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Author Topic: Delourme Inreach - commercial satellite digipeater - suppliment comms  (Read 5823 times)
N1KCG
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« on: February 07, 2013, 01:52:15 AM »

was doing some reading about the existance of technology and found the product called the Delourme Inreach.  it is basically a satellite digipeater terminal that allows you to send an email, and receive email from a satellite, via your connected smart device.

it is not using ham satellites, but instead is using satellite cellphone technology. $100 a year subscription to the service is required. buying the device is $250 one time cost.

was thinking that given connectivity issues with passing satellite digipeaters (like the international space station availability, and lack of other satellites) a ham could suppliment his-her communication capabilities with this.  on top of PSK31 communication. 

overall goal is how to maximize-suppliment communication, no matter where you physically are.
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KB4QAA
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2013, 12:02:00 AM »

They are are all sorts of systems that could be put in space.

Keep in mind that it is hugely expensive to loft equipment, and that cost has gone up dramatically in the last twenty years, at the same time the opportunities for launch vehicles have gone down.

Additionally there have been a number of satellite failures during this time as well; some catastrophic and heartbreaking.  Complexity is the enemy of reliability, and even the ISS systems have been running in reduced capability mode for years due to inability to repair or replace them.

Given that AMSAT-North America has set a goal with the Fox satellites of reliability, simplicity, graceful degradation.

If you aren't already I encourage you to join AMSAT-NA.  Their conventions are fun, informative and you get to talk to the people building and running the satellites.  And, if you enjoy the satellites, please make a donation.  "No bucks, no Buck Rogers!"
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KG4SZC
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« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2013, 09:00:23 PM »

Hi,
I have 2 Delorme InReach.  They are incredible.  First off, they work ANYWHERE on Earth using the Iridium satellite network.  Total coverage.  Second the monthly subscription is cheap.  I am paying $9.95 a month for the safety plan, which is 10 messages.  (2 units x $9.95/month).  I just had my first year come up for the original one I activated Dec 2011.  My new one is the newest model which works with both Android and iOS, not just Android.  You can send and receive either e-mail or SMS.  SMS to the US (I'm pretty sure because I've tried) are free, but SMS to some countries cost (I don't think they cost to all countries).  The thing has a SOS button that will connect with GEOS and they can get help to you if need be.  I also signed up with GEOS for a Search and Rescue plan that covers me for like $150,000 in search and rescue and it's like $15 a year.  It's kinda of like an extra that is connected directly with the InReach.  To get a real idea of how great these things are, just remember you are always covered with the Iridium net, and the best part: price an Iridium phone and how much calls cost.  You pretty much have to have a yacht budget to have an Iridium phone, but a peanut budget for the InReach.  The Iridium phone is like $1000, and the minutes are like a dollar a piece.  That adds up quick. Amazon has the inReach for $203 shipped.  http://www.amazon.com/DeLorme-AG-008449-201-Satellite-Communicator-Smartphones/dp/B007ZOK6B2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360818063&sr=8-1&keywords=inreach
was doing some reading about the existance of technology and found the product called the Delourme Inreach.  it is basically a satellite digipeater terminal that allows you to send an email, and receive email from a satellite, via your connected smart device.

it is not using ham satellites, but instead is using satellite cellphone technology. $100 a year subscription to the service is required. buying the device is $250 one time cost.

was thinking that given connectivity issues with passing satellite digipeaters (like the international space station availability, and lack of other satellites) a ham could suppliment his-her communication capabilities with this.  on top of PSK31 communication.  

overall goal is how to maximize-suppliment communication, no matter where you physically are.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2013, 09:09:24 PM by KG4SZC » Logged
N1KCG
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Posts: 51




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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2013, 03:09:49 AM »

kg4scz - thanks for the feedback. was looking at satellite antennas and dual HT radios to broadcast and receive on amatuer satellite, while getting the $500 bill to set this all up. $200 on amazon for INREACH and $100 for each year after is a better fiscal choice.

some other article mentions getting a cheap satellite phone for $500 and doing pay per message at $5 a message.   but not sure this would be better than inreach.

$15 for that insurance sounds awesome. but are you better off with an ELB to supliment the INREACH?  some EMERGENCY LOCATOR BEACON technology is very nice.

my brother in law lost power twice last year.  not sure how long the cell tower could sustain battery backup for communication.  good to have alternatives.

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KG4SZC
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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2013, 12:36:35 PM »

If you were to go the phone route, Iridium is the only one that has total coverage.  In my opinion, you would be hard pressed to find a $500 Iridium phone (used).  $5 a message is steep.  You get 10 messages a month with inReach for $9.95 (and, also, remember, inReach uses the Iridium network, too).  The $15 is for SAR, Search and Rescue "insurance" - just to pay for the planes and helicopters and dog teams.  The inReach, has an ELB, and has GPS.  Once you press the SOS button, they call the authorities.  You can communicate with them while they are looking for you.  Coincidentally, GEOS will answer your SOS call (included in your inReach monthly plan), and GEOS is, also, the company that I chose to provide the $15 supplemental SAR "insurance."
« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 12:56:18 PM by KG4SZC » Logged
N1KCG
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Posts: 51




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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2013, 05:29:38 AM »

Can the INREACH take an external yagi antenna?  I sent an email to the Delourme folks and asked that question.  Also asked if anyone modified the device to do that.  An external directional beam antenna might increase the reliability of the device.

Assume that it can do RETRY or RESEND automatically?  Would think that cloud cover, or movement of the satellites affect the reception, so the unit should keep trying until it gets through. 

Read that receiving messages is functional, but not reliable.  But of course do not have the unit to trail.
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N1KCG
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« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2013, 01:54:19 AM »

Delourme emailed back that the unit can not take an external antenna. but did say its a great idea for the next version of radio.
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KG4SZC
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« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2013, 02:27:40 PM »

I send a few messages a month, from inside the house, and it can take from seconds to 30 min to send a message.  It tries and tries until the message is sent or received.  I would say it's reliable.  Keep in mind the inReach sends your location with every message.
Josh
PS - There are other companies that make devices similar to the inReach.  http://cerberus.briartek.com/ and the Shout, here: http://www.nalresearch.com/IridiumHardware.html
I believe they both use the Iridium network.

Can the INREACH take an external yagi antenna?  I sent an email to the Delourme folks and asked that question.  Also asked if anyone modified the device to do that.  An external directional beam antenna might increase the reliability of the device.

Assume that it can do RETRY or RESEND automatically?  Would think that cloud cover, or movement of the satellites affect the reception, so the unit should keep trying until it gets through. 

Read that receiving messages is functional, but not reliable.  But of course do not have the unit to trail.

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N1KCG
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Posts: 51




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« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2013, 03:02:13 AM »

cerberus has interesting pricing plans. $70 for two weeks coverage with messages. or you can buy the unit for $700 and pay $25 only for the month you need it. lots of other choices with that company but definately costly.

the nalresearch company has no pricing at all. maybe a military or commercial only company.
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KG4SZC
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« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2013, 05:15:59 PM »

One other thought I had from reading the posts, it's important to note that none of the other satellite phone companies have total world coverage.  None.
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