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Old 07-10-2018, 13:29   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Cruising the Caribbean
Boat: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45
Posts: 184
Short term satellite airtime

We have a Delorme InReach which we use (and love) when offshore for keeping in touch with home and getting weather updates.

We're about to cross the Atlantic with the ARC though and one of their requirements is email at sea. For this we have a Iridium 9555 which I now need to get some airtime for, but am finding the options less than ideal. The main ones seem to be either a minimum 3 month contract or even more expensive prepaid.

Are there any suppliers out there who offer a 1 month contract? We'll need airtime from ~21st Nov to ~15th Dec, and then again for a return trip in May/June next year.

Just wondering what other people do? Also any idea how many minutes of airtime to budget for? Would be aiming to pull a daily grib down as well as check for ARC emails.
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Old 16-10-2018, 18:17   #2
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Seattle, WA
Boat: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45
Posts: 50
Re: Short term satellite airtime

Hi, short of knowing how many minutes you expect to use it's hard to give a full recommendation. An Offshore GRIB download can vary from 10KB to 500KB pretty easily. 40KB will take about 5 minutes. Emails are pretty small without attachments, about 1KB, but attachments will add to it of course.

The best option is probably to use a prepaid SIM Card. Pay one time and use the minutes you need, then add more if necessary. There is a 75minute/30 day plan, which can be doubled up for 150 minutes, or a 200 minute/6 month.

Iridium typically has a 12 month contract on monthly plans. There are some opportunities to do shorter contracts but typically you will pay more per month for that.

You also need some sort of email service to work with the 9555 to compress the email and block large ones, and some sort of firewall to block Windows update and other things from trying to download over your satphone connection when you connect. An example would be Xgate Email service and a Redport Optimizer wifi firewall.

Full Disclosure: I sell all this stuff and in the US I can help you get all of it set up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by terah View Post
We have a Delorme InReach which we use (and love) when offshore for keeping in touch with home and getting weather updates.

We're about to cross the Atlantic with the ARC though and one of their requirements is email at sea. For this we have a Iridium 9555 which I now need to get some airtime for, but am finding the options less than ideal. The main ones seem to be either a minimum 3 month contract or even more expensive prepaid.

Are there any suppliers out there who offer a 1 month contract? We'll need airtime from ~21st Nov to ~15th Dec, and then again for a return trip in May/June next year.

Just wondering what other people do? Also any idea how many minutes of airtime to budget for? Would be aiming to pull a daily grib down as well as check for ARC emails.
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Richard Anderson, Owner-SeaTech Systems, cruising aboard S/V Mobert, our 2006 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45 - 2 Cabin / 2 Head, Shoal Keel
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