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Old 29-05-2017, 16:25   #1
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Iridium Go extra services needed?

Does anyone using the Iridium Go find that services such as UUPlus or Sailmail are helpful? It seems to me that they are not providing any compression advantages.
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Old 01-06-2017, 12:03   #2
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Re: Iridium Go extra services needed?

Safari,
Well, I hope I can help out here...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Safari38LH View Post
Does anyone using the Iridium Go find that services such as UUPlus or Sailmail are helpful? It seems to me that they are not providing any compression advantages.
1) First off, as I'm sure you're aware, the IridiumGO uses the same low-speed data connections as an Iridium handheld satphone does....and that's only 2.4kb....understand that this is VERY slow, this is 20 times slower than even a dial-up landline modem, and 200 times slower than even the slowest 3G terrestrial mobile data....
{FYI, by comparison, Iridium data speed is 1/2 to 2/3's that of PACTOR-3 and 1/4 that of PACTOR-4....you get what you pay for... }

2) Secondly the IridiumGO has two smartphone Apps that allow you to use the Iridium system....one is for voice calls and SMS (texts) and the other for data / e-mail (forget about "internet access", it isn't going to happen, at least not in any effective way...sorry)

These Apps do the conversions and compressions that are necessary to allow either/both: voice calls, and e-mail/data...

IF you are using these Apps (or more importantly if you are using the Iridium Mail & Web App, for your data connection) then you are getting
all the data compression (and satellite-link processing) that is needed / available....and therefore UUPlus and Sailmail provide no further compression advantages...BUT...

But, Sailmail (or more precisely, AirMail) and their user-interface are generally considered much better (and more user-friendly) by most users / sailors....and Sailmail / AirMail have been compatible with IridiumGO for over a year now (since Jan 2016)...
SO
So, you can use Sailmail with IridiumGO, and you'll be fine..(FYI, you can also use X-Gate or UUPlus, if you desired....but with the extremely slow data data rates thru the Iridium system, there is little advantage to be had....)

And, if you have a need for very low-speed e-mail connectivity from offshore / at-sea, and/or far remote locales, this is an acceptable way of doing it....just remember that this is very slow data...only 1/2 to 1/4 the speed of even a PACTOR modem on an HF radio...
At approx. $1000, for the IridiumGO and external antenna, about 1/2 to 2/3's the price of a PACTOR modem, it can be a way to gain e-mail connectivity in offshore or remote areas (assuming you have a need for this e-mail connectivity???)


3) As for "voice calls"??
Well, they can be done....but the latency / lag time involved in the communications link (primarily between your phone and the "GO", and all the conversions / processing needed inside both of them) makes the conversation very, very difficult, at best....and that's assuming you do have everything set-up correctly, and are using a well-installed external antenna for the "GO"....
Unfortunately, most have found this "at best" situation to be very rare (to non-existent) and have found voice calls to be useless thru the "GO"...
And, if you're trying to use a "GO" with your smartphone to call another mobile phone, not even worth trying....you'd be better off just using a couple tin cans and some string!!


4) I hope I answered your question???
But, just as important here in this discussion, is a question or two for you....
a) What is your application for this?? What do you need e-mail connectivity for, when at sea / away from terrestrial mobile/cellular or Wi-Fi systems??
b) Where (and how) are you sailing/cruising/voyaging??
c) Are you running a business when out cruising, etc.???
d) What is your communications budget?? both for equipment and monthly/annual fees??
e) What other communications equipment do you currently have on-board?? SSB? Ext. Wi-Fi system?? Cellular/3G/4G external antenna/booster?? etc.??

The reason these questions are important is that there may be some other device / system that can better serve you....but, since we don't know what your application is, nor your budget, nor where/how your sailing/cruising, nor what equipment you may already have on-board, etc. etc. etc....we can't point you to a possible better solution...


Fair winds..

John
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Old 01-06-2017, 16:38   #3
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Re: Iridium Go extra services needed?

Are you primarily using those apps for email or for downloading GRIB files?

You can use the free Iridium Mail & Web for email only fairly easily, for GRIB files I would recommend checking out the free Squid app:

https://iridium.com/products/details...maritime-squid
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Old 02-06-2017, 16:12   #4
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Re: Iridium Go extra services needed?

John, thanks for the elaborate reply.

