GH Thanks also.
I have also been pondering the satfone/SSB question for transceiving limited digital info such as grib files, short cryptic emails to friends.
I have the SSB gear
already both a ham and marine sets and was a ham Op so no worries there except for the overpriced closed proprietary pactor3 modems and possibly limited airtime if using sailmail for instance. Pactor
1/2 is cheaper but probably not worth it.. I will try out the robustness of the alternative ham winlink system ( at basic only needs a soundcard) but Im not sure of how reliable it is now and suspect stations may be sparse and possibly diminishing inn umber as time passes???. SSB also needs quite a few amps using the pactor 3 protocol. Good to know SSB voice is still usefull.
Since the sat phone capital cost is similar to pactor3 price
its only a question of paying for air time. Big advantage is you can take the phone to the liferaft
,emergency phone when on land, and overall probably more reliable than SSB.
For those in Oz -perhaps the Northern half and not NZ - the Dubai based Thurahah satellite
might be more cost effective as its directed to asia
where fixed services are not as extensive- it seemed to be cheaper than Iridium
last time I checked (update- I think MarkJ had something to say on this but memory dim). I understand its better to arrange a deal outside of Oz but with the govt. remote
area phone subsidy available ($1000?) this might affect this.
Will have to check out Xgate but I was thinking of having a personal server located at a friends place to log into in a similar fashion. This would be customised to code/compress only the actual data required at the time. Something to do for those fong days at sea when we do set sail. Probably a year off needing it so in that time sat prices might come down further Ha ha.