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Sunday, March 18, 2012

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SPOT Connect review

SPOT-Connect-review

Hands on with the SPOT Connect

The SPOT Connect allows you to communicate with loved ones and social media, or call out search and rescue, even from remote wilderness areas without a cell phone signal. Like the DeLorme PN-60w + SPOT Communicator, the Connect allows you to compose messages on the fly, but instead of the DeLorme you can use your smartphone for this task, by downloading the free SPOT Connect Android or iPhone app (iTunes link).

Most of my outings are solo and I tend to go where few others do. I’ve never had to call out search and rescue and hopefully never will. But I have been late, had my mountain bike break down, etc. Having the peace of mind the SPOT Connect could give you, and the ability to communicate your status with your family, is priceless.

I’ll look at how well it fulfills this promise, but first, some basics…

SPOT Connect capabilities, cost and coverage

Here are a few key things you should know about the SPOT Connect:

  • When paired with a compatible smartphone app, it will allow you text friends, send an SOS, and post to Facebook and Twitter, even where you don’t have cellular coverage
  • The SPOT also allows you to share a track progress Web page, either publicly or privately (password protected)
  • It requires a subscription plan for these capabilities, priced as follows:
  • $99.99/year for Basic services (minimum service level), including SOS, Check-In/OK, Send Pre-Canned Messages
  • $49.99/year for 500 Type & Send text messages ($0.10 per msg)
  • $29.99/year for 100 Type & Send text messages ($0.30 per msg)
  • $0.50/msg for A la Carte Type & Send text messages (individually priced)
  • $49.99/year for Track Progress

I’ll discuss message types shortly, but you can easily get by with the $99.99 plan, unless you want to post your tracks live to the Web.

Search and rescue (SAR) insurance is available for an additional $12.95 per year. Taxes were added when I purchased my plan, so the basic services, SAR insurance and taxes totaled $123.67.

Shown below is a coverage map:

SPOT coverage

The darkest orange color represents areas with a 99% or better chance of sending a message within 20 minutes. In the lighter, yellow color, this drops to 96-99%. Dark grey is reduced or no coverage, while there is definitely no coverage in the light grey areas.

SPOT Connect Hardware

The device itself is nearly identical to the SPOT Communicator sold with some DeLorme PN-60w models.

On the front are five LED status lights for power, GPS, message sending, SOS and Bluetooth wireless connection. There are only two buttons on the device, both on the left side. One is the power switch; the other, an SOS button for summoning search and rescue, has a protective cover over it to prevent accidental engagement. On the back is a clip and battery cover removal thumbscrew, and there is a lanyard attachment point on the top (though no lanyard comes with the device).

SPOT Connect setup

Setup is neither simple nor intuitive. There are several steps involved:

  • Creating an account at findmespot.com
  • Purchasing annual services
  • Setting up contact groups and custom messages

The latter options are found on the My SPOT Devices tab, under the Contact Details column, as shown below.

find-me-spot

Once you delve into those settings, you can add up to 14 predefined messages of up to 111 characters each.

This was pretty straightforward, but I did have trouble adding contacts to contact groups the first time I tried it in Chrome. It worked fine in Firefox, and subsequent attempts in Chrome were successful, so perhaps they updated their code. One other note; when selecting a contact to add to a group, you can choose whether to send them text messages or emails or both.

Bluetooth pairing

This was a little challenging. For one thing, you need to be quick; the device doesn’t seem to stay in discoverable mode for long. After a couple of tries, the Connect did come up in my list of paired devices. I was asked to verify the passkey, which is funny since there is no screen to read it from. That doesn’t seem to matter though, as it worked anyway. Also, don’t assume the device isn’t connected because the phone says so. That’s what my Motorola Droid said, even when it clearly was.

SPOT CONNECT App

Shown below are the four main tabs on the SPOT Connect for Android app.

SPOT-app-screens

Sending a message

The screen at left below shows a check-in screen. In the top field, you can choose the contact group to send it to. You’ll also note that I’ve enabled Facebook and Twitter for this particular message. Tap Add message to be taken to the screen shown at the right, where you can choose from your predefined messages or compose one on the fly by choosing Type & Send.