I plan on using the Iridium Go only for email and weather data. With the unlimited monthly data option I figure speed to be less of a problem. I have spent a considerable amount of time analyzing available weather data options and have decided on using SailDocs as my main source. There are 5-10 charts/documents that I would like to get daily and will finalize the selection based on the Go speed. I also am an avid user of Weather Tracker (why pay for data when it is free) and have come up with the solution of getting the grib data for it from SailDocs. I also plan on getting Chris Parkers emails.

We have no cell or WiFi booster on board and possibly will add these in the future. For now I want to develop a failsafe system to get weather data where ever the boat maybe. This coming year we will be in the lower Bahamas. Since we like to anchor out away from the crowds when possible, I feel cell/wifi accessibility problematic as a daily reliable source.

Since I will be using an iPad for this, UUPlus is an option since I have heard that software is more versatile when moving between Iridium and cell/wifi. SailMail unfortunately is not available for the iPad (can we get Stan Honey on that?). Is UUPlus worth the monthly fee just for it versatility?

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Old 02-06-2017, 17:05   #5
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Re: Iridium Go extra services needed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Safari,
...
3) As for "voice calls"??
Well, they can be done....but the latency / lag time involved in the communications link (primarily between your phone and the "GO", and all the conversions / processing needed inside both of them) makes the conversation very, very difficult, at best....and that's assuming you do have everything set-up correctly, and are using a well-installed external antenna for the "GO"....
Unfortunately, most have found this "at best" situation to be very rare (to non-existent) and have found voice calls to be useless thru the "GO"...
And, if you're trying to use a "GO" with your smartphone to call another mobile phone, not even worth trying....you'd be better off just using a couple tin cans and some string!!
John,

I have not used an Iridium Go but never considered the latency between the cellphone and the Go. Is this a noticeable concern? Have others experienced this?

One other concern is the hand-off between satellites - it is my understanding that the Iridium satellites cross the sky in about 15 minutes. Are there problems handing off the download if it spans the overhead visible satellites?

I always thought the Iridium Go!, with unlimited data, has the potential to be a game changer for offshore comms. Personally I prefer using SSB and Pactor modem

Thanks
Don
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Old 02-06-2017, 17:22   #6
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Re: Iridium Go extra services needed?

Quote:
. FYI, by comparison, Iridium data speed is 1/2 to 2/3's that of PACTOR-3 and 1/4 that of PACTOR-4....you get what you pay for...
Ka4wja
This isn't the fairest comparison. Your statement should say 1/4 the maximum​ of Pactor4 speed. In practice, especially here in the South Pacific, these higher rates are almost never reached and you make do with much slower connections.
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Old 02-06-2017, 18:05   #7
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Re: Iridium Go extra services needed?

Most real users prefer the Iridium experience for email than Pactor/Winlink. In ideal conditions Pactor III could achieve slightly higher transfers but it is rare. In addition, with SSB you spend a considerable​ amount of time looking for a free frequency and once you find it, you can bet that some guy will try to overpower you. This is especially bad on the Winlink frequencies. With Iridium it is a lot more predictable plus you do not have to wait for dusk or whenever the perfect propagation conditions are. SSB is good but let's be realistic about its place.
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Old 02-06-2017, 18:53   #8
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Re: Iridium Go extra services needed?

1) Yes, Paul , I should've written more carefully... Sorry about that....sometimes in trying to be brief (like that ever happens!), things get left out or less than clear....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
Ka4wja
This isn't the fairest comparison. Your statement should say 1/4 the maximum​ of Pactor4 speed. In practice, especially here in the South Pacific, these higher rates are almost never reached and you make do with much slower connections.
To be clear, it was not my intention to in anyway disparage Iridium (or the "GO"), nor to promote using a PACTOR modem!!
To the contrary, I think the $1600 to $2000 for a PACTOR modem is very hard to justify!! And, I actually recommend against buying one!!
(I don't own one, but many do...)

Further, Paul is correct that in some locales, the speed is less than "ideal"!
And, while Safari38's locale / cruising grounds do not suffer from this affliction, I still think a PACTOR modem is a waste....AND...
And, to be honest here, so is an IrdiumGO...

