Has anyone used the Zoleo satellite communicator?

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by MotorcycleWriter, Oct 19, 2020.

  1. MotorcycleWriter

    MotorcycleWriter Vis ad locum

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    I have no experience with this but ran across it looking at various options for something like Garmin InReach or equivalent for motorcycling and back country skiing.

    https://www.zoleo.com/en-us/
    #1
  2. seasdes

    seasdes Adventurer

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    I purchased a Zoleo two months ago. Haven't used it on a trip yet. I have tested it rigorously at home. Easy enough to use. Works well. Cant see why it wouldn't work as well on a trip.
    #2
  3. gpsdualsport

    gpsdualsport former mid life crisis motorcycle owner

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    Just did a quick read on Zoleo's website. I did not seen anything about live tracking capability.
    This is a deal breaker for me.
    #3
  4. seasdes

    seasdes Adventurer

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    Its not a tracker. However, you can send your location manually at any time.
    If you want a tracker use YBTracking.
    I have both.
    #4
  5. SK_in_AB

    SK_in_AB LOOKin to GS

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    Can you help me understand what you use tracking for? I have a spot 3 but am looking to have 2-way text capability out of cell range and I think the zoleo may be better priced than the new SPOT. I haven't used spot tracking and think my new Garmin XT can store routes I travel for as much as i need them. Not a huge long distance off the grid ADV guy so I'm just interested to know what your use tracking for.
    #5
  6. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

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    If one suffers a serious crash and can't activate SOS, having tracking on narrows the search area.
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  7. SK_in_AB

    SK_in_AB LOOKin to GS

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    ok that makes sense. Does the Zoleo use your location from either cell towers, or sat connection to help emerg response teams to zero in on the crash? I'm willing to accept the risk that I'm crashed and unable to send an SOS (I think that is extremely unlikely for the type of riding I do). But I do want to be able to activate SOS and have response team know where I am... at least within a couple hundred yards.
    #7
  8. Addapost

    Addapost Been here awhile

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    I use a Garmin inReach Mini for SOS, 2 way text, and "live" tracking. I mostly travel solo in the back country. The worst case scenario is a bad crash that leaves me unconscious and unable to activate SOS or text for some other sort of help. If that's the case I'm SOL except that I have the wife and several friends checking in on my live progress throughout the day. We have a plan if they see me stopped for an unusual amount of time without hearing from me. So the live tracking is a deal breaker for me. Definitely gives the wife peace of mind.
    #8
  9. Exurban

    Exurban Been here awhile

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    It uses GPS for your location like inReach, PLBs, etc. It should be within a few feet or so. Communication automatically switches to cell or satellite depending what’s available but it’s not clear if SOS is different. The SOS goes to GEOS like inReach.

    I’m interested in this as an alternative to inReach for two way comm. I like that you get a dedicated email and phone number. I think it would be easier for others to contact you. I do like the inReach for its tracking but assume my wife only looks at my mapshare page to let her know how soon to file the life insurance claim.
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  10. seasdes

    seasdes Adventurer

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    Zoleo uses satellite for location
    #10
  11. seasdes

    seasdes Adventurer

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    We are about to leave for a 500 km trip to NE Oz. I will be taking the Zoleo and a PLB. WIll report back on the Zoleo's performance on our return.
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  12. SK_in_AB

    SK_in_AB LOOKin to GS

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    500 km in Oz! That’s like 500 km in Canada - should take you about 1/2 a day :jack
    #12
  13. seasdes

    seasdes Adventurer

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    Stuffed up. should have read 5000 km (ie sthn NSW to Townsville)
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  14. flamingm0e

    flamingm0e Long timer

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  15. Addapost

    Addapost Been here awhile

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    Just keep in mind that Garmin and SPOT offer "Live Tracking" and the others do not appear to do that. I use a Garmin mini inReach and love it. The live tracking is the feature that I use the most and I wouldn't buy a device without it. So if that is important to you and your needs make sure you know who has it and who doesn't.
    #15
  16. flamingm0e

    flamingm0e Long timer

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    Yeah I know. Honestly, I've been running bubbler pro on my GPS tablet and it uploads using my phone hotspot to spotwalla. I've shared this with my wife and she doesn't use it. I don't know if it's worth the extra cost for that feature in my emergency communication device. I'd send her random updates throughout the day through the app and that's about all she cares for. Just to get an update once in a while.
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  17. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

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    Meh. Author says Zoleo is the same as Delorme inReach SE. NOT so. Totally ignores the tracking factor. Author is all about texting and price.
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  18. flamingm0e

    flamingm0e Long timer

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    What?

    Where did it say that in the article?

    This is the closest thing I can come up with and it seems like if you ignore the key words, you could mistake it for saying that ...

    ZOLEO offered all the features I was used to having on my old Delorme inReach SE and Garmin satellite communication devices.

    So based on that, if live tracking isn't important to you, then it does everything that you use the other devices for...
    #18
  19. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

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    I guess tracking was not on her list, texting was.
    #19
  20. seasdes

    seasdes Adventurer

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    FYI
    I have completed 2500 km on my trip the Zoleo has performed faultlessly and is easy to use.
    I like the way that it seeks the cheapest way to send a message. It sits on top of my tank bag.
    So far the daily temps have varied between 38 - 46 deg C and the temps have not affected its operation.
    I can decide whether I send an SMS or email.
    It does not have autonomous live tracking but it does have manual tracking (ie I'm Ok with GPS coordinates). Manual tracking is more economical and more functional for me. I decide when to send a tracking point.
    Battery life is excellent The quoted 90 hrs sound Ok as it only takes a few minutes to top up each night.
    I also own a tracker and an PLB. I now leave the tracker at home and take the PLB for emergencies.
    The Zoleo is a keeper for me.
    #20