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5/10/2018 12:52 pm  #1


Sat Messengers taking some steps forward and more options

Garmin just launched the new mini version of their inReach models. Great for Ultralighters.
https://static.garmincdn.com/en/products/010-01879-00/v/pd-01-lg-02707b85-ed31-4d5f-b378-a9eb6d302abc.jpg

Spot seems to have just merged their old units with a 2005 Blackberry
https://s3.amazonaws.com/images.gearjunkie.com/uploads/2018/05/IMG_3664-700x451.jpg


And there is a new player on the field. Somewear

https://s3.amazonaws.com/images.gearjunkie.com/uploads/2018/04/Somewear-Satellite-Hotspot_devicephone1.jpg

Last edited by ShawnD (5/11/2018 12:25 pm)

 

5/11/2018 12:10 pm  #2


Re: Sat Messengers taking some steps forward and more options

ShawnD wrote:

Spot seems to have just merger their old units with a 2005 Blackberry
https://s3.amazonaws.com/images.gearjunkie.com/uploads/2018/05/IMG_3664-700x451.jpg

LOL!

I like the looks of the new InReach. That is exactly the sort of thing I have been waiting for. Somewear looks to be interesting too. Kind of an unknown vs Garmin..

 

6/21/2018 6:27 pm  #3


Re: Sat Messengers taking some steps forward and more options

And another new one enters the market. The Bivy Stick.

https://gearjunkie.com/bivy-stick-satellite-messenger

Garmin buys inReach and 2 new players enter.

There must be money to be made here.

     Thread Starter
 

6/21/2018 6:53 pm  #4


Re: Sat Messengers taking some steps forward and more options

ShawnD wrote:

And another new one enters the market. The Bivy Stick.

https://gearjunkie.com/bivy-stick-satellite-messenger

Seems like you need to pair this device (Bivy Stick) to a phone in order to use it.  No thanks.  I prefer my emergency Sat Messengers to be more bombproof than my phone.

 

7/06/2018 1:32 pm  #5


Re: Sat Messengers taking some steps forward and more options

Has anyone used this model Garmin one?  If so, could you kindly offer your feedback?

 

7/07/2018 7:53 pm  #6


Re: Sat Messengers taking some steps forward and more options

The new Mini is $450 at MEC. Ouch!

https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5060-919/inReach-Mini

I will stick with my heavier non-display inReach (with batteries I can replace myself) that cost $250 4 years ago.

 

7/07/2018 10:21 pm  #7


Re: Sat Messengers taking some steps forward and more options

Ash wrote:

Has anyone used this model Garmin one?  If so, could you kindly offer your feedback?

 

Hey Ash

I sold my older inReach SE and upgraded to the mini.

Outside of 2 advantages it functions pretty much the same. Same connection strength, preset messages etc.

Outside of the obvious size advantage, the battery life is a lot better.

Worth noting is if you have a monthly plan with Roadpost and upgrade to the mini you won’t be able to continue with them. The agreement they have  with  garmin won’t allow it. So you have to move to one of the garmin plans. I would review those before you switch to make sure one of them works for you.

     Thread Starter
 

7/08/2018 6:06 am  #8


Re: Sat Messengers taking some steps forward and more options

Hey Shawn, how's the battery life with the mini? 

With my current inReach (5 years old), I use tracking every hour and one or two messages daily. With this, it lasts about 2 weeks. How does the mini compare? 

Cheers
Marko

 

7/08/2018 7:11 am  #9


Re: Sat Messengers taking some steps forward and more options

Here is a device I backed on Kickstarter. It’s not a two way satellite messenger. It’s a mesh network device that uses radio waves to connect with any other device within about 4 km. Basically like a walkietalkie, if each walkietalkie acted as a relay to the next walkietalkie without the intermediaries snooping on your message. But you’re texting, not talking. Can also send images! And...If one person is connected to the internet at one end, you all are.

It would be useful for large widely separated groups (e.g., scout groups that have split up on a huge lake to find suitable campsites). If enough people eventually adopt them, you could essentially have a private text network the size of the group plus 4 km radius. No plans, credits, or extra costs beyond the devices themselves. You could even leave one along the way to relay back to a distant basecamp.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sonnet/sonnet-decentralized-mobile-communication

Last edited by Methye (7/08/2018 7:12 am)

 

7/08/2018 7:14 am  #10


Re: Sat Messengers taking some steps forward and more options

Hey Marko

I’m likely not going to be able to give you a useful comparison. I don’t use tracking. Plus if you are getting that kind of battery life, I’m fairly certain both of my previous inReach’s (  got 1 on a warranty replacement ) had some kind of battery issue. Would only last about 7 days when using it and that like I said was without tracking.

