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Tutorial - Delorme inReach SE Satellite Communicator #3343
Date first written: 2014.10.08 Last Review: 2016.07.21
Table of Contents
2. Pretrip Checklist
3. Registration and Activation
4. User Interface Navigation
5. User Interface tutorial
6. InReach Sync
7. Send Test Message
8. Pairing with a Cell Phone
9. Initiating a new message to the unit
11. All about Power Management
13. Icon Dictionary
14. Status bar Icons
Revised 2017. The purpose of this document is to walk you through the main functions of the Delorme inReach SE. I call this a "Tutorial", as opposed to a reference document. The basic idea is to walk through various functions and make comments as we go, such that you gradually get the idea of the whole thing. Although Delorme has done a first class job on the design and documentation, I still find the tutorial format to be very useful. Each chapter has a specific objective. I spent over 80 hours working my way through all the key functions. At the end of the document, I added a couple of alphabetical reference chapters such as a list of all the symbols that can appear on the status bar.
I got the unit from www.GPS Central.ca in Calgary. Their website contains detailed documentation of the specifications and technical details. In addition, they carry a full range of related GPS based units. Several times I phoned, and discussed questions with people who worked there who actually own and use these units. As the name implies they are probably the leading experts in Canada on these units.
2017.03: PDF User Manual.
There are also Youtube videos. There is also a tech support number at Delorme: 207 846-8900 There is also a email "email@example.com" in which you can post a trouble ticket. The trouble tickets were answered within 2 days. There is also a Canadian number which you can Google.
Although I knew about the manual and video, it still took me a bit of effort to gradually get the hang of it. So I think it is worthwhile to write out a brief tutorial for the unit, and tell you some key things as we go along.
When documenting anything it is handy to have both an introductory tutorial, and also a reference dictionary. Sometimes the manufacturer's user guide will be in exactly this format, but usually I write my own. This is one of those documents.
Usually any given electronic device has lots of functions I don't intend to use. For example, there is an icon on the main menu called "Social" which allows sending messages to Facebook and Twitter. I don't intend to document these features much. I am most interested in knowing how to use all the functions relating to events like the list below:
- car broke down on logging road
- going to be much later than expected
- here's how to contact me if I'm on a long trip
- pickup request at end of long trip. Eg: Float plane or helicopter.
2. Pretrip Checklist
Before any trip, you should make sure of the following:
- Make sure battery is charged.
- Make sure Firmware is updated
Go to your account on Delorme website and make sure it doesn't tell you your firmware needs upgrading. (This caused us trouble in 2017)
- Send Test message
Send yourself a test message from the InReach and make sure you receive it, and verify that you see the messages on the Delorme website.
- Test Remote message
If you want someone to be able to send you messages from home, you need to set up MapShare on your account, and they need to know the password. Get them to send you a test message.
3. Registration and Activation
In this chapter are the steps to get the inReach device registered and activated.You first have to go to the Delorme website and register your device by putting in an ID number for the device. At the same time, you have to set up the billing plan. The Delorme website then contacts your device via the Iridian satellites and activates it.
Here are the details:
- Go to http://Explore.Delorme.com. It gave me the option to create an account.
- Asks for inReach IMEI Number
IMEI is "International Mobile station Equipment Identity".
- Turn the device on. (Press and hold checkmark, select "Power On", and quickly press checkmark again.). The inReach will then say "Welcome to the inReach"
- Push checkmark again.
IMEI Number: 300434060849740 Authorization Code: 25886
-I filled in the form
- because you selected Canada, your device needs to be activated by an authorized reseller
- I pushed "Go" on the form
- I filled out the form with my address, and birth date, etc.
- Plan: I chose the "Safety Plan" which cost 16.95/month
I put in my visa number, and selected recurring billing. I made note of the billing Assistance number: 1 800 337-3155 InReach customer care Toronto, in case I ever need it.
- It now told me that their records indicate that my unit is "Missing your Inreach pack clip". I don't care, and skipped this step.
- I pushed "Activate Account"
- Now it tells me to take it outside
- after about 15 minutes. it says "activation complete". The green LED is still flashing, but the screen is dark. Delorme automatically sends you a welcome message. The green flashing LED means there is a message waiting.
- Read the message.
On the inReach main menu, select "Messages", and then select the welcome message. The green flashing light should now go out.
