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Garmin CES 2023: Mr Creosote or Savior?

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(@Anonymous 17630)
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Joined: 1 year ago
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Waiter: "specials are delorme, navionics, active captain, geos, and vesper"

Garmin: "I'll have the lot"

Waiter: "all mixed up together in a bucket?"

Garmin: "yeah, with an egg on top"

 

Qualcomm, Iridium & Garmin have been busy cooking up some terrific "boneheaded fantasy' with their Snapdragon Satellite - global smartphone sat messaging (CES 2023). This should cap the smartphone evolution for years - providing the InReach engineering team at Garmin with a confident baseline for InReach next-gen models (i.e. 86sci) to blaze ahead of mere messaging ability with a streamlined data capability (i.e. weather gribs). The iridiumGO sorely needs the IPX8-handheld engineering, antenna science, mapping & sensor utilities, and production muscle that Garmin does in the 86, which only needs a next-gen version of the GO data capable modem to leap ahead of 'smart'phones (poor antenna & power science, cookies, java, etc.) to own the huge outdoor adventure market of warriors to trekkers to boaters with a professional safety tool that answers to them only - no advertisers, no imposers, no bots, NO 3rd party interferences that can only compromise safety.

 

Panbo, especially comments, reminds me of the excitement of turning on your "Heathkit" (like my HW-101) for the first time, being initiated into the cube function of MTBF, now evolved into triple-redundancy to deal with the imaginative but stir crazy schematics trying to get into your wallet, on your boat. Garmin's great achievement is bang for buck for investment - they are in REI, Best Buy, wilderness stores, etc. with a 'replacement' customer service that leverages their production discipline. No doubt their handhelds and wearables have mobilized many - brought mountains & marine adventuring to the meek. So it makes sense to agitate for "savior" - that Garmin's consuming all these 'hall of fame' companies will lead to something greater (i.e. bring me another bucket) and lead to features like weather maps assuming the same importance as gps maps. And a final plug: the weather gribs and display-processing need to be ON THE DEVICE - not on a server on an unfree island (agree with AC folks leaving).

 

For serious adventurers, Garmin has all the pieces: robust IPX8 handheld knowhow, antenna and power science that vastly exceeds the compromises of a smartphone, state of the art human interfacing to maps and destination info, and unequaled geos emergency 24/7 response. So next item on the menu is the IridiumGO: consume it (after all its only 'wafer' thin, just one more bite) and save us with a next-gen gribs capable 86 InReach. Weather is the new GPS...


   
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Ben Ellison
(@ben-ellison)
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Posts: 173
 

Thanks, Anon. I can't say that I understand many of your points, but a search on "Qualcomm, Iridium & Garmin" got this interesting result:

https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2023/01/qualcomms-garmin-emergency-satellite-partnership.html

 


   
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(@Anonymous 17630)
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Topic starter  

@ben-ellison 

"garminGO" is the point - reengineering the outdated iridiumGO (suffers IPX5 package, poor antenna, unsupported apps, corrosion, etc.) to bring grib weather to all Garmin screens. Raison d'etre is REVENUE, like Steve Jobs said "the point is not hardware", but continued revenue flow from apps, media, subscriptions - DATA for $$$. Now that smartphones encroach inREACH sat messaging, obviously time for potentially obsolete inREACH (love the 86) to teamwork with Iridium to take over for a brilliant but aging iridiumGO and add data to tracking & messaging subscriptions. Iridium's partnership with Qualcomm is obviously about wholesale sat time, while consumer hardware is Garmin's mastery and portal to sat time revenues which can bring us great features. After gps-mapping, weather is a cube function more important parameter for operation & safety at sea than anything else. I prefer the weather data directly for my sole determinations, not so much from an outside "prediction". Weather reimagined.

 

I like that Garmin prioritizes engineers, and does "RIP" to stay ahead. Like their Vesper acquisition maybe more a "Carl Omundsen" acquisition (what an amazing engineer to solo effort the 'cortex'), engineers like this could add compressed sat data (i.e. grib weather on demand downloads) to the inREACH lineup in their sleep.

 

As your reference article covers more of the consumer bits (falling off bikes etc.), I look forward to your professional reviews for serious ocean electronics in the sat age. T-mobile & Musk also prioritize engineering - have been following their efforts. Apple is in the sat business (that half a billion was for a lot more than a call center to compete with Garmin Response 'geos'). But Iridium, like Garmin, is proven & efficient. It seems we will all need tesla umbrellas!


   
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Ben Ellison
(@ben-ellison)
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Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 173
 

But, anon, isn't PredictWind already offering GRIB files over Iridium GO, and now even more over the new GO Exec?

https://www.predictwind.com/iridium-go-exec/  

I really doubt that Garmin wants to own Iridium, or that the inReach (or GO) will become obsolete any time soon. 

Ray at DCRainmaker may write mostly about sports gear, but he's very knowledgeable about many things, and I think his analysis of the Qualcomm / Iridium / Garmin relationship is spot on. In short, it's good for Garmin's Response business (ex GEOS), but won't mean much their consumer products in the near future.


   
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(@Anonymous 17630)
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@ben-ellison 

Very important subject with all the extreme weather - seems satellite weather electronics is a must, appreciate your thoughts Ben. I got a heads up last week on a few youtube vlogs showcasing lightning - the latest "expedition evans" was stunning, "gone with the wynns" on the tech, and on. Your reports on the less power hungry doppler radars is valuable stuff for the 'how to weather', 'franklin vs tesla', 'warming extremes', etc. dialectics. Insurance claims & policy cancellations, boatyards stuffed with weather damage make the case for a masterclass IPX8 handheld GPS-MFD like the 86sci inREACH to add grib-weather to function in emergency as a true mobile life support backup all the way to the life raft & coast guard.

