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Google sailmail or winlink or pactor 3 modem.

These are programs which allow you to email (not pics) from your HF set through the pactor modem. sailmail costs about $250 American pa. winlink is free. I am setting up winlink in order to use yotreps (google that as well)
Need a good HF - I have an icom 802 which has an email dedicated 'button'

You could also use an iridium satphone for more download amounts and also brunei bay radio has 'plans' for boaties who need more mb download than winlink/sailmail offers
 

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Telstar 28
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What's your budget? What do you consider internet access to be??

If you're looking just to have basic e-mail capability, then yes, an SSB radio with a Pactor III modem will allow that...

However, if you're looking for web access, you're going to have to go with a satellite phone. The smaller handheld satellite phones can provide limited web access and a fairly low speed connection. If you want broadband type speeds, you're looking at getting a gyro-stabilized satellite dish antenna setup and that's some serious cash and requires a lot of electricity.

Be aware, unlike most terrestrial internet access plans, the satellite internet access requires you to pay per megabyte... so any serious usage is going to cost you a big chunk of change.

You can get "full internet" access off shore, but you're going to pay a lot for the equipment and the service.

Wandering how I could have access to the internet when sailing/cruising off-shore?
 

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I have an icom 802 which has an email dedicated 'button'
It is my understanding that all 802 have the button but there is a part or software upgrade that is quite expensive for the 802 to get the button to work. if you dont mind stating , what is the cost of the upgrade? or have they changet it. many thanks Al
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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If you are using a Pactor modem from SCS (1000 - 1200 USD) the e-mail button doesn't mean much -- you do all your frequency control from Airmail on your computer.

If you want grib files you are stuck with something somehow that supports e-mail.

If you want weather, you can use a very cheap (<100 USD) interface between your radio and a computer to get synoptic charts and other weather fax products. Google JVCOMM for more information.
 

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It is my understanding that all 802 have the button but there is a part or software upgrade that is quite expensive for the 802 to get the button to work. if you dont mind stating , what is the cost of the upgrade? or have they changet it. many thanks Al
When you buy the pactor modem, get them to install it as it can be a bit tricky for a 'non-tech' computer illiterate person like me. Then they will tweak' the radio / computer to work. I have the program on CD as a back up incase comp fails.
 

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Other than SSB, your two next most "cost effective" solutions are Iridium or Inmarsat BGAN. Right now, your primary solution on the Iridium side is the 9505A plus the data adapter. The brand new 9555 looks cool, but they've had a ton of issues with the drivers for the data side, so it's fairly useless for anything other than voice. You get about 2400 baud + compression through it. It's tolerable, primarily for sending/receiving e-mail and weather information, and you don't have to schedule anything like you do with the SSB. I paid about $2,300 for the phone, data adapter, USB adapter and 500 minutes of airtime. I wish I got the fixed antenna and cradle, but that would have added a few hundred dollars more. The Iridium gives you the ability to dump a worldwide communications tool into your ditch bag.

If you care less about phone capabilities and more about Internet, you can get the Inmarsat BGAN solution. It's the size of a laptop unit, portable and gives you 64k+ speeds. You pay about $7-$10 per megabyte, so if you are downloading web pages it's more cost effective than Iridium at the lower speeds.

OCENS is a very knowledgeable company you can talk to about the various options. Check out High-Speed & Broadband Satellite Services for some more info. I have no relation to them other than the fact that I bought my Iridium through them.
 

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It is my understanding that all 802 have the button but there is a part or software upgrade that is quite expensive for the 802 to get the button to work. if you dont mind stating , what is the cost of the upgrade? or have they changet it. many thanks Al
I have an IC 802 with an email button I've never used -- I think it will connect you to the email freq. you've programmed in. I've never heard of an upgrade for the 802. To get email you need a Pactor modem -- which is definitely an expensive "upgrade", but it's another box and not part of the HF radio.

When you think HF radio and Pactor modem -- think of the telephone modems of 15 or more years ago -- that's about how fast they are. For short messages they're great, but it's a no-no for your correspondents to hit the "reply" button (which adds / retransmits all the messages in a thread) or to attach large files.

If you want a "real" internet connection, SailingDog has put you on the right track in his post above and these higher bandwidth solutions are a lot more expensive than the Pactor modem, which if I remember correctly is just shy of $1K installed. Belay that, a quick check on the i-net indicates Pactors run $1000-1500 or so depending on the model + installation. Here's a link About Pactor Modems
 

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Just understand that you don't need gyro-stabilized dishes anymore to get forms of broadband - the Inmarsat BGAN solution is a semi-portable device to get 64k+, but at a per megabyte charge. As I mentioned, though, it's cheaper than the Iridium if you need to surf, as the Iridium has much slower connectivity so you'll be on it forever if you can even get to what you want. Call OCENS if you're looking for something beyond Pactor. I'm not affiliated with them, but they are very helpful and honest.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
... I'm looking at a freedom 40. Will probably just sit in it for a while and scratch my head. Then wonder how I'm going to nest in it, and which way the wind will blow me. I haven't done anything serious off-shore before, but was inspired by a site: S/Y 'KETURAH'. Micronesia feels good!
Does anyone know about freedom 40s?
 

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Labatt—

You can't really use a BGAN terminal on a boat AFAIK. They have a flat plate antenna that really needs to be aimed at the satellites, unlike an Iridium or Globalstar phone... and to do that on a moving sailboat, you need a gyro stabilized antenna.

I did a lot of work with Inmarsat phones for about six years, as part of equipping reporters and photographers to go off to the middle of nowhere with them.
 

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I bought the new Iridium and have had issues with it, first of all the compression software doesn't work with Vista (they don't tell you that) and even with the compression running I get effective rates of under 1200 baud for pure data transmission.
 

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Zanshin - If you're talking about the 9555, they're working on it. They released new drivers a week or two ago, but apparently they are still unstable. Once they get them worked our, you'll have a heck of a phone (i.e. works anywhere, small enough to put in a ditch bag, and basic data capabilities without a thousand cables like I have on my 9505a), but until then you'll just have to hang tight...
 
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