ZOLEO Improves SOS With Step By Step Updates

It’s spring and that means an update from ZOLEO is on its way. I got alerted across all my social channels this week on the news of the new Progressive SOS feature along with a system update for the ZOLEO device.

ZOLEO Progressive SOS Updates

The new Progressive SOS feature provides ongoing status updates when a SOS is triggered from a ZOLEO device.

Upon activating an SOS alert, ZOLEO users receive ongoing status updates throughout the incident via the free ZOLEO app and can exchange messages with the emergency response coordination center. This enhanced SOS experience offers ZOLEO users added peace of mind by providing:

Confirmation the SOS alert has been received by the 24/7 emergency response coordination service.

Verification the device users’ GPS coordinates have been sent.

One-touch access to chat with the emergency response coordination service.

A detailed log of events via the app.

Easy cancellation of the SOS alert should it no longer be needed, and confirmation the cancellation has been received.

ZOLEO Press release

Next time you spark up the ZOLEO and update the ZOLEO messaging app on your smartphone and tablet, you will be prompted to update the device firmware. After 10-15 min your device and smartphone should be ready to go if you ever need to use this new feature.

What To Expect In ZOLEO Messaging App?

For this specific feature we see some minor tweaks after updating the ZOLEO messaging app firmware update.

First thing you will see is that the SOS message group is now a deeper shade of RED and renamed ”Response Agent” instead of ”SOS”. Once you click into this message group, you’ll see a few more UI tweaks. Here you see the test SOS I ran last year with GEOS as I was working on the SOS video for ZOLEO which you can see below.

But what I like the most update this update is the new instructions / training screens that allows the user to know in more detail how to use the ZOLEO and what happens when they trigger a SOS or when the schedule a test with GEOS.

More About ZOLEO


Activating Garmin inReach Explorer+ in Real-Time

I recorded a livestream where I activated the Garmin inReach Explorer+ in real-time. The activation process is the same for all current inReach models, including the SE+ and previous generation.


  • You need 2 emergency contacts, credit card and 20 minutes with your computer (includes 10 minutes to activate the device outside) to get setup with your inReach device.
  • You can skip activation and use the inReach as GPS only.
  • Delorme Topo Maps are pre-loaded but you can sync different maps on the inReach portal



2:10 – Unboxing
3:50 – Can you use the inReach as a GPS and Not Activate?
4:30 – Turning on for first time
5:00- Skipping Activation Wizard
6:30 – Calibrating Electronic Compass
9:20 – Activating The Device
10:40 Adding a new device to existing account
12:50 – Service Plan Selection
15:55 – Adding Credit Card info
17:55 – Go outside to finish activation
21:05 – Assign user to device
22:15 – Accessories
27:50 – Activation Complete
29:50 – Talking about Delorme maps
30:50 – Manage Maps on Device (answer: use inreach portal & sync via desktop)
31:40 – Pairing inreach via bluetooth
39:00 – Downloading Maps on Smartphone

I got the Garmin Explorer+ and I’ll show you what the process is activating it on your account plus answer the typical questions I’ve encountered while talking about this latest generation of device.



  1. Need Credit card
  2. 2 Emergency contacts
  3. Your billing info
  4. Access to a computer
  5. 20 minutes (to activate the device and download the inReach Sync program)

Note that if you are adding another inreach to your account, you still need to apply a credit card to the device. Also you need to assign a new user to the device. The same user can’t be assigned to multiple devices.

You can bypass the activation to use the GPS functions. To activate the device, you should see the ACTIVATION icon on the screen. The wizard will guide you through the process, including displaying the IMEI and authorization code.

For best results, once you have added the deivce to your inreach account, take the device outside so that it can register via the satellites. This should take about 10 minutes.


Registration Process

Watch these videos to see the portion of activation where you didn’t see my computer screen. The process is basically the same, maybe the webpages are a bit different but here’s how it goes:

  1. Create inReach portal account
  2. Register your inReach, choose your country
  3. Enter your IMEI & authorization code
  4. Enter your 2 emergency contacts
  5. Choose your service plan
  6. Enter your credit card information
  7. Go outside with your inReach to finish the process
  8. Download the Sync application to your desktop to sync / update the firmware.



Field Communications With A Ham or Amateur Radio Portable Kit With J-Pole Base Station

Before smartphones and LTE towers were the norm; your options for communications while hiking were limited. Basically you would go for your Ham Radio or Amateur radio certificate (call sign) and prepare a communications kit. Now with new technology like satellite communicators like garmin (delorme) inreach and spot, you save a lot of space in your pack.

  1. What I want when hiking in the wilderness:
  2. be in communication
  3. be able to communicate with party
  4. people are following me
  5. check the weather

But I decided to dust off my kit to show you what I was working with. Make sure you add in the comments your setup.

Gear List:
Yaesu FR-60
Dual band short whip antenna
Long whip 2m antenna
SMA to coax adapter connecters
patch cables
extra battery packs

With the above you can carry this in your pack with no problem, but if you are car camping or have a long term basecamp then these additional items can improve the gain.

DIY j-pole antenna using TV antenna wire & PVC tubes
telescopic painters pole
camera tripod

I chose going with COAX connectors as it was easier to get, better prices and easier to trade or find components at a flea market.

Building a J-pole antenna and finding parts to make a tower using a painters pole and a camera tripod. The benefit of a j-pole is that the higher off the ground, the better the gain.

This being all fun learning about radio theory but with new technology like inReach and SPOT, it saves a lot of room in your pack, so depending on your area it’s a toss up which option to choose.


Delorme inReach Review

In this video we’ll so a review of the Delorme inReach. Now I got this unit from a few months ago and while I was reviewing it, the inReach SE came out. So the only two models available is the inReach for smartphone and SE with a price drop on the older generation inReach.


Delorme inReach – Battery Profiles

In this video, we’ll look at the different battery profiles you can set on your Delorme inReach.


Delorme inReach – Tracking



Delorme inReach – Maps Management



Delorme inReach – Messaging



Delorme inReach – Update Firmware


In this video, I’ll show you how to update the firmware on your Delorme inReach for Smartphone. You can use either a mac or PC as the updater is web based. In this video, I used my macbook.

Exit mobile version