I am outfitting my boat from scratch and am looking at email/net capability. The SSB/pactor modem method, while offering free air time seems to be too expensive an investment up front for too little return (slow email
and no web). [again, I am starting from scratch].
The plan I am developing is: a NAV-FAX 200 receive only ssb
and sat phone. The Nav-Fax is cheap
and I would be able to listen in on cruiser nets, weather
and get WeFax (via an easy connection to the RS-232 port on my notebook computer). Connecting a sat phone to a notebook is easy and the phones are becoming quite a bit less expensive. The cable to connect the phone to the computer is nothing (I currently do this with a cell phone
and the notebook). While air time is not free, you can much faster download, bigger emails and you can connect to the web. To me, this is quite important as it will be my only way to maintain finances...and likely communicate on forums
such as this, which I find most enjoyable.
Thus, by my calculation, the up front on a new SSB
, modem, antenna
....is coming close to $3000.
A Nax-Fax ($300) and sat phone ($400) is looking like $700 up front. At that point, you would have your choice of competitive air plans/pricing for service...which at last look was quite a bit less than $100/mo. Perhaps even $50/mo.
At any rate, just my thoughts for now. Would be interested in what others are doing. Not having a send capability via SSB is limiting, but I am really not sure this is critical and most people chat locally via VHF
My best to all