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Old 11-02-2018, 02:37 AM   #1
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Question Just Found Pactor IIe Modem. Now what?

Searching through boxes of junk on boat I acquired and found a Pactor IIe modem. Undecided about having ssb radio. Could use the cash for other things. Keep or sell? Your opinions?
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Old 11-02-2018, 02:20 PM   #2
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Once upon a time, an SSB radio was the most sophisticated and necessary item I could think of for an ocean crossing sailboat. From my very first Codan 8121, to my current, all singing-all dancing Icom, they have been a great safety benefit and have provided entertainment on long lonely nights.

They are very expensive. By the time you buy the radio and tuner, and fit a back stay antenna, and have a back up whip, several thousand dollars have disappeared. The modern alternative is a satellite phone. They are not so expensive. Mine was a second hand unit bought from the US Forestry Service (they change them every couple of years-irrespective of their condition).

Newer satellite phones will first search for a local cellphone service before connecting to a satellite, and a bulk purchase of an hour's worth of talk time is becoming cheaper all the time. I guess, if I had to make a decision, and had unlimited funds, I would still opt for an SSB...but I'm a traditionalist (I still shoot the occasional sight with my sextant). However, I recognise that satellite phones are new technology, are reliable, rugged and can provide virtually the same weather services as your cellphone, at a much lower cost.

The choice is not the same as GPS over Sextant; not yet. But it is certainly heading that way.
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Old 11-03-2018, 07:13 AM   #3
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Great, helpful explanation. Sat phone seems to be the best bet for me.
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