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Archive for 'Gear'

SPOT and DeLorme Unveil Handheld GPS with Satellite Communicator

(See latest Update for more information.)
At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Spot LLC, and well-known GPS manufacturer DeLorme announced the world’s first handheld GPS and satellite communicator product. The DeLorme Earthmate PN-60w with SPOT Satellite Communicator will be the first handheld GPS capable of sending user inputted real time text messages from [...]

SPOT 2 Recall Announced

Feb. 17, 2010: Replacements for Recalled SPOT 2s Shipping
Click here for Latest Update
SPOT LLC has issued what they are calling a “Voluntary Return Program” for their recently released second generation SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger which even they are now referring to as “SPOT 2.” The email sent to all registered owners is reproduced below [...]

Follow-up Report – Second Generation SPOT

(Click on images for higher resolution photos)
Our initial evaluation of the second generation SPOT GPS Satellite Messenger (SPOT 2) was cut short when the unit died after we immersed it in a bowl of water. While we were originally told it was a production SPOT 2, turns out it was one of the pre-production units [...]

A Preventable Tragedy

The tragedy of the three college softball players who were trapped in their vehicle and drowned in a pond on Sunday was totally preventable, if only someone had equipped them to survive. A simple, inexpensive safety tool on their keychain could have saved them. Either the ResQMe or the Houdini Automotive Escape Tool [...]

Initial Hands-on Report – Second Generation SPOT

(Click on images for higher resolution photos)
Click to read our Follow-up Report.
SPOT, LLC has started shipping their second generation SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger (which we will refer to here as SPOT 2) that we took a look at when it was introduced at Outdoor Retailer earlier this year. I was supposedly sent one [...]

Second Generation SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger Introduced

Initial Hands-on Report – Second Generation SPOT
SPOT, LLC introduced their second generation “SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger” at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake City, Utah, this week. The new device (I’ll refer to it as SPOT 2 to differentiate between it and the original SPOT) appears to address many of the deficiencies we [...]

Canada Backs Off on 406 MHz ELT Rule

AVweb reported today that according to Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) President Kevin Psutka, the Canadian Minister of Transport, John Baird, has suspened implimentation of a proposed rule that would have required most aircraft flying in and into Canada to have a 406 Mhz ELT (emergency locator transmitter) installed by February, 2011. The [...]

UST Resumes Shipping StarFlash Ultra

Ultimate Survival Technologies has resumed production of the StarFlash Ultra signal mirror after originally ceasing production back in October, 2008, based on concerns we had expressed after testing, primarily regarding the effects of immersion in water. When initially presented with our test results, they did some months of preliminary testing before they concurred with our [...]

Visual Distress Signals Tested By BoatU.S. Foundation

BoatU.S. Foundation has published results from their recent tests of visual distress signaling devices, primarily pyrotechnic flares, but also including a few non-pyrotechnic visual distress signals (but not signal mirrors).
Click here to go to the BoatU.S. Foundation visual distress signal article.
As you might expect, their tests focused on the marine environment where use of [...]

Satellite Testing of Your 406 MHz Beacon Has Arrived

One of the frustrating parts of owning a 406 MHz EPIRB, PLB or ELT has been that it is nearly impossible for the average consumer to actually test their beacon, at least affordably. We have been pretty much forced to rely on the beacon’s own internal self-test mechanism. It’s not that I don’t trust [...]