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Freedom Chip Counter
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VHF is line of site, the higher your antenna, the farther you can communicate. Typically 7 to 20 miles, but it is not unusual to hear Coast Guard transmissions even further away than that.

Shortwave is completely different and depending on your radio, frequency, sunspot activity, cloud cover and antenna you can talk to people on the other side of the world from your vessel.

I use a satellite text system from DeLorme (recently acquired by Garmin). They offer various monthly plans and can blue tooth to your cell phone for easier typing and message organization.
 

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I use a satellite text system from DeLorme (recently acquired by Garmin). They offer various monthly plans and can blue tooth to your cell phone for easier typing and message organization.
I'm thinking about using them as well. How do you like it?
 

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Freedom Chip Counter
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I'm thinking about using them as well. How do you like it?
I like it quite a bit. I bought the base model, figuring I wouldn't use it for route planning. It works just as advertised and can Bluetooth to my phone and tablet for easier texting and mapping.

Takes a few minutes to send and receive a text...not quite like instant messaging. It also attaches your coordinates to each text and there is an option to send a link to your "page" on their website which will show your location and other information if you wish.

I've used it mostly offshore around SE Florida up to about 10 miles off the coast, rain/shine, day/night and I haven't had any trouble getting messages through.

Hoping to better test it while doing some island hopping later this year!

Best,
doo
 

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Thanks for the info, scubadoo. Does it have a global coverage? And does your message go to any on-shore media, like email or cell phone number, or only another sat communicator? What kind of device does it take to send message to you, or answer?
 

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In a 23 foot boat? Without a back up engine? Without a sat phone?
Without a saltwater distiller? Without gear? Without giving anyone his sail plan? Maybe he should put his name in for the Darwinian awards?
 

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Freedom Chip Counter
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Thanks for the info, scubadoo. Does it have a global coverage? And does your message go to any on-shore media, like email or cell phone number, or only another sat communicator? What kind of device does it take to send message to you, or answer?
Yes, it has global coverage, I haven't found any dead zones yet, but I have not been too far off shore with it. From the reviews that I've read, it sounds like it has much better coverage than the "Spot" device.

You can send texts to phones (just like SMS), email and also your web page on the Delorme site. You can also create groups to notify several people at once.

There is also a lockable SOS button that will send an SOS to everyone in your emergency contacts along with the Coast Guard.

Along that line, they also offer various levels of insurance for reimbursing the emergency rescue team.

Best,
doo
 

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Thanks. Sounds like a good system. And not too terribly expensive.
 
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