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#37964 - 06/25/14 12:19 PM Re: PLB / SPOT / Delorme / Sat Phone [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 524
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
Originally Posted By: 63ChevyII.com
John,

In order to use these apps, I assume you can't put your phone in airplane mode, correct?

I've found that my iPhone is pretty much useless for tracking, since he batteries run out so fast if it isn't in airplane mode. I miss my android phone. It actually tracked well and had decent battery life. I used to put it in airplane mode, then turn on the GPS.

Originally Posted By: Hobbes

Got it - ordered the SE.

Please let us know your experience with it. Since we're somewhat local to each other, I would love to check it out in person sometime, if we happen to be interested in doing the same hike at some point. I'm also very interested in your UL gear.


63Chevyll,

The answer is a little complicated (and may be different for the SE vs. my old brick. In fact, I "guess" much, but not all, of the iPhone utility is included in the SE unit):
- The InReach operates both "on its own", and in conjunction with the iPhone/Android app - Earthmate. You can turn tracking on/off and send the pre-programmed messages without the iPhone being turned on or even present. In this case your iPhone battery usage is zero. However, to get the full utility from the InReach it is necessary for the iPhone to be left on with the Earthmate application running (but make sure the display is not left on). Bigger map/keyboard, custom messages, receive messages, etc... It may be that this utility is also present with the SE, so your dependence on the iPhone may be less. The app will run in the background, so you are free to use other applications as you like.

Using the Earthmate app requires that you NOT put your phone in airplane mode. While the InReach device has its own gps, the mapping function on your iPhone uses the internal GPS. This is also true for other applications that you may want to use (GPS4CAM, SportsTracker, ViewRanger, etc....)

Even running several apps concurrently I have not had a problem with battery life. I find that WIFI is the biggest drain (if left on to search for nearby WIFI stations). I simply turn off WIFI, and leave bluetooth on. I easily get 12 hours from the iPhone 5 battery. I also use a mophie case that includes a battery, good for over one full charge. The last hike where I used the InReach lasted 8.5 hours and I had over 60% of the internal battery left, with no use of the mophie case battery. It adds a bit of weight, but also provides protection for the iPhone. With it, and the regular battery I'm good for at least 24 hours. Since I only do day hikes (For sleeping I prefer air conditioning, hot/cold running water, clean sheets, etc...) this is more than ample. I also have an ANKER 6000 mAh battery that I could take along, that would extend the time of use to several days. Beyond that, I'm afraid you will need a solar panel.

Regards,

John

EDIT: You could also rely on the SE unit for all non iPhone unique functions, only turning the iPhone on for those functions limited to iPhone availability. Then I guess you would get many days use from the iPhone battery. There may some loss of function by running this way, but it is another option.



Edited by John Sims (06/25/14 12:25 PM)

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#37971 - 06/25/14 01:52 PM Re: PLB / SPOT / Delorme / Sat Phone [Re: 63ChevyII.com]
Chicagocwright Offline


Registered: 09/05/12
Posts: 172
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: 63ChevyII.com
Originally Posted By: Chicagocwright
I'm confused by the HELP and SOS buttons. Why have a design that includes both?


Source: http://www.findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=102
SOS: Use this function In the event of a life threatening or other critical emergency to notify emergency services of your GPS location and that you need assistance. The GEOS International Emergency Response Center alerts the appropriate agencies worldwide – for example contacting 9-1-1 responders in North America and 1-1-2 responders in Europe.

Help: In the event of a non-life threatening emergency, you can use this function to notify your personal contacts that you need assistance. Additional SPOT Assist services can be purchased and programmed to your Help button as well. When activated with SPOT Assist, the Help button will notify professional services either on the land or water. SPOT has partnered with national service providers to offer non-life threatening assistance.


Maybe I am just being dense but I still don't get it. If you are out in the wilderness, what is a "non-life threatening emergency"? (Actually, forget the wilderness part. If I am in the city, what is a "non-life threatening emergency"?)

Can someone provide an example scenario?

