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Kat
Turtle Hiker



Joined: 05 Oct 2003
Posts: 2507 | TRs

Kat
Turtle Hiker
PostTue Sep 11, 2018 3:22 am 
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My new Inreach Mini seems to have a problem sending texts - Earthmate app says "weak GPS signal" but the Inreach can still display my location's GPS coordinates and get a weather report.  I'm talking hour or more without it sending the texts and I am constantly forcing the "check messages."

Have taken it on 2 trips so far in the mountains to test.  This past Saturday, I was able to easily make a satellite phone call on my Globalstar sat phone standing right next to the Inreach which was still complaining about the "weak GPS signal" and it never did send the text, turned it off finally after an hour or so.

I did do a firmware update from 2.2 to 2.3 yesterday, but there was nothing in the release notes that I saw about this issue.  Will test it again next weekend.

Anybody else experience this? It doesn't exactly give me a warm fuzzy about an emergency situation...
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Brian Curtis
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Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 1460 | TRs
Location: Silverdale, WA
Brian Curtis
Trail Blazer/HiLaker
PostTue Sep 11, 2018 4:58 am 
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It is difficult to sort out what might be going on here because there are three different satellite systems at play. The inReach uses GPS satellites to establish its position. It uses Iridium satellites to send and receive messages. Your sat phone uses Globalstar satellites to send and receive calls. So theoretically, the weak GPS signal should not cause any problems sending and receiving messages. It still shows a location, but is warning you the location may not be accurate. If you can receive a weather report that means that the unit is successfully sending and receiving messages so should be able to get a message out. I would contact Garmin support.

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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Yana
Hater



Joined: 03 Jun 2004
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Yana
Hater
PostTue Sep 11, 2018 6:08 am 
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Please share what you find out from Garmin (or elsewhere).

Good luck getting this sorted out.

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PLAY SAFE! SKI ONLY IN CLOCKWISE DIRECTION! LET'S ALL HAVE FUN TOGETHER!
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Kat
Turtle Hiker



Joined: 05 Oct 2003
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Kat
Turtle Hiker
PostTue Sep 11, 2018 7:10 am 
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thanks.  I knew the Inreach uses the (supposedly superior) Iridium network but I did not realize there was a 3rd GPS satellite network, interesting.

I'm going to give it one more shot this weekend with the firmware upgrade, if it doesn't perform better up in the mountains it will probably end up on ebay and I'll stick with the sat phone.  altho I do like the weather reports.
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Brian Curtis
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Joined: 16 Dec 2001
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Location: Silverdale, WA
Brian Curtis
Trail Blazer/HiLaker
PostTue Sep 11, 2018 8:46 am 
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Just to be clear, there are not three GPS satellite networks. GPS satellites are the ones used to establish a location fix. The Iridium and Globalstar satellites are used for communication.

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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Kat
Turtle Hiker



Joined: 05 Oct 2003
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Kat
Turtle Hiker
PostTue Sep 11, 2018 8:55 am 
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thanks for the clarification on the network.

Someone on a biking forum reported this same problem last month using the Earthmate app:

https://advrider.com/f/threads/ive-got-both-the-inreach-mini-and-spot-x-ask-me-questions.1319837/page-4
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pasayten
Class of 65...



Joined: 18 Aug 2011
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Location: Winthrop, WA
pasayten
Class of 65...
PostWed Sep 12, 2018 1:28 pm 
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Just got back from a 7 day backpacking trip in the Pasayten and used my new inReach mini for the first time...   It worked great at sending/receiving messages...  even inside my tent at night.   Messages successfully posted to Facebook, Mapshare, and my other chosen recipients...  and the weather forecast were very accurate.   Received reply texts fine as well.  I did not use the Earthmate app as I did not carry my cellphone on the trip,  just the Inreach mini itself.  All in all, I was quite impressed.

Garmin Mapshare Map for Pasayten

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Happy Trails...     pasayten
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Kat
Turtle Hiker



Joined: 05 Oct 2003
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Kat
Turtle Hiker
PostWed Sep 12, 2018 5:05 pm 
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Interesting, so you did not use the earthmate app and everything worked well.  Thanks for the info.

I was able to get weather reports just fine, and the earthmate app displayed those as well - it was just the texts in and outbound - I was using the embedded gps link feature in the texts, I will also try turning that off per Brian's suggestion.

Didn't use any other features.
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pasayten
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Joined: 18 Aug 2011
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Location: Winthrop, WA
pasayten
Class of 65...
PostWed Sep 12, 2018 5:12 pm 
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I used the embedded gps link in all my texts and only one time it said "weak signal" but posted on the map fine anyway as we were at the same location as the previous message.

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Happy Trails...     pasayten
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Kat
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Joined: 05 Oct 2003
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Kat
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PostWed Sep 12, 2018 5:17 pm 
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Yep, but not thru Earthmate per your previous post.  Not that I think Earthmate is the total culprit here, I'm sure thousands of folks use that app successfully.
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thunderhead
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Joined: 14 Oct 2015
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thunderhead
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PostThu Sep 13, 2018 7:47 am 
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Were you in thick trees or on a north slope?  Was the device buried in a pack or inside a hut?  My inreach performance is well correlated with clear line of site towards equatorial orbits.  It does not strike me as having the strongest signal, and not much mass is needed between it and the bird to foul things up in my experience.
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Kat
Turtle Hiker



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Kat
Turtle Hiker
PostThu Sep 13, 2018 8:29 am 
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last weekend: clear line of site, hardly any trees - inreach outside. Globalstar sat phone got signal pretty quickly.

weekend before: more treed. Had it outside and inside tent.

Earthmate app is on android phone (Samsung S7).

I'm hoping the firmware upgrade fixed something, I actually received an old text finally inside my house after it was applied.
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williswall
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Joined: 30 Sep 2007
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Location: Bellevue, WA
williswall
seeking tailwind
PostSat Sep 15, 2018 9:24 pm 
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I've used mine extensively on various trips. I've noticed that if I turn it on and immediately try to send a text, I get the "weak GPS" message, probably because it hasn't had time to establish position yet. If I select "send text anyway" it has always gone through.

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"You run with me, not the other way around. (Cassie re races)

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Kat
Turtle Hiker



Joined: 05 Oct 2003
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Kat
Turtle Hiker
PostSun Sep 16, 2018 4:44 am 
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thanks for the info.  Several times I did try scrolling to the location page and making sure it had a fix before trying to type and send one, didn't make a difference.

But, haven't made it back out in the mountains yet to test after that firmware upgrade so my fingers are still crossed that I don't have a lemon.
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DIYSteve
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Joined: 06 Mar 2007
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DIYSteve
seeking hygge
PostTue Sep 18, 2018 10:13 am 
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The lesson of Kat's experience is to test your device when new and from time to time thereafter.
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