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Old 05-04-2012, 15:12   #1
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Buying a used Sat Phone

Im looking at used Iridium phones on Ebay mostly 9500 series phones and Im wondering what I need to be on th elook out for? Assuming I get a phone that is not broken is there anything special about these that I need to look out for? Im assuming (dangerous I know) that once I have the phone itself its a matter of buying a prepaid sim card or setting up a service plan with someone like the satphone store. As always your suggestions are greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-04-2012, 16:52   #2
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Re: Buying a used Sat Phone

I have a sat phone that I have had on craigslist for a while. It was my dads and I have been trying to sell it for him. I believe it is an Iridium 9555. If you are interested send me a PM with your email and I will email you some pictures/video of it it action and all the info. My dad bought it on 4/19/2011 used it twice and it has been sitting on my shelf for 8 months (I have receipt). I just turned it on and still has battery power left. It came off of his Wauquiez to boot!
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Old 05-04-2012, 19:18   #3
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Re: Buying a used Sat Phone

Demeter, I expect that you have some idea who you will be buying minutes from? You might want to check with them, you don't have to tell them where the phone is coming from just tell them you're going to be buying time for a used phone, are there any incompatibilities to be aware of.
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Old 05-04-2012, 19:22   #4
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Re: Buying a used Sat Phone

I still have this if you are interested. Not perfect but honest.


http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...uff-78244.html

I have bought my minutes from Explorer Satellite, Andy Cool. Good service and reasonable. http://www.explorersatellite.com/
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:58   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SV Demeter
Im looking at used Iridium phones on Ebay mostly 9500 series phones and Im wondering what I need to be on th elook out for? Assuming I get a phone that is not broken is there anything special about these that I need to look out for? Im assuming (dangerous I know) that once I have the phone itself its a matter of buying a prepaid sim card or setting up a service plan with someone like the satphone store. As always your suggestions are greatly appreciated.
I did just that a few years ago, , bought two each for about $300 dollars. Sold one to a friend, the various wars since have eaten up a lot of used units. But now that should ease again soon.

The 9500 is fine, it's not waterproof or splash proof if you can pick up a dock as well all the better. I picked up a second hand rail mounted external antenna as well. I keep the phone and the accessories in a peli case. I have it now for about 8 years no issues. Use it several times a year. I have a very accommodating service provider that activates and deactivates my account as needs. I wish the iridium prepay was more flexible as I,d use that , but I keep finding I run out of time with loads of minutes remaining.

Note many versions of the 9500 need a firmware upgrade to use the data option, that's often why they don't work. Not sure if there is a USB option now as the serial is a pain. I beleive some 9505 accessories fit the 9500.

In my experience a good workhorse of a phone. Note you can receive SMS messages but you can't send them. ( though funnily on my I get notifications of such messages , but when I try to read them I can't !!).

Dave
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:32   #6
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Re: Buying a used Sat Phone

So the 9500 Series phones cannot send SMS text but they can recieve? Maybe I need to do some more homework on these phones.
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:34   #7
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So the 9500 Series phones cannot send SMS text but they can recieve? Maybe I need to do some more homework on these phones.
Yes you need the later 9505 for that

Dave
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:52   #8
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Re: Buying a used Sat Phone

Thanks Dave. Probably makes sense to focus on the 9505 and later phones. My main concern was just making sure that there wasnt something special I needed to be aware of with buying a second hand phone. It sounds to me like once i have the phone its a matter of choosing a service provider and activating the phone with a new sim card. The Sat Phone Store dot com seems to offer a pretty wide range of options so I will probably contact them and ask about compatability issues as well. Thanks everyone.
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:56   #9
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Originally Posted by SV Demeter
Thanks Dave. Probably makes sense to focus on the 9505 and later phones. My main concern was just making sure that there wasnt something special I needed to be aware of with buying a second hand phone. It sounds to me like once i have the phone its a matter of choosing a service provider and activating the phone with a new sim card. The Sat Phone Store dot com seems to offer a pretty wide range of options so I will probably contact them and ask about compatability issues as well. Thanks everyone.
Yes I'd focus on the later phones the 9500 is very long in the tooth. And you are correct once you have the phone it's just a matter of getting a suitable airtime plan, you can source the phone anywhere in the world, theyre all the same

Dave
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:02   #10
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Re: Buying a used Sat Phone

We sold a used 9500 on EBay after returning from the Bahamas last year. Did not get much use on that trip, though it came in VERY handy one time. My take is that the 9500 is the oldest model out there and technology has improved a lot since it was released in the mid 1990's. I would definitely go for a new(er) model if you want fewer dropped calls and better connectivity/data etc. In terms of used vs. new, I see no problem and the minutes are universal for the Iridium phones. We bought 500 minutes for about $1.20/minute that is actually cheaper than using a cell phone in the Caribbean/Bahamas. Sold the unused minutes to somebody in Thailand on EBay!!!
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:48   #11
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Re: Buying a used Sat Phone

Thanks we are still mulling over the amount of minutes to buy. I dont want to spend several hundred dollars on minutes that will expire before I need them. The phone is really going to be our last resort back up or for when on passage. Primary comms are WIFI where available and we are looking at cell phone plans from LIME in the caribbean who seem to offer plans that will work throughout the caribbean. Of course international calls arent free but their rates look compelling. Have not really given a lot of thought to trying to get any data over the sat phone but maybe for weather info while on passage. Primary source for weather is a small HF reciever with JVcomm software to decode weather fax but I have not had a chance yet to really get that working. Cant seem to get reception at my house and boat is still a bit of a construction site from winter projects.
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:04   #12
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Re: Buying a used Sat Phone

I recommend the 9555, if you can get one. Sturdy and reliable. The text feature may actually save you money in the long run. You'll get about 4 hours of talk time on the battery.
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:23   #13
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Re: Buying a used Sat Phone

Thanks Bash. Only problem I have with the 9555 is the price . I guess this is maybe not a place to cut corners but I still have a lot of safety gear left to buy and we are taking off this year...
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:27   #14
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Re: Buying a used Sat Phone

I recently bought a 9505 (not 9505a) used. If I were to buy new, I would bypass the 9555 and go for the Extreme aka the 9575 which has superior durability and waterproofing and also has a built in GPS and tracking capabilities. The only issue I was warned about with used Iridium phones was that certain stolen phones might be "locked out" of the system entirely. Turned out not to be an issue for me. Luck!
-M
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