SOTMR: Two-way Satellite Communications for Backpacking: Part 1 - Introduction
Display Avatars Sort By:
Maia
(maia) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
SOTMR: Two-way Satellite Communications for Backpacking: Part 1 - Introduction on 03/19/2013 16:49:12 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

SOTMR: Two-way Satellite Communications for Backpacking: Part 1 - Introduction

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: SOTMR: Two-way Satellite Communications for Backpacking: Part 1 - Introduction on 03/19/2013 17:19:58 MDT Print View

Very interesting, looking forward to part 2 and 3

I'de like to be able to send and receive text messages

My cell phone rarely works in the wilderness, but occasionally it surprises me where it works

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: SOTMR: Two-way Satellite Communications for Backpacking: Part 1 - Introduction on 03/19/2013 17:20:05 MDT Print View

Its good to see these series of articles.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: SOTMR: Two-way Satellite Communications for Backpacking: Part 1 - Introduction on 03/19/2013 17:22:19 MDT Print View

What is type 2 & 3 fun? Is there type 1 fun a what is it?

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: SOTMR: Two-way Satellite Communications for Backpacking: Part 1 - Introduction on 03/19/2013 17:25:29 MDT Print View

Hi Nick,

Here is a good example for Mountaineer Kelly Cordes.

Type I Fun – true fun, enjoyable while it’s happening. Good food, good sex, 5.8 hand cracks, sport climbing, powder skiing. Margaritas.


Type II Fun – fun only in retrospect, hateful while it’s happening. Things like working out ‘till you puke, and usually ice and alpine climbing. After climbing the West Face Couloir on Huntington, Scotty and I both swore that we hated alpine climbing. The final 1,000′ was horrific – swimming up sugar snow that collapsed beneath us, roped together without protection – and took nearly as long as the initial 3,000′ from camp. On the summit, Scotty turned to me and said, in complete seriousness, “I want my mom so bad right now.” By the time we reached Talkeetna our talk of Huntington turned to, “Ya know, that wasn’t so bad. What should we try next time?”


Type III Fun – not fun at all, not even in retrospect. As in, “What the hell was I thinking? If I ever even consider doing that again, somebody slap some sense into me.” The final 1,000′ of Huntington, when I stop and think about it…but, then again, a friend climbed it the next year and had perfect conditions.

I guess you never really know what sort of fun you’re getting yourself into once you leave the couch, which is fine, because it doesn’t always have to be “fun” to be fun.

Maybe the whole goal, the path of the enlightened, is to turn Type III situations into Type I fun. Right. Anybody had any luck with that?

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: SOTMR: Two-way Satellite Communications for Backpacking: Part 1 - Introduction on 03/19/2013 17:31:01 MDT Print View

Okay, where did the concept of type 1, 2, and 3 fun come from?

and if it's not fun at all, even in retrospective, why is it called fun?

us old guys are always amazed by the viral nature of this modern world

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Re: SOTMR: Two-way Satellite Communications for Backpacking: Part 1 - Introduction on 03/19/2013 17:38:22 MDT Print View

I dunno where it came from, I have heard it a couple of times over the years.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Fun Scale on 03/19/2013 17:46:59 MDT Print View

http://kellycordes.wordpress.com/2009/11/02/the-fun-scale/

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Fun Scale on 03/19/2013 18:22:27 MDT Print View

That's where I pulled it form, I mean I have heard it before that.

Derrick White
(miku) - MLife

Locale: Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
Two way texting - InReach on 03/20/2013 02:16:58 MDT Print View

I am surprised you didn't mention the InReach device which offers two way texting and SOS features. It can also link to a smartphone or GPS via bluetooth. Great device.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Global Travel on 03/20/2013 06:47:54 MDT Print View

Just an FYI for global travelers.

I travel overseas quite a bit and have considered buying a satellite phone until I traveled to India. They were really concerned about cell phones in general and wanted to know if I was going to leave one in India. They also were very concerned to know if I was carrying a satellite phone.

I didn't want to prolong that conversation any more than I had to so I didn't ask the obvious question of "If I did would I have to give it up?" The thought of forfeiting a $1000 phone was a little unnerving.

This is the only country which has ever asked me these questions but it's something to be aware of.

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Re: Two way texting - InReach on 03/20/2013 08:54:50 MDT Print View

DeLorme InReach devices will be covered in Part 3.

-- Rex

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Re: Global Travel on 03/20/2013 09:12:40 MDT Print View

Ian,

At least they asked you in advance! You could have been thrown in jail for bringing an unlicensed satellite device into India, like the unfortunate Andy Pag:

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2010-03-21/jaipur/28138818_1_andy-pag-biofuel-driven-bus-telegraph-act-and-section

A few other countries have strict laws about satellite devices, including China and Burma (Myanmar).

