Agree with Glenn Posted by: yknpdlr on Oct-25-12 5:30 PM (EST)
I have a SPOT, but not a 406 MHz PLB.
SPOT is required equipment on the three different Yukon River races (1000 miles, 460 miles, 360 miles) for tracking and emergency "help me". The normal tracking mode is definitely handy for family and friends, as well as for race officials. "Text" messages available in the second generation model are preplanned text only.
Having done the 1000 miler twice and the 460 once, I can say that tracking mode is extremely handy for my pit crew to know where I was with a transmission every 10 minutes, and for them to be able to project future locations on our race route (especially the time to finish). The few gaps from the 10 minute interval were likely due to satellite blockage due to high mountains on the southern exposures.
Many of the people who reported problems with SPOT simply did not understand how to use the immediate send function button. It takes several minutes for a manual "I am ok" location message to be sent out, up to 20 minutes. If you press the send button before the previous message has been sent, it cancels the original message and the clock starts again. Keep pressing the send button and a message will never get out.
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