Originally Posted by RegisteredUser
What do you like and dislike?
How do you currently use it?
DISCLAIMER: I sell, among other things, satellite phones and terminals including the GO! and service plans.
One of the appeals of the GO! is that you can share a single satellite connection across multiple devices, using smart phones, tablets, and laptops for voice and data.
You will want XGate or one of it's variants (the Iridium apps are somewhat stripped down versions of the XGate apps, all developed by Luis Soltero).
You will definitely want an external antenna on your boat. No question. Performance is vastly improved. It doesn't get any faster but drop-outs go way down.
You'll want the wall bracket and the power cord for a fixed installation. Power is a pain since the GO! runs on 5 VDC and the options are a USB connection and a 117 VAC wall wart. There are lots of unfortunate ways to wire in a GO! and I think I've seen most of them on client boats. Your best bet is the car adapter with the cigarette lighter plug cut off and the wires hardwired to your boat.
You can configure access for owner (or captain) and crew (or family) with different privileges and access. That can help protect your minutes and thus your wallet. You definitely want to subscribe to XGate to keep your devices from phoning home over Iridium and burning through your minutes doing software updates. Think that isn't a problem? Think again.
It's really slow - 2400 bps (the Iridium rate, not unique to the GO!). One voice call from anyone cuts off data for all.
It's not part of GMDSS so not a life safety device.
It is very compact and has an internal battery.
It's sold as a convenient appliance but configuration can be fussy. I do configuration in my lab before shipping to clients and still have trouble calls as people try to get their devices to work through the GO! When I do the installation myself or sell a new boat computer with the GO! I can of course do more but there is still one person that can't meet me on the boat who struggles with their device. Setting the connections up seems to be non-intuitive for a lot of people.
I use it for H&W email, for confirmation of appointments with marinas and service providers, and position reporting (third party service). Clients often use it for text and GRIB weather data; I prefer synoptic charts over weather fax.
For convenience email, no attachments, no pictures and for text messaging it's fine.
On my boat I have an HF/SSB radio and Pactor modem and a Globalstar fixed data terminal (the Globalstar equivalent of the Iridium Pilot, not commercially available) and an EPIRB and a Spot messenger for long range communication. I use HF/SSB more than anything else. I hope I never have to use the EPIRB. *grin*