Hence the advice in the article:

"Be sure to check the latest coverage maps and local laws before you choose a device, or take a device into a new area."

-- Rex

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Spot Messenger on 03/20/2013 11:54:30 MDT Print View

Is the Spot Messenger (black SPOT, W/ Bluetooth for yer cell phone texts) a "bentpipe" or sat network setup?

Seems the SPOT Messenger and yer cell phone gives the best combo for sending short texts. This way you can specify exactly your situation, location and needs W/O a "911" call for the calvalry.

Madeleine Landis
(yurtie) - MLife

Locale: Central Oregon
Thank you, very informative! on 03/20/2013 12:03:04 MDT Print View

We have hiked with a 75 year old friend who uses a SPOT for tracking and sending an "ok" to his wife from remote areas ( across the state of CA thru desert regions) and SEKI) It worked most of the time pretty well but only keeps records for ten days (so someone else has to capture the screen shots of the route) We do not own one and have very mixed feelings about such devices in the wilderness. We like to do ten day mostly off trail backpack trips in the Sierra and have had only one emergency in 35+ years on a Sierra Cub outing. The leader, our older friend, had to hike out 20 miles over a big E side pass, get a helicopter for a HAPE victim, which we got him out successfully on, then he hiked back in. It saved the man but pretty exhausting for the leader). My husband is a very fit 71 and I am 57, small & fairly fit and also do ten day solos. For me, ANY extra weight for a device must be reliable and worth carrying around just in case something really bad happens. I would only want a device for rescue and possibly weather reports. Just curious, does anyone have any experience or thoughts on how to get a wx report, ie on a small ipod thru radio or noaa radio or ??? Thanks. I look forward to the next installments.

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Re: Spot Messenger on 03/20/2013 12:06:55 MDT Print View

Eric,

All SPOT devices use the Globalstar satellite system, which is a "bent pipe" system.

SPOT devices can send text messages, but can not receive text messages, so they are not "two-way" devices. This article series does not describe SPOT devices in any detail.

-- Rex

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Spot Messenger on 03/20/2013 13:01:40 MDT Print View

Rex,

It will be interesting to hear your take on the Isat phone pro as I have one for about 2 years, its a bit heavy so just got a Res Q link for UL trips.

Michael Fisher
(mfisher) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
Avian bandwidth on 03/20/2013 13:12:12 MDT Print View

Good one for including the carrier pigeon as a communication device. This brought to mind a quote I'd heard before: "Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway." That was from Andrew Tanenbaum. While totally off-topic for backpacking, it does bring to mind the importance of thinking outside the box. What other methods could be used for backcountry communication? Messages left in known areas that will be checked by someone at a specific, for example?

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
India on 03/20/2013 13:12:34 MDT Print View

Thanks for sharing that article Rex. Seems extreme but their country so their rules. I've been all over the world but before this trip it never occurred to me that it might be a problem.

Peter Vickerson
(mtbarney)

Locale: Australia
Satellite phones on 03/20/2013 17:43:24 MDT Print View

I live in Australia and have used an Immarsat phone for hiking in Australia and New Zealand. I did a lot of research and came to the conclusion that Iridium had much better coverage. I went to the Sat Phone shop to buy an iridium phone but the owner talked me out of it. He said that that in theory iridium had better coverage but in practice Immarsat gave more reliable coverage with little dropping out. He sold both types and in fact the Immarsat was way cheaper with a flat rate of $100 for 100 minutes prepaid and two years to use it in !
Australia is a vast empty continent with lots of areas of no cell phone coverage. Exploration companies use satellite phones and most go for Immarsat.
I have used the Immarsat in very mountainous areas of New Zealand without a problem. I have heard a lot of anecdotal evidence of iridium not working very well in deep valleys.
The Immarsat is also a lot cheaper to buy and call .

In fact, I'm thinking of buying a second one for my wife, just in case we get separated in white out conditions. The phones will also give you your exact position.

Just my two cents worth.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Two way texting - InReach on 03/20/2013 17:53:02 MDT Print View

With the new inreach ( soon to be released) you won't even need your phone.

Personally I'm gonna wait another 5 or so years till sat phones and gps merge

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Two way texting - InReach on 03/20/2013 18:18:47 MDT Print View

Yeah, I want a unit that's both GPS and two way text. Camera too.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Satellite phones on 03/20/2013 18:50:08 MDT Print View

Hi Peter,

I have an inmarast unit which I bought two years ago and the minutes where very cheap, I went to renew a while back the prices had more than doubled, still not as expensive as Irdium.

