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post #11 of 18 Old 11-23-2007 Thread Starter
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for staying connected all the time. I thought part of the idea of sailing was to get away from all the connections, however. If I need a generator to keep my internet running... something's out of whack.
this is true but what if your 85 year old grandma gets sick or etc etc etc Its not the worse idea in the world to have some sort of home/boat connection other than ship to shore /marine operator
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post #12 of 18 Old 11-23-2007
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Codmander...If the issue is constant reachability for emergencies, the Iridium Sat phone is your best choice. Not cheap but reliable.

Another choice is an SSB radio with Pactor modem for Sailmail text e-mail only (also gets you weather and long distance communitcation. About 4K

Finally if you really want full time internet you can get a kvh dish for $4-5 k plus pay expensively by the bit for data. Out of reach for most of us.

So...unless you have $$ to burn...the cell phone air card and wifi and cyber cafes ashore are the most cost effective options for most of us. Since many have SSB for other reasons...an extra grand for a Pactor gives you e-mail from the high seas...and an Iridium phone even works from the life raft!
Iridiums cost about $1400 + 30 bucks a month + $1.29 per minute...with monthly plans that reduce the cost of minutes if you intend to use it a lot.
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post #13 of 18 Old 11-23-2007
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BTW, when I was doing work with satellite phones about 8 years ago, I found out that it is illegal to use a satellite phone within the Continental US borders unless you have a permit or waiver from the FCC. I don't believe that has changed since then. If you do get an Iridium... do not use it in the USA. The fines are very nasty and the FCC is cracking down IIRC.

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post #14 of 18 Old 11-23-2007
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Quote:
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BTW, when I was doing work with satellite phones about 8 years ago, I found out that it is illegal to use a satellite phone within the Continental US borders unless you have a permit or waiver from the FCC. I don't believe that has changed since then. If you do get an Iridium... do not use it in the USA. The fines are very nasty and the FCC is cracking down IIRC.
SD, I did not know that. I guess if you are in the US one would probably use the cellular phone first anyways. Do you have a reference for those regs?
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post #15 of 18 Old 11-23-2007
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had a AT&T air card & it sucked. Good service only in certain cities.
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post #16 of 18 Old 11-23-2007
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Dawg...I thinkthat info on the continental USA is badly out of date. Globalstar for an example, has an entire set of rate plans based on making calls from USA Home Territory which is defined as 48 states, Alaska and PORTIONS of the Caribe. They wouldn't have this if using your phone in the states was illegal.

On the "air card" issue...it really varies by location which company has the be coastal coverage since PHONE CALL coverage and DIGITAL NETWORK coverage can be widely different. One company may provide significantly better coverage in specific coastal areas than others. Based on reports I've read...it seems like for EAST COAST best coverage right now, Verizon has the most air card coverage.
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post #17 of 18 Old 11-23-2007
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It may have to do with the phone type as well, I was using B-terms and Mini-M terminals...not a hand-held, and back then it was a legal requirement. I had a sat phone with a 3'x3' antenna setup in my living room for several months.

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Dawg...I thinkthat info on the continental USA is badly out of date. Globalstar for an example, has an entire set of rate plans based on making calls from USA Home Territory which is defined as 48 states, Alaska and PORTIONS of the Caribe. They wouldn't have this if using your phone in the states was illegal.
As for the air cards...it depends on both the carrier and the card. Also, many of the carriers were just rolling out their high-speed networks (2.5G and 3G) a few years ago, and the situation has changed fairly dramatically in the last three years...

Quote:
On the "air card" issue...it really varies by location which company has the be coastal coverage since PHONE CALL coverage and DIGITAL NETWORK coverage can be widely different. One company may provide significantly better coverage in specific coastal areas than others. Based on reports I've read...it seems like for EAST COAST best coverage right now, Verizon has the most air card coverage.

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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 #18 of 18 Old 08-05-2009
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I found, that there are 2 low-budget options. In marinas and ports WiFi, using different range extending gadgets and near the shore 3,5G USB internet dongle. In last case there are few thing to remember, for example disabling automatic windows updates. I have post about that: USB Internet dongle « Sailing Gadgets

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My
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