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Old 29-01-2012, 05:11   #16
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Re: Inmarsat. Receiving data and plan costs?

Has anyone actually used an IsaSatphone Pro to receive weather files? Did you need an external antenna or docking station? Do you need a special phone plan and how much does it cost?

I really need to start looking at buying something soon.

Thanks guys.
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Old 29-01-2012, 06:10   #17
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Re: Inmarsat - Receiving Data and Plan Costs

id go with the isatphonepro if for data and not going high lats north or south, you are not dealing with a new sat every 6 mins or so, so much less drop outs for data.
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Old 29-01-2012, 06:40   #18
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Re: Inmarsat. Receiving data and plan costs?

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Originally Posted by dennisail View Post
Has anyone actually used an IsaSatphone Pro to receive weather files? Did you need an external antenna or docking station? Do you need a special phone plan and how much does it cost?
I'm interested in this too, not much experience around since this is quite new I guess.

Since youre buying, why dont you contact a supplier and ask (and report back)?
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Old 29-01-2012, 11:45   #19
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Re: Inmarsat. Receiving data and plan costs?

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Originally Posted by idpnd View Post
I'm interested in this too, not much experience around since this is quite new I guess.

Since youre buying, why dont you contact a supplier and ask (and report back)?

yes of course the isatphone will receive GPRIB files, use a email autoresponser, no problems, Ive used Iridum but teh Isatphone is around the same throughput

dave
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Old 29-01-2012, 16:33   #20
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Re: Inmarsat. Receiving data and plan costs?

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Originally Posted by idpnd View Post
I'm interested in this too, not much experience around since this is quite new I guess.

Since youre buying, why dont you contact a supplier and ask (and report back)?
I contacted isasatphone pro through the website last night and a phone supplier in AU. No replies as of yet.
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Old 29-01-2012, 16:36   #21
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Re: Inmarsat. Receiving data and plan costs?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
yes of course the isatphone will receive GPRIB files, use a email autoresponser, no problems, Ive used Iridum but teh Isatphone is around the same throughput

dave
The prob is I am yet to here from anyone first had who as used the isasatphone pro to receive gribs. There is one thread here where someone tried it and said it did not work most of the time due to bugs in the system (which may have been ironed out by now). Also it was mentioned that it is not even compatible with windows 7?
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Old 29-01-2012, 16:52   #22
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Re: Inmarsat - Receiving Data and Plan Costs

Up until now, I've been told (inconsistently) by Inmarsat support staff that it only works on Windows XP, but I've just downloaded a firmware upgrade to see if it now works on Win 7. I'll post how I get on, 'cause it's a real pain to have the thing on the boat and not be able to get gribs etc.

Cheers
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Old 29-01-2012, 17:07   #23
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Re: Inmarsat - Receiving Data and Plan Costs

Yeah well half the point is to be able to receive weather info. Have you had any luck downloading data with it?
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Old 29-01-2012, 17:42   #24
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Re: Inmarsat - Receiving Data and Plan Costs

Our friend has one onboard right now sailing West Indies. He said data reception problematic due to the fact that the phone does not work well indoor. External antenna expensive. Data reception in the cockpit OK.

Last year I talked to an owner of the Iridium 3-antenna gizmo and he said data transfer was a zip.

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Old 29-01-2012, 17:46   #25
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Re: Inmarsat - Receiving Data and Plan Costs

Iridium OpenPort. That was the gizmo.

I do not know if it has any other strong points but the ship owner claimed data transfer was very fast.

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Old 29-01-2012, 18:42   #26
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Re: Inmarsat - Receiving Data and Plan Costs

Thanks. The open port device seems to be a good system if you have a heap of money to spend. Looks like it costs over $4K and uses 3 phone services at once to get over 128kbs.

I guess if the isasaphone works in the cockpit its not too bad.
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Old 29-01-2012, 22:32   #27
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Re: Inmarsat - Receiving Data and Plan Costs

I just got off the phone to an aussie sat phone dealer. He says:

All you need is the USB cable and software supplied with the isasatphone pro to access the very slow internet. No other plan is needed. It will just come off your minutes. So if it takes you 10min to download something it will just you 10 min of calls. Data and calls are charged differently. Here is a price list I found IsatPhone Pro - Satellite Phones Direct

You need to be outside to make calls or download. It will not work well if at all inside a boat.

