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Old 04-03-2018, 08:35   #1
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Satellite Wx: Iridium Go or Skymate Mazu?

Looking to have Gribs available for the trip north from FL later this month. Some suggest Iridium Go with UU Plus, others Go with XGate, and then I see this Skymate Mazu option that has a simple app interface. Anyone have experience with both Go/Mazu as a comparison? Mazu didnt turn up on a search here on the Forum.

I don't want to become a wx guru like Lee Chesneau, I am just looking for an uncomplicated way to grab and view gribs and forecast info as I head up the coast and perhaps send some text messages.

Nope, I don't have an SSB....
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:32   #2
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Re: Satellite Wx: Iridium Go or Skymate Mazu?

SVTwilight,
Not sure what your budget is??
But, since you're considering an IridiumGO, etc. it must be at least $800 to $1200, plus $150/month??
I understand that this is less than the approx. $3000 all-in for a new, full-fledged Marine MF/HF-DSC-Radiotelephone system (aka "SSB")...but have you considered two options that will cost you much less than even the iridium???
(and, fyi...you'd be getting raw computer model data with GRIB's...but you can get real human meteorologists' forecasts from NWS/NOAA, for free!)


Quote:
Originally Posted by SVTwilight View Post
Looking to have Gribs available for the trip north from FL later this month. Some suggest Iridium Go with UU Plus, others Go with XGate, and then I see this Skymate Mazu option that has a simple app interface. Anyone have experience with both Go/Mazu as a comparison? Mazu didnt turn up on a search here on the Forum.

I don't want to become a wx guru like Lee Chesneau, I am just looking for an uncomplicated way to grab and view gribs and forecast info as I head up the coast and perhaps send some text messages.

Nope, I don't have an SSB....
1) You can easily receive NOAA VHF Weather, from 50+ miles off the US East Coast, and these will have continuous broadcasts, updated every 6 hours, for waters up to 20nm offshore, and from 20nm to 60nm offshore...including the position of the Gulf Stream, where it's within VHF range (typically western wall follows the continental shelf)

Remember NWS/NOAA VHF Weather radio is spec'd for coverage out 25nm offshore, based on the user having a handheld radio at deck level...a masthead mounted VHF antenna, and a well-installed VHF radio should provide you with excellent coastal weather coverage!!!

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MARINE PRODUCTS VIA NOAA WEATHER RADIO

NOAA Weather Radio - Map State Selection

USCG VHF Voice


If you're planning a cruise "up the coast", assuming you have favorable winds, you'll probably follow the 80* long line up past 31*N or so....then follow the stream, etc., as it curves NE'erly...around the Cape, etc...and then??? (not sure where you're heading...but even if heading up towards Montauch, etc., you'll still not be offshore out-of-VHF range for more than a day at a time...which is of no real concern...)



If you wish more/better weather coverage for offshore waters, it right there for you, for free....updated / transmitter > 4 times a day, and easily and inexpensively received by you on-board!

2) You can use HF-SSB Voice weather broadcasts from the USCG, (and from coast station WLO) updated 4 times a day....from 3 different stations....covering waters out-to-250nm offshore the US coast, as well as: the entire SW N. Atl, the entire tropical Atlantic, the entire Caribbean, and the entire Gulf-of-Mexico...

You'll probably find the 4mhz, 6mhz and 8mhz channels to be the useable ones....12mhz not so much for your cruise and for our current solar activity..
A simple $100 to $150 receiver and an hour or so of watching a video and using the radio yourself, and you're good-to-go!!

Have a listen to what they sound like:



https://www.ssca.org/forum/viewtopic...t=16398#p78346

https://www.ssca.org/forum/viewtopic...t=16935#p80181

https://www.ssca.org/forum/viewtopic...t=13712#p72736


USCG HF Voice

HF SSB Radiotelephone, Telex and Email Frequencies and Channels


Again, just a simple $100 to $150 receiver and an hour or so of watching a video and using the radio yourself, and you're good-to-go!!



3) Now if you want a weather chart (one actually drawn by a seasoned/experienced marine meteorologist), you can use the same radio, and your laptop / iPad / etc....tune in to the USCG HF WeFax broadcasts, as get real weather charts....also done 4 times a day...and again, all for free!!

