This forum is for you to use as you wish for asking questions or generating discussion on non-motorized use of trails in Kananaskis Country or of issues relating to trail use. Where a blog has been linked to the forum, please follow the link at the bottom of the blog to the forum to make comments.
April 24, 2010
Until now, one-way SPOT units could simply transmit simple text messages with GPS positions for emergency purposes. Starting this Summer (2010), U.S.-based DeLorme is offering its Earthmate PN-60W coupled with its SPOT Communicator, combining GPS with custom messaging and emergency notification. The handheld device is equipped with an internal keyboard for message composition.
The price of the system is around $550, which is significantly higher than more basic emergency SPOT devices. Various subscription services are being offered. The price is still below the Iridium two-way communication system but with the one-way transmission limitation. SPOT uses non-geostationary Globalstar satellites, which are lower in number than those of Iridium. While I have not tested SPOT/Globalstar coverage in the Canadian Rockies, one can assume that coverage would not be quite as good as Iridium. However, for one-way messaging, delays of minutes are generally not an issue. Unfortunately, one still does not have the comfort of receiving answers to out-going messages or even if someone is “listening” and, hence, if help is coming in case of emergency.
January 13, 2014
Garmin bought out Delorme a couple years ago now but they still make the InReach and InReach SE under the Garmin name. I can not speak for their effectiveness as I have never owned one. The idea of not being able to replace the batteries during a weeklong trip pushed me away from the product. My new Garmin 66T has both replaceable and charge options plus some InReach capabilities. So if anyone is looking for a Spot Gen 2 let me know as I am willing to part with mine.
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