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Old 28-10-2012, 01:15   #1
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Iridium Yellowbrick

Anyone using the new Iridium Yellowbrick? Looks like a nearly perfect offshore comms device to me. Short text messages similar in cost to regular mobile SMS; small monthly charge which you can turn off and on at will without losing your usage credits. No downloading of grib files looks like the only downside, as I don't really need voice comms.

I have a fixed mount Globalstar sat phone on board inherited from the PO; never bothered to activate it; not worth the monthly charge. I'd rather use SSB for voice comms.

Anyone using the Yellowbrick already?
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Old 28-10-2012, 11:03   #2
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Re: Iridium Yellowbrick

The Vic Maui race used Yellowbrick technology to track the race. Vic Maui 2012 - Powered by Yellowbrick Tracking

For the return trip we rented a Yellowbrick. Our families and friends really appreciated being to track us. Vic Maui 2012 Return - Powered by Yellowbrick Tracking

We only used the tracking capability.
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Old 28-10-2012, 11:19   #3
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Re: Iridium Yellowbrick

World Cruising Club ( The ARC, World ARC people, based very close to you) have been using them for around 4 years now for all of their events. They were sort of the guinea pigs for the development of the system.

They have always been very reliable. The early generation ones though were completely self contained so needed the battery recharging every now and again but I think the current ones plug into the 12v system.
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Old 28-10-2012, 11:22   #4
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Re: Iridium Yellowbrick

We have been sailing with Spot2 for 9 months now; very similar to Yellowbrick. very reliable and easy in use.
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Old 28-10-2012, 11:23   #5
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Re: Iridium Yellowbrick

The one we used was a stand-alone device attached to the stern rail on the port side.

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Old 28-10-2012, 11:28   #6
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Nice C&C!
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Old 28-10-2012, 11:34   #7
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Re: Iridium Yellowbrick

Quote:
Originally Posted by joydc View Post
We have been sailing with Spot2 for 9 months now; very similar to Yellowbrick. very reliable and easy in use.
The Spot is not really that similar - the Yellowbrick sends text or email messages up to 1000 characters for about $0.20 - my primary purpose (not tracking) - and receives them (for free). The closest analogue to the Yellowbrick is the Delorm Inreach, which has a very expensive subscription plan.
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Old 28-10-2012, 13:46   #8
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Re: Iridium Yellowbrick

What is the difference between the new and th old one then? I did not notice Yellowbrick had a new unit!

The old ones were fine, but YB's online interface was as bad as any other. Pretty horrible mess to watch all 200+ ARC boats with all their names overlap.

Possibly less of an issue if there are few boats around.

b.
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Old 28-10-2012, 14:50   #9
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Re: Iridium Yellowbrick

Silly Iridium, their web site says "zero results" i.e. no authorized sales in Canada or the US for this product.

So Jack, were the race boats being tracked by the CIA, or the KGB? Didn't know you have a unicorn strapped to the stern, did you?
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Old 28-10-2012, 15:46   #10
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Re: Iridium Yellowbrick

Ah, mystery solved. The product is not an "Iridium Yellowbrick" it is a "Yellowbrick". Apparently an English company that simply buys airtime from Iridium, so Iridium isn't quite sharp enough to refer customers over to Yellowbrick directly. And, I would guess, Yellowbrick are concentrating on the EU market first but do not have FCC or Canadian approval to sell the device here yet, in the wild outlands of the Western Hemisphere.

Yellowbrick also just list the devices for sale, no mention of subscriptions or message plans? Or perhaps the messaging is all free for life with the purchase of the unit? <VBG>
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Old 28-10-2012, 16:46   #11
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Re: Iridium Yellowbrick

A little off subject...but not...Right now you can get unlimited voice communications from Globalstar for $39.99/ month. ( I do not work for them, but have a Globalstar phone) This "special" is going on until the end of the year. You do have to sign up for a 1 year contract. If you read their web site it appears that you have to purchase one of their new phones, but you do not.
Areas covered are pretty broad...we did find when we cruised to Mexico a couple of years ago that it was a higher charge but we plan on using it this year to cruise to the Caribbean.
Communications & tracking can be tricky...and expensive...good luck with whatever you choose.
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Old 28-10-2012, 16:55   #12
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Re: Iridium Yellowbrick

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A little off subject...but not...Right now you can get unlimited voice communications from Globalstar for $39.99/ month. ( I do not work for them, but have a Globalstar phone) This "special" is going on until the end of the year. You do have to sign up for a 1 year contract. If you read their web site it appears that you have to purchase one of their new phones, but you do not.
Areas covered are pretty broad...we did find when we cruised to Mexico a couple of years ago that it was a higher charge but we plan on using it this year to cruise to the Caribbean.
Communications & tracking can be tricky...and expensive...good luck with whatever you choose.
Does Globalstar work ok in the Pacific?

Vic
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Old 28-10-2012, 17:05   #13
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Re: Iridium Yellowbrick

We haven't sailed in the Pacific. Perhaps someone else can answer this. It appears that the $39.99 offer is good in North America and the Caribbean. You can go to Globalstar.com to look at the offer....Again...I don't work for them.
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Old 28-10-2012, 17:27   #14
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Re: Iridium Yellowbrick

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Does Globalstar work ok in the Pacific?

Vic
Not the centre of the Pacific. Its one big drawback.
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