The Bahama Islands are very well covered by both US NWS/NOAA forecasts (broadcast many times per day, over HF radio, by USCG and WLO....Voice, and WeFax)...and the cellular infrastructure (even in the out islands) from BATELCO is better than in many remote areas here in Florida....(heck, there are a few spots along Florida's Turnpike, traveled by millions each year, that have no cellular service!! I know, I drive it all the time!!)

{FYI, I've made a living in the sat comm industry....and love Iridium...I was one of their early Beta-testers in the 90's....but, everyone should understand what it is and what does...what its limitations are... }




2) I will highlight some details and specific recommendations for Chris (Safari38), in a later posting....so as to not dilute the info, nor get it drowned-out by controversy....





3) Pizzazz....Really??
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pizzazz View Post
SSB is good but let's be realistic about its place.
Are you really going to try to bash HF communications??
Especially, here in this application??? Where Chris' (Safari38's) application could be the poster-child for the optimal use of modern HF comms???
You probably have had an unfortunate experience with HF radio, and for that I'm sorry....but 1000's of mariners (pleasure boats and commercial merchant mariners) use it successfully, all the time...so, please while I appreciate you wishing to share your knowledge and experience, perhaps it not being typical might be clouding things a bit???
{BTW, WINLINK use for most cruisers is such a boondoggle, it's like the Edsel compared to a Chevy (Sailmail), compared to a Mercedes (USCG WeFax)....just saying...}


Yes, I regret even mentioning PACTOR and Sailmail, cuz it unintentionally moved us quite a ways off topic....
So, let's just agree to not bash various approaches, and simply try to add some factual info that can be of help to Chris....yes??



Okay....I'm off my soapbox now...
Details and recommendations to come...

Fair winds..

John
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Old 02-06-2017, 19:02   #9
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Re: Iridium Go extra services needed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Don View Post
John,

I have not used an Iridium Go but never considered the latency between the cellphone and the Go. Is this a noticeable concern? Have others experienced this?

One other concern is the hand-off between satellites - it is my understanding that the Iridium satellites cross the sky in about 15 minutes. Are there problems handing off the download if it spans the overhead visible satellites?

I always thought the Iridium Go!, with unlimited data, has the potential to be a game changer for offshore comms. Personally I prefer using SSB and Pactor modem

Thanks
Don
There is no noticeable latency on the wifi connection between the GO and your phone.. the latency there is a matter of single digit milliseconds, that number is minuet when you consider the latency up to the satellite, down to the earth terminal, and out through the PSTN.

The Iridium satellites travel from horizon to horizon in 9-10 minutes actually, the only issue you may see with hand offs is a slight drop in signal.. this will only effect an active download. The Iridium Mail & Web app is designed to automatically resume a download, as are most apps developed for use with the Iridium GO. In short, should not be an issue at all.
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Old 02-06-2017, 19:32   #10
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Re: Iridium Go extra services needed?

Don,
A few things...

1) The "GO" is not really designed or marketed as a voice communications device....that's what they make "phones" for...

2) The only first-hand experience I have with the "GO" was last summer, where the call I received from one was more like a "radio" connection than a "phone call"....as long as you talked and said "over", and then let the other part talk and say "over", all was well...
This was completely opposite of the normal Iridium satphone call experience, where latency is no worse than any cell phone call...
(but, this may now be better....I'm not sure???)

3) Everyone selling the "GO" will tell 'ya it works great for texts and low-speed data.....and most make little mention of Voice calls, but when pressed will steer you to a satphone if voice calls are your primary goal...

4) Most "GO" users love the text/SMS features...and like the email features...but few talk about the voice calling...

5) If you read some independent reviews (MacWorld, Morgan'sCloud, etc.) you'll see that Voice calling is problematic...
https://www.morganscloud.com/2016/03...ecommendation/
Iridium Go satellite hotspot review: More like ‚€˜Iridium No‚€™ | Macworld

From MacWorld:
Quote:
Making an audio call was a miserable experience. Unobstructed by mountains, trees or buildings, I tried to make several calls to the few people that will still talk to me. In each instance, despite the fact that the Go registered a strong signal, I experienced delays of a few seconds between when I would stop talking and the party on the other end of the line would hear what I had said. And once the message was received, the people I talked to reported that the audio was full of static and at times, broken. Given that I’ve successfully used other Iridium products in the past under nearly identical conditions without any of these issues, I’m hard pressed to blame this issue on the company’s network.




