Tracking our travels - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 24 Old 05-05-2011 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RobGallagher View Post
If you are using a smart phone there are some very good apps that will track your travels, including coordinates, heading, time/date, speed, etc.

Many of them you can set to plot your position at set intervals. The only problem is that they must be running for them to work. Probably not a problem i you have a newer, multi tasking smart phone.

I'm pretty sure these are also available for the Ipad (or maybe other tablet devices).

You can also set them to email the locations
Thanks. Perhaps I've misunderstood but don't see how that would help. I'm interested in providing position data that friends and family can access via a web link. Also, the solution would need to work internationally which certainly limits traditional cell phones.
Pete
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post #22 of 24 Old 05-07-2011 Thread Starter
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I've been reading up on the SPOT especially the ones that connect to a smart phone via Bluetooth. Apparently some of the SPOTs allow for the creation of custom messages on the fly. Can anyone using one of these describe how that works? It seems a pretty amazing device overall. Guess the only negative is the $100/year subscription fee. The big benefit, as I see it, is that it continues to function when you are offshore out of cell or WiFi range. However, for coastal cruisers there are probably other less expensive options. Comments?
Pete

Last edited by prroots; 05-07-2011 at 04:54 AM.
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post #23 of 24 Old 05-17-2011 Thread Starter
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Since none of the referenced options did just what we wanted our 'computer science' daughter wrote an app for us. Basically, we send an email with 9 fields of simple text separated by commas (description, month, day, year, time, lat-degrees, lat-minutes, lon-degrees, and finally lon-minutes). The subject line names the track (eg, Passage Miami to Virgin Islands). A confirmation email comes back immediately with success (or list of any format errors). Family and friends can then click a link and see all positions previously entered connected by straight lines. One can zoom and pan on the map. One clicks on any position to get the description entered eg, Arrived Miami; anchor down. We use either a Bullet (when WiFi is available) or a Kindle (when cell signal is available) to send the emails. Both options provide free email capability. So far it's been working in US, Bahamas, and Turks & Caicos. Thanks for all the feedback.
Pete
The program is now essentially complete. Various commands issued by simple text-based emails provide for 1) adding a point, 2) deleting a point, 3) listing all points, and 4) deleting an entire track. A password is now used to access a track(s). While simple in concept, the program now does everything we need. One of the underlying criteria was to keep the emails so simple that they could be easily sent from the very primitive browser of our Kindle. The Kindle offers free internet (and hence web email) in over 100 countries. So far we have verified this in Florida, Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, and Puerto Rico. If anyone is interested, please PM me.
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post #24 of 24 Old 05-17-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prroots View Post
I've been reading up on the SPOT especially the ones that connect to a smart phone via Bluetooth. Apparently some of the SPOTs allow for the creation of custom messages on the fly. Can anyone using one of these describe how that works? It seems a pretty amazing device overall. Guess the only negative is the $100/year subscription fee. The big benefit, as I see it, is that it continues to function when you are offshore out of cell or WiFi range. However, for coastal cruisers there are probably other less expensive options. Comments?
Pete
I have the older version of SPOT without BT, the subscription was $99 per year too. I found it is well worth the cost. Letting your family knows where you are and the state you are in is priceless. Now BT capable and send custom message on the fly is a good value. Imagine just 3 AAA battery power to be able to reach the satellite is amazing. The old VHF can able to reach just within the line of site sound so absurd in today's standard.

Hope soon we can use SPOT to receive text messages.


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