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  1. #1

    Default Satellite Tracking Devices

    Since I'm gearing up for my first really big road trip, I'm very curious about a lot of the technology out there, and one thing I was wondering about are satellite devices, so I just thought I'd ask what kind of equipment people here use to help them stay in touch in places where the last hope for possible advanced communication may be via satellite.

    Do you have a certain gadget you rely on for this? Do you think things like satellite phones or more affordable options like this this satellite messenger are good/worthwhile, or do you find them mostly unnecessary even when far from any means of tracking or emergency contact? What about service for these hi-tech devices? Is it expensive? Does it require a contract? Is it reliable? What do you use as alternatives? Do you take advantage of an existing GPS service on a piece of equipment you already have? And do you find that's more than sufficient?

    These are the questions that come to my mind when I come across these things. Though I think I'm good for my trip being that I'm not really planning to roam far off any map, I find myself curious as to how effective and necessary these things are for those of you that have seen or might own them.

    Just a note: I searched for threads related to this topic, but there were no results found, so please direct me to any such thread if it already exists. Thank you!
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 08-31-2008 at 07:02 AM. Reason: linked to previous thread

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default depedning on what you are doing

    GPS locaters like that certainly have their place. If you are planning to do some significant backcountry hiking or mountain climbing, I'd go so far as to call it essential gear. I think they've even been required by law for those kinds of activities in some areas.

    That said, few road trippers ever get that far off the beaten path. For most people, I'd say a tool like that is quite a bit like 4 wheel drive. It looks cool, it gives you confidence that you can go anywhere (and at times over-confidence to go places they probably shouldn't), but in reality it isn't something that is really needed all that often based on what most people do.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default PT-100 -- A similar product

    Quote Originally Posted by Serra View Post
    I searched for threads related to this topic, but there were no results found, so please direct me to any such thread if it already exists. Thank you!
    Thanks for taking the time to look -- instead of using the forum search -- next time, you might wish to use the Google Search box (found on the upper left-hand column of every page on the RTA site) and select the search term RTA -- there are far more resources in the greater RTA site than is found on the forum only.

    Anyway, four years ago ago I tested the PT-100 which is about the size of the product you identified -- here are the results of that test.

    Like Midwest Michael said above -- I doubt you really need such a device -- although it could prove to be a very effective security blanket for anyone who wishes to keep tabs on you.


  4. #4


    Thank you, Midwest Michael and Mark!

    Michael, I certainly agree with you. I'd consider it essential if I were really venturing off the map and wanted to be secure in having a working communication device where others would be useless. I completely agree with you about how it's a nice extra but most likely unnecessary for most trips.

    Mark, thank you for the tip about the Google search bar with the option to search RTA! I don't know how I've managed to miss that, but now I will certainly make good use of it. Also, thanks for the link to your review of the PT-100. I agree that it's not necessary for me. I know friends and family would be very happy to be able to keep track of me along my trip, especially since I'm not sure how long I will be out there on the road. These devices are very attractive for my security blanket as well, but I'll stick to simpler means of emails, text messages, and phone calls.

    Thanks again, guys!

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