6) Iridium uses seamless inter-satellite links and handoffs are usually seamless...so no worries there....
And, for texts/SMS and e-mail it is a moot point...as these Apps work well...

But, to be honest, I've never seen / used a "GO" on a voice call for more than a minute or two, so I cannot comment on whether its smartphone voice app, etc. handles satellite handoff well, or not...but, I suspect that it does work okay...
(but, again the "GO" is not really designed for Voice calls...


Hope this helps...

And, I'm REALLY sorry that I haven't actually gotten back to Chris (Safari38) with some actual real answers / recommendations!!!
But, I will do so soon....hopefully in a few!

Fair winds..

John
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Old 05-06-2017, 09:22   #11
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Re: Iridium Go extra services needed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Don,
A few things...

1) The "GO" is not really designed or marketed as a voice communications device....that's what they make "phones" for...

2) The only first-hand experience I have with the "GO" was last summer, where the call I received from one was more like a "radio" connection than a "phone call"....as long as you talked and said "over", and then let the other part talk and say "over", all was well...
This was completely opposite of the normal Iridium satphone call experience, where latency is no worse than any cell phone call...
(but, this may now be better....I'm not sure???)

3) Everyone selling the "GO" will tell 'ya it works great for texts and low-speed data.....and most make little mention of Voice calls, but when pressed will steer you to a satphone if voice calls are your primary goal...

4) Most "GO" users love the text/SMS features...and like the email features...but few talk about the voice calling...

5) If you read some independent reviews (MacWorld, Morgan'sCloud, etc.) you'll see that Voice calling is problematic...
https://www.morganscloud.com/2016/03...ecommendation/
Iridium Go satellite hotspot review: More like ‚€˜Iridium No‚€™ | Macworld

From MacWorld:




6) Iridium uses seamless inter-satellite links and handoffs are usually seamless...so no worries there....
And, for texts/SMS and e-mail it is a moot point...as these Apps work well...

But, to be honest, I've never seen / used a "GO" on a voice call for more than a minute or two, so I cannot comment on whether its smartphone voice app, etc. handles satellite handoff well, or not...but, I suspect that it does work okay...
(but, again the "GO" is not really designed for Voice calls...


Hope this helps...

And, I'm REALLY sorry that I haven't actually gotten back to Chris (Safari38) with some actual real answers / recommendations!!!
But, I will do so soon....hopefully in a few!

Fair winds..

John

I work in the industry and can promise you there is no latency or voice quality difference between an Iridium phone and an Iridium GO. Both are no where near "cell phone" level quality and both have considerable delays comparatively speaking.

Same goes for any satellite voice connection, there is too much distance being traveled to compare it to a terrestrial connection.

Also, the GO is absolutely designed for voice calls, it is the exact same core module contained in the Iridium 9575.
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Old 05-06-2017, 17:55   #12
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Re: Iridium Go extra services needed?

Chris,
1) You're very welcome!!
And, to be clear, everyone's use/application can be different, and that's perfectly okay!!
Just want to get you all the facts...not to try to change your mind, nor tell 'ya you're wrong!

2) So, back to the question at hand...

Reading what you've written here, it seems that your primary use of the "GO" would be to collect weather info / forecasts??
Using saildocs???
You're in Massachusetts, and planning on heading to the southern Bahamas??

While saildocs can provide you with the official NWS/NOAA text weather forecasts (and I believe the NWS/NOAA weather charts, as well....but haven't looked in years), very few people use saildocs for these, as they are already transmitted for free multiple times each day, by USCG (and WLO, etc.), via powerful HF transmitters....
So, I'm assuming you're looking at access to GRIB files??
(If I'm wrong, please correct me here!!)

Please remember that these GRIB files, and their weather forecasts, are the raw computer model data....there has been no human meteorologist drawing anything...
This is of course the opposite of what you get from the NWS/NOAA directly....(or for that matter from the UK Met Office, Aus or NZ Bur of Met, etc.)...where you get a forecast for your area written / drawn by an experienced ocean meteorologist...(and in the case of the US NWS/NOAA, the forecasters sign their names to each forecast disseminated, putting their personal reputation on the line each and every day!)

