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  #1  
Old 04-06-2011
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Spot HUG

Does anyone have any experience with Spot HUG system? I am looking for a system that will monitor bilge water, intrusion, theft, etc. HUG seems to have that plus some messaging(SOS, web updates), trip tracking and it is satellite based as opposed to some other systems I found that were cell based.

I know there are a couple of home-made remote monitoring systems but I like the additional features of the HUG and the fact that it is satellite based.


http://www.findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=113
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Old 06-03-2011
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So far so good

I bought a spot HUG for my Pearson 30 and so far so good. I haven't gotten beyond the basic installation in the boat (the old A-4 engine is in pieces in the shop due to a sticky valve that just doesn't want to be fixed) but I have extensively tested it on land. Check in/ok works great and is very accurate. The sensor alerts gave me some trouble at first but once the bugs were worked out they are great. Less then a 2 min delay between the sensor tripping and notification to my phone. Let me warn you now, unless it has been updated, every wiring diagram for the sensors on the website and manuals is WRONG!) I spoke to customers service and they gave me the correct diagram but haven't published it due to "waiting on Legal". They Are as Follows (and these I personally tested to be correct)

Open Sensors:
Violet:1
Orange:3

Closed Sensors:
Green: 2
Blue: 4

Haven't tried the SOS (THANK GOD) or the Help feature yet. I have the help linked to my towboat US account and given my engine, I will probably use it this summer. I will let you know how that works when the time comes.

Overall, I would Highly recommend it!
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Old 07-18-2011
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Can you provide some details about how you tested the sensor wiring? I also discovered through trial & error that all the wiring diagrams in the manual and web site are wrong. However, the wire colors depend on how the cable harness is wired, and I suppose that could change from batch to batch. In my case, the orange pair behaved like a closed sensor, not open. So far I haven't been able to get the high water sensor to alarm reliably. The high water alarm is the most important feature for me because I'm out of town a lot, and I dwell upon those statistics about how many boats sink unattended at the dock ...

Also, the fob recognition doesn't seem to be foolproof and I've twice received calls about unauthorized movement when I was on the boat with the fob, even though I checked the pairing before leaving the slip. Ever happen to you? To avoid this I will have to manually disarm and re-arm the tracker when I use my boat, and that's one more thing to remember.
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Old 07-18-2011
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For the high water alarm i used the Orange wires. Just to cover the basics on electrical circuits, an open circuit is a broken circuit, while a closed circuit is a complete one. The high water alarm works by completing (closing) the circuit when the float is raised. Since it is normally open, the spot defines this as an open sensor. Also be sure to keep your info online up to date. I Ran into a wall when i moved the sensor to another wire set and forgot to update the alert profile online. I spent an hour (and several words a pirate would be proud of) thinking it wasn't working before i checked online and saw that it was coming through, but i didn't select a phone for it to call.

I used a rule bilge pump switch as my sensor and wired it directly to the orange wires on the spot harness. I tested this several times by placing the rig in a bucket and filling it with water before I installed it on the boat. Here is another deviation from the printed manual:

There is a 30 second delay before the alarm triggers!!! In order to begin the alarm signal, the circuit must be closed for 30 seconds. This is to prevent false alarms.

On a side note, i have my unit wired into my 12v system. I know when running on internal batteries, the unit does go into a standby mode to save power. However I have no idea how this affects alarm reaction times.

As far as false theft alarms, I have not had any issues with that. My guess is maybe the unit losses communication with the fob due to physical barriers. Is your fob far from the base unit during operation? or do you move it around while the boat is in motion? My FOB is attached to my engine key so during operation, it is only about 5 feet from the base unit at all times. Also, replace the batteries, maybe it has enough power for the initial transmission, but gets weaker as the day progresses.
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Old 07-18-2011
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not directly related to this system but, call the monitor center to test the SOS. i have used many different trackers and the proceedure was mostly the same and personaly have found a few to not work correctly
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Old 07-18-2011
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As I understand the manual, the sensors will not send an alarm when the fob presence is detected. Did you leave the fob ashore or otherwise disarm the tracker?

I'm using (or trying to use) a Rule high water alarm switch to connect to the Hug. I have not been able to generate a high water alarm reliably. I knew about the 30 second delay.

What I meant by the orange pair behaving like a closed circuit instead of open: When I enabled sensor 3 on the keypad, which should be the orange pair, I started receiving phone alarms every 15 minutes. This is the behavior expected if the tracker expected sensor 3 to be normally closed but instead found it open. This led me to wonder if the sensor numbers as well as the color codes were scrambled in the manual. As you have also discovered, there is a page on the Spot web site that says sensors 1 and 3 are of the normally closed type, which conflicts with the manual and also conflicts with the off-line info provided by customer service.

I realize this is gibberish to anyone who hasn't used the Hug but I'm just glad to exchange ideas with another user.
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Old 07-18-2011
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By the way my Hug tracker is mounted in a space behind an electrical panel, so even though the fob is physically only 3-4 feet away the electrical gear could be causing intermittent interference. I can generate an "OK" message from the fob but then I get the "unauthorized movement" messages indicating no fob present.
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Old 07-18-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowocean View Post
By the way my Hug tracker is mounted in a space behind an electrical panel, so even though the fob is physically only 3-4 feet away the electrical gear could be causing intermittent interference. I can generate an "OK" message from the fob but then I get the "unauthorized movement" messages indicating no fob present.
I know this sounds like a dumb idea, but have you inserted a known good battery in the fob? A weak battery could probably shorten the range.
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Old 07-18-2011
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Slow Ocean, that is interesting. Have you tried updating the firm-ware? It sounds to me like something is amiss with your system. With my unit when i activate a sensor that is normally closed, and there is no sensor attached, the HUG will not send an alarm until the circuit is closed, then reopened. Also since your fob is only a few feet away, it shouldn't have any interference. Firm ware updates can be done by opening your base unit and using a USB cable(i cant remember if it is mini or micro) to attach it to your computer. Then login to your spot account and the update is in there somewhere. I haven't done this myself, but i came across the page to do it and the instructions. If it is a software glitch, that should fix it.

Also you could try calling Customer service yourself. The wiring diagram i posted earlier is what they gave me and they have all been correct for my unit. They did ask me for my Serial Number when i called so maybe an older model will have a different code sequence.
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Also the problem could also be in the Rule Switch. Test it with a Multi-meter to be sure. Bilge pumps,switches, and wiring are right behind zincs when it comes to the frequency we replace them.
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