Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 19-03-2011, 17:31   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Sweden
Boat: Prout 50 Quasar 1980
Posts: 136
Send a message via Skype™ to tolly
SSB radio or satellite phone?

I would like some help in the choise between SSB transciever or satellite phone (ex Iridium), when it comes to communication on ocean crossings. I know that using the sat phone is more expensive, but besides that?
Since I am about to install one of the systems on my boat, I would like some advice to make the best decision in this.

So, what are the pros and cons with the two systems?

What equipment would I need if installing a SSB transciever?
__________________

__________________
Tolly...Navigating through life...with very few things being very important
tolly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-03-2011, 18:28   #2
Registered User
 
LakeSuperior's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Boat: Teak Yawl, 37'
Posts: 1,581
Images: 7
Re: SSB radio or satellite phone?

Do a search in this Forum as there are several threads that discuss this issue in great detail.
__________________

__________________
LakeSuperior is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-03-2011, 08:04   #3
Registered User
 
svHyLyte's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Tampa Bay area, USA
Boat: Beneteau First 42
Posts: 3,434
Images: 25
Re: SSB radio or satellite phone?

All of theabove. The SatPhone has its advantages, particularly for down loading email GRIB files et al. The SSB, however, allows you to reach out and touch someone when you really need to. (Think of the SatPhone as a rifle-on pull one bullet; and, the SSB as a Shotgun--one pull, lot's a bullets.)

Frankly, one really doesn't need a very costly SSB rig to get very good performance. We have an ICOM M700 that has proven very sturdy and reliable; and, a GlobalStar phone that works--sometimes. Older SSB's, albeit absent all of the latest Bells'n Whistles, are very inexpensive.

FWIW...
__________________
"It is not so much for its beauty that the Sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
svHyLyte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-03-2011, 02:56   #4
Registered User
 
Mercz's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Boat: Helena 1913
Posts: 8
Wink Re: SSB radio or satellite phone?

There are two other considerations:

Emergency communications

Marine SSB MF/HF radios are equiped with DSC functions, allowing to be part of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), a worldwide distress system (free of charge). You supposed to have an MMSI number and be familiar with the proper radio procedures.

The Iridium system is NOT part of GMDSS (not yet). For sending distress alert by satellite, you need an EPIRB working on 406 MHz or more the expensive Inmarsat C.

Power consumtion

A marine SSB radio transceiver with 150 watts of output power requires a regulated DC power of 13.6 volts and at least 30 Amps.

Iridium 9555 needs a 12 watts power supply.

Other aspects, such as price of installation and cost of communications are discussed elsewhere. Also in my Marine VHF Radio Handbook.

Best regrards, Laszlo Mercz
__________________
Mercz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-03-2011, 03:31   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: based in the UK, heading for the South Atlantic
Boat: Victoria 38 (known as Morris 38 in US)
Posts: 30
Re: SSB radio or satellite phone?

Simple: SSB for talking to other yachts, SATPHONE for calling friends and family ashore.
__________________
oldvarnish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-03-2011, 04:49   #6
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: 7,336
Re: SSB radio or satellite phone?

OK, I am biased towards SSB having spent most of my career in radio comms of one sort or another and I wouldn't put to sea without a SSB but that is 'cause I like all the hums, squeaks, whistles and static ones gets with HF comms over distance and while I know that the SSB is part of the GMDSS, I also know that in many parts of the world, it is difficult to establish a reliable comms path quickly using SSB.

But pick up your satphone, turn it on and usually you can call your Mum within minutes and ask her for help. Seriously and within the bounds of all normal requirements to keep electronics dry etc. (sometimes a big ask), if you keep a record of emergency numbers back home (where they speak you language), all you have to do is give them a call, tell your mayday situation and get back to saving your boat while they sort out how to contact the nearest RCC and so on.

With a reasonable external patch antenna, this is all accomplished from down below while you are still tuning up the SSB.

Of course you have keep up the payments of your call costs or you might find yourself without service!

static static... "Come in Rangoon...static static.. you are breaking up... static...say again, words twice....static static...Rangoon?"
B*gger, where's my satphone
__________________
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 24-03-2011, 06:09   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Brisbane
Boat: deboated
Posts: 672
Re: SSB radio or satellite phone?

While I agree for voice communications SSB is not great. But and it is a big but Satellite is not as reliable as some would like us to believe. Cost is where it all gets very murky with the Sat phone especially if you try and find out how much emailing relates to charges by the minute. Grib files can be downloaded easily using SSB as well as emailing with Pactor modem without escalating costs. The down side for me with SSB is installation costs and complexity + it becomes part of the boat so you cannot easily take it with you. My intention was to go Sat this time but the more research I do the more the price goes up to get the same performance.
__________________
meyermm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-03-2011, 06:17   #8
Registered User
 
LakeSuperior's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Boat: Teak Yawl, 37'
Posts: 1,581
Images: 7
Re: SSB radio or satellite phone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldvarnish View Post
Simple: SSB for talking to other yachts, SATPHONE for calling friends and family ashore.
Satphones are also good for calling friends and family from your life raft. You can ask them to call for help if you didn't already have the emergency numbers programmed in the phone.
__________________
LakeSuperior is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-03-2011, 06:38   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: caribbean winter, Durango,CO summer
Boat: Nordhavn 5740
Posts: 455
Images: 4
Re: SSB radio or satellite phone?