In other words I am assuming that if I am in a situation that I can't get myself out of, I don't have any "personal contacts" that would be able to assist. I am assuming that is the case for most people.

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#37972 - 06/25/14 02:02 PM Re: PLB / SPOT / Delorme / Sat Phone [Re: Chicagocwright]
GandC Offline


Registered: 03/21/11
Posts: 246
Loc: SoCal
Originally Posted By: Chicagocwright
In other words I am assuming that if I am in a situation that I can't get myself out of, I don't have any "personal contacts" that would be able to assist. I am assuming that is the case for most people.


I tend to agree with you, which is why I asked the question I asked earlier about the ramifications for hitting the help button. I have decided that my help button is going to be my new "bad news" button, and have a message saying that I'll be gone an extra night or something to that effect.

These devices aren't designed solely for hikers, climbers, and backpackers though. I would imagine the situation you're looking for might be some kind of car trouble if the carrier is driving a long distance, or even a maritime incident where you're stuck off shore with no gas, but don't need a search party to come find you.
_________________________
One day I'd like to hike the entire John Muir Trail and not leave a single footprint. -Randy Morgenson

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#37980 - 06/25/14 05:22 PM Re: PLB / SPOT / Delorme / Sat Phone [Re: Chicagocwright]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1025
Loc: Madison, WI
Originally Posted By: Chicagocwright


Maybe I am just being dense but I still don't get it. If you are out in the wilderness, what is a "non-life threatening emergency"? (Actually, forget the wilderness part. If I am in the city, what is a "non-life threatening emergency"?)

Can someone provide an example scenario?



in 2010 my daughter fainted on the trail down to Woods Creek. Just tipped over while sitting next to me. Came back a moment later, but we were pretty rattled. Would have loved to talk to a medical professional to double check what could be wrong with her. It wasn't a reason to call the rescue posse, as we walked out over Whitney a few days later (where she fainted again in the Portal Store...). Never really figured out what happened those days, but it was always at moments of rest.

That episode was the reason why I let my Spot subscription expire and bought a sat phone. I now have nurse # and SAR and Sheriff numbers programmed into the phone. I can send and receive texts for weather updates and other basic communication, but when I have to, I can actually talk to somebody who may be able to help. The phone has GPS, and I have another GPS, so sending location info is going to be quite accurate, too.

If I hiked alone, always, I probably would get some sort of locator device, but in a group, the phone works well for us, plus it comes in handy for things like trailhead rendezvous scheduling, or calling a tow truck from US 6 between Ely and Tonopah.

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#37985 - 06/25/14 07:24 PM Re: PLB / SPOT / Delorme / Sat Phone [Re: Fishmonger]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2208
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
Originally Posted By: Fishmonger
Originally Posted By: Chicagocwright


In 2010 my daughter fainted on the trail down to Woods Creek. Just tipped over while sitting next to me. Came back a moment later, but we were pretty rattled. Would have loved to talk to a medical professional to double check what could be wrong with her. It wasn't a reason to call the rescue posse, as we walked out over Whitney a few days later (where she fainted again in the Portal Store...). Never really figured out what happened those days, but it was always at moments of rest..

Check out syncope. Ask me how I know!
_________________________
Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII

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#37994 - 06/25/14 08:44 PM Re: PLB / SPOT / Delorme / Sat Phone [Re: GandC]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7225
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: GandC
Originally Posted By: Chicagocwright
In other words I am assuming that if I am in a situation that I can't get myself out of, I don't have any "personal contacts" that would be able to assist. I am assuming that is the case for most people.


I tend to agree with you, which is why I asked the question I asked earlier about the ramifications for hitting the help button. I have decided that my help button is going to be my new "bad news" button, and have a message saying that I'll be gone an extra night or something to that effect.

These devices aren't designed solely for hikers, climbers, and backpackers though. I would imagine the situation you're looking for might be some kind of car trouble if the carrier is driving a long distance, or even a maritime incident where you're stuck off shore with no gas, but don't need a search party to come find you.


