Forum Index » GEAR » DeLorme inReach SE announced, ships mid to late April


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Roger Munsey
(8100LT) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
New inReach SE Firmware Update available on 08/12/2013 17:36:53 MDT Print View

A new inReach SE Firmware Update (2.1) is available and the sync features works now!
Finally starting to make this device and web interface user friendly.

Roger

Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
Sync! on 08/12/2013 20:05:19 MDT Print View

update took about 2 minutes and now we have contact sync!
very nice indeed.

Jonathan Shefftz
(jshefftz1) - MLife

Locale: Western Mass.
Careful on your first prorated month! on 08/13/2013 12:50:58 MDT Print View

Just discovered that the first month fee is prorated from the date of activation through the 6th of the month. (Thereafter, the billing cycle is the 7th of the month through the 6th of the following month.)

Your message allocation is also prorated. So let's say, in an extreme example, you activate on the 5th of the month. Under the Safety Plan, you might think you have 10 messages. Actually, you would have only one or two (depending on rounding up or truncating). Fortunately, my excessive overage fee is going to be credited toward my next invoice.

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
inReach SE keeps trying, gets message through! on 08/15/2013 20:58:34 MDT Print View

Last night I updated the firmware on my inReach SE (went reasonably smoothly), synced (for the first time!), and poked around on the unit looking for changes.

I accidentally pushed the "Send" button on default Preset message #1 "Starting my trip." The message didn't go through, because I was in the house, and I couldn't find a way to cancel it. Thought, "Oh well, next time I go outside with it, the message will go through, no harm."

I put the inReach SE back on the charger, turned on (like always), and forgot about it.

About 20 hours later, I got the "Starting my trip" message on my cell phone, while I was at work, and nobody else at home. Huh?

When I got home, the inReach was still sitting where I left it. On the first floor of a two-story house, on a table 6 inches below and 6 inches inside a 4x4 foot window, which looks through trees at a taller house 20 feet away, with a couple small patches of northern sky showing.

I guess an Iridium satellite finally flew through one of those patches of sky, and the inReach SE was able to send the message.

I'm more confident that if I push the SOS button, the message will go out eventually, even without big patches of sky visible.

-- Rex

Jim Milstein
(JimSubzero) - M

Locale: New Uraniborg CO
Re: inReach SE keeps trying, gets message through! on 08/15/2013 23:38:46 MDT Print View

That is encouraging news, Rex. Did you check the coords on the message? Are they more or less what you would expect them to be?

My SE doesn't get a GPS lock when in the middle of my house, but that is not so surprising since it is underground. However, my Bad Elf GPS Pro 2200 does . . . with six or eight satellites. It must be detecting signals ricocheting around the house from the windows and skylight. Position accuracy and stability improve when the Elf is outside.

SE Battery Use

With Bluetooth disabled, my rule of thumb for a ten minute trackpoint interval is one percent of battery capacity per hour. That extrapolates to 100 hours, which is what DeLorme claims, I think. By going to fewer trackpoints and by turning the SE off at night, trips of at least one week could be eked out, while leaving a reserve for important and/or emergency text communications. Light communication when backpacking light!

Firmware Update and Synching

No probs.

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Re: Re: inReach SE keeps trying, gets message through! on 08/16/2013 00:35:04 MDT Print View

>Did you check the coords on the message?
>Are they more or less what you would expect them to be?

The position reported was about 250 feet off [Edit: checked using Google Maps instead of eyeball. Still] Not bad under the circumstances, and certainly close enough if rescuers were looking for me.

All but a handful of my tracking locations so far have been very close to the road or trail I was traveling at the time. That handful were off 150 feet or less.

>With Bluetooth disabled, my rule of thumb for a ten minute trackpoint interval
>is one percent of battery capacity per hour.

Your battery use rule of thumb matches my experience.

Not sure if turning the inReach SE off at night will make a lot of difference. When the device figures out it's not moving, it reduces tracking messages to once every 4 hours, and battery use drops a lot. Thought I saw a setting for that, but can't find it now. Still, that's excellent default behavior!

-- Rex

Edited by Rex on 08/16/2013 01:06:20 MDT.

