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Old 13-01-2011, 00:18   #61
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It may be a bit off topic but the fact the original poter asked this question is in my opinion one of the things that has gone wrong with cruising over the last 10 or so years. It used to be that any boat that could afford an SSB or Ham had one and they were talking on the radio. these days the nets are diening and as Mark J says loads of people don't even talk anymore. So when there is an emergency whose to know? In the old days you checked in twice a day on various nets and let know everyone know what was up. When you hit a new anchorage you knew serveral of the boats there and it was instant party! Now you have to literally see a boat 3 or 4 times before you jump in the dink and head over to say hi. What ever happened to the friendly ole atmosphere. I think it is called better communications so no one is paying attention anymore. I am gald several nets are still functioning but in this part of the world one of the biggest was the S.E. Asia Cruisers net and it is now defunct. Makes cruising a lot more lonely than it used to be. If it were up to me I would make it manditory that if you bought a sat phone you had to have an SSB/Ham and post once per day or your satphone wouldn't work. That would make sure people were listening when you had a problem and probably bring back the social structure of radio.

I am sure this will create lots of flak but just my sole opinion. I wish more people would go back to ham and SSB.

Cheers

Mark
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Old 13-01-2011, 02:26   #62
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Mark I'm afraid it's tilting at windmills. The far technically superior satphones have trounced HF . Note we in the marine world are in transition , soon well all have Internet access and whatdoyano nets are back , text texts that is. The Internet full of them. I wouldn't worry about people communicating that will survive , it's just all in the " net"

Wishing to return to HF is like looking for steam transport to return .

Dave
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Old 13-01-2011, 03:05   #63
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spot2

Ahoy, this little device lets you text messages back to set numbers via the communication satellites from anywhere on the planet, costs about 140 usd and a 99 usd service bill per year. It has a built in gps that transmits the senders location along with the text message. Seems like a great idea for staying in touch and sending emergency messages. Has the limitation in that it not a duplex device, only one way!
SPOT 2 Satellite GPS Messenger - GPS Central Canada
SPOT 2 Satellite GPS Messenger
Includes all the same functionality SPOT1 Personal Tracker — now in a smaller, more feature-rich form.

NOTE: Now there is an Instrically Safe version!

SPOT is designed for the outdoor enthusiast: campers, hikers, bikers, snowmobilers, boaters, hunters, fishermen and anyone who plays or works in the outdoors beyond cellular coverage.
SPOT notifies friends, family or an international rescue coordination center with your GPS location and status based on situation and need - all with the push of a button.
Spot has new exciting features and enhancements including:
• 30% lighter
• 30% smaller
• Faster GPS acquisition
• GPS acquisition light
• Custom message button
• Enhanced antenna performance
• Dedicated tracking button
• Improved tracking performance
• Safety covers over S.O.S. and Help buttons
• Replaceable button covers
• Illuminated buttons
• Message sent indicator light
• Includes armband case
• Recyclable packaging
SPOT's 5 Simple Communication Functions - Just Might Save Your Life

1) Ask for help. In the event of a non-life threatening emergency, you can use this function to notify your personal contacts that you need assistance. Additional SPOT Assist services can be purchased and programmed to your Help button as well. When activated with SPOT Assist, the Help button will notify professional services either on the land or water. SPOT has partnered with national service providers to offer non-life threatening assistance.
How it works: Once activated, SPOT acquires your location from the GPS network and routes it along with the HELP message through the SPOT satellite network every five minutes for one hour or until cancelled. Your contacts will receive an SMS text message including coordinates, or an email with a link to Google Maps™ showing your location. Even if SPOT cannot acquire its location from the GPS network it will still attempt to send a HELP message – without exact location – to your personal contacts.
2) Track Progress. This feature allows you to send and save your location and allow contacts to track your progress in near real time using Google Maps. With your SPOT account you have the ability to set up a SPOT Shared Page which allows you to show your SPOT GPS locations to others on a Google Map.
How it works: Once activated, SPOT acquires and sends your GPS coordinates to your SPOT account automatically every 10 minutes for 24 hours or until canceled. SPOT tracking must be reengaged to continue. Creating a SPOT Shared Page allows you to share your GPS route with your friends and family easily in near real time on the web through a personal link. You can make your Shared Page private or public. Your choice! Just share that url with your friends and family and they can easily track your adventures. You can also link your SPOT Messenger to SPOT Adventures, a social portal, where you can set up a profile and blog with others sharing their SPOT adventures.
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Old 13-01-2011, 03:27   #64
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Not quite worldwide, doesn't do deep ocean coverage everywhere.

