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Nick Farrell

Member Since 23 Jan 2011
Offline Last Active Jul 01 2014 08:20 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: How ridiculous are the differences between ORR and IRC?

28 June 2014 - 12:01 PM



Made me giggle...

In Topic: Yellowbrick vs other PLBs

07 June 2014 - 10:08 AM



Question on the tracker map.


How long will it keep position history.  Can you create different views/filters of the position history that would have their own public link.


As an fyi I have the spot trace product and although it work it only saves last 30 days of position so it no good for what I want and looking to get another product.  




Hi Rob


Positions are kept forever, we don't ever remove positions. To allow people to filter/view between different trips we allow you to setup different 'events' - which have a start/end date. When you set these up, you get a little drop-down on the map, allowing people to choose what event they wish to see.


An example of this is http://my.yb.tl/sorlandet - this is a school sailing ship which has had a unit for a few years, and have lots of trips. Note the dropdown top left, where you can switch between the latest event, previous events, and the 'All Time' option.

In Topic: Yellowbrick vs other PLBs

06 June 2014 - 12:07 PM

Nick, those are things you need to make clear on your website home page. DeLorme and Spot are well established here in the Colonies, you can buy them at the corner sports store. There has to be a reason to go across the Pond to buy one - but maybe you have those reasons. The burst mode and longer emails are unique to your device as far as I know. 


You're right. We'll be working on a few little articles explaining the key differences, and I'll try to ensure they get published as widely as possible.

In Topic: Yellowbrick vs other PLBs

05 June 2014 - 07:30 AM

Thanks for that. To clarify, I can send an email of any length? or limited to 140 characters? And receive an email of any length? 


Using the bluetooth link and app you can send an email of up to a couple of 1000 characters - similarly you can receive messages of this length too, although we encourage everyone to send/receive shorter emails and treat it much like a 'text message' type service, as this keeps your running cost down and also helps battery life on the device. Like any sat email connection, you delete footers and the copy of the previous mail etc when replying.



I like the no subscription plan, but the tracking at £0.20 builds up kind of fast. Maybe not at once a day but I like to do every 4 hours or 2 hours - not that a sailboat goes all that fast, but it gives you and your followers a nice record of conditions. DeLorme gives you unlimited tracking at $25/month. You might want to consider offering a plan with unlimited tracking for a higher monthly connect fee, and then the credit system for other services. 


You've chosen the most expensive credits to illustrate that with, but I do take your point. If you purchase credits in larger bundles, they are much cheaper, and therefore a tracking point could work out at less than 10 cents. It's also possible to 'bundle' position reports together into a single transmission, using a mode called 'Burst', so you can collect 4 hourly positions and the unit will send them once every 4 hours, thus getting extra definition, but keeping credit usage down. I believe you can send 4 positions in a burst for 1 credit.



Another thing that would be a great feature would be the ability to automatically add a few other things in the tracking message. I'm thinking of wind speed and direction from the instruments primarily, but others may have some different ideas. I think you could do this with some software additions, instrument data is available to the smartphone or iPad, which could then forward it to your device. Certainly on a boat this is of more use than altitude  :) .


We did have an NMEA plugin for the Yellowbrick, which allowed you to connect up your NMEA feed into the unit, and alongside the position it would send about 20 key parameters, mast angle, wind speed etc. However, this didn't seem very popular, so we stopped marketing it. It's still entirely possible, so let us know if you'd like one!

In Topic: Yellowbrick vs other PLBs

04 June 2014 - 05:08 PM



Thank you - I've corrected that link on the rental tracker example.


The Yellowbrick has two ways to send messages. You can either send canned messages, directly from the unit itself, and these go to a set of contacts you predefine before you leave on your trip. Alternatively, with the Standard and above units, you can link with Bluetooth and use the app to send messages to any email or SMS destination. Yes, you can send to any email address. The cost is 1 credit per 50 characters. Those 50 characters do include the email address itself, but no other headers - just the email address and the text of your message. Received mail is charged at 1 credit per 50 characters as well, but there's no header on that, so it's purely message.


The red button sends an alert message to your set of pre-defined contacts, again which are defined before you leave on your trip. It's all administrated via the website.


Typically our units are cheaper to run than the Delormes over the long term, but it does depend how you use it - there's no annual contracts, no quarterly contracts etc - it's pay by month, and pay for what you use. Credits don't expire, so the more you buy, the cheaper the credits are. Ultimately yes, our units are more expensive than Delorme's. We don't apologise for that. Our units are designed to be permanently used in a marine environment, which comes with its own challenges and cost of build implications. Most importantly we (would like to feel we) provide great customer service, invest in new features and technology, and we can't do that on zero margins.


Appreciate you're trying to be constructive, we very much appreciate that, so thank you. We'll work on making things clearer!