1. There's more to this forum than meets the eye!

    We have a vibrant community here conversing about all sorts of non-snow topics such as music, sport, politics and technology. Simply register to reveal all our Après topics or continue browsing and reading as a guest.

    NOTE: This notice may be closed.

    Dismiss Notice
  2. NOTICE: Did you lose your profile avatar image as a result of the great hammo-ing of 2020? (Sat 16 & Sun 17 Aug). If yes, then you need to know it won't be coming back, best to re-upload.

    This notice may be closed
    Dismiss Notice

GPS / Positioning / EPIRB etc..

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Snow Blowey, Aug 10, 2020.

  1. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Messages:
    24,174
    Likes Received:
    18,994
    Location:
    Dubbo NSW
    Just pulled out my 20 year old garmin etrex to find the screen has been smashed (think i dropped it getting it out of my car last use).

    Need a replacement and i'm very much lost touch with this sort of gear of late. My understanding is that i can probably get myself a GPS, EPIRB, Messenger gizmo as an all in one these days.

    Please hit me with some suggestions.
     
  2. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    41,204
    Likes Received:
    31,220
    Location:
    the sunny illawarra
  3. Boodwah

    Boodwah A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Messages:
    5,249
    Likes Received:
    11,912
    Location:
    StKilda,VicBC,Prom,France
    I got the inReach last year. Could text the kids from Antarctica. Its pretty awesome.
    But pricey, around $600, then monthly subscription $20
     
    skull, CarveMan, piolet and 1 other person like this.
  4. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Messages:
    24,174
    Likes Received:
    18,994
    Location:
    Dubbo NSW
    Don't like the monthly subscription idea. Will have to read more.
     
    skull likes this.
  5. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    Messages:
    4,393
    Likes Received:
    6,964
    Location:
    In the woods
    Don't need to spend $20pm on subscription. Put it on sleeper at $5.95 per month and activate for a month when needed.
     
    Rimey, currawong, skull and 1 other person like this.
  6. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 27, 2004
    Messages:
    33,543
    Likes Received:
    37,695
    Location:
    in the cupboard covered in dust
    Well that's good news
     
    dawooduck and Chaeron like this.
  7. Darb

    Darb Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    30,652
    Likes Received:
    9,854
    Location:
    Perth most of the time
    I went for a Spot Gen3 on the monthly plan.

    That is, a yearly fee to have the device ... but you pay month for month when activating it.

    I like that it provides a live map visible on google maps (every 5 minutes) to anyone whom you share the URL with, aswell as a SPOT app on the iphone that the wife can use to see where we are ... aswell as one-way messaging with pre-defined messages which you can have sent to different cell phones or email addresses, we use ;

    "OK - we've arrived all safe and well"
    "We're setting off to next location, all OK"
    "HELP - Sick child or immobilised vehicle, medi not required, but please come to us"
    and of course SOS red button which notifies authorities.


    I looked at Garmin InReach which is better and has 2-way messaging which is really cool, but couldn't justify the price for 2 way messaging that I don't need. Looked at sat phones, again ... pricey.

    Looked at "sos only" options which are the cheapest / easiest of all, but in truth i do like the one-way messaging and I know the wife appreciates it when I have the kids onboard and going deep out of range.

    So on balance of things, the spot hit the spot for us.

    The cost is a little annoying, but in the scheme of what our activities cost us, and what insurance costs (both on vehicles and lives/health) it was a no-brainer.

    THere's been a few trips where a kid has damn near cracked a skull open or snakebite, and being at least 1hr of 4wd track just to get 3G signal .... not great.

    The kid knows if daddy keels over with a heart attack, smash the red button mounted on the dashboard.





     
  8. Darb

    Darb Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    30,652
    Likes Received:
    9,854
    Location:
    Perth most of the time
    Can also setup the custom buttons for different purposes, like if you have friends coming a day later and you need to let them know which "spot" youve ended up at, just program their number in and use that to communicate your position
     
    Tanuki, Chaeron and piolet like this.
  9. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 12, 2000
    Messages:
    79,293
    Likes Received:
    51,045
    Location:
    Les Hautes Montagnes
    Ditto. I’m getting one for sure this summer, as with no international travel and not much work to do I suspect I’ll spend as much time as I can in the hills on the ebike.
     
