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Old 04-07-2011, 17:32   #1
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Hughes Net

I know internet at sea is very expensive. Has anyone thought of or try Hughes Net? I know it will not work while moving, but while anchor any where in the world it should work. I call them up and they said I was the first to call and ask that question. They said it works in Iraq and afgan. And is used on all off shore rigs. So they said if pointed in right direction it will work. I ask this because all I read on the sailing forums is the high cost of having email at sea.
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Old 04-07-2011, 18:21   #2
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Re: Hughes Net

Even at anchor it will have to be on an automated gimble to keep pointing at the satellite since the boat will swing on it's anchor and the relative position of the satellite will change. I'd also advise against trying to get Hughes Net to do anything other than what they already do. Their customer service is the worst I have ever experienced anywhere and for anything. Trying to get them working on a boat would be like asking Snooki to build a space shuttle. I've been using them for the past 10 years on land and am about to celebrate because I can finally dump them. I finally have an alternative, and will happily pay the early termination fee to be rid of them.
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Old 04-07-2011, 18:35   #3
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Re: Hughes Net

I've been considering having Hughes net installed at the house then packing it all up and moving to the boat. I've heard nothing but bad about the service, but in an isolated anchorage with no wifi reception it could be a means to connect. Has to work out significantly cheaper than a satphone and better than ssb i would assume.
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Old 04-07-2011, 18:43   #4
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Re: Hughes Net

I still think you will have aiming issues. How will it stay pointing at the satellite as your boat swings on it's anchor/mooring? Or are you at a dock? A dock might work as long as the boat is always tied up facing the same way, and there is little to no wake.

The installation guys have some sort of meter they attach to the dish to pick up the satellite. You might need such a gadget. They told me the aim has to be pretty much spot on to work.
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Old 04-07-2011, 18:48   #5
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Hmmm.....you are correct. This is going to hurt. No matter what the price I must have internet service.
I will be talking to SeaTect System tomorrow. They have a 3750.00 package plus Sub.
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Old 04-07-2011, 18:49   #6
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Re: Hughes Net

There are hydraulic posts you can mount a dish on that can be calibrated to the correct angle and will move accordingly. They wont work in a busy chop on the move but would work in an anchorage I would guess. Finding the correct point initially isn't all that hard.
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Old 04-07-2011, 18:50   #7
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Re: Hughes Net

Ihave Hughes net at home, good weather I'll get +3MBPS speeds.

The downfall is the dish accuracy of aiming has to be more accurate than for TV. when the tech installed and aimed my dish I askrd about my auto aim system and they said that the units "USUALLY" aren't accurate enough for internet or it would be really slow...
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Old 04-07-2011, 19:01   #8
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Re: Hughes Net

You've probably already thought about these alternatives, but just in case:

1) Use a yagi or other high gain directional antenna to pick up ATT Edge, 3G, or some other carrier's network. I did this successfully for years (on land) picking up a cell phone tower almost 20 miles away.

2) Use a yago or other high gain antenna to pick up wifi from some place nearby, but not otherwise reachable.

The marine satellite packages are shockingly expensive, very slow, and have very low monthly data limits. They almost make messages in a bottle look good :-)

But I hear you when you say "I have to have it". That's why I've put up with HughesNet for as long as I have.
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Old 04-07-2011, 19:16   #9
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Re: Hughes Net

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Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
I've been using them for the past 10 years on land and am about to celebrate because I can finally dump them. I finally have an alternative, and will happily pay the early termination fee to be rid of them.
After 10 years you have to pay early termination to leave? That must be a serious contract you have to sign to get on Hughes.
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Old 04-07-2011, 19:23   #10
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Re: Hughes Net

As a long time Hughesnet user I can assure you that there isn't even the slimmest chance that it will ever work from any floating platform. The problem is quite simple - in order for the system to function you have to have the transmitter aimed at a satellite that is something like 56,000 miles away from you. That is an impossibly small target and requires extremely precise aiming. Reception is no big deal - think TV - but transmission is a huge challenge. I have been manually aiming a Hughes dish for over 4 years now on our motorhome. The only way I would ever consider it for the boat is if I could place the dish on shore. On the boat simply isn't going to work
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Old 04-07-2011, 20:08   #11
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Re: Hughes Net

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After 10 years you have to pay early termination to leave? That must be a serious contract you have to sign to get on Hughes.
No, it's not quite that bad. I've upgraded twice over the 10 years, and each upgrade requires another 2 year commitment even though I purchase the equipment outright. I'm currently 1 year into the latest 2 year contract.
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