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New Delorme Inreach SE?

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New Delorme Inreach SE?

Postby oldschoolczar » Fri Aug 02, 2013 7:30 pm

Does anybody have this thing?

I know it runs on the Iridium satellite network which is much more reliable than GlobalStar (SPOT)...

I'm all set to pull the trigger on an ACR SARLink PLB, and probably still will, but this device looks pretty cool. I was turned off by the original Inreach since it had to be paired with a smartphone, but this one is a standalone device that sends/receives custom messages. I'd be interested in hearing about this more and how people are liking it. Soon hopefully we can have a device like this that has two transmitters and also hits SARSAT network for emergencies.

Subscription rates aren't bad: http://www.inreachdelorme.com/product-info/subscription-plans.php

I think I'll still get the PLB. The 406link service, though it seems like a sketchy workaround, will at least let me send a canned "I'm OK" message if running late for only $40/year.
"Tonight I'll shave the mountain
I'll cut the hearts from pharoahs"
-Tom Waits

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Re: New Delorme Inreach SE?

Postby CarpeDM » Sat Aug 03, 2013 5:19 pm

I recently got one. Just got it last month before a (planned) 8 day trip. Have used it only twice. It's pretty good (I can't compare to other devices - I have no other experience.) I ended up sending a lot of personal messages to my fiancee from the trip because the 3 pre-programmed messages don't seem to show what text you're about to send. They just say something like Message 1, Message 2, Message 3 on the unit - so you have to remember what they were set up to be. Maybe I just don't know enough about it yet, but that was annoying. Also, I accidentally engaged the Emergency button - which is kinda hard to do, not sure how it happened. But then I couldn't remember for a few minutes how to cancel it. Took a chance on holding the button down again, which worked.

It does take a while to type out a personal message, too.

Battery life seems really good! I was planning to be out for 8 days (had to leave a couple of days early). I kept it on for climbing parts and turning it off back at camp, and the battery would've lasted the entire 8 days. After seeing Teresa's post below, I do recall trying to get at the battery compartment at the REI before buying it. Obviously, I couldn't. Now I know why.

Just used it today, too. Didn't check it through the hike. When I got back to the car, it had stopped tracking at some point. Don't know yet at what point, or how that happened. Just checked track. It looks like it might have happened when I was lying on my backpack during a break.

(Edited for content after looking at the device and Teresa's post below.)
Last edited by CarpeDM on Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Delorme Inreach SE?

Postby Teresa Gergen » Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:12 pm

I got one as soon as they came out. The release was delayed for months, which was disconcerting.

The cost of the unit is $300 compared to the Spot's $100-150. The cost of a reasonable subscription plan is $300/year compared to the Spot's $100/year, although there is a lower cost "emergency-only" type plan.

Out of maybe the first dozen messages I sent, two showed the wrong location on the map when I got out. This was a common problem with the Spot that I hoped the Iridium network would not have.

The online configuration website states that they basically don't have everything working yet for the SE, thus the preprogrammed messages show on the device as "Preset Message 1," etc, which is annoying; I also had to write down and carry along which buttons I programmed to send what messages to which people. The website indicated we'd get an email notification when they had it working better, and that you'd actually see what the messages were on the device then.

My biggest complaint is that the On button is too easy to press when the device is jammed somewhere in a pack. The battery is not user-replaceable, so you can't carry spares; it can only be recharged. This is a significant problem for week-plus backpacking trips in remote areas, which is specifically what I wanted a two-way communication device for. At one point I found the unit turned on inside my pack, and the battery had drained to 69% (it does tell you what the battery level is on the screen). I carried a portable micro-USB power card to recharge from in case of an emergency, kept the unit off whenever I wasn't sending or looking for a message, and completely avoided using the tracking because I was so concerned about the battery lasting through the trip, especially if there had been an emergency.

On the other hand, we had someone send us the upcoming 3 days' forecast each evening, which was extremely useful for decision-making in the field, and were able to communicate out when plans changed so that our emergency contacts understood exactly what was happening and didn't worry. The free-form text messages worked beautifully. The difference this would have made during my accident 3 years ago is priceless.

Also, it's very nice to see the unit display a symbol indicating that any message you send, preset or free-form text, has in fact been sent. You can turn the unit off at that point and save the battery. It generally only takes a couple minutes at most to get the confirmation.

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Re: New Delorme Inreach SE?

Postby Teresa Gergen » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:32 am

On day 2 of a recent 8 day backpacking trip in the remote Flat Tops, my InReach SE was working perfectly to send OK messages, and then an hour after I sent one, the unit would simply not power on again. It wasn't the battery; I had an auxiliary power card that I plugged in to run it on, and it still wouldn't work. I cut my trip short because I didn't want my emergency contact to worry for that many more days, due to the absence of any more OK messages.

