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Old 05-06-2015, 22:16   #16
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Re: Cruising Comms Set Up!

Thanks John,

I don't mind at all. Other readers here deserve clarification.

I think that my poor choice of words about reliability came from the grumpy old man in me, when the little boy in me poked him with a sharp stick.

I do realize that my Delorme uses the Iridium network. To be honest, my experience with the sat phone was so bad, that I felt like I was gambling on a repeat performance when I bought the Delorm.

My phone was the 9555, which I understood was the one I needed for email service. As it turned out, it was the company that I signed up for service with that just couldn't get things straight. A former active member of this forum, and a personal friend of mine, had signed up with the same outfit. His experience was devastating, far beyond just a bad service. I doubt that all the legal matters have been settle, so I will not take that any further.

But aside from that, I just feel much happier to use my tablet to do my high seas communication, over what I was able to do with the phone. And I look forward to doing much more.
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Old 09-06-2015, 13:57   #17
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Re: Cruising Comms Set Up!

Thanks u to everyone who has taken the time to reply to us. Can someone please confirm to avoid confusion for myself and holly, if we were to not go down the route of the Satalite phone and got the Delorme Inreach instead, is there a way to use it to received data, Ei weather updates/GRIB files where offshore?

At the moment I already very lucky have an Iridium 9555 that was given to us, along with our VHF onboard, and EPIRB, we are thinking with a platform such as Mainsail (Unless someone can offer a better/alternative provider) this will suffice at no more cost then the price plan for the phone?
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Old 09-06-2015, 14:10   #18
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Re: Cruising Comms Set Up!

As I mentioned earlier, I look forward to seeing what new features Delorme has up their sleeve. Short of that, my next major passage with be with the input of a weather router service, sending emails to my Delorme. Let him interpret the weather info and feed it to me.

Having said that, I look forward to the replies of others her.
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Old 24-08-2015, 12:58   #19
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Re: Cruising Comms Set Up!

My quick 2 cents, based on tens of thousands of miles offshore and coastal cruising in the UK, Europe, North Atlantic, Caribbean, Pacific, ...

A 406 MhZ EPIRB is a necessity, not a luxury. It trumps all the other equipment listed in this thread. Make sure you register it with your national Coast Guard -- it sends a unique identifying signature and precise GPS position, and the Coast Guard calls whomever you've listed as a contact. They can fill the CG in on what you're up to and what help you might need.

You'll need a VHF, if only to hear the Morning Net. But VHF is very short-range, not more than 20 NM, so this is nearly useless offshore for Mayday-type calls. Closer than that to shore, it's better and easier in an emergency to simply call the local Coast Guard by cellphone (see more on cellphones, below)! Check out VHF receivers with AIS receiving capability -- it's much easier and effective to call the freighter that's bearing down on you at 16 knots by name than to try "Eastbound freighter at 20 degrees 15 minutes North, 55 degrees 20 minutes West, this is Amy, the little sailboat you're about to run down."

In some of the more remote parts of the world, such as the Caribbean coast of Panama, SSB is the only communication available (even the Morning Net uses it). But most places, the SSB transmitter is really just a toy for the amusement of Hams and other radioactive people. A receiver is cheap and will get you weather information.

For short, cheap text and email when offshore, check out the Delorme InReach satellite system -- it's cheap, uses Iridium, and (unlike Iridium itself) allows you to suspend service (and therefore, payment) anytime you aren't offshore.

Definitely invest in a GSM 4-Band smartphone. You can get a local telephone number in any country you visit by simply buying and inserting a SIM chip (US $5 or so). A data plan will cost you another US$20 or so a month, and any phone made in the last 5 years or so provides a wi-fi hotspot for your laptops, iPads, etc. to connect to the internet. You can also pair it with the Delorme InReach, making for easy texting and emails when you're out of connection with land.

All of this costs less than US$1000.
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