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Old 14-05-2014, 06:24   #241
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

[QUOTE=Andrew Troup;1540715]
Now that we know (thanks, Eric) that some anonymous clerk can mysteriously, capriciously and unilaterally terminate anyone's satphone comms from their desk in Poughkeepsie or wherever, that's clearly not a method of communication which should be built into our plans and expectations.

U/QUOTE]

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Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
I don't think we yet have an answer from RH as to the reason for the satphone cutoff. These phone are routinely used by 10's of 1000's of folks in all walks of life for emergency communications in dangerous backwaters of the planet. Arbitrarily cutting service does not seem to fit the business model.
I understood Eric to say that the company he used sent him a new SIM card for his satphone, but it was sent snail mail a couple of weeks before his departure, with no email alert to him to be looking for it or that his current card would be expiring shortly. He didn't receive the new SIM card before departure and didn't know the current one would expire. This is something I would expect for a land-based service where a sailor at sea would be highly unusual (for instance, a credit card renewal), but rather shocking to me for a satphone company.

This is the most important piece of information that I have gotten from this thread, honestly. I had already decided that an SSB will be higher on my list than a satphone, partly because I just like the nerdiness of radio. If I ever, for any reason, decide to buy a satphone, I will look up this thread for the name of the dealer RH used, just so I can avoid them. A mistake like this could put them out of business from the negative word of mouth...and maybe it should. Know your customer!
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Old 14-05-2014, 06:37   #242
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
I don't think we yet have an answer from RH as to the reason for the satphone cutoff. These phone are routinely used by 10's of 1000's of folks in all walks of life for emergency communications in dangerous backwaters of the planet. Arbitrarily cutting service does not seem to fit the business model.

I believe RH did answer that question a few pages back. While, as you say, "10s of 1000s" use these I'm not betting my life on ours (an Iridium) in an emergency. We have yet to be able to complete a call without the phone/service dropping the call. We have a less than 50% success of a position report email going through. In addition, ours sits in a cradle at the nav station that is connected to an externally mounted antenna, we have observed that 20-25% of the time it is searching for service here in the Caribbean -- very disturbing. I wouldn't think this would fit the business model either but this has been our experience for almost two years now. Meanwhile I have 800 minutes I can't seem to spend for any useful purpose.

Robyn
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Old 14-05-2014, 06:45   #243
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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I believe RH did answer that question a few pages back. While, as you say, "10s of 1000s" use these I'm not betting my life on ours (an Iridium) in an emergency. We have yet to be able to complete a call without the phone/service dropping the call. We have a less than 50% success of a position report email going through. In addition, ours sits in a cradle at the nav station that is connected to an externally mounted antenna, we have observed that 20-25% of the time it is searching for service here in the Caribbean -- very disturbing. I wouldn't think this would fit the business model either but this has been our experience for almost two years now. Meanwhile I have 800 minutes I can't seem to spend for any useful purpose.

Robyn
You have a problem with your antenna. Trust me on this one. I bet you only have one or two bars of signal. My Iridium 9555 with Nav Station install and external antenna never dropped a call or email in two years and 1500 minutes on our around the Atlantic trip including a 4 months in the Caribbean.

I also submit that have to know where you stand wrt to your SIM contract expiration date and minutes remaining before a crossing if it is a primary piece of gear. Similar to status of the life raft inspection date.
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Old 14-05-2014, 06:47   #244
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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You have a problem with your antenna. Trust me on this one. My Iridium 9555 with Nav Station install and external antenna never dropped a call or email in two years and 1500 minutes on our around the Atlantic trip including a 4 months in the Caribbean.

It is on the list of things to take a closer look at this summer. All of the dropped calls happen when I was using it on deck because I was so pissed off trying to use it inside. Maybe we have a bad phone. Thanks for the input.

Robyn
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Old 14-05-2014, 06:51   #245
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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It is on the list of things to take a closer look at this summer. All of the dropped calls happen when I was using it on deck because I was so pissed off trying to use it inside. Maybe we have a bad phone. Thanks for the input.

Robyn
It is a known problem that the internal antenna on the 9555 fail. Ours has failed. I now use it off the boat with an external antenna as I am too cheap to have it repaired. Beware when buying a used one.
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Old 14-05-2014, 07:04   #246
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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There is no perfect time to take brats sailing. I advocate selling them along with the house.

***Disclaimer: I don't have children but I saw a post card of one once.


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Old 14-05-2014, 07:43   #247
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Even speaking as someone with a vested interest in persuading people that they should get me to make stuff for them

I can't think of any way I could make a case that if they drilled their own chainplates instead of having me make them, their boat would leak.
Well, I too can't see how drilling your own chainplate would make your boat leak. That's a pretty strange conclusion, dude.

I CAN see how things like using improper bar stock, installing it incorrectly, overlooking problems in the knee (it was an internal chainplate after all), etc. could lead to a failure which would then lead to your boat leaking.