4. User Interface Navigation
This chapter is to familiarize you with the user interface, before we get into the more complicated things like sending a message. Mostly I want to introduce the physical "keys" such as the checkmark key or "X" key, the blinking green and red LED, the status bar, and some of the tiny indicators that appear on the screens.
- Turning it on and off
We start by talking about how to turn the unit on and off, which is tricky. You turn the unit on by pushing down on the checkmark key (Power/Enter key) and hold for 1.5 seconds, then use the "directional pad" to move the cursor over to the "Power On" button on the screen, and then quickly again push the checkmark key. You must do the whole sequence quickly. To power off, push the checkmark, then scroll up to "Power Off". Then quickly push the checkmark. The unit will make a noise.
- Physical keys
There are 3 main keys on the unit: From right to left, there is what I call the "checkmark key", the directional pad and the "X key". I'll try and use the term "Key" when referring to these physical buttons, and use the word "button" to refer to the various virtual buttons such as "Send Message" that appear on the screen. The Delorme term for check mark key is "Power/Enter". Eg: they say: Once you've highlighted the option you'd like to choose, press Enter."
Their term for the "X key" is "Quit". Eg: They say: "To back up to the previous screen at any time, press the Quit button."
There is also a slider switch (SOS Button lock) and the SOS key itself. During normal operation, the SOS Button lock should be showing black. You should only slide it to show red when you are preparing to send a real SOS message.
- Icons (for Menu Choices)
The main menu of the unit is made up of 9 "icons" that are immediately visible. Each icon accesses a "screen" which may have many "buttons" on it. For example, when you first push the checkmark button to turn the unit on, you see a "Cancel" and "Unlock" button.
- LED Flashing red
Delorme manual says: "This light flashes green when there is a new message waiting. It flashes red when there is something important for you to see, like low power or a sending message delay."
But I've seen the light flash red on numerous occasions and don't know what it means. Below I made my own list of the times I've seen a red flashing light:
1. Flashes red when trying to send message. It may be it doesn't have an unobstructed view of the sky. But it can also mean that it has to wait for the iridium satellite to handle the message. For example, I pushed "send" on a message, but it didn't go right away. The message showed the cycling icon beside it and the red light was flashing. This went on for 15 or 20 minutes, even as I walked around outside to get a clear view. I verified several times that the inReach knew it's location, but perhaps it couldn't see the iridium satellites. Or that the message was "queued up" waiting for an iridium satellite to handle it.
2. While charging
Red light was flashing, no explanation. The unit was sitting and charging, hooked to USB cable, 94% charged, time to charge 0 minutes. I powered it off, then back on again. This time the light was not flashing. So perhaps the flashing was because it was charged? I plugged the unit back into the USB charger, and now its flashing red again. The up and down arrows are on.
3. After checking
The red light will start flashing if you check for messages. It will also flash while doing the periodic checks every 20 minutes if it can't get satellite reception. Eg: After a day of sitting on my desk, I noticed it was flashing. I quickly turned it on, and pushed the "Checking" icon, and noticed the status was "Checking while sending"
- Green Flashing LED
The green LED in the upper left corner means you have a unread message.
- Status Bar
Across the top of the screen is a status bar which shows the current time, GPS Status, bluetooth connection, satellite availability, messages waiting, lightning bar for charging, etc. See separate chapter on the status bar.
The Delorme manual has the following paragraph, which illustrates key terminology used by them:
"The inReach SE home screen displays icons that you can select to perform tasks with the device. Access a second screen of icons by moving to the left or right from the first screen. On any screen, use the directional pad - up, down, left, and right - to make selections. Once you've highlighted the option you'd like to choose, press Enter. To back up to the previous screen at any time, press the Quit button."
In the above text, you can see they talk about a "home screen", and "Icons". Their terminology is you can "select an icon". (which you do with the directional pad). They talk about the "checkmark" button as "Enter", and the "X" button as "Quit". Rather than "Quit", I'd call it "Up", or "Back". It goes to the level above in the hierarchy. There is at least one case where it does not mean "Quit": you must push the "X" key when you are done typing a message. Originally I tried pushing "Enter", but that doesn't work, you must push "Quit". I suppose you could think of that as "quit", but I think of it as "back to the overall task we were doing before going ".
