Communication options while cruising - SailNet Community
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 8 Old 03-26-2007 Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Tntonboard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 10
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
Send a message via Yahoo to Tntonboard Send a message via Skype™ to Tntonboard
Communication options while cruising

I hope this is in the right forum

What are the different communication options ie. email, fax, phone while cruising. I'm sure that I wouldn't have much difficulty accessing email along the icw and along the coastal US. Are there options that don't require finding a wireless signal?

Steve
Asheville, NC
Tntonboard is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 8 Old 03-26-2007
Wandering Aimlessly
 
PBzeer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Cruising
Posts: 21,242
Thanks: 0
Thanked 94 Times in 91 Posts
Rep Power: 15
     
For coastal, I use Verizon Wireless Internet, as I have a Verizon cellphone. It uses a PMICA card in my laptop, and connects anywhere my cell does. For Verizon users, it (at last contract) was $60 a month for unlimited access w/broadband in most areas. Has worked well for me, plus I have one bill for cell and internet that is an auto pay.

John
Ontario 32 - Aria

Free, is the heart, that lives not, in fear.
Full, is the spirit, that thinks not, of falling.
True, is the soul, that hesitates not, to give.
Alive, is the one, that believes, in love.
JCP


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- Website & Blog

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
PBzeer is online now  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #3 of 8 Old 03-26-2007
Reward for lost Kraken!
 
hellosailor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 11,559
Thanks: 6
Thanked 137 Times in 134 Posts
Rep Power: 11
   
"Are there options that don't require finding a wireless signal?"
Well, you can drop postcards ashore.

Seriously, you need to be either wired or wireless. Wired will mean using internet cafes, public libraries (free), etc. which are pretty common these days. Or docking someplace that will let you plug into a phone line.

While cruising kinda requires wireless. You can use ham radio or marine SSB ($2000) with a Pactor3 modem ($1000) and get speeds about equal equal to a 1983 dial-up modem. Or satellite telephone with data connection, that will get you 1993 speeds for about a buck a minute.

Closer in to land, you can try to grab WiFi signals (often free but you'll have to hunt to find them) or use a cellular data network, which may run you $50/month for unlimited data usage often with a $40-50 cellular plan required as well. Each provider has different deals, each varies coverage and equipment supported, but that gets you typically something similar to current dial-up speeds with promises (don't hold your breath) of "low dsl" speeds in some areas at some times. For regular and reliable use, that's as good as it gets.

If you are looking for better connections while stationary, you can also get satellite internet, starting around $75/month but that's a whole other can of worms with a high buy-in for the equipment, and it needs to be realigned every time you set it up.

And of course the last alternative, things like Inmarsat and commercial satellite solutions. A buck a minute may sound expensive--but ten years ago, that's what cell phone users paid. And radiotelephone calls ran far more than that!
hellosailor is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #4 of 8 Old 03-26-2007
Senior Member
 
Valiente's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Toronto
Posts: 5,491
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 11
   
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor
While cruising kinda requires wireless. You can use ham radio or marine SSB ($2000) with a Pactor3 modem ($1000) and get speeds about equal equal to a 1983 dial-up modem. Or satellite telephone with data connection, that will get you 1993 speeds for about a buck a minute.
Quoted for emphasis. I've ventured the opinion that the reason old sailors are frequently so close-mouthed and taciturn is because they are so used to being charged by the word.

I'm going to go the SSB/Pactor route, but mostly for weather maps and text files in, not blather and certainly not photographs out. That sort of stuff is best handled in port at one of the nearly ubiquitous internet cafes of the world.

I must be one of the few people who, upon hearing that Starbucks was intending to open another 10,000 outlets worldwide in the next five years, didn't think "great, more expensive, effete coffee!", but rather "great, more free WiFi!"

But on the other hand, I am still looking for a decent 12 VDC coffee grinder and coffeemaker, so maybe I'm not going to be their best customer.
Valiente is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #5 of 8 Old 03-26-2007
Larus Marinus
 
Idiens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Brussels
Posts: 1,756
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 9
 
Has anyone had practical experience with OrbCom's SkyMate www.skymate.com It looks like an interesting solution but I have no idea how it compares in practice with either SSB/Pactor or Iridium or Inmarsat.
Idiens is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #6 of 8 Old 03-26-2007
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 15
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
Send or receive 50,000 characters per month for just $69.99. Additional data costs only $1.40 per 1000 characters

My computer sends out that much data when it starts up . couldn't find any technical data as to what systems they use for communications apart from them using a satlink. I'm also hoping that by characters they mean the actual text message, and not all the extra stuff needed for a transmission. at 70 a month given a high enough data volume i think you're better off bringing pigeons
rexy is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #7 of 8 Old 03-26-2007
Reward for lost Kraken!
 
hellosailor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 11,559
Thanks: 6
Thanked 137 Times in 134 Posts
Rep Power: 11
   
Valiente-
After my brand name German Coffee Bean Grinder died a premature death, I cheaped out and bought one for $12 at Target. So far it has run twice as long and the coffee gets ground just as well. You could probably take one in to any alternator electrical shop and ask them to rewind it for 12V or replace the motor with a 12V motor and stand a good chance of getting a good 12V grinder. Or, scrounge a 12V motor from a dust buster or electric drill, and try that. I don't think the beans need a very exact grinder speed. Just lots of "whack" from the blades.

Sometimes I miss the old fashioned pre-cell-phone days. I managed to extort a 3-day weekend from a high pressure shop once-upon-a-time and since we were always on 24x7 phone alert, on or off shift, the boss asked me for my contact number that weekend. You can guess it, I gave him the AT&T contact number and the vessel name, and told him we'd probably be listening on the hour, eventually, and "Oh yes, it will probably cost you about $6 a minute to make the call when it does go through."

It was SO NICE not to get a phone call for three whole days and nights.
hellosailor is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #8 of 8 Old 03-27-2007
Larus Marinus
 
Idiens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Brussels
Posts: 1,756
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 9
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rexy
Send or receive 50,000 characters per month for just $69.99. Additional data costs only $1.40 per 1000 characters ... at 70 a month given a high enough data volume i think you're better off bringing pigeons
My first reaction too, but then I thought I should try to compare the prices with alternate means. I hope the Skymate software does what it says and minmises characters transferred, but it's still a text messaging system, so attached files would prove expensive. Sadly, they don't mention the word GRIB.
BTW Skymate apparently uses 35 Orbcom satellites receiving on VHF. The USCG is proposing to use similar satellites for collecting ship's AIS transmissions from space for "Long-Range AIS" (and big brother is watching you).
Idiens is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.


User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Retirement Cruising Budgets Randy Harman Cruising Articles 0 05-12-2004 08:00 PM
Calculating the Cost of Cruising Paul & Sheryl Shard Cruising Articles 0 04-03-2003 07:00 PM
Calculating the Cost of Cruising Paul & Sheryl Shard Her Sailnet Articles 0 04-03-2003 07:00 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome