Print of on Sunday 22Jul2018         Page : My SPOT Page

My SPOT Page

This page shows the last 5 locations transmitted by my SPOT GPS Messenger and by my smartphone application. You can also see the last reported position (full page).


The SPOT GPS Messenger is a small device that gets your GPS position and on command sends a message with your current position to the using a commercial satellite network (GlobalStar).  The system then sends preconfigured messages to up to 10 email and mobile phones (via SMS).


Subscription is $115USD per annum for the service.  For that you get unlimited emails and 200 SMS messages.  For Australian users, the mobile phone number must have the the leading zero dropped and 61 added to the front (country code).  For example 0412345678 becomes 61412345678.

Pros and Cons Compared to EPIRB

Of course, the traditional method of alerting people when you need help in remote areas is by using an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon).  EPIRBs use a dedicated emergency satellite system to give reliable transmission.  Many EPIRBs send GPS position to give your exact co-ordinates.  The SPOT GPS messenger is a viable alternative once you consider the pros and cons.

Pros of SPOT GPS Messenger

Cons of SPOT GPS Messenger
In general I think the SPOT GPS Messenger is great for land based activities (bushwalking, remote area 4WD, mountain climbing, fishing in rivers, etc.) - but is not suitable for offshore marine use.

If you are interested in the satellite network, you can get more information and view live tracks of Globalstar satellites at

There's a bit more of a story on my blog page.


When I had an iPhone I used the MOTIONX application to send position reports.

The MOTIONX application for iPhone is very good.  It gives fast position lockon and plenty of navigation facilities.  The email position reporting/sharing is similar to SPOT (no SMS) but is free.  Of course you need to be in a mobile data coverage area for the facility to work.  MOTIONX uses downloaded image based maps so they are not routable.  But you get a choice of MOTIONX maps or Google maps and satellite images.  Since the maps are downloaded as you view them you need to be careful of data charges.

ANDROID - Tasker App

These days I'm using an Android phone (Samsung S3 LTE) and I couldn't find an app similar to MotionX.  So I wrote my own using the scripting tool "Tasker".  It gets the GPS position and sends a simple email that is parsed by my server.  Maybe one day I'll write something that emulates the SPOT.

Print of on Sunday 22Jul2018