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Old 28-10-2018, 03:38   #1
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Iridium Go Battery Burst

I was changing SIM cards on my Iridium Go and noticed that the battery had burst.

Is this a regular occurrence ? Do these have a known life expectancy that should be advertised or I should have noticed. As a mechanical engineer I am a big fan of preventive maintenance but I never thought to life cycle this battery. I know at least one other boat that had the problem but I wasn’t smart enough to get a spare battery when in NZ.

We only operate the Go connected to the boat’s power.

Tried running it without a battery but on the boat’s power. I get a GPS fix but no satellite signal. Next step - force the battery back in ?

Frustrating to have another Go issue since we found a few months ago that the red GEOS button is defective too and bad timing as our back up satphone is no good without a replacement SIM card that or may not make it from our air time provider.
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Old 28-10-2018, 07:19   #2
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Re: Iridium Go Battery Burst

How old is the unit?

Batteries are a consumable.

Does it operate without it in place?

If so better to keep out, plug it in every month for a day to keep it topped up?
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Old 28-10-2018, 11:35   #3
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Re: Iridium Go Battery Burst

Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
How old is the unit?

Batteries are a consumable.

Does it operate without it in place?

If so better to keep out, plug it in every month for a day to keep it topped up?

No, appears it will not work without the battery installed. Power but will not get a signal. My (poor) assumption was that it was not required since it was plugged in.
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Old 28-10-2018, 11:41   #4
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Re: Iridium Go Battery Burst

My iPhone did the same thing, and apparently it’s a known issue with iPhones - which is why my new phone is a Galaxy
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Old 28-10-2018, 12:09   #5
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Re: Iridium Go Battery Burst

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Originally Posted by Scatterling View Post
My iPhone did the same thing, and apparently it’s a known issue with iPhones - which is why my new phone is a Galaxy
hum, i thought iphone/ipads are more reliable than that. I mean look at the price.

now you have shaken my plan to buy 3 new generation ipads for my boat.
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Old 28-10-2018, 13:45   #6
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Re: Iridium Go Battery Burst

Battery tech is constantly improving.

But they do need replacing every couple years
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Old 28-10-2018, 15:04   #7
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Re: Iridium Go Battery Burst

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Battery tech is constantly improving.

But they do need replacing every couple years
Yes, I understand they lose capacity over time and cycling but I would expect the failure mode in a critical piece of kit would not be bursting. As the battery is never cycled, it is on the “marine mount” so always plugged into power, the charge/discharge cycling is almost nonexistent.

None of the other lithium batteries on the boat have burst and I do not replace their batteries every two years on spec. As we are intending sail from Fiji back to Canada via Japan and Alaska I will get a spare as well for the Go though.
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Old 29-10-2018, 05:42   #8
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Re: Iridium Go Battery Burst

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I would expect the failure mode in a critical piece of kit would not be bursting.
Yes that would be part of what they work on improving.

Less of a priority than preventing bursting into flames though 8-)

Note the "lithium" label covers dozens of radically different chemistries.
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Old 29-10-2018, 18:50   #9
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Re: Iridium Go Battery Burst

Other than the battery issue, how do you find the Go? Service good enough? Speed?

Thanks.

-Peter
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Old 29-10-2018, 19:36   #10
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Re: Iridium Go Battery Burst

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Originally Posted by Timethief View Post
Other than the battery issue, how do you find the Go? Service good enough? Speed?

Thanks.

-Peter
Poor internet here so just lost my last reply. This one will be shorter.

First, there is a lot of info in this forum already on this. We tell people that satisfaction with the Go depends on their expectations. If you come from a land based world with ubiquitous internet and expect that to continue with the Go there be tears. If you come from a SSB/Pactor environment and your airtime provider does not cancel your account and your battery does not explode you will love it.

We cruised with the SSB exclusively for the first three years. Worked great and Sailmail does a great job. That being said, we find the Go so much easier and love the higher average connection rates and not having to worry about propagation. The kids (x3) use it a lot for homeschooling. We keep the SSB working and keep our Sailmail account active as a backup.

If you get a Go and will be relying on it:

- get a spare battery as it will not run without the battery even if plugged in
- pick a good airtime provider. I have moved to PredictWind as I really like the company.

Hope this works this time. Apologies for typos as typing on a small screen.
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Old 29-10-2018, 21:01   #11
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Re: Iridium Go Battery Burst

Can you get your generic GO! SIMs & airtime service through them without (yet) subscribing to their added-vale services?

If so, are they price competitive ?
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Old 29-10-2018, 22:00   #12
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Re: Iridium Go Battery Burst

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Can you get your generic GO! SIMs & airtime service through them without (yet) subscribing to their added-vale services?

If so, are they price competitive ?
I believe you can get the Go SIM card and service from them without having a membership. Best to check their website or contact them. Their customer service is really quick. I have subscribed to their service for the last six years and have been really impressed especially over the last few years now that we have a Go coupled with the new version of PredictWind Offshore and the availability of the EC model.

For the Iridium Go airtime the prices are the same as we were paying before but with cheaper SIM cards, no activation fee, a more flexible program and a much better web interface for managing our account than we had before. For us the biggest consideration is that the company is focussed on sailors and has excellent support. When you send in a query you do not get some random tech guy in a random call centre who doesn’t really care but rather a knowledgeable tech guy or gal who may have done an America’s Cup or a few Volvo’s.
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Old 29-10-2018, 22:23   #13
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Re: Iridium Go Battery Burst

Sounds great thanks
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Old 30-10-2018, 11:16   #14
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Re: Iridium Go Battery Burst

This may a good thread to ask my question. I need to communicate via email to my one man business. I do not need a satellite phone but I do need to use my laptop to send and receive emails. What device and service do I need to accomplish this?
I went to the Iridium web site but it not clear how to accomplish this.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 30-10-2018, 12:53   #15
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Re: Iridium Go Battery Burst

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Originally Posted by ottewj View Post
This may a good thread to ask my question. I need to communicate via email to my one man business. I do not need a satellite phone but I do need to use my laptop to send and receive emails. What device and service do I need to accomplish this?
I went to the Iridium web site but it not clear how to accomplish this.

Thanks for your help.
I think there is lots written about this elsewhere in the forum but I can give you my quick perspective. I do not think Iridium is very good at, or interested in, communication with end users. One, or several, of the companies that sells various satellite comm systems is likely the best to talk to about options.

We really like the Go for its unlimited data and anytime connectivity but we are not running a business. Sometimes I think running a business may be simpler than three homeschooling kids, travelling full time often in remote locations, managing an old boat and being a bit if a weather geek. However, look at the fine print of the connections speeds. If the numbers do not mean anything think back to the old 56k dialup connections. The Go and the handhelds operate at 1/20 the speed of the old dialup. They work great for text and GRIBs and the occasional compressed photo. If you need higher bandwidth you will need one of the bigger systems that are beyond our requirement, budget and experience.
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