SPOT-Connect-messaging

SPOT Connect placement and performance

It took a little while for me to get the device to reliably send messages. According to the manual, you should “orient the SPOT Connect logo toward the sky to improve performance.” This was definitely the case in my testing. The image below shows the SPOT clipped to the top webbing loop of my daypack, a placement that just didn’t work for me as it allowed the device to flop into a vertical position.

Poor-placement

Fortunately my pack has an elasticized band above this, which protects the hole that you snake a hydration tube through. Clipping it to this, as shown below, did the trick, allowing it to stay in a more horizontal position.

Proper-placement

I had no trouble with my CamelBak when mountain biking, thanks to the position my body is usually in for that sport. This is the same position I used for the SPOT Communicator for the DeLorme PN-60w, as shown below.

The GPS LED flashes green when the device has a satellite lock. This never seemed to take too long, but it is something to be aware of. One day I turned the unit on and sent my wife an “at the trailhead” message that never sent, but I suspect it’s because it didn’t yet have a lock. The next message I sent, 20 minutes later, went off without a hitch.

Texting oddities

I had some trouble early on with text messages in general, but I think I finally figured out most of what was going on. What happened was that my wife received text messages with no location data attached. Shown below are check-in/OK messages, first as received on my own Motorola Droid (showing my coordinates), and below that, the same transmissions as they appeared on my wife’s Motorola Droid X (no coordinates).

Droid-SPOT

SPOT text horiz

After extensive testing, it appears that if I sent a message with parentheses, she would only get what was enclosed in the parentheses. Not so on my phone – go figure. I tested many other “special characters;” you know, the kind used to indicate expletives in cartoons – *!#& – without any problems.

I also saw at least one case where a text was received by her but not me. Whatever SPOT’s issue is with text messages, it appears to be limited to that. Every successful transmission (meaning the message was sent) that went to email, Twitter or Facebook was received without a hitch (links go to examples).

One other texting oddity; check out the screenshots from my phone (top image above). The coordinates are linked, but they are given in two pairs. When you tap one (expecting a map perhaps), the phone thinks it’s a phone number. Emailed links worked fine for me.

SPOT Connect tips

Try it out before it’s critical – Like a handheld GPS, the SPOT Connect and accompanying app are complex tools. Don’t wait for that big trip to the middle of nowhere to use it the first time. Try it out on routine trips in a safe environment, then experiment with more challenging locations (under canopy, in mountainous terrain, etc.). Expect to test it on several outings before you get the hang of it.

Type & send messages – Unless you are wordy and need to relay a lot of detail, there’s not much reason to spring for a custom message plan. You’ve got 14 canned messages of 111 characters that you can set up, and if you really need to be specific about something, type and send messages will only cost you fifty cents ala carte. Also note that type and send messages, while they can be composed in the field, are limited to 41 characters.

Cellphone battery preservation – In my experience, nothing wears down a cell phone battery like having it search for a cell signal where there isn’t one or in marginal conditions. You can’t put the phone in airplane mode, because you need Bluetooth active to use this app. What to do? I don’t know about iPhones, but there’s a great Android widget called Dazzle that will let you independently shut down the cellular radio. And it’s free. (EDIT: And here’s an iPhone solution)

Read the manual – Especially the section detailing what the LEDs mean.

Watch the orientation – I worked out how to keep the unit oriented to the sky while I was hiking or biking, but it’s easy to forget when you take a break and set your pack down.

Test text messaging extensively – Don’t use parentheses (or at least test them with your recipients first). Also, remember, text messaging seems to be the least reliable delivery method, so make sure you also port those messages to email.

Conclusion and recommendation

I’m going to cautiously recommend the SPOT Connect. Until we get a device where someone can text back and say “ok, received your message” (and we may have that within a year or two), this is probably your best choice, at least at this price point. Every aspect of it — device, app, website — is a little rough around the edges though, but while it can be unintuitive, for the most part it works.

My biggest reservation is text message reliability. I think I’ve got that one figured out, but I still expect occasional messages to be dropped. The unit just wasn’t 100% reliable for me when it came to delivering texts.

If you decide to buy one, I’d get it from somewhere with a good return policy (just in case) like Amazon or better yet, REI – it’s hard to beat their guarantee. Also, follow the tips above, and test the hell out of the device; learn it’s limitations and don’t count on it any more than  you should.

More SPOT Connect reviews

I’ll be posting more hands on GPS reviews as they appear, but in the meantime, here are some…

Other SPOT Connect resources

Compare prices on the SPOT Connect at these merchants:

 

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.

