Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 07-01-2017, 16:08   #1
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Bellingham
Boat: Outbound 44
Posts: 7,274
Another Satphone failure just when needed

A few snippets from our friends on Sage blog during their recent St Helena to Ascension Island, S. Atlantic passage:
Quote:
Iíll backtrack a minute and just mention some incidents on our sail north to Ascencion. First off, through a satellite phone (Inmarsat) we have onboard for receiving weather information and a few emails we learnt of some friends, Ann and Chris, onboard Silver Girl, were about to abandon their boat due to a lost rudder. We got one message and managed to send off a reply of support. One day later our sat phone refuses to connect to the required network. What! Yes, just at a critical moment we have lost contact with our fiends in need. Itís now almost one week later and we have no idea what has happened and if they were able to safely get onboard the ship that was heading their way to affect a rescue.
Itís minor to say we are pissed off at our network server.
__________________

__________________
Paul
Paul L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2017, 16:18   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 797
Re: Another Satphone failure just when needed

IMO it's inmersat. Doesn't matter if you're a low tier customer or Vendee Globe racer. If you're having issues with a geostationary satellite, it isn't going to magically get better until you get closer to the equator. Surprised they're having issues where they are tho.
__________________

SV DestinyAscen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2017, 16:25   #3
Registered User
 
funjohnson's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Out cruising again (Currently Norway)
Boat: 37' aluminum pilothouse "Elements"
Posts: 2,301
Re: Another Satphone failure just when needed

guessing an Isatphone? We'd spend hours trying to get just simple sms messages in the middle of the Atlantic. Now that the cost of minutes has gone up to par with Iridium, the inmarsat phones make no sense.

Matt
__________________
Youtube MJ sailing - Vlog
MJSailing.com - Written Blog
Rebuilt Aluminum Boat Over 2 Years... Now Back Cruising!
funjohnson is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2017, 17:17   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
StuM's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Port Moresby,Papua New Guinea
Boat: FP Belize Maestro 43 and OPB
Posts: 8,637
Re: Another Satphone failure just when needed

They proudly talk about their "global beam" coverage from their satellites, but don't mention that a lot of their services rely on their "narrow spot beam coverage" from the same satellites which has numerous gaps.
StuM is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2017, 09:13   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Princeton
Boat: Bavaria42C
Posts: 37
Re: Another Satphone failure just when needed

Is Iridium any better ? We have one onboard but we never used it so far,
AlohaSpirit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2017, 09:16   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 797
Re: Another Satphone failure just when needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlohaSpirit View Post
Is Iridium any better ? We have one onboard but we never used it so far,
Their satellites aren't geostationary and the constellation is constantly moving - so if you're not getting good signal and it isn't due to your antenna wait fifteen minutes and try again.
SV DestinyAscen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2017, 10:32   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 450
Images: 1
Re: Another Satphone failure just when needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
A few snippets from our friends on Sage blog during their recent St Helena to Ascension Island, S. Atlantic passage:
My Delorme Inreach is tied to the Iridium satellite network of 60 low orbit satellites .Never ever had a dead spot "Yet" touch wood. Leaves bread crumb trail as dense as you like. SOS Two way texting maps & weather downloading. I don't believe in Geostationary 22,000 mile away nonsense.it's a miracle they work at that distance having to go through all the magnetic ion barriers the Earth employs for our protection. The Iridium is like 60 cell towers whipping around doing their job. Just like GPS which only has 32 satellites. I get up to a dozen sat signals from GPS at once. I also don't like Per minute charges because you have to pre buy them and don't get credit for them if they're not used up. Rip off.
Rorzech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2017, 13:59   #8
Musician & 50T Master
 
Symphony's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Ct
Boat: Vicem 58 (ex-Tartan 41)
Posts: 591
Re: Another Satphone failure just when needed

my Delorme inReach suffered some difficulty connecting in the Sargasso Sea, midpoint between Bermuda and Virgin Islands. I couldn't find satellites, of course it might have been too bouncy to lock on one long enough to sync.
__________________
Symphony
Live slow, sail fast
Symphony is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2017, 15:18   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 422
Re: Another Satphone failure just when needed

