Join Date: Apr 2006
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Jon, you don't need feedback from anyone who has used the HughesNet antenna on a boat. They are not unique in any way beyond the "Hughes" label.
A satellite communications antenna is a low-power narrow-beam transmitter, which typically has to be pointed directly at a satellite with an accuracy tighter than one degree. Now, without worrying about how much accuracy you need, do you really think you can point an antenna, horizontally and vertically, within ONE DEGREE and KEEP IT THAT WAY on a boat that is moving, heeling, rocking, twisting in the wind?
No, you can't. Even if you buy one of the RV dishes that self-aligns on the satellite, it still needs to be mounted ROCK STEADY in order to maintain alignment.
If you cannot mount the antenna on something that doesn't move, you need an active stabilizing antena. Try Inmarsat. For a thousand dollars--you won't get it. And FWIW, Hughes has contract restrictions about users who sign up for mobile service, with a mobile (RV self-aligning) antenna kit, versus users who buy a ground station and then break their contract by relocating it without hiring a professional installer to reinstall it every time it is moved. Hughes claims you'll disrupt their entire system by doing it yourself. (I'm not saying that's true, just that they claim you'll kill us all if you breach their terms.) Of course they'll cancel your service if they catch you at it.