Jonathan Shefftz
(jshefftz1) - MLife

Locale: Western Mass.
A few follow-up points to previously raised issues... on 08/16/2013 09:54:47 MDT Print View

Just a few follow-up points to issues that have been raised throughout this long (and very helpful) thread:

1. Once you hit the button to send a message, [EDIT!] here is how to delete it if it hasn't gone out yet, copied from Rex's post further below in this thread (thanks Rex!):
a. Select "Messages"
b. Select the message you want to delete
c. Select the *body* of the message you want to delete
d. Scroll up once to show message details
e. Select "Delete"
f. Select "Delete" again to confirm
g. Use the X key to get out.
You can also cancel an SOS request (or rather, perform a procedure that essentially tells the rescue hq, Oh, that's very different ... never mind).

2. I suspect that both of us here who inadvertently sent a Preset Message did so in the process of trying to read the customized text. Now that Sync is finally available, you can indeed see all of your Preset Message text and recipients ... *AFTER* you send a message! But before you do so, the list of the three Preset Messages now shows about 20 to 24 of the first characters (depending on their width), and no recipients. Still though, that should provide enough of each Preset Message to remind you of which is which.

3. The SE still lacks the ability to display its own GPS coordinates. Given its extensive menu system, I am absolutely baffled why the SE doesn’t have a twelfth menu icon for “GPS” which would provide the option of displaying the coordinates.

4. That aside, any type of message you send to anyone will appear in both the Messages and History menu options, with GPS coordinates shown. (Although note that Messages groups them together by identical recipients, whereas History more helpfully groups them together by date.)

5. If you want to sent a message only to your own InReach SE, then yes, you can do that, and it will also display the GPS coordinates. However, other than not bothering anyone else (including your own email account and/or cell phone), that doesn’t offer any advantages, since the SE still needs to upload the message successfully to the Iridium satellite, and then check for messages successfully to the Iridium satellite. (Note that you can send messages directly to another InReach SE user.) And if you’re on a limited plan, be sure *not* to include your own SE address, since otherwise each message will be charged twice against your quota.

6. For message recipients, your GPS coordinates are displayed in emails, but *not* in text messages. This is a baffling oversight, especially since the text wastes characters by prefacing each message with a full "See [FirstName] [LastName]'s location:" and then concludes with the utterly worthless corporate self-promotion of "DeLorme - Always InReach."

7. Instead, the text has only a map url (which at least on my phone does not trigger the hypertext, although it’s easy enough to type into a phone’s browswer http://dlor.me/ followed by a seven-character alphameric string). The recipient can zoom way in, with the choice of Topo, Aerial, or Road views. IMPORTANT EDIT: To obtain the GPS coordinates, the recipient must click on the little red circle in the map. (This is not at all intuitive -- I noticed this only after reading Jim's post below, hence this edit.)

8. However, what it the recipient has just enough cell reception for a text message to get through briefly, but not enough reception to access the internet (whether to view the map or to read an email)? Under that scenario, an SE user who wants to provide GPS coordinates via text must first send a message, copy down the GPS coordinates, then enter those coordinates into a second message.

Edited by jshefftz1 on 08/17/2013 07:14:43 MDT.

Jim Milstein
(JimSubzero) - M

Locale: New Uraniborg CO
Re: A few follow-up points to previously raised issues... on 08/16/2013 10:07:08 MDT Print View

Re Point 7: Clicking on a track point on the DeLorme map yields its coordinates as well as the options to locate, start tracking, and send a message. Maybe that doesn't work when you type in the map URL. So complicated!

Jonathan Shefftz
(jshefftz1) - MLife

Locale: Western Mass.
GPS coordinates from map contained in text url on 08/16/2013 10:14:09 MDT Print View

Jim, thanks, I didn't realize that -- although I essentially can't use tracking with my Safety Plan (prohibitively expensive), clicking on the single red circle in a regular message similarly reveals the previously concealed GPS coordinates.

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
inReach SE tips: Delete pending message, Quick Text flexibility on 08/16/2013 23:06:09 MDT Print View

Figured out how to delete a pending Preset, Quick Text, or Regular message if it hasn't been sent yet. Lots of steps, but useful to know.