5. User Interface tutorial
The purpose of this chapter is to walk through some of the simple non-message functions, so you get a good feel for the user interface. What I'm going to do is walk you through some basic operations and I'll make comments as we go along.
- The Main menu
Turn the unit on by holding down the checkmark key, sideways to "Power On", and checkmark again. Now you are looking at the main menu. You see 9 Icons: Settings, Tracking, Contacts...
The "Messages" icon is highlighted by a green background to start with. You select different icons by using the toggle key (sideways arrow, or up and down). Although only 9 icons show to start with, there are more choices on the main menu, which you can see using the right arrow. Click the right arrow. You now see three more icons: History, Location and Help.
That's all I wanted to show you about the main menu right now. Later sections will investigate settings.
- "Settings" Icon
Turn the unit on, unlock it. You are now looking at the main menu. The top left icon is "Settings". Select it and click the check mark. Now you see a screen that has various menu choices: Display, Tracking, Bluetooth, Messages... Select "Display" and click the check mark. Now you see "Screen Lock", Color Scheme, etc. You can look up what these things are in my "dictionary" at the end of this document. For example, look up "Screen Lock".
Time: Select "Time". This allows you to set the time format and timezone, and daylight savings. I set these, since the factory default is somewhere in eastern USA.
Units: I set coordinates to "Deg" which is decimal degrees, as opposed to Degree-minute-second format. I also set "measures" to km.
There are two choices under this:
Auto On with External On
Auto Off w/out External On
"External" means External GPS cable. The first choice "Auto On with External" means that when you plug in a GPS cable, it immediately goes on. I verified this by setting it to "Off", and then plugging in the unit. In that case it didn't go on, but when I put it back to "On" it went on automatically.
- Current Location
To find your current location, go to the main menu, then push the right side arrow to display the extra menu choice icons. One of them is labelled "Location". Select this icon and click the checkmark. This pops up a screen with fields like Speed, Elevation, and Current Location. If you are indoors, these fields are all blank. (And note that the red light is flashing, meaning the GPS doesn't know where it is). So I walked outside where there is a clear view of the sky. At first, the red light continued to flash. But after a minute the green light started to flash. I think that means the GPS now knows where it is. But still there were no values in the fields. But then about 1 minute later, the fields suddenly had values.
Accuracy +/- 6m
Elevation: 41 m
Now exit that screen (with the X key), and go back in. At one point, the fields went back to blank, but the green light was still flashing. Then 1 minute later, the values came back again.
6. InReach Sync
The purpose of "Sync" is to transfer contact information, etc. from your Delorme Account to your InReach. Although you can manually enter contacts on the device, this is far too time consuming because it doesn't have a keyboard. Instead, it is much easier to enter all your standard contacts and messages into the Delorme "Explore" website, and then "Synch" your device with that information. "Sync" means the data will now be both on the Delorme website, and also on your device. Go to Explore.Delorme.com.
To do the Sync, you need to download a special "Sync" program from the Delorme Explore site onto your computer. Then you plug in the unit via a USB cable, and start up the Sync.
- Go to Explore.Delorme.com.
It should log you in automatically if you've been there before.
- Click the "Sync" tab, choose the correct unit, and store the Sync program on your hard disk.
- Start up the "InReach Sync" Program
The first thing it does is try to determine if you need a sync. It says "Determining Updates". It then says "Sync needed".
- Add one or more contacts to your account on the Explore website. Click "Contacts". Note the Contacts has two sections: "Your Contact" and "Personal Contacts". Your Contact should already have your own email address, and also something called "InReach Address" such as Robin.Tivy@inreach.delorme.com. Ignore that for now.
- Add a new Personal Contact.
Click "Add" Button. In the right hand pane, a "Create Contact" comes up.
First Name: Klaus
Last Name: Haring
inReach address: leave blank for now
Mobile Phone: leave blank for now
Country Code: only necessary if you filled in Mobile Phone
In the above form, the most important for this test is "Email. The inReach address would only be used if they also had an inReach device. That is the means of two inReach devices talking while on an expedition.
"Mobile Phone" is only used if you are going to text them, as opposed to emailing them. For this test, we are only concerned with the email.
- When you have done filling out the form, click "Insert".
The new contact should appear under "Personal Contacts".
