New DeLorme inReach - Looks like a sweet competitor for SPOT Connect

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by Slappy McGee, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. OneEffinName

    OneEffinName Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    511
    Location:
    VanIsle, BC
    They have announced the subscription pricing for the inreach:

    http://blog.delorme.com/2011/09/

    $10/mo - no tracking, includes 10 msgs/mo, $1.50 per msg after

    $25/mo - unlimited tracking, incl 40 msgs/mo, $0.50 per msg after

    $50/mo - unlimited tracking, incl 120 msgs/mo, $0.25 per msg after

    You can move to a cheaper plan for $25 or move up for free.

    Messages are both send AND received!


    SPOT
    - crappy Globalstar network
    - send only
    - no text messages
    - no message sent confirmation
    - tracking
    - $100 unit cost
    - $100/yr for basic service - no tracking
    - $150/yr for basic plus tracking

    INREACH
    - High availablity Iridium network
    - two way text messaging
    - message sent confirmation
    - $250 unit cost
    - $120/yr for basic service - no tracking, 10 text msgs/month
    - $300/yr for tracking and 40 msgs/month

    In summary, to have reliable tracking you have to pay upfront an extra $150, and then $150/yr for inreach.

    My wife wants the INREACH - I concur.
    #21
  2. craftycoder

    craftycoder Motobrain PDU

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,336
    Location:
    Atlanta
    I like it. I'm not in the market for one, but it is absolutely superior to the Spot offering IMO.

    #22
  3. moto_dmitriy

    moto_dmitriy que?

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    108
    InReach does sound like a better device. BUT the service is much more expensive especially when you consider that and message even checkIN / OK are counted towards your quota or overages, it's also very easy to get a giant bill is someone decides to spam you with messages. So you are ether going to artificially limit who can send you messages or taking a contionus choice that you might have a giant bill.

    I am hoping global star get a competitive device out soon
    #23
  4. craftycoder

    craftycoder Motobrain PDU

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,336
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Their satellites don't have the same kind of bandwidth I don't believe. Iridium was originally designed for voice communication which is why it can do this.

    This is not a pager, it's a emergency communication device. Use it like that and it's worth whatever it costs. Use it like a pager and we can all agree that its frickin expensive.
    #24
  5. OneEffinName

    OneEffinName Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    511
    Location:
    VanIsle, BC
    Here are a couple of things to consider. SPOT vs INREACH:

    SPOT
    - no confirmation of tracking or messages - you have no idea if your latest tracks or SOS message has reached anyone. You could be sitting on your butt out in the middle of the woods wondering if someone got your message. If you are past your "return home" time, your wifey could be at home calling S&R telling them your last position was 100 km/mi from where you are currently located.

    - uses the globalstar network - I have direct experience with globalstar phones in Canada: they are terrible. In some places only a 10min window during the hour. Often takes 15-30mins just to connect.

    INREACH
    - confirmed messages - you know your message has been received

    - two way text messaging - you can give details of your problem

    - iridium network - global coverage - all the time.


    Without reliable, confirmed messages SPOT is just a toy. People are buying it because of good marketing and its "cool". BUT if you really are a high risk adventurer/soloist you need to rely upon your emergency communications. Number one: Get a PLB. Number two: an iridium sat phone. INREACH might replace the sat phone, it looks promising.
    #25
  6. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,795
    Location:
    SoCal USA
    There is no correlation between their sat phone performance and their simplex "SPOT" performance. The sat phone service sucks because the amplifiers in the satellite for their phone service have degraded and barely work (design flaw). The simplex data path is completely separate and works fine. Apples and oranges!

    SPOT
    - Proven to work great when used as directed and within its limitations.

