Sat Messenger rescue services

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Bosterson
Posts: 2160
Joined: May 18th, 2009, 3:17 pm
Location: Portland

Re: Sat Messenger rescue services

Post by Bosterson » March 25th, 2021, 10:15 pm

For constantly tracking you out there, it depends on which plan you have. I just have the most basic plan without tracking, so I haven't tried to generate tracking points. If you have it set to include your location/map with a message, that actually will function as a marker (tracking point) for where you are for the person you're contacting. (I'm sure that with an actual SOS it will transmit full location information to Garmin's rescue coordinator.)

The web interface is definitely clunky and you have to remember to set everything in advance and then sync it all before you go try to use the device. Definitely get the Earthmate app so you can control the Mini with your phone - you can basically send regular texts from your phone that way using the Mini. You can also download offline maps and have it show your GPS location using the Mini, though the maps are pretty terrible. (I haven't looked into whether you can get custom ones that are better since I generally use the Caltopo app outdoors, which is a zillion times better for navigation.) Don't forget you can customize the 3 free preset messages, which really can accomplish most of the communication you might want the Mini for outside of spamming your friends with how great your view is and aren't they jealous. 8-)
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mjirving
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Joined: July 5th, 2011, 10:40 am

Re: Sat Messenger rescue services

Post by mjirving » March 26th, 2021, 5:26 am

Congrats. It’s a great product. I use the web just to do software updates. (Which I check before every major trip). The Earthmate app is good. I start my tracking from the device itself. And I send my free preset messages from the device itself (starting day, finishing day). I use Earthmate app for texting and to send request for weather report on multi day trips.

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retired jerry
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Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Sat Messenger rescue services

Post by retired jerry » March 26th, 2021, 6:09 am

All I do with mini is send a message to show where I'm camped. My wife can send back a reply saying everything's okay.

I find all the interfaces to be difficult, but I am able to send and receive a message

The first problem is it can take an hour to acquire satellites and send a message. Or it can take a few minutes.

RobFromRedland
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Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Sat Messenger rescue services

Post by RobFromRedland » March 26th, 2021, 6:37 am

I don't have the mini, but the full size Garmin communicator (percursor to the mini). I've been very happy with it and it has performed well. I have the minimum plan which gives me 10 text messages a month and unlimited canned messages which costs about $12.50 a month with all the taxes and fees.. I typically just use the canned messages to tell my wife when I get to the trailhead and when I'm back at the truck. On overnight trips I send a canned message each night. If I need to communicate something else (breakdown, change in plans, etc), I use one of the text messages.

It was also my understanding that as long as you leave it on during the hike, if someone were to hit your Garmin page, it would show them where you are currently. Basically, it would ping the unit to see where it was. I typically leave it on all day during my hikes even though I don't use the tracking function. I use my cell phone for tracks for my hikes which are much more accurate.

I just double checked and that appears to be a true statement. I went to my Garmin page and clicked on the "Locate" button in the left hand nav and up popped this dialog:
LocateDialog.jpg
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: WOW-What a ride!

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retired jerry
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Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Sat Messenger rescue services

Post by retired jerry » March 26th, 2021, 7:53 am

with the mini, I press the down arrow twice to "check messages". Wait for it to check. This can take anything between a minute and an hour. Read any messages.

then press the down arrow twice more to "GPS location". Wait for it to display lat and lon. This can take anything between a minute and an hour.

then press "back", "enter", select "preset message", select one of the preset messages and select "send"

wait for the arrow to turn into a circle and then power down

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Koda
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Joined: June 5th, 2009, 7:54 am

Re: Sat Messenger rescue services

Post by Koda » March 26th, 2021, 3:26 pm

RobFromRedland wrote:
March 26th, 2021, 6:37 am

It was also my understanding that as long as you leave it on during the hike, if someone were to hit your Garmin page, it would show them where you are currently. Basically, it would ping the unit to see where it was.
thats one of the things I dont like, though to the best of my knowledge I dont see how anyone would "know" to look for me on the map page so Im not too worried about it from a privacy standpoint.
I just want to know that if I knock myself out that my body could be found if I havent hit the sos button?
Page 3 seems to indicate thats the case but Im not totally clear, it might mean I have to press OK in the field to update the track on the web page.

https://www8.garmin.com/manuals/webhelp ... _EN-US.pdf
lightweight, cheap, strong... pick 2

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mjirving
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Joined: July 5th, 2011, 10:40 am

Re: Sat Messenger rescue services

Post by mjirving » March 26th, 2021, 3:50 pm

If it’s on, they can ping you. You don’t have to do anything. (Assuming you have service to the satellite). I like the added safety of the every 10-min pings as then at least they know where I’ve recently been and can see my trajectory, in case I fall into some slot or heavy brush or terrible weather and don’t have a signal when pinged. (Granted that’s an edge case for sure).

Also, I have a password to my Garmin page so only the people who I give that to can see my location. So random people can’t just check out your location unless you choose to make that available.

You can also extend the pings to I think 20 or 30 min to save a tad more battery life.

RobFromRedland
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Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Sat Messenger rescue services

Post by RobFromRedland » March 26th, 2021, 5:06 pm

Yeah, I neglected to mention the page is normally password protected, not open to the world.

Track points are .10 a piece on my plan which is why I don't do them.

I've been very happy with my Garmin.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention to arrive safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: WOW-What a ride!

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Crusak
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Joined: August 6th, 2009, 7:33 pm
Location: Oregon

Re: Sat Messenger rescue services

Post by Crusak » April 1st, 2021, 1:14 pm

Koda wrote:
March 25th, 2021, 8:36 pm
So officailly in the mini club now, set up and getting familiar with the controls and website. Websites super slow and clunky, cant find tracking settings...
just tell me it tracks my out there and shows that on a map to the SAR folks if I ever hit the SOS?
Welcome to the club! Its use is the same or similar as my DeLorme inReachSE device, so if you have any questions about it just let me know. ;) You'll have to add me to your list of emergency contacts - I think I have you on my list.

I give my family the password protected link to track me when I'm out and have the tracking turned on so they can see where I'm at. The link also allows them to send me messages in case of an emergency at home.
Jim's Hikes

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Koda
Posts: 3465
Joined: June 5th, 2009, 7:54 am

Re: Sat Messenger rescue services

Post by Koda » April 1st, 2021, 8:54 pm

Crusak wrote:
April 1st, 2021, 1:14 pm


Welcome to the club! Its use is the same or similar as my DeLorme inReachSE device, so if you have any questions about it just let me know. ;) You'll have to add me to your list of emergency contacts - I think I have you on my list.

I give my family the password protected link to track me when I'm out and have the tracking turned on so they can see where I'm at. The link also allows them to send me messages in case of an emergency at home.
thanks... will do, actually Ive told my wife to contact you since your one of the few who has an idea of some of my spots. Ive put it off the past few days but still need to figure out my settings, dont like the idea of sharing a password where they can make changes to my device.
lightweight, cheap, strong... pick 2

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