Preplink Satellite Communications FAQ

  • Is Garmin InReach Satellite Message Service required if I have Preplink ?
    • Only if you have a Garmin InReach Device (we recommend the Garmin GPSMAP 66i affiliate link) Preplink can send messages to any satellite, SMS or email enabled device that have appropriate messaging plans. (SMS and email do rely on a functioning infrastructure and satellite devices must be able to receive incoming text messages without a charge to the sender of the messages) .
  • What does Preplink cost?
    • Preplink is an annual subscription for $50 per year.
  • What Satellite Service does Off Grid Comms recommend?
    • We recommend the Iridium Constellation as there are many birds and attacking them is difficult as they are not stationary and at any given moment half of them are on the other side of the earth. Also the US Military uses Iridium for this same redundancy.
  • Why does Off Grid Comms recommend the Garmin InReach Devices?
    • We recommend specifically the Garmin GPSMAP 66i InReach device as it is the most cost effective STANDALONE satellite messaging device we could find on the market. Standalone means that it can both receive and send free text messages without a cell phone or any other device (most other devices require a working cell phone) . The Garmin system is also used by the Military and has the best history of uptime and reliability. Lastly the Garmin messaging costs are the lowest in the industry. We actually use the Garmin system and GPSMAP 66i for our own families.
  • Is the Garmin GPSMAP 66i EMP safe ? What about the satellites?
    • No device is safe from EMP or CME impact if it is not specifically protected. We recommend a Faraday bag and a Faraday cage to protect your device when not in use. This is why we have specific times of when we will transmit information, so you can remove the device, retrieve the information and put it back in its protective Faraday case and bag.
    • As for the Satellites, one of the reasons we chose the Iridium Constellation is its high number of satellites and the redundancy plans where if satellites are damaged, there may be a few hours per day where service is not available as the damaged satellites fly by but overall the system would remain functional.
  • How does Off Grid Comms get information for distribution over the Preplink system?
    • Off Grid Comms operates several communication platforms ranging from local GMRS repeater of our own, VHF / UHF statewide (Michigan) Analog and Digital networks, a pair of HF Radio systems capable of voice and data across the entire country and much of the world. We have Starlink satellite internet and we also have an Othernet satellite downlink for pulling in news and information.
  • How do I know Preplink will work after an “Event”?
    • At Off Grid Comms we have copies of all of our equipment safely stored away in a large Faraday cage. We also have multiple sources of backup power, one of which is seriously old school and can withstand a direct hit from an EMP or CME. Preplink also has more than one “Alpha” station capable of both receiving information and transmitting data to subscribers in the event our primary location suffers any kind of downtime.