This part I found confusing. You don't click the "Sync" tab on their website, that is only for downloading the sync program, which you have already done. Instead, go into your file manager and find inReach sync.exe the sync program you previously stored there. Click on it. It pops up a window titled "InReach Sync" that will say "Sync Needed" in red, and has a yellow and black circle icon labelled "sync".
- Click the black and yellow sync.
When you click it, the icon rotates counter clockwise, and then says "restarting your inReach and then "Sync Completed".
If you now unplug the device, and go to "Contacts" on the main menu. You should see the contact you just added.
7. Send Test Message
Sending a Message (from Messages Icon)
This is the normal way you'd send a message. The tutorial also replies to the message, so you can see how the whole thing works.
- On the inReach, click on "Messages", then "New Message". This brings up the message form, with To: and Message: fields. Note that at the right hand edge of the To: field is an "inlay" with two faces labelled "select". That is your contacts list.
- In the "To:" field, pick a recipient from the contact list. Click the checkmark, then click the "X". This returns you to the form, and you now see the To: is filled in. "R. Tivy (email)". Note that there is now a similar "Select" box in the message field. This is your "Quick test message" list.
- In the "Message:" field, move the cursor to the "Select" list, and select one of the ten "Quick Text Messages". You now see the complete message, along with a green "Send" button.
- Click "Send".
The red light will now be flashing until the message is successfully sent to the satellites. On left side of message, there are circling dots. It may take up to 20 minutes to send message. When the message sends, the circles stop and it makes a little beep. (and it stops flashing?). It should now also show on the "Inbox" of your account on explore.delorme.com.
- Checking Message. Go to inbox of message recipient, plus on Delorme site. in your regular email client. You should see a message from "Delorme InReach", titled "inReach message from Robin Tivy".
- Go into the mail message.
In the message is the message you typed or picked. Below it, it says "View the location or send a reply to Robin Tivy". Click the link. This brings up a map showing your location, and has a reply form in the upper right corner. This is the blind email form you must use to reply.
- Reply to the message
Fill in the email form, and click "Send Message". The Delorme website is now trying to send the message to your inReach via the satellites. At this point, the flashing LED is off, because the unit has no way of knowing a reply is coming. Futhermore, your inReach is not listening continuously, it only checks every 20 minutes (the default). In order to "listen" for possible incoming messages immediately, you need to push the "check" icon. This causes the inReach to "listen" for any replies or inbound messages. When I did this, I immediately stepped outside, pushed "Check". It was in "checking" mode for about 10 seconds, then there was a ringing sound, and the green light went on, and a "1" appeared in the messages. The green light means there is now a message.
I suppose this may not always be as quick as 10 seconds, because the reply may get queued up on the Delorme server side, waiting to go thru the satellites??
But eventually, you'll get the message. At this point, the LED will flash "red" and a "1" will be displayed, until you actually read the message.
Betsy sent a message to Roger, and it appeared to leave the InReach, but he didn't get it. The three stages are:
- from InReach to Satelite
- from Satelite to Delorme website
- from Delorme website to recipients email or text message
So since step 3 failed, we check the delorme website. The message was not there either. So we repeated the whole test.
Test 3: We sent another message from the InReach both to my account and an SMS message to Betsys phone. We leaned the InReach against a window and waited. The dots circled, but it didn't complete until I walked outside with the InReach. Then it sent almost immediately, and Betsy's phone beeped. We then verified that the message was recorded in the Delorme website, and that I received it in my GMail account.
8. Pairing with a Cell Phone
The inReach can be controlled from your smart phone, using the Bluetooth wireless technology. This is called being "paired" with the smart phone. This allows you to use the touch screen of your smart phone, rather than the awkward inReach keyboard.
In order to pair your smart phone with your inReach you must download a free App called "Earthmate" from either the Apple Store or Google Play. Once you have the app, the next step is to pair the inReach with the phone. The basic idea is you go into the Bluetooth settings on the inReach, and tell it to pair. This goes into a waiting mode, and while it is in the waiting mode, go to your smart phone and "scan" for devices. In order to "pair", the inReach has to be in "waiting" mode at the same time as you are scanning from your phone. The general Bluetooth protocol says that one device is the master and the other is the slave. In this case, I think the phone becomes the master, because it is the thing that does the scanning.
