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Old 05-08-2014, 13:31   #46
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Re: Smart Phones, Satellites, and Internet

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Originally Posted by galacticair View Post
Anyone have updates on the Isathub launch? It looks really interesting.

N3VR L8, you mentioned you'd be testing it as a launch partner. Any idea on how much of an improvement it is, how well it works with BYOD, and the potential data pricing, etc?

I do wonder if IsatHub could work offshore as a (fast) supplement to handheld satphones for data (I'd still plan to keep a handheld phone in case the Isathub can't connect) - what again are the specific constraints of BGAN offshore?

I've been reading various takes on BGAN: doesn't work on moving platforms (but does that mean a platform doing 5-12kts, or just a platform getting bounced around in waves?), or works ok enough (according to some users' reported experience) but may violate the Inmarsat service agreement, etc...

Feels like some confusion to me. Would love to understand the real parameters of BGAN use at sea, given how useful the Isathub could be to some boaters wanting to do more than data sipping offshore, yet without a full fixed system.
Sorry the reply took a while -- been insanely busy!

I don't have any specifics on airtime pricing yet, and I'm not sure if they will hold it to the same standards as BGAN in regards to maritime use as I don't think they will think FleetBroadBand is a viable replacement.

On a moving vessel at those speeds I would imagine you would be repointing it every few minutes, if not more frequently.

One thing I immediately noticed is the internet on the Hub does not require specific proxies like the Iridium network.. this means without firewall restrictions every application on your phone has full blown internet... and it is quick. I have only tested on standard background IP, but even still it is comparable to a 3G network.

Inmarsat is a little behind on software development at this point, for voice they are recommending VoIP apps, however, I was able to use the built in WiFi calling on my S4 and the sound was 100% crystal clear.. with only a slight delay.

From an internet connection stand point, this is a viable solution where the GO is not.

I haven't played too much with configuring the firewall on the device yet, with that said, in a matter of 10-15 minutes I burned about 10Mb. (which the Inmarsat app very openly displays)

The only main concern for me at this point is the Hub gets very warm, the GO gets warm, but nothing like this...
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Old 05-08-2014, 14:29   #47
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Re: Smart Phones, Satellites, and Internet

Also you can greatly reduce data usage and airtime by using a text only browser, or by disabling image and other media download in a full featured browser. I used to tether my old Motorola flip phone to my laptop and use lynx back when all I could expect was a few kbs. Should help with satellite.
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Old 06-08-2014, 22:42   #48
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Re: Smart Phones, Satellites, and Internet

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Originally Posted by N3VR L8 View Post
Sorry the reply took a while -- been insanely busy!

...
I haven't played too much with configuring the firewall on the device yet, with that said, in a matter of 10-15 minutes I burned about 10Mb. (which the Inmarsat app very openly displays)

Thanks N3VR L8 for sharing your initial impressions! Interesting stuff.

I'm amazed you burned through so much data - certainly gives an idea of the data speed increases vs. current handheld satphones. In theory in a minute you could therefore download a lot more weather updates, GRIBs & images than today, so it might not matter all that much if you had to re-adjust the antenna every 5-10minutes on a moving yacht. Would be interesting to see how well that works in practice though - I'm keenly aware that this is not a maritime-intended system and could end up a costly paper weight if it doesn't work in a out-of-spec usage scenario at sea...
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Old 30-06-2015, 05:33   #49
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Re: Smart Phones, Satellites, and Internet

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Yes bit the isSat hub is BGAN. Not suitable for a moving boat , whereas the Go is.
Is this still the prevailing opinion? Has anyone had success with and IsatHub terminal (e.g. the IsatHub iSavi) on a moving boat?
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Old 30-06-2015, 07:08   #50
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Re: Smart Phones, Satellites, and Internet

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Is this still the prevailing opinion? Has anyone had success with and IsatHub terminal (e.g. the IsatHub iSavi) on a moving boat?
it would have to be very slow moving in very calm water to work.
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Old 04-07-2015, 17:26   #51
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Re: Smart Phones, Satellites, and Internet

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it would have to be very slow moving in very calm water to work.
Thanks. Has anyone tried using a gyro-stabilized platform to enhance reception? For example, one that is intended for cameras:

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Old 09-11-2015, 17:10   #52
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Re: Smart Phones, Satellites, and Internet

What? No Facebook or porn mid Atlantic? Seriously? Cancel those liveaboard cruising plans.......lol!
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Old 13-12-2015, 21:35   #53
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Re: Smart Phones, Satellites, and Internet

Any reports on the Globalstar network with the Galaxy unlimited plan. I believe it costs $1,800 per annum. Has anybody used this for voice and data? What are the data speeds like? It seems to have a good global coverage. Except for the middle of the Atlantic. Anyone with cross Atlantic voyage experience with this phone service?

