DeLorme inReach, the Iridium 9602 almost surfaces

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

9 Responses

  1. Bob Hinden says:

    Another example of an Iridium 9602-based device is the Yellow Brick. See:
    It seems very nice, but is pricey (purchase cost and service).
    If DeLorme can produce the inReach at the price you mention, it will be very attractive.

  2. Kees says:

    This looks very good indeed.
    I only wish the marketing people hadn’t come up with “GPS Communicator” as it is a GPS with a communicator via Iridium, not a communicator via GPS.

  3. Christopher says:

    Ben, your final question can be answered several ways, IMO:
    Search Delorme at — you get six hits for Navionics chips compatible with Delorme. Search Defender — you get zero hits.
    Until Delorme makes a strategic decision to elbow its way into the core of the marine market, which takes money, and expertise, they will be an edge player.
    The market place isn’t kind to outfits on the edge looking in. Absent a disruptive technology (eg,iPhone) sales seldom justify the product development costs. Companies out on the rim of a market have to buy in to get in. Luckily for Delorme they have a pretty good balance sheet and they can afford to penetrate the market. Big question is do they really want to, and do they have the expertise not to make a hash of it (not talking about this product specifically)? Your own comments on product roll out are telling.
    This looks like a product vs product contest. Spot has market recognition and a special relationship with the major retailer. Delorme has an interesting idea and and no significant market sector recognition or major marine sales channel.
    I for one hope they succeed, we need more competition in this domain.

  4. Patrick - sv Deep Playa says:

    This is pretty cool… way better than the SPOT IMHO.

  5. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    I think you may be right, Patrick, but it remains to be seen. As matter of fact, I turned my Spot 2 on at 9 this morning, stuck it in my backpack, and here’s a fairly good track of a wonderful day spent cruising Gizmo and hiking two nature preserves on Islesboro Island:
    That Spot tracking map will go away in seven days, but I can download the data for a month, and unlimited every-10-minutes tracking only costs $50 extra per year. Just saying. Plus today I just received a test unit of Spot Connect, which I think can do a whole lot more than the standalone version. This is a very interesting niche these days!

  6. Dave says:

    Ultimately , both Spot and Iridium SBD are very similar products, though technicallt SBD is more capable and the Iridium consellation is technically superior.
    How teh User sees this is a decision by product manufacturers as to how they implement the available technology.
    Globak track and trace is a growth market and this is a niche within it.

  7. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    It turns out that there is another 9602-based SEND out already, but it’s quite expensive both in terms of hardware and service:
    PS: Bob, the Yellow Brick is not a SEND, just a tracker, and I think it uses the earlier version of Iridium’s SBD modem.

  8. Dear Ben, the inReach is a stand alone unit which can be paired by bluetooth to a device. Development can resolve in sending a 160 character text by your MFD. Almost anything is possible with the inReach. Here in the Netherlands I have worked with the DeLorme PN60W+SPOT communicator. SPOT is now delivering the SPOT Connect, while DeLorme had this setup working over 1 year! Best regards, Reinier

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