  1. Select "Messages"
  2. Select the message you want to delete
  3. Select the body of the message you want to delete
  4. Scroll up once to show message details
  5. Select "Delete"
  6. Select "Delete" again to confirm
  7. Use the X key to get out.

"Quick Text" messages are very handy. When you select the message body to start editing, you will get a small square with a lightning bolt, "+" sign, and the word "Select". Select that square, and you'll see your list of Quick Text messages.

"Quick Text" messages can be edited or added onto, just select the message body, and the keyboard will pop up again. Could be used for something like, "Hi honey, I'm at X trailhead, starting my hike now.", where you replace X with the actual trailhead name. Unfortunately, you cannot combine Quick Text messages; when you select a second QT message, that replaces your previous message.

inReach SE performance still meeting my expectations. Today the inReach SE sent four tracking messages accurately from under a tall, thick second-growth coastal redwood forest, and one text message from near the bottom of a canyon in that forest. Yay!

The more I use the inReach SE, the more I'm impressed with the careful thought that went into the design. I don't see that in very many products.

-- Rex

Edited by Rex on 08/16/2013 23:08:51 MDT.

Jonathan Shefftz
(jshefftz1) - MLife

Locale: Western Mass.
Deletion, Three Types of Messages, Quick Text on 08/17/2013 07:11:46 MDT Print View

Rex, super helpful on the deletion procedure, many thanks!
(I suspect that my prior attempts didn’t succeed because I didn’t click on the *body* of the message.)

Regarding the three types of messages though, they are best described as Preset, Regular, and Social Media. Quick Text is not a message but rather a component of either a Regular or Social Media message. (And expanding on your caution about attempting to add a second Quick Text string to a message, adding even a first Quick Text string will erase any custom text already written in a message – with no advance warning! – so be sure to reserve adding a Quick Text string as your *first* action in composing a message.)

The only distinction between a Regular vs. Social Media message is that Regular messages are sent to any combination of email addresses, SMS, and/or InReach devices. Social Media messages are sent to any combination of your MapShare, Faceback, and/or Twitter accounts. These two different sets of recipients can be combined into a single Preset Message, but not in a customized message. So yet another baffling omission (especially since MapShare and Facebook appear in my on-line account contacts, but not in my SE contacts), but still not a fatal flaw (since it just requires sending another message if you want to notify both individuals and social media), and unfortunately kind of typical of the SE (i.e., impressive capabilities, but lots of future updates needed to smooth off the rough edges so to speak).

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Two inReach SE tracking settings removed on 08/23/2013 13:42:37 MDT Print View

One of the inReach SE firmware updates silently removed two "Tracking" settings:

Stationary Interval - The amount of time between each send of a track point while stationary.

Stationary Radius - The distance the inReach SE must move to not be considered "stationary".

DeLorme still documents the old behavior here:
http://support.delorme.com/questions.php?questionid=218


I don't miss those settings much, but I don't know the default settings. The screen shot in the support page shows 10 minutes and 100 meters, but those might not be the post-update values.

Curious.

-- Rex

[Edit to correct typo copied and pasted from DeLorme web site!]

Edited by Rex on 08/23/2013 17:58:42 MDT.

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
More observations of DeLorme inReach SE performance on 08/25/2013 23:09:56 MDT Print View

Took my inReach SE on a day hike through Big Basin Redwoods State Park in California today. For those who know the park: Gazos Creek Road, Sunset Trail, Berry Creek Falls Trail, Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail, Middle Ridge Road, Gazos Creek Road.

I was in thick, tall second-growth redwoods and fir trees virtually the entire hike, and in the bottom of a canyon for much of the hike. I had 10-minute tracking turned on, sent 3 messages, and carefully noted my time and position at a couple of spots for comparison later. Total hiking time about 5.5 hours for 11 miles (I'm not fast).

When I got home, I reviewed the locations on DeLorme's maps, and copied-pasted lat/lon into Google Maps for a few locations.

Results:

- Some tracking points were delayed or missing. I would track at 10 minutes for a while, then jump to 14, 10, 16, etc. Biggest jump was 26 minutes.