Comments

  1. iPhone users can put the phone in airplane mode, the go to bluetooth specifically and turn it back on. Also works well with wifi if for some reason you need it, but not cell service.

    Just in case anyone cares.

  2. Do the coordinates links work in any other SMS android apps, such as Handcent?

    thanks

  3. Rich, yours was a truly useful, informative review. I appreciate very much the level of detail and clarity. I am very impressed with your ability to test and communicate. Add “grateful,” because other sites are mostly sales rather than independent information. Thank you most sincerely. You’re a good man.

    . . . Steve Sachs

  4. Great review – the most thorough and useful of anything I was able to find online after several hours of research. I’m trying to figure out whether I need the “Connect” or the regular SPOT2 device based on my requirements, and the sales information on SPOT’s website is woefully inadequate on useful details (like whether or not the “regular” SPOT device supports more than a single “custom message”).

    Bottom line, it sounds like this product is still living through some growing pains and will hopefully improve in the future.

  5. I’m done with the SPOT Connect. Pairing with my iPhone is spotty and frustrating. Sometimes I work at it for 30 minutes without success. iPhone power off/on once seemed to work a couple of times. But now, that doesn’t even help. Without pairing, the iPHone APP won’t work; it says “searching” and then times out, requiring closing the app and restarting after each try.

    This device would probably be great if it’d work as intended. But for me, it’s been 24 hours of frustration. I’m sending it back to get a self-contained unit. It’s much more complicated than it needs to be to simply let people know where I am and send pre-definied messages. I cannot recommend this unit.

    • Ouch! I hope you get a full refund. Thanks for posting this.

      • It’s way overly-complex unless you just happen to like being able to do short emails and text messages from the iPhone. I should have bought a lesser model. . . one that has buttons on it for simple operation.

  6. Yes, I am experiencing the same issues with mine – it requires you to re-start the unit if you want to send messages from the phone (which is the reason I purchased this instead of the stand-alone unit. Part of the issue might be the flakey implementation of Bluetooth on the iPhone, but the Spot Connect device is definitely the major contributor. I hope they fix this issue in a firmware update, because for now it is the only device I can take out on my boat and use to inform the family if I’m running late or decide to stay overnight at the islands because of weather.

    • I got through to their tech support. They use real people in a town near Baton Rouge. She was very nice and patient. She walked me through the entire scenario. It failed the first try. But after turning the unit and the iPhone off and back on, it connected. Following her instructions, I’ve paired a few more times.

      She did mention that they get lots of “pairing” phone calls and that she hopes a firmware update comes soon.

      It was disappointing that I couldn’t go to a forum to resolve my issue like I can with Garmin devices. It would be good if they had an active forum of users. I tried Spotwalla, but it wasn’t any help, either.

      • Thanks for the follow-up Ken. sounds like they are aware of the issue and there is hope for a firmware update. I think up to now they’ve been busy working on the Android version, but its out now so hopefully they’ll fix this issue, then turn their attention to the user interface on the HORRIBLE “findmespot” website portal. Man, that is some of the WORST UI/UX design I think I’ve ever seen!

        • One last follow-up:
          Amazon has a return policy. 100% (including shipping) So I sent my SPOT Connect back today. I’ve ordered a new SPOT Messenger, instead. It appears to be able to do everything the Connect does except for creating and sending very short messages. My messaging can wait until I get back into cell range. Primary purpose was to enable my family to track me while on the motorcycle cross country trips. The Messenger will do that; totally self-contained, no BlueTooth to the iPhone needed.

          If the Connect had utilization without being tethered to my iPhone, I’d have kept it; hoping for the firmware update that would make it more reliable.

          I called the nice people at SPOT support back asking about changing my device from the Connect to the new Messenger when it arrives. Apparently, they don’t have to do that often, but the lady said that she can go into the back door and change the subscription to make my new SPOT work in place of the returned SPOT. That should happen tomorrow. Assuming it all goes as planned, this will be my last post regarding the SPOT Connect device. I’m totally expecting the Messenger to work without all the complication.

          Hope this helps someone, some day.

          Ken

  7. Hi Rich – great in depth reviews – thank you very much – I read your review regarding the delorme kit and don’t remember the connection issues – did you have better system functionality with the delorme setup over the smartphone setup?

