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Transmit my location


trimguy
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My outdoor adventures often include areas where there is no cell phone signal. What kinds of devices/software are on the market these days that would transmit my location (Lat/Lon) or could send a short text message viewable by a certain someone with a PC and internet connection? I always take my Garmin 60Csx with me but as we all know it's just a receiver.

 

I've read a little about the SPOT transmitter but some reviews were a little iffy. If I had a laptop with me and my GPS was connected to it, is there a transmiter of sorts that could be included to transmit location data and/or a text message?

 

Portability would be great (backpacking) but if power requirements is an issue, I could transmit upon returning to my vehicle.

 

Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks

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My outdoor adventures often include areas where there is no cell phone signal. What kinds of devices/software are on the market these days that would transmit my location (Lat/Lon) or could send a short text message viewable by a certain someone with a PC and internet connection? I always take my Garmin 60Csx with me but as we all know it's just a receiver.

 

I've read a little about the SPOT transmitter but some reviews were a little iffy. If I had a laptop with me and my GPS was connected to it, is there a transmiter of sorts that could be included to transmit location data and/or a text message?

 

Portability would be great (backpacking) but if power requirements is an issue, I could transmit upon returning to my vehicle.

 

Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks

Amateur Radio (HAM) APRS. You'll need to gain a license to transmit. Here's an FAQ to get started. You will want to do a Google for clubs nearest you that provide the test.

 

The Rino transmits a very limited distance and won't provide a location on the web.

Edited by TotemLake
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If you're in a location where there is no cell phone signal, presumably you wouldn't be able to send a text message anyway. I imagine pretty much any radio transmission that relies on line-of-sight would have the same restrictions. So unless you're planning to bounce your location data off a satellite, I imagine your options would be pretty limited.

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If you're in a location where there is no cell phone signal, presumably you wouldn't be able to send a text message anyway. I imagine pretty much any radio transmission that relies on line-of-sight would have the same restrictions. So unless you're planning to bounce your location data off a satellite, I imagine your options would be pretty limited.

Yes, but there are HAM repeaters located all over the countryside. In Washington, I can think of only one location I might not have that luxury and I'm not altogether sure about that. I'm going to need to research this as I will be crossing the Kitsap Peninsula next year. Otherwise, hitting a repeater has not been an issue.

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My outdoor adventures often include areas where there is no cell phone signal. What kinds of devices/software are on the market these days that would transmit my location (Lat/Lon) or could send a short text message viewable by a certain someone with a PC and internet connection? I always take my Garmin 60Csx with me but as we all know it's just a receiver.

 

I've read a little about the SPOT transmitter but some reviews were a little iffy. If I had a laptop with me and my GPS was connected to it, is there a transmiter of sorts that could be included to transmit location data and/or a text message?

 

Portability would be great (backpacking) but if power requirements is an issue, I could transmit upon returning to my vehicle.

 

Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks

The "Spot" transmitter actually works pretty well. A friend tested one out while hiking in Colorado last year and had nothing but glowing things to say about it.

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Another option that falls somewhere between a complete satellite phone and SPOT (link)

 

The Solara Field Tracker 2000 and Solara Field Tracker 2100 give you security and peace of mind with portable GPS tracking and 2-way messaging through the Iridium satellite system anywhere in the world. (link)

Thanks for reminding me. Satellite phones are also rentable and the rates are becoming reasonable now. I may look at this option again when I get ready to cross the Peninsula.

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Almost all of my good hiking adventures, and even a good deal of the road trips are to areas without cell coverage. The problems got a lot worse when they did away with the analog phones, which had quite a bit better range. Depending on where you are, the options aren't necessarily very good. The portable ham radio that was mentioned has pretty decent coverage, and isn't too heavy if you get one of the Lithium battery powered ones. There are a few areas where they don't work though, especially in canyons. If you can get a little altitude though, they even work pretty good in the back country of Utah, Wyoming and Nevada, which have some pretty desolate areas.

 

The SPOT GPS receiver / satellite transmitter has a subscription option that will send position updates to whoever you designate. Several of the people I hike with carry them along. They don't seem to do a very good job of sending your position from canyon type country however, and unfortunately, the only way you know if your signal got out or not is by checking when you get back. There is no indication as to whether the signal is being received or not.

 

Bottom line, if you really want to get out in the fun areas, you're on your own. While people who haven't explored the outback much tend to get freaked out by it sometimes, If you're minimally prepared, there isn't really anything to worry about.

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Many thanks to all of you for the responses.

 

Wow - the Solara Field Tracker model(s) is just the ticket - well, except for the price. I may rethink the SPOT device (or buy a flare gun-ha).

 

What is the device that back country skiers and snowmobile riders are encouraged to have if they get caught up in an avalanche? (other than life insurance!!). Is this the SPOT transmitter?

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What is the device that back country skiers and snowmobile riders are encouraged to have if they get caught up in an avalanche? (other than life insurance!!). Is this the SPOT transmitter?

I believe you are thinking of an Avalanche Beacon, google that.

Personal Locater Beacons otherwise commonly called PLB. This is a one time use. Activate and all heck breaks loose at getting you rescued out. There is no reversing the activation once triggered.

 

http://www.rei.com/search?query=beacon

Specifically

http://www.rei.com/product/751974

 

These communicate to a satellite monitoring a specific frequency. They provide a GPS coordinate of your location with your (owner) information. To be used in grave need only.

 

Avalanche beacons are localized only and serve a specific purpose of homing on-site rescuers to your location. They do not communicate with satellites or transmit out past the local area to any repeaters.

Edited by TotemLake
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