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Windstorm
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PostTue Oct 02, 2018 1:04 pm 
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Kat wrote:
Good to know you don't have to leave it in tracking mode to be located, altho someone still needs to know the url I would presume.

Should be easy enough to add the url to your trip plan that you leave with someone at home. If your emergency person has to call 911 because you're overdue, SAR will be thrilled if they can ping your InReach and get a good location.
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Hiker Mama
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PostFri Oct 05, 2018 5:58 pm 
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I hope you can get it figured out!

I have an older inReach that works well with my iPhone. I have had one or two problems in the past with it, usually centering around software updates. The folks at Tech Support were excellent, but that was before Garmin bought them, so I don't know if that has changed anything. Definitely give them a call. They may have knowledge of software bugs or current problems, and would probably want to know about it anyway so they can fix it.

My InReach has worked really well, I don't use the tracking function, I just use it to text my hubby (using the Earthmate app) and let him know we are OK, or that we are running late, or changed trailheads, or other important info. It was invaluable when my car broke down in the middle of nowhere and he was able to secure a tow truck for me via text, with my exact coordinates. I've been happy with it. I do have to take the batteries out when I'm not using it, because it somehow sucks them dry even when turned off. So that's one downside, but I'm sure they have different battery systems now; mine is several years old. I don't use it for location, I prefer Gaia or just a map for that.

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Kat
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PostFri Jul 19, 2019 9:38 am 
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Thought I would post an update on this issue. I reactivated my inreach last month, applied the latest firmware updates to it that had come out since last summer - now it's at fw 2.60 and my texting issues from earthmate on my samsung s7 phone are gone  up.gif

Working great now.  Well except for last weekend when I had to keep climbing down a steepish lake shore to get a clear enough sightline for it to send the text haha... extra exercise!
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HitTheTrail
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PostFri Jul 19, 2019 4:59 pm 
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I used my InReach mini up in the Anthem Creek basin (Entiat) this week and found it took an unusually long time to get a message out despite being in an open meadow with no trees nearby. I finally turned the unit off and and retired to my tent for the night. The next morning it indicated the message had indeed gone out successfully.
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Kat
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PostMon Jul 22, 2019 5:40 am 
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Interesting. Well I had one other weird thing happen Sunday morning with my inreach, and note it was not a super cold morning at ~ 5600 definitely above 40, prob 45.

Turned it on to send a text, checked on it a few minutes later and noticed it was reporting ZERO % BATTERY LEFT - ??? WTF?  Was fully charged when I left the day before, I keep it powered off unless I send a text, and it had been stored inside a fanny pack all night. So no way the battery could be drained.

I freaked out a bit, then slapped it on a power bank I had just picked up for this trip. Given that it showed full charge about 15-20 min later when I checked on it, it obviously wasn't depleted.

Could a 45 degree morning make it read so erroneously as to battery life?  I probably should start a new thread....
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Riverside Laker
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PostTue Jul 23, 2019 9:47 pm 
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Kat, my iPhone SE battery level behaves like that too, even at those temperatures. It might be worth storing in your sleeping bag overnight. I haven't had the problem with my InReach mini though. I only turn it on when ready to send out a preset message, so it's off most of the time. It seemed to be ok this winter (at sea level, but definitely temperatures like you state).
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Kat
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PostWed Jul 24, 2019 4:11 am 
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I've had old cameras behave that way too, in the winter near freezing but never in the summer, so weird. I guess I can at least warm it up in a pocket or something first if I don't put it in the bag/on me at night.

Geez... I sure have been having odd problems with it!
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SultanHiker
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PostWed Sep 04, 2019 8:24 pm 
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Had an inreach mini for 1 year exactly. Actually went a week over the warranty with Garmin just now 9-4-2019. Thought i bought through REI and knew i could probably get them to honor it. Actually was with Amazon seller who listed it with 2 year warranty. So tonight Amazon is letting me return it (even though clicking on the link in my order history brings me to an inReach Explorer+ with no extra warranty. [3rd party sellers.... frown.gif ] ).

My experience:
Great device. With Android bluetooth connection made no difference compared to stand-alone operation. I would get quick sending (under 2 minutes) or no sending (4 hours). One night on the PCT section J WA, I sent a message to my wife and stuck it just inside a thin tent (Big Agnes Copper Spur) I stayed out for 2 hours eating and chatting with my friend and then went to bed only to find that it never sent (had the warning message about poor signal). So I set it outside while i got ready to sleep. An hour later it never sent. So i rebooted, and it sent within a couple minutes. And my wife had messaged a few frantic times about not hearing from me...

I've used it roughly 10-15 trips since. And sometimes it sends within a minute. And sometimes it won't send. I've tested it at home out in the driveway with clear view of the cloudy or sunny sky, and sometimes it sends, and sometimes it does not. Usually a reboot will make it send. Sometimes a 2nd reboot does the trick. Bright sunshine with a view of 80% of the available sky will still sometimes fail. Another time in the kitchen window with trees on the back property line will leave it with only 15% sky visibility and it sends within a minute.

I've done at least one firmware update (fall 2018). Nothing changed. My friend from the PCT (thu-hiker) used the Explorer+ the whole trip and had no problems. My conclusion is that i got a bad unit. roughly 1/2 of my outgoing messages had the error message. And this is totally unexceptable. I'm not in a cave. And I expect it to work in light tree coverage. But it was so sporadic that I am just going to return it and hope that the next one is not problematic.