    I believe that with the smartphone setup you have no way of locating yourself if you’ve “misplaced” yourself, as the connect will not transfer a gps coordinate to the phone – it will only send your location to your contact list. However with the delorme acting as a true gps device you would have the best of both worlds – a gps topo map with your location on it so you can find your way back to your route if you’re lost and the communicator. would that be correct?

    I spoke to a tech at “Spot” and she mentioned that she had received a really poor customer response for the delorme saying it was amateur and was suited more for geocaching, and the user interface (buttons rather than a smartphone keyboard) made sending messages very onerous. Also I have heard concerns regarding the detail of maps for Canada????

    If you didn’t already have a smartphone (but may be willing to get one) which route would you recommend? the smartphone or the delorme?

    • Mmm, I might wait on this…

      http://gpstracklog.com/tag/delorme-inreach

      It probably would be easier to ascertain your coordinates with a DeLorme than a smartphone. Some phones have trouble getting a satellite lock in the backcountry.

      But I’m not a big fan of the DeLorme’s small screen or their mapping software. I do think they have added Canadian maps in the last couple of years though.

      There is no ideal solution. For now, I’m happy with my SPOT Connect, an Android phone and a Garmin GPS, but that’s 3 pieces of gear to carry!

  8. Great review! Thanks!

  9. Rich – Let me add my thanks for a great, unbiased review.

    I have a Gen 1 SPOT and I’m looking at upgrading to the connect in order to get Type & Send message capability. They have a $50 rebate offer for existing SPOT users valid through 8/31/11. Thanks to your review and based on their return policy, I am heading to REI this afternoon to buy one, have the service switched over and try it out while I am still near home.

    I called their customer service folks in LA to ask some questions that were not answered in their web pages, and was disappointed that I cannot add a recipient or manage names in the groups unless I have a cell/wi-fi connection, but understanding the limited information the SPOT unit is capable of sending, I guess this makes sense.

    The ability to have several groups (including “groups of one”) pre-defined still gives me a lot more flexibility than I have with the Gen 1 device (web based only, only one group where everyone gets the same OK/Check In message).

    One word of caution for potential buyers — Surprisingly, a few of the answers I got during that call were DIFFERENT than those I found later while digging deeper into their website. I have to assume the info presented in writing on the web is the more accurate of the two.

    They do have a 30-day money-back guarantee on the SERVICE, so if you buy from REI and check it out promptly, there isn’t much to lose, other than the hassle factor.

    • Glad to help Mark. Let us know how it goes.

      • Thanks Rich, here goes…

        Okay, I’ve had this for a few days now and have had only a bit of time to mess with this, but here are some impressions and problems I encountered. I hope this may help some others who attempt this. I am using an iPhone 3GS:

        1. TECH SUPPORT
        Tech support experience is less than stellar. As mentioned above, no support on weekends. The e-mail I sent on Sunday afternoon has still not been answered as of Wednesday evening. One operator told me it should have been answered in 48 hours, another said 72 hours.
        As for phone support, hold times on Friday (pre-sales questions), Tuesday and today (technical support) were all in excess of 15 minutes to reach a live support person. Once you reach them, they are most pleasant and helpful, but during the first two calls I received verbal information that was at odds with the information on the website. When I pointed out one such discrepancy yesterday, she said “I stand corrected, the information on the website is correct.” Refreshing.

        2. DOCUMENTATION/INSTRUCTIONS
        I guess this falls under the heading of “barely there.” The information in the folded up slip of paper “Quick Start Guide” that comes with the unit gets you through battery installation and basic pairing with your phone, assuming everything goes fine. Apparently if you want it, you have to download the Owners Manual PDF from the SPOT website. Might be a good idea to somehow get the PDF on to the phone so it’s available in the field.

        3. BLUETOOTH
        Bluetooth implementation is very kludgy. Successful pairing required complete uninstall of iPhone APP, reboot of phone and reinstall of APP. Once pairing is successful you MUST manually go through Settings>General>Bluetooth and tap on the Connect in the list of devices in order to make a Bluetooth connection. Not the way Bluetooth is supposed to work, and in one of my conversations with the tech support agent she did say that much of their calls were about Bluetooth issues, and that she would pass my comments along in the hopes that something could be improved in the future either with the app or the firmware. This is almost a deal-breaker for me, just because I know it doesn’t need to be this way. I have 2 other Bluetooth devices, both of which connect to the phone instantly as soon as they come into range. I’ll hang in for a while and hope that they get this problem resolved. Tech Support advises that this is an iPhone–only issue in that Android users don’t have this problem.

