Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 31-03-2012, 16:24   #46
Registered User
 
cat man do's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Brisbane Australia [until the boats launched]
Boat: 50ft powercat, light,long and low powered
Posts: 4,409
Images: 36
Re: Satphone & HF for ocean crossings?

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
How many times has it to be said. A ham system on Marine HF bands is illegal.

Dave
Are you telling us that you have NEVER done anything illegal?

Technically perhaps it is, but its not hurting anyone is it.
In fact by performing this heinous crime it could well save lives
__________________

__________________
"Money can't buy you happiness but it can buy you a yacht large enough to pull up right alongside it"...............David Lee Roth
Long Distance Motorboat Cruising – It Is Possible on a Small Budget
cat man do is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-03-2012, 16:32   #47
Nearly an old salt
 
goboatingnow's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,649
Images: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by cat man do
Are you telling us that you have NEVER done anything illegal?

Technically perhaps it is, but its not hurting anyone is it.
In fact by performing this heinous crime it could well save lives
On radio system no never.

There are many technical reasons why ham radios on marine bands arnt a good idea.

In distress situations you can use anyone, but outside that th rules remain

Dave
__________________

__________________
Check out my new blog on smart boat technology, networking and gadgets for the connected sailor! - http://smartboats.tumblr.com
goboatingnow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-03-2012, 16:46   #48
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Panama
Boat: Woodward 47
Posts: 40
Re: Satphone & HF for ocean crossings?

I for one did not mention ham
__________________
fabricator-ken is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-03-2012, 16:53   #49
Nearly an old salt
 
goboatingnow's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,649
Images: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by fabricator-ken
I for one did not mention ham
Never said you did
__________________
Check out my new blog on smart boat technology, networking and gadgets for the connected sailor! - http://smartboats.tumblr.com
goboatingnow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-03-2012, 16:54   #50
Senior Cruiser
 
IslandHopper's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Bundaberg Queensland/Lake Bolac Victoria, Australia
Boat: 45ft Ketch
Posts: 1,196
Re: Satphone & HF for ocean crossings?

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
How many times has it to be said. A ham system on Marine HF bands is illegal.

Dave
Put it in your signature, maybe if people see it often enough they may take it in.......
__________________
IslandHopper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-03-2012, 22:41   #51
Certifiable Refitter/Senior Wannbe
 
Wotname's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: South of 43 S, Australia
Boat: Van DeStat Super Dogger 31'
Posts: 7,330
Re: Satphone & HF for ocean crossings?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanR View Post
.................

2. Marine authorities in Australia decided a few years ago to ignore further claims by yachts that they have no space and it is unnecessary to carry life-jackets and other safety related gear in their tenders. .............

Now it's compulsory to wear a life-jacket in a tender and you can be fined if you ignore the rule. The frequency and cost of mounting searches for yacht crews missing following a short tender trip – along with the loss of life – became unacceptable..........
Just for the sake of completeness, the above statement is incorrect. This only applies in some states in Oz. I can't remember which ones but those who want to know can easily check. It doesn't apply to WA.
__________________
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
Wotname is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2012, 13:35   #52
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Brunei Darussalam - NW Coast of Borneo, SE Asia
Boat: Swanson 36 - 10.97m
Posts: 57
Re: Satphone & HF for Ocean Crossings?

Hi Goboatingnow,


Thanks for the questions. I'll try my best to respond:


Sorry, but I cannot give you specific instances of where satphones have failed in disasters. Perhaps others with access to that data, can give examples. But based on my (limited) personal experience, numerous reports from yacht and commercial small-craft owners (eg: live aboard dive and surf charter boats, oil and gas survey vessels) using the phones, information from people in the communication industry regarding technical and operational aspects which explain what users have described, and the actions of informed decision makers selecting communication systems for particular applications, I conclude the drop out rate in equatorial areas must be significant. I'm told the Thuraya satellite phones are less problematic; but this service of geostationary satellites at higher altitude covers a limited area of the world.


From personal experience, I am aware that on land, satphones have difficulty in valleys and under vegetation because the satellites are a long way above and/or low to the hirizon, the signal strength is weak, portable antennas are rather ineffective (relative to an aimed dish) and almost any material can block the signal. In SE Asia, satphones lose signal under heavy cloud, on land and sea; even the satellite TV service here drops out - despite roof top dish antennas - when heavy clouds roll in.
Satphone users have remarked to me that their satphone is more reliable in temperate latitudes, but less reliable in lower latitudes. Others might be able to corobberate or refute.



