Thank you for your interest in SPOT! Read below for more information and click here to watch a overview of SPOT's functions.
SPOT is a satellite product and needs an area clear of tall obstructions to maximize message delivery success. Buildings, inside cars or planes, dense wet tree cover, mountains, caves, canyons, etc…can reduce message delivery success.
It is normal for some messages to be blocked by your environment and the reliability of SPOT is enhanced by the fact that every message type transmits multiple times during its cycle. OK messages transmit three (3) times, discarding any extras after the first is received.
SPOT is an electronic device that uses GPS as a portion of its service. Using other GPS devices and operating SPOT in areas of high interference such as airports and cellular or satellite towers can throw off the coordinate reporting and sometimes even block message transmission.
Spot strongly recommends that you send and verify an OK/Check message before using your SPOT each day, and at minimum anytime you have traveled more than 600 miles, have changed the batteries or have not used the unit for over two (2) weeks. List your own cell phone (if you have text capability) in your OK contacts.
To run the check:
1) Press the ON/OFF button
2) Wait 2 seconds
3) Press OK
4) Wait until the LED above the OK button goes off (can be up to 20 minutes).
You have now completed the GPS Fix / System Evaluation cycle. If after 4 minutes, the LEDs above the ON/ OFF and OK button start to blink out-of-synch instead of in unison, you still do not have a GPS fix. If you haven't used your unit recently it may still be updating the almanac or it might not see the 3 GPS satellites required to obtain a GPS fix, so it is highly recommended that you MOVE to a different location with a clearer view of the sky in order to get a GPS fix, and repeat Steps 1) through 4). The LEDs above the ON/OFF and OK button should blink at the same time until they go out if you have successfully obtained a GPS fix. Optimally, you run the test in cell phone range and can ensure that your cell phone received the text message with your lat/long location.
If you turn your SPOT on and have not pressed any other buttons and OK starts flashing RED, then your unit has failed a Self-Test and should be submitted for repair/replacement.