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Old 06-09-2012, 12:54   #1
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Delorme Inreach Sat. Communicator- Any Real Experience?

Just came across this what appears to be a new Spot competitor, with added features and using the Iridium satellite network.

It seem very cool... apps to run on Iphone and Android, including tablets, two-way text messages, GPS and a mapping feature you can integrate with a website. Service plans range from the emergency only one of $14.95 to the everything you can get of $49.95. Units cost about $250 depending on which one is purchased.

Looking at the features, it almost appears it can be used as an EPIRB, although it will not do so automatically. It is waterproof, however and it floats.

It seems almost to good to be true.
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Old 06-09-2012, 13:10   #2
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Re: Delorme Inreach Sat. Communicator- Any Real Experience?

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Originally Posted by avb3 View Post
everything you can get of $49.95.
That's per month, which is $600/year, which is what 500 minutes of iridium time costs retail, which seems pretty expensive to me. The very most expensive SPOT plan costs $150/year. But the inreach does work globally, unlike SPOT.

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appears it can be used as an EPIRB
Hmmm . . . be careful, you might study the Aegean experience with SPOT SOS. The same outfit (GEOS) is handling the Inreach SOS messages. You are MUCH better off (in terms of responce reliability and time) with a g-epirb, and they have zero monthly fee!
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Old 06-09-2012, 13:31   #3
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Re: Delorme Inreach Sat. Communicator- Any Real Experience?

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That's per month, which is $600/year, which is what 500 minutes of iridium time costs retail, which seems pretty expensive to me. The very most expensive SPOT plan costs $150/year. But the inreach does work globally, unlike SPOT.
They do allow you to change plans, either upgrading or downgrading them as required. Good point about the 500 minutes of iridium time though. That being said, their top plan allows for 250 SMS messages, it interfaces with Iphone and Android phones and tablets, and topo and NOAA maps are included in the packages. The data over sat phones, which I believe charge per minute, would eat that type of interfacing up really fast. If you just want voice coverage, obviously sat. phone is the way to go.

Quote:
Hmmm . . . be careful, you might study the Aegean experience with SPOT SOS. The same outfit (GEOS) is handling the Inreach SOS messages. You are MUCH better off (in terms of responce reliability and time) with a g-epirb, and they have zero monthly fee!
I didn't realize GEOS was the one involved with the Aegean. Regardless, I still wonder if anything but an EPIRB would have helped in that case.
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Old 06-09-2012, 13:37   #4
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I was looking at the Inreach too, but found a used Isatphone on eBay for $300. I can buy prepaid minutes for less than a buck a minute and use it for text ($.50 a text out... Free incoming text!) and still send real emails when needed.

Keep in mind, all incoming text to the inreach cost you money... This could add up quick for someone to send you a stupid joke or an advertisement. This is what put me off to the Inreach service.
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Old 06-09-2012, 13:47   #5
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Re: Delorme Inreach Sat. Communicator- Any Real Experience?

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I was looking at the Inreach too, but found a used Isatphone on eBay for $300. I can buy prepaid minutes for less than a buck a minute and use it for text ($.50 a text out... Free incoming text!) and still send real emails when needed.

Keep in mind, all incoming text to the inreach cost you money... This could add up quick for someone to send you a stupid joke or an advertisement. This is what put me off to the Inreach service.
Good buy!

Funny thing about SMS messages is that they really are emails. If you know the cell carriers email pattern (usually the phone # followed by the company's domain, but not always), you can text to email or email to that phone. Of course no attachments or over 160 characters work.
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Old 06-09-2012, 13:56   #6
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Yeah, that's how most people have to text us (via the email address) It's a big charge for them to text a sat phones number otherwise. We also get free incoming calls too with the Isatphone, but whoever calls us gets charged about $10 a minute by their phone company for the long distance charge.
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Old 06-09-2012, 14:25   #7
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Re: Delorme Inreach Sat. Communicator- Any Real Experience?

just used an inReach crossing from Mexico to Hawaii. Certainly found the text to email a very useful tool. We did all weather routing and com for $49 for the month and then switched back to the $14 plan. The cost per email (txt) was $.20 as we used all 250. The device was less than $300 and works with android and iPhones.
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Old 06-09-2012, 14:54   #8
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Re: Delorme Inreach Sat. Communicator- Any Real Experience?

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just used an inReach crossing from Mexico to Hawaii. Certainly found the text to email a very useful tool. We did all weather routing and com for $49 for the month and then switched back to the $14 plan. The cost per email (txt) was $.20 as we used all 250. The device was less than $300 and works with android and iPhones.
Good to hear. How did you do the weather routing? Did you have someone at the other end interrupt reports, and then send the Reader's Digest version to you?
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Old 06-09-2012, 14:59   #9
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Re: Delorme Inreach Sat. Communicator- Any Real Experience?

exactly...it would have been nice to have to gribs too but our HAM has some issues so luckily we had someone to give us the reader digest weather...it worked. The rule of the sea is to do your own weather forecasting but this method worked in our case.

The inReach with a HAM and gribs or Sat WX would be ideal.
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Old 06-09-2012, 15:31   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avb3

Good buy!

Funny thing about SMS messages is that they really are emails. If you know the cell carriers email pattern (usually the phone # followed by the company's domain, but not always), you can text to email or email to that phone. Of course no attachments or over 160 characters work.
SMS isn't an email technology. Unless the carrier has a gateway there isn't an automatic link between SMS and email, if you study GSM protocols you can see how SMS developed.

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Old 07-09-2012, 12:07   #11
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Re: Delorme Inreach Sat. Communicator- Any Real Experience?

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SMS isn't an email technology. Unless the carrier has a gateway there isn't an automatic link between SMS and email, if you study GSM protocols you can see how SMS developed.

Dave
But it does use email protocol addressing in most cases. GSM is not universal, as CDMA is still pervasive in North America. SMS works transparently between the two, just as email does between operating systems. SMS is a protocol, not a technology, as GSM or CDMA are.
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Old 08-09-2012, 07:39   #12
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The major difference between InTeach and SPOT is to me that the InReach supports 2-way communication. I'm of the "face down generation" so the texting plan and 2way Facebook communication is perfect for me

Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvToSail
just used an inReach crossing from Mexico to Hawaii. Certainly found the text to email a very useful tool. We did all weather routing and com for $49 for the month and then switched back to the $14 plan. The cost per email (txt) was $.20 as we used all 250. The device was less than $300 and works with android and iPhones.
luvToSail,
We're heading down to Mexico from Seattle. How did you get weather info sent? Did you have a friend text you summaries or is there a service somewhere?
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:36   #13
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Re: Delorme Inreach Sat. Communicator- Any Real Experience?

It's a great idea, but it seems incredibly expensive to me. I think it is cheaper to use SMS over a regular satphone system.

I would be quite happy to have satellite SMS service -- I think I could easily live without voice comms. It's an elegant and logical way to communicate at sea. But this extremely low bandwidth application should be much cheaper, it seems to me.
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