Earl - Backcountry Survival Tablet

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Re: Earl - Backcountry Survival Tablet

Post by omega_man » Sat May 25, 2013 6:46 am

106% funded. I'm seriously considering one of these. I'm assuming, since it is an Android tablet, that you can put those things called Apps on there? i.e. other useful software like Office, etc...I say this because in addition to my recreational outdoor activities, the wilderness is also my professional "office". I see this being very useful for data entry and collection. I mention the Apps, because anyone who knows me is well aware of my tech-deficiencies :? Omega_woman has an ipad, but all I know about that is how to play angry birds...
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Earl - Backcountry Survival Tablet

Post by Manliest » Sun May 26, 2013 1:38 pm

I wouldn't count on compatibility with all Android apps. It seems like the e-ink screen would be a limiting factor with mapping apps and others requiring contrast between colors.

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Re: Earl - Backcountry Survival Tablet

Post by Norwegian » Mon May 27, 2013 10:46 pm

Manliest wrote:I wouldn't count on compatibility with all Android apps. It seems like the e-ink screen would be a limiting factor with mapping apps and others requiring contrast between colors.
That is why I want the color screen. I have a very good map app on my phone which uses the digital version of the regular paper maps, and have multiple versions of land maps in addition to sea maps for the whole coastline. That includes a grey-scale version, but i really doubt it would work with black/white only. That said, if they come out with a euro version with good Norwegian maps i'll probably get one anyways.

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Re: Earl - Backcountry Survival Tablet

Post by omega_man » Tue May 28, 2013 6:29 am

Manliest wrote:I wouldn't count on compatibility with all Android apps. It seems like the e-ink screen would be a limiting factor with mapping apps and others requiring contrast between colors.
Ahh...see, that's the kind of intel I would have no clue about. Much appreciated. Time to go back into my cave with USGS quads and the eton crank radio :crazy:
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Re: Earl - Backcountry Survival Tablet

Post by Blitzen2k5 » Tue May 28, 2013 8:28 am

I would rather spend $149 on a proper android tablet like the Hisense Sero 7 Pro. Then I got a color screen and can put what I want on it. There are apps for damn near everything. As for the solar you can get a charger cheap for a tablet PC. Add a protective case too. For me its more like building your FAK instead of buying one ready made.

I know your asking yourself why. Well I have a tablet PC that also doubles as my survival tablet. It has a solar charger and is in a pelican case. I have topo maps and survival books on it. Plus I have mSD cards with movies, music, and games. Because survival isnt just about the physical part of survival, its also about the mental survival part. The mind needs time to relax as well.

Plus that e-ink screen on earl makes me want to puke. yuck.
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Re: Earl - Backcountry Survival Tablet

Post by Jamie » Tue May 28, 2013 8:47 am

I'm one of the funders, and can't wait to see how it works (if it comes).

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Re: Earl - Backcountry Survival Tablet

Post by NamelessStain » Wed May 29, 2013 8:42 am

Jamie wrote:I'm one of the funders, and can't wait to see how it works (if it comes).

Jamie
Of course, we will expect a full review :)
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Re: Earl - Backcountry Survival Tablet

Post by ppfd » Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:13 pm

Going to drop some coin on one of these as well.

Which map(s) would be best? Looks like the $299.00 gets the 100k and 24k and from what I'm reading in the Q&A maps will be available later on microSD cards.

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Re: Earl - Backcountry Survival Tablet

Post by Jamie » Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:39 am

I went for the map upgrade because more mappy is more better...

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Re: Earl - Backcountry Survival Tablet

Post by ppfd » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:19 pm

"Funded" the $299.00 model.

Now the wait to see what happens and how this works out. :awesome:

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Re: Earl - Backcountry Survival Tablet

Post by Sckitzo » Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:40 am

193% funded :clap:

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Re: Earl - Backcountry Survival Tablet

Post by cssims » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:33 pm

I hope I didn't waste $249.

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Re: Earl - Backcountry Survival Tablet

Post by Arsenul » Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:28 am

This is honestly something that I have on my must buy list. Need to put some money aside for the pre-order. I've been watching this for a while so it's something I just can't wait for. One problem I am having is what color. I'm looking at this for a survival use. If it's winter, the coal color will be good for keeping the tablet from having parts freeze. If it's the summer though, leaving it out in the sun to charge can over heat it. If it's white, it doesn't pick up the sun during the summer but it also doesn't pick it up during the winter to keep it warm. Don't know if that's a factor I should think about or not, but it's crossed my mind.
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Re: Earl - Backcountry Survival Tablet

Post by DarkandShiny » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:23 pm

I'm one of the funders, and can't wait to see how it works (if it comes).
Hi Jamie. It has been about a month, any word on when you can expect to see one?

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Re: Earl - Backcountry Survival Tablet

Post by NT2C » Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:22 pm

DarkandShiny wrote:
I'm one of the funders, and can't wait to see how it works (if it comes).
Hi Jamie. It has been about a month, any word on when you can expect to see one?
I would imagine they're still waiting on FCC type acceptance, which could take quite awhile given sequestration and the fact they're planning to combine multiple services into a single device, which FCC has been loathe to approve in the past.
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Re: Earl - Backcountry Survival Tablet

Post by charadeur » Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:29 pm

Don't I all ready have one of those? An iPhone with a Goal Zero solar charger? I wonder how well it is thought out. Being a ham I like the idea of a radio but in a package like that it would not be very practical. Maybe 5 watts? HF? Not without one heck of an antenna to drag around with it. More useful would be a satellite cellphone tablet. That would work for communications anywhere. Has the cost to use that technology come down in price any? Last I knew it was like $10 per minute cell phone call.
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Re: Earl - Backcountry Survival Tablet

Post by crypto » Sun Aug 11, 2013 7:01 pm

Yeah, iridium went semi-bankrupt for a while and got bought out, the newer owners dropped prices and tried to broaden the market quite a bit.

