TraditionalMountaineering Logo - representing the shared 
companionship of the Climb

Home | Information | Photos | Calendar | News | Seminars | Experiences | Questions | Updates | Books | Conditions | Links | Search

  Search this site!
Read more:

SPOT and DeLorme Unveil First Handheld GPS With Satellite Communicator

New SPOT Satellite Communicator and Earthmate PN-60w Combines GPS Navigation With Custom Messaging and Emergency Notification!
January 07, 2010
Spot LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Globalstar Inc. (Nasdaq:GSAT) and a leader in personal satellite communications and DeLorme, the innovation leader in mapping and GPS technologies, today jointly announced the world's first rugged, handheld GPS and satellite communicator product. The DeLorme Earthmate(R) PN-60w with SPOT Satellite Communicator will be the first handheld GPS navigation device capable of sending customized text messages even when the user is operating far beyond the range of cellular communications. The product is scheduled for general availability in the Spring of 2010 and will be unveiled this week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

The DeLorme Earthmate(R) PN-60w with SPOT Satellite Communicator
The revolutionary SPOT Satellite Communicator, designed exclusively for the new PN-60w, merges SPOT satellite message functionality and DeLorme state-of-the-art GPS mapping via wireless. Together, this product pairing offers broader messaging capabilities. Users can send freeform text messages using the PN-60w's keyboard to select individuals or groups from the field even from remote areas world-wide.

Established SPOT technology allows real-time location updates and the ability to summon help in an emergency. Custom messages and waypoints can easily be shared with social networking sites like,, Twitter, and Facebook. As an emergency back-up, the SPOT Satellite Communicator has stand-alone capability to send location-based SOS notification to an emergency response center.

"Today's announcement combines the latest in sophisticated handheld GPS with SPOT satellite communications providing one-of-a-kind, custom messaging and sharing of geo-location information with others in real-time," said Peter Dalton, President of Spot LLC and Chief Executive Officer of Globalstar Inc. "We are excited to partner with DeLorme in bringing to market a new wireless GPS solution to consumers."

"For the first time, people will be able to type custom text messages using the Earthmate PN-60w internal keyboard and then transmit wirelessly to the unique DeLorme SPOT Communicator for sending satellite messages around the globe," said Caleb Mason, DeLorme Vice President.

Users of the PN-60w can easily manage their profile online including custom maps and message history utilizing a fully integrated user interface designed by SPOT. Information can be kept fully private or shared with family and friends using custom tools like SPOT Shared Pages and

As a stand-alone GPS, the Earthmate PN-60w delivers premium navigation features including a 32-channel GPS chipset, blazing-fast dual-core processor, 3-axis electronic compass, sensitive barometric altimeter, elevation profiles, and GPX file transfers.

At CES, DeLorme also will be announcing new worldwide map data for the PN-60w, including high-resolution color aerial imagery.

SPOT will also be showcasing its SPOT Satellite Messenger product family and satellite-based services at CES including the award winning SPOT Personal Tracker(TM) and the new SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger(TM). Learn about new SPOT Assist services, including SPOT Assist Roadside, providing the only satellite-based roadside assistance and SPOT Assist Maritime providing direct access to BoatU.S. Towing services with the push of a button.

The PN-60w with SPOT Satellite Communicator is scheduled to be available in spring 2010 at retail locations and online sites specializing in GPS, outdoor recreation and electronics products. They can also be ordered from DeLorme at or by calling 800-561-5105.

About Spot LLC
The SPOT product family uses both the GPS satellite network to determine a customer's location and the SPOT network to transmit that information to friends, family or an emergency service call center. Spot LLC, a subsidiary of Globalstar, Inc. (Nasdaq:GSAT), provides lifesaving communications technology that allows users to communicate from remote locations around the globe. Thanks to this affordable, cutting-edge personal safety device, the company offers people peace of mind by allowing customers to notify friends and family of their location and status, and to send for emergency assistance in time of need, completely independent of cellular phone or wireless coverage. For more information on how Spot LLC is helping users live to tell about it -- from disaster preparedness to outdoor adventure purposes -- visit