I don't have market statistics to demonstrate HF use, but I can tell you what I see:


The two main HF radio makers in Australia have expanded many times over in the last ten years. I was in the new office/factory/wharehouse of one in Perth just six months ago. The other has gone international, establishing offices in Europe and North America. Even ICOM has created a commercial HF radio - the F7000 - to get into the expanding commercial market for HF radio.


Many of these commercial HF/SSB radios have smart linking systems, so a network of radios routinely do test calls to each other using digital signalling, so when a user wants to talk to a particular radio in their network their radio already knows which frequency to call on to get the best available comms. So there is a lot less unsuccessful or difficult voice calling activity on the frequencies.


It's true that most marine Coast Stations around the world closed following the implementation of GMDSS, when large commercial vessels were forced to carry high power satellite systems and therefore transferred their phone traffic to it. Their broadcast weather forecasts, along with potition reporting and telephone traffic stopped. At the same time, email transfer of the same information from isolated users - via both satellite and HF/SSB radio – has increased substantially, so a lot of voice communication on HF marine and land frequencies has transferred to the data frequencies.


If you consider only the weather information available via SailMail (or the HAM WinLink service) – eg: METAREA forecasts, GRIB weather charts, coastal weather forecasts, Typhoon2000 warnings/reports (in this region) - it's understandable that there are fewer voice broadcasts of such information. Gathering such information via data transmission over HF/SSB radio is a lot more convenient (the Pactor modem and the software do any “say again” stuff while you are relaxing with a sundowner or busy changing sails) and this free information (eg: GRIB weather charts) can be in a more useful – graphical – form to display overlayed on electronic navigation displays; and it has future predictions for passage planning. It's a quantum leap ahead of listening to voice broadcasts.


Other services on marine HF/SSB have also changed from voice to digital signalling via low-cost services such as SailMail and WinLink. For example, position reports are now sent as an email to be available for family and friends to see, displayed on the web, with a short comment. So there is no need for Coast Stations to take reports verbally. And a telephone interconnect to update family and friends of your cruise is replaced by an email post to a blog site, or a MailMerge style email to hundreds of people on an e-mailing list.


Other advantages to recreational marine users of these changes is that whereas in the past it was difficult to find a voice frequency free off high powered transmissions from base stations running phone interconnect links, or broadcasting the weather, or taking postion reports etc, now it is not. There are now lots of available HF/SSB voice frequencies and plenty of air time available for us low-budget little people to conduct our own voice skeds and voice comms with other cruisers. It's common for groups of cruising friends to establish regular sked times to make voice contact, share info, advises about cheap shore deals on fuel, food etc, and report progress or hazards seen at sea; like semi submerged containers. And if you miss the sked because of a squall or sleeping in at an anchorage, you can send them all an email later.



Speaking more generally about availability of published information related to where systems – such as satellite comms – have faults, my experience is that people and organisations generally don't highlight such information. For example, in my field I've provided safety reviews of equipment, operating procedures etc; commonly after incidents involving death or serious injury. In many cases it appears that people and organisations do not wish to admit their existing systems were flawed, as it might imply incompetence or expose them to legal issues. In some instances it's been hard for me to get the recipient organisation which requested the report to even verbally acknowledge they have the recommendations; certainly not in writing. Some don't want to speak on the phone. (The Law really is an ass.) So what I've learnt is to watch what they do subsequently. In most instances the report recommendations become strictly applied operating practices; but without ever admitting to the change. Applying that strategy to the satellite/HF radio queston I can report from my experience that:


1. Following the 9/11 disaster and the New Orleans Tropical Storm disaster, a public access natural disaster email system has been established in the USA. It uses HF/SSB radio email, not satellite email. It was created by and is managed by the USA's Amateur Radio community. My experience is that HAM's know a lot about satellite communication systems too.


2. Following the 2010 fires in Victoria (Australia) that killed a few hundred people, the Country Fire Authority has implemented an alternate communication system to the existing trunked radio, mobile phone and FM radio warning and command/control system that depended on hilltop communication towers. These stopped working during the fire emergency because of a lack of electricity, and took eight days to repair to get just some basic comms working for Police, fire and emergency services. The CFA is now installing HF/SSB radios and Pactor modems in fire trucks, fire stations etc, for voice, email, sms and position reporting. They chose a HF/SSB radio based system ahead of satellite phone based system. That has to say something significant, especially since they have (politically driven) access to ample money in the wake of the disaster, which was exacerbated by the failure of the existing hilltop tower based communication systems during the event.