    Seth and climberman like this.
  10. crackson

    crackson A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    9,809
    Likes Received:
    8,001
    Location:
    Snowy Mountains
    Get another etrex.

    Send the broken one for repair.

    Use dedicated plb or epirb.
     
  11. PiniPowPow

    PiniPowPow One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,914
    Likes Received:
    1,697
    Location:
    NSW South Coast
    Got an InReach for work, great bit of kit
     
    Rimey, Untele-whippet and climberman like this.
  12. Chaeron

    Chaeron OutLiar Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2014
    Messages:
    5,873
    Likes Received:
    9,666
    Location:
    Glen Iris, Melbourne
    Got the Etrex like yours, complemented by the Spot Messenger and a separate Epirb.

    The Inreach sounds good.

    What about those GPS watches tho...
     
    skifree and crackson like this.
  13. skull

    skull One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2017
    Messages:
    2,138
    Likes Received:
    3,579
    I think battery reliability will be an issue with watch gps for multi day activities.

    I’m looking at the inreach
     
    Chaeron likes this.
  14. PiniPowPow

    PiniPowPow One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,914
    Likes Received:
    1,697
    Location:
    NSW South Coast
    At the other end of the spectrum, I have just used Avenza on my phone for most of recent work. I can save georef pdfs from ArcMap and use them in the field. Even did a map of Teton Pass and used that while i was over in the states.
     
  15. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 12, 2000
    Messages:
    79,293
    Likes Received:
    51,045
    Location:
    Les Hautes Montagnes
    Reason I want the Garmin is I’ve long wanted a handheld GPS that’s rugged, has a long battery life and is operable with gloves, no touchscreen. There were always a couple in my usual ski touring group.

    Now that I find myself on an eBike with no mobile reception, often on my own, the inReach functionality becomes a no-brainer.
     
  16. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    41,204
    Likes Received:
    31,220
    Location:
    the sunny illawarra
    how do you tell it it's referenced?
     
  17. art

    art One of Us

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Messages:
    477
    Likes Received:
    927
    Until they get hacked....
    I would have listed service reliability as a theoretical benefit of a plb over inreach or spot until a month ago. Now the advantage seems a little more real.

    I would think for the remote work you do @Snow Blowey an inreach in the glovebox could be a justified work expense.
     
    Rimey, crackson, Majikthise and 5 others like this.
  18. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2003
    Messages:
    35,944
    Likes Received:
    23,216
    Location:
    Kiewa Valley
    AIUI in inreach functionality kept working, as long as your account was active before the problem started.

    btw we've got an inreach mini for safety and just use phones (and bike head units) with offline maps apps for navigation.
     
    crackson, Majikthise and CarveMan like this.
  19. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    Messages:
    4,393
    Likes Received:
    6,964
    Location:
    In the woods
    I even justify it as a work expense....... from the wilds of Bondage Junction.........
     
    Spence and skull like this.
  20. art

    art One of Us

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Messages:
    477
    Likes Received:
    927
    Doesn't give as warm and fuzzy a feeling of confidence though does it.

    BTW I carry a plb (it's cheap) and offline phone maps. I do have access to an inreach mini if I feel I need it for a more complex or longer trip.
     
    Chaeron likes this.
  21. The Bluff

    The Bluff One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Messages:
    522
    Likes Received:
    279
    Location:
    melbourne
    GPS / Positioning / EPIRB etc.. Map &Compass;)
     
    fenrir, Myazma, skifree and 1 other person like this.
  22. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 12, 2000
    Messages:
    79,293
    Likes Received:
    51,045
    Location:
    Les Hautes Montagnes
    Touché
     
    art likes this.
  23. Myazma

    Myazma One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Messages:
    3,195
    Likes Received:
    4,900
    Location:
    Jindi
    And if the machine breaks down, we all break down.
     
