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Old 17-04-2006, 16:27   #1
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Large Email files

I know Ham radio (and email by defualt) is not allowed to carry commerical traffic.

Is there a service that would allow for tranmission of large files 5-20 meg? It would be related to me earning my keep while cruising so I'm guessing this would be a 'commercial' enterprise and would keep me from using the Ham related mail.

Tranmission time doesn't have to be the best, (hey I'm planning on sailing while doing this and that beats sitting at a desk in an office in Texas), but really slow 1 hour downloads are not practical.

Anybody have any ideas?
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Old 17-04-2006, 21:33   #2
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2divers -- if you are willing to pay for the service their are a couple of choices I'm aware of.

1. If you're coastal to the US then you can use one of the cell phone data solutions which offer pretty reasonable speeds at not ridiculous amounts of money.

2. Go to a sat phone solution with XGATE for email which compresses the solution.

good luck
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Old 17-04-2006, 22:24   #3
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Satellite internet is an option. At least in the US. I know of several people who are using it. With the current tracking dish technology, you should, according to the claims of the manufacturers, be able to use it underway. As for the Wireless internet (Cell phone technology) option, I have used it extensively. It is not fast. It is also limited. The cost is about $80 per month for unlimited data. If you are sailing in areas that US cell phones work, you should be able to get at least dial up speeds (24k-56k). Check with the provider to confirm the area you are sailing is a coverage area. There are several providers, but AT&T and Sprint are the two main ones. Sprint uses the Sierra Wireless 580 card, wich costs about $99. AT&T uses the Sierra Wireless 775 Card. This is the better card. Not sure what AT&T's rates are, as my company pays for that one. FWIW, I have had the connection drop out on emails over about 5Mb pretty consistantly with the Wireless cards.
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Old 18-04-2006, 02:40   #4
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I would wait for a little while, I think Inmarsat will shortly be unveiling a new service to provide a better internet service, and I suspect this will suit you. The nera phone might also be the right solution.

http://www.satphone.net/neramar.htm
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Old 18-04-2006, 07:01   #5
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My time frame to move aboard is at least three or for years out still so I have some more time to wait.
I'm doing my best to get my research done now to see what's available. The good news is that most but not all CAD files zip pretty well. Image files and PDFS are so-so and I will need to be able to send both.

Working around the US or europe would be easy with the WiFi available in most places. I plan on cruising the Carib. and South Pacific so WiFi may not be as readily available. Sat. may be the way for me to go. But I am worried about large files get dropped.

KAI you pretty much stated what I thought my problem would be. The bigger the file, the longer the wait and the better the chance of an interupt.

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Old 18-04-2006, 07:50   #6
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Have you considered using the special compresion software that is available for web downloads (e.g. rar etc) although this would probably require somebody with a landline to decompress and present in the format expected by the company.
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Old 18-04-2006, 09:07   #7
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I don't know of any special compression beyond the standard WinZip. There is something else? Tell me more!

To give you an idea of what I do, I just sent a 12 meg (zipped) file to a construction company and it bounced. So I had to erase material from the file to get it under 10 meg zipped. So this is pretty important to me.

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Old 18-04-2006, 10:13   #8
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if you compress it using a program such as Winrar(definately others out there, but my experience is with this one), you can actually split the file into smaller chunks, of any size you want, and then email them all seperately, when the reciever gets all of the chunks, he opens up the first one, and it allows him to decompress all of the files that were compressed

this method has been used for a very long time to store large amounts of data over many small storage mediums, especially floppy disks and such which would only hold at most 1.4 megs
the program would be set to split the chunks into sizes that could fit on the disk then each disk held a single chunk

note that the person recieving the chunks has to have a compatable program to decompress them, but free rar programs are available pretty much everwhere and most people that know how to decompress zip files will be able to figure out out if you just point them to where to get the program again, I recommend winrar http://www.rarlab.com/rar/wrar36b2.exe

it says it's not free, and that it's just a trial, but there is no time limit on it, just a little screen that pops up everytime you start it, I've never paid for it, but if you're using it for business purposes it might be a problem.
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Old 18-04-2006, 10:28   #9
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Thank you for that explanation. I knew ofthe product but have no experience with using it. IIRC it has checksum accuracy checking as well.
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Old 18-04-2006, 11:43   #10
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2Divers, I sent you a PM on the Wirekess internet.
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Old 18-04-2006, 16:16   #11
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For any email you'll find files over 2 mb are a problem. Most ISP's limit sending and receive sizes. You'll need to make special arrangements to use Email as a method of transfer.

