Delrome In Reach SE or Spot?

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by indio, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. indio

    indio Been here awhile

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    Anybody here use SE? I like the fact you can exchange text messages especially in emergency situations and know what is going on other end VS spot where if you trigger an SOS you have no idea about response time, if anybody is going to respond etc. This is more critical if one is riding alone vs in a group.

    I am very much interested in hearing from field usage for both.
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  2. sellmeyer

    sellmeyer Been here awhile

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    The SE capitalizes on a larger physical package with a GUI to give you what the older InReach units lacked-the ability to TX/RX text messages w/o a 2nd device.

    I've used the older unit teathered to a smartphone in a test setting. The ability to TX/RX text messages is essential in emergencies; the simple SOS call doesn't qualify a help request with the kind of information responders will need for them to do a good/efficient job of lending you help. The InReach was a good concept because the help request could be accompanied by pertinent information about the sender's situation. This was tempting to me whereas the standard SPOT units were not. Still, the older unit had two failure points because you needed two devices to use all of the features. I wasn't fond of reliance on a smartphone to use the InReach to its potential and subsequently I didn't include the InReach in my last round of field work...I opted for a standard sat phone and wasn't disappointed.

    Since I don't have a smartphone, personally, I wouldn't be able to use InReach to its potential. Now that they have the SE I am tempted because it is the whole thing in one package with a single point of failure rather than the two of the older units. It is likely as rugged as the last model and should be very good for use in the field.

    Conceptually, this is a better unit than the old InReach or older SPOT units. If you have the need and can afford the unit cost + subscription, then this is probably a solid choice.
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  3. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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  4. indio

    indio Been here awhile

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  5. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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  6. indio

    indio Been here awhile

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  7. Hikertrash

    Hikertrash Long timer

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    I had the spot and had it replaced twice because it would stop tracking. No sense in paying the fee if it doesn't work. After my 2nd replacement, I sold it and bought the Inreach SE. I love it. I can text back and forth to my wife when I have no cell service and I know if I get into trouble, I can text emergency personnel should I need to. The tracking works great although it shows my speed and that's gotten me into trouble with the wife:D. The Inreach also uses the Iridium satellite network which is used by the military and has better access around the world. The Spot uses a different network which is not as reliable.
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  8. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

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    The SPOT network is no less reliable than Inreach. You might be confusing the SPOT service with the related sat phone service. Their sat phone service has had serious problems, which do not affect the SPOT.
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  9. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    A debatable subject.

    The first year of the SPOT (SPOT-1) service - where it existed - was OK. My SPOT Service after that first year was not very reliable in the three years following that I used them around the world. My SPOT's (all of them) would queue up messages and, more often than I expected, take 20 minutes to send. This was partly do to the hardware and partly do to a lack of satellite coverage in the areas I was traveling. Does the SPOT Service work? Yes. Is it the most reliable service available? No.

    In the past two and a half years of using the inReach (Iridium) service, I've never had an inReach message queue and not transmit within 1 minute -- anywhere I've traveled. The Delorme inReach service is very good and the Iridium Transceiver and Satellite system is rock solid anywhere on earth.
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  10. willcasp

    willcasp Been here awhile

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    I understand the technical reason why the SPOT network data feeds should not be confused with the voice signals. Globalstar is supposedly turning more satellites up, and that situation is improving.

    However, my experience has been that the Inreach SE gets a message out in places that my SPOT 2 did not as far back as July 2013. (stopped using the Spot in July).

    I prefer the Inreach SE to the Spot 2.

    Advantages -
    The communications feedback of the Inreach SE, it tells you how many messages have been sent, and acknowledges that they were received by the system.

    The ability to do two way message sending is really slick.

    I get messages out in places that the Spot II could not. Not too much of an issue if I can get signal out with Spot's buffering capability.

    Disadvantages -

    BATTERIES! - You can always just thrown in a couple more batteries and get the Spot 2 up and running. The Inreach SE is rechargable. It has contacts for a bike powered cable. There are no mounts or cables on the market yet that I am aware of. Supposedly, the charge will last up to 10 days. You now have the following options - recharge it at the hotel with a USB charger, remove it from the RAM mount and recharge it on a USB port off bike power, or use a solar power option at camp.

    Cost - having tracking enabled costs about twice as much per year as the Spot system. I chalk this up to Iridum network charging more than Globalstar. Doing a bit of research into satellite communication options, Iridum has a global reach, and is generally perceived to be more relible than Globalstar. Iridium charges like they are aware of this..
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  11. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    Actually, if you are going to compare like features, the inReach is a better (subjective) value, not withstanding the two-way messaging.

    To get the same Tracking Service from SPOT Gen3 you would need the Basic $150 + Extreme Tracking $150/yr. So your first year the costs are equal. After that I took into consideration the cost of two-way messaging (minimum Plan is 40/in-out + unlimited use of your three pre-set messages).

    Was definitely worth it to me.
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  12. Hikertrash

    Hikertrash Long timer

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    No, I'm not confusing them. The Spot tracking and message service still uses Globalstar satellites to the best of my knowledge. Neither of my Spot 2 units would track 100%. I was told by Spot that the emergency SOS feature would still work, but who wants to pay $50 for tracking that's not reliable. Since switching to Inreach, I have never had problems tracking or getting and receiving text messages. I did have problems with it shutting off in my tank bag, but DRTBYK told me about the lock feature and it hasn't turned off since.
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  13. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

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    That is correct. But the simplex side of the satellites that the SPOT uses works fine. The voice side is broken. So, the bad performance of their sat phones has no relationship with the performance of SPOT.

    The far majority of the complaints of poor tracking I've heard are from people who don't use it per the instructions. If it's in your tank bag, or in your pocket, or almost any other place on a bike, your body is blocking the SPOT from seeing a large portion of the sky. The instructions say it needs a FULL view of the sky to give best results. So, don't expect it to give perfect performance if you don't follow their instructions. Mount it on the top of your helmet where it gets a better view of the sky and you'll probably get the tracking you want! :D

    I would not be surprised if the InReach tracks better than SPOT when not given a full view of the sky because there are way more satellites in all directions for it to see. In that aspect the InReach probably has an advantage over SPOT.
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  14. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    My experience with the inReach (both models) is that they have significantly better antenna's for both the GPS and the iridium 9603 Transceiver -- aside from a better satellite system. I carry my inReach in my HipPack and as I noted previously, have never drop/lost a Tracking or Message transmission. As HogWild pointed out, the SPOT has rather poor antenna's and you should have the SPOT logo facing the sky; top of the helmet might actually be the best place for it. :eek1
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  15. indio

    indio Been here awhile

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    I just now did a 1000 mile trip with InReach SE in my pocket while riding, it worked without any glitches. Can't think about riding without it especially when riding in areas with no cell signal.
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