SPOT device vote of No Confidence

JohnCushman

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Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
12,503
Location
South East Colorado
I like the 2 way messaging ability of the inReach. I was on an elk hunt several years ago and my then wife was able to text me and tell me she was in the hospital and about to have emergency surgery. With the SPOT and limited one way messaging I would have never known to break camp and get home.
 

Mthuntr

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Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
4,909
Location
In the Sagebrush of SW Montana
I used Spot one year, and luckily brought a sat phone along as well. I needed it. It seemed to not work at all unless you had good south exposure. I took it on a solo walk and was "missing" for 24hrs with the tracking due to the aspect of the mountains.

I've been using inreach for the last 5 years exclusively and have had zero issues with it. The only issue I have is the unit won't send messages to my phone some times, but they are in the unit itself. Its as reliable as a sat phone, or more so. I've had issues with sat phones not working for 30-60 min at a time, or really spotty for hours.
I've heard of dead times for sat phones as well as random phones not receiving messages from Garmins (possibly a cellular provider issue).

anyway I've sent a plea to my direct supervisor to push the issue further. Unfortunately Garmin has refused to sign an agreement as part of Section 889 of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act order prohibiting US companies from doing business with the handful of Chinese telecommunications companies so I'm not sure what could happen. Time will tell especially if I don't shut up about it ;) :ROFLMAO:
 

2rocky

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Joined
Jul 23, 2010
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3,360
I had to replace a stolen InReach today. Well this thread reminded me I did want to stay with it. I ended up having to apply for a Amazon Prime CC to get a $150 gift card, and that made the difference.
 

Jcs271

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Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Messages
167
Location
Far Northwest MT
I have been using a Zoleo in the heavy timber and deep valleys of NW Montana for about a year now.

It works extremely well. Very satisfied!
 

Wallydeuce

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2021
Messages
767
Location
NV
Spot did its job this past hunt. My wife able to track me with no problems.

I recieved an email from Spot around the first of the year indicating that as of the end of 2021, they would not be able to guarantee emergency response...or words to that effect. I wish I would have saved it. Has anyone else heard about this?
 

mevertsen

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Joined
Mar 27, 2016
Messages
506
Location
Rural Nevada
Spot did its job this past hunt. My wife able to track me with no problems.

I recieved an email from Spot around the first of the year indicating that as of the end of 2021, they would not be able to guarantee emergency response...or words to that effect. I wish I would have saved it. Has anyone else heard about this?
I dont recall that email. I have had spot since 2009 or so. I have the gen 4. It's a little different in that it seems like it powers down, or maybe it's just a standby mode which took me a minute to get used to.

It works every time I push the button.

I was looking at the spot x, but I just want people to know I'm ok and I want to be able to push the button in the event I need help.
 

Hem

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Joined
May 20, 2009
Messages
2,414
Location
Three Forks, Mt
Picked up an InReach Mini few months ago.
Not impressed when I'm looking at 60% sky(clear) and the device says poor GPS signal. Doesn't bode well if I have a compound fracture at the bottom of some tight canyon.
 

Mdr

New member
Joined
Oct 8, 2021
Messages
12
I am in the market for a device so this is a timely post. Thanks for the info. I hope you buddy fully recovers.
 

oswald2581

Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2016
Messages
93
Location
Denver, Colorado
I picked up a Zoleo this summer and used camping and archery season and am very pleased. I have not owned a Garmin or Spot, so I have nothing to compare it to, but it worked great for me with zero issues. Price was better than the Garmin also! Still have two hunts coming up, one first week of November in Colorado and another in December in Wyoming, I am curious how the battery will fare in cold conditions.
 

Beignet

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2021
Messages
230
Picked up an InReach Mini few months ago.
Not impressed when I'm looking at 60% sky(clear) and the device says poor GPS signal. Doesn't bode well if I have a compound fracture at the bottom of some tight canyon.
Is that after it’s been on for a bit? Mine usually gives me a poor GPS notice for about 15 minutes after it’s booted up and I try the “test message” function. Once that initial test message goes through (takes some time sometimes) all is usually fine on my end.
 

Nameless Range

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Joined
Jun 6, 2013
Messages
4,184
Location
Western Montana
This thread combined with SPOTs telling me that I needed to come up with a $130 reregistration fee prompted me to purchase a zoleo.

Over the last few months I have tested it in the darkest lodgepole holes Montana has to offer, as well as extreme SW Montana and extreme north-central Montana. The two way messaging has functioned flawlessly in all instances.

I hear nothing but positive things about inreach, which uses the same satellite network, so I say nothing about one being better than the other, but I have found zoleo to be a pretty cost-friendly PLB/Messenger platform for what it's worth.
 

Sytes

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 25, 2009
Messages
9,707
Location
Montana
I'm out of the retail loop as I've had my InReach since Delorme owned the company so I've not had a chance to view Zoleo. Only learned of the company from this site. Always good comments for both.

I'm interested in Elon's development for account holders to have satellite connection with the cell phones. That's going to be a game changer all around!

To think the cell phone with OnX, Sat phone and text, camera, and the endless other gadgetry on the common phone anywhere is pretty epic...

Basically, a no boundary emergency, etc device with my power backups may be all that's needed.

Then again, we may colonize Mars by then... 🤣
 

silasd

Active member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
236
Location
New Mexico
So I think I've stated before that I don't like the SPOT system and their terrible satellites. Last week we had SPOT devices both fail to send and fail to receive messages to each other. Our agency is mandated to use SPOTs because Garmin refused to sign some sort of agreement stating they would not work with certain Chinese communications companies (I believe this has something to do with some spying via cell phones). Any way we had a near emergency situation where an employee had overexerted himself and was ill. We got him feeling better and sent him back to camp. We were working alpine areas but SPOTs failed to send and receive messages. I sent 4 and coworker sent 3...he got his 7 hours AFTER I sent them and I still haven't received his. We even had them side by side in the open and I never got them.

Some of you know that I used to have the older SPOTS where you had "check-in" and "emergency" options only and had multiple failed check-in's without knowing. Thus why I bought a Delorme (preGarmin) and paid a premium to do my check-ins purely for peace of mind.

I VOTE "NO CONFIDENCE" in SPOT devices and plea to all of you (and your loved ones) to not use them and get a company to uses the much more reliable Iridium Satellite system!

EDIT: I hear that Zoleo might be an option as they also use the Iridium system.
I used to use a spot, but upgraded to a garmin gpsmap 66i this year. Best move I ever made.
 

Bigjay73

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Joined
Oct 28, 2017
Messages
1,974
Location
Denver
I honestly have been disappointed in the inreach. What's a good 3rd option between that and the Spot?
 

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