GPS Emergency Locator and Tracker

Discussion in 'GPS Use, Tracks & Maps Discussion' started by SilverhawkUSA, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. I am a regular GPS City customer ( a very good company to deal with) and today they sent me this info. It looks pretty good to me;


    Unless someone talks me out of it, I am fairly sure I will order it and give it a try. :shock:
  2. Knowing you and your riding habits, I can't really see the point mate. OK, people can track where you are but the only useful feature I can see for riding in S.E.A where you are generally with at least another person, is the 911 service - but you need to pre-config that in advance here in LOS.

    My "advice" is to save your money as it doesn't seem to offer anymore functionality than a phone and pre-agreed rendezvous calls for the majority of the rides.

    Bit of a case of technolgy for technology's sake rather than a useful tool IMO.


  3. [quote quote=

    Unless someone talks me out of it, I am fairly sure I will order it and give it a try. :shock:
    Hi Dave,
    Have a read of this RR,,one of the best i have read anywhere. She uses spot and discusses it quite a bit.
  4. Dave,

    You could try to contact herph (Brad) who is riding somewhere in the north of Laos and who is carrying a Spot satellite responder system about his experiences with the system.
  5. Hi Dave, I'm just curious as to who the GEOS Center would send the emergency call to in Thailand if you did send a distress signal? It's a great device, and I was looking at it a while back as I ride by myself in pretty remote areas most of the time, and while I regularly have some pretty good falls, I've been lucky enough to not be injured and stranded without help. Mobile phone signals are rare where I ride, so a system like this is fantastic.

    At least you could be ensured people know where you are located if you are in trouble, and as Thailand is not a very large country a vehicle could reach you in a short perios of time. Let us know how you go if you do buy one.
  6. This came to my mind,,as a seilor.

    I know Thai navy and Search & Recue use GPS coordinates when locating lost "puppies" but how many Normal reasue teams or police,Fire or EMS in thailand using GPS,,in BKK i have seen EMS and Ambulance using GPS,, but in up country,, are they using?

    Here example in Ubon area, every time i stop some where and if police happens to be close by,every time they are so surpriced of my GPS in the bike like they havent seen those before...

    Spot is really good device but in Thailand,,
  7. Good responses, thanks. I have received a few off board messages also. In Laos and Thailand I must agree the emergency response would not be of much value as far as direct contact.

    Mostly I like the function of others being able to see your track, for both fun and emergency, and the fact you can simply send a preconfigured message "I'm O.k." (That is if you have someone who really cares :lol: ).
    Here is an example that was sent to me;


    If you read my last few Laos posts; I was 4 days without telephone contact of any kind, 2 without electricity, (you need to get off the highway more Jeff), the telephone in any kind of emergency is virtually useless.

    This from a trekking company poster

    At least having an emergency message preprogrammed to send to some knowledgable people who could help coordinate a rescue/aid mission and also showing someone where you last were, seems like a good benefit.

    As for paying for the services; we pay for our insurance and our riding gear and hopefully never need to use them. This would fall into the same category.

    The jury is still out, but it is a step in the right direction I think.
  8. Did you end up buying one Dave?

    I really like the idea and seems to me to be a safe and easy way to be careful. If direct contact is unavailable (out of area, unconcious) then last known position is paramount.

    I presume you can turn it off? 8 hours in a bar is a bit of a giveaway to your backup team

  9. The idea is sound, sadly it loses some in the execution it seems for us peeps in SEA. In the states or europe its fine where rescue teams have the ability to utilize GPS coordinates. Over here highly unlikely...unless someone can contradict this opinion.

    I'm planning on doing more solo off road exploring after the leg heals and would love some back up for when the feces hits the fan. The times I have had bad crashes and broken bike or body beyond self evacuation I was lucky enough to have wayward villages close enough by to render assistance. That may not always be the case.

    Another option is if course a satellite phone, however they are expensive. What other options are there out there where one needs some assistance and is stuck out of telephone reception?

    This option at least allows you to send a message to signify an emergency to friends monitoring the service. Help may not be sent over the first few hours but hopefully your friends can check it once a day to ensure you won't be a week in the jungle with four breaks in the leg :D .

    Not bad for the price. However it looks like it will have to be mounted on the bars to enable it to send a signal so additional mounts will need to purchase along with the service to get it operable.

    Dave could you attach a larger image of that SPOT track for us optically challenged peeps. Thanks.
  10. The other option is the EPIRB , this is primarily used by yachties but is again a GPS triangulated rescue system.
    Once bought needs to be registered with the relevant authorities....yes it works give them the number of someone who can generally verify which general direction you're headed .This is so they can call if activated to confirm if you could have set it off or a false alarm. They have saved many a life a in point...Bullymore , upside down in his yacht in the southern ocean..for nearly a week...rescued by the Aus navy...thanks to an epirb....they have a limited life...the only way they knew he was still aalive was he switched it on -on the hour for 5 mins...they can be as small as mobile phone...
  11. I haven't bought one yet. I just got off the phone with Big and Tall and we are both still researching it. He may also find out some more firsthand info when he returns to the U.S. next month.


    As you know, sending an EPIRB message is a last resort emergency signal. What I like about the spot is that others can just check your location for info purposes, etc. OR if you are in a non life threatening situation you can send a prearranged "need help" message for something as simple as a break down. Still researching.
  12. Si-
    As you know, sending an EPIRB message is a last resort emergency signal. What I like about the spot is that others can just check your location for info purposes, etc. OR if you are in a non life threatening situation you can send a prearranged "need help" message for something as simple as a break down. Still researching.
    Agreed Dave - the only other real option...better be something wrong with you to use it !
  13. Being a Amatuer radio nut, I have been doing something like this for a few years utilizing my GPS and a small handheld VHF radio and a dash mount VHF radio via the APRS system. However, it requires a signficant number of participants to retransmit your data via radio or internet. It did work pretty good though. SPOT seems interesting but is it better than having an Iridium phone? For me the costs just don't seem to cut the mustard, as time passes and my situation changes then its another story but I am sure for many members here it may just be the nut to crack.
  14. The PLB is the best option for signaling an emergency extraction no doubt, however the SPOT offers options for less than life threatening situations which is a nice option to have. For example: bike issues, need extraction but not life threatening.

    One thing to aware of is the chipset that SPOT utilizes for getting its signals out seems to be an outdated version. In other words it lacks the ability to reliably send a signal. If there is no overhead cover (trees, forest, hills, etc) it seems to be quite reliable. However the research I've done seems to indicate that once utilized in areas of tree cover (which is what we have over here in Thailand in the north and Laos) the unit seems to be less reliable. Much like the earlier version GPS units would lose a bit of signal strength compared to the new units and their modern chipsets.

    Choices for such a device to announce help is needed seem to be:

    * PLB
    * Satellite phone

    Are there others out there that are viable alternatives?

    SPOT is indeed the cheapest and has some nice options, just not convinced its what you want alone in the jungle trying to signal help. The Sat phone is a great option however is quite expensive, bulky and may have durability concerns lugging around off road. If the PLB had two or three buttons to push with two having the ability to send a customized message to people I'd be done with searching. However that will never happen most likely so the search continues.
  15. Mussen - Thanks for the Field tracker link. Looks a nice well made unit. Plus the fact it operates off the Iridium satellites and not the Globalstar networks is a huge plus.

    Just a shame about the price of almost $900 plus a $35 per month subscription. Guess the satellite access is not cheap.


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