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Old 22-11-2018, 15:02   #1
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SSB, sat phone or nothing for East Coast Australia

Hi, just wondering if I can safely go up the East Coast of Australia without an SSB and sat phone.

That is, will an epirb, VHF and mobile phone do the job?

Thanks!
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Old 22-11-2018, 15:24   #2
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Re: SSB, sat phone or nothing for East Coast Australia

Well, back in the dreamtime I survived thereabouts without epirb,VHF, or mobile phone...

In these modern days that would be plenty but I would throw an SSB receiver into the mix...maybe $A200 or less... https://www.anon-co.com/product/tecsun-pl680-ssb-radio
to get the wx from Charleville.... either just voice or if you are really keen voice and fax... http://www.bom.gov.au/marine/radio-s...schedule.shtml
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Old 22-11-2018, 15:40   #3
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Re: SSB, sat phone or nothing for East Coast Australia

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Originally Posted by fursoc View Post
Hi, just wondering if I can safely go up the East Coast of Australia without an SSB and sat phone.

That is, will an epirb, VHF and mobile phone do the job?

Thanks!
If you are thinking a of maritime trip, you will need a boat of sorts but other than that, the EPIRB and VHF will keep you legal.

As El Pin alludes, way back in the day it was usual sail without any radio aids - we survived but I do recall the excitement when I added a VHF and SSB. I could talk to other people while at sea. Dunno if if was safer but probably was, getting weather info was comforting.

Get a GPS (and a chart plotter) as well if you want easier trip .
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Old 22-11-2018, 15:42   #4
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Re: SSB, sat phone or nothing for East Coast Australia

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Hi, just wondering if I can safely go up the East Coast of Australia without an SSB and sat phone.

That is, will an epirb, VHF and mobile phone do the job?

Thanks!
Yes.

At least it seems to for most people who do that trip. We carried an InReach as well, but it was really only used to log our position for those playing along at home.

I don't recall ever being out of range of Marine Rescue via VHF

Mike
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Old 22-11-2018, 16:10   #5
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Re: SSB, sat phone or nothing for East Coast Australia

Can anyone comment on mobile coverage along the coast? From Sydney to Port Stephens we had coverage with Telstra all the way. But I guess it depends on how far off the coast we go.
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Old 22-11-2018, 16:15   #6
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Re: SSB, sat phone or nothing for East Coast Australia

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Can anyone comment on mobile coverage along the coast? From Sydney to Port Stephens we had coverage with Telstra all the way. But I guess it depends on how far off the coast we go.

For starters, you can check this out. It does seem to be fairly accurate.


https://www.telstra.com.au/coverage-...s/our-coverage


Optus has something similar too, but Telstra has the widest coverage.
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Old 22-11-2018, 16:28   #7
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Re: SSB, sat phone or nothing for East Coast Australia

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For starters, you can check this out. It does seem to be fairly accurate.


https://www.telstra.com.au/coverage-...s/our-coverage


Optus has something similar too, but Telstra has the widest coverage.
Yes and set the map view option from "standard" to "detailed" to coverage seawards off the coast.
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Old 22-11-2018, 17:28   #8
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Re: SSB, sat phone or nothing for East Coast Australia

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Yes and set the map view option from "standard" to "detailed" to coverage seawards off the coast.

..And set antenna to "external" if you have an external antenna or are able to hoist your phone to the top of the mast (e.g. tethered wifi)
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Old 22-11-2018, 18:42   #9
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Re: SSB, sat phone or nothing for East Coast Australia

Ok thanks everyone. Looks like you can probably get 4g signal all the way up the coast if we stay within 20-30 miles offshore. Nice!
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Old 22-11-2018, 20:43   #10
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Re: SSB, sat phone or nothing for East Coast Australia

Worth getting both optus/jennee sim and telstra/aldi sim
We found sometimes that jennee would work where aldi did not and vice versa.
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Old 22-11-2018, 22:27   #11
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Re: SSB, sat phone or nothing for East Coast Australia

There are a couple of gaps in mobile coverage south of Cairns. One between Port Clinto and Mackay and a second between Innisfail and Fitzroy Island. However you might find more if you stay 20-30 miles offshore.

There is communications with the various VMR's on VHF pretty well all the way to Cooktown and they broadcast weather reports and notices to mariners regularly.

In Queensland all Qld registered vessels voyaging further than 5 nm offshore are required to have an EPIRB. Not sure how they treat vessels registered in other states.
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Old 23-11-2018, 03:55   #12
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Re: SSB, sat phone or nothing for East Coast Australia

I support the multi SIM approach. Tel$tra for coverage and maybe Optarse or Vodafail for cheap data when coverage is available.

But Id also really consider AIS for that area. Its busy. At least by Australian standards.
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Old 23-11-2018, 04:11   #13
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Re: SSB, sat phone or nothing for East Coast Australia

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Originally Posted by Simi 60 View Post
Worth getting both optus/jennee sim and telstra/aldi sim
We found sometimes that jennee would work where aldi did not and vice versa.
Boost uses Telstra's network (is actually part of Telstra).

They've got some pretty good data plans at the moment. 35Gb for $30.
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Old 23-11-2018, 11:27   #14
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Re: SSB, sat phone or nothing for East Coast Australia

I can confirm re East Coast and in fact , most Australia Coast- Telstra for internet most areas except if very " rural " i.e. Great Aussie Bight , Kimberlys, patchy Cape York. Download a Telstra coverage map . I do have an external antenna and can stretch reception to approx. 35 nm off of a tower. Mobile phone - within 20nm of land service, see Telstra map. For weather via PC- BOM's MetEye- updated ea. hour or change. My portable SSB didn't work but suspect due to my aluminium hull-wip !!!
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Old 23-11-2018, 12:19   #15
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Re: SSB, sat phone or nothing for East Coast Australia

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There are a couple of gaps in mobile coverage south of Cairns. One between Port Clinto and Mackay and a second between Innisfail and Fitzroy Island. However you might find more if you stay 20-30 miles offshore.

There is communications with the various VMR's on VHF pretty well all the way to Cooktown and they broadcast weather reports and notices to mariners regularly.

In Queensland all Qld registered vessels voyaging further than 5 nm offshore are required to have an EPIRB. Not sure how they treat vessels registered in other states.
There is a new Telstra tower at Stanage to cover Island Head Creek to Middle Percy and with an external antenna on the mast there is marginal but useable coverage all the way up the coast to and including Lizard Island. North of there is very limited, but I haven't sailed past Lizard.

The only place I couldn't get coverage from the masthead antenna was Zoe Bay on the Eastern side of Hinchinbrook, but a directional antenna with higher gain got enough signal for weather forecasts.

A combination of Telstra and Optus can also allow you to pick the best coverage at the time. Phones and modems also need external antenna connectors and to be new enough to have the recently added 700mhz 4G frequency.

In addition to the coverage maps knowing where towers are located can help predict coverage.
https://oztowers.com.au/Home/Query
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