SPOT Maps My Hikes

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.


15:07z N6HEG 144MHz FM
15:10z KX6A 144MHz FM
15:11z NG6R 144MHz FM
15:33z N4EX 14MHz CW
15:33z AD5A 14MHz CW
15:35z N4MJ 14MHz CW
15:35z NS7P 14MHz CW
15:36z VE2JCW 14MHz CW
15:37z WA2USA 14MHz CW
15:38z K4MF 14MHz CW
15:39z KB7HH 14MHz CW
15:39z K5OT 14MHz CW
15:40z W0MNA 14MHz CW
15:41z W4HBK 14MHz CW
15:41z W0ERI 14MHz CW
15:43z K0HNC 14MHz CW
15:45z VE2DDZ 14MHz CW
15:53z K6HPX 10MHz CW
15:54z K0MP 10MHz CW
15:55z N7CW 10MHz CW
15:56z KR7RK 10MHz CW
15:59z N6PKT 10MHz CW
16:15z KM6AIT 144MHz FM

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
Latitude: 34.36813
Longitude: -117.80316
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:,-117.80316&ll=34.36813,-117.80316&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1 

You have received this message because “Spot Gen3” has attempted to contact you.



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