Garmin InReach FAILURE - test yours

fwafwow

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I use a zoleo but also have a ACR ResQlink PLB. I use the zoleo for communication, but if I want to be rescued, I will reach for the PLB everytime. Best thing about a PLB is no subscription or firmware updates. One time purchase and done. Replace battery every 5 years.
This ^^^. I was going to post about redundancy but you beat me to it. I have a inReach Mini and recently updated the software, but I’ve yet to test the SOS (but plan to do so - thanks for this thread!). My current hunting is eastern but sometimes without good cell service, so I have maintained my Garmin subscription (but not the emergency rescue insurance). Now I will look into the Zoleo, and PLB - even if I keep the Mini.
 

Thebigbaby

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I have used a garmin for about 5 years now, I use it almost weekly on a boat I captain and never had any real problems. I do update regularly and test it alot.

I do know the sos works, even when pressed accidentally in a pack when chasing elk. Pretty embarrassing to hear someone yelling your name in the middle of nowhere and then realizing what is going on. Wife and family they contacted didn't think it was funny either.
What did it cost you $$ or did it?
 

realunlucky

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is it possible to do the firmware update from the app on a phone or does it have to be a computer? I had issues last year with mine so I’m hoping this will help
I just updated. I had to plug it into the computer but it's an older se model.

Sent from my SM-G996U using Tapatalk
 

Jacack

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What did it cost you $$ or did it?
Nothing
Honestly figured I would ne getting a bill but never did. Been 4 season ago now

Worst part was the first couple times I heard them yelling I couldn't hear what they were saying, figured some hiker was lost but it wasn't me so I kept moving away from them a mile or two at a time but eventually i would hear it again.i got so pissed wondering what is going on and why is someone yelling and blowing out every canyon I am in.

I felt so bad when I realized what was going on.
 

Finch

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Reminds me that it’s about time for my annual rodeo with my Mini and my
Computer to update it. I’ll have the full complement of 4 letter words available for use. It’s never been anything close to user friendly.

This must be what I'm going through right now. I downloaded the Garmin Express program for my PC. Plug in my In Reach mini to the usb port and it does not recognize it. Tried restarting the computer, different usb port, different cable....nothing.

Any ideas? How about you @cnelk Sounds like you referenced running into an issue as well when updating firmware.

Edit: I got it. Tried a 3rd cable and it is updating.
 
Last edited:

Thebigbaby

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This must be what I'm going through right now. I downloaded the Garmin Express program for my PC. Plug in my In Reach mini to the usb port and it does not recognize it. Tried restarting the computer, different usb port, different cable....nothing.

Any ideas? How about you @cnelk Sounds like you referenced running into an issue as well when updating firmware.

Edit: I got it. Tried a 3rd cable and it is updating.
Trying putting pressure on the charging port cable. I had to slightly angle mine up and it stayed connected to the device.
 

Tock-O

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Does the inreach user manual not state that the user should check for firmware updates prior to every use?

I have a SpotX and the manual says that the user should check for most current firmware versions before using it because the messaging and sos many not function if it's not up to date. It also says the user should test the SOS function before every use after the update. So... I always update mine and test it because they told me too.

It has been very dependable, but sucks ass on battery life.
 

Erict

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This must be what I'm going through right now. I downloaded the Garmin Express program for my PC. Plug in my In Reach mini to the usb port and it does not recognize it. Tried restarting the computer, different usb port, different cable....nothing.

Edit: I got it. Tried a 3rd cable and it is updating.

I have the same issue at times with my Garmin bike computer. It's the USB cords - they all look the same but some are power only, while some are power + data. I use a sharpie to mark the silver USB plug to keep them sorted out.
 

fwafwow

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I have the same issue at times with my Garmin bike computer. It's the USB cords - they all look the same but some are power only, while some are power + data. I use a sharpie to mark the silver USB plug to keep them sorted out.
+1. I have so many cords lying around I don’t always make sure to use the one provided with the unit.
 

Finch

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+1. I have so many cords lying around I don’t always make sure to use the one provided with the unit.
I bought this unit used from another member. I assumed the cord included was the correct one but maybe not. That or it was just bad. Problem solved now though.
 

hikenhunt

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I store my mini and the garmin cord it came with in a ziplock. It certainly simplifies the updating.
 

dla

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Oregon & Idaho
is it possible to do the firmware update from the app on a phone or does it have to be a computer? I had issues last year with mine so I’m hoping this will help
I don't own a laptop anymore, I do everything on my phone. Too bad Garmin doesn't upgrade their approach.
 

Coopsdaddy

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Had a older delomre and a inreach not work for me.Lots of success for others though.
Im done and waiting on the technology to be on the phones.
 

Dryfirepete

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Mar 26, 2021
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I can only recommend using their SOS test every now and then. It is really simple to arrange and makes you get used to the process. I felt more secure handling the device after I went through it.
 

Kevin Dill

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Just came off a trip in AK. Partner used a Zoleo w/phone and I used an inReach Explorer+. Both of us had no issues communicating home, or with a friend using an inReach 40 miles to our north.

I concur that ANY device you depend on for comms and especially for emergency rescue needs to be tested and verified regularly and before any major trip.

I carried a PLB for a dozen years as I knew it was THE most dependable SOS beacon for true emergencies. I like the satellite communicators a lot, but I've seen just enough problems with them to believe none of them are as fail-safe as a dedicated PLB.

I'm not personally a fan of 2-unit comms like the Zoleo. More potential for problems vs single unit. Batteries to manage, etc.

Redundancy is actually the name of the game when it comes down to life-or-death comms....which is why most backcountry or bush pilots have a (mandatory) ELB on the plane plus a sat communicator / SOS unit and sometimes a sat phone. You can't have too much comm/SOS capability when the SHTF and you need assistance.
 

Quigly13

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Aug 16, 2022
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I honestly thought the in-reach would auto update before reading this post. Makes me cringe to think my in-reach might not even have a working SOS function.
 

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