You can track my hikes here:
This is the alias for the longer address below!
I have a new SPOT device, which uses the Globalstar satellite system and GPS.
It can track my hikes, and I can also send simple emails/texts to my wife so she will worry less!
It works like this: the device computes position from GPS, and transmits this to a satellite. This satellite transmits the message to a ground station. Here, the message is sent to the appropriate recipient e.g. the SPOT mapping system, designated recipients’ email and/or cell phones, or the rescue center if you have sent an SOS for a life-threatening emergency.
Globalstar is different from Iridium; the former is a “bent pipe”, Iridium can relay messages from satellite to satellite before transmission to a ground station.
Here is a map of my first hike with SPOT. It is set to update every 10 minutes. It missed an update or two on the way down. This is probably because I had it hanging vertically from the back of my pack. Next time I will have it face up on the top of my pack, the best orientation for the device internal antenna.
I sent a check in message when I returned to the road. I have set the check in message to text “all OK” to my wife’s cell phone, her email, and my email. I had previously tested the function and it worked well. Here on the Angeles Crest Highway, it worked well with the device set on my Jeep by the side of the road, part of the sky obscured by the mountainside. I crossed the road on foot to provide more sky coverage. When I got home, I found two messages had been received on my email (and my wife’s phone), from both locations. ‘The device sends the check in message for 20 minutes, but I cancelled after less than 5 minutes; it has a motion detector so I guess the system detected my change in position and sent two separate messages to the recipients.
Cost was $75 including rebate, service is $17 per month
The alternate Garmin device uses Iridium. It is much more expensive (around $400), but offers much greater capabilities including spotting to the SOTA page.
I went with the cheaper device since my main concern was wife’s peace of mind.
The Throop Peak activation:
Sunrise at Dawson Saddle, where I parked and drank some coffee before starting the hike
Start of the path
The setup after I had taken down the HF antenna. The jammer jerk was jamming the 2m simplex frequency 146.52 again, so N6HEG spottted me at 146.58. The jammer jerk did not find me there. Looks like the jammer jerk is going to be a fixture on 2m for the indefinite future. Will have to think about how to counter this.
73! Hal N6JZT
PS here is a check in message received on my email. A similar one was received on my wife’s phone
Device Name: Spot Gen3
GPS location Date/Time: 08/11/2017 10:29:11 PDT
Message: All OK
Click the link below to see where I am located.
If the above link does not work, try this link:
You have received this message because “Spot Gen3” has attempted to contact you.