildwanderer » Sat 12 May, 2018 10:17 am

Mark F wrote:
wildwanderer wrote:Battery life of 50 hours (10 minute tracking) on the mini is a bit disapointing considering you can get 200 hours out of a Suunto Ambit 3 gps watch. (at 60seconds tracking).

Granted the mini may need to communicate on a different band/signal for the text msgs. Is there a way to turn that off? and allow the device to be purely be a gps tracker ? Then turn the text msg facility back on for the 12 hourly 'im safe sms' and postion update. Seems like that could save a ton of battery.


Unless I am terribly mistaken the Suunto doesn't transmit anything until you connect it to your smartphone and then only though BlueTooth to the smartphone app, so no real-time viewing by family or friends until you are in an area with mobile reception and then it is the phone, not the Ambit, which is sending out the tracking and no phone battery I know of will last 200 hours doing this. The Spot/InReach can transmit after every track point via their satellite systems and thus a massive increase in battery requirements but you get almost real time tracking back in suburbia.


I wasnt very clear in my post. I was referring to tracking as the ability of the devices to track your gps location and display your postion (on the device) on a predetermined waypoint route.

As wayno mentioned in later post it appears with the inreach you can set the update postion to web and send/receive msgs capabilities to set customized intervals (say every 2 hours) instead of every 10 mins which presumably would vastly increase the battery life from the default 50 hours.
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Re: Another SPOT device issue.

Postby wayno » Sat 12 May, 2018 10:23 am

you can turn off the automated tracking and manually hit the button to send one of location updates
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Re: Another SPOT device issue.

Postby RonK » Sun 13 May, 2018 12:09 pm

I have the 4 fixed texts on my Inreach set to say I'm setting out, I'm stopping for a break, I'm resuming, I have arrived at my destination.
When sent, these comments are displayed on the tracking map as well as being delivered to the nominated receiver.
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Re: Another SPOT device issue.

Postby wayno » Tue 24 Jul, 2018 5:50 pm

i cancelled my spot subscription... as mentioned, i had to ring the states on a toll call to get it done , was on hold about quarter of an hour... you cant stop the service from the time you ring up. it runs until the 12 month subscription runs out.
i've bought an inreach mini, takes weeks to get down under from the time of ordering... several weeks after ordering i got a confirmation its shipped.. can subscribe month by month, i dont need it year round so will save a lot from teh over US$200 sub..
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Re: Another SPOT device issue.

Postby Ms_Mudd » Fri 10 Aug, 2018 2:31 pm

Soooooo....I finally gave SPOT a try as my budget just didn't stretch to an Inreach.

I got a used Spot Connect from a fellow forum member at a cheap price so thought it was worth a go. I have used it on three trips now and not even half of my messages get through and as far as the tracking goes, it looks bang-on and accurate on the SPOT device app on my phone with my progress tracked every 10 minutes accurately, however, once home and logging onto the page where others can track my progress it is wildly inaccurate and my location is not plotted at all-just a few random pings. I understand about needing to see the sky etc etc and have ensured I send messages when in clearings,didn't expect much from SPOT ...but sheesh...my low expectations not met.

I know the SPOT connects are fraught with issues from reading online reviews and forums, I have none of the problems with bluetooth pairing etc, that all works fine for me on Android. It is just that my husband back home can't reliably see where I am at, let alone receive messages when I want to check in and let him know where I am overnighting. It seems odd that I can get such a beautiful, concise progress map on my end with the app....but people back home get next to nothing.

Has anyone else used the SPOT Connect? How does it stack up against the Gen 3- I know the Gen 3 is clearly unreliable hence the thread title, but wondering if the unreliability is any more unreliable than my unreliable Connect. Sounds like a tounge twister :lol: I figured the SPOT Gen 3's are cheapish and I could just transfer the subscription to a new device.
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Re: Another SPOT device issue.

Postby wayno » Fri 10 Aug, 2018 2:38 pm

it may be the satellite network its connecting to. globalstar historically has had a less comprehensive coverage of the sky down under than the iridium network. the globalstar satellites dont tend to orbit as far south from the equator..
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Re: Another SPOT device issue.

Postby Ms_Mudd » Fri 10 Aug, 2018 7:07 pm

Thanks for the reply.
I just spoke to a woman from SPOT and cancelled the subscription so will get a full refund- yeehah
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