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Delorme Inreach or Spot II?

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Re: Delorme Inreach or Spot II?

Postby dan2see » Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:56 pm

LuminousAphid wrote:I thought about using one of these things a year or so ago, but decided against it. I feel that with my style of solo hiking, it would make me more careless about turnaround times and taking risks and would ultimately end up hurting rather than helping me...


Never blame your imminent demise on your electronics.
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Re: Delorme Inreach or Spot II?

Postby dan2see » Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:19 pm

MoapaPk wrote:...
After many conversations with the techs, I've concluded that most don't know how this unit works; specifically, they don't know the algorithms the unit/satellite/groundstation uses to decide if a message is valid (e.g., inconsistent GPS reading over several send tries).


The "techs" don't accompany you on your adventures. They're not there.

You don't have to know how the algorithms work, either. What you do have to do, is allow the gadget to do its job.

The Spot is a low-power portable GPS satellite receiver, as well as a low-power portable satellite phone. You have to understand that you can't see the satellites, but the gadget communicates in line-of-sight. Even then, any kind of radio echo will interfere with its channels. So when you press the button, naturally you shouldn't stand under a tree, and if you're anywhere near some mountain's rock walls, it will see interference.

Mine also fails when it's too close to my GPS. So if I turn them both on, I'll lay the Spot on one rock, and the GPS on another rock, somewhere else.

Don't forget to review the user instructions once in a while.

Even so, you'll still miss some calls. But that's a hell of a lot better than cell service -- the cell network doesn't reach anywhere near where I travel.
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Re: Delorme Inreach or Spot II?

Postby cat22 » Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:59 pm

A clarification on two previous posts. Both devices transmit to the GEOS alliance response network who will decide how to proceed when they receive the SOS message. GEOS is a commercial entity and it has been criticized at times for some of its judgement calls.

The two devices however use different satellite networks to transmit the message. InReach uses the Iridum satellites network which markets itself as having complete coverage of the earth's surface (probably because of its coverage on the poles). Spot uses Globalstar. I haven't used InReach, but I hike with a friend who has a spot, and as others have reported, sometimes it takes a half hour to get a message out, and sometimes a message won't make it at all, but in general most "Ok" messages get through. I'm trying to make the same decision between the two devices, and so far it seems that InReach might be better at getting messages through. Also InReach would be able to download topo maps to my phone which is a plus.

The other option is a PLB which can't send non-SOS messages, or receive, but it uses military satellites, regulated transmit power requirements, and the SOS message is sent to a NOAA/Air Force center. However, my understanding is that all three services will relay the SOS message to a local SAR agency. There isn't anything like the Coast Guard. I initially wanted to get one of these devices because I thought that a helicopter would show up (and then I'd get charged a lot of money for it).

However, after reading a lot of accident reports, helicopters don't seem to get involved until the SAR team reaches you and decides on the best means of transporting the victim. Also, SAR teams wait till morning to respond if the location is dangerous to approach at night (i.e., in a vertical canyon), and sometimes it takes them a few hours to assemble as either volunteers or professionals gather from different townships. Sometimes there is delay if the rescue requires specially trained rescuers. Then they start to hike to the victim.

I've concluded that if I'm hurt in a remote or difficult to reach area, I can expect to be reached by rescuers generally within 5 to 10 hours and be out of there probably within 24 hours. There wouldn't be a helicopter unless I'm barely alive, or the rescuers don't feel like they have any other way to take me out. Also, helicopters seem to give up often, either because of wind, cliff walls nearby, or tree cover. That being said, I'm leaning toward the delorme because you can supposedly communicate back and forth with the rescuers. If I'm snakebitten, I would like to tell them about it so they can maybe try to get there quickly. However, my biggest fear is a sprained ankle or broken leg 10 miles away from cell phone service. In that case I'm not so concerned with speed, as long as someone's coming. Then the SPOT might be fine, even if it takes a few tries to get the SOS out.

A benefit of the PLB's seems to be that they might transmit a stronger signal. They might be better at getting the message out from a canyon or under tree canopy. All of these are factors that would come into the decision on which device to commit to, but there doesn't seem to be much experience out there yet to help us decide.
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Re: Delorme Inreach or Spot II?

Postby peninsula » Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:31 pm

I've used both devices; Spot and InReach coupled with a Delorme 60W GPS. No question in my mind the Delorme devices are a superior combination with two-way communication and outstanding mapping software. It is frustrating Delorme will not cater to Mac users. I finally caved in and installed Windows 7. Thus far all testing with InReach has been trouble free short of a challenging learning curve. The cost of operation using InReach is reasonable, too... a better deal than what is offered by Spot IMO.
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Re: Delorme Inreach or Spot II?

Postby frcolin » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:59 am

Hello,
I post my question here to not open a new topic.

With my wife and my 2 daughters (9 and 11) we're gonna make a trip over the world from september 2013 to july 2014.
We will travel mainly by plane to jump from a country to an other and then we will use train, bus, taxi, cars, and feet of course. We know exactly which countries we will visit but Our route is not strictly defined as in each country, our plans can change according to our mood, the people we meet, the weather, etc.

