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Old 17-03-2018, 15:53   #1
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Buying Iridium Equipment in the U.S.

We are going to have to buy TWO sets of sat comms gear. That is because the terms of our Greenland expedition license require us to have a sat phone with every separated group -- so we can't leave anyone on the boat without a sat phone, if a shore party goes ashore with the primary sat phone.

Besides that, the Iridium Go which we want for data and text is not waterproof or rugged or really well suited to being used in the dinghy, shore party, etc.

I have a friend coming from the U.S. in April to do a little local cruising, and I could have him bring the gear from there, if it's cheaper and/or better than acquiring it in the U.K. or Europe. I have addresses and bank accounts in both places if needed for the subscription contracts.

Does anyone have experience or knowledge about this issue; tips?


A frustrating and ironic point to this is that I've had a fixed installed sat phone all along on this boat. Only it's Globalstar, which doesn't have any coverage up there :headbang: The PO spent 1000's having it lovingly installed with LMR400 cable etc., and I haven't gotten a bit of use out of it -- I've never had it activated in all these years.
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Old 17-03-2018, 16:03   #2
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Re: Buying Iridium Equipment in the U.S.

Is an actual satt phone a requirment or would a device like InReach meet requirements? It is Iridium based.
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Old 17-03-2018, 16:34   #3
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Re: Buying Iridium Equipment in the U.S.

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Is an actual satt phone a requirment or would a device like InReach meet requirements? It is Iridium based.
It needs to be a phone.

I thought the Go would be useful in any case since HF propagation is dodgy up there -- I will really need data comms, especially for weather.

The other should be a normal handheld which can be taken on shore. I suppose we won't use it much if at all, so I would have one of those low minute or no minute plans for it.
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Old 17-03-2018, 16:41   #4
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Re: Buying Iridium Equipment in the U.S.

Dockhead-
Is all this stuff because you are an 'expedition' ? Rather than just tourists?
Or is all the Danish talk about "expedition permit" just a bad translation?
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Old 17-03-2018, 16:57   #5
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Re: Buying Iridium Equipment in the U.S.

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Dockhead-
Is all this stuff because you are an 'expedition' ? Rather than just tourists?
Or is all the Danish talk about "expedition permit" just a bad translation?
No, we're going off piste, as it were. The wild, usually ice-bound East coast is almost completely uninhabited, and you are not allowed to go there without a permit, other than a small area around Taasillaq, and another around Scorseby Sound. The West coast is completely different; even the language is different. There are only 56,000 people in the whole country, which is not that much smaller than India, but less than 10% of those live in the East. Half of those live in one village, Taasillaq, and that's a coast about 1500 miles long.

Another requirement is that we are armed with at least one weapon of at least 30.06 caliber.
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Old 18-03-2018, 11:18   #6
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Re: Buying Iridium Equipment in the U.S.

"off piste"
Yes, I understand that. I was looking at their web sites and somewhat surprised at the world's largest national park and just how much "Here be dragons" they have out there. (Clever Vikings, calling the green place "Iceland" and the icy wastes "Greenland" to discourage settlers!)

But their official web pages refer to "expeditions" needing permits, there's no mention of "tourists" or anything else. Here in the Colonies...an expedition is usually something formal, with a leader, sponsors, a scientific purpose or goal. Lewis and Clark. Dr. Stanley. Amundsen and Scott. Definitely not the same as "Hey, wasn't that Chevy Chase and his family in the station wagon we just passed?"

Which made me wonder, if the translation had just skipped a bit, or if you were really leading an expedition of some sort. Maybe bringing food to those starving polar bears?

Bet you could start a GoFundMe page for that, and get your entire expedition paid for! (G)
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Old 18-03-2018, 11:47   #7
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Re: Buying Iridium Equipment in the U.S.

DH-

I will share a source we have used for years in Alaska who pretty much deals with nothing but expeditions: Surveyor's Exchange [supplier to professional land surveyors; including Iridium sales and rentals.]

Before we could justify owning our own sat phone, [e.g., while we were working full time- taking long summer vacations...] we rented from them each summer for a couple of months. Their rates were competitive @ ~US$200/month for a full kit with spare battery and waterproof Pellican case... They mail anywhere [at least in the US from our experience], and the rental period doesn't begin until you receive it in the mail... [All from past experience. This needs to be validated in case anything has changed...]

We also bought our Iridium Extreme [9575] from them in kit form [in early 2014]. They reliably handle our airtime contracts as well [We have a roll-over contract that loses all rolled minutes if not renewed on time... They haven't failed us ever over our 4+ years of fulltime service. And we still find them cheapest amont other nationwide US suppliers.]

Best wishes with your search.

Cheers! Bill

PS: In case it is of interest and you don't already know, Iridium also makes a 9575 model with PTT [push to talk] functionality. [We do not have that model...]

PPS: For anyone interested, we maintain a page on this topic [mainly for ourselves] with both details about our service choices and links to many useful resources. [e.g., How to test phone and SOS function on Iridium 9575, etc.]
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Old 18-03-2018, 11:58   #8
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Re: Buying Iridium Equipment in the U.S.

Iridium in the USA I always use Satphone store in Miami. The current best model for your use is the 9575 extreme as someone else mentioned. I currently carry a 9575 in Africa and it works. Good reception. If you want to buy in Canada, I would recommend Canada Satellite in Calgary. That is where I bought my current phone. PS I use it almost every day.

The gun requirement is a 30-06. Given the gun is for polar bears, I would suggest a bigger calibre. Unless you are a great shot, a 30-06 is only going to piss off the polar bear. If you have to use the gun it will not be in ideal circumstances. There are lots of choices bigger than 30-06 and I would also consider iron sites instead of a scope. weather may cause grief to your scope just when you need to use it.

