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Help: SPOT Warranty: Troubleshooting Tips

SPOT Warranty Troubleshooting Tips

Before submitting a claim, let's see if we can figure out what's wrong with your SPOT Satellite Personal Tracker.

General SPOT Satellite Personal Tracker Usage Tips:

Please make sure that you have thoroughly read your User's Guide included in your package, including Section 5 on Care and Support. If you do not have it, you may find a copy here on our website.

Here are a few important things to remember to get maximum reliability from SPOT:

  • SPOT needs a clear view of the sky to obtain a GPS signal and provide the most accurate location information. It is not reliable indoors, in a cave, or in very dense woods.
  • Orienting SPOT so that the SPOT logo is facing up toward the sky will improve performance, as the antenna is located under the logo.
  • Keep the Messenger at least 12 inches away from other GPS devices as SPOT can interfere with signal reception of other GPS devices.

Tips to Verify that You Can Send a Check-In/OK Message from the SPOT Personal Tracker
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If you turn your SPOT on and have not pressed any other buttons and the light above the OK button starts flashing RED, then your SPOT unit has failed a self-test and should be submitted for repair/replacement.

Perform an initial system test to evaluate your entire messaging system, from the operational condition of the SPOT to the readiness of those you've chosen to receive your messages.

  1. Go outside to where SPOT has a clear view of the sky in all directions.
  2. Turn the unit on, wait 2 seconds.
  3. Press, do not hold, the OK button and the light above it should begin blinking together with the ON/OFF button.
  4. The lights should blink together for the entire 20-minute cycle. If at any time the lights begin blinking alternately, move the unit to a different location because it is telling you that it cannot obtain a GPS fix. The unit will not send a Check-in/OK message if it does not have a GPS fix. You must let SPOT complete the 20-minute Check-in/OK cycle outdoors in the open to ensure best message delivery success. At the end of the 20 minutes, the light over OK will stop blinking to indicate the cycle is complete. If it is still blinking after 20 minutes, then you have put the unit into Track Progress mode.
  5. Verify that the message was received in the email or SMS account(s) that you set up during activation in your Check-In/OK contact list.
  6. You can also view your messages in your account at
Since they share the same button, if your SPOT Personal Tracker is in Track Progress mode, you must cancel tracking before you can send a Check-in/OK message. A good rule of thumb is if the OK light is already blinking then you cannot start something new.

If at any time the lights begin blinking alternately, move the unit to a different location because it is telling you that it cannot obtain a GPS fix. Then repeat steps 2 through 5. You can update the names and contact information anytime via your account on the SPOT website. Leave your personal contact information as one of the contacts for future system testing and GPS acquisition before each trip.

Tips for Receiving Your Email and SMS Notifications for Check-in/OK, Custom Message and Help Messages
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SPOT sends all North American SMS messages via email. This means to send a cell phone a text message, SPOT emails and then they relay the message to your recipients.

Some email and cellular providers see, and depending on their policies, may put the message into a Junk mail folder or simply discard them without notifying anyone. If the messages are rejected, then Customer Service can determine this with you.

If your recipient does not have text messaging enabled for their cellular service, they will not be able to receive the message. Also, if your cellular provider does not support email to SMS text messaging services, then you will not be able to send SMS messages to them from SPOT at this time.

Tips for Sending Track Progress Messages
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First, make sure that you are subscribed to Track Progress service, this is an additionally priced service. For more info on Track Progress service, see here. To verify that you have subscribed to the service, please login to your account at

Take your SPOT device outdoors and make sure SPOT has a clear view of the sky.

Using the Track Progress Function
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Turn the unit on, wait 2 seconds, and hold the OK button until the light is no longer solid and begins blinking together with the ON/OFF button. This cycle should last 24 hours or until cancelled. If the light goes off after 20 minutes, then you did not successfully put the unit into Track Progress mode, but into Check-In/OK mode instead.

If SPOT has a GPS fix, then it will transmit a message every 10 minutes for 24 hours. To use Track Progress mode again after a continuous 24-hour period, you will need to reinitiate Track Progress mode.

Since the functions share the same button, if you have initiated an OK cycle, you may not initiate Tracking until the OK cycle is complete, or unless you turn the SPOT off and back on again. The tracking function does not override OK. A good rule of thumb is if the OK light is already blinking then you cannot start something new.

You may cancel tracking by holding the OK button down while you are in a Track Progress mode. Then the OK light will stop flashing completely.

Messages can be viewed on the Messages tab of your login account and if you have set up a Shared Page ahead of time, Track messages will be visible there. Note that Track Progress mode does not send any notifications via SMS or email to your contacts.

Still having trouble with the device?
For further assistance with determining if your unit needs repair, please contact SPOT Customer Service.

View SPOT Warranty Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) >

Submit Warranty Claim Form >

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