We used our sat phone to receive OCENS weather on our last crossing. Very reliable. Also it was easier to use than the SSB for emails.
If you go off cruising you will want the SSB for keeping in touch with all the people you meet (or will meet) along the way.

So, iridium satphone, in our experience, was reliable and costly. SSB cheaper if you can deal with it quirks. IMHO, if going with only one you want the SSB.
__________________
Bahamas this winter.
gbanker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-03-2011, 07:17   #10
JJB
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Boat: Warwick 72 custom
Posts: 235
Re: SSB radio or satellite phone?

We have both, the sat phone is brilliant to have for web access if needed, but if push came to shove and I could only afford one or the other, I would be choosing SSB, mainly due to all emergency services using it, also the fact it's a point to multipoint system, so you can also communicate with those in the same general area as yourself.

If you are going to go with sat phone, I would be looking at Inmarsat rather than Iridium, My parents had Iridium for a while and found it not as good as Inmarsat.
Inmarsat also has far higher data speeds than Iridium. But sat phone data aint cheap.
My parents run an FB150 terminal we use an FB250.
__________________
JJB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-03-2011, 15:26   #11
Registered User
 
Livia's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Boat: Currently boatless
Posts: 637
Re: SSB radio or satellite phone?

How social are you? SSB nets are fun for the social amongst us.
Livia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-03-2011, 05:52   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Brisbane
Boat: deboated
Posts: 672
Re: SSB radio or satellite phone?

Based on the overall opinions it would again seem that while Sat has some good points it is still too expensive for the average cruiser. I had not made my mind up and in fact was leaning towards Sat even though I had a good experience with SSB previously. Thank you for the input it has helped greatly with my decision making.
__________________
meyermm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-03-2011, 06:15   #13
Senior Cruiser
 
atoll's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: gettin naughty on the beach in cornwall
Boat: 63 custom alloy sloop,macwester26,prout snowgoose 37 elite catamaran!
Posts: 9,312
Images: 75
Re: SSB radio or satellite phone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by meyermm View Post
Based on the overall opinions it would again seem that while Sat has some good points it is still too expensive for the average cruiser. I had not made my mind up and in fact was leaning towards Sat even though I had a good experience with SSB previously. Thank you for the input it has helped greatly with my decision making.
on the contary,our irridium on a$75 dollar a month contract worked out cheaper than using a mobile phone on a roaming contract in the med and red sea for out going calls.

it also allowed short emails 100 charcters to be sent to it for free.

we regularly had £150 pound a month bills on the mobile,untill we got the sat phone then averaged about £70 a month.

with the mobile you pay roaming charges for in coming and out going calls!

very useful for meeting guests in out of the way places.
__________________
my catamaran building project updates http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...36#post2502136
atoll is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 29-03-2011, 06:39   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Nanaimo bc canada
Posts: 28
Re: SSB radio or satellite phone?

What about Satelite internet with a magic jack phone? Has anyone done this on an ocean crossing?
__________________
trevordean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-03-2011, 14:44   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Brisbane
Boat: deboated
Posts: 672
Re: SSB radio or satellite phone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by atoll View Post
on the contary,our irridium on a$75 dollar a month contract worked out cheaper than using a mobile phone on a roaming contract in the med and red sea for out going calls.

it also allowed short emails 100 charcters to be sent to it for free.

we regularly had £150 pound a month bills on the mobile,untill we got the sat phone then averaged about £70 a month.

with the mobile you pay roaming charges for in coming and out going calls!

very useful for meeting guests in out of the way places.
If your replacing an SSB you want to be able to send and receive emails, download grib files as well as talk which is what I was able to do with the SSB. Having costed the purchase of the phone + compacting programme and the plans available etc it does not come out well. 100 characters is not a very large email + grib files usually contain a bit of data?
__________________

__________________
meyermm is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
radio, satellite phone, ssb

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
Satellite Phone Knowazark Health, Safety & Related Gear 34 24-11-2009 14:20
Wanted: Satellite Phone MarkJ Classifieds Archive 6 28-10-2009 19:28
AT&T Satellite Phone? imagine2frolic Marine Electronics 3 02-10-2009 15:31
Weather, SSB, satellite phone---which is best dkstock Navigation 8 05-10-2008 14:17
Satellite Radio DWT Forum Tech Support & Site Help 6 08-04-2007 15:00



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:14.


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.