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Old 17-10-2012, 20:03   #1
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Viewfax and Iridium Sat Phone

Looking for some info on using viewfax software with an iridium sat phone. I was able to connect but files never downloaded. Was trying to pull down a 35kb grb file. Viewfax iniated fetch, then connected but then sat there and after 5 minutes of wasting airtime I pulled the plug. Im having no trouble getting the files while dockside connecting via wifi. The small grb and txt files download in a few seconds. How long should it take via the iridium using an external antenna?
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Old 18-10-2012, 22:00   #2
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Re: Viewfax and Iridium Sat Phone

I bought an Iridium phone while in San Diego, had same issues, after MANY phone calls to useless retailer an support, established that I had purchased with pre paid phone time (100 hrs) BUT, they only became active when I sailed 15miles from USA coast.
In addition, when I sailed to Mexico, phone worked but interface to the SSP mail/ download system didnt work,Spent hours on phone to USA, still doesnt work!!
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Old 19-10-2012, 08:34   #3
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Re: Viewfax and Iridium Sat Phone

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Originally Posted by our doug View Post
I bought an Iridium phone while in San Diego, had same issues, after MANY phone calls to useless retailer an support, established that I had purchased with pre paid phone time (100 hrs) BUT, they only became active when I sailed 15miles from USA coast.
In addition, when I sailed to Mexico, phone worked but interface to the SSP mail/ download system didnt work,Spent hours on phone to USA, still doesnt work!!

I was successful but found file size needs to be small. Keeping grib file down to 10-15kb seems to work.
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Old 26-10-2012, 17:56   #4
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Re: Viewfax and Iridium Sat Phone

Sorry for the delayed response!
It's time to try again with the sat phone, what area of grib file coverage do you manage to download and how long does it take?
Doug
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Old 26-10-2012, 19:38   #5
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Re: Viewfax and Iridium Sat Phone

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Originally Posted by our doug View Post
I bought an Iridium phone while in San Diego, had same issues, after MANY phone calls to useless retailer an support, established that I had purchased with pre paid phone time (100 hrs) BUT, they only became active when I sailed 15miles from USA coast.
In addition, when I sailed to Mexico, phone worked but interface to the SSP mail/ download system didnt work,Spent hours on phone to USA, still doesnt work!!
Are you sure this was Iridium? As far as I know, the Iridium pre-paid minutes are global.

Now, the Inmarsat iSatPhone pre-paid time is indeed blocked until you're in international waters, due to legal or treaty issues. The iSatPhone monthly billing plan is not similarly restricted.
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Old 29-10-2012, 03:02   #6
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Re: Viewfax and Iridium Sat Phone

Sincere apologies!!!!! It is an Inmarsat phone...... ( must have had a blonde moment)
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Old 29-10-2012, 05:45   #7
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I wrote a blog on how to do this with an Inmarsat Oceana, but that is nothing but a fixed version of an Isatphone Pro which is what I own and use. Works exactly the same way.

See:

http://www.panbo.com/archives/2012/0...at_phone_.html
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Old 29-10-2012, 06:44   #8
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For weather information offshore I use an Iridium phone and Zygrib, which is a free weather program that I highly recommend. You can choose what files you download so that you can keep file sizes low. Zygrib allows you to send an email to their server to request a return email with grib files attached.
I use spsmail.net for all satellite email, which uses protocols especially for low bandwith/ high cost connections that reduce minute consumption considerably, and found that I can get the necessary grib files for a 3 day forecast at about 30 kb, which is about a minute of download time. Don't ever try to download your yahoo or gmail email over a sat phone. Will take forever and may never finish.
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Old 30-12-2012, 10:50   #9
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Just an update. We've been cruising the eastern Caribbean since november and with the prevalence of wifi have found view fax to be great. We also used it on our passage from Annapolis via the sat phone where it worked great as well. We have not found a need for email on passage so we never bothered with a sail mail subscription. So at this point software costs are ZERO.
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