Thanks,
Chaya
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Old 14-12-2015, 19:17   #54
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Re: Smart Phones, Satellites, and Internet

Chaya,
Regardless of the name or marketing, here are some facts...

--- Globalstar [sic], is not "global"...
--- Globalstar Phone (voice service) is still spotty in areas that they claim have good coverage...
--- Globalstar Phone will not work across the Atlantic (nor Pacific, etc.)....



And, here is some opinion...
--- For quite a bit less than the price you are quoting, you could have an excellent sat phone experience, using Iridium...



--- Further, if you let us know what your intended use of a sat phone will be, what your specific application is, we could certainly point you to some options...(Iridium, HF radiotelephone, etc. etc.)


I hope this helps...

Fair winds...

John
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Old 16-12-2015, 22:34   #55
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Re: Smart Phones, Satellites, and Internet

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Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Chaya,
Regardless of the name or marketing, here are some facts...

--- Globalstar [sic], is not "global"...
--- Globalstar Phone (voice service) is still spotty in areas that they claim have good coverage...
--- Globalstar Phone will not work across the Atlantic (nor Pacific, etc.)....



And, here is some opinion...
--- For quite a bit less than the price you are quoting, you could have an excellent sat phone experience, using Iridium...



--- Further, if you let us know what your intended use of a sat phone will be, what your specific application is, we could certainly point you to some options...(Iridium, HF radiotelephone, etc. etc.)


I hope this helps...

Fair winds...

John
Thanks John,

Good voice and data covering mainly trans Atlantic, Med and Mid East. Looking for the latest unlimited plan packages. In the hope that things have gotten better on the pricing front.

Regards,
Chaya
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Old 16-12-2015, 23:20   #56
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Re: Smart Phones, Satellites, and Internet

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Originally Posted by GoingWalkabout View Post

Good voice and data covering mainly trans Atlantic, Med and Mid East. Looking for the latest unlimited plan packages. In the hope that things have gotten better on the pricing front.

Regards,
Chaya
Check out Iridium Go.

I have used it on two crossings; BVI to Panama and Cape Town to Fernando de Noronha.
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Old 16-12-2015, 23:28   #57
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Re: Smart Phones, Satellites, and Internet

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Check out Iridium Go.

I have used it on two crossings; BVI to Panama and Cape Town to Fernando de Noronha.
How was the voice and data at mid Atlantic region? Where you able to use the stripped down Internet and email? What was the page download speed like? What were the voice connections like?

I understand that there coverage south of Brazil is problematic but they say they are working on it.

I really am the first hand report from someone who has used the service of recent.

Thanks,
Chaya
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Old 17-12-2015, 08:39   #58
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Re: Smart Phones, Satellites, and Internet

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Originally Posted by GoingWalkabout View Post
How was the voice and data at mid Atlantic region? Where you able to use the stripped down Internet and email? What was the page download speed like? What were the voice connections like?

I understand that there coverage south of Brazil is problematic but they say they are working on it.

I really am the first hand report from someone who has used the service of recent.

Thanks,
Chaya
The Iridium was set up for Wifi (all four of us had access through smartphones and tablets, using the Go app) and used for:

1) Downloading grib files for use with PredictWind
This worked well as long as everyone else was logged off the Wifi.

2) Text messages
This seemed to be the primary use. There is a 1000 character limit. There is a charge for folks who are sending texts to the boat. The one possibke downside was that everyone on the boat could see all messages,

3) Phone calls
Used rarely. I had to call home when we were 450 miles south of Ascension Island. My wife had sent a text indicating that the heating coil at home had burst. I called home to check on how things were. The voice quality was fine.

We did not surf the web.

All on all, it worked very well.

In August / September of 2014 we used Iridium Go on a passage from BVI ot Panama. That was for downloading gribs.

