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Old 31-12-2016, 15:50   #1
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Tracking Devices

There have been a few threads about Delorme inreach products and something called a Yellow Brick I believe.
The recent boat that has gone missing and the rescue of the crew off the coast of GA in the US has me thinking that some kind of tracking device that will allow family to follow you and be something that can be queried as to its position may well be something to have.
Not to replace an Epirb and or PLB's AIS MOB devices etc., but none of those would allow family to check on you, allow txt messages and be a way of finding your boat should it go missing, and I think the Delorme and maybe a Yellow brick will?
So I'm asking if one stands out as better and or cheaper than the others. I'm not thinking so much about acquisition costs as that just isn't that great, but I can see how a service plan along the lines of cell phones, satellite TV etc, can eat you alive over time.
Ideal would I think be one that you can place in a hold status when your not on passage and have turned back on when you are, but not have to pay exorbitant turn off and turn on fees.

So what device and or service plan meets that? Can other devices use different services, or are they proprietary?
I know essentially nothing about these things, and until very recently have not considered one, so I'm starting from scratch.
Any suggestions?
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Old 31-12-2016, 16:06   #2
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Re: Tracking Devices

Sounds like a business plan in the making, I'm in...

Just don't tell Vesper Marine!


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Old 31-12-2016, 16:11   #3
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Re: Tracking Devices

I think the Garmin - Delorme inReach Explorer is more refined and can also get weather.

Garmin | United States | Home

Yellow Brick is Pay as you go

YB Tracking | Truly global satellite tracking beacons for yacht racing, adventures, treks, expeditions and challenges | Home
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Old 31-12-2016, 17:26   #4
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Re: Tracking Devices

I'm leaning that way myself, but ran into an argument that a Sat phone for weather is better, but a Sat phone won't send position updates and can't be Pinged to give position either?
Original plan was the use HF for Wx, I think that will still be the case.
Looks like you can do the Delorme for $65 a month, and not pay for months you don't use it.
I can't find out much though, no matter how I search it seems to send me to the same Garmin page, which you can get a brochure on etc., but can't find out anything on Marine Wx
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Old 31-12-2016, 17:34   #5
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Re: Tracking Devices

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Ideal would I think be one that you can place in a hold status when your not on passage and have turned back on when you are, but not have to pay exorbitant turn off and turn on fees.

So what device and or service plan meets that? Can other devices use different services, or are they proprietary?
I know essentially nothing about these things, and until very recently have not considered one, so I'm starting from scratch.
Any suggestions?
Delorme Inreach. Costs $5 per month when deactivated. I activate it each time I do at trip. Cost $35 per month for the "recreational plan" with 300 tracking points and 100 text messages. Configured to do 4 hourly position updates, that's more than enough for a month. There are no connect/disconnect fees.

And the battery lasts for several days with only 6 transmission per day. If I plugged it into my 9000mAh power pack it would probably be good for weeks ( One of those 30,000 mAh packs would last a loooong time).

Plugged into a USB port it will keep going as long as my solar is operational.
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Old 31-12-2016, 18:01   #6
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Re: Tracking Devices

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I'm leaning that way myself, but ran into an argument that a Sat phone for weather is better, but a Sat phone won't send position updates and can't be Pinged to give position either?
Original plan was the use HF for Wx, I think that will still be the case.
Looks like you can do the Delorme for $65 a month, and not pay for months you don't use it.
I can't find out much though, no matter how I search it seems to send me to the same Garmin page, which you can get a brochure on etc., but can't find out anything on Marine Wx
Marine weather on Inreach SE a few bucks a month

SpotCast Weather

Each weather report delivered by OCENS consists of a short text message containing four (4) forecasts over a 24-hour period for where you are as well as where you are headed. Each forecast contains a time stamp (converted to your local time zone) and forecasts of six weather factors. Weather includes:
SpotCast Weather on Iridium 9575
  • total inches (or mm) of
  • precipitation during each 6 hour period,
  • surface pressure in mb,
  • % cloud cover,*
  • air temperature (F or C),
  • wind direction (true) and
  • wind speed in knots.















