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Re: try to avoid disturbing your family back home

Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:54 am
by rightstar76
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Re: try to avoid disturbing your family back home

Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:57 pm
by mrphil
We could rename this thread, "try to avoid being disturbed by your family back home"

Best sat phone convo ever:

"Dad, my tire light is on."

'Okay Sweetie. I'm really sorry to hear that, but I'm kind of busy with some switchbacks right now, so you should probably just go put some air in your tires.'

"You don't have to be rude about it. How do I do that?"

click

And as I recall, that meaningful exchange only cost me about 4 or 5 dollars. But I guess typing it would've been cheaper and easier. On the day that anyone finds me sitting in the full sun on the trail up to Red Peak Pass sending a text or a talking on a phone, shoot me. Please.

Re: try to avoid disturbing your family back home

Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:08 pm
by rlown
Promise. :) I turn my Inreach off for the most part and only on when I want to text out, or get weather, check waypoints or check messages.
It is my time out there, not theirs. Otherwise, they would be there with me.

Re: try to avoid disturbing your family back home

Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:26 pm
by limpingcrab
Ya, sat phone sounds annoying. It’s not much of a bother having a PLB turned off all day and turning it on at night to see if there’s anything important.

One thing to address is that rescue or a body recovery are not necessarily for the victim, but more for the family. No matter how much someone wants to be on their own and die on their own there’s a really good chance your friends or family will suffer more than you do if it happens.

Re: try to avoid disturbing your family back home

Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:30 pm
by rlown
Well, My family has been informed that my body goes to science. sciencecare.com. Wife still has to sign, but she will.
Helps the Medical community learn. No ceremony, just done if it happens.

Re: try to avoid disturbing your family back home

Posted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:04 am
by Cycleboy
I haven’t had any of the negative aspects mrphil mentions about family texting useless stuff. They know we are out there to be disconnected. Our routine is we generally turn on the InReach and tracking feature when moving, send a “we are here” message once Camp is reached, and that’s about it. Maybe once in awhile we get a single response back.

The other reason we have it on when moving is that it’s ready for an SOS if something goes awry.

After the check in message, it’s off until the next day. In the off season, I suspend the account and don’t pay much.

Re: try to avoid disturbing your family back home

Posted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:54 am
by BigMan
There's the tool itself - it's benefits, costs, limitations, etc.

Then there's how it's being used. By all stakeholders - backpackers, families, SAR, etc.

They're seperate topics, imo. Not completely separate, but the distinction should be understood.

Anecdotes are useless in drawing broad conclusions. They're only good at disproving absolute statements, and I don't see anyone making absolute statements. No one's saying that PLBs are always good or reliable or never good or reliable, for example. They're strawmen in this discussion.

I'd really like to know if anyone (SAR?) has compilied meaningful data on PLBs, on how effective they are overall at helping them finding stranded backpackers and narrowing search efforts. They have a meaningful sample size. I know they may not want to come out publicly in support of PLBs, fearing that people will overestimate their usefulness and overly rely on them. But I'm very curious to see meaningful data, not anecdotes.

Re: try to avoid disturbing your family back home

Posted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 1:58 pm
by mrphil
BigMan wrote:I'd really like to know if anyone (SAR?) has compiled meaningful data on PLBs, on how effective they are overall at helping them finding stranded backpackers and narrowing search efforts. They have a meaningful sample size.
You make a good point. I've looked extensively, and while some data exists, it is very much skewed in favor of PLBs using the COSPAS-SARSAT system, solely as a matter of the time that the system has been available and in use. For obvious reasons, testing the emergency capabilities of any device has limitations due to the fact that any such test would trigger an emergency response. The bottom line here is that I think that all we're going to get is, user preferences, opinions, what the users and families are looking for in capabilities...anecdotes.

What I have found is, most sources do not feel that a SEND type of unit with two-way communication capabilities is an equal substitute for a single-function PLB. The benefit comes from messaging capabilities, both with family and being able to relay more specific details to SAR. Benefits are also derived from the ability to use software, navigate (a GPS unit), as well as track route progress ("breadcrumbs"). Where a device such as the InReach fell short as compared to say, an ACR, is when it comes to signal strength, battery power (ACR 6.3W/InReach SE 3.7 Wh), ease of use, delays, the need/cost of subscription, and the device and signal reliability. Anecdotally, in terms of my own ACR ResQLink+, I have a test button that indicates when my unit has communication with the satellite system: I push the "test" button, the signal is sent as a test, and when the satellite returns that acknowledgement that the signal has been received to my device, it flashes me with a green light. In that, and being my 3rd incarnation of PLB from ACR, my own success rate in all conditions and environments is 100%.

While it doesn't give any hard data, I think you might find this article and the comments on it of some interest, although still primarily anecdotal:

http://www.backcountrychronicles.com/de ... messenger/

Re: try to avoid disturbing your family back home

Posted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:06 pm
by bobby49
mrphil wrote: Where a device such as the InReach fell short as compared to say, an ACR, is when it comes to signal strength, battery power (ACR 6.3W/InReach SE 3.7 Wh),
Now you are trying to compare apples and oranges. Different devices transmit to different satellites, and those satellites are at different orbital altitudes, so it takes different amounts of device power to "hit" the satellites. Further, different devices use different transmit frequencies and different modulation, so that takes different amounts of device power as well. In these sorts of devices, about the only time that we speak of "signal strength" is on the receive function. A PLB is one-way transmit only, whereas an inReach device goes both ways.

Re: try to avoid disturbing your family back home

Posted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:32 pm
by mrphil
You're absolutely right, Bobby. I apologize for my injecting my bias in trying to make a point.

All power, frequencies, satellite networks aside, bottom line is, what are you trying to accomplish and which one has the greatest chance of reliably getting you rescued? Isn't comparing one-way and two-way devices sort of apples and oranges to begin with?