Got an Inreach when active captain/Defender had them for $220 early Dec. They sold over 150 in 4 hours. Don't need it until June, so I'll buy a plan in May or so. Anybody know if the tracks points can be streched out to 6 or more hours? Also Anybody use the Inreach to get weather from Oceans? Thanks--Tim
(Stratford, Ct)
maine50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2017, 15:26   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 5,553
Re: Another Satphone failure just when needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
A few snippets from our friends on Sage blog during their recent St Helena to Ascension Island, S. Atlantic passage:
On our crossing a couple of years ago we helped one cruiser who had a sat ph that had similar issues, his email was screwed. He had a SSB and touched base with us and I downloaded a few grib files for him and passed on the info as well as an email to his family so they wouldn't worry. We did this on sail mail on SSB. We have a sat ph as well but have never used it.
robert sailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2017, 15:50   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Port Aransas, Texas
Boat: 2019 Seawind 1160 Lite, Previous 2002 Seawind 1000
Posts: 1,309
Re: Another Satphone failure just when needed

[QUOTE=maine50;2298609]Anybody use the Inreach to get weather from Oceans? Thanks--Tim
(Stratford, Ct)[/QUOTE

We did earlier last year. BTW, its OCENS. Cruised from Texas to Florida, across to Bahamas, as far South as Georgetown, and then back. We had fantastic service from our Inreach SE, and family was able to track us easily during the voyage. Not sure if you can change the position reporting frequency. We plugged ours into charge every few days, and internal battery was never an issue. We subscribed to the OCENS 72 hour forecasting, which I think was $8 per month for the standard data set (wind direction and speed, temp, barometric pressure, precip, etc.) For another $2 per month, we also go the wave direction, period and height, and the swell direction, period and height forecast. Which was important because usually there would be a wind shift in direction and it would take the waves a bit longer to realign.

Initially we had some issues with OCENS severely underpredicting the wave height. The waves forecasting was a brand new service, and apparently there are not a lot of Inreach users of this service, although lots via other equipment. I was able to talk to one of their weather forecasters, who reviewed my observations vs predictions, and we found they were reporting meter wave heights as feet wave heights on the Inreach. That got fixed immediately, with a big apology. Forecast of 1-2 ft for our crossing was a bit different than 1-2 meters (which is what we got).

After that was fixed, I found the forecasts to be relatively accurate on waves. Almost always correct on wind speed and direction. Sometimes the wave data was off a bit. With the 72 hour forecasts, you get details in four hour increments. We also listened to Chris Parkers weather forecast in the Bahamas. But his was more macro/regional, and the OCENS more local detail.

The OCENS forecasts are either at your current location, or you can send a lat long and get the forecast for that point. We would look at several points along our planned path. And yeah, I know someone is going to say these are just point forecasts, but they were pretty accurate for us. And I didn't want to screw with GRIB files, and the OCENS people were a whole lot better at weather forecasting than me!

We linked the Inreach to an I-pad to make the forecasts easier to read. Plus easier to use that for email, etc. In the end, our Sprint phones worked well in the Bahamas, so we used them more for email and texting. The Inreach worked when we weren't around towers though to still keep in touch.

I would not do this trip again without the Inreach. Frankly, it worked flawlessly for the entire trip. Now that we are back, we have the service discontinued. But I think it's a $20 charge or so to get OCENS forecasting started again. Plus of course your Inreach subscription.
sailjumanji is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2017, 16:00   #12
Senior Cruiser
 