 

Submersible waterproof & EMP are the elephants in the room. Our most reliable marine electronics reviewers are a bucket of water and faraday cage (for mobile fit). Water makes the iridiumGo (exec, et al.) obsolete, not our opinion. We can't use features that won't float, much less resellers promoting the 'GO' or worse the 'exec' 8" square 3lb brick (not-watertight or mobile) as suitable for life rafts, even somehow "required for safety", etc.

 

OCENS (who engineered the compressed sat-data for grib-weather) and the like (professional providers) take uncertified mil-spec-810 and ratings with a grain of salt. After over half a century into the "o'ring age" its simple - hermetically sealed (IPX7 or 8) mobile is the marine safety standard. Young folks can't even imagine there ever being a 'not-waterproof' grab & go thing for water sport.

 

Agreed, Garmin has little to gain with the "GO" or existing embedded modules, and maybe they will muscle in on the sat-time market deserved by innovation. That their huge investment to make "inREACH" synonymous with 2-way messaging safety now has smartphones hedging-in, should have the midnight oils burnin or RIP?, or evolve? - maybe adding a basic sat-data capability to their inREACH stable to stay far ahead of smartphones and leverage BOTH Garmin Explore & Response sat-time revenue streams. Why not? For adventurers who demand the best mobile GPS-MFD for in-field risk, now need basic iridium-data (no voice, internet, wifi, etc) for grib-weather view added to stay ahead of the extremely fast-changing weather reality. The best candidate is the 'best in the history of adventure tools' IPX7 86sci inREACH, and the market for this would span the land-sea globe.

 

But worth keeping in mind: the IridiumGO warranty, or 'whatever' marine electronics, legally rejects ANY "fitness" for function (the right to fail). Ditto salt air and salt water (the 'it will fail'). So its all up to me, and everyone knows how unreliable & short-lived electronics are on a boat in salt air, so AT LEAST be hermetically sealed IPX7 or 8, and I'll do my part: take three when out to sea (my warranty).

 

Thanks for your work making this discussion possible, and if you can squeeze in a request, a review of the lightning dissipators boat owners are trying to sort out.


   
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Ben Ellison
(@ben-ellison)
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Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 173
 

Anon, I asked ChatGPT to untangle your purple prose and think it did fairly well?

"The author discusses the importance of satellite weather electronics in extreme weather conditions, particularly in the marine industry. They highlight the need for reliable and waterproof devices such as the IPX8 handheld GPS-MFD to function as a backup during emergencies. The author also criticizes certain products that are not waterproof and emphasizes the importance of hermetically sealed devices. They suggest that Garmin should consider adding basic sat-data capability to their inREACH stable to stay ahead of smartphones and leverage both Garmin Explore and Response sat-time revenue streams. However, the author acknowledges that marine electronics are unreliable and short-lived in salt air and water, and therefore, it is important to have backup devices and take necessary precautions."

At any rate, I just don't see the demand for deep weather info in such extreme weather and personal conditions, nor have I heard others call for it. After all, Iridium GO's are providing advanced weather (and routing) on boats all over the world and yet I don't hear of them failing due to "salt air and water." Also, check out all the softer electronics mostly surviving horrendous sea conditions right now on the IMOCA 60's doing the https://www.theoceanrace.com/

Meanwhile, portable and rugged inReach units can currently deliver simple weather predictions. But the bigger question to me is what value grib file weather have if you're "all the way to the life raft & coast guard". Good weather analysis is obviously important for making strategic decisions about where to go, but one fairly constant definition of an emergency is that you've lost your choice about where to go.


   
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(@Anonymous 17630)
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Joined: 1 year ago
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Topic starter  

@ben-ellison 

Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet? theMACHINE response: "he wants to mate her", and tried another "prose" wherein during the scramble to board a life raft one of a man's loved ones knocks the iridiumGO into the raft floor puddle - goes dead? theMACHINE response: "have NO eye contact, eat the plumpest complainer first". Like Nietzsche - incapable of color, humor, or morality. no thanks

 

But Captain Ron's response was spot on: "just put rubber bumpy things (o-rings) in the GO and seal her up - itsALLgood!", and for Romeo - "the man's a poet of romance!".

 

No mention of lightning? and the popularity ruse of what "somebody" else says or does as REAL is just self deception. Where to start or bother?: folks' eyes are glued to "deep weather" (why inREACH text weather is useless), the GO is not considered serious kit for life-on-the-line, "soft stuff" is failing everywhere, mobile command navigation & grib weather is MOST important in the "war of emergency" theaters, new norm is switching to all mobile navigation after losing all electronics repeatedly to lightning & EMP, etc. etc. etc. Did I say everyone is glued to these beautiful gribs weather displays, they are. Your invention of "deep" vs, I guess, "shallow" weather is ridiculous.

 

The point is a mobile IPX8 submersible gribs-viewer GPS-mapping kit (equally happy with iridiumGO & new IPX8 smartphones or Garmin doing it with the endangered inREACH), and will spec three out to sea in our ops, but respect for human life is simply not negotiable - will be submersible for safety law. Cheers


   
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