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Old 09-02-2016, 13:53   #1
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Location: Clayton, NY
Boat: Beneteau OC 41
Posts: 210
Iridium Pilot

Curious what people think about the Iridium Pilot in the following respects:
  • Versus SSB when comparing bang for the buck?
  • For Iridium Pilot users, past or present, is the cost structure like an iceberg?
  • Is there a better/best way to get voice and data?

Any real-life experience regarding costs (apparent & hidden), signal quality, and overall utility would be of interest.
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Old 11-02-2016, 07:52   #2
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Boat: Lagoon 380 #069
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Re: Iridium Pilot

I've only seen the Pilot installed on larger yachts over 40ft. Not large enough to fit a full-size sat dome but large enough to know the owners have money to burn.

Pilot: $5000
Data: $13/Mb
Voice: $1/min.

Iridium Go: $1000
Data: $130/month unlimited
Voice: $1/min

ICOM M802 + AT140 + Pactor4: $5000
Data: $20/mo or $250/year, through Sailmail
Voice: Free

I can honestly say that sat phone and SSB are very dissimilar. The only thing they have remotely in common is that both allow you to send and receive data. I've used the Iridium Go on our transat crossing. I could call my mother 3000 miles away but not the boat in our rally 50 miles north of us. They only had SSB.

What you really want is a Go.
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Old 11-02-2016, 09:43   #3
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Re: Iridium Pilot

Thanks Yardie. The Go does sound like a good solution. I'd like to have an SSB (without the pactor) to enable group chat, but, as you say, the smell of burning money seems to be at the end of every road I go down.
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