Have a look here for lots of info and real, live use...
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...zdjTJjHlChruyY


NWS Radiofax

Boston Radiofax Schedule with Links

New Orleans Radiofax Schedule with Links



4) As for sending a few texts messages....well, unless you have a sat phone, sat comm terminal, or invest in a HF-Radio (aka "SSB"), you'd be limited to only sending texts when you are within cell coverage...damn close to shore....so...
So, if that's an important criteria for you, then sat comm gear or SSB is what you'll need...



I hope this helps.
Fair winds...

John
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:59   #3
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Re: Satellite Wx: Iridium Go or Skymate Mazu?

There is another option for satellite text messages: Delorme/Garmin InReach. Much cheaper than Iridium albeit with less capabilities but you can send and receive text messages and you can get text weather forecasts. That plus weather by radio may be the right combo for some. Personally I went the Iridium Go route because I want assured access to weather and email but John's advice is good.
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Old 07-03-2018, 14:22   #4
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Re: Satellite Wx: Iridium Go or Skymate Mazu?

Might want to consider this:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...=ATVPDKIKX0DER $480. Has gps map too.


Add plan for as little as $12/mo billed yearly. $1 per premium weather forecast.
https://explore.garmin.com/en-US/inreach/ Scroll down to 'subscriptions'.

I haven't researched the other options completely, but this seemed like a durable/practical way to have text, email and weather.

-Chris
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Old 07-03-2018, 14:43   #5
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Re: Satellite Wx: Iridium Go or Skymate Mazu?

Thanks John,

I do have a HAM general license, so I am reasonably familiar with the resources there, but obviously you have a great deal of expertise with it. The boat doesn't have an SSB and right now I am not inclined to go through the complexity, time and costs of installing one.

The sat options are interesting since I can take it with me on different boats. Not a common thing for me, but useful nonetheless. Plus I can keep it locked in a metal box when not in use...
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Old 07-03-2018, 14:50   #6
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Re: Satellite Wx: Iridium Go or Skymate Mazu?

Thanks Chris, I owned and have used this offshore. It is reasonably handy. I would say the wx forecasts are pretty brief and don't really have the details to describe what is really coming, so you cannot really form an informed action plan of what to do if Neptune gets rowdy.

The bigger issue is that Garmin bought the company and has treated me terribly. They had a glitch, cancelled my coverage without telling me, and even though it was pre-paid monthly, sent it to collection. Tech support didn't respond to my requests. WTF? All in a period of a *couple of weeks* last year when I was overseas.

I threw all of my Garmin gear overboard and have recommended to dozens of folks to avoid them. If I had been on my boat when it happened it could have been rather unpleasant although I never wholly depend on things like that.

Garmin has lost 10s of thousands over it not too mention my subscription.
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Old 07-03-2018, 16:30   #7
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Re: Satellite Wx: Iridium Go or Skymate Mazu?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVTwilight View Post
Thanks Chris, I owned and have used this offshore. It is reasonably handy. I would say the wx forecasts are pretty brief and don't really have the details to describe what is really coming, so you cannot really form an informed action plan of what to do if Neptune gets rowdy.

The bigger issue is that Garmin bought the company and has treated me terribly. They had a glitch, cancelled my coverage without telling me, and even though it was pre-paid monthly, sent it to collection. Tech support didn't respond to my requests. WTF? All in a period of a *couple of weeks* last year when I was overseas.

I threw all of my Garmin gear overboard and have recommended to dozens of folks to avoid them. If I had been on my boat when it happened it could have been rather unpleasant although I never wholly depend on things like that.

Garmin has lost 10s of thousands over it not too mention my subscription.
Good info, thanks.

Just to be clear, were you getting the 'basic' weather or the 'premium'?

I'm guessing I'll still want one for text messaging from my phone.

Edit: I think i just answered my own question. https://support.garmin.com/faqSearch...rt8cg21ARUw0N8

Basic and premium both look sub par.

-Chris
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Old 07-03-2018, 17:01   #8
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Re: Satellite Wx: Iridium Go or Skymate Mazu?

Hi Chris,

I was getting the forecast that was $1 per request, I guess that was the premium one.

Todd
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Old 07-03-2018, 18:36   #9
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Re: Satellite Wx: Iridium Go or Skymate Mazu?