Once successfully paired, the phone will show the inReach as one of the devices it is paired to. The inReach does not have a full blown list of things it is paired with, it is either paired or not, and can only be paired with one item.
Download the Earthmate app to your smart phone. (Eg: we used a Samsung Galaxy S4 which is android, the other possibility is an apple device.
- Pair inReach:
On the inReach, go to "Settings" then "Bluetooth". This brings up a screen with three items:
When you click "Pair InReach" above, then it displays "waiting".
- Scan on the smartphone:
On the smartphone, go into the Bluetooth screen. It should show a list of any other items it has been paired with. Assuming your inReach is "waiting", when you "scan" for new devices, you will see it. Tell it to pair it. Note that if the inReach is not "waiting" you won't see it in the list of possibilities on the phone. When we did this, we saw was an item number such as F4:F9:51:E0:9B:79. But when the inReach was waiting, we saw the inReach by name.
Sync with your Explore Account
There is also a concept of "syncing Earthmate with your Explore.Delorme.com account, in order that your contacts and Quick Text Messages are available on the phone. That's why the Delorme instructions say you need to tell Earthmate your Explore email and password. (So it can login). Do this, and then send a message from the phone. Note that the addresses available on the phone is your whole list of contacts on the smart phone, not just the ones you've put into your Explore account. They are two separate lists.
Time delay sending a message
Once you have the device paired, it is useful to send a message to yourself, just to see the whole process. I sent a test message to myself from the smart phone. Sending a message through the satellites is not instantaneous, it can take 20 minutes. When you send the message, right away, you see the familiar "circling" icon beside the message, meaning that it is trying to send. At the same time, I went into the Messages section of the actual inReach device. It showed the same message, with the same circling. And the red flashing LED, meaning that it was trying to send the message. It took 20 minutes. I had 3D on the status bar, but that was not enough. I guess the message was queued up going to the satellite. The main thing is you will always see the flashing red until the message is successfully sent.
Enter your email address and your Explore site password, which you set up during the activation process.
9. Initiating a new message to the unit
How can somebody contact you, by initiating a message, as opposed to just replying to one of your messages? For example, if you were going on a long traverse, but wanted to give somebody a means to contact you part way through your trip if necessary.
It turns out to be easy. The way Delorme (now Garmin in 2017) set it up as part of the mapshare option on your account. The reason it is part of mapshare is that when the person wants to send you a message, they go to a mapshare website and see a map of where you are right now.
STEP BY STEP TUTORIAL:
Reviewed 2017: In this tutorial, "Robin" is the person who owns the InReach, and "Jane" is the person who will send a message to it. So Robin must first set up the MapShare, including a password. He will then have a URL like https//share.delorme.com/Robin*** which he can send to Jane. Jane can then use this URL in a browser to contact the inreach. Here are the step by step instructions:
- ROBIN SETS UP HIS GARMIN MAPSHARE
The owner (Robin) must set up Garmin Mapshare.
- Robin sets up Mapshare to allow messaging
Go to Explore.Delorme.com, click "Social", then click "Options". This brings up a form which has "Name & Description", Password, etc.
- Robin turns checkbox on for "Allow Map viewers to send you messages".
I also put in the optional password (mid**), because presumably once you send the URL to somebody, they could send a message at any time.
Click "Save Changes".
- Robin sends invitation link to Jane
Send a regular email message to Jane (the person you want to be able to contact you), and include the link:
I call this message the "invitation".
- Jane should write down the URL in the message.
For future use.
- JANE SENDS A MESSAGE
Jane sends a message from home to the Inreach. This might be days or weeks after the setup was done. It keeps working until cancelled by Robin or he changes the password.
- Jane types URL into any browser
At the time Jane wants to send the message, she will type the previously received URL into a browser: Eg:
This connects Jane with the Garmin website on a "password" screen. The screen has title you put in ("Robin and Betsy's inReach device". And below that, a message that says "This MapShare requires a password".
- Jane enters the password
Put in the password (eg: "mid***). That brings up a form: In 2017 this form looks like below:
Send Message To: Robin***
Your Email or mobile phone: [Jane@abc.com]
Message: Hope you are not too cold out there.
- Jane sends the message.
- ROBIN RECEIVES THE MESSAGE
Usually the procedure is for the person with the unit (Robin) to check for incoming messages once a day.