Yes, the Help function is pretty much worthless in backpacking. Friends can't drop everything and come to your aid. It only raises concern. That's why I use it as a "poor man's tracking" function -- it's an alternate use.

GandC is right: they aren't just for hikers. Spot is marketing to lots of other groups besides hikers.

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#37997 - 06/25/14 11:04 PM Re: PLB / SPOT / Delorme / Sat Phone [Re: Steve C]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Posted on Facebook by Stacy:

==========================

From the "Inyo County Sheriff" website:
"Yesterday morning at 9:20AM Inyo County Sheriff’s Dispatch received notification that a SPOT device had been activated with the approximate coordinates of Little Whitney Meadow – west of Lone Pine in the high Sierra’s. Seth Baker, a 29-year old man out of Bakersfield, CA was camping with six friends, when (according to Baker) he was bucked off his mule after he and his friends were racing their mules across a meadow. Baker hit the ground with the left side of his body, and attempted to “walk off the pain”. By the following morning (the 24th) Baker was unable to move. One of the campers had a SPOT device and activated it for help. California Highway Patrol (CHP) helicopter H80, out of Apple Valley, responded to Baker's location, and transported him to the Lone Pine Airport where he was met by an ambulance to further transport him to Southern Inyo Hospital for treatment."
SERIOUSLY PEOPLE!!!
Steve, maybe they need to do the same thing up here in the Sierra...charge for rescue based on the stupidity of the situation. Mule Racing? REALLY??

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#37998 - 06/25/14 11:10 PM Re: PLB / SPOT / Delorme / Sat Phone [Re: Ken]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Not to be argumentative, but I do wonder if carrying a spot-type device leads people to engage in riskier behavior. This has certainly been documented for Avi beacons.

I haven't heard anything that leads me to believe that, but of course it has not been studied. The human mind is a funny thing.

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#38000 - 06/25/14 11:31 PM Re: PLB / SPOT / Delorme / Sat Phone [Re: Ken]
GandC Offline


Registered: 03/21/11
Posts: 246
Loc: SoCal
Originally Posted By: Ken

SERIOUSLY PEOPLE!!!
Steve, maybe they need to do the same thing up here in the Sierra...charge for rescue based on the stupidity of the situation. Mule Racing? REALLY??


Even that might not stop them. I know that with my subscription, I was able to pay a little extra to add insurance to cover 50k per incident of any rescue costs incurred if the SPOT device is used, up to two incidents per year.

I might need to go race some mules to make sure I'm getting my money's worth...
_________________________
One day I'd like to hike the entire John Muir Trail and not leave a single footprint. -Randy Morgenson

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#38008 - 06/26/14 09:05 AM Re: PLB / SPOT / Delorme / Sat Phone [Re: John Sims]
Cory Freeman Offline


Registered: 06/25/14
Posts: 9
Loc: Bishop, CA
in regards to the Inreach device, I was hoping someone could clarify this for me: when sending a text or email from the trail to my wife it only shows up on Delorme's web portal Mapshare correct? In other words i can't send a txt or email to her cell phone right? And for her to send me a txt or email it needs to initiate through the webportal?

Also anyone have experience with canceling the month to month plan with Delorme? Read a couple negative reviews on amazon and REI regarding bad customer service and hard to cancel subscription (Freedom Plan).

Thanks for any clarity on these questions.
_________________________
www.bishopweather.com

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#38009 - 06/26/14 09:13 AM Re: PLB / SPOT / Delorme / Sat Phone [Re: Cory Freeman]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
John,

Once again, thank you for the long, thoughtful responses to my questions! thanks


Originally Posted By: Cory Freeman

Also anyone have experience with canceling the month to month plan with Delorme? Read a couple negative reviews on amazon and REI regarding bad customer service and hard to cancel subscription (Freedom Plan).


