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Staying Healthy on the Road Medical info, e.g. malaria, vaccinations, travel medical tips, medical insurance, where to find a doctor.
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Anne Knoedler, Floating, Kolyma River, Russia.



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  • 1 Post By Surfy
  • 1 Post By Hemuli
  • 1 Post By RNS1948
  • 1 Post By Tony LEE

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  #1  
Old 7 Jan 2015
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Spot does not work in Africa, other options?

According to Spot map, it will not work in southern Africa.
Few years ago I heard about similar device (manufactured in south Africa), which needs to be mounted to bike and it will be connected to bike´s battery. Benefit is that this send signal much more often than spot.

Does anyone know the name of this device?
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  #2  
Old 7 Jan 2015
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delorme inreach

google delorme inreach ,supposed to use the iridium satellites

anyone have any experience with these in africa?????
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  #3  
Old 8 Jan 2015
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I am touring Southern Africa for 6 months on an old 1951 Harley at the moment. I was very kindly given a tracking device by Selftrack in Pretoria to trial, connects to bike battery and sends a signal several times a minute , works really well . Selftrack Vehicle & Personal Tracking | Track anything, anywhere, anytime! . To have a look at my route click tracking demo , then link on to Pan without a plan . hope this helps

Gareth

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  #4  
Old 10 Jan 2015
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We use Delorme Inreach for our Transafrica, also on my current Panamericana Trip:



With Spot you can just send predefined Messages, with an delorme you can also send and receive Messages.



So you are to call for an pickup if you have an breakdown, and to avoid that the doctor flight in by helicopter, just to see that you only need someone for an jumpstart of your vehicle, at sample...

Here you will find more informations about:

4x4tripping: Alternatives to the classic Satphone solution: Satellite-Messengers in comparison

There are different units available, such ones with display, such one where you can connect with a smartphone/tablet.

Spot is much less capable but will work too in many areas if africa. Just the part in the south lacks of a good coverage.

Surfy
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  #5  
Old 30 Jan 2015
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InReach Explorer in Mongolia

I was very satisfied with the InReach Explorer in Mongolia. It kept everybody informed as to where I was and I used the message feature to send out short updates. Battery life is pretty good.

Occasionally back home (the Adirondacks of NY) I have had some spotty reception under thick tree cover but usually moving a short distance (I am talking a few yards) cleared that issue up.

Fortunately I have not had to use the SOS feature.
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  #6  
Old 4 Apr 2015
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I'm curious asto which map you're looking at Hemuli? On the findmespot website it shows Southern Africa as 96% or better; Network / Satellite

I'm planning to take a Spot3 through Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya next month, so I hope it works.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemuli View Post
According to Spot map, it will not work in southern Africa.
Few years ago I heard about similar device (manufactured in south Africa), which needs to be mounted to bike and it will be connected to bike´s battery. Benefit is that this send signal much more often than spot.

Does anyone know the name of this device?
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  #7  
Old 4 Apr 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottC View Post
I'm curious asto which map you're looking at Hemuli? On the findmespot website it shows Southern Africa as 96% or better; Network / Satellite

I'm planning to take a Spot3 through Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya next month, so I hope it works.
Seems like they have updated their coverage maps Network / Satellite

This is a comment in their map coverage page:
SPOT works around the world, including virtually all of the continental United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Australia, portions of South America, portions of North and South Africa, North-East Asia and hundreds of miles offshore of these areas. In Russia, the GPS accuracy of your SPOT is limited (degraded) in accordance with Russian regulations restricting the accuracy of GPS performance for devices utilized in Russia.
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  #8  
Old 4 Apr 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottC View Post
I'm curious asto which map you're looking at Hemuli? On the findmespot website it shows Southern Africa as 96% or better; Network / Satellite

I'm planning to take a Spot3 through Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya next month, so I hope it works.
I was in South Africa, Namibia last fall. SPOT does not work their.
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  #9  
Old 5 Apr 2015
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The problem with SPOT is threefold. First it uses geostationary satellites resulting in decreased connectivity at higher latitudes and second, if you are heading away from the equator and the signal is shielded by your vehicle or body or terrain, the signal won't reach the satellite. Then, since it is only a one-way communicator, there is no way to confirm the signal got through. Iceland and South America had all of these problems at various times with lots of missing tracking points. I started with a SPOT and it failed in Chile so had to buy a Delorme and looking at the map, I can see where that took place by the change in the consistency of the tracking points.

Delorm SE uses low orbit satellites which pass over all areas, and it confirms receipt of the signal and if there is no communications at that time, it will save up several tracking points and send them when it does have a connection. Very rare to look at a tracking map later (eg Spotwalla.com) and find missing points. Add to that, two way messaging to and from any phone or email address via SMS, plus two way SOS capability and the extra purchase cost and monthly subscription of the Delorm over the SPOT is minimal.

