Join Date: Mar 2006
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SSB and Sat phones both extend communications range to hundreds, if not thousands of miles. However, there are a couple of major differences.
Satphones are far more costly over the long run, as the air time is costly, as are the data services. Also, the equipment may be less usable, as the higher speed, B-terminal type phones need to have the antenna stabiliized and pointed at the satellites. However, coverage may be a bit better with a Satphone, and a bit less subject to interference, than SSB, which relies on long-distance atmospheric propagation and is very subject to interference. The smaller, omnidirectional phones like the Iridium have less effective coverage from my experience, with a greater tendency to drop calls. However, the fact that the antenna on them does not need to be aimed may make using one simpler thatn more traditional satellite phones, which would require a stabilized antenna. The power usage is certainly lower on the Iridium style phones that it would be for a more capable B-term Inmarsat phone.
However, SSB can be less useful, as the types of communication allowed are more limited and the privacy is far more limited than that of a satellite phone connection. Also, the need for a SSB-to-landline patch can be a problem when communicating with non-SSB users.
If I had to choose one for long-term use, I would probably pick SSB over satellite phone because of the lower long-term costs. Both services offer data, weather, e-mail, but the fees for the per-megabyte usage of Sat phones is a deal breaker for me.
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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; 09-05-2006 at 07:11 AM.