I became a big advocate of sat phones when we used one in 2012 to contact the Honolulu RCC to effect a medical evacuation when we were 1,000 miles north of Hawaii. On that trip we used the sat for email, including receiving grib files.

Jack
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Old 17-12-2015, 09:30   #59
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Re: Smart Phones, Satellites, and Internet

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
The Iridium was set up for Wifi (all four of us had access through smartphones and tablets, using the Go app) and used for:

1) Downloading grib files for use with PredictWind
This worked well as long as everyone else was logged off the Wifi.

2) Text messages
This seemed to be the primary use. There is a 1000 character limit. There is a charge for folks who are sending texts to the boat. The one possibke downside was that everyone on the boat could see all messages,

3) Phone calls
Used rarely. I had to call home when we were 450 miles south of Ascension Island. My wife had sent a text indicating that the heating coil at home had burst. I called home to check on how things were. The voice quality was fine.

We did not surf the web.

All on all, it worked very well.

In August / September of 2014 we used Iridium Go on a passage from BVI ot Panama. That was for downloading gribs.

I became a big advocate of sat phones when we used one in 2012 to contact the Honolulu RCC to effect a medical evacuation when we were 1,000 miles north of Hawaii. On that trip we used the sat for email, including receiving grib files.

Jack
Fantastic feedback. Thank you Jack. I'm looking at the unlimited annual plan that covers both voice, mail, Internet and texting.

I'm concerned that those sending texts have to pay. I hope this can be covered in the unlimited plan. Something I have to look into. I can train my people to communicate with me particularly on long passages by text. My key engineers who are on three continents already are used to communicating with me daily remotely. I could easily deal with a mixture of texts and voice. Even my corporate and patent attorneys can use messaging for most things. Except for large patent document files and research I need do to do in this area. Thinking about it I could easily have a digital and paper library on board covering what I will need for reference prior to passage making.

So the upside is I could still be highly productive while blending the magnificence of sailing with my type A personality and the desire to continue to be productive. When I sold one of my businesses years ago I tried the sitting on the beach for a couple of weeks doing nothing. I neatly went mad. So I need to be active mentally and for me the buzz of business and achieving is just too strong. I say that because I know some people on CF criticise people who try to marry work with pleasure. For me I have always tried to bridge wirk with lifestyle choices. It's worked well for me.

So $1,800 a year for unlimited data and voice is no big deal, as a cost goes for me. What is my ideal is unlimited plans so that I can use whenever, wherever and without an eye on a meter. I know it's weird but I have a personality fault that if on a metered plan it would impact my productivity since the cheap side of me would have me modify my communication behavior. I was one of the first, very first on day one to sign up for the AT&T unlimited phone and data plan years ago when they launched dugital. I'm still on the same plan which turned me into a digital maniac way before it was fashionable.

Anyway, enough of my prattle. Your feedback was great. Thanks again Jack. Any others out there with "recent" experience over the last 12 months would be great appreciated .

Regards,
Chaya
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Old 19-12-2015, 20:34   #60
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Re: Smart Phones, Satellites, and Internet

I found this interesting system. Data and Voice. The interesting thing about this is that it has 464 kbps internet.



A No-Pointing Wi-Fi Global Satellite Internet Hotspot


The MCD-4800 is an auto-pointing BGAN satellite terminal and is easily operated by anyone requiring no training or certification to use.
  • Satellite Internet connectivity - globally - All locations (except polar)
  • Wi-Fi Hotspot for all in-range devices up to 100 meters (328 feet!).
  • Broadband speeds of 464 Kbps (94.5% as fast as the fastest BGAN).
  • May be operated by anyone. Online in about 1 minute.
  • Operates stationary or in-motion, on land or open ocean.
  • Weighs 25 lbs and will run for up to 5 hours on internal battery.
  • Internet, Phone, SMS Messaging, Voicemail - A Mobile Office.

100 Megabytes Prepaid SIM Card/Plan - Valid 90 days from activation
This plan may renew or upgrade to any plan at any time, just call or email us.
100 Megabytes for $525 = $5.25 per Megabyte.
Phone calls billed $0.99/min to any landline or cellphone worldwide, free incoming calls.
SMS texting billed $0.50 per outgoing text, free incoming texts.
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