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Thread: Delorme inReach - Sat based Txt device

  1. #1
    Cynic Jomama's Avatar
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    Default Delorme inReach - Sat based Txt device

    Since my field work this year is out of a truly remote camp with no sat internet or anything like we've had when staying at commercial lodges across Alaska, I thought I would get one of these for personal use & safety (we have work Sat phones, but no ability for personal use).

    http://www.inreachdelorme.com/

    Works on the same iridium sat network as the phones, but since its txt based it needs less signal and uses less battery life than a standard sat phone, and even better, no garbled or delayed communications, or hearing yourself talk like is pretty common to Sat phones.

    Also, far more affordable. I picked up the unit for just over $200, and I paid into the monthly flex plan. A yearly $24 fee, but otherwise I can turn my service on/off on a month to month basis (as low as $15/month, gives you 10 txt messages plus all the safety/SOS features). I paid for the expedition plan so I have unlimited txts and unlimitied 10 min tracking.

    These have taken over in the small aircraft business up here as you can also preset some txt messages (like: "Arrived safely" or "Daily check in - Everyone is Great" (preset messages are also unlimited with all plans), as they can just hit a button and relay back to their office that they dropped a client off at a remote hunt camp and are headed home.

    I believe I can link it to social media and it will post some updates on a map. The unit itself also collects gps info so communications, especially the SOS feature, always include a location (as well as some realtime tracking features). And it will pair with any smartphone using an App/BT so you can use the phone to type out your texts instead of the directional pad on the unit.

    I leave on monday, will post my thoughts after using it in the field.

  2. #2
    Administrator Klaus's Avatar
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    Very Cool. I will be following your pings on the map.

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    Cynic Jomama's Avatar
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    It worked as I thought, really nice to be able to chat so easily. Definitely needed it connected to phone for any extended conversation, otherwise you were using a directional pad to navigate the keyboard. Amazing battery life. I had it on all day txting on and off and it was never below 55-60% battery life, and that was with heavy use. Mostly I wasn't below 75% at end of day. Have a few missed messages when it was off and then updated, and a few email addresses that I couldn't seem to get a message too (maybe blocked at work, but other work ones got thru, also may be due the location link attached to most the messages)..

    Was really useful when talking to another inreach device, I could see the location of where messages had been sent to me on the map/txt app on my phone. Had more problems on hot sunny days than weather days (believe the sun activates the ionsphere more on those days, also how I had problems with SAT radio up here, clear sunny days)

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    Administrator Klaus's Avatar
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    Very cool tech. Perfect place to use it. I keep thinking of getting a Sat phone for the cabin for emergencies but since Steve has figured out a way to dial 911 over the HAM radio I don't think it's worth it.

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    Cynic Jomama's Avatar
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    Yeah this would be far more worthwhile to get than a sat phone imo and way more affordable, and if you got a pair or something, it would provide you with texting capability around the cabin, which would seem a even more routine use than for txting people back in the cities. Like if someone is going riding and another is staying at the cabin but wants to meet up later, you could txt locations and such... Or if/when someone breaks down/runs out of gas and is left behind.

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    Administrator Klaus's Avatar
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    I like the idea but yeah two would be double the monthly fee. I am sure the price will come down eventually.

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    Cynic Jomama's Avatar
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    Well the two low end packages can be had for $15 and $34. $15 gets you 10 txt, $34 gets you 40 txts, and both unlimited presets. So if you get creative with the presets you can get a lot out of it for the prices. Compared to a sat phone, where the calls are crazy expensive... We had a $2000 sat phone bill doing field work last year. An overage txt here is .50cents per text.

    Yeah it would be nice to see some competition to drive prices down a little. The whole "freedom" plan is kinda the second wave of pricing since these came out, and making it more practical for recreational users to justify it, compared to the full year contract which works great for pilots and such using it all the time but not that affordable for the rest of us.

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    Administrator Klaus's Avatar
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    I know this is different tech but I like the idea. It's LOS mostly so not super useful but I like the mesh network. They say 4 miles for non line of sight text messages which would be awesome at our cabin.

    https://www.beartooth.com/#

    Beartooth-Mesh.jpg

    Untitled-1.jpg

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    Sounds cool. I'd want to read up on the 900mHz freq its using to get a better idea of range and capabilities... http://blog.rfvenue.com/lets-talk-about-900/

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    Administrator Klaus's Avatar
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    Good info I will also read about it.

    I do wonder if the texts will go further and if they will keep trying to send and only stop trying if a reply is sent from the receiver.

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