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Old 11-29-2007, 01:10 AM   #1
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Of course the coverage offered by Globalstar is different from Iridium, but is there any general consensus amoung the forum members?
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Old 11-29-2007, 02:24 AM   #2
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Of course the coverage offered by Globalstar is different from Iridium, but is there any general consensus among the forum members?
Hello David,

From the many discussions with Cruising skippers and crew - each system is different - in terms of cost , in terms of voice clarity, in terms of signal acquisition due to different azimuth angles. Not comparing apples with oranges - but rather cooking apples with eating apples, it is still difficult to compare. Check Wikis for further detail.

Email via modem and HF radio is more and more becoming the first choice to communicate while offshore. While inshore and when within signal range, wifi hot-spots provide easy access to cyberspace; If a cell-phone tower is in line of sight - dialing a number is simple.

Therefore, Satellite phone technology needs further development and come down in price for it to take a greater market share in the cruising community. Does that go some of the way to answer your question?

PS - How is your Privilege Catamaran info search going.

Richard
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Old 11-29-2007, 12:17 PM   #3
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If you are buying a Sat Phone I would suggest you do so after an SSB and Pactor.

Then the choice is between those two. Given today's situation I would go Iridium as G* is having satellite constellation issues [no secret]. The just lauched 8 new ones but those will not fix everything and it's a band-aid situation till the new constellation is sent up in 2009 or so. Lots of discussion on this on SSCA board.

We have a G* and turned on based on reports that the 8 new ones made it better. Seems to do OK but have not had enough time on it yet
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Old 11-29-2007, 10:12 PM   #4
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Hi JonD,

To clarify , would it be correct to assume that your order of choice is ?? :-

1) SSB + Pactor

2) Iridium

3) Globalstar
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Old 11-30-2007, 01:49 AM   #5
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Hi, Thanks for the input on sat phones and also SSB. Part of thr near-term deal with my SO is that I keep her in touch with cyberspace/work when we cruise while she is still working. She wil need to reliably send e-mail and occasionally pdf files as large as 5mb. I have no experience with the capabilities of SSB and my assumption was that a Sat phone would be required for this type of data transmission.. Those of you with experience, please enlighten me!

David
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Old 11-30-2007, 10:49 PM   #6
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Hi JonD,

To clarify , would it be correct to assume that your order of choice is ?? :-

1) SSB + Pactor

2) Iridium

3) Globalstar
The SSB is more important in my mind as it does more than connect with email etc. It is a world wide communication tool and allows communication when other means may not or do not. It also affords an additional level of contact with the cruising community via the nets. The pactor will let you get text email, download grib files and/or weather faxes.

The sat phones obviously offer addition levels of email and voice contact at a significant price. We chose a sat phone over replacing an old SSB that would not support a pactor and in hindsight that was not probably the right move.

As far as the other question of downloading 5MB files neither G* or Iridum will do that well. They both operate at dial-up speeds and not that reliably. For that kind of connectivity you need wi-fi.. and at sea that's big bucks and big antenna.. KVH and Imarsat are the options there.
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Old 12-01-2007, 02:09 AM   #7
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David, as it happens I am actually in a similar situation to your SO. As a consultant my work has agreed to support me working from abroad so long as I can maintain connectivity... After doing quite a bit of research and having some experience with Iridium, thuraya, and Inmarsat I have decided to purchase none of the above and to just go for a good solar power suite, and an onboard high power cell router w/ wifi which will enable me to connect via wifi from extended coastal distances... the initial purchase price is comparable to an iridium but will be much cheaper to use and should provide sufficient connectivity as long as I'm in/around populated areas.

may be worth looking into. http://www.shakespeare-marine.com/catalog/...netbrochure.pdf
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Old 12-03-2007, 12:29 PM   #8
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David

If you are cruising the coastal US or Europe the cell phone access will do the job. We use a cellular PC card as our primary internet access while in the US, also have a good wi-fi antenna set-up and have G* for offshore. The G* is really for text email and small downloads i.e. weatherfax and gribs as stated earlier.
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Old 12-04-2007, 06:37 PM   #9
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Anyone have any experience with Orange? I justcame across their site and it looks like they have a pretty broad voice and data network.

the question is are they really reliable?

http://www.business.orange.co.uk/servlet/S...d=1044133621263

http://www.mnc.orange-business.com/content...rk_coverage.gif
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:36 PM   #10
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In South East Asia - answer = Yes.
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