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  Topic Review (Newest First)
11-17-2007 08:47 AM
sailingdog Hopefully Skype won't get too screwed up by eBay... there are a few other alternatives, but none as well established as Skype.
11-17-2007 07:41 AM
sologirl I've been an eBayer (I confess) for a lot of years. And the "feel" among buyers has changed as well. Used to be you could get great deals from trustworthy folks. Now it's Buyer Beware and darn little recourse if yer shafted.

Funny how scads of money changes most folks.

Still, I'm going to give Skype a shot. For the time being I don't stand to lose anything. And if it gets pricey I'll delete it and chuck the headset.
11-15-2007 10:35 PM
hellosailor eBay did buy them out. And I wouldn't call eBay money-grubbing whores with no appreciation for customer service, simply because I wouldn't want to offend whores.[g]

eBay was pretty fast to buy up PayPal to ensure eBay retained all revenues. Then they hiked the PayPal rates and killed free accounts. Then Citibank came out with a competitor--and eBay/PayPal took steps to punish any member using that service, with some non-compete rules.

So I've no doubt eBay will patiently look Skype over, then milk it for whatever the competition will bear.

In the early days eBay's Boss Lady used to say that she just wanted her friend to write a database to support her hobby of trading Pez dispensers. These days...the interviews sound like Great Wizards intentionally built this incredible system with fantastic knowledge of what would come. Funny how the old "tee hee, look what I stepped into" story has changed.
11-15-2007 08:11 PM
sologirl Thanks so much for all the info.

I don't think the inverter I have is sine wave, so may upgrade to that.

Already have a WiFi boosting (er, uh, booster) antenna.

I did read Skype was bought out by eBay and assumed prices might change but they swear computer-to-computer will always be free, so I can't go wrong there.

Now where did I put those AAAs!?
11-15-2007 04:50 PM
Originally Posted by sologirl View Post
Has anyone used Skype In and/or Out on a consistent, satisfactory basis? Particularly internationally?

And to you cruisers outside US waters, in more remote locales, how often are you running into marinas with WiFi?
I use Skype in Europe, US and Canada. It usually works well, but sometimes has poor connections. I particularly use it to reach a daughter in Australia, it works fairly well. But not as good as Rebtel, so I use the combination.

Marinas in Europe are increasingly adding WiFi, but the charges are often unattractive. Also, having a high gain antenna is worthwhile.
11-15-2007 11:06 AM
speciald I have used Skype throughout the Caribean, Bermuda, and in Spain. You need a Wifi or broadband connection. It is reliable and cheap. Ebay bought the comnpany a yearago and there have been rumorwsof changes in the fees after the first of the year.
11-15-2007 10:52 AM
sailingdog One other thing about using an inverter... it gives you alot more flexibility than using a dc-to-dc converter.
11-15-2007 10:49 AM
hellosailor Sologirl-
If the AC adapter has some tiny ratings for input and output stamped on it, the odds are you can find or make a simple DCC adapter that will step the boat's power down to match what the adapter puts out.
Unless the adapter still puts out AC, which some do.

And, when plugging adapters into inverters, you need to check them, some will overheat or burn out. I don't know any rule of thumb to guarantee success but a "true sine wave" inverter will keep them all happy, anything else is "maybe".

(Those AAA cells are sounding pretty good right now, huh?[g])
11-15-2007 10:03 AM
camaraderie are right about conversion from DC to AC costing some amps vs. a straight DC to DC hookup...but you are only dealing with an amp or less here so even a 50% loss (unthinkable!) would not cost you an appreciable number of amp hours.
My pleasure to be of some small help. We are ALL here for you!
11-15-2007 09:50 AM
sologirl Hey, Cam -

I have a little inverter for special uses...but don't want to stress the battery panel more than necessary. I've read in a couple of places it takes more juice through the inverter than simply using a 12v adapter.

Sounds like Skype is definitely something I'll be able to make use of. Trying to get my non-techie family lined out with it may be the toughest part!

I'm going to get the mic/camera combo as you suggested. But for times I'm moored instead of docked (my preference to save money), I thought the handset would be handy to carry ashore.

Thanks so much for your great input!
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