        4. GROUPS/CONTACTS
        I encountered some initial problems sending messages to 2 groups that I’d set up using the iPhone app. Once on the phone with tech support she was able to show me that the individual contacts in those 2 groups work we missing, despite having been created on the phone. It would appear that this part of the app may be a little buggy and it would be advisable to go back and check each group to make sure the contacts you want to have in them are actually there after you have added them. I have yet to attempt creating/adding groups or contacts using the website, so that might be a little better.

        5. LED INDICATORS
        On interesting piece of behavior relative to the LEDs is that the green/red LED that indicates a satellite fix does not light up until you actually attempt to send some sort of message. That seemed a little counterintuitive to me, as I was expecting that I needed to wait for a green LED to indicate satellite fix before attempting to send a message. Tech support tells me that when you try to send a message the sequence is that the LED for satellite fix will blink either green or red to indicate that a message can be sent and then the green light under the “flying envelope” will begin to blink letting you know that the message is actually being transmitted. However, once the “flying envelope” LED starts blinking, the satellite fix LEDs go off. Moral to this story: Don’t wait around for the satellite LED to flash green before trying to send a message. You’ll be wasting your time, at least according to the person I spoke to at SPOT.

        6: SPOT ASSIST (Roadside Assistance)
        If you think you may have vehicle trouble in an area without phone service, this looks like a pretty good deal to me. $30 a year gets you the usual – towing, lockout, jumpstart, fuel delivery, etc. The thing that impressed me in this regard is that it covers virtually any vehicle including ATV, snowmobile, regular cars and trucks and even RVs. I just canceled my AAA membership after discovering that despite paying him over $100 a year (for over 20 years) they would not tow my crew cab diesel pickup because it weighs 200 lbs. too much! Read the fine print before purchasing though, because you do have to be within 100 feet of a roadway. Service is provided by Nation Safe Drivers. I called them for a definition of “roadway” because I do spend a fair amount of time off the beaten track. They said” if the tow truck could get there they would tow me” and that their definition of roadway did not limit the coverage to paved roads.

        I hope this is helpful to some folks.

  10. I’ve been using my Spot Connect for a couple of months now, exclusively on my boat, and since the recent firmware update have not had any problems with connecting or dropping the bluetooth connection. It seems to be working quite well now. My procedure is this:

    1. Turn on Spot
    2. Go to iPhone–>Settings–>General–>Bluetooth
    3. Find the “Spot” device and click “connect”
    4. After a few seconds the iPhone will say “Connected” to the device

    That’s it. It does draw the battery down on the phone pretty quickly so I have to keep it plugged into a 12v charger on the boat.

    Now the only thing Spot needs to fix is their AWFUL web site. It is such a confusing mish-mash that it is very difficult to figure out how to navigate, and which site you need to use to manage your contact lists or edit other device settings or share trips. If it was a cleaner interface, I’d have more confidence in purchasing the “track me” services for $42 a year.

    But, I’m happy to report that the device itself and the integration to the iPhone is working very well now after the firmware update, even when the phone goes to sleep and wakes up, it is not necessary to “re-pair” the devices – they stay locked together just like any other bluetooth device. Yeah!

    • Brent,

      I couldn’t agree more about the website. Even trying to learn about the hardware and software before purchasing requires much patience. I am STILL trying to find my way back to pages that I read over the weekend but can’t figure out how to locate now.

      Your Bluetooth experience mirrors mine. My comments on the Bluetooth is that in the procedure you describe so well, steps 2–4 are not necessary on an Android phone, according to their tech support folks. With an Android phone it is as simple as:

      1. Turn on SPOT
      2. Launch SPOT app
      3. SPOT app recognizes the Connect and you’re off to the races.

      That’s the way Bluetooth is supposed to work, at least as far as my experiences have been. I have a Motorola Bluetooth Car Kit (permanently installed speakerphone) which connects as soon as I start the car. I don’t even have to “wake” the phone. Same with a Jawbone headset – turn it on, it connects.

