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Thread: Spidertracks - new Spider X - no WATCH button

  1. #1

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    Spidertracks - new Spider X - no WATCH button

    FYI- for those interested in purchasing or upgrading a Spidertracks unit, the new Spider X loses the dedicated “Watch” button and replaces it with app-based activation via a smartphone or iPad. Yes, you gain easier texting and other features with the latest unit, but I think a dedicated button for auto-notify is preferable for many users that don’t want to rely on further electronics for activation. Maybe another example of abandoning KISS engineering principles for latest and greatest.

    If you’re not familiar with the Spidertracks platform, “Watch” is the guardian angel function that when activated will auto-notify your contacts if the unit doesn’t send out a new position report after 15 minutes.https://www.spidertracks.com/blog/sp...ted-watch-mode . This means that you’d be relieved of having to push a button for emergency response to an incapacitating accident.

    From Spidertracks tech support when I queried them:

    “At the moment the only way to turn Watch off is by using the smartphone or iPad app. If your iPad or iPhone is disabled, you can just turn off the power supply, restart the power supply, wait for the Spider X LED to turn green, then turn off the power again, this will avoid false SOS alerts to be sent.
    The development team is developing an external keypad for the Spider X, we don't have an ETA yet”
    Thanks TCE thanked for this post

  2. #2
    stewartb's Avatar
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    I've never used Watch since the first time I forgot to turn it off. Very pissed off wife. I find it easier to use the automatic text messaging to tell her I took off and landed. The landing notification doesn't discriminate between landing and hitting a mountain but wife can click on the app map to see where I am. She likes that. I floated a note of Facebook that I was looking for a used Spider. I got a few responses. Now I have another Spider for the Cub.
    Thanks JohnnyR, barrow pilot thanked for this post
    Likes jrussl liked this post

  3. #3

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    I went ahead and bought the Spider X after thinking about what Stewart said. No need for the Watch function with my typical flight mission. The first time I forget to turn that off upon arrival somewhere, my wife’s going to do it for me... with a hammer.
    J

  4. #4
    stewartb's Avatar
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    Why the X and not the 6 or earlier model? I see the X provides ADHRS. Is that important for a private operator? I'm not at all up to speed on the X. My Spider 2 has always worked perfectly. I sold the Spider 3 with the PA-12. I never needed the buttons on the 3. I like the Spider to power up with the radio master and power down the same way. I never touch it. I just bought a new in the box surplus Spider 4 from another Skywagon Facebooker. Identical to my 2 but with a tethered control panel that's easy to disconnect and file away. I'll probably just install the mount and cord in the Cub and switch the 2 between airplanes to avoid a second service contract. It's too bad Spidertracks doesn't recognize that private guys can only fly one plane at a time and offer a service plan to include multiple Spiders on one service plan. Not that switching one Spider between planes is difficult, I'd just rather not have to.

  5. #5

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    Texting through the app on my iPad. $0.50/hr more, but worth it.

  6. #6
    stewartb's Avatar
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    I never knew texting from an airplane was a thing until a couple of weeks ago while walking the dog a friend had a very sporty takeoff on a very gusty day. About 2 minutes later he texted me about it. WTF? I don't do phone or text while flying. That's one of the reasons I like flying. To unplug! No criticism of your choice. Enjoy the Spider.

  7. #7

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    Apparently it's available via Bluetooth on the 6 as well?

    Agreed on the unplugging.
    It's nice for commercial ops, though.


    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    I never knew texting from an airplane was a thing until a couple of weeks ago while walking the dog a friend had a very sporty takeoff on a very gusty day. About 2 minutes later he texted me about it. WTF? I don't do phone or text while flying. That's one of the reasons I like flying. To unplug! No criticism of your choice. Enjoy the Spider.

  8. #8
    stewartb's Avatar
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    I think they introduced in with the 5, but they don't talk about unsupported units much.

    Your family will appreciate the Spider. My wife sure does.

  9. #9
    stewartb's Avatar
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    Re: Spider X. What does ADHRS do? I presume it allows base to monitor the plane's attitude? Does it do anything for the pilot?

  10. #10

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    Over-the-air flight data recording, if enabled.

    “Virtual FDR uses an adaptive sampling algorithm to provide a deeper, richer, high-resolution flight track. In addition to the Spider's real-time reporting capabilities, Virtual FDR logs a 4D vector every 15-seconds. This flight data is recorded on the Spider and transmitted in a bundled package with the next 1-minute position report. The result? An incredibly accurate representation of an aircraft’s flight path and movements.”
    https://www.spidertracks.com/solutions/virtual-fdr

  11. #11
    Utah-Jay's Avatar
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    This looked really interesting (as my wife likes to track me) until I saw it was $147 a month.

  12. #12

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    $29.00/mo, plus $2.00 per tracking hour + $0.50 per tracking hour for texting

    See their pricing pdf

    https://global-uploads.webflow.com/5...yer_US_Web.pdf
    Quote Originally Posted by Utah-Jay View Post
    This looked really interesting (as my wife likes to track me) until I saw it was $147 a month.

  13. #13
    40m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utah-Jay View Post
    This looked really interesting (as my wife likes to track me) until I saw it was $147 a month.
    Judy simply wants to know if I'll be home for supper. All these tracks, dots and dashes, texts and calls would make it more worry some for her. I try not to be late.

    From Genesis: "And God promised men that good and obedient wives would be
    found in all corners of the earth."

    Then he made the earth round... and He laughed and laughed and laughed!

  14. #14
    Utah-Jay's Avatar
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    I’ll just let her track me on FlightAware (free) and on Foreflight as per my subscription ($199). I just don’t see the value, and I could typically text anyway (I don’t btw) as I am low and slow

  15. #15
    windy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utah-Jay View Post
    I’ll just let her track me on FlightAware (free) and on Foreflight as per my subscription ($199). I just don’t see the value, and I could typically text anyway (I don’t btw) as I am low and slow
    That’s fine if you never fly to the backcountry.

  16. #16
    stewartb's Avatar
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    Johnny's post about $29.00 plus hourly tracking is correct for the basic plan. There are more comprehensive plans but those are more suitable for fleet operators. My old Spider is grandfathered at $20.00 per month including tracking.

    FWIW when I put out feelers for used units I was offered an unused Spider 4 for $500 and had a couple of other guys with surplus units message me after that. Used Spiders aren't common but apparently there are a few out there. The older Spiders aren't supported but after about 15 years with my Spider 2 I haven't had a hiccup and I haven't updated the firmware. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

  17. #17
    Utah-Jay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by windy View Post
    That’s fine if you never fly to the backcountry.
    I guess I’m in trouble then

    I’ll go with the in reach

  18. #18
    stewartb's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong with Inreach but the standard service only tracks at 10 minute intervals. The 2 minute interval plan costs $50 per month. I use the $12 per month plan and have used in in my Cub. Wife says Spidertracks is better since it texts her when I take off or land. She isn't as concerned with what happens in between. And she doesn't have to count on me remembering to turn it on, which I usually don't do. And I'm no better at texting. For me, automated communication is worth the price. In my case wife is often 3000 miles away. She doesn't care if I'm late, just that I'm safe.
    Likes Scooter7779h liked this post

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