Just my humble opinion.
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Old 18-03-2018, 12:12   #9
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Re: Buying Iridium Equipment in the U.S.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"off piste"
Yes, I understand that. I was looking at their web sites and somewhat surprised at the world's largest national park and just how much "Here be dragons" they have out there. (Clever Vikings, calling the green place "Iceland" and the icy wastes "Greenland" to discourage settlers!)

But their official web pages refer to "expeditions" needing permits, there's no mention of "tourists" or anything else. Here in the Colonies...an expedition is usually something formal, with a leader, sponsors, a scientific purpose or goal. Lewis and Clark. Dr. Stanley. Amundsen and Scott. Definitely not the same as "Hey, wasn't that Chevy Chase and his family in the station wagon we just passed?"

Which made me wonder, if the translation had just skipped a bit, or if you were really leading an expedition of some sort. Maybe bringing food to those starving polar bears?

Bet you could start a GoFundMe page for that, and get your entire expedition paid for! (G)
Well, they consider your purpose in deciding whether to allow you to do it. So it really is a kind of expedition. Our purpose is to walk around and do photography, and they seemed to think that was OK. Obviously we are not great polar explorers
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Old 18-03-2018, 12:14   #10
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Re: Buying Iridium Equipment in the U.S.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ardbeg View Post
Iridium in the USA I always use Satphone store in Miami. The current best model for your use is the 9575 extreme as someone else mentioned. I currently carry a 9575 in Africa and it works. Good reception. If you want to buy in Canada, I would recommend Canada Satellite in Calgary. That is where I bought my current phone. PS I use it almost every day.

The gun requirement is a 30-06. Given the gun is for polar bears, I would suggest a bigger calibre. Unless you are a great shot, a 30-06 is only going to piss off the polar bear. If you have to use the gun it will not be in ideal circumstances. There are lots of choices bigger than 30-06 and I would also consider iron sites instead of a scope. weather may cause grief to your scope just when you need to use it.

Just my humble opinion.
We discussed the choice of weaponry in another -- rather lively! -- thread. It will be 12 gauge with high velocity magnum slugs. Consensus of experienced people who go there.
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Old 18-03-2018, 12:17   #11
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Re: Buying Iridium Equipment in the U.S.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrwakefield View Post
DH-

I will share a source we have used for years in Alaska who pretty much deals with nothing but expeditions: Surveyor's Exchange [supplier to professional land surveyors; including Iridium sales and rentals.]

Before we could justify owning our own sat phone, [e.g., while we were working full time- taking long summer vacations...] we rented from them each summer for a couple of months. Their rates were competitive @ ~US$200/month for a full kit with spare battery and waterproof Pellican case... They mail anywhere [at least in the US from our experience], and the rental period doesn't begin until you receive it in the mail... [All from past experience. This needs to be validated in case anything has changed...]

We also bought our Iridium Extreme [9575] from them in kit form [in early 2014]. They reliably handle our airtime contracts as well [We have a roll-over contract that loses all rolled minutes if not renewed on time... They haven't failed us ever over our 4+ years of fulltime service. And we still find them cheapest amont other nationwide US suppliers.]

Best wishes with your search.

Cheers! Bill

PS: In case it is of interest and you don't already know, Iridium also makes a 9575 model with PTT [push to talk] functionality. [We do not have that model...]

PPS: For anyone interested, we maintain a page on this topic [mainly for ourselves] with both details about our service choices and links to many useful resources. [e.g., How to test phone and SOS function on Iridium 9575, etc.]
Thanks; very hot tip!! I would much prefer to rent than to buy actually.
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Old 18-03-2018, 12:23   #12
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Re: Buying Iridium Equipment in the U.S.

A good point for someone unfamiliar with long guns: Even a good "waterproof" nitrogen-filled rifle scope, just like binoculars, can fog up in extreme cold. The seals sometimes fail.

But a good compromise, if you are actually buying a rifle, is a set of high rise mounting rings for the scope. Typically they will elevate it less than an inch, allowing the iron sights to be seen and used without detaching the scope. Yes, in theory this makes the scope less accurate because it is now slightly off-center. But at 100 yards or longer, that will be the least problem in targeting.

Anyone who is fitting a scope, will be familiar with these mounts.

FWIW.
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Old 18-03-2018, 12:45   #13
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Re: Buying Iridium Equipment in the U.S.

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No, we're going off piste, as it were.
It sounds like you are rather Piste Off.
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Old 18-03-2018, 13:11   #14
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Re: Buying Iridium Equipment in the U.S.

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We discussed the choice of weaponry in another -- rather lively! -- thread. It will be 12 gauge with high velocity magnum slugs. Consensus of experienced people who go there.
Good choice. Don't forget to take the magazine plug out. Two more rounds. Most bears will run away. But they are curios and have and will swim out to the boat! Also like to bite rubber boats! So wouldn't leave it in the water or carry two. Which probably isn't a bad idea regardless. Have fun.
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Old 18-03-2018, 13:14   #15
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Re: Buying Iridium Equipment in the U.S.

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Good choice. Don't forget to take the magazine plug out. Two more rounds. Most bears will run away. But they are curios and have and will swim out to the boat! Also like to bite rubber boats! So wouldn't leave it in the water or carry two. Which probably isn't a bad idea regardless. Have fun.
Yes, we'll have two shotguns, which are Plan "B", plus "bear bangers", as Plan "A"

I'm quite afraid of the dinghy getting mauled -- it is apparently common. We will probably anchor the dinghy and take a line ashore. Something like that. And carry a spare. A friend has generously offered to lend a roll-up as a spare.
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