I am packing for a trip this weekend and decided to leave the sat phone out in favour for a PLB.

Paul Schnoes
(psch) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: SOTMR: Two-way Satellite Communications for Backpacking: Part 1 - Introduction on 03/20/2013 21:13:51 MDT Print View

Type 1 fun was fun when you did it and you thought it was fun afterwards.

Type 2 fun was NOT fun when you did it, but was fun when you thought about it later.

Type 3 fun was NOT fun when you did it and was NOT fun when you thought about it later.

A lot of hiking falls into type 2 fun!

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Re: Re: Two way texting - InReach on 03/21/2013 09:45:11 MDT Print View

Jeffs,

You mean the new DeLorme InReach SE, scheduled for release around April 1?

The InReach SE was announced while these articles were being edited -- and I was taking a break from obsessing over satellite devices. So you won't see the SE in Part 3.

For more information, try:

http://sarasotaavionics.com/avionics/inreach-se

Compared to the older InReach models:
- Built-in color screen, with virtual keyboard using the cursor keys
- Can send and receive free-form text messages without a paired device
- You can still pair with Apple iOS or Android
- Audible message notification
- $50 more, $299.95 retail
- 27 g lighter (200 g), taller but not as fat
- Non-removable, rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries, good for "100 hours of tracking"

Looks very promising, though I prefer to wait while others discover any issues.

-- Rex
DeLorme Inreach SE from cumulus-soaring.com

Edited by Rex on 03/21/2013 09:56:11 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Two way texting - InReach on 03/21/2013 10:10:04 MDT Print View

Now I'm confused

It costs $300

It has two way text capability and GPS?

I wonder if it has state of the art GPS reception

Just GPS is like $400 or $500

The InReach must not have the ability to display a topo map showing where you are

Do you have to pay something to send messages?

I agree, this looks very promising

Even if we're not quite there yet, it's close. I want GPS with display of topo map showing where I am, recording of tracks and waypoints so when I get back home I can see where I was, display tracks that were recorded so I can retrace my steps, and two way text messaging. Like the ability to send an email and look at at an email that was sent to me sometime in the past.

Michael Gillenwater
(mwgillenwater) - M

Locale: Seattle area
Re: Re: Re: Re: Two way texting - InReach on 03/21/2013 10:52:27 MDT Print View

The $300 is just the start. You surely will also have to buy a "plan" similar to your mobile phone plan. That is probably where they really make their money.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Two way texting - InReach on 03/21/2013 10:54:35 MDT Print View

ahhh - sort of like giving away the razor for free so you'll buy blades forever

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
More on the DeLorme InReach SE on 03/21/2013 11:41:23 MDT Print View

Jerry,

Like the older InReach models, the InReach SE has a GPS receiver, but will not show topo maps on the built-in screen. You will need to pair with an Apple iOS or Android device, and install the DeLorme app and maps. Maps on the paired device can be overlaid with your position, etc.

Like the older InReach models, you must subscribe to a DeLorme service plan to send and receive messages. Early reports state the InReach SE plans will cost the same as the older models. See www.inreachdelorme.com for details.

But the DeLorme InReach SE hasn't been officially announced yet, so who knows? A few dealers pre-announced this device; nothing official from DeLorme yet.

-- Rex

Dwight G
(diveslot100@mac.com)

Locale: Southcentral AK
Excellent info on 03/21/2013 19:05:56 MDT Print View

Thanks, Rex & BackpackingLight for this well-researched and informative guide. Was I the only one who wondered, only briefly of course, "how much would a carrier pigeon weigh...and eat?"

Perspective makes all the difference. Like any gear, suitability of a sat phone (or other sat device) depends on the best match with performance criteria needed in any given situation/application. For emergencies, the user's understanding of the inevitable tradeoffs/shortcomings is crucial. This article, like most BPL pieces, helps users sort cost/benefit in a practical, perhaps critical way before heading out to the field.

Looking forward to Part Two and thanks again!

Edited by diveslot100@mac.com on 03/21/2013 19:09:22 MDT.

Rod Lawlor
(Rod_Lawlor) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Typo? on 03/21/2013 20:49:18 MDT Print View

Yeah,

I'd be surprised if a pigeon could eat 500g (>1 lb) a day. I think this is probably more like 50g (just under 2oz)

Of course, you could probably forage 50g a day, and if you were stuck, you could eat the pigeon!

