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Old 15-12-2003, 01:50   #1
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So how do ones around here link up to the WWW. for Emails and general surfing. What systems are available. Satillite, wireless???
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Old 15-12-2003, 03:02   #2
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Satelite coms are available for connecting to the 'net, but at a high price.

Some folks use their HF (SSB) radio to send and receive e-mail.
In addition to the SSB radio, you need a modem and a lap-top computer.
A pactor III modem can cost around $1,000.00

Meh thinks very few cruising sailors connect to the www while at sea, but e-mail seems to be gaining popularity and is quite usual these days.
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Old 14-01-2004, 05:35   #3
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Go Ham?

Attended my first Ham (amateur radio) lecture last night. 20+/- to go. Took the Morse Code course last year (5 wpm). This will give me a Basic Plus designation, allowing me a broad range of abilities and frequencies afloat.

Last night they attempted to explain the difference between a SSB operator and a Ham operator. The important difference to me is that the SSBs have to pay for the service of email on one of those frequencies restricted for their use, while the Hams can access people on the wide range of Ham frequencies who are setting up the same software as a hobby, and are eager to assist other Hams for free.

The software itself, used by the hobbyist and by the SSB internet service provider, was designed by amateurs and is free.

I say we all go Ham. In my short career at sea, it has already been very helpful with access to the Mississauga Maritime Net and Southbound II Atlantic Weather Assistance. The Hams I have met are as helpful as can be.
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Old 14-01-2004, 16:13   #4
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As far as I know the only way to access the Internet and your normal email is either via a satellite phone connected to your modem or by using Inmarsat-C and specialised compression software.

My understanding of using HF is that it is only plain text and only run as a separate email type service over the HF but you can't access your normal email or hotmail service.

An example of an Inmarsat-C service and explanation of how it all works can be found at http://www.sat.com.au/satlink/sl_overview.htm

These services are all fairly expensive and not viable for the average yachtie.

Hopefully in the not too distant future we will see further development of duplex satellite service so we will all be able to check the email and browse the net on the high seas at an affordable price - or maybe not - perhaps for a lot of us that is what we want to escape from ?
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Old 08-08-2006, 14:02   #5
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Internet solutions in 2006

I always find it interesting to see how slow the boats people love and use change and how fast the electronics and systems change.

I wanted to bring this thread back to see what folks are using as a general Internet solution these days. My wife and I are preparing to move aboard permanently in October/November and we have a plan that looks something like this:

Basic Email while away from port:
SSB w/ PTC & SailMail
SailMail is $250 a year presently, and run by a non profit organization. It is a real fee but seems reasonable for virtually unlimited email over a fairly reliable network. While you can only send and receive text, this is about 99% of the job for us. By emailing Blogger we can update our web site and we can also stay in touch with friends and family directly. We can update our position on yotreps (http://www.pangolin.co.nz/yotreps/index.php) and get weather from what I understand as well.

General high bandwidth activity:
We plan to use a laptop with WIFI in areas so equipped and Internet Cafes in other situations (with a USB memory stick for up/downloads when needed) for browsing the web and larger mail transfers (pictures and what not).

Non Email traffic at sea:
This seems like the tricky item. Our present plan is to use an Iridium Sat Phone as a last resort when we really need to get something off the web (more detailed weather for instance) while in remote areas. This is a pricey option but there are services that pre-compress things allowing you to connect, download, and disconnect.

What are other folks using to create a complete Internet solution in 2006? Any critique of my current plan is welcome!
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Old 08-08-2006, 14:34   #6
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Hello! I have been gone for a few months but have first had knowledge of trying to communicate from a sailboat in remote areas. We don't have sailmail but will definately have it next season! After a week and a half on a passage with no internet cafes we landed in Vava'u (Kingdom of Tonga). Unluckily it was Sat afternoon and the entire kingdom apparently shuts down until Monday. By the time I got to my emails and bank balances I found that someone had stolen some of my checks back in the good old US or A and was cashing them. The only thing harder than email over there is phoning. Skype downloaded on a computer allowed me to make phone calls. I am home now and after three days of police paperwork and bank paper work all is good but it wasn't the relaxing, ease myself back into real life experience I had planned.
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Old 08-08-2006, 15:00   #7
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Starfish: Did you leave your boat in Vava'u and fly back to Florida?
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Old 08-08-2006, 15:05   #8
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Consider Skymate (www.skymate.com). It is much easier to use than SSB, no propagation problems, channel interference and the like.

Equipment is about the same as a Pactor III modem. Cost is based on use. I get the “platinum” plan and seldom run over maximum characters. That goes about $70/month so is more than Sail Mail. However, I cruise only 6 months a year and am then on their “dry dock” plan which runs about $6/month, so the cost difference is not as great as it first seems.

The best weather I get is off Skymate. All forecasts are wrong, some more than others. I get free position reporting free up to twice per day. Over twice and you pay for the characters. Position reporting has been a great comfort to the family.

Additionally, if you keep your boat in a remote location, you can get sensors for bilge, electric, etc. and keep an eye on those things remotely over the web.

The email is text only.

You cannot access or browse the web.

I am not selling these things but have had mine for 3 years and am well pleased.

Now, if you check it out and get one. Please let them know Sunspot Baby recommended you. I will get a credit against usage.

George
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Old 08-08-2006, 15:19   #9
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left husband and boat!

Our son and I flew out of Kadavu in Fiji back to Nadi and then home. My husband is still with the boat and last email from him said he was at Vuda Point near Latoka in Fiji. He is trying to make it to Australia to have the boat pulled out for cyclone season. Everyone asks, "when is your husband coming home?" When he runs out of money is the answer . If my son didn't have school starting and (I am a teacher) someone in the family has to work!!!! Love the life style and can't wait to do it full time.
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Old 08-08-2006, 16:12   #10
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Originally Posted by starfish62
<snip> My husband is still with the boat and last email from him said he was at Vuda Point near Latoka in Fiji. He is trying to make it to Australia to have the boat pulled out for cyclone season. <snip>
Just for the record, there is no cyclone season in most of Australia. It may therefore not be necessary to dry-store your boat at all....
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Old 08-08-2006, 17:59   #11
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Yeah, I know, but Elie sleeps better with the boat out. No through hulls can malfunction, etc. Better safe than sorry. He also heard from various Aussie cruisers that the market is strong for American fiberglass hulls over there so he might sell it and then we can buy a bigger boat and redo this half. We all loved the South Pacific! The Rover is only 33' (Pierson) and a bit small for three of us.
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