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#147269 - 09/03/08 07:55 PM ACR's spot slam video
falcon5000 Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 662
Although I love ACR to death, I see that there gunning hard for spot. Just as Doug had mentioned, a company like ACR must be hurting a little from spot sales to go after them. Instead of wasting money on advertisement to hurt spot, they need to come out with a more cost effective beacon with features like spot.

Spot on the other hand has an opportunity to go after the big dogs by making a more reliable product in difficult terrain and have a dual feature to allow you to use the same rescue satellites and frequency like ACR free and give the option of subscribing to there extra features and so forth. If Spot had the full features of the ACR (durable,Free,use in most terrains) and there replaceable AA batteries and extra optional services, they could put a hurt on ACR.


ACR Spot bash video


http://www.acrelectronics.com/

Features of a good beacon to name a few, add some more if you can think of.
1. Cost $200 or under
2. Small and compact with user replaceable common batteries, like AA's
3. Uses same 406MHz rescue frequency and 121.5 MHz (SAR homing frequency).
4. Internal GPS
5. Waterproof to 15 feet
6. Self test feature


_________________________
Failure is not an option!
USMC Jungle Environmental Survival Training PI 1985

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#147274 - 09/03/08 08:36 PM Re: ACR's spot slam video [Re: falcon5000]
celler Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/25/03
Posts: 410
Loc: Jupiter, FL
I did not find the ACR hit piece particularly offensive. ACR and SPOT are dealing with different technologies that are not really compatible. Both the ACR MicroFix and SPOT are small units. Although it would be nice if the MicroFix had a user replaceable battery, there is something to be said about a using a long life lithium battery that is idiot proof so long as you stay within the shelf life recommendations. I like the fact that the ACR PLB system is maintained by the government and am comforted by the detail of information that is requested in the registration process. I like the rock solid nature of the homing signal and substantial testing. I like not having to pay a subscription fee. Bottom line, the PLB is designed as a one-function device and that is not likely to change. And I really don't want it to, as it does what it was designed to do well.

If I need non-emergency communications capability in the outback, I rent a sat phone which gets me much more bang for my buck than "OK" messages from SPOT.

YMMV

Craig.

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#147283 - 09/03/08 09:23 PM Re: ACR's spot slam video [Re: celler]
TeacherRO Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2326
7. bright color
8. dead simple operating instructions
9. One-hand operable
10. lanyard attachment


Teacher

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#147287 - 09/03/08 10:12 PM Re: ACR's spot slam video [Re: celler]
falcon5000 Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 662
I like the ACR as well over the spot, but what I do like about the spot is that it is under $200, user replaceable batteries and very small. But if my life was on the line I would use the ACR by far. I wish ACR would get on the ball with current technology and upgrade their unit. As for the 406mhz government controlled, I hope that doesn't change.


What's sad is on a statistical level from the cooperate bean head level, the order of 3 devices that save the most lives are:
1. Cell phones (Most lives saved)
2. Spot (Second Most lives saved)(Will end up in the number 2 slot due to the price of the unit and the bulk of the rescues locally)
3. ACR PLB (Third Most lives saved) This is what's sad, ACR is the best unit of the 3 and is a true use anywhere device and the saves of these are few due to the high cost of the units and few people who understand the technology. The majority of the rescues now a days are within miles of civilization. The few cases we here about are people who have purchased or rented a true PLB.

_________________________
Failure is not an option!
USMC Jungle Environmental Survival Training PI 1985

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#147290 - 09/03/08 10:29 PM Re: ACR's spot slam video [Re: falcon5000]
celler Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/25/03
Posts: 410
Loc: Jupiter, FL
Please take this question in the good spirit it is intended, but where did you obtain those statistics? PLBs have been around much longer than SPOT. I question the statistical basis for the assertion that more lives have been saved by SPOT than PLBs.

Craig.