This is why most offshore sailors (and professional mariners) still refer to these official forecasts as the "gold standard" of offshore weather info....with the NWS/NOAA weather charts ("WeFax" charts) being, in my opinion, the best of what's available, even if you had internet access, nothing beats a good weather chart (current analysis, forecasts, etc.) drawn by an experienced ocean meteorologist!!

This is not to say that the raw computer models aren't useful....nor that somehow you'd perish at sea if you followed such folly!
Certainly not!
But...
But, if you are like most sailors....enjoy nice weather, but also want some wind to sail in, and are not professional meteorologists...then using forecasts provided by professional meteorologists, rather than using the raw computer models, is better....
{heck, I'm somewhat of an amateur meteorologist, and been sailing offshore since a kid in the 1960's, and I still trust the pros at NOAA more than I trust myself to interpret a long-term computer model! }

Again, if I'm not understanding your application correctly, please let me know...



3) I will get back to actual weather info in a minute....but...
But, regardless of what weather source you choose, your question was regarding use of the IridiumGO and now with the additional information you provided as to where you're sailing, etc...we can certainly provide you with some additional info / recommendations....

a) Wi-Fi and Cellular...
--- While there are damn few "open" Wi-Fi hotspots around anymore, there are many "subscription" Wi-Fi systems around (and some in the Bahamas that work well), and even if never actually staying in a marina, etc., many "beach bars", "marina offices", local stores, schools, libraries, etc. have passwords for their customers, and if you have a decent external Wi-Fi system on-board you can use their Wi-Fi from miles away!!
(yes, more than 2 - 3 miles is rare, as usually there are obstructions in the way, even in remote areas.....and way, way too many other devices on-the-air interfering in crowded areas, but I used to have access to a local marina's Wi-Fi from my boat 2.5 miles away, everyday, rain or shine...)
The minimal cost of a decent external Wi-Fi system (Bullet-based or Groove-based) is so minor (~ $200 - $250) that it is certainly worth it, even if you don't use it as much as we used to!!
Buy one from here....you'll be glad you did!
http://islandtimepc.com/marine_wifi.html
Bob is a great guy!! (and a Cruiser's Forum member, who answers cruisers questions here, too!)


--- External cellular "boosters"....
Yes, they can get pricey....($500 - $700, including antennas and cables, hardware, etc.), but they DO work!!
Just please be aware it is the installation (planning and mounting of the antennas, inside and external, and proper wiring) that makes them work....without taking the time and following the prescribed instructions, you're in for some frustrations...
(of course, you can get a unit that simply keeps your phone in its cradle all the time, and allows you to then use a Bluetooth headset for calls and your phone's Wi-Fi hotspot for connections to other devices...and these have little installation issues, and almost always work right "out-of-the-box")
Wilson Electronics / Antennas has forgotten more about this, than everyone else will ever know....so I recommend them!! Highly!!
Be sure to get one that works in the areas you plan on cruising!!!
http://www.wilsonsignalbooster.com/
https://www.weboost.com/


I mention these two things for you, because buying/installing both a decent ext. Wi-Fi system and an ext. cellular booster (get one that works in the areas that you'll be cruising, and/or a multiband one!!), will cost you about the same, all-in, as an IridiumGO and external antenna, and if you spend another $100 - $150 on a radio (see details below) you'll likely never need the "GO"....a
And I assume you will still want some cellular phone service as well?? (whether BATELCO in the Bahamas and/or some other carrier in US and/or elsewhere??)

Remember that in many parts of the developing world, Bahamas included, the cellular / mobile infrastructure is what is advanced and in most areas there is no landline service / no dsl, etc. but advanced 3G/4G mobile service at fairly reasonable rates!!!
If you are nearby (within a few miles) where people live or work, you're likely to have good cellular/mobile service!!
And, it is this connectivity that you will use most of the time for e-mail, internet, weather info/forecasts, etc...
Remember that unless you're out on-passage or in far remote areas (where HF radio works very well!!), there are people living/working in most of the places you're likely to be, so you will have some sort of cellular/mobile or Wi-Fi service, nearby!!


b) HF Radio....excellent coverage and excellent weather products...
As luck has it, cruising the N. Atlantic, SW N. Atlantic, Bahamas, Tropical N. Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico, etc. (as well as eastern Pacific waters), places you in areas of both excellent HF Radio coverage and excellent marine weather products!!!
(although, even if doing a circumnav, you still have very good wefax charts for your entire voyage....it's just that SSB Voice weather isn't very detailed once beyond what the USCG and AMSA broadcasts for their offshore waters)