- The messages I sent were delivered in 2-15 minutes.

- All were pretty close to where I was at the time. Hard to tell for many locations, because the trails are not marked on either DeLorme topos or Google Maps.

- Google Maps and air photos are more accurate than the DeLorme street maps or air photos. For the handful of locations I checked in Google, the offset was less than 20 feet. Same locations in DeLorme's online maps were off by 100 feet or more.

For example, I parked near the bottom of Gazos Creek Road, just west of the bridge, in a pullout on the south side of the road, and sent two messages from there.

DeLorme screen shot showing both messages:
DeLorme screen shot
Google screen shots showing one message:
Google screen shot
Google screen shot
The suggested Google Street View even showed the 2-car dirt pullout I parked in!

The DeLorme Export button has an option for KML, so you can open in Google Maps or Google Earth, but the KML is points only, no lines connecting the dots in time.

Pro tip: You can display most KML/KMZ files in Google Maps, without using Google Earth. Put the KML/KMZ file on a public web site (e.g. Dropbox, Google Docs), copy-and-paste the URL into a Google Maps search box, and your KML/KMZ info will appear in your browser.

Overall the inReach SE performance was very good in a very challenging setting. DeLorme's maps – not as good, but adequate. Astounded at the accuracy of Google's maps and air photos.

-- Rex

Edited by Rex on 08/25/2013 23:20:28 MDT.

Jim Larkey
(jimlarkey) - MLife

Locale: NoCO
inReach F/W vers: 2.2.3322124 on 09/09/2013 13:16:35 MDT Print View

New firmware version available, no release notes posted on DeLorme site.
F/W vers: 2.2.3322124

Jim Milstein
(JimSubzero) - M

Locale: New Uraniborg CO
Re: inReach F/W vers: 2.2.3322124 on 09/09/2013 16:29:39 MDT Print View

I installed it and seemed to have lost the ability to see a bit of the three preset messages and recipients. Maybe I just dreamed that. Oh, well.

The Firmware Upload 'n' Sync ended in an error message. I tried resyncing, which took only seconds. No error message.

I tried sending, then aborting, a message. Seems to work, if you delete it in History before it gets uploaded to Ir. The connected iPod still shows the message, though.

Also, the Contacts shown in the SE are those entered in Explore.DeLorme plus those entered manually. The Contacts shown on the Bluetooth device (an iPod) just seem to be the iPod's contacts. I clicked the Sync button on Explore for my connected Bluetooth device. You'd think it would get the contacts entered from Explore.

Things still seem a little rough around the edges.

Jonathan Shefftz
(jshefftz1) - MLife

Locale: Western Mass.
Firmware Upgrade -- nothing new as far as I can tell... on 09/09/2013 16:52:00 MDT Print View

I upgraded to the latest firmware today.
I don't notice any differences.
(And I can still see the beginning snippet of each Preset Message.)

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Re: Re: inReach F/W vers: 2.2.3322124 on 09/09/2013 17:08:22 MDT Print View

Update Release Notes posted:
http://support.delorme.com/questions.php?questionid=236

Mostly boilerplate plus: "Various stability improvements"

Also got an email notice from DeLorme; total useful content:

"The latest update contains several functional improvements, and they are important to install on your inReach before your next trip.""

Highly informative - NOT!

-- Rex

Edited by Rex on 09/09/2013 17:11:05 MDT.

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Good review of inReach SE on TrailGroove on 09/19/2013 09:12:07 MDT Print View

4 out of 5 stars. Lots of pictures and screen shots:

http://www.trailgroove.com/issue10.html?autoflip=49

Interesting comments at the end about feeling "Too Connected".

-- Rex

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: inReach F/W vers: 2.2.3322124 on 09/19/2013 09:30:34 MDT Print View

"Various stability improvements"

That is a euphemism for "We made a stab at some bug fixes and hope that we didn't create any new ones."

--B.G.--

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Good review of inReach SE on TrailGroove on 09/19/2013 13:14:10 MDT Print View

I used mine last weekend in PA - so lots of tree cover throughout the trip. I was pretty impressed with how well it did even in that environment.