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#98356 - 06/25/07 05:17 PM Re: Woman who gets lost in woods is found thanks t [Re: teacher]
atoz Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/06
Posts: 144
Loc: Nevada
If your lost and can see no reconizable objects then a map and compass is useless, unless you use the map to build a fire. A map and compass is only useful if you can figure out where you might be. In the Rockies it is easy as you can typically find various peaks in a swamp nada.
cheers

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#98360 - 06/25/07 06:42 PM Re: Woman who gets lost in woods is found thanks t [Re: teacher]
DeathtoToasters Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/07
Posts: 147
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: teacher
Of course a map and compass would have helped, too


Actually it would not have. I had no way to figure out where I was exactly. It was night time, on a service road.

That fact on how I got there is a totally different story. I was stupidly...following the NAV system on our GMC Yukon Denali and forgot to shut off the service road options.

Anyway, even the nav system didn't tell me the GPS location.

There was no way I was going to leave the vehical with my family in the car. We had people who knew we were coming and we spoke to them just as we got out of range.

I know some of you are going to ask about why I didn't turn around. I was on a dirt road (that looked like asfault with dirt on it) that I thought was a normal road with some farm dirt on it.
It was one way, it was way too narrow to turn around and I could not see what was on the sides of the roads.

_________________________
"Death to Toasters"-John Connor

"All Hail the Power of Bauer"

"Only the Paranoid Survive" - Andy Grove

"Why is it called the American Dream? Because you have to be ASLEEP to believe it!" - George Carlin

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#98362 - 06/25/07 06:56 PM Re: Woman who gets lost in woods is found thanks t [Re: DeathtoToasters]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2089
Loc: NE Wisconsin
Originally Posted By: DeathtoToasters
No cell service, Onstar was broken at the time, when I finally got the onstar working...


Was the service down, or was the Onstar unit in your car not functioning and you somehow got it to function? How did you fix your Onstar at night on a mountain road?

My understanding was that Onstar communicates to the base stations via the cellular connection, and uses that cellular connection to transmit GPS coordinates and other information received from the vehicle. If there was no cell service, how did you contact Onstar?

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#98364 - 06/25/07 07:42 PM Re: Woman who gets lost in woods is found thanks t [Re: KenK]
ducttape Offline
Newbie

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 45
I don't have a Verizon phone, but most phones I've looked at don't give you access to the e911 GPS chip to see your coordinates.

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#98375 - 06/26/07 12:43 AM Re: Woman who gets lost in woods is found thanks t [Re: ducttape]
Russ Online   content
Geezer

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5309
Loc: SOCAL
Maybe there's a secret code that opens that function, but I've never seen the GPS function of my Verizon phone do anything at all. Totally worthless IME.

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#98385 - 06/26/07 01:43 AM Re: Woman who gets lost in woods is found thanks t [Re: Russ]
DeathtoToasters Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/07
Posts: 147
Loc: Southern California
There is a way to enter the service menu to see the gps locations, but I didn't remember it for my LG phone at the time.


Edited by DeathtoToasters (06/26/07 01:44 AM)
_________________________
"Death to Toasters"-John Connor

"All Hail the Power of Bauer"

"Only the Paranoid Survive" - Andy Grove

"Why is it called the American Dream? Because you have to be ASLEEP to believe it!" - George Carlin

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#98386 - 06/26/07 01:44 AM Re: Woman who gets lost in woods is found thanks t [Re: DeathtoToasters]
Be_Prepared Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 530
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: DeathtoToasters

It was me, my wife and our 3 kids all under 7 years old. Plus my Sister in law with her 2 kids, 2 year old and an infant.
...
This all happened at 8 pm and search and rescue didn't get to use for 6 1/2 hours.

It was that night that my whole life changed in the way I think of things.


At least you have a chance to improve the odds for next time. Sometimes, folks get into situations that don't work out as well, and don't have a chance to "be better prepared next time". I get the feeling that you will, and that's a good thing.

Regarding OnStar, I have it also, and in my case, my home cellular service that OnStar is using is from Verizon. The minutes for my phone are actually shared with the truck. I believe, as others have mentioned, that OnStar relies on Cellular for any voice communication. The new ones are all digital, so even if there's analog cellular available, I don't think you'll have full OnStar.
_________________________

- Ron

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#98388 - 06/26/07 02:05 AM Re: Woman who gets lost in woods is found thanks t [Re: KenK]
DeathtoToasters Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/07
Posts: 147
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: KenK
Originally Posted By: DeathtoToasters
No cell service, Onstar was broken at the time, when I finally got the onstar working...


Was the service down, or was the Onstar unit in your car not functioning and you somehow got it to function? How did you fix your Onstar at night on a mountain road?

My understanding was that Onstar communicates to the base stations via the cellular connection, and uses that cellular connection to transmit GPS coordinates and other information received from the vehicle. If there was no cell service, how did you contact Onstar?


Ok here is the long short story as to how the Onstar was broken and how I fixed it.

