I agree with the comments on the SPOT communicator. It is the same with the SPOT messenger - many times the messages just do not get received by the intended recipient. However, the GPS is an excellent tool. I spent little over an hour learning the software and the menues on the handheld before I felt confident enough to download my maps and use the unit. Overall I am very impressed. The software and hardware is well documented. Don't over complicate it. Instructions to do everything are provided step-by-step. I really do not understand all the negative comments. I have owned both Garmin and Magellan units in the past. These too have quirks but at a much higher price tag. The PN-60 is a great unit at a great price - but I would not buy the SPOT communicator, and I would definately not depend on it as a PLB.
I have the Delorme PN 60 that does not have the spot addition. I think this GPS is terrific. I have created routes, planned whole trips and downloaded to my GPS. But the comments that the user interface can be confusing does have some merit, and learning to use the mapping software on your computer and transfer/sync with your GPS requires a small learning curve. This said, if you take the time, read the manual and use the help options especially on the mapping software, you will learn to love this GPS and it makes Garmin look like a kiddy toy.
I agree with others that this GPS is overly complex and the documentation is terrible. The same is true of the software. Doing any task can become a nightmare as the user interfaces seem to be designed to make everything difficult.
Yes,there is a certain production run that has been recalled. check this out for the full details: http://www.backpacker.com/recall-2011-editors-choice-winner-/blogs/daily_dirt/1994.
But rest assured, we tested this thing A LOT, and had no problems. We're confident that despite this production glitch that happened in some of the units, which will be fixed, this is still an outstanding, recommendable product.
The SPOT unit for this GPS is being recalled. The unit does not reliably send messages. When I tested it, about 2/3 of the messages that I sent never made it through. That's pretty bad if I'm relying on this for my life safety. I am actually surprised that these went out with such a glaring defect. That said, the DeLorme unit itself is not that impressive. The interface both on the unit and on the computer is very tedious to use. The satellite imagery feature also is very difficult to use. I regret purchasing this device.
I made the mistake of buying this product. It is virtualy useless. The software is a nightmare, and totaly undocumented. I defy anyone to create a hiking route, download it into this GPS and be able to follow the route.
I've gone back to a map and compass.
This GPS tool was just recalled. Might want to wait until they get the issues figured out.
SPOT Recalls Satellite Communicator With Delorme GPS
Our experience with this unit is very poor. Its messaging is very unreliable, and its GPS function is markedly inferior to any of the current Garmins. You should do more field testing before awarding an Editor's Choice award. We too were really looking forward to this unit based on the ads, but the ads in our experience simply did not turn out to match reality.
I believe the Spot works with an iPhone via Bluetooth so you can send your message from the phone to the Spot. I personally got rid of my stand alone GPS units a couple years ago and use Motion X apps on my iPhone since they are much much better.
How easy is it to break? I know that if my friends were texting people back home while on trip, I would definitely need it to be easily breakable. How high a cliff is required to ensure that it smashes upon impact? If I throw it in a lake or river, will it float or sink? What type of wood works best for beating it? I'm assuming a hardwood would be better than a softwood, but perhaps Backpacker could be able to provide a really good chart mapping out the differences between wood types for this purpose? Preferably organized by area.
This gps looks awesome. In addition, I've noticed the new graphics and really like them. Keep the videos coming!
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