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Old 11-07-2019, 04:40 PM   #1
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garmin inReach

Anyone famialiar with inReach? My son is sailing Galveston to Key West right now. They're carrying inReach. I'm not familiar with it. They bought it just before departure.. I've gotten 1 test message when they were still at the dock. Nada since over the last 2 days.

The internet address for tracking (as provided to me) is an address format as follows: inr.ch/X#XXX#X

That address gives me a map with the location of the test transmission and the text message.

Assuming they're carrying the unit and it's turned on:

1) Is it supposed to be a continuous feed and update or periodic updates? or

2) Is the user supposed to send updates as they see fit?

This is not posted out of concern - they're grown men and good sailors. Just trying to got a handle on this system. Looks like it has potential for real voyagers.

Appreciate the help.
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Old 11-07-2019, 05:15 PM   #2
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If the Inrerach is on and tracking and you have a link to the tracking website it will be regularly updated. The device can be set to record a waypoint at variable intervals, every minute, every 10 minutes etc.
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Old 11-07-2019, 05:38 PM   #3
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If you still have the test text message in your phone, you can reply to it. The address of the text will not work. You can only reply to a received text message.

The texts aren't instantaneous like cellular. It can take hours depending on satellite availability.

Send him a text to send you the URL.

This is my Inreach URL:

https://share.garmin.com/EdwardGreen

It will give you an idea of what it looks like. Mine drops a waypoint every 10 minutes when I'm moving.

Ted
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Old 11-07-2019, 05:57 PM   #4
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Just what Ted said!
I have an Inreach and feel it gives some great capabilities. I often travel where there is no cellular coverage, and even VHF coverage is spotty. Having the ability to send and receive texts as well as send an "emergency request for assistance" with this device is reassuring. My Inreach web page requires a password, and I have only given out "permission" for a few people to contact me. However, if anyone receives a text from your device, they can respond.

My family loves being able to see where we are at any given point in time. If the device has not been activated properly, or turned on the device and enabled tracking it may not be dropping any waypoints?
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:15 PM   #5
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Like Ted said, the message your son sends you with his Inreach will have a link in it, which will take you to Inreach central. You can then see his course plotted every x minutes depending on his settings, and you can send him a return message. As Tom mentioned above, Inreach was a game-changer devise when it was introduced, and still is. We use it more than sat phone when we're out of cell range based its functionality and lower cost per message. Works well in the very mountainous areas of BC and Alaska, sometimes with a time delay for a satellite to get over you.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:24 PM   #6
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The story is that someone on the crew obtained the inReach a day or so prior to departure. So I'm unsure as to their prowess in initializing it and - I'm getting the contact info through my lovely but very right-brained DIL. May be some loss in translation.

This sounds like an excellent alt to the satphone. Really appreciate the info, gents.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:36 PM   #7
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I'm going to introduce thread drift, in what I think is a good direction.

As an inreach user who has benefited from the service in a less than good situation. Dead in the water, middle of the night. Beyond cell range. Beyond effective VHF comms. The most important thing an inreach user can do is select a good shore side support contact. A person who takes their responsibility seriously, keeps up to date on your position and itinerary. Knows how to contact help.

It all worked out for the best but is was most reassuring to get a quick response from my emergency contact. Dive back into the engine room. Come up later for an update to find the USCG had been alerted and was standing by.

It all worked out OK. We got running again and made it to safe harbor under our own power. But..... had we not been able to get running again it would have been a huge assist.

And it works the other way. A buddy got an inreach msg to call home regarding a medical situation.

In other words, as good as the inreach is, it's only as good as the person on the other end.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:39 PM   #8
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The most important thing an inreach user can do is select a good shore side support contact.

Yep, Portage, I think that may be the missing link - and, perhaps, an inexperienced user.

I don't see this as thread drift at all. Thanks
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:15 PM   #9
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The tracking interval of an inReach is a setting, and can be anything from manually initiated messages to automatic 10 minute intervals. The subscription to have frequent intervals costs more, and perhaps they didn't pay for that version. Once subscribed and properly enabled, you get a webpage with each tracking message displayed. That has to be designated public in its settings, or you will need a login to view it.
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:47 PM   #10
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I did some reading on inreach - seems like a lot of fundamental capability at a reasonable cost (both hardware & use fees) if you're a voyager in remote areas. Texas to Key West direct is fairly remote.