Only disadvantage of the delorm is it doesn't use normal batteries so relies on internal rechargeable battery and a USB charging connection - although it's endurance is long enough when tracking interval is extended to 4 hours instead of 10 minutes and advanced features are disabled, that it is still good for hiking.

Further comment on the SPOT coverage is in real world conditions it is rather optimistic unless you want to walk around holding the unit above your head. Sitting on the dashboard and driving away from the equator resulted in lost points even in low latitudes. Delorme seems to have hugely better connectivity - perhaps it is more powerful transmitter - from anywhere inside a vehicle and we can be a lot less careful where we mount it. Just sitting inside a camper body with a window reasonably close is good enough.
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  #10  
Old 5 Apr 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony LEE View Post
The problem with SPOT is threefold. First it uses geostationary satellites resulting in decreased connectivity at higher latitudes and second, if you are heading away from the equator and the signal is shielded by your vehicle or body or terrain, the signal won't reach the satellite. Then, since it is only a one-way communicator, there is no way to confirm the signal got through. Iceland and South America had all of these problems at various times with lots of missing tracking points. I started with a SPOT and it failed in Chile so had to buy a Delorme and looking at the map, I can see where that took place by the change in the consistency of the tracking points.

Delorm SE uses low orbit satellites which pass over all areas, and it confirms receipt of the signal and if there is no communications at that time, it will save up several tracking points and send them when it does have a connection. Very rare to look at a tracking map later (eg Spotwalla.com) and find missing points. Add to that, two way messaging to and from any phone or email address via SMS, plus two way SOS capability and the extra purchase cost and monthly subscription of the Delorm over the SPOT is minimal.

Only disadvantage of the delorm is it doesn't use normal batteries so relies on internal rechargeable battery and a USB charging connection - although it's endurance is long enough when tracking interval is extended to 4 hours instead of 10 minutes and advanced features are disabled, that it is still good for hiking.

Further comment on the SPOT coverage is in real world conditions it is rather optimistic unless you want to walk around holding the unit above your head. Sitting on the dashboard and driving away from the equator resulted in lost points even in low latitudes. Delorme seems to have hugely better connectivity - perhaps it is more powerful transmitter - from anywhere inside a vehicle and we can be a lot less careful where we mount it. Just sitting inside a camper body with a window reasonably close is good enough.
My girlfriend loves this two way SMS capability.
She can now sleep properly after sending few messages back and forth.
It is easy to extend Delorme battery life by carrying small external battery pack and charge delorme from it.

I agree, worst thing with SPOT is that I have no idea if message got through or not. My girlfriend has been quite upset many times because SPOT did not manage to reach satellite and according to map I had been stationary in the middle of nowhere for hours.

I really like Delorme, only thing what sucks is those monthly fees...
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  #11  
Old 8 Apr 2015
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Im not the OP, but thank you for the information. I was planning to buy a SPOT and think I will pass now.

Its good for me if the Delorme charges off an external battery as I already have one in my tank bag.
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  #12  
Old 8 Apr 2015
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Delorme Vs Spot

I was minutes away from buying a Spot Gen 3 when I read this thread.

I'm pleased I read this before my purchase. The Delorme is ideal, the coverage and sms facility has won me over. Unit ordered - thanks for all the information, it definitely seems worth the extra cash.

Jaime
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  #13  
Old 14 Apr 2015
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After planning on getting a Spot and a Garmin, it seems like the InReach Explorer might be a better plan when it's teamed up with my iPhone, giving me a nice big touchscreen Topographical worldwide GPS along with the safety and added bonus of being able to send messages.

Has anyone who's got a InReach done much with it? I'm assuming that the maps are reasonable and that you can't add attachments to your emails?
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  #14  
Old 14 Apr 2015
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I don't have a smart phone so have to use the screen keyboard which doesn't make for fast messaging, but it is good enough to send normal text messages. In addition there can be many predefined messages that you can set up to cover a lot of routine communications with just a couple of presses of the buttons.

I've heard the DeLorme world maps are just adequate, but no idea of how they stack up relative to say Garmin maps or even Open Street Maps.

If possible, register the delorme in the US because is is quite a bit cheaper than for Canada and especially for Australia. I bought mine in Chile and set it up for US service with Australian credit card. We spend 6 months a year in and around the USA and use a friend's address so it wasn't a huge fib.

Somewhere on this site is a specialised area devoted to mapping so I imagine there will be relevant posts there.

One think I have to say about Spot service is contrary to a lot of negative comments floating around on-line during their first couple of years, when my Spot 2 started playing up in Chile, I let them know by email and they send a brand new one to Buenos Aries free of charge without wanting the old one back.
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  #15  
Old 1 May 2015
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SPOT update

Got ahold of a SPOT rep. he says SPOT now works in South & North Africa. A bit tuchy in the middle of the continent. If you check the SPOT website it now shows that info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RNS1948 View Post
I was in South Africa, Namibia last fall. SPOT does not work their.
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