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Old 12-02-2012, 14:34   #76
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Re: HAM/SSB/SAT Phone

Nigel,
In addition to the threads I listed....
Ham, $$B, Iridium ?
Advice on Having SSB Aboard
If Data Connection Is Necessary, What's Best ?

There are a few other threads that offer some specific info your location/application in SE Asia...
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnx123 View Post
Please bear in mind that I live in South East Asia where all these cruising nets and lively discussions over SSB are not so prevalent as perhaps in the Caribbean or North American waters or even Europe.
I will have a Satphone as a back up anyway but am still trying to decide between SSB or FBB.
I am familiar from a Aviation background with VHF/HF/Satcom but trying to find the best marine solution is still a open question.Let the debate continue.....
Cheers Nigel
Have a look at these threads....
Activating EPIRB - Chain of Events that Actually Occurs in Indonesian Waters ?

HF SSB Radio Frequencies for South Pacific, SE Asia and Australia

SSCA Forum • View topic - shortwave marine weather forecasts in english?

Buoy Weather

Brunei Bay Radio - HF/SSB radio email for isolated locations in SE Asia, the North West Pacific and Indian Oceans. The low-cost and reliable alternative to satellite email for isloated or remote locations, islands, communities, tourism, conservation,
Marine and Ocean
Marine and amateur radio net details, times and frequencies on SSB, Ham, HF and VHF for cruising yachts.


There is a LOT of great detailed info there....


I hope this helps...

John
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Old 12-02-2012, 16:08   #77
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Re: HAM/SSB/SAT Phone

Many Thanks John,wow need to do a whole lot of reading up first then before a decision is made.brgds Nigel
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Old 13-02-2012, 23:15   #78
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Nobody has mentioned Iridium open port yet. I have both an SSB with Winlink system (pactor 3), as well as an IOP. We cruised with two teenagers and therefore data use was relatively high for school etc. we used Global Marine Networks' XGate almost exclusively. Immediate connection( no more struggling to connect), large file and speed. The IOP is cheaper than the Inmarsat Fleetbroadband and the data billing increments better. I suggest contacting Luis Soltero at GMN. He is extremely helpful (being a cruiser himself), and knowledgeable. He also wrote the software ( as well as the Starpath celestial nav software).
Anyway -we were(are)very happy with our IOP.
Magnus
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Old 14-02-2012, 08:20   #79
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Re: HAM / SSB / SAT Phone

Quote:
Originally Posted by M Murphy View Post
Nobody has mentioned Iridium open port yet. I have both an SSB with Winlink system (pactor 3), as well as an IOP. We cruised with two teenagers and therefore data use was relatively high for school etc. we used Global Marine Networks' XGate almost exclusively. Immediate connection( no more struggling to connect), large file and speed. The IOP is cheaper than the Inmarsat Fleetbroadband and the data billing increments better. I suggest contacting Luis Soltero at GMN. He is extremely helpful (being a cruiser himself), and knowledgeable. He also wrote the software ( as well as the Starpath celestial nav software).
Anyway -we were(are)very happy with our IOP.
Magnus
In dummy terms: what is an IOP?
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Old 14-02-2012, 08:25   #80
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Re: HAM / SSB / SAT Phone

Iridium Open Port???
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Old 14-02-2012, 08:29   #81
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Re: HAM / SSB / SAT Phone

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Iridium Open Port???
Right but what does it do?
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Old 14-02-2012, 12:37   #82
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Re: HAM / SSB / SAT Phone

Hi

Yes the IOP stands for Iridium OpenPort.

Check out:
Openport Accessories - Iridium Phones Terminals - Satellite Hardware - Iridium Openport 20m Cable

I can highly recommend this unit. Not only did my children complete Grades 12 and 10 respectively using it, but I was in almost daily contact with my co-author and publisher during eight months of cruising. The data costs are much much lower than trying to push large files through handset satellite phones using 'airtime' and the slow speeds associated with those sets. IOP basically competes with the Fleetbroadband, but uses no moving parts in the antenna (solid state), and the data is billed per byte, whereas Fleetbroadband bills in increments (or this was the state earlier last year).

Installation is easy (except for support for the antenna, which is not heavy, but is a bit bulky.) There is a single very thin cord between antenna and downstairs unit, which makes it easy to pull. Lots of other benefits.