With T-Mobil opening up its Gulf service this summer, there's cell coverage a substantial distance offshore from Houston to Mobile. https://www.tmonews.com/2019/07/t-mo...e-gulf-mexico/

Thanks everyone for the informed input.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
If you still have the test text message in your phone, you can reply to it. The address of the text will not work. You can only reply to a received text message.

The texts aren't instantaneous like cellular. It can take hours depending on satellite availability.

Send him a text to send you the URL.

This is my Inreach URL:

https://share.garmin.com/EdwardGreen

It will give you an idea of what it looks like. Mine drops a waypoint every 10 minutes when I'm moving.

Ted
Ted I looked at your In Reach position. When I zoomed in I see a sailboat with a tender headed toward you. (Lower center of photo) Am I correct in assuming that your position is overlaid on a older satellite photograph?
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Old 11-08-2019, 08:17 AM   #12
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I've been thinking of getting one and then switching it on just for the months we are out of country. Not a bad subscription cost.

Maybe a Christmas pressie!
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Old 11-08-2019, 08:51 AM   #13
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Ted, am I correct in assuming that your position is overlaid on a older satellite photograph?
That is correct and you will notice Ted has mastered going over, not under bridges.
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:40 AM   #14
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That is correct and you will notice Ted has mastered going over, not under bridges.
Lot to be said for experience. Lol
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Old 11-08-2019, 11:27 AM   #15
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I've been thinking of getting one and then switching it on Justin for the months we are out of country. Not a bad subscription cost.

Maybe a Christmas pressie!
I have an InReach, I only turn it on when Im going beyond cell service on the boat. I used to take it to Europe but now my cell phone works there so no need.
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Old 11-08-2019, 12:02 PM   #16
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inReach position reports are not the same as something like AIS, essentially not real time. If the inReach cannot find a satellite for its report, it will store it and send it later. There can sometimes be several hours delay, though more typically it is a few minutes. The conjunction of a many minutes old satellite message with a months or years old satellite picture may have little relationship to reality.

A big advantage of inReach messaging is that it is sent until receipt is confirmed (unlike Spot), the coverage is worldwide, and their SOS call for help facility can be nuanced, unlike an EPRIB.
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Old 11-08-2019, 12:08 PM   #17
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Ted I looked at your In Reach position. When I zoomed in I see a sailboat with a tender headed toward you. (Lower center of photo) Am I correct in assuming that your position is overlaid on a older satellite photograph?
Yes, it's over an old satellite picture.

Quote:
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That is correct and you will notice Ted has mastered going over, not under bridges.
That took some practice. There's a spot on the Western Erie canal where it goes over a road. That's where I learned to cross over.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cigatoo View Post
Lot to be said for experience. Lol
Yes there is. When it comes to bad outcomes though, I prefer to learn from other people's experiences.

Ted
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Old 11-08-2019, 12:55 PM   #18
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"Yes there is. When it comes to bad outcomes though, I prefer to learn from other people's experiences."
Just wondering Ted...... How many years of university to it take to figure that out??
My son took 4 Me, a little longer!
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Old 11-08-2019, 01:43 PM   #19
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"Yes there is. When it comes to bad outcomes though, I prefer to learn from other people's experiences."
Just wondering Ted...... How many years of university to it take to figure that out??
My son took 4 Me, a little longer!
I did 1.5 years at the university and then became a "Born again Capitalist". Went through a 6 year apprenticeship before setting up my own store. Was self employed for the rest of my working days.

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Old Today, 01:36 PM   #20
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The most important thing an inreach user can do is select a good shore side support contact. A person who takes their responsibility seriously, keeps up to date on your position and itinerary. Knows how to contact help.
100% agree. I have used inReach for years, and used it a couple of years ago when myself and a friend got trapped in a very serious situation, and the key was the people who I was communicating with.

Yes, you can press the SOS button and there are competent folks that will help you there, but more often than not, the emergency is serious but not serious enough to call out the coast guard, search and rescue, etc.

As an aside, I've been testing the new GPSMAP 86sci which is the updated Garmin + inReach version that came out recently. Really nice feature set as it includes Garmin's marine maps and some other nice features.
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