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Old 09-26-2014, 06:40 PM   #1
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Default Trackers & wifi/trackers

Being only 8 weeks away from departing Borneo for Australia and busily provisioning, repairing, researching and debating our attention has now turned to safety and email comms.

We've been looking at the YellowBrick set up as used by ARC and a number of other yacht rallies and now available to individual yachts.

I like the fact that it can be set and left and will happily ping away your location either hourly, daily or to what ever timing you set it. Those reports appear instantly on a web based map that family and friends can track back home. Some versions also allow for limited SMS messaging in both directions. My wife likes the fact that if Australis starts to deviate from our agreed route and can be seen heading for the Philippines or Somalia, she can begin calling authorities and organising other tradesmen to finish our home renovations and painting

YB Tracking | Truly global satellite tracking beacons for yacht racing, adventures, treks, expeditions and challenges | Home

This week I came across the Iridium Go which delivers satellite WIFI and unlimited downloads for approx. 200US per month. You purchase the unit (1150 US approx.) and simply pre purchase the plan required. It also gives automatic, timed location reports that can be viewed on a web-based map at no additional charge as long as the unit is switched on. The Iridium Go runs in parallel to the Predict Wind programming and should enable us to get some excellent weather routing and reports. We'll have local sim cards for Malaysia and Indonesia as well as our HF radio reports which will pick up the Australian high seas reports. At this point we're favouring the Iridium option.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

https://www.iridium.com/products/Iri...ection=support

Meanwhile I'll continue house demolishing and paying ransoms to the shipping companies and the airline 'additional' luggage - pre purchase pirates

I was just quoted $1500 AU to ship 5 x life jacket CO2 cartridges to Borneo as you can't buy them up there. They are apparently 'Dangerous Goods' and you have to be extremely lucking to have the airline allow you to carry them aboard your flight. Even though there is one under every airline seat

Fair winds,

Mico/Australis
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Old 09-27-2014, 02:51 AM   #2
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Dunno. This sort of buying always freezes me into indecision. Best of luck.
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Old 09-27-2014, 04:55 AM   #3
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Where do you find details on the satellite plans for the Iridium Go?

I'm currently using an Iridium 9575 sat phone and a prepaid minutes plan from CyTech communications. I pre-purchase minutes in blocks and use them over the cruising season. It does my email, fetching GRIB files, etc, but I don't use it for web because the connect costs would chew me up.

$200 per month sounds a lot but if it includes unlimited downloads it's not so bad.

What is the download speed like? Sat phone standard / 2.4K?
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Old 09-27-2014, 04:57 AM   #4
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For tracking I use the SMS send function of the sat phone. It can be programmed to send position updates every 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, 24 hours, etc. It uses 1 second of pre-paid connect time for each position update, which is negligible. It is unreliable, however, it stops working for several days at a time with no obvious cause.
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Old 09-27-2014, 05:51 AM   #5
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"For tracking I use the SMS send function of the sat phone. It is unreliable, however, it stops working for several days at a time with no obvious cause." Quote

I can remember how excited we were sitting around the old laptop connected to our HF radio anchored inside Chesterfield Reef; midway between Australia and New Caledonia waiting for the weather fax to download after having spent a small fortune on all the connectors and modem.

We patiently watched the image slowly appear on the screen with the equivalent speed of a stream etching its way into a granite bedrock, only to have the wind change, the boat turn and for us to lose our connection. That was the first and only time we ever used it

Hopefully the Iridium Go will be a little more entertaining

Fair Winds,

Mico Australis
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