The New WinZip 10 has a new better compression technique but still supports the old standard method. It depends on if you need to get files from many sources or just from a selected few.
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Old 19-04-2006, 00:23   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2divers
The good news is that most but not all CAD files zip pretty well. Image files and PDFS are so-so and I will need to be able to send both.
PDF and most image formats are already compressed, which is why you don't get much benefit from trying to compress them again. In fact, trying to compress an already-compressed file will usually make the file LARGER because of the overhead the compression algorithm adds.

Quote:
Working around the US or europe would be easy with the WiFi available in most places. I plan on cruising the Carib. and South Pacific so WiFi may not be as readily available. Sat. may be the way for me to go. But I am worried about large files get dropped.
Have you considered sneakernet? i.e. Record it on CD and carry it to the DHL / Fedex / whatever office in your next port of call.

A few years back, I researched satellite data services for a project I was on. I didn't find anything that was all of 1) fast, 2) covered the whole south pacific, and 3) not insanely expensive. We ended up with Inmarsat Fleet 77 which cost about $14,000 for equipment and about $35 per megabyte for 64 kbps data service. It must be nice to be that rich...
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Old 19-04-2006, 13:00   #13
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Originally Posted by coot
PDF and most image formats are already compressed, which is why you don't get much benefit from trying to compress them again. In fact, trying to compress an already-compressed file will usually make the file LARGER because of the overhead the compression algorithm adds.

Have you considered sneakernet? i.e. Record it on CD and carry it to the DHL / Fedex / whatever office in your next port of call.

A few years back, I researched satellite data services for a project I was on. I didn't find anything that was all of 1) fast, 2) covered the whole south pacific, and 3) not insanely expensive. We ended up with Inmarsat Fleet 77 which cost about $14,000 for equipment and about $35 per megabyte for 64 kbps data service. It must be nice to be that rich...
I've run into the PDF thing before here at work so I know about that one. The only problem with Fedex or UPS is that I would have about a 72 hour turn around from the client and back to the client, and I need about 8-10 hours to do my work. With email I can get the turn around much faster. (I just read that last sentence and realized how spoiled I am in this modern information age, I need to stop whining... )

The only problem I see with Inmar sat is the cost per MB. With a 10 MB file my profit would be negative. I figure I'll be able to make between $300-$500 for 8-10 hours worth of work. That still makes it very cheap for my client (hence I'll get more work) and is a good profit for me since I'll be out of the states and it will all be tax free from uncle sam.

I see two options so far.

Due to the nature of the work and pay, I will probably only need to work an average of 5 days a month.

So the first option is to spend 5 days a month where I have access to the internet (prefferably highspeed). that leaves roughly 25 days a month to sail and dive where ever I want to be. ( beats the hell out of the 7:30 to 6pm M-F here)

the second option is to zip large files across several smaller email 'packets' and send a bunch of email with a better compression software. This may or may not have to be sat depending on the cost per MB.

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Old 21-04-2006, 13:01   #14
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Thought you all might be interested in the following:

A UK-based media company Wired Ocean, with the support of the European Space Agency, has developed a way of providing high-speed Internet access at sea for less than half the current price. After successful trials on board yachts, ships and commercial vessels around the coasts of Europe, in the Mediterranean and North Sea, the company says its specialised client server will improve Internet speed and cost-effectiveness.

By combining the benefits of both broad and narrow bandwidths utilizing different satellites, the downlink (forward) channel offers a speed of 512 kbps and the uplink (return) channel speed is 9.6 kbps for Globalstar, and up to 64 kbps for Inmarsat. And this, it is claimed, will slash the current tariffs, which have seen some yachtsmen paying as much as $25 (14) per megabyte at downlink speeds of 10 kbps or less.

The server is especially designed to interface with a tracking TV Receive Only (TVRO) antenna for the downlink with various types of narrow band communications equipment for the uplink. TVRO would be used to receive Internet data while providing signals to an onboard television simultaneously.
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Old 25-04-2006, 18:51   #15
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One step closer

Ok just as an update, I think I passed the 8 hour Fundamentals of Land Surveying exam last Saturday. If I did, then it's two more years of hard work and I can sit for the Professional Exam which is what will allow me to split a year earlier than planned.

I just got my copy of Ocean Navigator and they list a series of email compatable methods of moving data. Those who are knowledgeable please correct me if I read it wrong but;

WinLink is HAM related and therfore commercial email like I would need to send is verboten.

HOWEVER, SailMail is not and I could use it for commericial purposes. Does anybody have any experience with this format?

Again the thing that really strikes me as most funny is that I am almost forced to leave the US as soon as I can so I can make the most of my labor. If I stay in the US I have to pay self employment tax and Social Insecurity Tax as well as FICA and everything else. As soon as I go out of country, my income is not taxed (except locally). Talk about an incentive to take a long cruise to some place beautiful with local internet access!
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