Rod

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Re: Re: Re: Two way texting - InReach on 03/21/2013 21:13:12 MDT Print View

Hey jerry!

Yeah if you want to use gps on the inreach se you have to couple it with your smarty phone and use an app. It is in 24k resolution. Ive seen pics of what it looks like but they were zoomed out. But AFAIK it 24k Is as good as it gets.

The thing with cameras is its probably a half- ass camera good for documenting 'this feature is here' as in waypoints. Anyone who wants a 'real' camera should probably stick to a dedicated camera.

I think they will offer a external battery pack just in case. It uses a mini usb plug to charge the internal.

Imo the Spot is obsolete.

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Re: Typo? on 03/21/2013 23:52:24 MDT Print View

Rod,

Good catch. 50 g per day to feed a pigeon is about right.

Not sure about the foraging part - wouldn't they tend to fly home? But I am not a pigeon expert.

-- Rex

Jim Milstein
(JimSubzero) - M

Locale: New Uraniborg CO
Re: Re: Typo? on 03/22/2013 17:01:18 MDT Print View

Yes, one would expect a bird to eat like a bird. Birds aren't ravenous. Oh, wait . . . . I think ravens are birds.

Edited by JimSubzero on 03/26/2013 14:48:26 MDT.

Wim Depondt
(wim_depondt) - F - MLife

Locale: The low countries
mixed reviews for Iridium on 03/24/2013 02:11:21 MDT Print View

Not all readers live and/or hike in the US. For those hiking in the EMEA hemisphere, Thuraya would be my advice. I have one: low rates and good coverage in most parts of EMEA. Bought mine on Ebay for €320. Weight is 130g, including battery.

@ Iridium: I have met some people with mixed review:
- sometimes a high drop call rate (My theory is that the LEO-satellites do not stay put on in the sky, compared to GEO-satellites). One could lose line of sight during a call, especially in mountains due to this.
- same latency as GEO-satellites. My theory is that this is the result of the existence of only one ground station (Arizona). I one would call e.g. from Nepal to Europa, the Iridium signal first has to travel through numerous Iridium-satellites to Arizona, then via cable back to Europe. My hypothesis is that latency could be generated due to the extra distance and the 'call queuing' of signals through this relatively complex system.

Once the Globalstar satellites become online, we might be in for a positive surprise with regard to the latency issue (combination of LEO-satellites and a bent-pipe system). No global coverage though (e.g. Indian subscontinent).

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: Two way texting - InReach on 03/24/2013 07:52:14 MDT Print View

"I want GPS with display of topo map showing where I am, recording of tracks and waypoints so when I get back home I can see where I was, display tracks that were recorded so I can retrace my steps, and two way text messaging. Like the ability to send an email and look at at an email that was sent to me sometime in the past."

How tedious. I just have a small plane continuously fly over me while I hike to take pictures of me and the trail the entire way. I signal messages to the plane with a mirror, and they mirror back. Better than text messages.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Two way texting - InReach on 03/24/2013 08:41:39 MDT Print View

"How tedious. I just have a small plane continuously fly over me while I hike to take pictures of me and the trail the entire way. I signal messages to the plane with a mirror, and they mirror back. Better than text messages."

Good idea. That would weigh nothing. Maybe a drone?

Michael Gillenwater
(mwgillenwater) - M

Locale: Seattle area
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Two way texting - InReach on 03/24/2013 09:59:27 MDT Print View

Hiking drones...hey hush. That is my new Kickstarter idea. Combine a view cam, GPS tracker, and food cache. You just send it off to the nearest MacDonalds to pick up a meal deal, fly it back to you and air drop it. And if you need help you send it off to the Ranger station instead of use a PLB. Sort of like Lassie crossed with the Terminator.

Mark Schultz
(mgschultz)
Re:Re:Re:Re: Drone Resupply on 03/24/2013 21:12:27 MDT Print View

Great idea, but I'm going with the helicopter drone model for landing and take off (two-way communication). Now that's backpacking light - having your gear delivered to your camp each afternoon and hauled off in the morning to the next camp.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re:Re:Re:Re: Drone Resupply on 03/24/2013 22:06:15 MDT Print View

And then your drone malfunctions and crashes leaving you stranded.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re:Re:Re:Re: Drone Resupply on 03/24/2013 23:03:45 MDT Print View

Yeah, I was thinking helicopter - easier to land

Michael Gillenwater
(mwgillenwater) - M

Locale: Seattle area
Re: Re: Re:Re:Re:Re: Drone Resupply on 03/24/2013 23:31:21 MDT Print View

Not sure why I am shifting to being serious on this point, but by "drone" I mean a hover or copter drone. The kind that are going to be everywhere in the future. The control systems are now good enough to make them autonomous.

