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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Satellite phone choices - looking for recommendations
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Thread: Satellite phone choices - looking for recommendations Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-26-2007 10:30 AM
Valiente
Quote:
Originally Posted by Idiens
Its VISTA that's driving me towards LINUX. I don't want to buy yet another computer to have one powerful enough to run it. Here I sit, surrounded by five perfectly good machines, which are being trashed by MS efforts to control the market. Even the one chunky enough to tackle XP would fold at the knees with VISTA. Groan... I'll try a new thread and leave yours to Iridium....
I still run Windows 2000 because I want to strangle most "helper apps" and "features". I'll only go to Vista when my business applications (which are mostly graphics programs) are recompiled for 64-bit and I can finally wring full performance out of my Opterons.

But I digress. I think given that even complex navigational programs are not particularly taxing on current laptops or small desktops (like the "car computer" Mini-ITX form factor that is about the size of a hardcover and can be bolted under a nav station), it's OK to use non-current hardware (read "expendable, cheap") and just forego playing the latest video games while sailing. Navigation, Web/e-mail accessl and documetation are the top three applications that want computing power aboard, but none of them are resource-hungry...even with the latest satellite phones.
02-26-2007 09:33 AM
Idiens Its VISTA that's driving me towards LINUX. I don't want to buy yet another computer to have one powerful enough to run it. Here I sit, surrounded by five perfectly good machines, which are being trashed by MS efforts to control the market. Even the one chunky enough to tackle XP would fold at the knees with VISTA. Groan... I'll try a new thread and leave yours to Iridium....
02-26-2007 07:04 AM
Zanshin I've played with different LINUX versions on my PC but I've decided to stick with Windoze after all. If you turn off the auto-update feature of the OS as well as that of the antivirus software and turn off automatic downloading of images for e-mail it shouldn't be too much of an issue. I've had the MS-Vista beta for months and just went to the released version and am about as happy with it as a MS product can make me. At least it is stable and feature rich but requires a heck of a lot of oomph to run efficiently; it isn't great for a slow processor or a machine with a slow graphic card.

Back to the Iridium Motorola 9505a phone - I have a question regarding the data connectivity set. They offer a $200 set which has a CD, but the adapter for serial can be had for $60 and I've seen the software downloadable for free on the WWW; so do I really need to get the CD?
02-26-2007 06:37 AM
Idiens
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
Which is one major reason I don't do Windows on a PC.
Wise man. What do you recommend? I am trying to work up a Linux laptop for onboard but keep wanting to add SW that has no Linux version. (Maybe a subject for a new tread (drift)
02-23-2007 05:38 PM
sailingdog
Quote:
Originally Posted by Idiens
I got caught beautifully by a laptop flying XP. Forgot the automatic updates were set on. GPRS bill rocketed. Ouch Ouch Ouch!
Which is one major reason I don't do Windows on a PC. The need to constantly update the anti-virus definitions files and the anti-spyware definitions files would be a problem when using a 'per-megabyte' connection.
02-23-2007 01:00 PM
Idiens
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanshin
I can keep telecommunication times & costs down to something like those levels.
I got caught beautifully by a laptop flying XP. Forgot the automatic updates were set on. GPRS bill rocketed. Ouch Ouch Ouch!
02-23-2007 11:50 AM
camaraderie Zan..I agree with your last post. You don't need a pactor and the iridium can serve in emergencies and for your voice and e-mail needs. Sailmail is at $250 a year for 10 minutes a day of text only e-mail. You need the SSB but you don't need Pactor/Sailmail.
P.S. our G* phone saved our butt in Grenada during Ivan when the SSB was disabled and there was no communication available other than via Sat phone. Excellent safety device!
02-23-2007 11:42 AM
Zanshin Valiente,
I'm still leaning towards the satellite phone as it can be multipurpose.
The Pactor modems alone cost as much as a used Iridium 9500, and I can't throw my SSB into my ditch bag in case of an emergency. Doesn't the sailmail program come with a monthly charge - and require setting up yet another e-mail address? I'm not a big phone user even now, having no land line and use less than 30 minutes per month on the cellular phone. Back in the old days I would connect daily to Compu$erve for messages (I was a SysOp on the wine forum, of all places) with a 2400 baud modem for < 3 minutes a day including handshaking times (and overhead I think Iridium won't have) to download/upload hundreds of text forum messages . I trust that with the compression software Iridium offers and by turning off attachments I can keep telecommunication times & costs down to something like those levels.
02-23-2007 10:33 AM
Valiente
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanshin
It would be nice to get the newest, shiniest toy but the surcharge over the prior model is pretty significant (could keep me in e-mail for a long time!). Does anyone here know if there are issues with 9505 {which currently looks like the most attractive choice} or have other recommendations?

Thanks!
Skip it until you find SSB Pactor/Sailmail is unsustainable. You may well find you can live without the satphone entirely. If you can write it off as a business expense, it's cheaper than a car lease, and you won't be using that while you're gone, will you? So you can pop for the expensive phone and use it to blast executive e-mails from Patagonia, I suppose...but do you really want to do this?
02-23-2007 07:15 AM
Zanshin I thought things were going to be simpler after deciding to go for the Iridium system - but it turns out that there are 4 different handsets available:
a) Motorola 9505a - newest toy, runs at about US$1400.
b) Motorola 9505 - predecessor model, runs at about US$900 with both new and used available
c) Motorola 9500 - older model, see it for US$700. I gather some models don't support data transfer
d) Kyocera SD66K - discontinued, but available. $700. Also does GSM phone networks if the right SIM is put in.

It would be nice to get the newest, shiniest toy but the surcharge over the prior model is pretty significant (could keep me in e-mail for a long time!). Does anyone here know if there are issues with 9505 {which currently looks like the most attractive choice} or have other recommendations?

Thanks!
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