    INREACH
    - Unproven.
    - If it works as advertised it will be better than SPOT, and you'll get what you pay for, but we don't know yet.
    #26
  7. OneEffinName

    OneEffinName Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    511
    Location:
    VanIsle, BC
    Thats crap. If you have poor coverage satellites, doesn't matter how many apples or oranges you got going, you are going to have crap reception. Globalstar has crap coverage because of its lack of satelites. Might work OK in SoCal, but not up in this rugged territory. Nothing to do with amplifiers or SPOT simplex technology (bad use of the term BTW - simplex implies sending AND receiving).
    #27
  8. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,795
    Location:
    SoCal USA
    Like all RF communications, there is a limited coverage area. If you're outside that coverage area it's not going to work. GlobalStar has many satellites, but since they must link to one of only a few fixed ground stations, the satellite must be within range of both your sat phone and the ground station. Since there are no ground stations in the oceans nor in places like the far North of Canada or most of Africa, GlobalStar doesn't work there. The duplex (2-way voice & data) coverage map below shows what the ideal coverage should be. BUT, due to several of their satellites having problems with the amplifiers, those satellites will have smaller coverage areas or none at all. When one of those failing satellites is the one flying past you when you're trying to call, you're likely to have problems. Sometime later when one of the good satellites passes by, all might be fine, for a few minutes, but then things may go bad as that satellite goes out of range and the next one, which may be degraded, comes by. If they did not have problems with a group of their satellites, voice service across the USA and a good portion of Canada would be very good, as it was in the early days of their service.
    [​IMG]

    Service is pretty crappy everywhere, because of the amplifier problems. It's a lack of WORKING satellites, not a lack of satellites. Once those failed satellites are replaced, things should work pretty well, as long as you're within the coverage areas on that map. A quick Google search of "globalstar amplifier problem" might be educational.

    A quick Google search of "simplex" would be further education.
    #28
  9. 1Bonehead

    1Bonehead Fearless of Falling

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,113
    Location:
    Marylanstain
    So:
    does anyone have one yet? I thin the inreach is pretty awesome. I like the fact you could use your casio commando phone and inreach together.
    #29
  10. OneEffinName

    OneEffinName Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    511
    Location:
    VanIsle, BC
    I bought the InReach. Also have a SPOT II.

    The InReach tracks pretty good and have message confirmation - which really mean the message has been sent. SPOT II will have a message "sending" light, but it is not a confirmation that the message made it. Numerous SPOT messages have been sent and the message light flashed for a long duration, but it never was received.

    Inreach falls down with the bluetooth pairing to a smart phone. Does not work with HTC devices - period. Even with my Samsung, the paring was troublesome, and reconnect was a PIA.

    In Canada the cost of Inreach is a lot more expensive. (sucks for me, but not for you yanks).

    So basically - both are moderatley OK. But I dont have a lot of trust in them. They are fine to say "see where I am", but not reliable enough to say "this was my last location before I fell in the hole, start looking here".

    I will still set up a expected return time when I venture off on the backlwood trips. I will still carry my PLB and the sat phone. But then I go by myself and venture deep into the woods. A lot of guys buddy ride and stay close to pavement.
    #30
  11. dlh62c

    dlh62c Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,603
    Add your cell phone number to your SPOT contacts list. When you press the OK button on the SPOT, your cell phone will ring in a few seconds. Any lengthy delay is due to your cell phone provider.

    daryl
    #31
  12. dlh62c

    dlh62c Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,603
    That's why you want something with a tracking feature.

    I was following a rider on his trip to Alaska though his SPOT shared page. I noticed that he wasn't moving for some time, flags kept dropping along the side of the road, so I called his cell. The engine on his bike blew and he was waiting for a tow. The call, somewhat shocked him.

    daryl
    #32
  13. MCMXCIVRS

    MCMXCIVRS Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,250
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Or due to the fact that your way off the cell grid in the middle of nowhere and miles from any cell signal. That's why I got the SPOT.

    I'm liking what this unit can do as I've found my original version SPOT a bit limiting. I've had a couple incidents where the SPOT preset help message was a bit overkill, certainly nowhere near an SOS level event. In one incident I did use the help message and set off general panic amongst all the recipients. The second time I chose not to use it and just managed on my own until I could get to a cell signal and call home. The ability to send a message tailored to the situation would be fantastic, though as was pointed out earlier, the SPOT connect is not really the best device either due it's limitations as a stand alone device. Being able to have two way communication would be superb, someday perhaps
    #33
  14. dlh62c

    dlh62c Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,603
    By adding your cell phone number to your contacts page, your building confidence that the system works for when your out of cell service.