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I simply don't get where you're coming from, with disparaging inferences about "home-made stuff".
Home-made stuff is great - until it fails. Again, the chainplates/knees might or might not have been the problem. But in analyzing a failure, one of the best places to start is by asking the questions "What changed?" These definitely changed. And something in that area failed (though I'm still unclear how if the damage was on the leeward side like RH says - strange).

RH, another thing that's still not lining up in your story is your insistence that you could have kept going, even with this damage, if it weren't for the baby. But then you mentions that you were losing power due to the water intrusion. Not horrible. But then you also mention the fact that you had barely enough water to drink because your watermaker was going down due to the power issues.

Another 3 weeks in the SP with no water? How were you going to do this?
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Old 14-05-2014, 08:07   #248
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Well, I too can't see how drilling your own chainplate would make your boat leak. That's a pretty strange conclusion, dude.

I CAN see how things like using improper bar stock, installing it incorrectly, overlooking problems in the knee (it was an internal chainplate after all), etc. could lead to a failure which would then lead to your boat leaking.



Home-made stuff is great - until it fails. Again, the chainplates/knees might or might not have been the problem. But in analyzing a failure, one of the best places to start is by asking the questions "What changed?" These definitely changed. And something in that area failed (though I'm still unclear how if the damage was on the leeward side like RH says - strange).

RH, another thing that's still not lining up in your story is your insistence that you could have kept going, even with this damage, if it weren't for the baby. But then you mentions that you were losing power due to the water intrusion. Not horrible. But then you also mention the fact that you had barely enough water to drink because your watermaker was going down due to the power issues.

Another 3 weeks in the SP with no water? How were you going to do this?



Small tankage strikes again. I can't imagine counting on water maker output when doing the math for a crossing. I wouldn't even count on a single tank.
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Old 14-05-2014, 08:10   #249
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Small tankage strikes again. I can't imagine counting on water maker output when doing the math for a crossing. I wouldn't even count on a single tank.
How was this handled pre-watermaker? Rainwater collection?
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Old 14-05-2014, 08:29   #250
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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Small tankage strikes again. I can't imagine counting on water maker output when doing the math for a crossing. I wouldn't even count on a single tank.
The watermaker threads are full of people claiming they regularly cross oceans using two squirts out of a spray bottle as their sole water usage. One poster claims they use 1L per day between 3 people! Eric himself posted how little water they needed, which was his reasoning for purchasing the 40gpd unit they had.

Seems to me that many people are crossing oceans with small tanks and no generation capability.

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Old 14-05-2014, 08:36   #251
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

What was the water tankage on Rebel Heart?
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Old 14-05-2014, 08:42   #252
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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The watermaker threads are full of people claiming they regularly cross oceans using two squirts out of a spray bottle as their sole water usage.

Yes, I agree and I do.
I have spray bottles at every water tap and the water pump is always off
You can have as many showers per day as you like on Sea Life.... As long as the fresh water comes out of the spray bottle. The wrist hurts at less than 1 litre!

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Old 14-05-2014, 08:44   #253
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

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What was the water tankage on Rebel Heart?
I believe it was 80 gallons.
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Old 14-05-2014, 08:50   #254
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

One vessel I made that crossing with had 300 gallons of tankage for 6 people. This was pre water maker. We used fresh water for drinking only, and some of the cooking. My Brother being who he is scrubbed the decks every day with salt water and soap. Our skin got salt crusty and the beds were never truly dry. When ever a rain squall showed itself we would turn towards it, and once the salt was rinsed off the vessel and we had all taken fresh water showers, we would block the scuppers and open the water tank plug, and hang a 5 gallon bucket rigged with a garden hose attached to the bottom on our gooseneck, caught the rain off of the main sail, and let it run into the tank. 3 weeks for the crossing to Nuka Hiva from San Diego, we had plenty of water when we made landfall. Before we got there, we had reservations about quality of water in the islands, but found it was better than the water we got in San Diego. We didn't have GPS, Epirbs, only a Ham radio and SSB, VHF. A remarkable amount of water came down off of the main sail.
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Old 14-05-2014, 09:41   #255
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re: Call for Help/ This American Life (Merged)

Quote:
Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
You have a problem with your antenna. Trust me on this one. I bet you only have one or two bars of signal. My Iridium 9555 with Nav Station install and external antenna never dropped a call or email in two years and 1500 minutes on our around the Atlantic trip including a 4 months in the Caribbean.

I also submit that have to know where you stand wrt to your SIM contract expiration date and minutes remaining before a crossing if it is a primary piece of gear. Similar to status of the life raft inspection date.
If you listen to the interview or read the transcript, you will find that the contract did not expire. The service provider decided to change SIM card manufacturers and mailed out new SIM cards to all their subscribers a couple weeks before turning off all the current ones. They decided to use snail mail and not inform anybody by email (not that that would have helped all their customers in remote places much anyways).

Can't pin this one on Eric.
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