Used SPOT Messenger 2′s for sale at the Second Hand store. Read more…
It’s out at last – the 3rd Generation SPOT tracker. Information is hard to come by at the moment so for the time being, here is the promotional information for retailers.
The SPOT Gen3 Satellite GPS Messenger keeps you connected and in touch during your far-flung adventures. Using satellite technology, SPOT maintains communication almost anywhere on the globe.
- Check in with your professional and social networks, send custom text messages and let others track your real-time location via Google Maps
- In an emergency, transmit an SOS with your exact location to GEOS Emergency Response Coordination Center to activate a rescue
- Tracking options let you choose the capture rate that best suits your movement: 2.5-, 5-, 10-, 30- or 60-minute increments
- With Motion Activated Tracking, SPOT Gen3 knows when you’re moving and when you stop to make camp; it stops sending tracking info until you start moving again
- Weighing only 90g. with batteries, the compact SPOT Gen3 packs easily for traveling fast and light
- Contoured shape with dual attachment points makes it easy to fasten the SPOT Gen3 Satellite GPS Messenger to your pack, bag, boat or vehicle
- Power options include single-use AAA lithium batteries (included), rechargeable batteries (sold separately), or line-in power via the unit’s USB port
- Comes with 4 AAA lithium batteries, USB cord, carrying strap and carabiner clip
$149.99 yearly subcription covers basic service and tracking. Add unlimited tracking for an additional $50 per year, or unlimited tracking at 2.5 min. intervals for an additional $150 per year.
There are now firm plans for the fiesta. The mass launch is now planned for Friday 2nd to Saturday 3rd August (August 9th – 10th are backup days). The venue will be the Green Dragon Pub, Buttington, Welshpool.
Participants should put in their own application to the CAA to launch from this location and at this time. They will have to take responsibility to manage their own safety. Contact me (email@example.com) for help in securing gas and balloons for the launch.
The pub has 5 pitches for tents or caravans. There is also plenty of accommodation locally in Welshpool. To contact the pub directly you can call 01938 553076. The pub has wifi for tracking and monitoring.
As part of their science week, Sevenoaks school launched a weather balloon to take photographs of Earth from the Stratosphere. This was done under the guidance of a guest speaker from Toronto University who came to the school to talk about his work with research gathered by weather balloons. The balloon launch was a practical experiment for the students to see how, what could be done.
In their payload the students used 2 Go Pro Hero cameras with wifi and extended batteries. Tracking was done with enhanced GPS trackers using SMS and GPRS. The payload was designed and manufactured by the school’s design team and comprised a polystyrene box with foam and hand warmers to keep the electronics running smoothly during flight.
The CAA required the school to launch between 7 and 8 in the morning and only with a SE wind. The school launched the balloon on March 3rd 2013; with a forecast for a landing in eastern France. The school launched the balloon and it climbed over the English Channel, however the last transmission received from the trackers was from The Channel, just of the Belgian coast; then nothing. Nothing that is until the payload was washed up on the Isle of Sheppey approximately 5 weeks after the launch date and the other side of the English Channel.
When the school finally picked up the payload, the cameras were rusty and saturated with salt. They had to be dismantled around the SD card to retrieve the image data, but the SD cards were also damaged. The electronics were then transferred from the SD card casing to the new housing of another, before data could be retrieved.
It was a miracle that the payload was recovered and equally unlikely that the photo images of the flight could be recovered. Well done Sevenoaks school.
For more information on the flight go to
After the euphoria of a new tracker being launched it is good to say, “ Are Gen 3’s new features useful or useless to me?” . So even though it isn’t available yet, let’s look at the specifications and decide if they are useful or useless.
Case – USEFUL – It has the water resistance of the Messenger 2 and it has moulded loops to help with easy attachment to the exterior or interior of the payload.
Power – USEFUL– the Gen 3 supports rechargeable batteries so you can save money on powering your tracker but it has yet to be seen if there is equivalent reliability of power after use at altitude.
Weight – USEFUL-the lighter it is, the less helium or hydrogen you need. That’s a no brainer!
Variable tracking rate – USELESS – there is no realistic need to have 30 minute plus position reporting on a high altitude balloon unless you want to have a floater. Lower rates would be nice but if they come at a $150 premium then I will stick with 10 minutes. Uncertainty though is the cost of location reports every 5 minutes.
Motion activated tracking – USELESS- There is no way to stop the high altitude balloon ascent once you let go. The question is, will it report minor position changes once a payload has landed? If this is a power saving function then it could be beneficial if the tracker lands in a remote location.
USB interface – USEFUL – if it offers the ability to download position reports but we need more information about this.
All in all the new features are USEFUL but there doesn’t seem to be a killer feature, like smart phone link, that makes me want to rush out and get one now. Sure, when I replace my SPOT M2’s I’ll be getting one but, at first sight, there is no ‘deal maker’ there.
This short romantic tale was developed by the Dave Akerman launch team and http://wreckmydress.co.uk .
The Payload of the balloon launched by the Friends School, Lisburn, was finally lost at sea. This came after the payload landed in the Irish sea between the mull of Galloway and Strangford Loch. The SPOT tracker used by the group transmitted from 13:00 on 1st May to 13:00 on 2nd May then turned off. If you come across the payload then please contact the Friends School, Lisburn.
A recent high altitude balloon launch from students at South Cheshire College demonstrated some of the extreme icing that payload cameras can experience. the launch took place from Welshpool in late April 2013. The balloon payload passed through light showers early in it’s ascent. Following this, ice can be seen progressively forming in the top left corner of the picture image.
This Balloon Project was carried out by: Michael Brooker (Project Leader), Michael Walsh, Ryan Grimes and Jaques Jervis. Launch to landing took 1 hour 55 minutes in total but it took us another 2 hours 30 minutes to drive to the location and find it.