I really recommend contacting Mr. Soltero

Magnus Murphy
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Old 14-02-2012, 13:57   #83
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Re: HAM / SSB / SAT Phone

Quote:
Originally Posted by unbusted67 View Post
Right but what does it do?
Unbusted,
Iridium Open Port is Iridium's "broadband" / "hi-speed" data service allowing "always-on" ISDN, or better, type speeds for worldwide internet access....(speed depends on the "plan" that you select, but it max's out at about the same as INMARSAT FB150)
The service has been around for quite a while (~3 years plus a year of beta testing prior to that) and has proven itself to be quite a workhorse....
The system is quite robust and works well.....you get a lot for your $4000.....
{as it is a hi-speed data terminal, with telephone, like INMARSAT's FleetBroadband systems, it really doesn't fit into the classification as a "sat phone".....so this is a bit of thread drift here...)


This uses the same Iridium satellites as their phones, etc.....but is also designed to be "forward-compatible" with Iridium's future launches and services.....

I've posted about it before, however Iridium's marketing is tailored to the industrial/commercial users as well as those in "extreme" enviro....such as offshore oil rigs, ocean tugs, polar/antarctic crews, etc... and they don't really advertize to the pleasure craft market, so that's why you may not have read too much about them....

While Iridium Open Port DOES compare favorably with INMARSAT's FleetBroadband 150 in speed, power consumption, etc. it is different sort of animal.....as it does not use mechanically (gyro) stabalized antenna, but rather an array of phased antennas, inside a small, flat radome (about the size of an 18" radar radome)....

Here are links to some threads....
The first one has a LOT of Iridium Open Port information (directly from the people that sell and install the stuff....)

SSCA Forum • View topic - Satellite Internet Service?

Iridium | Products | Iridium OpenPort

SSCA Forum • View topic - Satellite Internet

SSCA Forum • View topic - INMARSAT Fleet BroadBand Airtime / Data Pricing Increases


I hope this helps...

And, although it is doubtful that many really NEED this type of service on board, if you are actually in need of this type of service ("satellite braodband"), then please get in touch with George Fenwick, EVP at Telaurus Communications.....
George will take very good care of you!!!



John
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Old 14-02-2012, 16:43   #84
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Re: HAM / SSB / SAT Phone

Eek! that stuff costs $10-$12 per MByte and is still only 9600bps !!

Love Winlink even more now!

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 14-02-2012, 17:08   #85
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Re: HAM / SSB / SAT Phone

Not true. The speed depends on the plan. I had much, much faster rates with a plan that gave me 10MB per month free. That is a LOT of emails and a lot of Word files for free. Yes, then the fee is $10-11 per Mb. In my book, if you think of what you're getting - it's a bargain. When you're near shore of course look for a WiFi connection, but even that is not so easy anymore since nobody's networks are open anymore. I do admit that even paid for Wifi is cheaper than satellite rates, but we're not comparing apples to apples and the usage intention is different.

Winlink doesn't even deserve to be discussed in the same paragraph. It is not nearly as fast, not 'always-on' or available (I don't know how many hours I've wasted trying to connect and how many times I've lost connection in the middle of an email). In contrast - with IOP and XGate, you create your email, attach your file, click a couple of buttons and it's gone. Guaranteed and very very fast. Remember also that Xgate compresses your email much better than Winlink does, and eliminates the bi-directionality of the Winlink transmission, thereby further reducing the data sent and thus cost and time.

YES - Winlink is free and I'm all for it. Have used it for years and still set up to use it. BUT, with my IOP I can pull down a weather fax, or grib file in seconds and by clicking a button. I can (if I want to) surf the web from the middle of the Pacific ocean using very good compression software again minimizing data - AND, you can do things that are illegal with Winlink - for instance stay in touch with your investments, business etc.

If you only need to send the occasional email and it's not time sensitive - all you need is Winlink. If data capability is required - IOP is the way to go. I'll include FB150 in this but I don't have experience with it.

M Murphy
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Old 14-02-2012, 17:32   #86
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Re: HAM / SSB / SAT Phone

M, I have looked at the links provided and only see 9600bps services. The plan that gives you 10 MB for free per month, costs $100 per month without giving anything else than those MB's so they are actually $10 per MB.

I always get gribfiles from Winlink and it always works. I never have aborted transmissions and sometimes even do 5000 km pactor links for fun when my preferred station is busy with another Winlink user, which I guess is what you don't like about it, the sharing of the airtime.