When I got home, I called Delorme. It turns out there is a way to "soft reset" the device that I thought I would share here. Hold down the "X" button and the down-arrow at the same time, for up to a minute. The unit came back on within a few seconds. It had been powered on but unresponsive, with no screen display and no sounds, the whole time, and half the battery had drained in the process.

In addition, when I got home, I had the promised email from Delorme saying that the Syncing process would work now, so that you can actually see the content of your preset messages on the unit, and who they are set to send to, instead of the generic "Preset Message 1" that existed before.

Delorme's customer service was great, and they took down my opinions about the unit being too easy to turn on, the battery draining too easily because of it, and the battery not being user-replaceable so you can carry spares, and told me they'd send the information to their engineering department. I expressed my concern that, although the device's capabilities are really excellent, if I can't trust the unit to work and have power, I don't want to bother carrying it, let alone pay for the contract. Hopefully that will lead to future design improvements.

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Re: New Delorme Inreach SE?

Postby smoove » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:00 am

Thanks, Teresa. That's great info to have. I've used mine on a handful of 14ers now. For the most part, it has worked flawlessly. I've been able to send and receive texts (the main reason I bought this instead of replacing my Spot 2 that failed) and the tracking has worked perfectly.

The only issue I've had so far is that the Bluetooth pairing with my iphone has stopped working a couple times. The unit continues to work fine if this happens. The tracking is still on and you can still use the the unit to laboriously text someone if you wish--but you obviously can't use your phone to do that if the pairing isn't working. It's also nice to have your phone paired because you can see the tracking points on the topo right on your phone (back-up GPS unit and peace of mind that people are actually seeing your location and progress).

Anyway, I was able to get it to re-pair by simply turning the Bluetooth off and back on. So it's hopefully a very minor issue.

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Re: New Delorme Inreach SE?

Postby Teresa Gergen » Wed May 07, 2014 11:34 pm

Delorme's latest firmware upgrade for the InReach SE has addressed the issue with the unit turning itself on accidentally when pressed up against something in the pack, and draining the battery. Now, after you press the button to turn it on, you have to select an option to confirm the power-on, within a few seconds. If you don't, it powers itself back off. The couple extra steps in the sequence are worth the peace of mind that the battery won't accidentally drain during the trip.

Also, there are more subscription options available now, some for lower cost.

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Re: New Delorme Inreach SE?

Postby mattvct » Sat May 10, 2014 10:41 am

I opted for the older Delorme InReach because A), I got it for a steal and B) it runs on AA batteries instead of an internal rechargeable. I usually run on rechargeable AAs but carry lithiums for backup since they're so light and last so long. The trend toward built-in batteries drives me nuts and it is getting harder and harder to find equipment that takes replaceable batteries. Tracking seems good and reliable and the added communication features are worth it for me. Perfect cross between the Spot and ACR as far as I'm concerned.

I prefer to be out of touch so not being able to send custom messages is a plus for me, I am content with "Starting trip per Trip Plan.", "Stopping here for awhile, turning off tracking", and "I NEED HELP... not an emergency YET but I need assistance at my location. Will follow up with more when/if possible" -- this lets me reserve the SOS for immediately life threatening situations instead of for something more controllable. I do usually have paired phone turned off and double-bagged with me, so if I feel compelled to send a custom message I still can, but it definitely prevents me from texting while trekking :D

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Re: New Delorme Inreach SE?

Postby Gene913 » Sat May 10, 2014 5:43 pm

Have not had any issues with my Inreach SE accidentally turning on or sending unintended SOS/I need help messages. When syncing the devices on your computer, you can change the preset messages to anything you choose. Your choice is then displayed on the screen rather than the nondescript "preset message 1" that displays by default. All or most of the current plans allow you to send an unlimited number of preset messages. If you program your three preset message choices wisely, you can greatly reduce the number of custom text messages you need to send, which greatly reduces the need to type with the joystick type pad, and you don't have to worry about exceeding the number of allowable text messages on your plan. I leave it plugged in for several days to recharge, and have typically been able to use it for 5 or more days before it needs to be recharged. My wife displays the tracking on her iPad and says it works quite well. All in all, the unit has worked well so far and has performed as advertised and expected.
"If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, and you say to this mountain, 'move from here to there,' it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:21

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Re: New Delorme Inreach SE?

Postby Corn » Sun May 11, 2014 3:35 am

I love the fact that they addressed the power button issue. That was really my only complaint about this great product. I sound like a salesman when i tell people about Delorme. The product has served me so well thatI will be upgrading to the new Explorer model that has that additional navigation features.

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