Fees:
  • 24 hour forecast: Unlimited number of forecasts per period.
  • $60 per year (Y24)
  • $6 per mth (M24)

  • 48 hour forecast: Unlimited number of forecasts per period.
  • $70 per year (Y48)
  • $7 per mth (M48)

  • 72 hour forecast: Unlimited number of forecasts per period.
  • $80 per year (Y72)
  • $8 per mth (M72)

There is a $20 activation fee per device.


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Old 31-12-2016, 18:03   #7
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Re: Tracking Devices

Plans and prices keep changing, and of course there's SPOT.

Another older less common option if you have a ham radio license is to use an APRS transmitter. Basically, there's a 2m data network set up in many parts of the world that can trap and log data blips from an inexpensive transmitter, accessible then from any of several web sites. Not as robust as satcoms, but free can be good too.(G)
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Old 31-12-2016, 18:54   #8
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Re: Tracking Devices

I'm not a Ham, had considered it, but unlikely to happen now before we go.
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Old 31-12-2016, 20:33   #9
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Re: Tracking Devices

Just bought an InReach Explorer for cruising, kayaking, trekking...

For cruising that plus RadioFAX over SSB and an EPIRB has me well covered.

Dumped my SPOT...very unreliable in areas where I cruise most (NW & SW Carib) and very limited functionality.
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Old 31-12-2016, 21:59   #10
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Re: Tracking Devices

This image represents what Richards (M/Y Dauntless, a Kadey Krogen 42, Explores the World) Inreach logged from July 2014 till December 2016.

https://share.delorme.com/dauntless
https://dauntlessatsea.com/
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Old 01-01-2017, 07:33   #11
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Re: Tracking Devices

My wife got me an inreach SE for Christmas. I have a friend who has one and I was impressed with it this summer on a backpacking trip.
I like the fact that it is a month to month service.
I will be retired at the end of the school year, she is still working and we have elderly parents. Now if I'm out on the boat up in BC, AK or backpacking we can text and she can follow my tracks.

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Old 01-01-2017, 07:58   #12
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pirate Re: Tracking Devices

I use my SPOT3 every time I do a trip.. from the feed back on CF I think it has a pretty good coverage as I crossed the Atlantic or moved around the Med..
This last trip however I also had the owners Yellow Brick.. unlike Spot its a built in battery and in spite of texts from and to the owner by the time I reached Spain from SXM there was still 75% battery left.
My Spot.. if I leave it on full time needs new batteries every 48hrs.. so it goes on for 1/2 hour 4-5 times a day.
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Old 01-01-2017, 08:13   #13
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Re: Tracking Devices

I have a SPOT Trace on my boat the emails me each day to tell me all is OK on the boat, but any time the boat moves more than 600 ft from it's current position I get an email showing it's position and as long as I leave it active, it will continue to send every 10 minutes. When I travel on the boat, I change the notification times to a longer time interval. The notifications can be received at any location I choose as long as I give that person the website and access. Perfect.
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Old 01-01-2017, 08:14   #14
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Re: Tracking Devices

PS, SPOT Trace cost only $100. and $10. per year.
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Old 02-01-2017, 09:48   #15
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Re: Tracking Devices

Actually, the Spot Trace is now on sale for only $50. Service is $10 per month or $100 per year. It will track your boat as much as every 5 minutes and will sleep when you are in a marina or anchored. It does this all automatically.plus, the unit is surprisingly tiny. It is easy to hide on board in case your boat is stolen, making tracking it easy.
Family can have a link to a website that updates in real time.and shows the latest 50 points.
If you want to see a track, take a look at our website, Follow Us On Our Sailing Adventure. I built the interface for that so it records and keeps all the tracks for our website.this way it will save it forever.
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