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Old 21-07-2010, 01:54   #1
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Losing Satellite Coverage

Does your broadband service ever drop out or do you have to manually alter your satellite to keep continuous coverage?
How often do you have to adjust? Do you find that you have to do this more often in certain regions?

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Old 21-07-2010, 15:05   #2
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Boat: Catalina 470
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Satellite Internet at Sea....AGAIN....

1) Satellite Broadband on modest-sized boats, is going to be one of three systems...

a) Iridium Open Port, which does NOT require antenna stabilization.....(electronicaly steerable antennas in its short radome)

b) INMARSAT Fleet Broadband, which has it's own radome-enclosed stabilized antenna.....

c) INMARSAT BGAN....which is not designed for use on-board vessels, or at sea, but is in fact used by some.....
And, it is this system (BGAN) which would require regular adjustment / pointing of the antenna, when the vessel swings at anchor, etc...)

2) With the exception of those very few using BGAN (and fewer still attempting to use it while underway), when using either of the other braodband internet services (Iridium Open Port or INMARSAT Fleet Broadband), there are no "drop-outs", and they are truly "always available"....
But, they are very pricey!!!!

3) The facts are that most cruisers/voyagers do NOT use satellite broadband services.....
Since there is little need for it, and both the equipment and service fees are VERY expensive....

4) Pleae have a look at some of the other threads on this.....

5) Here's my most recent post of this.....
here.....instead, I'll answer you briefly and refer you to the detailed info.....

1) Internet access, while at sea, is a service that is not needed by 99.9% of the cruisers / offshore voyagers.....
See this recent post for some thoughts on comms...
Ham, $$B, Iridium ?

2) Broadband, always-on, internet access, worldwide, at sea IS available and HAS been available for quite some time.....although, in years past the equipment was bigger, heavier, and fairly power-hungry...nowadays it IS useable on small vessels (say 32' - 35' and up), but.....
But, it is still VERY expensive.....

See these posts for the details:
SSCA Discussion Board • View topic - Satellite Internet Service?
Trans-Atlantic Internet Connection

3) If you can afford the approx $5000+ for equipment and the few hundred $$$ per month in usage fees, you CAN have an Iridium Open Port, or INMARSAT Fleet Broadband 150, system and service.....
And, if you've really got the big $$$$$$, you can step up to the FB 250 or FB500, etc.....

I hope this helps....

s/v Annie Laurie

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Old 21-07-2010, 16:51   #3
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Location: South coast of England, moving around a bit.
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Thank you John for the many informative posts both here and elsewhere.

The message is the journey, we are sure the answer lies in the destination. But in reality, there is no station, no place to arrive at once and for all. The joy of life is the trip, and the station is a dream that constantly out distances us”. Robert Hastings, The Station
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Old 21-07-2010, 21:37   #4
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You're welcome....
And thank you for appreciating the efforts.....(sometimes it's frustrating to spend lots of time posting detailed info, and never hearing back from the original poster, or if the info helped....but the ones that say "thanks" do make up for those others....)

Due to some family matters, I'm stuck tied to the dock for a while.....and figured why not pass on some knowledge.....
(For 25+ years, I've made my living in electroincs, owning my own firm specializing in commercial sat com what the heck, why not pass some of this on....)

Now, if family issues change, I'm off again on some more long voyages, so enjoy my posts now....

Fair winds...

s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 21-07-2010, 23:56   #5
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After seeing those prices, I think a nice cup of coffee at an internet cafe will suffice for me.
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