3. In the marine safety network situation, we know that marine authorities choose HF/SSB radio over satellite comms. I think it's reasonable to assume a lot of smart and experienced mariners and communications professionals were involved in reaching that conclusion. In my experience, officers in national communications authorities are almost always HAMs too. Their knowledge and experience from HAM activity goes into decisions about appropriate communication systems and technical specifications for specific functional needs; like marine comms and marine emergency comms.

In each of these examples, we have competent and responsible people with a genuine personal interest in effective communications, choosing HF/SSB radio ahead of satellite comms. Regardless of a lack of personal access to satellite handphone drop-out statistics, there has to be a message in these decisions.



In terms of operating my yacht, I see that both systems have a place. We are lucky to have the advantage of choosing to use the appropriate service for the particular circumstances; given all considerations. For the tender ride ashore, or if stepping up into the liferaft, a waterproof bag with satphone and VHF marine radio – along with plenty of batteries – is the only practical option; despite any limitations. But on-board, the marine HF/SSB radio is way ahead because of the much lower cost of voice calls or emails and the fact it links into the established marine safety/emergency communications service and all the professional expertise and rescue capability of commercial vessels.

Happy cruising for all.
__________________
AllanR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2012, 13:48   #53
CF Adviser
 
Bash's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: sausalito
Boat: 14 meter sloop
Posts: 7,260
Re: Satphone & HF for Ocean Crossings?

I'm using an Iridium 9555 with a JOOS solar charger. I use the system both sailing and sea kayaking, and while kayaking the phone stays in a dry box. The charger is waterproof.

I buy SIM cards for $150 USD that give me 75 minutes talk time for 30 days. The nice thing about this is that I'm only paying for it when I need it; if I'm not undertaking a passage/expedition the phone costs me nothing.
__________________
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
Bash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2012, 13:53   #54
Pusher of String
 
foolishsailor's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: On the hard; Trinidad
Boat: Trisbal 42, Aluminum Cutter Rigged Sloop
Posts: 2,314
Images: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik de Jong
But that is something you can do with a very simple $100 SSB receiver. You do not need a heavy sender to do that.
Thumbs up!

You dont have to spend crazy money if you are only looking to receive! Including synoptic charts which are vastly better than the lazy man charts, oh I mean "grib files"...
__________________
"So, rather than appear foolish afterward, I renounce seeming clever now."
William of Baskerville

"You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm."
Sidonie Gabrielle Colette
foolishsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2012, 14:03   #55
Pusher of String
 
foolishsailor's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: On the hard; Trinidad
Boat: Trisbal 42, Aluminum Cutter Rigged Sloop
Posts: 2,314
Images: 19
So many good, and leeeeenghty, posts on this thread. One of about a thousand recently that cover one of many hot topics like mono vs multi, anchor choice, or sat vs SSB....

Just to throw my coins in the arena...

We sail with both. If I was cash strapped, but importantly had cash flow, I would buy a sat phone and a hf receiver. That way I can do my sat stuff like email and downloading of grib files and also listen to BBC and download my synoptic charts to dispute my grib files.

But we were willing to spend the money and more importantly take time time to install a hf system for the other perks, like listening to some idiot on the hf net in the area talk some ***** about something that has nothing to do with us....

The main reason, IMHO, people give out about hf, besides the bleeding cost, is that it doesn't work for them. This seems to be also why people flock to sat phones....cause they are easy.

If you have the personality that likes a challenge then hf is for you. It's a pain in the arse to get set up right, but oh so worth it in the end.

And having sat phonesis nice as well!

A small anecdotal and worthless piece of info, when crossing the Atlantic in really shitty and wet weather the sat phone wouldn't work for **** but the SSB worked a charm. Have had the opposite as well but that doesn't support the story eh?

Another selling point, was I selling hf hmm let me re read my post, is that we are leaving a high point in the solar cycle and SSB should be getting better every day. Please let the real ham/SSB people jump in now before I make an ass of myself.

Edit: sorry if any of you tried to decipher this prior to the edit, my iPad seems to speak a different language than I type...
__________________
"So, rather than appear foolish afterward, I renounce seeming clever now."
William of Baskerville

"You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm."
Sidonie Gabrielle Colette
foolishsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2012, 14:39   #56
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,314
Re: Satphone & HF for Ocean Crossings?