We will not have a smartphone with a 3G connection working all over the world, as it's very complicated to have such a cell phone subscription, with roaming issues that can happen.
Of course we will have wifi quite often when near an hotel or so but never 24h/24h 7d/7d.
But i would like our family and friends to follow us on a dedicated system.

So i thought about a gps tracking device.
It would be very cool if the grand parents can instantly find us on a map, for example : "my gran-daughters should be in australia now, let's have a look, wow great they are at the Ayers Rock ! Let's google it up to have pictures of this place".

I also want a gps system to locate myself on a map. It will be impossible to carry on dozens of paper maps when we go hiking or visitng a town.
So i would like a system with inboard world map stored and able to navigate on it.

Then i thought it could be something for safety with my girls if they have one tracking device for each of her. If for example the got lost in a croudy town in a country they do not speak and read the language.
Of course it is a very small probability and it should not replace basic safety rules. But, after all if the device does it, why not. Could be seen as an addon.
I could be funn too if we split in 2 groups, my wife and the elder staying on the beach and me going 2 days sailing with the younger.

So the delorme in reach with a smartphone or with a pn60w or a spot 2 which system do you think would fit my case ?

Thanks.
Colin.
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Re: Delorme Inreach or Spot II?

Postby loaderg1 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:01 pm

the USCG has a presentation online about this stuff...
http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg534/Emerge ... Turner.pdf

http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg534/Emergency_Beacons.asp

spot and inreach messages and alerts go to a center in texas that communicates with rescue services. or send msgs to your family i guess. these alerts and msgs do not go directly to rescue services as far as i know.
PLB alerts go through the Cospas-Sarsat system directly to the AFRCC (if you are on land in the US) and also to the search and rescue point of contact where the PLB is registered (if the beacon is registered in Italy the alert will go to Italy). There is no third party center in texas handling your emergency with PLB alerts.
SPOTs are handy in that they give an idea of history, of where you have been, and this can be posted online and circulated to family and rescue services, maybe delorme does this as well.
however this can lead to problems in that family can get antsy if you run out of batteries or whatever and you do not get a new message/position out on time.
PLBs transmit with 5 watts, powerful stuff, and ACR now makes one that floats.
The coast guard might update their website soon with updates about the intentions of manufacturers of these devices ie. combining a PLB with an Inreach... sounds enticing.
Inreach seems a better bet for messaging, but it should not substitute for a PLB when it comes to alerting rescue services that the shit has hit the fan...
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Re: Delorme Inreach or Spot II?

Postby frcolin » Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:05 am

Thanks,
Nice presentation of the sytems.
It would be great to have the beacon combined to the inreach, but i guess it would not be available before my departure.

I think that the PLB is not really necessary for us as we will not go for extrem hiking or sailing.

I want more likely a tracking service such as with facebook smartphone things but that will use satellite system.
Of course i will tell the family that it's just a "fun" system and not a PLB.

I think for now that inreach is the best for me. Except if an other manufacturer pops out a new device before i take off from France.
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Re: Delorme Inreach or Spot II?

Postby peninsula » Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:11 pm

frcolin wrote:
I think for now that inreach is the best for me. Except if an other manufacturer pops out a new device before i take off from France.


I've used both InReach and SPOT. Both did the job, but I much prefer InReach for two-way texting and no longer use the SPOT device.
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Re: Delorme Inreach or Spot II?

Postby BoulderTraveler » Thu Aug 08, 2013 4:53 pm

I use the Delorme InReach, after upgrading from the Delorme SPOT. The advantage for me is the ability to get replies to my messages via the Iridium satellite network. My wife knows where I am on solo trips, and that is a peace of mind for her. If a relative gets ill and I need to get back home, I know promptly, because she can send me msgs. If I send her a msg, she replies and I know she got it. If I come upon an injured climber/hiker, I can help without concern for lack of cell phone connectivity... it allows interaction with SAR before they even deploy: nature of the emergency, status updates, questions answered. My route can be tracked with the PN-60w connectivity, and with the online Delorme map presentation, there is never a question where to find me. If Matthew Greene was using this now, there would be no question where he has disappeared to ... (http://www.sierrawave.net/25852/search- ... ing-hiker/). If Randy Udall had had one, tracking his hike, think of all the hours saved SAR personnel locating the body. Wyoming alone had over 300 search & rescues last year ... think of the thousands of hours of SAR staff time could be saved if climbers used an InReach/SPOT. The InReach does burn thru lithium batteries more quickly than the SPOT, so I have to remember to carry an extra set on longer trips. It is bulkier, but not significantly so. The SPOT w batt weighs 4.9 oz; the InReach w batt is 8.2 oz. The Delorme InReach gives me more stand-alone features that the Delorme SPOT. The monthly charges are higher for the InReach, but worth it to me. I see no degradation of connectivity ... both gave me reliable messaging and tracking. The PN-60w/InReach combo is a great timesaver ... the GPS assists me in finding navigation points (trail junctions, retracing my ascent route, etc.) and the InReach allows me to change my pickup location ("can you pls come get me at the northern trailhead?", "would you pls add an extra fuel cannister to my resupply cache?"). I recommend the PN60w/InReach combo for every trip, from day hikes to week long outings.
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