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Old 28-02-2013, 13:03   #1
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Inmarsat ISatPhone Online Position Tracking

I recently set up a way to use the ISatPhone to send position reports on demand so that they can be mapped on Google maps and displayed on a blog site or web page.

I looked for ways to do this (that were free), and did not find anything very useful out there on how to do it.

Here is a link to a blog post with the article I wrote up about it:

It's Irie: Online Position Tracking with Your Inmarsat ISatPhone for Free (By Mark Kilty)

Certainly if you have other ways to accomplish the same thing, please share. I have no association with any of the companies mentioned in the article, just wanted to write about what I had done as I figured it would be helpful to others.
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Old 28-02-2013, 19:14   #2
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Re: Inmarsat ISatPhone Online Position Tracking

Hi Mark,

I would like to make Inmarsat ISatPhone position tracking work with my site, bluewatersailingdata.com. Would you mind sending a position message for me to test with?

Could you please send it to shanedennis (at) yahoo.com?

Thank you for considering,

Shane
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Old 28-02-2013, 19:42   #3
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Re: Inmarsat ISatPhone Online Position Tracking

That's handy. I've got an Iridium that's worked out well and I had something that could read sms messages (or emails) and parse the lat/long. But the problem I had is that typing out the position via the phones T9 keyboard took FOREVER. Sounds like the Inmarsat has a GPS and sends something pre-formatted? That's terrific if the case.
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Old 28-02-2013, 19:46   #4
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Here is the format of the position report.

The subject line is "Via Inmarsat:"

The from user is: "phone#@message.inmarsat.com"

The body is:
"
8.4419N,79.006W
Acq.20130214T202936Z
Accuracy h52m,v36m
Triggered 20130214T203146Z
This is a test message

Please note your reply is limited to 160 Latin characters or approximately 135 for non-Latin characters.

Sent via Inmarsat. The mobile satellite company"

Without quotes.

The 5th line of text is the custom message from the sender'

Hope this helps'
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Old 28-02-2013, 19:59   #5
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Re: Inmarsat ISatPhone Online Position Tracking

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiltym View Post
Here is the format of the position report.
Yes, thank you very much!
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Old 28-02-2013, 20:02   #6
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Re: Inmarsat ISatPhone Online Position Tracking

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
That's handy. I've got an Iridium...
I have read the Iridium Extreme has a new location messenger system sends GPS locations by SMS. I have been trying to find someone to send me one of those...
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Old 28-02-2013, 20:09   #7
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Re: Inmarsat ISatPhone Online Position Tracking

Mark,

I just read that the Inmarsat location message can also be sent by SMS (text message). Any chance you could send one of those to +16122940650 ?

Promise to pay you back the 50c if we catch you somewhere in the South Pacific. We are crossing one year after you.

Shane
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:12   #8
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Re: Inmarsat ISatPhone Online Position Tracking

Awesome! Thanks for doing all the leg work. We have a Isatphone too, but havent tried sending or receiving emailed weather with it. How does it work for that function? Are you able to get Grib files ok?

Thanks,

Matt
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:12   #9
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Re: Inmarsat ISatPhone Online Position Tracking

Quote:
Originally Posted by funjohnson View Post
Awesome! Thanks for doing all the leg work. We have a Isatphone too, but havent tried sending or receiving emailed weather with it. How does it work for that function? Are you able to get Grib files ok?

Thanks,

Matt
We just arrived in the Galapagos and used the phone every day to receive emails (weather) and post position reports to our blog.

The ability to send and receive short emails directly from the phone is great. One of the best features, worked every time, and is cheap.

Getting the email weather, we knew we needed a compression service. The company you buy minutes from will often provide this for free (if not, find another provider for your minutes). There are a few services out there, we are using SpeedMail (Xgate).

In general, I am disappointed with their service after this week, but will make another post with my general recommendations about email compression services with the ISatPhone as I think their are better email compression services available.
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:59   #10
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Re: Inmarsat ISatPhone Online Position Tracking

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Originally Posted by shanedennis View Post
Mark,

I just read that the Inmarsat location message can also be sent by SMS (text message). Any chance you could send one of those to +16122940650 ?

Sent an SMS to that number, hopefully you got it.
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Old 09-03-2013, 14:29   #11
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Re: Inmarsat ISatPhone Online Position Tracking

Yes, thank you Mark!!! Both the email and SMS/text message are a great help.

If you bump into an Australian guy with an American accent on a Pacific Seacraft along your travels... remind him he owes you a beer.
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Old 13-03-2013, 12:18   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiltym View Post

We just arrived in the Galapagos and used the phone every day to receive emails (weather) and post position reports to our blog.

The ability to send and receive short emails directly from the phone is great. One of the best features, worked every time, and is cheap.

Getting the email weather, we knew we needed a compression service. The company you buy minutes from will often provide this for free (if not, find another provider for your minutes). There are a few services out there, we are using SpeedMail (Xgate).

In general, I am disappointed with their service after this week, but will make another post with my general recommendations about email compression services with the ISatPhone as I think their are better email compression services available.
What were the weather emails you received? Were they GRIB files or just 160 character text messages? I'm still trying to figure out the data part of this phone, but thanks to you, I was able to set-up the position on our website!

Also, we are extremely jealous... we were suppose to be in the Galapagos right now too, but wont make it to Panama until the end of next month and head out from there.

Thanks again,

Matt
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Old 13-03-2013, 14:42   #13
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Re: Inmarsat ISatPhone Online Position Tracking

Quote:
Originally Posted by funjohnson View Post
What were the weather emails you received? Were they GRIB files or just 160 character text messages? I'm still trying to figure out the data part of this phone, but thanks to you, I was able to set-up the position on our website!

Also, we are extremely jealous... we were suppose to be in the Galapagos right now too, but wont make it to Panama until the end of next month and head out from there.

Thanks again,

Matt
We received a GRIB file with the area from Panama to Galapagos and a NOAA High Seas forecast with the location of the ITCZ. We received them each day, from saildocs.

We did not receive these directly to the phone as it can only accept 160 characters.

You pretty much have to use a compression service to get your email in a timely fashion, and based on what I know now, I would recommend UUPlus as the best service. Instead of using the Inmarsat Internet Gateway (which all the other compression services use), UUPlus has a dial in number that the phone/modem calls to retrieve your email directly from them (no internet, and no IP traffic).

Using Xgate it took betweek 4:00-6:00 minutes each time (way too much!), with UUPlus the same files come down in about 2:00 minutes. I plan on writing another article about all this, as it's not very well documented online, and for email only, UUPlus is the best option. If you really want to try to get to websites (which I really don't think will work with the ISatPhone), the Inmarsat Gateway (and a service from XGate), is the best option.

However, I have no expectations of using the phone for anything but email, and UUPlus does that the fastest.
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Old 13-03-2013, 17:10   #14
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Thanks for the info regarding the compression software. Have you tried Inmarsat's own software Amos connect? It's free as long as its for personal use, but I'm not sure how good it is compared to UUplus. I just received a new SIM card with minutes and will have to give it a shot. I really only need to send emails and GRIB files.... Surfing the net will wait until I arrive and have Wifi again.


Thanks,

Matt
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Old 13-03-2013, 17:23   #15
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Re: Inmarsat ISatPhone Online Position Tracking

Very useful. added to my bookmarks. cheers
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