About DeLorme
DeLorme is the longtime leader in innovative mapping and GPS solutions for both consumer and professional markets. Based in Yarmouth, ME, DeLorme offers a unique set of core competencies across the complex areas of map data creation and management, software development, and integration with GPS. The ability to develop all the critical components necessary to compete in the fast-changing navigation world provides a distinct competitive advantage. DeLorme is one of a handful of mapmakers that still own and produce their own content, and its Street Atlas USA, Topo USA, XMap, and Earthmate GPS products have introduced countless first-to-market innovations. To learn more, go to

Webmeister's Note: REI reportedly has the new Delorme Earthmate PN-60W Portable GPS Navigator with the SPOT Satellite Communicator for $549. It will be available on May 1, 2010, but you can already pre-order it. Note that this device can only send your instant message, it can not receive messages. (at this time?)--Robert Speik


The basic design improvement of SPOT over PLBs

Again, an improvement of SPOT over (optional GPS enabled) PLBs is the ability to "real-life test" the communication system where the user actually hikes, hunts, sleds, climbs and wanders. If the user programmed message "Hello, I am exactly here and I am having fun" gets through on previous trips, so will the message "911 Rescue Services are on the way, but don't worry Honey, they know where to find me".

The traditional PLB can be tested for sending out a signal. It cannot be tested for whether the signal requesting Rescue has actually been received. The location accuracy of the PLB using the venerable COSPAS-SARSAT system of seven satellites (without optional GPS support), can be up to two miles.
--Webmeister Speik


Technical questions answered by SPOT

The Communications Satellite Network Used by SPOT. What is it?
Tuesday, 16 December 2008

SPOT Transmits your GPS location through a network of LEO Satellites (Low Earth Orbit). These satellites are in constant motion and are in 8 planes with 6 satellites in each plane providing overlapping coverage. They fly at an altitude of 1,414 kilometers or 884 miles above the earth, moving at 17,000 miles per hour overhead. The satellites move horizon to horizon in approximately 20 minutes, so no matter where you are (such as in a canyon or on a mountain), as long as you can see the sky, your SPOT message gets through.

SPOT and the Commercial Data Network
Tuesday, 28 July 2009 16:00

Many of our customers from time-to-time have questions about the commercial data network that SPOT messages are sent through.

SPOT uses the Globalstar simplex data network to transmit messages. This is a proven data network that is also supporting tens of thousands of commercial and industrial data modems sending millions of messages each month for asset tracking and remote management applications. The simplex data network signal path works differently than the Globalstar satellite phone signal path, providing significantly better reliability and message completion rates. Extensive testing shows 99.6% reliability. Like mentioned, the commercial data network not only supports message transmissions from the SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger. In fact it originated to support a variety of personal messaging and tracking, aviation flight-following, and emergency asset and fleet tracking customer applications from some of the most demanding business customers all around the world. Simplex data solutions are also used for a number of remote monitoring and alarm applications, both within and beyond the reach of traditional wireless and terrestrial infrastructure. Information such as GPS co-ordinates, remote status and other sensor information can be reliably sent to customers using the Simplex network.

What does this mean to you? You can pack peace-of-mind and everyday remote communication capabilities and know that your network is the same commercial data network that some of the world’s most demanding businesses choose to track their assets and transfer data.



Mountain climbing has inherent dangers that can, only in part, be mitigated



Read more . . .
OpEd: Yuppie 911 devices can take the "search" out of Search and Rescue 
SPOT Unveils Next Generation Satellite GPS Messenger at Outdoor Retailer
SPOT Satellite Messenger reviewed and recommended 
Gear grist, an article written for The Mountaineer, the monthly magazine of The Mountaineers
Robert Speik writes: "There is no denying the sense of cell" for the magazine of The Mountaineers
Snowboarder lost overnight near Mount Bachelor, rescued by SAR 
Lithium batteries recommended for GPS backcountry use
Lessons learned from the latest lost Mt. Hood climbers
How do GSM mobile phones assist mountaineering and backcountry rescues?
Clinic on Real Survival Strategies and Staying Found with Map, Compass and GPS together
What do you carry in your winter day and summit pack?
Why is the GSM digital cell phone best for backcountry and mountaineering?
What is a PLB or Personal Locator Beacon?
Why are "Snow Caves" dangerous?
Why are "Space Blankets" dangerous?
Why are "Emergency Kits" dangerous?
How can you avoid Hypothermia?
Missing climbers on Mount Hood, one dies of exposure, two believed killed in fall
Missing California family found, dad dies from exposure and hypothermia
Missing man survives two weeks trapped in snow-covered car
Missing snowmobile riders found, Roger Rouse dies from hypothermia
Olympic Champion Rulon Gardner lost on snowmobile!
Lost Olympic hockey player looses feet to cold injury

