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Getting prep'd to use SpotWalla during the TT.

If you're reading this, then there's a good chance that you're already setup with your SpotWalla account, and that you've managed to join the Location Page for the TT event, if that's the case, well done and thank you for being part of this. If not, then you may need to read the first of these pages here:ย Getting setup with SpotWalla for the TT2000 event (2020).

We all want to make the most of the TT during the weekend, and no-one wants to be fussed with too much 'Tech', especially if it starts to become a burden or get in the way of the actual riding...

So here's a few tips and hints which you can work towards before the event, to make sure that you're not having to fuss too much to keep things working over the weekend. In no particular order:

  • Make sure you have a charging solution for your phone, either from an onboard USB socket, or from a power bank, carried in a pocket or in a tank-bag.
  • Make sure you know how to control Location Services on your phone (some people turn then off selectively, then forget that they're needed when you do things like this)... [LINK]
  • Make sure you know what your SpotWalla tracking app looks like when it's running, ensure you know how to start tracking.
  • Take a little bit of time to read this: https://www.wiltshire.net/2019/09/15/spotwalla-tips-and-tricks-creating-a-spotwalla-tracking-history-and-showing-it-in-a-spotwalla-trip/ - it outlines how to make a 'Trip' in SpotWalla.
    • A Trip page will show you the tracking points which you're sending up, so you can check that it's running properly. If you're preparing this ahead of time, then make sure that your Trip 'time-window' is wide enough to be able to show you the period in which you're testing your device.
    • I'll be setting up a test-Trip ahead of the event - showing the time-window of the testing, so that I can see points coming through and making a Track. I'll do this on the way into work so that I'm moving around...
    • I'll also be setting up a public Trip for my TT-2000 ride, and it'll be active from 11am Friday, through to 4pm on Sunday. This means that I'll be able to check it's running at the pub before we leave, and it'll contain enough of a window there in case I need to make use of the extended finishing hours. Note; you can ALWAYS refine your Trip settings after the event if you want to cut off a bit of the journey there, or the extra time you didn't end up using...
    • Public Trips also have the added benefit of being shown at the bottom of your marker details on the Location page, so if someone clicks on your marker name, then a link to your TT-2000 Trip is available, so people can not only see where you are currently, but they can also take an interest in the route which you've already taken during the event - to get to where you are. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Store a short-cut to your own Trip page on the home screen of your phone.
    • I do this so that as I'm riding around, I can periodically take a look at my accumulating track, so that I know that it's actively sending my track points to SpotWalla and also contributing to the Location page.
  • You can do the same for the Location Page's 'View-Link' too, so that if you want to take an interest in where others are (as you're working your way round your route), you can...
    • If you need help knowing what the best web address to link to is, then check Wayne's previous emails to you, his email titled 'TT2000 2020 - Notice to riders #5" contains a link with a '&p=xxxx' bit at the end of it ย - this is the view-page's password pre-loaded into the link. Using this won't require you to type it in before it will load, this is the one which you want to load, then immediately bookmark onto your phone's homepage (as a short-cut). How do you do this?: [LINK]
  • It's helpful if you know how to use the 'Extra Messages' features in your SpotWalla Tracking tool too - so you can send an 'OK' point if you have to stop unexpectedly, or if you're checking into a hotel for the night...
    • There are special message types which you can force from your phone into the active Spot Tracks, and they show on the Location pages too.
    • When I check into my accomodation for the night, I'll send an OK, or a HOTEL message, then I'll stop Tracking while I'm asleep. - Then REMEMBER TO START IT AGAIN in the morning. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Once you get familiar with sending Custom Messages, you might find the 'Bonus Checkpoint' message type, you can even send up photos attached to them if you want! I saw some perfect tracks of the NI1600 recording each checkpoint like this! ๐Ÿ™‚ - Nice, way over the top, not required, but nice - none the less...

Know this: If you are contributing points which you can see within your own Trip page, then those same messages will be contributing into the group's Location pages. - assuming that you've already tested them once, and can see your points showing up when you first joined, then this will be safely working and you won't need to check both. - When riding, it's far easier to check your own Trip page than it is to find your own point on the group Location pages...

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