SVTwilight,
You're welcome!

But, sorry I wasn't clear...
Quote:
Originally Posted by SVTwilight View Post
The boat doesn't have an SSB and right now I am not inclined to go through the complexity, time and costs of installing one.

The sat options are interesting since I can take it with me on different boats. Not a common thing for me, but useful nonetheless. Plus I can keep it locked in a metal box when not in use...
I was not advocating you install a full-fledged marine MF/HF-DSC-SSB Radiotelephone (aka "SSB") system, but rather NOT spending the money/time doing so...

Again, sorry I wasn't clear!
I was recommending you use an inexpensive receiver, to receive the SSB-Voice broadcasts...
(this is why I never liked the commonly-used tern "SSB" when referring to marine HF comms...'cuz it gets very confusing, when actually discussing things! )


I'm adding some clarifying info...
Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
SVTwilight,
Not sure what your budget is??
But, since you're considering an IridiumGO, etc. it must be at least $800 to $1200, plus $150/month??
I understand that this is less than the approx. $3000 all-in for a new, full-fledged Marine MF/HF-DSC-Radiotelephone system (aka "SSB")...but have you considered two options that will cost you much less than even the iridium???
[Figure about $100 to $150 for equipment, and zero costs of service!]
(and, fyi...you'd be getting raw computer model data with GRIB's...but you can get real human meteorologists' forecasts from NWS/NOAA, for free!)




1) You can easily receive NOAA VHF Weather, from 50+ miles off the US East Coast, and these will have continuous broadcasts, updated every 6 hours, for waters up to 20nm offshore, and from 20nm to 60nm offshore...including the position of the Gulf Stream, where it's within VHF range (typically western wall follows the continental shelf)

Remember NWS/NOAA VHF Weather radio is spec'd for coverage out 25nm offshore, based on the user having a handheld radio at deck level...a masthead mounted VHF antenna, and a well-installed VHF radio should provide you with excellent coastal weather coverage!!!

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MARINE PRODUCTS VIA NOAA WEATHER RADIO

NOAA Weather Radio - Map State Selection

USCG VHF Voice


If you're planning a cruise "up the coast", assuming you have favorable winds, you'll probably follow the 80* long line up past 31*N or so....then follow the stream, etc., as it curves NE'erly...around the Cape, etc...and then??? (not sure where you're heading...but even if heading up towards Montauch, etc., you'll still not be offshore out-of-VHF range for more than a day at a time...which is of no real concern...)



If you wish more/better weather coverage for offshore waters, it right there for you, for free....updated / transmitter > 4 times a day, and easily and inexpensively received by you on-board!

2) You can use HF-SSB Voice weather broadcasts from the USCG, (and from coast station WLO) updated 4 times a day....from 3 different stations....covering waters out-to-250nm offshore the US coast, as well as: the entire SW N. Atl, the entire tropical Atlantic, the entire Caribbean, and the entire Gulf-of-Mexico...

You'll probably find the 4mhz, 6mhz and 8mhz channels to be the useable ones....12mhz not so much for your cruise and for our current solar activity..
A simple $100 to $150 receiver and an hour or so of watching a video and using the radio yourself, and you're good-to-go!!

Have a listen to what they sound like:

https://www.ssca.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=16398#p78346

https://www.ssca.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=16935#p80181

https://www.ssca.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=13712#p72736


USCG HF Voice

HF SSB Radiotelephone, Telex and Email Frequencies and Channels


Again, just a simple $100 to $150 receiver and an hour or so of watching a video and using the radio yourself, and you're good-to-go!!



3) Now if you want a weather chart (one actually drawn by a seasoned/experienced marine meteorologist), you can use the same radio, and your laptop / iPad / etc....tune in to the USCG HF WeFax broadcasts, as get real weather charts....also done 4 times a day...and again, all for free!!

Have a look here for lots of info and real, live use...
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2mPZAx2vWzdjTJjHlChruyY


NWS Radiofax

Boston Radiofax Schedule with Links

New Orleans Radiofax Schedule with Links



4) As for sending a few texts messages....well, unless you have a sat phone, sat comm terminal, or invest in a HF-Radio (aka "SSB"), you'd be limited to only sending texts when you are within cell coverage...damn close to shore....so...
So, if that's an important criteria for you, then sat comm gear or SSB is what you'll need...