I understand the information above re rapidly developing land based HF networks is based on real life data.

However, at the other end (at our, sailors', end) what I can see is an equally rapid development of sat phone use. Now someone said the client is always right.

I think there are few boats that are truly budget-unlimited and these will rather go the full Inmarsat way than the HF way. PLS correct me if I am wrong here, but is it HF radios or Inmarsat kits/phones that VOR boats are using for emergency comms right now?

My two cents. Not telling anybody WHAT TO BUY, just noticing the apparent discrepancy between the boom of the land HF stations and the apparent boom of marine sat phone use.

Cheers,
b.
__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2012, 16:03   #57
Registered User
 
cat man do's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Brisbane Australia [until the boats launched]
Boat: 50ft powercat, light,long and low powered
Posts: 4,409
Images: 36
Re: Satphone & HF for Ocean Crossings?

Quote:
Originally Posted by foolishsailor View Post
The main reason, IMHO, people give out about hf, besides the bleeding cost, is that it doesn't work for them. This seems to be also why people flock to sat phones....cause they are easy.
I must be honest that is my main reason.
Many is the boat I have been on that had HF but owners and crew including myself had no idea how to make it work.
I always wondered why the new radios appear so friggen complicated

compared to older CODAN HF radios that appear very simple

Sat phone on the other hand was easy, pick it up, send and receive free text messages

Quote:
A small anecdotal and worthless piece of info, when crossing the Atlantic in really shitty and wet weather the sat phone wouldn't work for **** but the SSB worked a charm.
Agree, I had patchy reception in the Coral Sea on Sat phone, glad we didnt need it during those times.
__________________
"Money can't buy you happiness but it can buy you a yacht large enough to pull up right alongside it"...............David Lee Roth
Long Distance Motorboat Cruising – It Is Possible on a Small Budget
cat man do is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2012, 16:11   #58
Registered User
 
cat man do's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Brisbane Australia [until the boats launched]
Boat: 50ft powercat, light,long and low powered
Posts: 4,409
Images: 36
Re: Satphone & HF for Ocean Crossings?

Quote:
Originally Posted by foolishsailor View Post
Thumbs up!

You dont have to spend crazy money if you are only looking to receive! Including synoptic charts which are vastly better than the lazy man charts, oh I mean "grib files"...
What sort of radio is that?
Can you provide a link please?
__________________
"Money can't buy you happiness but it can buy you a yacht large enough to pull up right alongside it"...............David Lee Roth
Long Distance Motorboat Cruising – It Is Possible on a Small Budget
cat man do is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2012, 16:28   #59
Pusher of String
 
foolishsailor's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: On the hard; Trinidad
Boat: Trisbal 42, Aluminum Cutter Rigged Sloop
Posts: 2,314
Images: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by cat man do

What sort of radio is that?
Can you provide a link please?
Seriously? You tend to be one of the better informed...

...am surprised, maybe I am an anomaly. My last boat was a bit of a Luddite project. Had a log meter, wax encrusted lead line, hand held gps, and a Sony hf reciever with a serial port...was a 70+ year old gaff rigged ketch woodie. Still got my BBC and Synoptics.

...am totally sure the previous owner did NOT know about the serial port...

Do a google search for hf receiver pc.. Found a coup,e myself in a couple minutes. Not interested in arguing this point...

...also willing to be wrong as it was 8 years ago, but one has to argue from experience eh?
__________________
"So, rather than appear foolish afterward, I renounce seeming clever now."
William of Baskerville

"You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm."
Sidonie Gabrielle Colette
foolishsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2012, 16:30   #60
Pusher of String
 
foolishsailor's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: On the hard; Trinidad
Boat: Trisbal 42, Aluminum Cutter Rigged Sloop
Posts: 2,314
Images: 19
Here is one just for giggles and under 400$us

http://www.universal-radio.com/catal...rxvr/0321.html

Not what I was looking for but fits the bill and I am lazy as its late and time for bed
__________________

__________________
"So, rather than appear foolish afterward, I renounce seeming clever now."
William of Baskerville

"You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm."
Sidonie Gabrielle Colette
foolishsailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
MPPT Charge Controller for LifePO4 Batteries s/v Holiday Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 185 25-05-2014 16:43
Satphone & HF for Ocean Crossings? Sabbatical II Marine Electronics 106 08-07-2012 01:43
What Do You Do for a Living? xoxxx Off Topic Forum 329 07-06-2012 05:22



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:30.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.