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Old 02-12-2013, 20:19   #16
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Re: Sat Phone or SSB, if you had to pick one?

Simon,
1) As flattered as I, and the others here, are that you'd take a few short comments and use them as the basis for making your decision on "long range comms"....
PLEASE do yourself and your crew/loved ones a favor and do NOT make such a quick decision, without the knowledge/experience necessary!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by simonpickard View Post
The idea is to cruise the Med next season then join the ARC rally over the pond in Nov. I need to have long range comms for that, I'm guessing in the Med mobile phone + VHF will be fine while coastal hopping.

Will pick up a sat phone before starting the ARC I think based on these replies. Thanks everyone!
The bottom line is that you're very likely to install an "SSB", no matter how "wonderful" a sat phone seems...
They ARE NOT competitive systems, but rather are "complimentary"...as they do NOT do the same things at all....they do NOT communicate with the same people, nor give the same results....

It is a shame that so very many seem to think that it is an "either / or" situation, as it is NOT....far from it actually!!!









2) You've made no mention of what you "long range comms" needs/applications are???
But, we are assuming that you needs/desires are:
a) Offshore / Hi-Seas weather info and forecasts...
b) Distress / Safety signaling...
c) Ship-to-ship communications...
d) Shoreside contact / telephone interconnect...
e) Cruising Nets, BBC, VOA, entertainment, ham radio, etc...

ALL of the above can be easily handled quite effectively with a properly installed Marine HF-DSC-SSB ("SSB") radio and antenna tuner...and NO PACTOR modem is required...


And, it will come as no surprise that I highly recommend the Icom M-802 / AT-140...versus a sat phone...

IC-M802 HF Marine Transceiver - Features - Icom America
Icom SSB Radio Kits & Components



(if needing e-mail contact when offshore/at sea, then either a PACTOR modem connected to the SSB, for Sailmail...or a sat phone with ext. antenna and "data kit" and a low-speed data provider/compression software....either would allow for reliable low-speed data /e-mail connection, for about the same fixed equipment price....although the sat phone will typically have higher recurring costs....)


There are many threads here explaining and detailing these systems, the various "pluses" and "minuses", as well as recommendations....
PLEASE have a look at these, and ask some more questions, consider your total on-board budget for offshore passage-making, BEFORE you make your decisions....
"Obtaining Offshore / Hi-Seas Weather data/forecasts, while at sea"

Obtaining Accurate Offshore/Hi-Seas Weather data/forecasts, while at sea



"Satphone vs. SSB"
SatPhone vs SSB/SW
SatPhone vs SSB/SW




"Optimum-SSB-satphone-combo"

Optimum SSB/satphone combo setup




"Ham-ssb-sat phone"

HAM / SSB / SAT Phone




"ssb"
ssb




"newbie to ssb"

Newbe to ssb, anybody help me with some basic info?




Icom M-802 Instr Videos(basic-adv) & LIVE DSC-Distress Call


whats the best watermaker and SSB to purchasse?



Tips for using an HF-SSB Radio (mostly for newcomers)



HF Radio Freqs, summertime Atlantic crossing, offshore Net..


Icom M-802 DSC-Distress Signaling, what really happens!


EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds












3) Please excuse me for being blunt, but I'm one of those American Radio Nuts...
If you can afford an offshore sailing vessel, and all the typical offshore equipment, and the time to cruise the Med and across the Atlantic, as well as the ARC entry fees, etc. etc...then I suspect that you can actually afford both an "SSB" and a "sat phone", it is just that you either: a) erroneously assume you need a PACTOR modem with an "SSB"..... or b) have a strict budget, and haven't found a way to budget an extra $1000 - $2000, into your line item for "long range comms"...
Quote:
Originally Posted by simonpickard View Post
If you only had the money for one system, SSB radio or Sat phone, for long range comms what would you go for?

Sat phone seems to be cheaper, can do data still for Grib files, etc.
SSB is "free" once the system in in place, radio nets, etc.