    Purchase any hardware or service you feel makes you safe. But keep in mind, your still at the mercy of the rescue infrastructure that's in place wherever your at in the world. Be it in the US, Mexico or Russia.

    daryl
    #34
  15. MCMXCIVRS

    MCMXCIVRS Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,250
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    I do have mine set to send me a text message, but many times it doesn't get to my phone until hours or days later depending on where I am. It is a good method to verify the messages are going through from the service, but not always timely, so it's not a perfect indicator.
    #35
  16. OneEffinName

    OneEffinName Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    511
    Location:
    VanIsle, BC
    huh?!? If I was in cell range, I'd be doing something WAY different. As I put in my post. I am not road riding - I am way out in the woods way far away from any civilization. The tracking sometimes works, sometimes doesn't. For real back country travel (away from cell coverage), you have no way of telling if messages got through successfully.

    The SPOT is fine for what it is - unconfirmable messages and tracking - but its not a reliable lifesaver. I will still have the PLB and sat phone, hand out my plans before going and give a deadline.

    Oh, and a cell phone for when I come back to easy riding country and I am at the bar.
    #36
  17. dlh62c

    dlh62c Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,603
    Some SPOT owners don't think about sending themselves a text message to test that the 'OK' messages are going out. Its a great way to show to others how the system works. As you said, you won't receive the text messages, if your out of a cell service area.

    I own a SPOT and have been quite pleased with it, it does what I want for a price I'm willing to pay. I used the 'HELP' function as a poor mans tracker to see how tracking worked before purchasing the tracking package.

    Purchase any hardware or service you feel makes you safe. But keep in mind, your still at the mercy of the rescue infrastructure that's in place wherever your at in the world. Be it in the US, Mexico or Russia.

    What model sat phone and PLB do you have?

    Can your sat phone receive text messages?

    Did you add your sat phone number to the 'Additional info' box on your SPOT profile page?

    daryl
    #37
  18. OneEffinName

    OneEffinName Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    511
    Location:
    VanIsle, BC
    Daryl, It sounds like you have the right idea about SPOT. Just like any technology it has its limitations. My SPOT II is starting to grow on me - it's kinda fun. I enjoy sharing the info with friends. I give my wife quizzes every time I am out, so she really know how to use the information in case I do not return and the predetermined time.

    The PLB I use is a FastFind/ We have been taking PLBs mountaineering for years. I have never needed it, but one of our group did once, when a fall resulted in a broken leg on the top of a peak. Another time another group had a sprained ankle on a multiday mountain trip. In Canada, PLB rescue is through the Military, so they send a spotter jet overhead first, then send a helicopter. For both, they had to do a highline rescue.

    The sat phone I use is Iridium, yes it does text messages and voice. BUT it has limitations too, like delays in receiving test messages. Kinda crappy for an expensive setup.

    I need to express though: my trips are in the middle of nowhere - the deeper and more remote, the better I like it. I will often be by myself. 100s of ks away from any road.

    I do a huge amount of backcountry actvities - far away from cell towers and people - so this stuff is par for the course. For years I never carried anything, but as I get older, I experience a little more and learn a bit more, so I get more training and get more prepared.

    Like all of the backcountry stuff I do: training is #1, being prepared is #2, working under my limits when in deep is #3. All the technology is just to make it easier in case of a bad problem.
    #38
  19. 1Bonehead

    1Bonehead Fearless of Falling

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,113
    Location:
    Marylanstain
    What about the battery life? 60hrs? not vey long. Any one else?
    #39
  20. Cap'n Ron

    Cap'n Ron The Devil's Advocate

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    526
    Location:
    Puget Sound, Washington
    Another player entering the game: http://cerberus.briartek.com/cerberlink

    A little higher initial investment but lower per month cost for what appears to be slightly more service. I think more competition in this market is going to really help give us more user options and lower costs. :deal
    #40