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Old 11-07-2014, 00:07   #1
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Comms across Tasman Sea? InReach? Spot? Sat phone?

I am heading across the Tasman in a month or so.
33' steel Cutter.

I am looking at communication devices.
Rather than being primarily for calling for assistance, the main purpose of any communications device is to re-assure the wife at home that all is Okay.
I would much rather spend time and effort in preparation and ensuring there are no "rescue- needed" emergency than hoping to rely on some "coming over the horizon_Calvary"

Options so far:

1. Spot - GPS Satellite Messenger NZ $299 full price - no "on-going"
Kinda attractive ,being a relatively uncomplicated & known technology.

I wonder about coverage in the South Tasman / Auckland Island ?

2. InReach

inReach Satellite Communicator - 2-Way Messaging & SOS - RATES

Inreach does "seem" all very modern and useful = sounds great.

I wonder at the price - being forced to buy an on-going contract from an Ozzie Telco kinda sux when I'm immediately leaving OZ.

3. Sat Phone

I wonder about buying a 2nd hand one on Ozzie E_BAy?
and then I am back to " being forced to buy an on-going contract from an Ozzie Telco kinda sux when I'm immediately leaving OZ".

Opinions / questions / comments - suggestions - : welcomed.

Ham Radio
is not in my skill set. I'm not really interested in learning and installing
.
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Old 11-07-2014, 01:04   #2
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Re: Comms across Tasman Sea? InReach? Spot? Sat phone?

Seen the yellowbricks?
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Old 11-07-2014, 02:13   #3
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Re: Comms across Tasman Sea? InReach? Spot? Sat phone?

Yellow-brick?
Until your suggestion -I'd never heard of them
Thanks.

To purchase they be 399 pounds --- or $780 NZ

A touch off-putting.
I did email them asking for a quote to "Hire"

https://www.yellowbrick-tracking.com/shop.php
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Old 11-07-2014, 02:32   #4
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Re: Comms across Tasman Sea? InReach? Spot? Sat phone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scare_Rab View Post
I am heading across the Tasman in a month or so.
33' steel Cutter.

I am looking at communication devices.
Rather than being primarily for calling for assistance, the main purpose of any communications device is to re-assure the wife at home that all is Okay.
I would much rather spend time and effort in preparation and ensuring there are no "rescue- needed" emergency than hoping to rely on some "coming over the horizon_Calvary"
.....................
.
OK, for this purpose it's going to have to be 100% reliable and I think your wife would be more assured by hearing your voice than by some message (or absence of same).

For these reasons, I suggest an Iridium Sat Phone. It will work across the Tasman, it's proven technology and the learning curve is pretty easy.

You don't need to be taking chances here so I suggest you buy new and sell it yourself on ebay or whatever if/when you have no further use for it.

Or hire one if that takes your fancy. Several outlets in Oz hire them
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Old 11-07-2014, 03:27   #5
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Re: Comms across Tasman Sea? InReach? Spot? Sat phone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
OK, for this purpose it's going to have to be 100% reliable and I think your wife would be more assured by hearing your voice than by some message (or absence of same).

For these reasons, I suggest an Iridium Sat Phone. It will work across the Tasman, it's proven technology and the learning curve is pretty easy.

You don't need to be taking chances here so I suggest you buy new and sell it yourself on ebay or whatever if/when you have no further use for it.

Or hire one if that takes your fancy. Several outlets in Oz hire them
+2,but allow enough time for your sim card to arrive by post

i use a pay as you go card,which is about 75 for the initial 50 minutes +card,then 50 for subsequent blocks of 50 minutes,which can be topped up online,with no ongoing contract.
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Old 11-07-2014, 03:49   #6
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Re: Comms across Tasman Sea? InReach? Spot? Sat phone?

Yellow brick gets my vote. Used them in the solo Tasman race. Great. The Tasman in mid winter is no walk in the park. From where to where? I hope you and the boat are ready!

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Old 11-07-2014, 04:22   #7
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Re: Comms across Tasman Sea? InReach? Spot? Sat phone?

Marine SSB. Russell radio will notify your wife after you check in with them.

If it doesn't suit, then go with another way. There are a couple of ham nets, as well, though you have ruled them out.

It's only about a week across the Tasman; maybe she could wait till you arrive, as did the wives of yore.

Ann
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Old 11-07-2014, 05:54   #8
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Re: Comms across Tasman Sea? InReach? Spot? Sat phone?

We had problems using Spot in area N of where you want to be. Check their coverage before committing.

Iridium and Inmarsat phones no issues.

Iridium or Inmarsat trackers will work as well. Yellowbrick. InReach.

Spot is one way. InReach is both ways. InReach has the new gizmo too. Check it out.

I think IsatPhone from Inmarsat yields very good value/money all chips down.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 11-07-2014, 06:27   #9
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Re: Comms across Tasman Sea? InReach? Spot? Sat phone?

While I would be cautious about recommending any Globalstar voice service for the area you'll be in (coverage map is too limited), you would probably be well served with a SPOT Gen3 (you can see the SPOT messaging coverage map here: Network / Satellite). For reliability and more guaranteed coverage, I would recommend something with a broader global coverage area like an Iridium system.

InReach is built on an Iridium modem and an Iridium 9555 (or even 9505A or 9500 if you can find a used one in good working condition) is always an excellent, and very reliable, choice.

Also: Iridium airtime does not have to be subscription. If a satellite provider is saying you can only get subscription airtime - look for a different satellite provider! A 75-Minute prepaid card (cost in USD is around $145) will cover you for a month and can easily be topped off with more minutes if you need it.
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Old 11-07-2014, 17:10   #10
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Re: Comms across Tasman Sea? InReach? Spot? Sat phone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
........
It's only about a week across the Tasman; maybe she could wait till you arrive, as did the wives of yore.

Ann
Few and far between these days I reckon but I'm sure they hold their value

.
.
.
.
FWIW Brisbane / Auckland took us about 2 weeks back in the mid '80s. I concede life was slower then - but we ourselves were faster
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Old 11-07-2014, 17:17   #11
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Re: Comms across Tasman Sea? InReach? Spot? Sat phone?

What are you using for weather?
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