For consumer voice services, It's down to a buck or so per minute, and there's a ton of third party companies selling prepaid plans now, so you dont have a 5 year commitment like you used to. It's not that bad of a service now, but satcom hardware is still very expensive and its a niche market in the larger scheme of things. Most people, even outdoor hikers, don't travel out of cell range.

HF or a ham radio would be a non-starter in this thing, as it would severely restrict the market even more than a satphone, it would add bulk to it, specially if you included an antenna tuner on it, and I have yet to see a HF radio that costs less than $500 on its own, so the price point would be absolutely ridiculous.

You wont see an antenna jack on it ever, because they need it to talk to FRS radios and it looks like GMRS itself will have non-removable antennas after the next iteration of FCC rules.


As it stands, I hope they can get this thing to market as a Part 95 device. I'll buy one.
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Re: Earl - Backcountry Survival Tablet

Post by ppfd » Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:04 am

They have a real crappy forum set up.

There is about zero communication from the "earl team."

From what I'm reading there, people are pissed due to this and I can't blame them. Money is starting to be pulled out as well, and I'm thinking about drawing mine out as well.

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Re: Earl - Backcountry Survival Tablet

Post by Jamie » Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:12 am

ppfd wrote:They have a real crappy forum set up.

There is about zero communication from the "earl team."

From what I'm reading there, people are pissed due to this and I can't blame them. Money is starting to be pulled out as well, and I'm thinking about drawing mine out as well.
I've been in touch with my CC company, and they're able to protect me from fraud if it goes that way, so I'm hanging in for the moment...that being said, if I don't hear from them by September 1 with an update and delivery schedule and explanation, I'll likely be pulling my support as well.

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Re: Earl - Backcountry Survival Tablet

Post by ppfd » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:36 am

Jamie,

I hope this isn't a case of fraud.

I honestly think this project was too big too fast and rushed into production without thorough T&E.

The more I think about it, who sells something first without having a builder. LoL




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Re: Earl - Backcountry Survival Tablet

Post by Mikeyboy » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:55 am

I really wish it had a color screen, if it did I would consider getting one.

Right now when hiking on a multiday trip, I use Motorola Droid Razr for a cell phone and camera, an Ipod touch for music while hiking and a entertainment at camp, and a Garmin eTrex for a GPS. On top of that I have to carry an energizer power pack usb charger, the various cords to recharge the cell phone & the Ipod touch, and AA batteries for the Garmin, and something to keep everything watertight if it rains. My old cell phone use to have a built in FM radio, and having a radio is quite helpful when hiking. I have a tiny craptacular AM/FM Walkman, and one of those Eton emergency radios that you can crank, but I rarely take either radio, because it gets to be too much stuff to carry.

I could use my phone for everything, but I don't want to run down the battery listening to music, and playing video games and miss an emergency phone call. Even though the newer Razr has a decent battery life, when hiking the phone works harder because its roaming and constantly searching for cell towers. Also Cell phone GPS are not really hiker friendly compared to what my Garmin can do.

This EARL thing would be cool. Perfect size, not huge like a full sized tablet, but bigger than the tiny Ipod touch or cell phone screens. The funny thing is the dimensions and weight of the EARL and the Ipad Mini is real similar. While most solar chargers are not real effective, this Earl pad is supposedly "everything" proof so you can hang it off your pack and let it charge all day. I don't really care that it doesn't have a camera, and while at first I thought the FRS walkie talkie radio feature would be a waste, it might come in handy in an emergency. Also the temp & barometer features are an added bonus.

So this thing would hang off my pack and do what my Garmin GPS does, can provide my with radio entertainment and info like my Eton radio, and provide me with entertainment and apps that my Ipod touch does all in one water/shock proof package that is the same size, weight and price as an iPad mini.

Also for the record the Biolite wood stove/recharger had a similar startup process, and now those things are sold everywhere.

I'm definitely interested....I just wish it had a color display.

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Re: Earl - Backcountry Survival Tablet

Post by jor-el » Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:49 pm

If they go with a camera, perhaps a dual function rad meter as well.
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Re: Earl - Backcountry Survival Tablet

Post by Mikeyboy » Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:16 pm

jor-el wrote:If they go with a camera, perhaps a dual function rad meter as well.
Also make it bulletproof so you carry it in a plate carrier. Ohh and add a cappuccino maker, and toaster for my poptarts, that would be awesome. :awesome:

The more you add to it the more the price, weight and size would go up. A rad meter would be cool, and helpful in a nuclear war but hopefully it would never get used in our lifetime. The camera would have to be nice to make it worth it. 10 megapixel still photos and 1080p HD video recording like the current Droid Phone would be nice but saving the photos and vids in internal memory would take up tons of space. I rather keep that memory open for everything else. Throwing in a 1 or 2 megapixel camera with crappy video resolution like an Ipod touch wouldn't even be worth having the camera.

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Re: Earl - Backcountry Survival Tablet

Post by ppfd » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:31 pm

Yeah.........

So Earl offers up a half ass update ask for patience. States they have received threats, suspicion of fraud, etc.
Still trying to design a proper operating system.

Manufacturing to start in January.

I see this thing running out of money and failing.

I'm going to ask "nicely" for a refund.

Question is the Earl spokesperson said in response at their horrible forum. A "backer" cannot receive a refund once the money has been received? Is this true, especially since they are in China now?
I'm going to call my credit card company and find out and start the process.

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