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"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."

Took me more than 8 hours to get mine just to talk to the damn phone. had to upgrade windows, my browser, and the software that came with it, and needed high speed internet to upgrade the firmware. All that right out of the box! As for a la cart it cost me more to use in the end than if i had rented a sat phone. Granted i only used it for 30 days but that was an expensive 30 days. In the end i sold mine. SSB worked better on the same trip.
 

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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?
Yes that is exactly what it is.. There are a bunch of good providers our there (I use RamNode).

Unfortunately I can't comment on TELEX as it was WAY before my time.
 

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Auspicious-
"I know exactly where my Futurequest machine is. " Or, perhaps you only know where it last was. Sometimes there are nasty surprises when hosts move sites, consolidate sites, or literally walk out on the equipment and you can't access it again. Unless you're one of the owners.(G)
The cloud is a marvelous concept, until it rains. So to speak.

Sailvayu-
DeLorme have always been odd folks. They used to intentionally put errors in their maps. I found one because following it would have gone through a guardrail and over a cliff, and there was no easy alternate route. They said "Oh, we do that in places where people aren't likely to go, so we can identify one of our maps if someone copies it." Didn't impress me, there are less intrusive ways to accomplish that. Sad to hear that InReach has been executed so poorly.
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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"I know exactly where my Futurequest machine is. "
Or, perhaps you only know where it last was. Sometimes there are nasty surprises when hosts move sites, consolidate sites, or literally walk out on the equipment and you can't access it again. Unless you're one of the owners.(G)
The cloud is a marvelous concept, until it rains. So to speak.
My particular service provider only has one site, and I can look at the data center on cameras. Your point is well taken. Ultimately we all are dependent on the integrity of our service providers (like VISA, MasterCard, Google, Microsoft (including Skype), Apple, Bank of America, etc.) to do what they commit to doing.
 

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美国华人, 帆船
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I am not sure how long this has been around. I knew that Iridium GO has been announced awhile ago.

I just got an email from Predictwind.com saying Iridium GO is $125/mo with unlimited data data plan I have not looked into the fine print. If this is true, this is a great alternative. I am paying AT&T for my iPhone with unlimited data for $90 a month now.

Iridium GO! - PredictWind.com

I would predict the Sat communication will continue to drop.

My children converted me to a text junky a few years ago. I find the texting is much better than calling. Not sure how soon USCG will embrace the texting for getting help. Text has no ambiguity, no wind noise and no statics. I am not suggesting that we should throw away our VHF or SSB. :D
 

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美国华人, 帆船
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DeLorme have always been odd folks. They used to intentionally put errors in their maps. I found one because following it would have gone through a guardrail and over a cliff, and there was no easy alternate route. They said "Oh, we do that in places where people aren't likely to go, so we can identify one of our maps if someone copies it." Didn't impress me, there are less intrusive ways to accomplish that. Sad to hear that InReach has been executed so poorly.
HS, your comment about the poorly executed InReach is it just in land use and not marine use?
 

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dawg, when I said poorly executed I was referring to sailvayu's comments that it took so long to set up and worked so poorly afterwards. No difference in whether that is on land or at sea, if it is that hard to configure the system in the first place, is there?

Predictwind's web site says the IridiumGo package is on sale now, $1150 for the hardware alone, and their pricing page doesn't yet show any unlimited data packages, so you may have gotten a special test-market offer.

At speeds of 9600bps maximum, versus AT&T's 4mbps LTE system, even "unlimited" data may have it's own limits on Iridium though. If you've still got one of the legacy unlimited cell data packages...it can be worth keeping. I'd drop the home broadband and just share my cellular connection for that price.(G) Although IIRC, the unlimited plans were only 2G and 3G, and those systems are being phased out in the next couple of years with no "unlimited" upgrade path. Yet.
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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I would predict the Sat communication will continue to drop.
Why do you think so? I don't agree.

When Iridium and Globalstar got started in the early 90s cell phones were uncommon and expensive. No one (well almost no one) thought they would become so ubiquitous. A big part of the business plan for both providers was for users in rural areas and international travelers. That forecast didn't work out.

I think bi-directional satellite systems (like sat phones) are a limited market. The big commercial and governmental users use either serious Inmarsat systems or their own transponders (or their own satellites). US DoD uses Iridium for incidental purposes (although their contracts kept Iridium afloat while Globalstar faltered). I just don't see the market being large enough or having the growth potential to really drive costs down unless there is some other satellite consumer that sat phones can ride alongside (like text messages on cell phones or Spot on Globalstar control channels).

Microcells will whittle away at the existing market. One Inmarsat C can support a number of microcells on, for example, a cruise ship. Mini-cells are regularly run into disaster areas to support command posts. Various militaries deploy with their own cell infrastructure that tie into military satellites.

All in all I think the consumer sat phone market is pretty mature and simply doesn't have the growth potential to draw in more competition that would drive prices down.
 

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██▓▓▒▒░&
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I'd see more growth potential as more emergency operations groups buy satellite comms "just in case". This got an impetus after Katrina and that is still growing, slowly but growing. TS Sandy gave folks another wake-up call for satcomms as it showed that one good storm can take out normal communications even in one of the most hardened cities in the country. (NYC has required underground wiring since the blizzard of 1888 and this marks the first major failure of communications in NYC.)

But more importantly, there are now at least 3 companies in the private satellite launch business in the US. It is becoming commercially viable, and competitive, to launch the satellites that the whole business hinges on. Cheaper launch costs can mean cheaper services. Although, limited frequency allocations and limited orbital slots will still keep a cap on competition.

Somewhere on Wall Street, some speculator has this all sussed out.(G)
 

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美国华人, 帆船
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Why do you think so? I don't agree.

When Iridium and Globalstar got started in the early 90s cell phones were uncommon and expensive. No one (well almost no one) thought they would become so ubiquitous. A big part of the business plan for both providers was for users in rural areas and international travelers. That forecast didn't work out.

I think bi-directional satellite systems (like sat phones) are a limited market. The big commercial and governmental users use either serious Inmarsat systems or their own transponders (or their own satellites). US DoD uses Iridium for incidental purposes (although their contracts kept Iridium afloat while Globalstar faltered). I just don't see the market being large enough or having the growth potential to really drive costs down unless there is some other satellite consumer that sat phones can ride alongside (like text messages on cell phones or Spot on Globalstar control channels).

Microcells will whittle away at the existing market. One Inmarsat C can support a number of microcells on, for example, a cruise ship. Mini-cells are regularly run into disaster areas to support command posts. Various militaries deploy with their own cell infrastructure that tie into military satellites.

All in all I think the consumer sat phone market is pretty mature and simply doesn't have the growth potential to draw in more competition that would drive prices down.
I stand corrected. I should have been clear in my statement. I meant to say that the cost of wireless communication while cruising will continue to drop whether it is with the Sat or other new technology.

If I were starting full time cruising today, A new SSB would not be in my plan. InReach SE and the new Iridium GO will meet my need and minimize the worries from my family. The beauty is it is portable and affordable.

There is no better time to go sailing nowadays. :)
 
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