Besides Pactor, I also have a Thrane & Thrane Inmarsat mini-M terminal, which still works with current satellites. My plan costs $0.- per month, $0.- per year and $1.75 per minute air time. I used to have UUPlus service on it which took the 2400bps speed up to the 9600bps levels. I dropped UUplus when I got my Pactor modem. In 2004. before I bought the Pactor modem, I spent $350.- on UUplus, and an average of $100 per month on airtime, total $1.550,- per year. From 2004 - 2012 I spent less than $5.- per year on communication costs... which is a happy new year call on the Inmarsat phone to my mother, to make sure it still works. In those 7 years, I downloaded much more weather data, like the faxes and grib files... because it is absolutely free.

I will agree that people who need high seas communications for business need satellite phones. But retired folks like me are perfectly good with Pactor and save the $$$ for other stuff

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 14-02-2012, 18:41   #87
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Re: HAM / SSB / SAT Phone

Right now fleet 150 is cheaper ( just) then open port) and is faster. Several users I know struggle to get the higher speed rates that OP is supposed to handle. Its really a sticky plaster job as its just multiple 2400 bps data channels and the system opens multiple channels to achieve higher rates, I think the problems is that OP struggles to keep all the channels open as the sat handoffs occur. ( because theres no forward booking of slots, like there is in GSM).

Fleet was designed from the ground up as a data system.

Dave
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Old 14-02-2012, 20:14   #88
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Re: HAM / SSB / SAT Phone

Hi Nick

I agree that if one only wants to send and receive personal email -then Winlink is all you need and I've used it for that since the early 2000s. It works well, if you can make a connection. I've had many days where I could only connect during a short period of time every day and if I'm not on the boat then, well then I'm out of luck. Yes the 5000nm connections are fun. And I would not give up my SSB for a satphone for many reasons reiterated here. However when we went cruising last time, I needed a robust system to enable my two teenagers to be able to do distance education and for me to enable me to finish the academic book I was busy with. The is absolutely NO way Winlink could do that. When close to land of course we looked for WiFi and we were extremely happy with our Rogue Wave WiFi booster. Offshore and in isolated areas (Los Roques anyone?) we were very very happy with the IOP and I assure you our speeds were enough to pull down websites in a few seconds. We compressed it with XWeb and used XGate for email. As for the 10$ per MB - you are right in a way, BUT, there is a minimum plan cost, just like cellphone plans and for relatively little more, you get the 10MB. Is it expensive? Well, depends how you look at it. Not long ago cellular rates were very expensive. It's come down because of economy of scale. Satellite technology is extremely expensive and it costs money - LOTS of it. If you think about what it actually give you access to - complete broadband offshore access, it is quite amazing. Nobody will likely 'surf' this way - that will add up very quickly, but to get weather dependably, when you need it and with only the click of a button; dependable worldwide phone access with costs the same as what long distance phone costs were very recently, and the data access, it is a very nice feature when needed.

As for FB being cheaper - unless things have changed, I disagree. Mainly for the reason that FB used to bill in 50K increments and IOP not. Thus if your email is 20K - you still pay for 50. Not so with IOP. However I think they are comparable. I believe the IOP hardware is still cheaper and the cord is thinner. Inmarsat FB's antenna is smaller and prettier.

To each their own.

Having said all of this - I still use my pactor and Winlink, and like the SSB for the nets, - mostly for non-essential things. If I'm in trouble however, I'm very happy to have the satellite system.

You usually get what you pay for. On that criteria the Winlink system is the exception, since you get a lot, for nothing (well except the hardware cost...).

Now I need a handheld sat phone for the liferaft..... or maybe first the hand operated desalinator.... My oh my, the ways to depart yourself from your money are endless!

M Murphy
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Old 14-02-2012, 20:22   #89
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Re: HAM / SSB / SAT Phone

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Originally Posted by M Murphy View Post
As for FB being cheaper - unless things have changed, I disagree. Mainly for the reason that FB used to bill in 50K increments and IOP not. Thus if your email is 20K - you still pay for 50. Not so with IOP. However I think they are comparable. I believe the IOP hardware is still cheaper and the cord is thinner. Inmarsat FB's antenna is smaller and prettier.
I don't know FB... I have what I still call Inmarsat mini-M and they charge me only the air time at $1.75 per minute. They only count minutes, not how much I send during those minutes, and there is no other costs involved.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 14-02-2012, 20:44   #90
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Re: HAM / SSB / SAT Phone

Yes, but you can't send much in that time. A file that might a few minutes with IOP might take almost an hour with a standard sat phone handheld with data connection, or your mini-M. A few years I figured it all out. To pull down for instance one website over a handheld was something like $60 if you paid time with a handheld. It was rediculous. If you need real data you cannot pay time with a system that is not designed for data. You have to go with data rates, not voice rates.
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