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Old 23-10-2016, 00:05   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Aboard, presently in the Indian Ocean
Boat: Trisbal 36
Posts: 86
Iridium battery and antenna adapter setup

Hi all,

I'm asking here for advice regarding the permanent installation of my Iridium 9555 satphone. Bear with me for a second as a I explain first my setup, then the issue, and finally I will ask the questions I could need help with.

The satphone (Iridium model 9555) is used primarily for data, and I have mounted it permanently inside the boat, but in order to have reliable signal, it needs an external antenna. Since the docking station Iridium offers is way overpriced, I installed the E-200 from Sanav, and connected it with good LMR400 cable. On the phone side, the cable is connected via a TNC connector to the "antenna adapter" bracket which comes with the phone. The whole thing works great, and I am not linked to Sanav, but they do deserve credit for a good product and good customer service, so I would recommend them to anyone looking to do the same. The whole setup cost me around $200 or so, way cheaper than the Iridium ripoff.

Now, my Iridium battery is getting really old and dying, and the device being somewhat prehistoric, it does not work on external power only, it needs a charged or charging battery to work. And anyhow, it is also essential to have a charged battery in there in case we need to grab the phone when abandoning ship or the such. So I ordered a new battery, and they now have higher capacity batteries, which is what I bought (the new one, BAT41101, has 3760mAh capacity, whereas the older one, BAT21101, was 2200mAh). Now comes the real problem : with that battery in place, the phone does not fit into the antenna adapter bracket anymore. It seems Iridium does not provide any antenna adapter for the BAT41101 (which would have cost a fortune anyway), so now I am faced with either having a phone I can charge, but which I can't connect to the antenna, or a phone I can have reception on, but which I can't charge anymore, and which dies when trying to make a data call.

The real question is : has anyone managed to connect an external antenna cable to that 9555 phone with the new larger battery in place ? What connector have you used ? Any advice on the way I could manage to do so ? Thanks for any help.
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Old 28-10-2016, 16:43   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 88
Re: Iridium battery and antenna adapter setup

The BAT41101 isn't necessarily new rather it is the hi-capacity version of the 9555 battery.

I'd recommend going to the standard size battery if you wish to use the external antenna adapter as it is. Making it work with the larger battery would involve dissecting it and fabricating your own way of holding the external antenna probe securely in the back of the phone or bending the existing bracket to work.

Additionally, I don't think any of the ASE or Beam docking stations are compatible with the 9555 hi-cap battery either.
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