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Garmin In-reach mini as PLB?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by azstinger11, Nov 16, 2019.

  1. azstinger11

    azstinger11 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Diego, CA
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    With the reveal at DEMA of the 100m dive housing inReach Mini Dive Case | Garmin for the in-reach mini was curious if anyone thought this would be a viable PLB? The compact nature of it is appealing, the fact it isn't aquatic by design is worrisome.
     
  2. insomniac

    insomniac Angel Fish

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    That's awesome, I've used both the InReach and InReach Mini as PLB's when diving in higher risk areas.... I currently use a light monkey case, and this will be better!
     
  3. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California
    2,998
    2,285
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    Very cool option for someone who is already using it. At end of the day, it still requires a monthly subscription plan in addition to the cost of the product and it also requires recharging. The first is more of a dealbreaker for me. I say that as someone who can get a significant discount on the product itself. I didn’t and chose to go with a PLB instead. In addition, it doesn’t use the same government satellite network that is COPSAS-SARSAT; it uses a commercial set of satellites and a different way of relaying the need for help (GEOS who contacts SAR hence your monthly fee) vs direct to SAR government entity. Different frequencies, which a PLB actually can penetrate better for transmission based on questionable terrain though in the middle of the ocean is not an issue. Lastly, and as you mentioned, waterproofing on the Garmin InReach Mini is only IPX7 which is “Withstands incidental exposure to water of up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes”. I work in the outdoor industry and some of that is loosely defined meaning it can vary depending on conditions. It also doesn’t float. You will have to remove it from the case for SOS and hope you don’t drop it (oops) and have to keep it out of the water so it doesn’t exceed the time.

    I have a floating PLB. ACR PLB 425 view. It is officially waterproof to 16.40 ft (5m) @ 1 hr., 33 ft (10m) @ 10 min.

    Some reading:

    How to Choose a Personal Locator Beacon or Satellite Messenger | OutdoorGearLab

    ACR PLB vs InReach - Backpacking Light

    Personal Locator Beacons vs. Iridium Satellite Communicators | Sporty's Pilot Report Articles - from Sporty's Pilot Shop
     
    swamp diver likes this.
  4. insomniac

    insomniac Angel Fish

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    I just pay a small monthly fee for the month I use it (which is usually 1 or 2 months out of the year). Unlike a PLB I can recharge it; and it should have enough battery life to help me in an emergency. Plus you can turn it on and off; and the two way communication it provides is much better than what a PLB has (where you just hope it's working but have no timeline of when / if help is on it's way). As for not floating; that shouldn't be an issue. Keep the case tethered to yourself and the Mini tethered to the case; that way there's no chance of losing it.
     
  5. azstinger11

    azstinger11 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Diego, CA
    269
    164
    43
    Perhaps I misunderstood, but when I looked at the satellite page, the subscription was required for tracking/messaging/weather updates etc, it seemed like the SOS button functionality was not part of the subscription service.

    Your other points are very valid and give me pause. I really do like the form factor vs the larger canisters that have been adapted for some of the more traditional PLBs.
     
  6. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
    8,448
    6,164
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    upload_2019-11-17_12-59-56.png
     
    outofofficebrb and azstinger11 like this.
  7. Byrdie

    Byrdie Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NJ
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    I saw the Dive Case for the Mini at DEMA and have been giving it some thought as well. Using the Mini for diving as well as backcountry snowboarding or mountain biking effectively extends the season thus making the subscription a bit more compelling.
     
  8. azstinger11

    azstinger11 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Diego, CA
    269
    164
    43
  9. insomniac

    insomniac Angel Fish

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    I just logged into my account; which is currently a "suspended," freedom account (which costs $24.95 a year just to keep it active, not to use it). The small cost of this service makes it worth it for me... Here's my current options:

    When you reactivate your service and select a plan, you are committing to that level for at least 30 days. The plan change will automatically renew until you make another selection.

    If you reactivate your inReach today, you cannot downgrade your plan until after December 17, 2019. You can elect to upgrade your plan at any time during the billing cycle and begin a new 30-day commitment.

    Freedom Plans

    Safety ($14.95 USD/month)
    Recreation ($34.95 USD/month)
    Expedition ($64.95 USD/month)

    Safety Plan Details
    • Unlimited SOS
    • 10 text messages/month
    • Unlimited Preset messages (predefined messages set up on the website)
    • Tracking points: $0.10 USD for each point
    • Overages are $0.50 USD for each text message over the 10 messages allowed in the monthly plan period.
    • Text messages include free-form sent messages and received messages.
    • Tracking points refer to the individual "breadcrumbs" sent by the inReach at user-selected intervals ranging from 10 minutes to 4 hours.
    Recreation Plan Details
    • Unlimited SOS
    • 40 text messages/month
    • Unlimited Preset messages (predefined messages set up on the website)
    • Unlimited tracking at 10-minute or longer intervals
    • $0.50 USD overage charge for each text message that exceeds the monthly plan allowance of 40 text messages.
    • Text messages include free-form sent messages and received messages.
    Expedition Plan Details

    • Unlimited SOS
    • Unlimited text messages
    • Unlimited Preset messages (predefined messages set up on the website)
    • Unlimited tracking at 2-minute or longer intervals

    Freedom Plan Commitment

    One month commitment on any plan upgrade before a downgrade can occur. Current monthly plan selection will automatically renew for the next month unless the customer schedules a change before the plan renewal date. No fees to upgrade or downgrade plans. Suspended devices are charged $0/month. A $24.95 USD annual fee is charged on the anniversary of initial activation into Freedom plans.
     
  10. Dan

    Dan Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
    5,759
    3,329
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    Amin!
     

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