StuM's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Port Moresby,Papua New Guinea
Boat: FP Belize Maestro 43 and OPB
Posts: 8,637
Re: Another Satphone failure just when needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by maine50 View Post
Got an Inreach when active captain/Defender had them for $220 early Dec. They sold over 150 in 4 hours. Don't need it until June, so I'll buy a plan in May or so. Anybody know if the tracks points can be streched out to 6 or more hours? Also Anybody use the Inreach to get weather from Oceans? Thanks--Tim
(Stratford, Ct)
4 hours is the maximum. (But you could switch it on and after it has logged your location , switch it off again . Then repeat how ever many hours/days later you want )
StuM is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2017, 17:17   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 450
Images: 1
Re: Another Satphone failure just when needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Symphony View Post
my Delorme inReach suffered some difficulty connecting in the Sargasso Sea, midpoint between Bermuda and Virgin Islands. I couldn't find satellites, of course it might have been too bouncy to lock on one long enough to sync.
I've noticed Delorme shut their whole system down for maybe a whole day, twice in the last couple of months due to up grading their weather map downloading system or something like that. At least they emailed me a warning first. I don't mind that. What on earth would make the sargasso sea any different than any other part of the world? In for a penny , in for a pound, i guess I'm sticking with what I got for now anyways.
Cheers
Rorzech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2017, 18:35   #14
Musician & 50T Master
 
Symphony's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Ct
Boat: Vicem 58 (ex-Tartan 41)
Posts: 591
Re: Another Satphone failure just when needed

ha, delivery capt said nobody in their right mind would be in the Sargasso during early October, not even satellites. InReach was excellent north of Bermuda and south of Virgin Islands, I used it instead of cellphone often because it was a great way to text cellphones on Antigua.
I pair my InReach with iPhone 6 and iPad Air. works fantastically. Last trip I found the best signal when the InReach was in the salon near a window. I could be in the opposite side hull in my forward cabin and the bluetooth worked flawlessly.
I found the OCENS weather to be useless in the north atlantic last October. I predicted weather better using barometer, eyes, and feel. Best was that I text my kids and they would text back with Predict Wind and Tropical Tidbits with the tracks of the various troffs and Invests
my InReach is great for dropping crumbs. family loves following my tracks. you can vary the crumb drop-rate quite a bit. you can also add comments to crumbs.
I TX/RX over 2,500 text messages in 10 days last October, $70 for the month. It was great
__________________
Symphony
Live slow, sail fast
Symphony is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2017, 19:09   #15
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 2,290
Re: Another Satphone failure just when needed

+1 on Inreach. By far the most reliable connections - much more reliable than satphone or SSB/Ham. It's so cheap, I can't imagine not having one aboard offshore - if only as a backup.

And no sim. While Inreach will charge your credit card once a month, before going offshore I use their website option to "preload" the account for the duration of the trip. Then I don't have to worry about a problem with the credit card.

I always leave my Inreach turned on and charging on the chart table - it seems to work fine through my fiberglass deck. That way family can reach me anytime (if a message comes in, the Inreach can be set to beep until you read it). Family ashore greatly prefer this to the daily check-in drill.

I find the Ocens weather very convenient and a lot better than guessing. I've found it about as accurate or inaccurate as the other online weather services for offshore (it's probably just bad luck, but Passage Weather has seemed the worst recently). When the weather forecast is worrisome, I also use the trick of of texting a shoreside friend to send me a 2nd weather forecast off the Internet. He can give me a local forecast and also a bigger picture. You can get a lot into 160 characters if you use a code - 5SW2W (Force 5 from the south west, 2 meter waves from the west). The longest he's ever needed was four text messages to describe a hurricane forecast (e.g. $0.40 cost).

Again for $250 purchase and $14/month basic plan, it's cheap insurance against what happened to the OP.
__________________

CarlF is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
phone

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
SSB or SatPhone ? catamannie Navigation 194 27-11-2016 02:02
Globalstar SatPhone Deal cwyckham Marine Electronics 23 02-12-2011 09:05
For Sale: Motorola 9505 Iridium SatPhone gulfscuba Classifieds Archive 3 20-08-2011 17:04
Best SatPhone Email System ? Revelations Marine Electronics 1 23-07-2011 15:58
For Sale: Iridium 9505A Satphone with Extras $450 Tnflakbait Classifieds Archive 2 11-02-2011 08:22



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 14:22.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.