The detailed weather products (all updated every six hours) sent out via HF radio, the NWS/NOAA Marine Weather Forecasts that I wrote about above, are transmitted by the USCG and Shipcom (WLO/KLB) over SSB Voice, from multiple high-powered stations (Virginia, New Orleans, Mobile, Pt. Reyes, Seattle, Kodiak, Honolulu, and Guam), multiple (4 to 8 times) times each day...
As well as weather charts (NWS/NOAA WeFax charts, from USCG), surface and upper-air charts, wind/wave charts, etc. showing current surface analysis, as well as 24, 48, 72, 96, and 120hr forecasts, as well as satellite images....sent out every 6 hours, from multiple high-power transmitters (Boston, New Orleans, Pt. Reyes, Kodiak, Honolulu, etc.)....
These are all easily receivable within a few thousand miles of these transmitters, even by simple/portable radios (~ $100 - $150), and you can use free software on a laptop (or App for tablet) to display all these weather charts...all for free!!
Further, you can get textual forecasts....NAVTEX (covering out to 250 miles, or so), and SafetyNET via SITOR (covering entire oceans)...


4) Your mention of "why pay for data when it is free" is ironic, as you are planning on paying to use a "GO", when even better "data" (weather info/forecasts) are available for free...worldwide!!

And, since you write that you've "spent a considerable amount of time analyzing available weather data options", I assume that you've read thru most of this, but just in case....
Here is a page that can lead you (eventually) to just about every piece of marine weather info you could ever need, worldwide!!
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/home.htm

And, here's one that will explain a lot about obtaining weather info/forecasts when at-sea/on-passage and/or in far remote locales...
Offshore / Hi-Seas Weather data / forecasts

If you want to see some details, mostly about offshore weather when on ocean passages and/or in far remote locales...
Offshore Weather Videos
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2mPZAx2vWzdjTJjHlChruyY


Here are some links to the broadcasts of these "gold standard" forecasts...for your areas...

SSB Voice (detailed Offshore forecasts and wide-area Hi-seas forecasts)
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/hfvoice.htm
http://www.shipcom.com/frequencies.html


WeFax (lots of weather charts!):
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/radiofax.htm
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/hfgulf_links.htm
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/hfmarsh_links.htm
http://tgftp.nws.noaa.gov/fax/marine.shtml

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/rfax.pdf


NAVTEX (near-offshore, out to ~ 250 miles, including Bahamas)
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/navtex.htm


SITOR (Hi-Seas wide-area forecasts):
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/hfsitor.htm


Here are examples....you can read the text forecasts....
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/atlantic.htm



5) Some brief specifics...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Safari38LH View Post
I plan on using the Iridium Go only for email and weather data. With the unlimited monthly data option I figure speed to be less of a problem.
If you've equipped with good ext Wi-Fi and/or cellular booster, you'll probably find the low-sped of the GO, for e-mail, etc., to be a pain...
And, if you equip with a good portable HF receiver ($100 - $150), or even better a good MF/HF-DSC-SSB Radiotelephone (i.e "Marine SSB", for about $1500 to $3000), you'll likely find no need for the "GO", and not likely to buy one...


I have spent a considerable amount of time analyzing available weather data options and have decided on using SailDocs as my main source.
Saildocs is a great service, just remember that you seemed to ignore the "gold standard" of marine weather forecasts (that are sent multiple times a day, for free, via HF radio)...
There are 5-10 charts/documents that I would like to get daily and will finalize the selection based on the Go speed. I also am an avid user of Weather Tracker (why pay for data when it is free) and have come up with the solution of getting the grib data for it from SailDocs.


I also plan on getting Chris Parkers emails.
Chris transmits his forecasts 6 days a week, via HF radio....
I'm not a big fan of paying for someone to read the official forecasts, reiterate them and highlight the specific items effecting your location (all of which, every sailor can do themselves), and add some additional comment based on other weather data...
But, Chris is a good guy, and does have a loyal following...so, if you choose to listen to his broadcasts, you can of course do this for free, as well!!