      I had the Tracking service for the last several years with the regular Gen 1 SPOT device and never had much luck with it. I use it mainly on hunting and fishing trips, most of which have been in the Rockies. With the orange SPOT on the dash of my truck, it seemed like position updates only worked if I stopped for a while. Could be that the terrain or the truck itself blocked the signal, something that you wouldn’t have an issue with on your boat. When in the processing of doing the upgrade, I had them drop that from my account, but if I can get it working better, I may turn it back on before my next trip – if I can manage to get to the right web page to do that :-).

      I can see where that feature would be pretty cool for use on a boat!

      Thanks,

      Mark

  11. Thanks for all of the honest reviews! I just purchased a Spot Messenger, and was trying to decide whether to return it for a Spot Connect, mainly for the ability to send customized text messages. My husband is reluctant to have me hike alone (with our dog) since I had a triple fracture to my ankle last year while hiking and had to be rescued. (He was with me then, thank God – and we were within cell phone range.) My main concern with the Spot Connect is that I know that Bluetooth runs my Droid battery down rapidly. I think I will keep the Spot Messenger, so I only need to worry about batteries for it, rather than making sure I have extra charged cell phone batteries too.

    • You can just leave Bluetooth off unless you need to send a message. The SPOT tracking feature can still work in dependently of the phone.

      • Thanks for that little but quite important info – I was researching the web for that for hours before I made the decision to buy. It should be highlighted in more reviews that the tracking feature keeps working independently from a connection to the phone. The official product description (as far as I read it) did not make this clear – so thanks for that note!
        Ben

  12. Dutch Hosman says:

    Wondering if the Connect Unit will actually tell the phone what the current position if you are out of cell coverage. If would be great to have lat longs on hand if you needed them quickly without having to have a GPS as well.

    Does anyone know if the iPhone app will show your current position on a map or just the lat longs with the phone connected to the Connect device via bluethooth.

    Thanks

  13. darryl haskins says:

    i have a blackberry torch, i was wondering if there would be an app for blackberry comming out any time soon.

  14. Can you save phone battery power by turning it off on your backcountry trip and then when you want to send a message turn it on and pair to SPOT Connect in the field.

    I read a review where the app log in needs internet service and they could not use the app in the backcountry when attempting to send a message? I understand the 911 service still works regardless of being connected to the phone.

    • I didn’t have that issue, at least not after testing it’s use a couple of times. These kind of solutions need to be tested several times before relying on it in the field. They take a while to get used to. I don’t see any reason you couldn’t power off until you need it.

  15. Vic Dennis says:

    Direct discussion with SPOT seems pretty sketchy – maybe a conributor has enough experience with the CONNECT to give an opinion regarding my inquiry. We are considering CONNECT as a devise for relaying short messages regarding ultra trekkers passing remote sites during an organized “contest”. The remote CONNECT stations would have pretested mounts, batteries Etc. The sites would text or email the trekker’s passage to a base station – none of which have cell service. The messages would consist of a short string of numbers and each (of 6 to 8) stations would send approximately 100 messages (numbers) throughout a 48 hour period. Obviousl SPOT didn’t have this in mind when they developed the system – but, couldn’t it be used this way?

    • The receiving base stations don’t have cell service?

      • Vic Dennis says:

        That’s correct. The entire network is outside cell coverage. Each station has a SPOT CONNECT. One station will act as the base and the others will send updates to the base. There will be some messages going from the base to either all or selected remotes also. Is this feasible?

        • I don’t think so. Unless I’m mistaken, there is no SPOT to SPOT communication capability and the device has no receiver (other than Bluetooth pairing).

        • It doesn’t matter if its paired with a cell phone, you are sending e-mail and/or texts so somebody (base station) would need either cell phone coverage or internet access to receive the CONNECT messages. You cannot send a message to a SPOT CONNECT paired to a smart phone, it only transmits. If the base station sent a message to somebody in a remote location with a smart phone, they would need cell phone coverage to receive the text/e-mail from the base station.

          You could look into the Delorme Inreach for two-way communication?

  16. The Spot device is one-way. It only transmits via the satellite network. It cannot receive. On order to receive updates from your Trekkers with Spot units, you will need either cell service (for SMS messages) or Internet (for emails) at those base stations.

  17. Vic Dennis says:

    I’m researching the Delorme Inreach – I don’t know anything aboout it. I’ll report back. Thanks.

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