SWconnect

owl*

Rally Bonus checker
IBA Member
#1
I've just received an email from findmespot telling me of yet another hefty increase in their prices when I next renew.

I'm not inclined to keep paying through the nose for something I use maybe just a dozen times a year, so decided to have a proper look at setting up my iPhone to use SWconnect and try it out whilst I still have several months left on my Spot subscription.

I have downloaded the app to my phone and successfully set up a new account with spotwalla, registered the app there, but to be honest, I am now floundering.

Has anybody out there got a clear set of idiot proof instructions on what to do next, to get the thing working?
 

Jonnyp

IBA Member
#2
Hi Tom.

I've been using SW Connect for a while and probably like you I could not see the wood for the trees... but then it clicked. It could be more straight forward and having a Spot app would be good.

To kick off you need a good wifi or 3G signal to start tracking if you are away from home but other than that, it’s easy.

If you have SW Connect on your phone you need to register it, I did this some time ago so cant remember all the steps but it was easy..

You then go to your account name and set up the device, there is help section there too..


Spot 4.JPG


Spot 3.JPG

If I remember Spot will send you a conformation email to say it's working.

To set up a trip all you need to do is run through the set up from the pull down -

Spot 1.JPG

Spot 2.JPG

Set the start and end date, if you want to ring fence your start point (Home) you can and make it public or not..

Make sure SW Connect is tracking and then all you need to do is go to your trip, and to trip links -

Spot 5.JPG

Then cut and paste the link in to a text or mail to send to friends..

Spot 6.JPG


SW Connect tracks at a min of 5 minutes so it takes that time to get going but it works.

The one above is mine from the RBLR1000 - https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=14f79594d89ae69865

If, (Probably have) I've missed any steps you get stuck on, let me know..

Once you have it once, it's a section of confectionary....

Jon
 
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owl*

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IBA Member
#3
Thanks for your help, Jon.

I think I've got it up & running now. Went for a short run on the bike at 0700 to 0900 this morning, just to test it, and I've got a spotwalla track, so all good at the moment.

I had the phone in an inside pocket, but I will have to rig up a holder and a power lead, as I imagine it might be a power hungry app.

I checked the link to your RBLR1000 - the pings seem to be roughly every 10 minutes, but are somewhat irregular in their timings - is this normal?
 

owl*

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IBA Member
#4
OK - not doing as well as I thought I was.

Came indoors for a coffee and a bite to eat, then went out on another ride. Have just got back, and it did not track this one at all.

I set the spotwalla trip up to start at 0700 and end at midnight.

Do you have to reset SWconnect on your phone every time you have a break?
 

Jonnyp

IBA Member
#5
No problem. Let me know how you get on. I did look seriously at a Spot until I found this and won't bother now. I guess the main things you lose are the GPS comms that SOS capability and the rescue insurance.

I don't think it's too power consuming but when I use it I set the phone so it never goes into auto lock. On the RBLR ride I had it on the Spotwalla web page (I'm never lost, just sometimes temporarily unsure of my exact position!) however, in some places it lost all signal and I could only refresh it when stopped as the case is not glove friendly. I've got a cheap waterproof handle bar mounted phone holder case from ebay and run power cable in to it.

I've checked the data usage on my phone for the weekend of the RBLR ride and it does not seem to be that much but I won't know for sure until later in the month when O2 put it on the bill in detail but I have a 6Gb tariff so it should be ok.

The SW connect app only looks to have used 3.3Mb total so not much..

The ping rate was set to 5 mins, I'm not sure if the app buffers the location data and sends when it has a connection or, if no connection it just drops that one and tries again 5 mins later which could explain the 10 sec intervals. I'll look in to it.

For a free tracker I can't complain, there was another called gibbytrip which was all of £2.00 but had more functions. I tried to get that to work but with not much success which is a shame...

If you find anything better or, have any suggestions on this one let me know.

A Spot is a great idea if you ride alone in out of the way places but if you're in a group, or just in the uk/main land Europe and all you want is a tracker to show the wife you're on the move and not in a bar getting leg less..... it's ok...Mine has 'find my friend' permanently set... we call it stalker app.... is there no escape...... :)

Seriously, this is fine iphone to iphone but if you have friends on ... Android (be nice to them) life 360 is a good app and there are plenty more on the App Store as I'm sure you know...

If any one has found better, let us know...
 

Jonnyp

IBA Member
#6
Tom, just seen your other message..

Not sure about that. If you had Wifi on, on your phone and it picked up your router it could have confused it.

I'll test mine later and see if it does the same.

Jon
 

owl*

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IBA Member
#8
Tom, just seen your other message..

Not sure about that. If you had Wifi on, on your phone and it picked up your router it could have confused it.

I'll test mine later and see if it does the same.

Jon
That's something I hadn't thought of, Jon.

I haven't been able to ride today - work has got in the way, so I can't test the theory at the moment.

In the meantime, my phone was at 100% battery when I went to bed last night.

It usually uses 1 or 2% overnight, but this morning it had used 38% of the battery!

The only change has been installing the SWConnect app, so something in the settings is eating my power.
 

Jonnyp

IBA Member
#9
Hi Tom.

Sorry for the delay..

I think it is the WiFi connection knocking this out so the trick is 3G only or at least set the trip up on Wifi but then switch it off and only run tracking on 3G.

If you have to use wifi during the trip restart SWConnect.

Jon
 

Robert

IBR Finisher
Premier Member
#13
SWConnect works surprisingly well and is a good alternative if you don't need the emergency call option.
You'll need to power the phone though (bike or power bank), because the permanent tracking will drain your phone's battery very quickly.
 
#14
I think you need to update your signature Robert ;-)

I balked at the the massively increased SPOT subscription this year, so I reckon SWConnect will do me fine.
 

owl*

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IBA Member
#15
Thanks for all of the advice.
I've managed to figure out the battery drain when the app isn't in use - just turn it off!
That took me 2 days, so you can see I'm coming from a low base point of techie knowledge.
I have adapted an old phone holder to fit my iPhone SE, and have ordered a cable for use on the bike.
The last email I had from Spot said that they now want 179.99 euros for a subscription plus 14.99 euros for registration. Per year.
Sorry, but that is too much, so I have to make this SWConnect work for me.
 

owl*

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IBA Member
#17
My subscription doesn't run out until January 2018, but I just went on to remove my credit card details from my account, and there is absolutely no way of doing so. Looking at their FAQ's, to cancel a subscription you have to phone the customer service department in America.
 

jaybee

Latvian rider transport!!!!!!
Premier Member
#18
Tell your credit card company that you lost your card.
They'll send a new one with different numbers etc and it will render the one stored by SPOT as invalid.
 

owl*

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IBA Member
#20
I used their message service last night to ask how to remove my credit card from their auto renewal service. This morning I received this reply. Note that they think my surname is 'Kingdom' I'm only glad they didn't start with 'Dear United'

Dear Tom Kingdom,

Thank you for contacting SPOT customer relations.

We are sorry to hear that you wish to cancel your SPOT services. In order to do so, you are required to contact our 24/7 Customer Care Center at +353 1 2909505 .

Thank you,

SPOT

Good idea about changing cards, Jon.

I will phone up the number given and see what they say. I want to keep the remainder of the year I've paid for, to give me time to run Spot + SWConnect alongside each other.