The customer service issues posted on REI is the biggest factor in me looking at other options crazy


So some more pricing info:

SPOT
With the current deals going on right now (Rebate fro SPOT, member refund from REI):

$150 for basic service
+$85 for SPOT (after rebates)
$235 minimum for 1st year (cheapest option)
This includes trackpoints


InReach Explorer

$145 for Safety Plan
+$340 for InReach Explorer (after REI member refund)
$485 minimum for 1st year, + fees for trackpoint and pinging. I would think the trackpoint and pinging fees would be <$25.


Some factors why I'd consider Delorme over Spot:
- reportedly more reliable satellite network (Iridium vs. Globalstar),
- transmits to satellites with stronger radio power (1.6W vs 0.4W)
- 2 way messaging
- mapping/tracking functionality (leave the GPS @ home?)
- confirmation that your messages have been sent

Some factors why I'd consider Spot over Delorme:
- PRICE
- Delorme's poor customer service
_________________________
HikingGeek.com

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#38012 - 06/26/14 09:38 AM Re: PLB / SPOT / Delorme / Sat Phone [Re: Cory Freeman]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 524
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
Originally Posted By: Cory Freeman
in regards to the Inreach device, I was hoping someone could clarify this for me: when sending a text or email from the trail to my wife it only shows up on Delorme's web portal Mapshare correct? In other words i can't send a txt or email to her cell phone right? And for her to send me a txt or email it needs to initiate through the webportal?

Also anyone have experience with canceling the month to month plan with Delorme? Read a couple negative reviews on amazon and REI regarding bad customer service and hard to cancel subscription (Freedom Plan).

Thanks for any clarity on these questions.


Hi Cory,

The Inreach sends text or or e-mail (or both) to whoever you specify. Just like using txt messaging on your iPhone/Android. Uses Satellite for communications instead of cell towers or WiFi. Your wife can also reply, and you will receive her txt message via InReach. Works great! Also shows up on Mapshare, if you specify Mapshare as one of the recipients of the message. Only limitation is 160 (I think) characters/message. Send/Receive is not quite as instantaneous as normal text message or e-mail due to need for Satellite to be overhead, but normally within several minutes.

John

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#38025 - 06/26/14 04:09 PM Re: PLB / SPOT / Delorme / Sat Phone [Re: John Sims]
Cory Freeman Offline


Registered: 06/25/14
Posts: 9
Loc: Bishop, CA
thanks for the info John, your posts have been helpful and let me know the inreach even existed!

FYI there was a good discussion here about this very topic with good user experiences shared.
_________________________
www.bishopweather.com

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#38036 - 06/27/14 06:37 AM Re: PLB / SPOT / Delorme / Sat Phone [Re: Cory Freeman]
Cory Freeman Offline


Registered: 06/25/14
Posts: 9
Loc: Bishop, CA
so i wound up ordering the inreach se and it will be here next week. got it from rei as i had a gift card and they have a $50 mail-in rebate currently in effect 'til 6/30. Here's the reason I chose it:
  • 2 way communications
  • month to month subscription plan
  • better reliability to make connections (from empirical reviews)
  • the time seems to be right


I have been toying with the idea of getting a spot over the last several years but every time I looked into it I decided not to get one due to negative reviews, and pricing plans. After reading this thread earlier this week i learned of the Delorme Inreach SE. It seems to have the right combination of features for what I was looking for.

I generally prefer to hike solo and on trails without much people around or utilize popular trails to get to a junction then head off trail. I used to scoff at the idea when family members suggested that i carry a spot or something like that. Maybe its me getting older or I've just read about too many people going missing here in the sierra since living here that I've started changing my way of thinking.

Over the next few weeks I'll figure out how best to utilize this tool, but I'm thinking it's really just an in case emergency tool. Most likely i'll just use it to send a txt message to my wife if my plans change, i.e. took a different route for what ever reason, taking longer to get back, etc. the rule we've been operating under is to give me 24 hrs to get back if i'm late to return. think that will still be the rule with the inreach.

I think these are a cool thing to have for dire emergencies and the tech doesn't have to overwhelm a person or over shadow a wilderness experience. Just depends on how you choose to use this new tool. YMMV

my $.02 wink
_________________________
www.bishopweather.com

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