{FYI, US east coast, SW N. Atl, Bahamas, etc., have very well understood weather patterns, etc., and well covered by both professional/gov't HF radio coverage and excellent professional marine meteorologists!! }


We have no cell or WiFi booster on board and possibly will add these in the future.
If you have HF radio (Marine SSB or even just a receiver), then you can certainly forego these....but, if you have these and HF radio, you'd never need the "GO"...


For now I want to develop a failsafe system to get weather data where ever the boat maybe.
This has been developed and is used by 1000's of mariners (professional and pleasure-boat sailors, alike) everyday!!
HF-WeFax!!
Yes, even the guys with satcom terminals (you know, the domes you see), use NOAA weather charts, from the web....and those without satcom internet, use HF-WeFax (via HF radio)...

For the areas you'll be cruising, HF-SSB Voice weather broadcasts!!

And, for coverage out-to 250 miles, NAVTEX....worldwide...

Also, for wide-area forecasts, worldwide....SafetyNET broadcasts, such as via SITOR...


This coming year we will be in the lower Bahamas. Since we like to anchor out away from the crowds when possible, I feel cell/wifi accessibility problematic as a daily reliable source.
If you desire a "daily reliable source", in remote locales and on-passage, HF radio is there for you!!

But, FYI, cellular coverage in the islands is actually quite good....and pay-for Wi-Fi, or Wi-Fi using password from a bar, restaurant, store, etc. is also good...
But, to use either/both from way out in the sticks is going to require a good cellular "booster" and/or good ext Wi-Fi system...see details above...



Since I will be using an iPad for this, UUPlus is an option since I have heard that software is more versatile when moving between Iridium and cell/wifi.
I can't speak to this....sorry don't have experience moving back-n-forth...

SailMail unfortunately is not available for the iPad (can we get Stan Honey on that?). Is UUPlus worth the monthly fee just for it versatility?
Again, can't speak to this personally....as I don't have personal experience (don't have any "i" stuff...

But, am a bit confused by some of what you've written...
If you're concerned about the cost of UUPlus service, why not the much bigger cost of the "GO" and Iridium monthly service??
Chris
I hope this helps....

Fair winds...

John


You can see / hear what some of this (SSB Voice Weather) sounds like, by watching this video...both WLO and USCG broadcasts are shown....especially between 8min 15sec to 10min 15secs...
Quote:
AMZ117-060915-
BAHAMAS INCLUDING CAY SAL BANK-
503 PM EDT MON JUN 5 2017

.TONIGHT...SE WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 2 FT OR LESS...BECOMING
3 FT LATE.

.TUE...SE TO S WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 3 FT.

.TUE NIGHT...SE WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 3 FT.

.WED...S WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 3 FT. SCATTERED SHOWERS AND
ISOLATED TSTMS.

.WED NIGHT...SE TO S WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 3 FT.

.THU...S WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 3 FT.

.THU NIGHT...S WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 3 FT.

.FRI...SE TO S WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 3 FT.

.FRI NIGHT...SE WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 3 FT.

.SAT...SE WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 3 FT.

.SAT NIGHT...E TO SE WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 3 FT.





P.S.
BTW, we sorta drifted off topic earlier....and pretty darn into the weeds where nobody really cares...
Sorry about that.

I stand behind my recommendation, but just to clarify....
I did make an error...I should've just used the word "marketed" not "designed and marketed", as I'm not privy to the exact internal intentions of the design engineers of the "GO" (but did converse at length with some of the original Moto/Iridium design eng back in the 90's...)...so, here is what I should've written:
"it isn't really marketed as a voice communications device" ...
This is a sailing website, and we're trying to explain things to mostly laypersons, and steer them to what may work best for them, not "sell" them on what the marketing folks desire, nor tout the latest whiz-bang product/service...
{And, I can assure you that while I've not had trouble with Iridium phones and their voice calling....I have had difficulty receiving voice calls from the "GO"...
And, yes....while they use the same module....this doesn't mean that the end user's results are the same... }

Bottom line:
In my opinion, If you want handheld / portable satellite connections for voice calling and low-speed data connections, you're going to be better served with a sat phone and not the "GO"...
(yes, I know...everyone wants their "unlimited data" and the lower price of the "GO"....and for some this is a good solution....for others it isn't....one size doesn't fit all...


Fair winds...

John __________________

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