Forum Index » GEAR » DeLorme InReach SE vs. SpareOne Plus Emergency Phone


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Ryan Friend
(OzarkHiker) - F

Locale: Oklahoma
Re: Re: Rex, I couldn't have said it better. on 11/18/2013 00:26:12 MST Print View

Also, it says this:

"Our device is not solely dependent on GSM networks for tracking purposes."

But what really got me was the wider range of options than the DeLorme as far as how often the unit sends out a beacon as to where it is. They call it polling:

"The polling frequency can be adjusted remotely by the user by logging into our server based application platform. Polling can be set at anything from every second through to once per day or the device can be set in 'sleep' mode for extended periods."

Aparently it uses two distinct sets of Satellites, as well:

"What are GPS and Glonass?

GPS is a satellite system created by the US military but is today mostly used for civilian purposes. Glonass is the Russian version that has better reach in many locations. To be able to offer both will give superior coverage."

That's pretty awesome.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Rex, I couldn't have said it better. on 11/18/2013 00:37:55 MST Print View

"That's pretty awesome."

You ought to buy one and put it into service.

--B.G.--

Jeremy B.
(requiem) - F - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Re: Rex, I couldn't have said it better. on 11/18/2013 01:07:22 MST Print View

Ryan, yes, that's the one I had in mind. As far as I've heard the SiRFstarIV chip is rather good, and even without the types of antennae Bob prefers the device should be able to do a good enough job of determining its coordinates.

The point I wanted to make sure you knew is that sort of GPS tracker only uses the satellites to figure out where they are; the GPS system has no provision for any outgoing messages. The device will know where it is, but it must rely on the cell network to share that with anyone else.

A device like a SPOT or DeLorme InReach will use the GPS satellites to get a location, but has to rely on one of the commercial satellite phone networks to send information to anyone else.

Note: if you had a smartphone and good cell coverage, there should be several relatively inexpensive (or free) apps that would let you update or transmit your location as desired. (The major concern with any such device will be the battery life.)

Edit: I think the Retrievor looks very cool, but where I hike it would only be useful for recording tracks for later use.

Edited by requiem on 11/18/2013 01:12:22 MST.

Steve G
(sgrobben) - M

Locale: Ohio
Let her decide? on 11/18/2013 07:37:04 MST Print View

I wouldn't be able to fully enjoy my trip if I thought my wife/loved ones were needlessly worried about my safety.

Since you said it was for her, I would lay out the options and get her input on what system she/they would feel most comfortable using. I would want to make sure she was OK with a system using spotty gsm signals that potentially would not work in the area I planned to travel.

Ryan Friend
(OzarkHiker) - F

Locale: Oklahoma
Re: DeLorme InReach SE vs. SpareOne Plus Emergency Phone on 11/18/2013 11:46:09 MST Print View

That's true, Steve, I will let her choose. And Jeremy, I didn't know that it relied on GSM signals to transmit. Are you sure about that? I will have to take a closer look at the specs.

I was pretty frustrated last night, Bob, so my apologies. I felt like I was being patronized.

After reading Rex's new thread, I think GSM is out for me, so at least one thing is resolved. Though I do think that there is still a lot of gray there. Something is always better than nothing, if you want to be found. Wanting to be found is completely new to me. You guys have been at it for much longer than me.

Outgoing transmissions via satellite are only important so far as they get information (i.e. my location) on my wife's computer screen. More than that, we don't want. She doesn't need or desire to get a text when I reach camp. She doesn't need or desire a call when I am on the trail. How does that go anyway?

"Hi, how are you?"
"Doing great! How are you?"
"Just hanging out with Tiff."
"Well, I better go. Battery life and all."
"Okay, be safe!"
"I will. I love you, bye."
"I love you, too. Bye-bye!"

Unneeded in our case. I don't need or desire GPS coordinates of where I am on a fancy screen. I'll have a Topo map, and I know how to really use them.

While I admit that a Panic Button feature is really awesome just like the SAR insurance that is available with the Delorme, I don't find those very important for the types of hikes that I do. I'll get that for the AT thru-hike I am planning in 3 years, if I find it necessary.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: DeLorme InReach SE vs. SpareOne Plus Emergency Phone on 11/18/2013 12:29:22 MST Print View

"I was pretty frustrated last night, Bob, so my apologies. I felt like I was being patronized."

If somebody makes a technology recommendation to you, and if it is something that you don't know much about, then why not study up on it for a while before pitching the whole idea out?

By the same token, when some new technology is promoted on the Internet by some company that we've never heard of, and it is supposed to be the latest thing since sliced bread, why not study up on it for a while to determine whether it is just vaporware? If it can actually be purchased today from Amazon.com then that starts to mean something. There are too many scams today.

Here at BPL, there are a few of us who have been down this road before.