Coverage map:
http://www.findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=109

There have been other threads discussing pros and cons of this device.

John


Quote:
Originally Posted by surfmachine View Post
Ahoy, this little device lets you text messages back to set numbers via the communication satellites from anywhere on the planet, costs about 140 usd and a 99 usd service bill per year. It has a built in gps that transmits the senders location along with the text message. Seems like a great idea for staying in touch and sending emergency messages. Has the limitation in that it not a duplex device, only one way!
SPOT 2 Satellite GPS Messenger - GPS Central Canada
SPOT 2 Satellite GPS Messenger
Includes all the same functionality SPOT1 Personal Tracker — now in a smaller, more feature-rich form.


NOTE: Now there is an Instrically Safe version!

SPOT is designed for the outdoor enthusiast: campers, hikers, bikers, snowmobilers, boaters, hunters, fishermen and anyone who plays or works in the outdoors beyond cellular coverage.
SPOT notifies friends, family or an international rescue coordination center with your GPS location and status based on situation and need - all with the push of a button.
Spot has new exciting features and enhancements including:
• 30% lighter
• 30% smaller
• Faster GPS acquisition
• GPS acquisition light
• Custom message button
• Enhanced antenna performance
• Dedicated tracking button
• Improved tracking performance
• Safety covers over S.O.S. and Help buttons
• Replaceable button covers
• Illuminated buttons
• Message sent indicator light
• Includes armband case
• Recyclable packaging
SPOT's 5 Simple Communication Functions - Just Might Save Your Life

1) Ask for help. In the event of a non-life threatening emergency, you can use this function to notify your personal contacts that you need assistance. Additional SPOT Assist services can be purchased and programmed to your Help button as well. When activated with SPOT Assist, the Help button will notify professional services either on the land or water. SPOT has partnered with national service providers to offer non-life threatening assistance.
How it works: Once activated, SPOT acquires your location from the GPS network and routes it along with the HELP message through the SPOT satellite network every five minutes for one hour or until cancelled. Your contacts will receive an SMS text message including coordinates, or an email with a link to Google Maps™ showing your location. Even if SPOT cannot acquire its location from the GPS network it will still attempt to send a HELP message – without exact location – to your personal contacts.
2) Track Progress. This feature allows you to send and save your location and allow contacts to track your progress in near real time using Google Maps. With your SPOT account you have the ability to set up a SPOT Shared Page which allows you to show your SPOT GPS locations to others on a Google Map.

How it works: Once activated, SPOT acquires and sends your GPS coordinates to your SPOT account automatically every 10 minutes for 24 hours or until canceled. SPOT tracking must be reengaged to continue. Creating a SPOT Shared Page allows you to share your GPS route with your friends and family easily in near real time on the web through a personal link. You can make your Shared Page private or public. Your choice! Just share that url with your friends and family and they can easily track your adventures. You can also link your SPOT Messenger to SPOT Adventures, a social portal, where you can set up a profile and blog with others sharing their SPOT adventures.
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Old 13-01-2011, 05:39   #65
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So what is it specifically that cannot be achieved via satphone and that is otherwise achieved via a 10 times more expensive, 10 times more power hungry technology. How many of us use landline when mobile is available.

How many of us still use cotton sails, copper plating on the bottom and parafin nav lights?

barnie
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Old 13-01-2011, 06:53   #66
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The argument is the same as the sextant, gps argument,the old technology works but its more convenient to have the new.The ssb works without satellites,as does the sextant.The theory was that when the "S.H.T.F". ,people would still be able to communicate,and find their way home.
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Old 13-01-2011, 15:38   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highseas View Post

The theory was that when the "S.H.T.F". ,people would still be able to communicate,and find their way home.
;-)

Yes, shure: you call USCG on SSB and ask them for directions?