I can only really afford one system, just wondering what others would choose?
Whatever the case, whatever your budget....please understand that for an Atlantic crossing and/or most "milk run" cruising / passage-making, you CAN obtain much better and more useful offshore/hi-seas weather than "GRIB's"...and for FREE none-the-less, via HF (SSB) radio!!!
Please don't forget to read this thread here...
"Obtaining Offshore/Hi-Seas Weather data/forecasts, while at sea"
Obtaining Accurate Offshore/Hi-Seas Weather data/forecasts, while at sea









I could ramble on-and-on.....but this should get you started, and PLEASE come back and ask more questions after reading the above...




Fair winds.....




John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 02-12-2013, 20:29   #17
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Re: Sat Phone or SSB, if you had to pick one?

Thanks so much for taking the time to write this post.. I'm looking through all the links as we speak..
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:32   #18
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Re: Sat Phone or SSB, if you had to pick one?

I just removed an enGenius Wi-Fi setup from boat yesterday, and will be taking the Bullet antenna off next time I'm up the mast. both came on the boat we bought and are refurbishing.

We're going with SIM cards and mobile hotspots and I plan to buy a good Wilson cell signal amp for the boat. We found that trying to use Wi-Fi thru the Bahamas was frustrating. Mi-Fi, better. I'm trying to figure out what to do with the SSB that came with the boat. An iCom 700 Pro or something like that. With antenna tuner. These things worth anything on eBay?

We plan to add a sat phone at some point.
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:09   #19
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I would say from direct experience that on balance for an Atlantic crossing , where you have no long range comms , a satphone is the best bet. It's a simple install , is cheaper and easier to use. It provides access to the internet, person to person calling and by simply storing a Rescue Centre phone number can be used as an effective distress unit.

The previous posters issues with EPIRBS. And the lack of understanding of GMDSS worries me. You don't contact other ships you contact a MRCC, In the event of a distress. THEY then co tact the appropriate rescue assets.

Having sailed the pond , I never heard much anything useful on marine HF. Amateur HF was a little better though mostly useless.

Dave
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Old 16-12-2013, 23:46   #20
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Re: Sat Phone or SSB, if you had to pick one?

I did the 1500 nm passage from Hampton, VA to BVI in November as part of the Salty Dawg Rally. We had a sat phone, but no SSB. That meant that we could not participate in the daily net events. I regret that, but it was not my boat so I had no control. So, if you want to "feel like part of the group" then you need the SSB.

Because the sat phone is a one-on-one communications device, you must know the phone number of who you want to contact. With the SSB you can hail anyone in range. This is especially important when you need help.

As someone already pointed out, in the long term the SSB is less expensive ... Check out the cost of plans. With the sat phone you may end up being a miser with the minutes because of the cost. With the SSB email and downloading forecasts is free after the initial cash outlay. Also, data transmission is faster with an SSB, especially if you get the latest Pactor modem.

By the way, installing an SSB has become much easier with the advent of KISS replacement for grounding and the GAM antenna. Look them up online.

If you want to purchase an ICOM 802 SSB package, I think you will find that Sea-Tech has the best deal going.

If you do buy a sat phone, my experience is that the Globalsat stinks. I hear that the Inmarsat is much better. SPOT's phone is too new to say much about it.

But as someone has already said, the SSB and sat phone are complementary because they inherently meet different needs. If you need voice, then you need a sat phone. If you want to be part of nets, then you need an SSB.

I hope this helped.
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Old 17-12-2013, 00:08   #21
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Re: Sat Phone or SSB, if you had to pick one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
PLEASE do yourself and your crew/loved ones a favor and do NOT make such a quick decision, without the knowledge/experience necessary!!! The bottom line is that you're very likely to install an "SSB", no matter how "wonderful" a sat phone seems...
They ARE NOT competitive systems, but rather are "complimentary"
... as they do NOT do the same things at all.
... they do NOT communicate with the same people,
... nor give the same results....


It is a shame that so very many seem to think that it is an "either / or" situation, as it is NOT....far from it actually!!!
Thank you John for the long list of info to read first,
before the decision.
Greetings, Wilhelm
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