--B.G.--

Jeremy B.
(requiem) - F - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: DeLorme InReach SE vs. SpareOne Plus Emergency Phone on 11/18/2013 12:49:17 MST Print View

Hi Ryan,

Yep, I'm pretty sure. The specs page lists GSM/GPRS/GPS/APRS, and the frequencies they list are GSM numbers. As mentioned, GPS is one-way to the device only. GPRS uses the cell network, but APRS uses amateur radio. I'm not too familiar with APRS but I believe it's generally line-of-sight: good for ballooning, not so good for hiking.

Ryan Friend
(OzarkHiker) - F

Locale: Oklahoma
Re: Re: Re: DeLorme InReach SE vs. SpareOne Plus Emergency Phone on 11/18/2013 14:30:55 MST Print View

Still sounds patronizing, Bob. I am sure you are an intelligent and nice guy, so I will ignore those bits that rub me wrong and focus on the overall message (which is legitimate). I am not looking to impress anyone, just figure out a problem. Maybe I don't know everything, but that doesn't mean that I haven't studied anything. We can't all live in Silicon Valley, you know? If I threw out something someone said right off, I had my reasons. As a person, I get to have those. The idea was to give parameters and see what solutions might come out.

As for the rest. I guess I am back to the drawing board. Any ideas are welcome. That is the whole reason I am even here. I think I have pretty much clarified what I am looking for.

When I started out, I thought that the Delorme was a real option. I have come to realize that I don't want it at all. Since the other two things I threw out seem to work on Cell towers and Rex and Bob explained how those are pretty much worthless, I have no options and need some.

Edited by OzarkHiker on 11/18/2013 14:40:12 MST.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: DeLorme InReach SE vs. SpareOne Plus Emergency Phone on 11/18/2013 14:54:41 MST Print View

"Rex and Bob explained how those are pretty much worthless"

Worthless would not be completely fair.

Unpredictable would be a fair description.

Let's summarize here. You threw out the suggestions that you didn't like, and you found your own suggestions to be impractical or unavailable.

Your next shot would be to travel to some big consumer electronics show and watch demonstrations of all of the various technologies. That way, you can let your own eyes be the judge.

OBTW, most big consumer electronics shows are held in large convention centers, and they can't get a GPS signal in cleanly to the exhibit floor, so most products that use GPS normally must be artificially hacked up to make them appear to work. Been there, done that.

--B.G.--

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: DeLorme InReach SE vs. SpareOne Plus Emergency Phone on 11/18/2013 15:58:37 MST Print View

Ryan -

"Life is gray, bro, not black and white."

"Though I do think that there is still a lot of gray there."


Life has many shades of gray.

A safety net that you are counting on does not. Ask a climber.

However, if you are just trying reassure someone at home, and they understand how to interpret a loss of communications over some period of time, then something "gray" is just fine.

Me, I expect 100% functionality all of the time, acknowledging that it "could, possibly" fail, versus hoping it might work "some" of the time. YMMV.

Edited by greg23 on 11/18/2013 16:04:39 MST.

Ryan Friend
(OzarkHiker) - F

Locale: Oklahoma
Re: Re: Re: DeLorme InReach SE vs. SpareOne Plus Emergency Phone on 11/18/2013 17:23:58 MST Print View

Greg, I hear you. I only had to take a rappelling class to realize that I do not want to climb. The physical toll is much more endurable with hiking vs. climbing, at least that is what I came out with. Maybe the instructor was shoddy. Either way, there is no room for gray with something as potentially dangerous as climbing.
My gear is typically set up for redundancy, but this is something that I don't feel is very important. Sure, I want it to work, but 'good enough' is all I am looking for.

Bob, I recently read an article about the release of the first generation iPhone and how they couldn't get cell reception in the auditorium, so Jobs had a portable cell tower brought in back stage so that reception would be available for the demo. Apparently, there was a "golden path" he had to follow as well or the phone would crash. For that reason, he also had to have multiple iPhones which he secretly swapped out during the presentation, so that he could show all the features and make it look seamless and perfectly functional when in reality it was far from. I hear you on that aspect.
Article here for those interested:
http://www.techspot.com/news/54246-former-apple-engineer-reveals-secrets-behind-jobs-first-iphone-presentation.html

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: DeLorme InReach SE vs. SpareOne Plus Emergency Phone on 11/18/2013 17:27:24 MST Print View

"I only had to take a rappelling class to realize that I do not want to climb."

That's good. For some of the rest of us, it takes one thirty-foot fall.

As to Jobs, that is one reason why I don't own any Apple stock.

--B.G.--

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
What about SPOT? on 11/18/2013 20:38:12 MST Print View

That (mostly) sends out pings of your location to be followed on a computer screen at home, doesn't it?