;-)
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Old 13-01-2011, 23:12   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Mark I'm afraid it's tilting at windmills. The far technically superior satphones have trounced HF . Note we in the marine world are in transition , soon well all have Internet access and whatdoyano nets are back , text texts that is. The Internet full of them. I wouldn't worry about people communicating that will survive , it's just all in the " net"

Wishing to return to HF is like looking for steam transport to return .

Dave
Hey Dave wasn't looking for the age of steam but the age of Sail coming back would be nice!

Cheers

Mark
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Old 14-01-2011, 00:09   #69
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Iridium

I work in remote Alaska on the ocean and use a hand held Sat Phone every day and it can be extremely un reliable and frustrating. It is the newest Iridium it is far better than the Global star system but still unreliable do to weather. Battery life in extreme temperature is however good. What about spot technology for emergency situations?
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Old 14-01-2011, 00:36   #70
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Originally Posted by paulmccaige View Post
I work in remote Alaska on the ocean and use a hand held Sat Phone every day and it can be extremely un reliable and frustrating. It is the newest Iridium it is far better than the Global star system but still unreliable do to weather. Battery life in extreme temperature is however good. What about spot technology for emergency situations?
When I took my GMDSS exam it was required that boats traveling in high latitudes carry HF radios as Sat phones do not work above 70 degrees.

Cheers
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Old 14-01-2011, 02:46   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SariTimur View Post
When I took my GMDSS exam it was required that boats traveling in high latitudes carry HF radios as Sat phones do not work above 70 degrees.

Cheers
Some satphones don't work above 70 degrees. Iridium (for example) has their sats in circumpolar orbits, so they get true global coverage. Some other satphone systems use geosynch satellites, and these don't cover the poles.
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Old 14-01-2011, 06:25   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SariTimur
When I took my GMDSS exam it was required that boats traveling in high latitudes carry HF radios as Sat phones do not work above 70 degrees.

Cheers
That's more because GMDSS define a particular sat service that's participates in Safetynet broadcasts. Only Inmarsat has those and they don't reach the poles. It's more of a specs committee problem . Ultimately Sea Area A4 will get included in GMDSS sat coverage ( anyway polar exploration is rather specialised

Dave
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Old 14-01-2011, 12:56   #73
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I do lots of deliveries and have the chance to use different communication mechanisms, sometimes side-by-side on the same boat. I'm offshore more often than not. Based on my experience, I find Fleet Broadband the most reliable followed by HF/SSB, then Iridium, followed (distantly) by Globalstar.

I have HF/SSB on my own boat.

On my recent delivery from the Chesapeake to BVI during which I was keeping up with an ill family member it was HF/SSB that kept me connected to my family. Many thanks to Bill (above) and the Waterway Net for making the connection between family ashore and me underway.

73 es sail fast, dave KO4MI
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Old 17-01-2011, 08:02   #74
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The REAL reason to go SAT phone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
A Sat Phone is like a normal Cell Phone...you just make the friggin' call.
That comes in real handy when a person without a special license needs to get help because the license holder has trapped his finger in the toilet seat.
Leave it to Mark to boil it down to a real-world scenario we can all identify with. I'm in North Carolina, USA - please stop by and let me buy you a pint.

John
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Old 17-01-2011, 08:56   #75
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Practical specifications

For the sake of comparison, can anyone (or everyone) fill in the blanks for some of these specs for SAT phones and SSB:

1) Size and weight of unit, including accessories (modems, amps, boosters, etc.)

2) Current draw for standby and operational modes.

3) Durability in typical cruising environment (salt air, humidity, etc.)

4) Ability to transfer system components to ditch bag/lifeboat, and ability to use system effectively in such an environment.

5) Total system cost, initial and annually.

Some of us have small boats, small budgets, and don't plan to cross the Southern Ocean anytime soon. I'm thinkin' East Coast, Bahamas, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and Central America.

Thanks,

John
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