Yellowbrick tracker


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David Tyler
David Tyler
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I 'ver just seen the Yellowbrick advertisement in the latest FF, so I looked at their website. It seems to have come of age. No longer a Big Yellow Brick, but a small, rugged device with minimal power consumption, and a sensible purchase price, monthly fee and usage structure. It would give me what I 'm looking for - the ability to keep the folks back home aware of my position, and to send and receive SMS-style messages, when out of range of 3G.
I 'm tempted.
Is anyone using one?
David.
Simon Currin
Simon Currin
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Yes I saw the advert and followed the link too. It looks good. I wonder if a discount could be negotiated for OCC members?
David Tyler
David Tyler
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A friend of mine had to fit a Yellowbrick for the last AZAB. I was able to follow his progress on the tracker map, and update him on the positions of the boats around him. I could also see a GRIB style wind overlay, and could advise him of what weather was about to reach him. I wish someone could do that for me, sometimes - but not often enough to want to do all that 's necessary to download GRIBs myself in mid- ocean. I don 't need to talk to anyone from mid-ocean, either, so an Iridium phone is overkill, and not the right device for me.
Simon Currin
Simon Currin
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Maybe that is something we could set up on the Forum for member 's on passage using Yellow Brick or similar? A land based buddy keeping an eye on progress and forwarding by text weather information. I suspect that that would be quite popular and I am sure that it would be easy enough to organise a rota of land based members to act as "buddies".
Paul Heiney
Paul Heiney
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I looked at Yellowbrick, but came across something else which I now have.

Have a look at http://www.inreachdelorme.com

I 've had it a couple of weeks and it 's great. It pairs with my iPhone (or any phone) and I just send emails in the usual way up to max 150 characters. It also does tracking so people back home can watch your dot moving across a screen, and there 's an SOS button (but it 's no substitute for a proper EPRIB).

Sorry, reads like an advert. But I think in terms of convenience it 's a big step forward.

Does email with no problem but text messaging seems problematical at the moment, but I 'll sort it.

By the way, 'Wild Song ' is setting south towards Cape Horn in a few weeks and the blog will start to be updated soon (as below)
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www.sailblogs.com/member/wildsong
David Tyler
David Tyler
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The DeLorme device looked interesting - until I got down to the bottom of the page and found the problem:

NOTE: These plans are for individual consumers in the U.S. only. Canadian customers can find information at inreachcanada.com.

I 'm a UK citizen. I think the Yellowbrick will suit me better. At the moment, I 'm thinking of getting one sent down to Tahiti before I head north in October.
Paul Heiney
Paul Heiney
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David,


I 'm a UK citizen too. No problem to open an account.
Paul Heiney
Paul Heiney
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David,

I 'm a UK citizen too. No problem to open an account.
Simon Currin
Simon Currin
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Thanks Paul it looks like there is lots of new kit becoming available that use the Iridium network. The Delorme certainly looks better value for money than Yellowbrick. I did a quick comparison just for my own interest but thought it worth sharing.

Delorme:
[ol]
[li]Uses Iridium[/li]
[li]Bluetoothe interface with iPhone or iPad[/li]
[li]AA batteries able to post position report every 10 minutes for 120 hours[/li]
[li]2 way messaging[/li]
[li]Sos button[/li]
[li]24/7 manned response to sos[/li]
[li]Compatible with Email, SMS, Facebook and Twitter[/li]
[li]$260 plus airtime plan[/li]
[/ol]


Yellowbrick:
[ol]
[li]Uses Iridium[/li]
[li]Bluetoothe interface with iPhone or iPad[/li]
[li]Rechargeable Ithium battery via USB position report every 15 minutes for 3 weeks or every day for a year[/li]
[li]2 way messaging[/li]
[li]Sos button[/li]
[li]No manned SOS call centre but the SMS could go to Falmouth ets[/li]
[li]Compatible with Email, SMS, Facebook and Twitter[/li]
[li]Around £400 (depending on functionality) plus airtime plan[/li]
[/ol]
Paul Heiney
Paul Heiney
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Simon,

Good work! You might also have a look at SPOT who have brought out something similar, although the satellite system they use has limitations at high latitudes.

As you say, this is a developing area and we 'll see some interesting stuff over the next few years. Anything is better (and cheaper) than a satellite phone for text messaging - for some reason I find them to be very user-unfriendly.

Paul Heiney
Wild Song
GO

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