- Turn unit on to check for messages
(Don't forget to push the "check" icon). It said "now checking" and after a few seconds, I heard a ringing noise, and the green light started to flash, and the Messages icon showed a "1".
- View the message
I went into messages, and highlighted the message
- Type a reply to the message
Type "I got it". Then Robin pushes "send". The light blinked red, then it made a noise and sent the message.
- Jane should now see the message in her inbox.
The reply will give the lat-long.
"I got it." Robin Tivy sent this message from:
Lat 49.266547 Lon -123.16839
Here is a link to the Delorme tutorial:
Delorme Support Center which covers all three options. See "Sending A Message Through the InReach MapShare".
The SOS is a special function, which hopefully you will never use. It alerts various rescue authorities. You normally always leave the slider so it shows black.
I do not cover the SOS function in this tutorial, because you should never test it. It is for real. It is described in a section in the user manual.Slide the safety switch to the left, such that the red painted surface shows.Push SOS, and follow instructions.
11. All about Power Management
The unit is powered by an internal lithium polymer battery. The documentation says it has 100 hours of battery life in 10-minute tracking mode with a clear view to the sky. What I really want to know is how long it would last if you just left it turned on, in the normal listening mode checking for messages every 20 minutes.
The way to test this is to charge it up then let it sit for a few days and observe when the battery runs down. The only actual observation I have on this is that when I was fiddling around testing it, the battery was getting low after 2 days. The main conclusion is that on a week long traverse you wouldn't want to leave it on continuously.
The normal way I'd use this unit is to only turn it on when I needed it. I'd check that it was charged up before I left home, then turn it off and put it in my pack. I would only turn it on when I was sending a message, or "listening" for replies. The default is that it "listens" for messages every 20 minutes. Depending on how soon I expected a reply, I might leave it on for a couple of hours, otherwise, I'd turn it off, and only turn it on a couple of times a day to check, or when I want to send a new message.
Another aspect of power management is the screen display settings. Eg: you can control how quickly the screen blanks out, and use the Screen Lock to make sure it never turns on in your pack.
Screen Lock Makes sure it can't turn on in your pack.
Color Scheme: Either white background with black, or black back
Brightness I set it to 100%
Display Timer How quickly it blanks out
Recharge from Battery pack:
Although you can't get at the internal battery, on a really long trip such as a boat trip, you could run the thing continuously if you were also carrying a battery pack. It would be handy to know the capacity of the internal battery.
You can see how much time left to charge by shutting off the unit, then pushing and holding the checkmark.
You see a full screen that says:
Time to 100%: 58 minutes
However, I did the same thing a few minutes later and saw:
Time to 100%: 0 minutes
I don't thing these things can be completely accurate.
Below is a table which indicates how long the batteries will last with the unit sitting on a desk, and checking every 20 minutes. During the time, I sent one message. The documentation says the battery will last 100 hours.
Sat 21:40 94%
Sun 8:45 84%
Mon 10:39 57%
Tue 9:14 23%
21:00 0 //unit was dead
To summarize the above, it actually lasted 71 hours (not quite the 100 hours in documentation). But in that time, I did 2 test messages.
This is an alphabetic list of some of the terms I ran into in the course of investigating some other item. The idea of the dictionary is to just answer the question "What is that?" while you are reading something else. For example, if you were looking at the display screen and saw "Unlock", you could look it up alphabetically here.
In particular are the names of data fields and icons that appear as you work through the unit.
- Brightness setting
One of the first things I did was set my Brightness to 100%. Even with that, it is difficult to see outside in bright sun.
- Checkmark key
This is the key on the face of the unit. It is the first button you push to "power on" the unit. It also acts as a "drill down" key when you have positioned the "cursor" on a given menu item. See also the "X Key" which is the opposite.
- Display timer
On the "Settings" menu, under "Display", there is a setting for "Display Timer". This is the thing that controls how quickly the screen will time out. Set it to 45 seconds, and then observe how long it takes to time out. The timeout setting is closely associated with the "Screen Lock" setting (see Screen Lock).
There is a "Location" icon off the right hand edge of the main menu. (Use sideways arrow on main menu to go off the right hand edge). It shows your lat-long. If you select it, you see a screen with "Current Location" and other things. If you click "Share Location" you can send a message to one of your contacts.
- Preset messages
There are two types of message: 3 "Preset" messages and 10 Quick Text" messages. The preset messages are used when you push the "X" key to shortcut to sending a message.
- Quick text messages
The unit has 10 quick text messages, which are meant to be typical things such as "Pick us up from here". The idea is that you edit these messages by going to the Explore website, and then you can pick from that list when in the field. This saves the time consuming typing of the message when you are in the field. There are also "Preset Messages" which have a hard wired recipient.
The settings menu can be accessed by the "settings" icon in the upper left corner of the main menu.
- Screen Lock
On the Display menu, there is a choice called "Screen Lock". The concept is that the screen is "locked" when you first start the unit. "Locked" means that when the screen "times out", you will have to specifically "unlock" it by pushing "Check Mark", and then selecting "unlock". This prevents the unit from accidentally doing things when in your pocket.
Now that you know the concept of Lock/unlock we can discuss how you can change the mode of the unit so it does not lock when it times out. (It will still time out, but it won't be locked).
By default, the screen lock is "On". Turn it to "Off", then let it sit for a while. After a while the screen will still time out and go blank. But now to get back to where you were, you just push the checkmark, and you will be right back on the screen you were on before it timed out. See also the setting for "Display timer".
The "X" key can be used to go directly to a send screen for one of the preset messages. Just push and hold it, and a screen comes up with the three messages, and you just push "Send". This is much faster than the normal means of sending a message, where you pick a recipient, pick the message, and send.
- Status Bar
See user interface section.
The concept of Sync is to transfer contact info, etc. from your account on the delorme website to your InReach.
- X Key
This is the opposite of the checkmark. It is the means of escaping a given screen or going back "up". For example, if you were looking at the location screen, you would push it, and it takes you "up" to the main menu.
There is an unlock screen button on the main screen when you start the unit up.
13. Icon Dictionary
Below are various symbols and icons that appear on the screens and what they mean.
- Blue Dot beside message
When you go into messages, you will sometimes see a blue dot beside an unread message. The official manual talks about the dot being green, but to me it looks blue. When I highlighted the message, then went into the thread, and stepped through the messages, and then came out, the blue dot was gone.
- Cog beside message
When a message has been successfully sent, a circular icon appears beside the message.
- Circular arrows
When the unit is trying to send a message, you see a circulating icon indicating the sending is still in progress.
- Status Bar Icons
There are numerous icons and symbols that appear on the status bar. I have documented them in a separate list.
14. Status bar Icons
The status bar appears at the top of every screen, and it is very useful to keep an eye on it as you try various operations. The status bar has a number of little icons, and it took me a while to figure out what they all mean.
- Time: At the left edge is always the time. This is handy to note when you are trying to send messages.
- Network Symbol: This is like 1/4 of a circle. It means
- 3D This means the GPS reception is pretty good.
2D Not such good GPS reception. (2 dimensions)
- Up and down arrows:
These go on when you are trying to check for messages. When it says "Checking" on the Check screen, the arrows will flash on and off. So this symbol is associated with the iridium satellites. These are the satellites that actually carry the messages. They are a different set from the GPS satellites. So you will often see both satellite symbols side by side.
- Envelope and number
An envelope icon will be displayed if there is an unread message. To the right of the envelope will be the number of unread messages. The number will be the same as what you see superimposed on the Messages screen. Email messages are displayed under the "Messages" icon. They are displayed by "thread". Only the latest message in a "thread" is displayed. To make sure you see all messages in a thread, click on the top message. This displays the messages in the thread. By clicking on each message, it is then marked as "read", and the number of unread messages will decrease.
- Bluetooth Symbol: The Bluetooth symbol is a vertical bar with a single greater than on the left side, and two greater than's on the right side. It appears if bluetooth is "Enabled". It will initially be grayed out until the inReach is "paired" with a cell phone. When paired, it will be a clear white color.
- Lightning bar: when the unit is being charged
- percent charged (at the right hand edge of status bar)
- Lightening bar or plug for charging
When the unit is hooked to a power source via the USB cable, and charging a symbol that is supposed to be a lightning bolt shows up. When the unit is fully charged, the lightening bolt is replaced with a plug.
- Percent Charged
On the right hand end of the status bar is always displayed the percent charged. I've noticed that sometimes on my USB it never gets to 100%