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Old 09-04-2013, 13:43   #1
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Best marine tracking software/devices?

Hi,
We are trying to determine which tracking system to put to use, so that we can give online tracking info to friends and family, as well as post the url on our blog. We will be cruising from Seattle to Alaska, to Mexico, Galapagos, Panama Canal, Caribbean, and on....

Here's what we have to work with...
Globalstar Sat Phone
ICOM M802 radio
ICOM M604 radio
Sailmail and Airmail accounts
iphone and ipad

So....how do we use any of these, or do we need yet another electronic device in order to maintain an easy to use, visual tracking display of our trip?

Thanks for any suggestions or recommendations!
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Old 09-04-2013, 13:46   #2
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Have you considered a Spot messenger? That would be my choice for this type of goal.

http://www.findmespot.com/en/index.p...rBottomConnect

SC
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Old 09-04-2013, 16:46   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sail2bluesue
Hi,
We are trying to determine which tracking system to put to use, so that we can give online tracking info to friends and family, as well as post the url on our blog. We will be cruising from Seattle to Alaska, to Mexico, Galapagos, Panama Canal, Caribbean, and on....

Here's what we have to work with...
Globalstar Sat Phone
ICOM M802 radio
ICOM M604 radio
Sailmail and Airmail accounts
iphone and ipad

So....how do we use any of these, or do we need yet another electronic device in order to maintain an easy to use, visual tracking display of our trip?

Thanks for any suggestions or recommendations!
With all this gear and your asking us about how to do tracking ??????

Dave
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Old 09-04-2013, 16:49   #4
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I second the spot unit. The new one even integrates with the iPhone so you can send messages from your phone...
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Old 09-04-2013, 17:03   #5
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Re: Best marine tracking software/devices?

An (largely) armchair sailor perspective:

Since spot is based on GlobalStar and the OP already have one of these I would see a benefit in getting a solution based on a different technology. That would minimize the chances of multiple system failure.
When looking at Coverage Map the coverage for Spot should be OK, although you do move from a orange to a yellow area on the mexico-galapagos leg.
Also, the Spot only have one-way communication.

On the other hand a Delorme Inreach or a Yellowbrick uses the Iridium system (which is truly global) and both offer two-way communication. It is more expensive, but still affordable.

The really cheap alternative might be to use APRS tracking via the M802 if you have a HAM license.
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Old 09-04-2013, 17:30   #6
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Re: Best marine tracking software/devices?

You can use your existing hardware and software (M802 & Sailmail/Airmail (and Pactor modem I presume?)) to send position reports to the Winlink system. These positions, along with your short provided comment, show up on the Shiptrak map. Airmail/Sailmail has a position reporting message template built-in. This is free, but a bit more effort than the Spot/DeLorme solutions.

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Old 09-04-2013, 17:32   #7
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I'm a huge believer in the concept of k.i.s.s., and that is why I love the spot. I use it for deliveries so my clients know where their yacht is located, and so my family doesn't worry.
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Old 09-04-2013, 17:42   #8
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Re: Best marine tracking software/devices?

Or if you have AIS you can just use a free site liek the one we use, it updates automatically and friends can see your last position
heres ours
SEPHINA - Vessel's Details and Current Position - 0 - 503654800
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Old 09-04-2013, 18:04   #9
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With all this gear and your asking us about how to do tracking ??????

Dave
I wasn't being facetious here, you can setup tracking options with several of your existing bits of kit.

Dave
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Old 09-04-2013, 18:11   #10
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Or if you have AIS you can just use a free site liek the one we use, it updates automatically and friends can see your last position
heres ours
SEPHINA - Vessel's Details and Current Position - 0 - 503654800
Great way of doing it!!!
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Old 09-04-2013, 18:39   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monte View Post
Or if you have AIS you can just use a free site liek the one we use, it updates automatically and friends can see your last position
heres ours
SEPHINA - Vessel's Details and Current Position - 0 - 503654800
AIS is strictly boat to boat. The online tracking will only work if you are in range of a receiving station that is connected to the Internet. So do not expect to see any live tracks once out of range of a coastline.
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Old 12-04-2013, 21:59   #12
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Re: Best marine tracking software/devices?

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
I wasn't being facetious here, you can setup tracking options with several of your existing bits of kit.

Dave

Thanks Dave,
Yep, we have plenty of options - just trying to find the easiest and most effective solution.
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Old 12-04-2013, 22:02   #13
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Re: Best marine tracking software/devices?

Quote:
Originally Posted by madsb View Post
An (largely) armchair sailor perspective:

Since spot is based on GlobalStar and the OP already have one of these I would see a benefit in getting a solution based on a different technology. That would minimize the chances of multiple system failure.
When looking at Coverage Map the coverage for Spot should be OK, although you do move from a orange to a yellow area on the mexico-galapagos leg.
Also, the Spot only have one-way communication.

On the other hand a Delorme Inreach or a Yellowbrick uses the Iridium system (which is truly global) and both offer two-way communication. It is more expensive, but still affordable.

The really cheap alternative might be to use APRS tracking via the M802 if you have a HAM license.
Thanks - we're thinking we'll probably start out using the M802 and Winlink first (have HAM lic), and go from there. The Spot looks good, but not sure we need yet another gadget to deal with!
Thanks all...
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Old 12-04-2013, 23:11   #14
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Re: Best marine tracking software/devices?

Both of our daughters have SSB/ham Radios, so for us we just call home LOL kidding aside, we know a lot of folks that have radios in there homes or boats that contact us when we are cruiseing. We are in process of haveing one of our puter smart daughters set up a web site to be able to see our location, and hear of our trip !! Nothing up as yet, as we are not cruiseing right now LOL, but we hope to get it up and running by the end of the Gulf hurrycane season. This kinda stuff is just to much for me lol, but all I will have to do is use the radio and the fax modem just as we have done for yrs now !! We will let ya know if it comes to pass !!
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Old 13-04-2013, 03:33   #15
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Re: Best marine tracking software/devices?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sail2bluesue View Post
Thanks - we're thinking we'll probably start out using the M802 and Winlink first (have HAM lic), and go from there. The Spot looks good, but not sure we need yet another gadget to deal with!
Thanks all...
Have you had a look at yotreps??
YOTREPS | Pangolin

Winlink is certainly simple.

Also, might be worth thinking about recording positions in a spreadsheet or text file, if you like a bit of code fiddling then google maps is a cool addition to a blog page with pushpin links to blog entries, not too hard to set up.
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