Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
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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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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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Last edited by sailingdog; 10-25-2006 at 11:27 PM.