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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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Discussion Starter #3
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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Mermaid Hunter
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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.

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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Mermaid Hunter
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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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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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Mermaid Hunter
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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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美国华人, 帆船
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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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Mermaid Hunter
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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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A common opinion but not substantiated. There are good reasons why SSB is part of GMDSS and sat phones still are not.
Understood!!!

GMDSS is the international agreements geared towards to the merchant marine. I would expect it will work much a slower pace than our congress.

There are inherent advantages of SSB where SAT phone can't compared. In distress, your call is being broadcasted to everyone around you near and far. This is the same case as VHF vs Cell Phone. One student asked the Safety at Sea Instructor: Should I call Coast Guard via Channel 16 or use my call phone. In a perfect situation, both should work. Understand your own risk, make your own decision.

I don't really want to drift off topic into safety/distress call in this thread.

I still have time. I will let the technology runs its course a few more years. The picture will be clearer soon enough where my money should go.
 

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vt-
"To clarify, I definitely want to use my globalstar sat phone. ... but I can't use gmail at 9.6bps. I know I need a text-based client..... "

Are you aware that your effective speeds may be more like 2400bps, and with SSB that may drop even further?

And it isn't just your client software. Pretty much any email client (as opposed to "webmail" or a web interface) can be set to use plain text instead of HTML or hybrid (dual) formatting. But unless you are dealing with techies on the other end, they will be sending you email in "dual" format, with is 5x larger than plain text files. That's right, plain text is only 20% of the size of the same messages sent via webmail these days. And at 2400bps, that's a killer difference.

Sometimes, you have to just sit back, bite the bullet, and pay to play. It still beats high seas radiotelephone calls at $5/minute.
 

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Auspicious-
let me correct that.
"It still beats high seas radiotelephone calls which not so long ago cost $5/minute."

Shipcom being a fairly recent comer to the scene. Or, don't you remember when there were a number of VHF channels restricted to ship-to-shore operations as well?

Anyone who doesn't remember going into a foreign "post office" and placing a request for long distance call back to the States, has no idea how quick and cheap global communications have become in the last 20 years. DIRT CHEAP, even for the most expensive ones now.
 

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"Ahhh, but the upfront cost of an SSB is zero if the PO installed it =P"
Unless the PO literally gave you the boat, free of charge? You still paid for the SSB. And you'll pay again for the ship's station license, and your operator's license, or you may pay dearly for using it without having them.

Although, if you had a ham radio and a terribly cheap ham license, you cold use the same networks for free instead of paying an extra annual fee.
 

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No no.. Not a VPN... A VPS... It stands for Virtual Private Server.. Its essentially a Linux server hosted in the cloud.

I'm not just talking out my butt.. I have created a VPS that provides the same services as Ocens, as well as other services I found usefull (actually one of the other services is a VPN). I don't use it on a boat yet, but I have used it with both a sat phone and my standard cell phone (keeps monthly bandwidth low).

Of course.. You need to have a fairly good working knowledge of Linux to get this working..
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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let me correct that.
"It still beats high seas radiotelephone calls which not so long ago cost $5/minute."

Shipcom being a fairly recent comer to the scene. Or, don't you remember when there were a number of VHF channels restricted to ship-to-shore operations as well?
I do remember. Shipcom has been around a relatively long time (2005?) and have been competitive with sat phone rates the whole time if I recall correctly.

I also remember VHF ship-to-shore. On the ship I sailed on there was a line of crew to call their "port wives" as soon as we got a berth assignment.

Anyone who doesn't remember going into a foreign "post office" and placing a request for long distance call back to the States, has no idea how quick and cheap global communications have become in the last 20 years. DIRT CHEAP, even for the most expensive ones now.
It's amazing to get within sight of land and have your phone start beeping with incoming text messages and voice mail. I remember sending a TELEX from an American Express office as well as the banks of phones at post offices and telecomm companies.

No no.. Not a VPN... A VPS... It stands for Virtual Private Server.. Its essentially a Linux server hosted in the cloud.
Ah. Brain fade on my part. My domain sits on a VPS with Futurequest in Florida. I have a full-time Linux server in my lab (dynamic IP) and a small one aboard (private IP) that is usually off but provides NAS and a development environment when we are cruising.

I'm an SSB guy by choice so Internet connectivity only happens over WiFi or cell phone. On delivery I get whatever long-range comms are there. The SSB systems get compression automatically - the same stuff people pay for from XGate or Ocens on sat phones.
 

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"It stands for Virtual Private Server.. Its essentially a Linux server hosted in the cloud. "
So a VPS is just a virtual machine (VM) running a Linux server and hosted somewhere in the cloud. Meaning, hosted on real hardware in some unknown place with an internet connection. Or not?

I remember TELEX. Knew a business that insisted on using it into the very late 1980's, because the TELEX system kept an uncorruptible and objective copy of all messages (so they said) in case there was ever any question about a message being real or faked. They didn't trust that newfangled fax technology, and fixed their computer virus problem by just not using the one PC someone had bought. Honest.

I do miss the TELEX bells though. When NORAD went "oops" and sent out the five-bell code asking everyone to sign off the air in the early 70's...^G^G just never has been properly implemented in HTML, has it?
 

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"It stands for Virtual Private Server.. Its essentially a Linux server hosted in the cloud. "
So a VPS is just a virtual machine (VM) running a Linux server and hosted somewhere in the cloud. Meaning, hosted on real hardware in some unknown place with an internet connection. Or not?
You can run a virtual machine on Linux, Windows, or Mac OS. The software on the hardware server runs many instances of a an operating system so that a single piece of hardware can "look" like dozens of servers, each with their own individual access.

It's hosted on a network that may or may not be Internet connected. "The Cloud" is just marketing speak for Internet services.

Your VM does not have to be in an unknown place. I know exactly where my Futurequest machine is. I can even log into cameras in the data center. If you sign up for something like iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, or similar you won't know where you data lives, although strictly speaking are more like network attached storage (NAS) than VPS.
 
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