Beacon Messages

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Beacon Messages

Postby John Wolfe » Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:12 pm

I carry a SPOT2, which has four buttons, three of which deliver pre-programmed messages to a list of recipients I control. The fourth sends a distress signal to the SPOT call center and basically summons the cavalry. In all cases the coordinates of the beacon are transmitted along with the message. Here's how my messages are typically configured for each button:
OK - "I'm on the ground and OK. I'll hike toward a road."
Custom - "I'm on launch."
Help - "I need help from my friends, but it's not an emergency. Could be a wing stuck in a tree or a minor injury."
SOS - "I'm a paraglider pilot and often fly over terrain where there are no roads or trails."

My usage protocol follows:
When I set up my glider:
1. Turn on the SPOT.
2. Activate tracking.
3. Send Custom message ("I'm on launch.")
When I land:
1. Send OK message ("I'm on the ground and OK. I will hike toward a road.")

Those on my SPOT SPAM list understand this protocol, so if they see the "I'm on launch message" but no other message by the time it gets dark, they know to go looking on XC Find or on my SPOT page to work out where I might be.

I'm interested to know the protocols others use for their beacons.
John Wolfe
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 12:51 pm

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