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Old 06-27-2019, 06:50 PM   #11
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What sat phone provider did you go with? Any reason for that one over the others?
Iridium. I did a lot of research before I decided on the phone I have. Consensus of most who used sat phones was that the Iridium network was the most dependable - and the most expensive. One of the other sat phone providers was going through bankruptcy proceedings as I was trying to decide which one to go with; there were complaints that it was just about impossible to get a satellite connection with some of the providers. Apparently a satellite would quit working and it would take weeks or months to get another satellite in orbit. Iridium has many satellites orbiting - if there is a problem with one another one will be along in a few minutes.
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Old 06-27-2019, 07:06 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by deserteagle56 View Post
Iridium. I did a lot of research before I decided on the phone I have. Consensus of most who used sat phones was that the Iridium network was the most dependable - and the most expensive. One of the other sat phone providers was going through bankruptcy proceedings as I was trying to decide which one to go with; there were complaints that it was just about impossible to get a satellite connection with some of the providers. Apparently a satellite would quit working and it would take weeks or months to get another satellite in orbit. Iridium has many satellites orbiting - if there is a problem with one another one will be along in a few minutes.
I believe you're thinking of Globalstar, the third major satellite phone network, which had these issues. I didn't consider using them.

Curiously, the Spot Messenger uses the Globalstar system.

-- Geoff
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Old 06-27-2019, 07:41 PM   #13
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When I don't have cell I rely on a Delorme inReach Explorer (bought it before the buyout with Garmin) for coms to the outside world. I tether it to my phone or tablet for full functionality of text and maps. I feel it's a very good compromise between cost, function and reliability. I also have a vested interest in the Iridium Next constellation so I'm biased toward Iridium FYI. Here is the intro video about the new satellites that are now on line.

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Old 06-27-2019, 08:25 PM   #14
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When I don't have cell I rely on a Delorme inReach Explorer (bought it before the buyout with Garmin) for coms to the outside world.
That was really interesting and informative. Thanks!
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Old 06-27-2019, 10:07 PM   #15
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I currently use the Delorme Inreach SE unit (pre-Garmin) for satellite texting capabilities, sharing current track in almost realtime and having the ability to contact GEOS if needed (effectively a 911 button). When I am on moto travels I use my pre-programmed messages to quickly let my wife know when I start riding each day and when I am done riding for the day. I've also used it to tell a friend to bring more beer to our campsite.

I didn't need the GPS screen capabilities of the Inreach Explorer version because I always travel with a Garmin Montana GPS unit.

Reason for switching from a first gen SPOT unit was two way texting capability and discovering the Globalstar network that SPOT used didn't work in some places I visited; Tierra del Fuego for example. That said the SPOT 911 button worked when I needed it after a moto crash on a trail in Utah.
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Old 06-30-2019, 10:57 AM   #16
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I'm also running Iridium. I've learned if in a canyon to not let the tow companies operators put you on hold when requesting assistance. I tell them where I am and explain I'm subject to dropped calls at any second. They also get confused with the phone number and tell them it's a Sat phone.
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Old 07-04-2019, 09:57 AM   #17
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Old 07-04-2019, 10:26 AM   #18
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Was wondering what everyone is using for emergency comms? Often we find ourselves in an area with poor or no cell reception.

I've been looking into the Garmin inReach Explorer as I like the Navigation capabilities that can be paired to a larger screen device. I've heard hit and miss things on the two way communication. I plan to pair it with a PBL as a backup.

Another option is a sat phone with GPS capabilities, in theory I can call a programmed number and give them my GPS coordinates and wait for rescue. There is something re-assuring about speaking to someone live, but that comfort comes with the highest financial cost out of the other device options. However if comes down to situation where I need to use this stuff cost is going to be the least of my worries.

Our area of travel will primarily be North America and Baja.

Thoughts?
I've been using SPOT for years and recently upgraded to SPOTX which has a texting feature. It has saved me once when I was really jammed up in the outback" (the wilds of eastern AZ mining area)
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Old 07-04-2019, 11:09 AM   #19
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Note that you can rent sat phones and Inreaches, not so sure about SPOTs but I think so.

I use an Inreach on land. Quite nice. I've noted of late that the rescue service you get with the subscription has worked with say folks who've gotten stranded in the boonies with a disabled vehicle. I wouldn't exactly call them emergency roadside service, but if I'm stuck on even US 50 out of cell range I might give it a shot (geez, I wish ERS providers did text, btw).

I also need the function that allows be to be apprised of emergencies at home. You have to sort of train folks on how to access the Garmin Inreach web page to do that (they can't simply text on their phone to you) but it does work, and for many of us is essential.
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Old 07-04-2019, 11:18 AM   #20
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I also vote for the Inreach. The thing I most like about it is that you will get a reply if you have been heard. If you don't get a reply withion 20 minutes you know that you are on your own.
With the Spot you don't know whether your message ever got out.
the Inreach is international and also works on the high seas. I buy the $12/mo option and leave it on year roiund. that is, ultimately, cheaper than turning it off and than paying a fee to turn it back on.
The navigation on the Inreach is pretty basic ands not so hot. I use a Garmin GPS for real navigation.
I am on a SAR team and we use nothng but Inreaches to track our teams.
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