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#147295 - 09/03/08 10:50 PM Re: ACR's spot slam video [Re: celler]
falcon5000 Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 662
None taken Craig, your correct ACR has been around and is higher than spot right now but in time I feel with the price of the spot as more people buy it (as with cell phones) the numbers will go up. I definitely did not explain myself very good (which I do 99.999% of the time), what I saw on another website (which you know how facts are on the net) is there was a discussion about rescue methods. Given a state like Florida with it's population, out of all accidents involving rescue and people who are just lost with cell phone coverage, the 911 system has the most numbers for sending out help for those in need. Now we have hikers say for fla that their cell phone has no bars or they have no phone, if a hiker (average joe)is hiking in fla, I have seen these spot's selling pretty good here due to the cost. I'm willing to bet if everything stayed the same price wise that you could look ahead, that those hikers would probably have the spot over the ACR due to the cost and where they are hiking, the serious hikers and expedition class (which is a small group compared to the masses) will probably have the ACR.

The numbers above aren't actual statistics but only speculations on my part and are based on observation and feedback though other forums. I apologize for the mix up though, I was trying to get the idea that in today's society that people take the cheapest easiest way about things. The Walmart senerio, why buy a Rolex when you can get a Timex that does the same thing, just different quality but over a thousand dollar difference.
_________________________
Failure is not an option!
USMC Jungle Environmental Survival Training PI 1985

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#147314 - 09/03/08 11:49 PM Re: ACR's spot slam video [Re: falcon5000]
celler Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/25/03
Posts: 410
Loc: Jupiter, FL
I better understand your hypothesis and your conclusions may turn out to be accurate. I would certainly agree that SPOT's price point may very likely get it in to more outdoor enthusiast's hands than PLBs. And certainly more units out there may turn into more rescues.

However, there are a couple of issues that may prevent that from coming true. First, how long is your non-serious outdoor enthusiast going to pay that annual subscription fee. There is a distinct possibility that after SPOT loses its newness and sits in the duffel bag for a few months, that the price of the subscription will become a discretionary expense that does not make the cut.

Also, you correctly point out that most of the serious outdoor enthusiasts, after weighing the options, will choose a PLB. As these folks live a little closer on the edge, there may be more opportunities for rescue than the casual SPOT user. At the same time, I would also also hope that the serious enthusiast would be better prepared and thus would not find themselves in as many rescue situations.

The jury is still out. I will always count on my MicroFix as I get too far off the grid and have too many people counting on me to be a problem solver to count on anything less.

The battle will get much more interesting if we ever see SPOT 2.0 which is rumored to include text messaging (which would really make sense). If they do that at a good price point, they will really bridge the gap between a PLB and a sat phone and the battle for supremacy for the casual user will certainly be over.

Craig.

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#147322 - 09/04/08 12:38 AM Re: ACR's spot slam video [Re: celler]
jshannon Offline
Addict

Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 585
Loc: North Texas
We need a two way satellite texting device. Just don't call it your STD!


Edited by jshannon (09/04/08 12:38 AM)

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#147397 - 09/04/08 05:48 PM Re: ACR's spot slam video [Re: jshannon]
jaywalke Offline
Member

Registered: 12/22/07
Posts: 172
Loc: Appalachian mountains
Originally Posted By: jshannon
We need a two way satellite texting device. Just don't call it your STD!


heeheehee

"Hey, I just got a new STD! Paid less than $200 for it. Picked it up in Tokyo. Want to see it?"



Edited by jaywalke (09/04/08 05:51 PM)

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#147767 - 09/07/08 01:54 PM Re: ACR's spot slam video [Re: falcon5000]
Polak187 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/23/02
Posts: 1403
Loc: Brooklyn, New York
Hell yeah the ACR must be hurting. General public doesn't know any better. Famous TV person has their face plasted with SPOT all over. Spot has all the "hip" features that youth wants. And it is cheaper (initially). So why not?

SPOT will get better. It will take time but they will do it. Slowly rescue will become a bussines and company like SPOT already has a foot in the door. SPOT hits the spot when it comes to extra services. I was in the market for PLB and everywhere I turned SPOT was recommended just based on the "i'm ok" function. It was shown side to side and besides all the functions of ACR models (yes I know they are two different beasts but pimply kid behind the counter doesn't) SPOT has the cool functions, is smaller and it takes regular batteries.

It used to be that I left the note with the ranger station "i be back in seven days" and everything was good. Now even my old man who recently discovered internet said to me: "when you are doing yer crazy stuff it would be nice to know that you are ok". Guess what? If my old man walks into the shop he will walk out with SPOT and not ACR product.
_________________________
Matt
http://brunerdog.tripod.com/survival/index.html

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