The antenna for the isasatphone is an active unit which must be used with a dock and will add $1000-2000 to the price of the phone. However they have found a cheaper antenna which will work with it and will plug right into the phone without the use of the dock. Cost will be around $300-400. They are just finishing off the deal with the Chinese company that can make the proprietary plug to suit the antenna socket in the phone.

He mentioned subscribing to something called "sailmail" which is a service that will send you weather info in a much more compressed form speeding up your download. Does anyone use this?

http://www.sailmail.com/

It asks for a call sign. We dont have one. I only have a sony worldband receiver not a transmitter.
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Old 29-01-2012, 23:09   #28
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Re: Inmarsat - Receiving Data and Plan Costs

I found and dowloaded this. GRIB.US > Home Seems to work well at home with super fast broadband. The file I downloaded is 1.2mb and gives a chart with forecasts for about 5 days. I wonder if 1.2mb is too big to download with a sat phone?
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Old 29-01-2012, 23:51   #29
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Re: Inmarsat - Receiving Data and Plan Costs

For me, Iridium did not drop calls with an external antenna.

1.2 megabytes is quite big. I used UUPlus for email compression, which reports your link speed after every call, and I think with Iridium we tended to get around 20K/minute. So 1.2 megs would take an hour.

But I was able to get the weather I "needed" (I won't harp on this, but before I had this system I survived just fine at sea without daily GRIB files...), in less than 1 minute. You just have to request as little weather as you need-- so lower resolution, a smaller geographic area, fewer days into the future, fewer predictions for every day you request, less layers, and etc-- will make much smaller GRIB files. It took some experimentation, but eventually you have a little "request" sentence that you can cut and paste that gives you what you like without being a huge file.

We usually uploaded tiny baby pictures (more like thumbnails) to the grandparents while downloading GRIB files, since we would be connected for ~60s anyways and may as well use the upstream bandwidth for something fun.

You can use Sailmail's email autoresponders without subscribing to their service. They are nice like that. You send an email to one of their computers, which responds with the GRIB file you want.

People who subscribe to Sailmail can also use them to access email through their satellite phone. This is much, much better and faster than using Outlook or whatever to get email through the satellite phone, but does not have as many features as UUPlus, XGate, or etc.
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Old 29-01-2012, 23:57   #30
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Re: Inmarsat - Receiving Data and Plan Costs

Quote:
Originally Posted by dennisail View Post
I just got off the phone to an aussie sat phone dealer. He says:

All you need is the USB cable and software supplied with the isasatphone pro to access the very slow internet. No other plan is needed. It will just come off your minutes. So if it takes you 10min to download something it will just you 10 min of calls. Data and calls are charged differently. Here is a price list I found IsatPhone Pro - Satellite Phones Direct

You need to be outside to make calls or download. It will not work well if at all inside a boat.

The antenna for the isasatphone is an active unit which must be used with a dock and will add $1000-2000 to the price of the phone. However they have found a cheaper antenna which will work with it and will plug right into the phone without the use of the dock. Cost will be around $300-400. They are just finishing off the deal with the Chinese company that can make the proprietary plug to suit the antenna socket in the phone.

He mentioned subscribing to something called "sailmail" which is a service that will send you weather info in a much more compressed form speeding up your download. Does anyone use this?

SailMail

It asks for a call sign. We dont have one. I only have a sony worldband receiver not a transmitter.
Hi Dennis,
I've been following this with great interest.
We're about to head off boat hunting in Europe and USA next month.
Sorting out mobile simcards etc is a PITA and getting prepaids in each country seems to be the go.

Looking at the plan cost for a satelite phone makes it look like quite a good option.
Have I got this right?
1) monthly plan fee..... $14.95
2) calls to landlines ..... $ .89/min
3) calls to mob/cell ..... $ 1.07/min
4) sms....................... $ .45
Pick up a phone for about $500?

Do you know if the kids here sending us sms are up for their normal local charge here?

I'm not looking at data downloads here, so I do apologize for the temporary thread drift.

Vic
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