Camera-Helicopter-Drone.jpg

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Drone Resupply on 03/25/2013 00:05:00 MDT Print View

There have been a number of documentaries about these. Really cool.

To be called a drone doesn't it have to be autonomous?

Advances in computer hardware and software, cameras,... is making these cheap and available to the masses, for example, backpackers.

Good for harrassing wildlife, probably not so good for ferrying supplies : )

Need to mount some sort of offensive weapon in addition to camera.

Jim Milstein
(JimSubzero) - M

Locale: New Uraniborg CO
More Fun with Drones on 03/26/2013 14:46:21 MDT Print View

Cool! Little drones would be just the thing for target practice. So much more fun than skeet. Bring 'em on!

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Sat Phones on 03/26/2013 17:01:01 MDT Print View

I had a Globalstar phone from 2005-2009, until their failed-amp problems got so bad that I wasn't able to make a connection even during predicted windows. I also had a 9600-baud Internet kit, which was useful when traveling by car outside of cell coverage.

I then switched to an Iridium phone. It has worked reliably whenever I've used it, including in areas with limited sky view. The contract price keeps creeping up ($55/mo. not including minutes), so I'm considering moving back to Globalstar when they become fully operational again.

I consider the sat phone to be a 1-pound penalty for my freedom. It's a business thing, and as long as I can check that my machines are running smoothly and thump them when they aren't, I can be away doing what I want. I also go solo, off-trail, year-round, and as long as my wife knows I can call if I'm in trouble, she doesn't worry about me. I don't consider that I'm 'chained to the grid'; instead, because I only use it to call out and it's turned off otherwise, nobody can bother me until I am ready to check in for a few minutes once a day. Since I don't have an Internet kit for it, I can't check my e-mail ("so sorry").

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Re: More on the DeLorme InReach SE on 03/31/2013 21:19:44 MDT Print View

DeLorme released all the specs for the inReach SE today:

http://inreachdelorme.com/product-info/inreachse.php

"Now accepting pre-orders. Expected ship date is mid to late April"

And I've started a more appropriate discussion for this device:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=75378

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
One more - handheld ground-to-air radios on 10/22/2013 00:22:36 MDT Print View

For whitewater raft trips in the Grand Canyon, NPS recommends (PDF) satellite phones or handheld ground-to-air radio transceivers for emergency communications. With the radio, you raise a passing airplane on a monitored frequency, relay a brief message to the pilot, and the pilot passes the message onward. If you get a commercial airliner, the message might go you -> pilot -> LA, Denver, or Albuquerque ATC -> local sheriff -> NPS.

I rented a ground-to-air radio for a 1996 Grand Canyon trip, which never came out of it's Pelican box. No small sat phones back then.

Example: A Yaesu FTA-720 transceiver weighs 9.9 oz. (280 grams) with antenna, and costs about $300.

I don't know the legalities of using ground-to-air radios for emergency communications anywhere else. Also, not very useful if you backpack in areas with very little air traffic.

-- Rex

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: One more - handheld ground-to-air radios on 10/22/2013 00:49:59 MDT Print View

A little over twenty years ago, a ground-to-air transceiver saved some lives on Mount Whitney. Backpackers were in the summit hut one afternoon when it was struck by lightning, killing at least one outright. Others were severely injured and others only mildly burned. One survivor ran to get help. [Try running at 14,000 feet sometime and see how far you get.] He ran down to Trail Camp at 12,000 feet where some boy scouts had a transceiver. Once they understood the emergency, they transmitted a Mayday to an airliner passing overhead. The pilot got the message and radioed ahead to the tower at LAX, which telephoned the Inyo County Sheriff. The sheriff could not do much that afternoon, so they called the Air National Guard which flew a small helicopter up to the summit for rescue... that very afternoon. That is pretty impressive. They took the two severely injured people right then. At dawn the next morning, a large helicopter flew up to the summit and flew the rest of the party off.

It never would have happened without the scouts with the radio.

--B.G.--

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Full Globalstar satellite constellation operating on 10/30/2013 23:18:08 MDT Print View

As of August 28, 2013, a complete constellation of Globalstar second-generation satellites is fully operational:

http://www.globalstar.com/en/index.php?cid=7010&pressId=792

This means Globalstar phones and Spot Global phones should work anytime you have a clear view of most of the sky, and you are in the Globalstar coverage area.

The problems with the old satellites did not affect Spot devices, and the new satellites will not improve Spot performance.

-- Rex