The mini will hold a charge much longer. I charged it about 2 weeks ago for a trip and haven’t recharged it since and it still has over 90% juice  left. Mind you it has been off for most of that time. My previous model would have been dead though.

Last edited by ShawnD (7/08/2018 7:21 am)

     Thread Starter
 

7/09/2018 8:51 pm  #11


Re: Sat Messengers taking some steps forward and more options

Great to hear about the mini... it suuuure is tempting. There was definitely something wrong with the other units, battery life is exponentially better than that in my experience. 

Thanks
M

 

7/10/2018 7:49 am  #12


Re: Sat Messengers taking some steps forward and more options

I'll likely be picking up a mini myself before next camping season (hopefully a deal turns up between now and then). I just went to account management for my SPOT device to turn off automatic renewal and... I can't. There's no option on the website to cancel or prevent auto-renewal. I then tried to edit my credit card number to something bogus and they immediately tried a test transaction with my bank to verify the card number- and when the transaction failed, it restored my original (valid) card information. 

After poking around a while, I finally found they're forcing me to CALL them in order to cancel service. Very little pisses me off like a company that thinks it's okay to pull this kind of BS. Edit: I also just found they require you to cancel at least 30 days before your renewal date. Fortunately I'm safe there, but wow - how ridiculous is that?

Out of curiosity I thought I'd check Garmin's process for cancelling:

To Cancel Service for an inReach Device:

Log into your account at explore.garmin.com
Select the Account tab
Select the Plans & Devices subtab
Select Cancel Service

Bye SPOT - I won't be back!

Last edited by Uppa (7/10/2018 7:54 am)

 

7/10/2018 8:02 am  #13


Re: Sat Messengers taking some steps forward and more options

I'm on the phone with them cancelling now. If anyone has a SPOT and will be renewing, call to cancel anyway. They offered me $50 off my renewal, then when I turned that down they offered me $70 off. I still cancelled. 

 

7/10/2018 8:23 am  #14


Re: Sat Messengers taking some steps forward and more options

Hey Bob With the Garmin plans you can suspend service too. And they don't even charge you the $3 nominal fee Roadpost used to charge. It's just suspended at $0/mth. Pretty sure you can do that from their website too. Downside is any higher use plans are more money. The basic plan is fairly reasonable though.

When I bought the mini they were running a first 2 mth free promo, not sure if that is still on.

     Thread Starter
 

7/10/2018 8:26 am  #15


Re: Sat Messengers taking some steps forward and more options

Yeah, I'll be doing a 'freedom' plan so I can suspend in the off season for sure. My SPOT will do for the rest of this season, so I've got until  next Spring to keep an eye out for deals on the mini. 

 

7/10/2018 8:27 am  #16


Re: Sat Messengers taking some steps forward and more options

Thanks for the feedback...  After this / further research, I purchased the mini this past weekend...  From initial testing - Definitely liking it so far...  The pros for me are as follows:

-The obvious ones > small size/weight, SOS, tracking, longer battery, etc
-Get weather forecasts (for next 3 days in 6 hour increments, or more detailed for additional $)
-2 way texting (not true SMS, but still)
-Can link to phone for map (don't think I'd use this much as I use former Jeff map, but still nice to have extra option for non Algonquin)
-Export tracking into KML file (perhaps spot does this too?)
-'Freedom' plan options - ie don't have to commit to full year at a time (does require 'activation fee' though)
-Mapshare website - Page to share your tracking (with permissioning options), but also allows your location to be requested (if you allow option)

The one con for me so far is the KML uses different attributes than my Google KML map that I currently use to track my trips...  However, think this may be a simple matter to edit the inreach KML to be compatible - Haven't played around with it enough yet...

All in all - Happy so far...  Can't wait to actually bring it into the park!

PS - @Uppa, completely agree!  If a company can accept credit card info on a website, then you should be able to cancel via same route...😡

Edit: Added last 'pro'

Last edited by Ash (7/10/2018 8:32 am)

 

7/10/2018 8:54 pm  #17


Re: Sat Messengers taking some steps forward and more options

Combining the topics of 2 threads.

Another advantage of the garmin is if you go in when a fire ban is on but you end up getting a lot of rain it’s easy to text someone to check if the ban has been lifted.

     Thread Starter
 

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