Expert skier lost five days near resort in North Cascades without map, compass, gps or cell phone
Mount Hood - The Episcopal School Tragedy
Mount Hood - experienced climbers rescued from snow cave
How can you learn the skills of snow camping?   Prospectus

Lost and Found
Three climbers missing on Mt. Hood, all perish
Missing California family found, dad dies from exposure and hypothermia
Missing man survives two weeks trapped in snow-covered car
Missing snowmobile riders found, Roger Rouse dies from hypothermia
Longacre Expeditions teen group rescued from the snowdrifts above Todd Lake
Lost climber hikes 6.5 miles from South Sister Trail to Elk Lake
Hiking couple lost three nights in San Jacinto Wilderness find abandoned gear
Expert skier lost five days in North Cascades without Essentials, map and compass
Climber disappears on the steep snow slopes of Mount McLaughlin
Hiker lost five days in freezing weather on Mount Hood
Professor and son elude search and rescue volunteers
Found person becomes lost and eludes rescuers for five days
Teens, lost on South Sister, use cell phone with Search and Rescue
Lost man walks 27 miles to the highway from Elk Lake Oregon
Snowboarder Found After Week in Wilderness
Searchers rescue hiker at Smith Rock, find lost climbers on North Sister
Girl Found In Lane County After Lost On Hiking Trip
Search and rescue finds young girls lost from family group
Portland athlete lost on Mt. Hood
Rescues after the recent snows
Novice couple lost in the woods
Broken Top remains confirmed as missing climber
Ollalie Trail - OSU Trip - Lost, No Map, Inadequate Clothing

 Your Essential Light Day Pack
What are the new Ten Essential Systems?
What does experience tell us about Light and Fast climbing?
What is the best traditional alpine mountaineering summit pack?
What is Light and Fast alpine climbing?
What do you carry in your day pack?      Photos?    
What do you carry in your winter day pack?       Photos?    
What should I know about "space blankets"?
Where can I get a personal and a group first aid kit?      Photos?

 Carboration and Hydration
Is running the Western States 100 part of "traditional mountaineering"?
What's wrong with GORP?    Answers to the quiz!
Why do I need to count carbohydrate calories?
What should I know about having a big freeze-dried dinner?
What about carbo-ration and fluid replacement during traditional alpine climbing?   4 pages in pdf  
What should I eat before a day of alpine climbing?

  About Alpine Mountaineering:
  The Sport of Alpine Mountaineering
  Climbing Together
  Following the Leader
  The Mountaineers' Rope
  Basic Responsibilities       Cuatro Responsabiliades Basicas de Quienes Salen al Campo
  The Ten Essentials         Los Diez Sistemas Esenciales

  Our Leader's Guidelines:
  Our Volunteer Leader Guidelines
  Sign-in Agreements, Waivers and Prospectus     This pdf form will need to be signed by you at the trail head
  Sample Prospectus    Make sure every leader tells you what the group is going to do; print a copy for your "responsible person"
  Participant Information Form    This pdf form can be printed and mailed or handed to the Leader if requested or required
  Emergency and Incident Report Form    Copy and print this form. Carry two copies with your Essentials 
  Participant and Group First Aid Kit   
Print this form. Make up your own first aid essentials (kits) 

  About our World Wide Website:

  Map, Compass and GPS
Map, compass and GPS navigation training Noodle in The Badlands
BLM guidelines for Geocaching on public lands
Geocaching on Federal Forest Lands
OpEd - Geocaching should not be banned in the Badlands
Winter hiking in The Badlands WSA just east of Bend
Searching for the perfect gift
Geocaching: What's the cache?
Geocaching into the Canyon of the Deschutes
Can you catch the geocache?
Z21 covers Geocaching
Tour The Badlands with ONDA 
The art of not getting lost
Geocaching: the thrill of the hunt!
GPS in the news
A GPS and other outdoor gadgets make prized gifts
Wanna play?  Maps show you the way
Cooking the "navigation noodle"