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post #31 of 40 Old 11-20-2003
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Internet Connections

Keep in mind "upload" for a Sat dish (speaking here of the Earthlink setup) is a MODEM LINE... the dish is nothing more than a reciever.. not a transmitter... so to upload, it''s via modem line... so when you are away from the dock, no ''land'' modem line...
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post #32 of 40 Old 10-25-2006
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Hello - I am completely naive when it comes to anything to do with email/internet on a boat. In fact, I know very little about boats, but my Mom and Stepdad are very much into theirs. They are based in Long Beach, CA and will, on occasion, go to Mexico. Mom would like to purchase a notebook computer and be able to use it for email when they're abroad. She mentioned something called "Winlink" , but said that it requires a greater degree HAM license than they currently have. But she also mentioned "Sail Link" (or something like that). Does anyone know what the required hardware would be in order for them to be able to use Sail Link? Or does anyone have any suggestions for the proper route to go? I'm savvy as far as computers go, but not radio communications or other oceanable (May I trademark that term? heh heh) email and/or internet options.

Can anyone help?

Thank you.

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post #33 of 40 Old 10-25-2006
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Not all of the satellite connection require a modem line for the uplink. I had DirectPC and it was a two-way satellite dish, which was considerably more expensive than the simpler one-way dish, but allowed fairly decent upload speeds. I don't believe this type of service, which is now provided via Hughes, is available in a small gyro stabilized marine antenna...but I could be wrong.

If you have a Ham or SSB radio and a Pactor modem, you can use WinLink or SailMail to send/receive e-mail. However, the e-mail is fairly limited, to mainly just text. Attachments are not really feasible with it. I don't recall how the services charge for access.

Another option is to get a gyro stabilized satellite phone. With one, you can get a medium-band connection via what is effectively a ISDN connection over it. This requires a B-Term type sat phone, and is fairly expensive, as it costs per megabyte IIRC. This would be a full internet connection, and would allow you to web surf and get/send e-mail, including attachments if necessary.

There are also smaller sat phones, like the Iridium, which will allow you to have a modem-speed narrow-band full internet connection.

The last two connection types used by sailboats require you to be in relatively civilized waters.

One is via a WiFi connection to a land-based internet connection. This is somewhat range limited, but is becoming fairly widely available in many marinas and harbors. In some cases it is provided as a free service or amenity, as it is in Baltimore's inner harbor, and in others it is a paid service, and requires either a hourly, daily, weekly or monthly service fee.

The last popular connection is via cellular modem or cellphone. This requires a cellphone or cellular modem for your computer. With the newer third generation or 3G networks, you can get medium band speeds through this service. This requires a GSM, GPRS, EDGE or CDMA equipped cellular phone or modem, and is often available as a flat-monthly fee service.

I hope this helps. If you have any specific questions, let me know.

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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Last edited by sailingdog; 10-25-2006 at 11:27 PM.
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post #34 of 40 Old 10-31-2006
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OK I just felt like I had to reply here. A couple of years ago I and some investors were looking into providing medium speed two-way satellite connections for boaters. The system was essentially the same service that EarthLink is providing with a gyro stabilized dish.

The reason that it never happened was due to cost of equipment. We were looking at about $6500 in hardware and then about $125 in charges per month. Our research indicated that most boaters would not be willing to pay that amount.

With that being said, during our research phase we came across a much cheaper product but never had a chance to test it. You can look at the product here http://www.followmetv.com/

If I were out boating now, I would definitely buy and try this product. Based on the tests our researchers did I'm sure this product would work for quiet anchorages. You would just have to set the elevation every time the boat moved. Paired with the EarthLink service, this would be one fairly cheap solution. If it doesn't work, then at least you have an autotracker for watching TV..
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post #35 of 40 Old 10-31-2006
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follow me TV is not precise enough for internet comms
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post #36 of 40 Old 11-01-2006
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For some of the cell phone link systems, the operating cost can be reduced by the type of email programs that you run, conventional ones like yahoo and hotmail are 'on' all the time, programs like Juno allow you to write a number of messages then to send and receive in one transmission. Then you're offline again. This could help to limit some costs with these systems. I am really hoping a good workable boat system will be developed soon.
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post #37 of 40 Old 11-01-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeLevi
For some of the cell phone link systems, the operating cost can be reduced by the type of email programs that you run, conventional ones like yahoo and hotmail are 'on' all the time, programs like Juno allow you to write a number of messages then to send and receive in one transmission. Then you're offline again. This could help to limit some costs with these systems. I am really hoping a good workable boat system will be developed soon.
Any POP3 mail server will allow this, as will some of the web-based e-mail services like Yahoo's paid e-mail (not their free service), gmail.com and mac.com. However, most of the cellular providers have some sort of flat-fee, unlimited data service plan available.

T-mobile's is about $20 a month. I used it when I was in the process of moving and its about twice the speed of dialup in most places, faster in a few others. However, T-mobile's rollout of their 3rd gen network has been slower than the others IIRC.

Using T-mobile didn't require any extra or new hardware, just my BlueTooth equipped phone. The notebook I use most of the time has built-in bluetooth, but the bluetooth dongles are now less thatn $20 for a decent one.

I'm pretty sure that Verizon, Cingular and Sprint probably have a package that is similar.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #38 of 40 Old 11-01-2006
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JSlarve...to actually answer your question...
They need a Pactor modem and cables conected between the SSB and the laptop. Then they need Sailmail service.
Pactors run about $1k
Sailmail costs $250 per year..visit sailmail.com for all you need to know.
For Pactor...see http://www.farallon.us/webstore/ they have the right stuff and will walk you through the install and conection to sailmail over the phone. Incredible support!
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post #39 of 40 Old 11-05-2006
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Thanks Cam, well worth checking out.

This is one addiction thats hard to kick, plus, it has real $ value in information gleaned.

Ref yahoo paid, I have it, it is on all the time unless shut off, it doesnot send in multiple message bursts but individual messages. The main thing for the paid version is no popups slowing you down and more storage on your account. Its a great place to store online books etc. I have 5% so far of a 5gig available.
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post #40 of 40 Old 11-05-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeLevi
Ref yahoo paid, I have it, it is on all the time unless shut off, it doesnot send in multiple message bursts but individual messages. The main thing for the paid version is no popups slowing you down and more storage on your account. Its a great place to store online books etc. I have 5% so far of a 5gig available.
I guess you didn't read my post that closely. The real bonus of the Yahoo premium paid e-mail service is that it will let you send/receive messages in bursts if you are using a POP3 e-mail client, like Thunderbird.

If you are using the web browser mail interface, and paying for bandwidth, then you're just being stupid.

A good POP3 client will let you download your messages, go offline, write your replies to all the messages, store them in a outgoing mailbox, connect and then send all of the messages. This minimizes your connection time. This is how it was often done when broadband connection and flat fee for unlimited service didn't exist. A lot of people still do this for their cellular internet connections—sometimes just because it minimizes the interruptions caused by signal dropouts.

A POP3 e-mail client, properly configured, can also be setup to not download messages if they have attachments, or if the messages exceed a certain size. I've set this up for people using Inmarsat satellite phones for their internet connection—which is charged by the megabyte IIRC.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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