  24. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2003
    Messages:
    35,944
    Likes Received:
    23,216
    Location:
    Kiewa Valley
    I'm still a fan of maps (and compass when going off roads). our use for the inreach is largely reassurance that the other is ok. prior to getting one we had some worrying times with unexpected delays. Getting older and having some chronic health issues makes these things seem more important. it also facilitates changes of plan
     
  25. PiniPowPow

    PiniPowPow One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,914
    Likes Received:
    1,697
    Location:
    NSW South Coast
    Just export PDF from Arc and it will be referenced automatically, at least it is on my setup
     
    climberman likes this.
  26. sourmash

    sourmash One of Us

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    Messages:
    939
    Likes Received:
    447
    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    Garmin have merged the inReach sat comm functionality with their hand held nav devices, watch here for a primer...


    Or if you'd do more group style trips where you use two way radios a lot, Garmin have merged this with nav devices, good review here...
     
  27. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    Messages:
    4,393
    Likes Received:
    6,964
    Location:
    In the woods
    Snow Blowey likes this.
  28. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 12, 2000
    Messages:
    79,293
    Likes Received:
    51,045
    Location:
    Les Hautes Montagnes
    I saw that when this thread prompted me to do a bit more research.

    But I'm not sure I want a touchscreen. They're useless in a blizzard, ideally I want something that can be operated with gloves on. I'd have my phone as a primary device with cached maps, due to ease of use and big bright screen, and the Garmin would be an emergency device.
     
    piolet and Snow Blowey like this.
  29. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2014
    Messages:
    4,393
    Likes Received:
    6,964
    Location:
    In the woods

    I have had an InReach SE for 5-6 years. I now find the screen too small to read without reading glasses and the scroll select button method of messaging is a PITA. I have linked my phone to the SE, but a single unit is appealing. The battery life has always been impressive. If/when I upgrade, something like the Montana will be on the cards. The extra until cost is neither here nor there and as I mentioned earlier, not expensive to maintain if kept on sleeper plan when not in use.
     
    CarveMan likes this.
  30. sourmash

    sourmash One of Us

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    Messages:
    939
    Likes Received:
    447
    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    I've had the original inReach for Smartphones (no display) and it works for me. If I was to upgrade, would just go with the mini to reduce size. I use phone for mapping (FATmaps with offline maps for snow/land, iNAVx for marine). With the ease of using the messaging and you'll always have a phone anyway. Just have a battery booster case or power bank to ensure you always have backup power. inReach typically turned off 'til needed for messaging or emergencies.
     
  31. crackson

    crackson A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    9,809
    Likes Received:
    8,001
    Location:
    Snowy Mountains
    An Inreach for zwift?
     
    Fozzie Bear likes this.
  32. Myazma

    Myazma One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Messages:
    3,195
    Likes Received:
    4,900
    Location:
    Jindi
  33. neilmny

    neilmny One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2013
    Messages:
    868
    Likes Received:
    1,201
    I had an eTrex Vista Hcx for 9 years, very reliable with a sensitive receiver which worked under cover of trees etc. Recently it decided to retire itself from service, although it had been picked up with some clothing from the back of the car and accidentally dropped out on the front verandah with a thud.

    My replacement is an eTrex 30x which is every bit as good, a much clearer sunlight readable screen and weighs somewhat less than the Vista Hcx. It fires up a lot quicker than the Vista Hcx as well and you can have several maps on it instead of only 1 map with the Vista Hcx. The 30x also has the 3 axis compass (doesn't have to be held level to read it) and barometric altimeter. The Vista Hcx had a compass (not 3 axis) and barometric altimeter.

    The 30x is definitely easier on the batteries than the Vista Hcx was. They claim up to 25 hours for the 30x and I was lucky to get 8 to 10 hours with the Vista Hcx.

    I chose the 30x over the 32x (latest version) on price and not needing a unit with maps installed (I use my roll your own OSM maps). Wireless connectivity on the 32x wasn't of interest to me.

    I have a Kti SA2GN PLB as well. Compact, light and 10 year battery.
     
    crackson, whether and art like this.
  34. SkiMountaineer

    SkiMountaineer One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    331
    Likes Received:
    535
    Location:
    Newcastle NSW
    Got a Garmin Inreach Explorer+. Bloody awesome.
     
  35. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Messages:
    24,174
    Likes Received:
    18,994
    Location:
    Dubbo NSW
    Just getting back to this now. Thanks for all the info.

    Looking through the range i like the idea of a colour screen with mapping. Will help me find things when i'm out and about at work - probably most of the use. But i don't want a big heavy touch screen for hiking/skiing. Thinking the GPS Map 66i may be a good compromise between functionality and weight. Like everything its hard to fit the device that will do everything, be light and cheap!

    ANyone have any bad experience with these?
     
    CarveMan likes this.
  36. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 12, 2000
    Messages:
    79,293
    Likes Received:
    51,045
    Location:
    Les Hautes Montagnes
    I’m pretty much sold on the 66i too. I’ll pick one up in spring some time.
     
  37. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2000
    Messages:
    41,204
    Likes Received:
    31,220
    Location:
    the sunny illawarra
    These look great! You bastard. Now I might need to spend $800 on one some day LOL
     
    Chaeron likes this.
  38. Chookfooter

    Chookfooter One of Us

    Joined:
    May 11, 2020
    Messages:
    265
    Likes Received:
    513
    Sign up to Spotwalla, it's free. Great for recording and sharing your trips. Another good one is Flytrace, also free, if you have mates with the same devices. Allows you to see all your group on the same screen. If you have phone coverage.
     
  39. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    Messages:
    17,384
    Likes Received:
    32,770
    Location:
    Blue Mtns, 1100M.
    That’s sometimes an issue.
     
    Chaeron and skifree like this.
  40. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Messages:
    24,174
    Likes Received:
    18,994
    Location:
    Dubbo NSW
    Pulled the trigger on the 66i yesterday.

    Ended up purchasing from anaconda. As much as I hate buying from large retailers it was the only easy way to get something when I needed it.

    Anyway I'm talking to the young hottie on the phone and she tells me I get 100 bucks off if I am am anaconda member. Another great perk of having a huge cock I thought.

    Sadly I missed out on the discount.
     
    skull, DidSurfNowSki, DJM and 8 others like this.
  41. neilmny

    neilmny One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2013
    Messages:
    868
    Likes Received:
    1,201
    A huge what o_O

     
    Fozzie Bear, piolet and skifree like this.
  42. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    Messages:
    17,384
    Likes Received:
    32,770
    Location:
    Blue Mtns, 1100M.
    Steady on there mini Monty.
     
    Chaeron likes this.
  43. Red_switch

    Red_switch Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: 30 Day

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    25,841
    Likes Received:
    11,889
    Location:
    Dunedin, NZ
    You need to turn it on for exporting, but yeah, it is handy, been in use since the days of bluetooth GPS receivers on the old palm pilot style field computers.
     
  44. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 12, 2000
    Messages:
    79,293
    Likes Received:
    51,045
    Location:
    Les Hautes Montagnes
    Played with it yet?

    And what about the Garmin? Thoughts?
     
    GS, Snow Blowey and DidSurfNowSki like this.
  45. Snow Blowey

    Snow Blowey Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Messages:
    24,174
    Likes Received:
    18,994
    Location:
    Dubbo NSW
    It's a lot bigger than the packaging suggests. Battery life is awesome.

    Haven't got the Garmin yet. Was supposed to pick it up on the way through act last weekend but I ran out of puff and didn't leave home.
     
    CarveMan likes this.
  46. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 27, 2004
    Messages:
    33,543
    Likes Received:
    37,695
    Location:
    in the cupboard covered in dust
    Grower then?
     
  47. GS

    GS Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Messages:
    11,173
    Likes Received:
    14,203
    Location:
    Yarra Valley Vic
    Got your hands on it yet?
     
  48. kylep

    kylep Cage rattler Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Messages:
    7,055
    Likes Received:
    12,584
    Location:
    Jumped the wall to Mexico

    *immature chuckle*
     
    Snow Blowey, piolet and nezumi like this.
  49. GS

    GS Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Messages:
    11,173
    Likes Received:
    14,203
    Location:
    Yarra Valley Vic
    Lockdown will do that
     
    kylep likes this.
  50. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Messages:
    29,531
    Likes Received:
    40,344