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SPOT


alanhinsaudi
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Tried the SPOT for the first time yesterday and it worked a treat. Sent an OK message and sure enough it was e-mailed and texted to the addresses and mobile numbers I specified. What an excellent piece of kit and I now have some reassurance that if I do go down in the desert help is only the press of a button away. I’d previously relied on my Breitling Emergency but was never confident that any one was listening all the time on 121.5Mhz.

I've enabled the tracking mode so if anyone is interested PM me and I’ll send you the tracking web page.

Alan

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Alan, I certainly wouldn't depend on your Breitling to activate an emergency response. As 121.5 is no longer satellite monitored, you would be exceptionally lucky to have your signal picked up, unless by a passing airliner, that routinely monitor the frequency. What the Breitling WILL do, is to bring a search party straight to you, once SPOT has got the ball rolling. Even with GPS co-ordinates, it can be quite hard to find someone in amongst some of the larger dunes (I've helped with recovery on the Emirates 4x4 challenge, so know what the desert is like), but 121.5 will provide an extremely effective means to locate you. What you MUST do however, is make sure that in the event of an emergency, that the search party know that you will be transmitting on 121.5, otherwise they are unlikely to bother checking. It would be useful if this was a piece of information that SPOT held on record, or even the optional GEOS service, but to date, I've not found that facility.

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Phil,

You’re absolutely right and the reason I bought the SPOT. The fact is the original reason I bought the Breitling had nothing to do with aviation but was for personal safety. I had just had a friend shot and killed and a number of other westerners were taken hostage and later executed, the absolute low point of my time here. The idea was that if I was taken I may get a chance to activate it and bring rescue. It sounds a bit silly now but at the time it made perfect sense and the personnel who had responsibility for my safety knew to check the frequency. That threat has now long gone as the majority of the idiots have been executed or are in a deep dark cell as guests of either the Saudi or American Governments. I therefore had the watch before I took up paramotoring and it seemed perfect sense to use it accordingly. However, now that the satellite monitoring has been or is going to be turned off for 121.5Mhz my faith in it as my sole rescue aid from the desert has diminished and, although I love the watch as a watch, I have decided to sell it and it is advertised on the site. The SPOT provides a far more flexible (and far less expensive) rescue aid and I plan to carry two (SLIM I’m waiting :D ), one as a back up, when we go cross country.

Does anyone know if there is a lightweight 406 MHz PLB available suitable for Paramotor use?

Alan

P.S. Not doing a very good sales pitch for the Breitling but it is a work of art!

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I too, love with a passion, my Breitling (it was my 40th birthday pressie from my wife). I have a 121.5 epirb that I originally bought for diving, but is small enough to tuck away on the motor somewhere, together with my SPOT.

I am sure that any of the small 406 units would be perfect back up for the SPOT. I am a little concerned that the Globalstar constellation that SPOT uses, is rather degraded at present, pending them getting more birds in the air. I find that my Globalstar Sat phone suffers from frequent loss of signal, and have found on the Globalstar web site that there is even a tool that allows you to plan when there is likely to be coverage. The saving grace of SPOT is that it will continue to send the distress signal, so should ultimately produce a response. Also, as the communication is only simplex (one way) it is more likely to get a contact.

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I must admit I had my doubts about the SPOT coverage in Saudi but the device worked as advertised, sending the OK message within 10 minutes of pressing the button. Next flight I'll activate the tracking mode and see how responsive it is.

One of the reasons I don't itend to use my Breitling is its' weight. It weighs about 8oz and when you are holding your brakes i.e. arms up, it dosn't take long for your arm to get tired. I should have bought the titanium version!

Alan

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Guys and Gals

I'm sorry for the delay but we now have the SPOTS in stock! :-) If you've already ordered then you'll be getting an email from me shortly with instructions for signing up followed shortly thereafter by your unit.

If you haven't ordered one then now is the time to get one of these fantastic devices at the club only price and support the Tip to Tip charities. Go on, your loved ones will love you for it.

Stuart

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  • 3 months later...

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