Spot: Yea or Nay
For the past couple of years our Spot tracker has been a constant companion of ours on board ZTC. It has lived outside, simply attached to a stern rail by a couple of black* tie wraps. Except for those few times that the batteries have failed us, we have used the Spot unit to report our GPS position, the data being posted to our website and also onto the ZTC Facebook Page. Also, during the times that we have remembered to turn it on, it has dutifully reported our position every 10 minutes during passages.
Just recently I had one or two loyal readers inquire as to why our Spot unit was not turned on for our last passage(s). The primary answer is that the batteries had died and I did not have any AAA Lithium batteries on board to replace them with. There is also the matter of the subscription fee which I have been debating not renewing.
Not everyone is likely aware of this but for the Spot unit to work, even in its most basic form, a $99.00 annual subscription fee must be paid. In addition to this, in order for Spot to record the passages as we have had it doing, an extra $50.00 per year must be paid on top of that basic fee. These sums may not seem like a huge amount but for someone trying to live relatively frugally, any amount of money wasted is too much. So, my question today is, “Is the money being wasted?” In other words, do you, our family and friends, consider this position reporting of value? If not, I’d just as soon let the subscription lapse. If, however, staying abreast of our exact position, beyond that which is included in our near-daily posts, is something that you feel adds considerable value to this website, then I guess we’ll just have to bite the bullet and keep the fees in the budget. What say you?
Our spot unit has lived in the elements without complaint for over two years.
You can see how the case has weathered in the sun and rain though.
You can also see how that portion of the Spot device which has not been protected
from the sun has faded over time.
*Note: Black is reportedly the most UV resistant. Don’t use white tie wraps (zip ties) in outdoor applications.