Also, the location feature often had the same errors or long delays, or would work instantly. I never could tell why it would fail, or why it would work. I intend to keep an eye on this thread and report back after i purchase my next unit, and test it thoroughly. Give me a month or two.  Only 1 or 2 hikes in the near future, but I plan on testing it around the house...

I do believe this to be a lemon that i bought. I don't see very many of the same issues on the interwebs...

edit: battery at 40 degrees F should not be a problem. lithium ION batts should be good for much colder. my phone had problems on the summit of Mt St Helens while doing a photosphere in February. Must have been 20 F. Plugging in an external battery solved that issue.

I found tracking and bluetooth to greatly decrease battery. I track my hikes with phone and battery pack and turn the inReach tracking on just for sketchy areas of my adventures (in case i became unconscious).
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Kat
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PostThu Sep 05, 2019 3:56 am 
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With mine firmware 2.60 specifically, which was released March 20th, 2019, fixed my message sending problem. However I did not test with the November 2018 release and I will say none of the release notes for the last 3 firmware updates mention a fix for message send failures...

Hope you get a more reliable unit!  Fortunately mine has continued to be solid, we'll see what happens with the battery when the mornings get cold again... which looks like soon.
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SultanHiker
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PostWed Sep 11, 2019 8:18 pm 
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Kat wrote:
With mine firmware 2.60 specifically, which was released March 20th, 2019, fixed my message sending problem. However I did not test with the November 2018 release and I will say none of the release notes for the last 3 firmware updates mention a fix for message send failures...

Hope you get a more reliable unit!  Fortunately mine has continued to be solid, we'll see what happens with the battery when the mornings get cold again... which looks like soon.

I didn't know there was an update to 2.60 firmware. But I had problems with 2.50 and the previous version.

The new unit arrived yesterday. Already i'm noticing anecdotal evidence. It came with 2.60 firmware already installed. I made the switch of my subscription (to the new unit) fairly easily. I noticed it sent pretty quickly the 3-4 times i tried last night. I had one noteworthy experience this morning at work. I sent a message after a reboot. The "Poor GPS strength" message appeared. I walked away for 25 minutes and came back to my vehicle. It had still not sent out. So I hit the "back" button and within 1 minute it sent out. I wonder if the software hangs on that message and waits for the user to clear it before trying further. Weather was partly sunny and I had 80% sky visibility. Set device on the dash of my truck for those 25 minutes. It wouldn't send until i cleared the message. This is completely anecdotal. If I get more data that more convincing, I'll reply again. But at this point, I'll just watch for that message and clear it to hedge my bets...
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Kat
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PostThu Sep 12, 2019 3:31 am 
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Sounds like this was directly on the unit itself (pressing back at poor gps strength msg)

I know when I've been texting back and forth, sometimes I will click on the "check messages" link to get an incoming message faster - rather than waiting for its check interval - this is from the Earthmate app.

I have received "poor gps strength" msgs from Earthmate, generally this is pretty quickly after I have powered the Inreach unit on and composed a text right away on my phone, i.e. I haven't waited for the InReach to get a good lock (I assume.)  Earthmate asks if I want to send anyway, I say yes and it sends on the Inreach within a couple of minutes.
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HitTheTrail
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PostThu Sep 12, 2019 4:18 am 
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I was up in Ice Creek (Entiat) last week and got the same ol' "poor signal" message on my Inreach mini but told it to send anyway. The message went out and I spent the night thinking my family was happy knowing where I was camped. When I got home the next day I found out a message with a location link did go out to several family members but that location link just produced a general map of the world. It had nothing about where I was. That was a new one for me and kind of disconcerting.
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salish
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PostThu Sep 12, 2019 11:15 am 
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Pardon me for horning in here, but I'm considering the purchase of one of these things. Do any of you know if these same issues happen with the larger In-Reach device?
Thanks,
Cliff

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Riverside Laker
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PostThu Sep 12, 2019 7:18 pm 
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I leave my mini Inreach turned off most of the time, to save batteries. So to make sure I don't get the "poor signal" message, here's my procedure:

  1. Turn it on.
  2. Arrow (left side) down four times to the "Location" screen, and wait until it finds my coordinates.
  3. While coordinates are still on the screen (it can time out if you wait toooooo long), escape to home screen and enter to send out a preset message.
Sometimes step 2 can take awhile, and so can step 3. Trees really can slow it down, sometimes taking a really long time, long enough that step 2 times out. Also canyons can be really slow. But somehow I've always gotten a message out.
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SultanHiker
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PostThu Sep 12, 2019 10:50 pm 
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salish wrote:
Pardon me for horning in here, but I'm considering the purchase of one of these things. Do any of you know if these same issues happen with the larger In-Reach device?
Thanks,
Cliff

My friend has an "Explorer" (big version) . He hasn't had any notable problems. And the next reply also has good advice (make sure it gets a gps location first.) but my experience with the mini is : just watch it for a moment, then clear any message about GPS strength. I did not need a heavier unit with crappy maps and a better screen (with better battery life). I can use my phone and a battery pack I was bringing anyway. Internal battery can be managed if you know what you are doing with settings also.
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