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Old 23-04-2010, 11:29   #1
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Sat Phone Software

As I am putting together a crew for an Oahu to California delivery, the owner doesn't want to pop for a SSB at this time, however he does have an Iridium Sat phone. So, in this audiences wisdom, who has the best software to use for weather and so on? Thanks
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Old 23-04-2010, 11:45   #2
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I can't give you any firsthand advice on that, since I used only SSB for weather and email, but you can find a lot of stuff on the topic in our archives. Use the customized Google search link in my signature and plug in a few salient keywords.

That'll give you something to read while waiting for members to chime in here in your thread.
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Old 23-04-2010, 12:09   #3
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Without a doubt XGate is the best ..

Satellite EMail for Iridium - Inmarsat - Thuraya - BGAN - Fleet Broadband | Global Marine Networks
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Old 23-04-2010, 12:18   #4
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Without a doubt XGate is the best ..
How many minutes does it take to download weather area?
from total start to total fisinh of call ie how much u pay?
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Old 23-04-2010, 15:43   #5
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I thought having a VHF on board was mandatory? Isnt it like having to have PFD's?
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Old 23-04-2010, 16:22   #6
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I thought having a VHF on board was mandatory? Isnt it like having to have PFD's?
????????????? Nothing said about a VHF but a SSB. :-(
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Old 23-04-2010, 17:13   #7
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I use Ocens.net for email and download gribs from MaxSea as emails when off-shore. Ocens has a grib file download as well but I havn't used it.
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Old 23-04-2010, 18:59   #8
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How many minutes does it take to download weather area?
from total start to total fisinh of call ie how much u pay?
GMN Xgate costs about $250 / year, but I believe you can sign up for a short-term plan.

The time to connect and download obviously depends on how much data you are getting. Xgate is very good with fast connections. I typically download about 300KBytes of WX info (Grib, and wfax images from saildocs), and this might take ten minutes. If you are only downloading a small 10 KByte grib, you should be on and off in less than 30 seconds. A more detailed 30 KByte grib might take a minute. (All times are from memory, and are approximate).

The satphone connection is billed by the minute (most people pre-pay for a block of minutes). The per-minute cost ranges from $2/min to $0.90/min, depending on how big a block you buy.

Look at GMN's different plans. They have a WX data service that they make sound pretty reasonable, but I haven't tried it. I have been an Iridium / Xgate customer for many years.
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Old 30-04-2010, 09:26   #9
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Well I have settled on Ocens Weather Net program. After playing with the live demo and phone calls to Mark at Ocens, to me it looks like something that will fill the bill nicely. $ 540.00 including e-mail for the package. Plus a good friend of mine, Kevin, at Long Beach Marine electronics, also thinks highly of their product and most importantly,SUPPORT! X-gate was very hard to reach.
Just my 2 cents worth.
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Old 30-04-2010, 10:09   #10
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I mentioned this in another post recently but thought it bears repeating -- if you're going to connect your Iridium phone to your computer with a USB-serial adapter, don't go with the cheap generic adapters available for a few bucks on Ebay. Iridium phones are very particular about who they'll talk to. We wound up (third try) with a Tripp Lite Keystone USA-19HS adapter. Worked perfectly.

Just check it all out before you go -- which might be cut close due to how Iridium time blocks are sold, and most people don't want to activate their card till close to departure. . . . Our phone worked fine for voice calls . . . and then we tried a data call. Took a while to figure out it wasn't a problem in the phone, and then to get all the proper gear in place.

(You may also need an extra serial cable to connect the adapter to the serial port, due to how the attachment screws are arranged.)
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Old 30-04-2010, 18:48   #11
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[QUOTE=Cormorant;444598]I mentioned this in another post recently but thought it bears repeating -- if you're going to connect your Iridium phone to your computer with a USB-serial adapter, don't go with the cheap generic adapters available for a few bucks on Ebay. Iridium phones are very particular about who they'll talk to. We wound up (third try) with a Tripp Lite Keystone USA-19HS adapter. Worked perfectly.



The good thing is Mark at Ocens, sold me both the data adapter and the serial to USB adapter plus the cable at a fair price. X-Gate also stated that you need a digi(sp) cable for transmissions and downloads. So you are right! Don't go cheap as not all will work. I'll be testing it out this coming week as I outfit the boat for the crossing.

Lynn
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Old 03-05-2010, 09:12   #12
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