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post #1 of 30 Old 09-22-2014 Thread Starter
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Cost of email at sea services

Hi all,

I am doing research about getting email at sea. I have both satellite and SSB.

I an trying to hook up my globalstar 1600 to my laptop. As far as I can tell, the bottom line is roughly $250 a year from one of the various services, sailmail, ocens etc etc.

Am I correct in thinking that that is the real cost and there are not cheaper solutions for email via sat phone?


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post #2 of 30 Old 09-22-2014
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Re: Cost of email at sea services

I've got to believe the cheapest is SSB, but text only, iirc.

I'm guessing the price you are quoting is just for the service and you pay additional for airtime and for each byte of data.

Another option is a Delorme InReach, which can send/receive text messages inexpensively.


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Re: Cost of email at sea services

To clarify, I definitely want to use my globalstar sat phone. I am trying to figure out the most economical way of doing it. I can connect to the internet find, but I can't use gmail at 9.6bps. I know I need a text-based client.....


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post #4 of 30 Old 09-22-2014
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Re: Cost of email at sea services

Quote:
Originally Posted by vtsailguy View Post
I an trying to hook up my globalstar 1600 to my laptop. As far as I can tell, the bottom line is roughly $250 a year from one of the various services, sailmail, ocens etc etc.
You'll pay $250 - $500 / year plus airtime.

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Originally Posted by vtsailguy View Post
To clarify, I definitely want to use my globalstar sat phone. I am trying to figure out the most economical way of doing it. I can connect to the internet find, but I can't use gmail at 9.6bps. I know I need a text-based client.....
Any web-based client will chew through huge gobs of time and money. You can use nearly any e-mail client including Airmail (great for weather and other sailing products), Outlook, Thunderbird, and others over sat-phone.

Add a Pactor modem to your SSB and you'll trade a bigger up-front cost for much much lower running costs and the same speeds as Iridium; Globalstar is faster but still has spotty coverage. Get your ham license and you can use Winlink and include attachments. It's all still going to be slow.

If you are set on sat phone you WILL want a car kit (fixed installation below) and marine-grade external antenna.
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Re: Cost of email at sea services

Ug, airmail does not appear to run on macs


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post #6 of 30 Old 09-22-2014
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Re: Cost of email at sea services

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Originally Posted by vtsailguy View Post
Ug, airmail does not appear to run on macs
It does if you run VMWare or Parallels, but for e-mail over satphone you could use whatever native e-mail app you have on your mac. You'll have to become a little more intimate with the Saildocs catalog but it isn't that hard.

For e-mail and wefax using a Pactor modem you'll need to run something like Airmail in a Windows VM on your Mac.

For e-mail over satphone and wefax from SSB to your Mac there are all native apps.

Don't fall into the grib trap. You want synoptic charts.

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Re: Cost of email at sea services

Another option.. If you are tech savy...

You could build your own VPS that does the exact same thing as Sailmail, Ocens, ect. Those services are easily replicated using open source engines to process the incoming e-mail. There is also a great proxy that will squish websites for a much better surfing experience.

The best part.. It would only cost about $10/month and you could use the VPS for other services..
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Re: Cost of email at sea services

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You could build your own VPS that does the exact same thing as Sailmail, Ocens, ect.
Do you mean a VPN?

The satellite systems I've worked with provide direct TCP/IP access to the Internet. A VPN would provide some added security but isn't necessary for fundamental e-mail access.

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post #9 of 30 Old 09-22-2014
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Re: Cost of email at sea services

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I've got to believe the cheapest is SSB, but text only, iirc.

I'm guessing the price you are quoting is just for the service and you pay additional for airtime and for each byte of data.

Another option is a Delorme InReach, which can send/receive text messages inexpensively.

The upfront cost of SSB is prohibited in today's technology, unless you are a radio head and enjoy chatting with others, or have the SSB system came with the boat. I would not invest 3k to 4k.

Delorme InReach is a good alternative, easy to setup. Now you can subscribed to the weather service too. It is a la carte, no long term commitment.

There is a new device from iridium now too.
Iridium Go! hotspot can turn your smartphone into a satellite phone


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post #10 of 30 Old 09-22-2014
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Re: Cost of email at sea services

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
The upfront cost of SSB is prohibited in today's technology, unless you are a radio head and enjoy chatting with others, or have the SSB system came with the boat. I would not invest 3k to 4k.
A common opinion but not substantiated. There are good reasons why SSB is part of GMDSS and sat phones still are not.

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