Almost a week before this incident, I was getting gas in our Yukon Denali at a Chevron station with an overhang over the pumps.

Well the keys fell out of my pocket and my fat ***, I mean, butt, hit the lock on the remote keyfob OR my hand hit the lock door button while I was getting out of the car, so when the door finally closed, it was locked. I cannot figure out which it was that locked the doors. Now if the keys were in the ignition, then the doors would have never locked, but like a good little boy, I took the keys out.

Now for anyone with kids you may sympathize with this, I left the car remote started because my 2 year old was in the car, it was almost 95 degrees. So I left it on with the remote start for the A/C and also the movie he was watching.

Well doors locked, truck on, keys on the front seat = BAD SITUATION.

I knew I had 15 min of the remote start left. So he was safe for 15 min. I called Onstar to have them remote unlock the car, but they could not as the antenna was not getting a good signal from the awning at the gas station. What a mess, so the Onstar rep asked if I could push the truck out from under the awning. Do I even need to say what I was thinking.

Anyway I had an idea. I only had about 4 feet until I had clear sky. The front of the truck was in the sunshine. So I told the Onstar rep to wait a sec. I got on the running boards and pulled the Onstar antenna off the roof, hoping there was enough slack in the wire to go that long.....nope there was not. So I ended up ripping the antenna off the roof completely and pulling the plug that connects under the roof out.

Anyway fire/rescue came and slim jimmied the door, which is another story. End result we got into the car.

Well I put the broken Onstar Antenna into the glove box.

Now fast forward till that night stuck in the mountains.
After we realized our cell phones would not work. I had to figure out another way to get help.

I was sitting there, listening to the kids crying, my wife crying and was just beating myself up for getting us into that situation.
The most lonley and helpless feeling in the world is not knowing that you are stuck. It is when my wife looked at me as quitely said:

"What are we going to do?"

and I said:

"I don't know"

Seeing that look in her eyes was the most motivating thing in the world.

I have always said that I can sleep on a park bench if I had to, but no my wife and kids.

So like a light shining on me I grabbed the Onstar antenna out of the glove box, then I had to figure out a way to get to the other end of the connection which was in between the head liner and the roof. So I did what I needed to do. I ripped the upper center console out of the roof (which housed all the buttons for the rear door, sun roof etc) then pulled the head liner down above my head, stuck my hand in there and found the other end.

Well I looked at the antenna end, and noticed that 2 of the three plug wires were pulled out, so I twisted them back together and pushed them back into the connector. I then opened the sunroof, replugged in the antenna and pressed the little blue button on the rear view mirror. It took about 4 -5 tries to actually get the wires pushed in enough to work, but they finally did.

THAT is how I fixed it.

Like I said, long-short version.


Edited by DeathtoToasters (06/26/07 02:06 AM)
_________________________
"Death to Toasters"-John Connor

"All Hail the Power of Bauer"

"Only the Paranoid Survive" - Andy Grove

"Why is it called the American Dream? Because you have to be ASLEEP to believe it!" - George Carlin

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#98390 - 06/26/07 02:31 AM Re: Woman who gets lost in woods is found thanks t [Re: Be_Prepared]
DeathtoToasters Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/07
Posts: 147
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: Be_Prepared


At least you have a chance to improve the odds for next time. Sometimes, folks get into situations that don't work out as well, and don't have a chance to "be better prepared next time". I get the feeling that you will, and that's a good thing.

Regarding OnStar, I have it also, and in my case, my home cellular service that OnStar is using is from Verizon. The minutes for my phone are actually shared with the truck. I believe, as others have mentioned, that OnStar relies on Cellular for any voice communication. The new ones are all digital, so even if there's analog cellular available, I don't think you'll have full OnStar.


Yes that is true I am more motivated and dedicated to be more prepared.

About the OnStar Verizon situation.

The Cellular service of Onstar, when you want to make a phone call from it, goes over the verizon network, but I don't believe the actual Onstar service runs off of that. I believe that is two way communication through satellite, but I maybe incorrect.
_________________________
"Death to Toasters"-John Connor

"All Hail the Power of Bauer"

"Only the Paranoid Survive" - Andy Grove

"Why is it called the American Dream? Because you have to be ASLEEP to believe it!" - George Carlin

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#98406 - 06/26/07 03:48 AM Re: Woman who gets lost in woods is found thanks t [Re: DeathtoToasters]
Alex Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 1034
Loc: -
Sorry, the OnStar is entirely based on a cellular service. So, don't expect it to be functional everywhere. The advantages over a simple cell phone are:
1. Larger, more powerful antenna.
2. Digital signal compression allowing to send data packets in short powerful bursts, which have much better chance to reach the nearest towers in decipherable, non distorted form.
3. Automated distress signal repeating.

So, if you have no OnStar in your car, you could consider investing in an antenna-buster for your cell-phone. I saw some good external antennas, which could outperform those used in the OnStar installation.

http://www.alternativewireless.com/cellular-antennas/index.html

Or better yet, - invest in a PLB! cool



Edited by Alex (06/26/07 04:23 AM)

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