I hope this helps.
Fair winds...

John
If you'd like to see these receivers in operation, and details of how-to...please have a look here:

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

SSB receiver recommendation for Pacific

SSB Receivers

SSB reciever

looking for help with ssb receiver only

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

Best Way to Receive Weatherfax?


https://www.ssca.org/forum/viewtopic...t=16398#p78346


https://www.ssca.org/forum/viewtopic...t=16935#p80181


Understand that this option will also allow you to use on other boats, anywhere in the world...(but, not sure why you'd want to lock it in a metal box??? but, that's your choice...)

To be clear, for a coastal passage up the US east coast, a well-installed VHF system (and NOAA Wx radio / USCG VHF broadcasts) and an inexpensive (~ $100 - $150) receiver to receive USCG HF-SSB Voice weather broadcasts, meets your weather requirements, won't cost much, and can be used on any boat, anywhere...
(again, sorry I wasn't clear earlier...but, fyi, in the future if you read SSB understand that it is a form of voice communications, not a marine radio...and things will be clearer...)




Again, sorry for not being more clear....

Fair winds..

John
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Old 07-03-2018, 18:54   #10
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Re: Satellite Wx: Iridium Go or Skymate Mazu?

If you are a HAM, you can join Winlink and use Airmail even in combination with IridiumGo. This at least saves you the paid compression service like UUplus or XGate.
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Old 03-11-2018, 11:25   #11
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Re: Satellite Wx: Iridium Go or Skymate Mazu?

I'm bumping this thread in hopes of finding a review of the Skymate Mazu. Does anyone have any real-world experience yet with this system?
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Old 07-11-2018, 20:59   #12
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Re: Satellite Wx: Iridium Go or Skymate Mazu?

Iridium Go is excellent.

I haven't found much info on the Skymate Mazu. Can any of you explain it to an old fart like me?
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Old 07-11-2018, 22:36   #13
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Re: Satellite Wx: Iridium Go or Skymate Mazu?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KeelMe View Post
Iridium Go is excellent.

I haven't found much info on the Skymate Mazu. Can any of you explain it to an old fart like me?
I sell Mazu and can answer any questions you have. If you send some Q's back I'll write up a response tomorrow morning.
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Old 08-11-2018, 10:23   #14
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Re: Satellite Wx: Iridium Go or Skymate Mazu?

Just at a high level.. Mazu Skymate is an Iridium based device that mounts in the boat. It has it's own satellite connection with an exterior antenna, an interior "brain" and a control panel that has message indicator lights and an SOS function.

The Brain has connections for NMEA2000 and can bring instrument data in from the boat to be used in the Mazu app.

The Mazu App (which is free to download and use over WiFI/LTE) runs on an iPad. It provides weather forecasts from NOAA, GRIBs, NEXRAD, and a bunch of other data. Mazu also has special features for Sportfishing like sea-surface temps, etc. In the app you can SMS and also send/receive email.

If you have a Navionics subscription you can login to Navionics in the Mazu app and download charts and do navigation, passage planning, etc all in the app with the weather data.

Today, the Mazu app is iPad only. But the brain device also has a built in website that you can use to access many functions of Mazu from a laptop. If you have a Raymarine chartplotter with lighthouse (eSeries, Axiom, etc) then you can also integrate Mazu into your chartplotter and access data from the plotter screen.

Finally, if you leave your boat alone for long periods of time, you can add a monitoring kit to the Mazu install. It includes sensors for things like shore and battery power, bilge, etc and attaches to the Mazu brain. You can get alerts and monitor the status of the sensors from an app when you are not on the boat.

Mazu has their own data plans, similar to InReach which include some number of forecasts, emails, etc at fairly reasonable prices. They also have a drydock mode for when you are not sailing, reducing the cost of the service. And since the app works over WiFI/Cell, you can do lots of planning and weather forecasting in the app while ashore, then return to the boat and keep going using the Mazu satellite connection.

All in all a pretty cool system if you have an iPad and/or Raymarine plotter and like the features.

More info here: https://www.sea-tech.com/product/maz...ations-bundle/

Though it looks like I need to fix some missing images.
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