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Old 23-02-2012, 19:27   #16
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Re: weather... SSB or sat phone?

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
Couldn't disagree more.

Sat phone contracts are insanely expensive.

There is a much greater importance on contacting other vessels (via nets and shared frequency) than talking to mom back home about her arthritis. SSB allows you to contact other vessels within a few hundred (or more) miles for incredibly valuable information that is far more current than what you can scrape off the Internet.

Travelling around with an SSB is a lonely existence.

I would suggest you read the previous threads that discuss these issues in great detail.

Additionally, I would also suggest that contacting other vessels within a few 100 miles would not give a 7 or 8 knot yacht sufficient time to avoid seriously adverse weather.

Your comments make me wonder if you have ever been offshore.
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Old 23-02-2012, 21:57   #17
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Re: weather... SSB or sat phone?

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Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
I would suggest you read the previous threads that discuss these issues in great detail.

Additionally, I would also suggest that contacting other vessels within a few 100 miles would not give a 7 or 8 knot yacht sufficient time to avoid seriously adverse weather.

Your comments make me wonder if you have ever been offshore.
You sound like a really friendly guy lol.
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Old 24-02-2012, 09:21   #18
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Re: Weather ... SSB or Sat Phone ?

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Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
Your intuition is correct, the SSB is rapidly becoming obsolete. Many CF threads details the reasons that support this conclusion. In summary...
Not in my world.

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1. SSB and Sat Phone install costs are approximately equal.
True

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2. Sat Phone costs more to use but is way more reliable and is used on your schedule.
Our experience is grossly different. The $ meter keeps running while you keep saying "can you hear me now" into the sat phone. With even rudimentary knowledge of HF propagation marine HF/SSB is very reliable.

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3. You can contact family and friends at any time.
Ding ding ding. Direct dial is the single substantial benefit of sat phones. As noted you can call off the boat using ShipCom ship-to-shore but calling onto the boat is awkward. If one has elderly parents or time-sensitive business interests ashore a sat phone makes sense. Otherwise, not so much.

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4. The Sat Phone can follow you into the liferaft with all the emergency numbers in memory.
True. So does your EPIRB. The EPIRB is better.

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Additionally, I would also suggest that contacting other vessels within a few 100 miles would not give a 7 or 8 knot yacht sufficient time to avoid seriously adverse weather.
I'm not sure I get your point. Weather fax over oceans is available over HF/SSB -- without the well documented shortfalls of GRiBs. Marine and ham nets will not only provide broad area (1000s of miles) weather forecasts but will look things up for you. Marginal cost = 0.

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Your comments make me wonder if you have ever been offshore.
Please don't go there. I don't know about other posters but I do this for a living.
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Old 24-02-2012, 10:42   #19
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I would have to say both have a place.

I am a die hard SSB person. Let's not forget that there is so much more to SSB than just weather, the local ssb/ham nets for example which can be indispensible sources of info for weather planning and general contact when travelling...Herb, the best router in the Atlantic for example doesn't work via sat phone...unless you count email contact...

However we also carry an iridium phone...but have yet to use it for other than email since we pay a yearly fee and need to use up the minutes included...
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Old 28-02-2012, 11:13   #20
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Re: weather... SSB or sat phone?

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Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
Your intuition is correct, the SSB is rapidly becoming obsolete....
I dunno...based upon the poll I posted here on CF, and what I know about other cruising friend's comm set-ups, SSB is still the most common long-range comm config for cruisers.

See poll at Comm & Weather Electronics Poll.
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Old 28-02-2012, 12:29   #21
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Re: Weather ... SSB or Sat Phone ?

Having both is probably the best option. So, since many offshore going boats already have SSB, buying a sat phone truly belt and braces.

If the boat is bare, then only your purse and habits will dictate. We use a SSB receiver for radiofax and when sailing other boats I found various sat solutions very easy to use. SSB is a very good solution for anybody who is a keen radio amateur - not only you can build the kit to get radiofax / email but you can stay in touch with your shortwave buddies. However, if you grew up using mobiles then your preference may be the sat phone way.

b.
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Old 28-02-2012, 17:40   #22
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Let's look at a few real world facts

1. Virtually no ships on HF these days. anything useful is on ham bands

2. Link calls to landlines has almost disappeared, ham still has them but primarily in the US. Certainly in Europe There is no mf links left and I'm not sure even if lyngby are doing link calls.

3. An iSatphone phone costs 440 dollars with calls at about $1 /minute. A new SSB installation is well over $4000 if you include back stay modifications, pactor etc. buy a lot of sat airtime with the difference. You'd buy two isatphones for the price of a pactor modem alone

4. Leisure HF is most definitely on the decline, stats like boats so equipped on the ARC show a steady drift to sat phone. Sat phones have been in the majority in the recent years a compete turnaround from 10 years ago.

5. For weather a sat phone and data connection is far more useful then SSB

6. As to HF/MF cruiser nets. In my experience they seem to be on the decline ( I'm a ham radio operator) maybe due to the increase in sat phones. There still are many impromptu VHF nets anyway.

If you like messing around with radios go for SSB. If you need simple reliable comms use a sat phone.

Dave
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Old 28-02-2012, 18:18   #23
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Re: Weather ... SSB or Sat Phone ?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Let's look at a few real world facts

1. Virtually no ships on HF these days.
This statement is a bit broad as every ship i have worked on to date has (and is required to have as per SOLAS/GMDSS equipment requirements) MF/HF capabilities amongst others......

See equipment requirements for sea areas below....

GMDSS requirements
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Old 28-02-2012, 18:36   #24
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Re: Weather ... SSB or Sat Phone ?

We have both and just decided to re-check the price for using the Iridium with OCENS for weather and e-mail.... turns out for the weather charts we would like to receive along with the NOAA text forecast and Chris Parker's daily forecast, plus an e-mail here or there, the SAT phone daily charges would be somewhere between $7-$10 dollars ... A DAY!!! Needless to say, had we not already invested in a great SSB/Pactor modem system that's been doing well for us for over 10 years, we might reconsider, but not for our upcoming cruising.
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Old 28-02-2012, 19:00   #25
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Re: Weather ... SSB or Sat Phone ?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Let's look at a few real world facts

1. Virtually no ships on HF these days. anything useful is on ham bands

2. Link calls to landlines has almost disappeared, ham still has them but primarily in the US. Certainly in Europe There is no mf links left and I'm not sure even if lyngby are doing link calls.

3. An iSatphone phone costs 440 dollars with calls at about $1 /minute. A new SSB installation is well over $4000 if you include back stay modifications, pactor etc. buy a lot of sat airtime with the difference. You'd buy two isatphones for the price of a pactor modem alone

4. Leisure HF is most definitely on the decline, stats like boats so equipped on the ARC show a steady drift to sat phone. Sat phones have been in the majority in the recent years a compete turnaround from 10 years ago.

5. For weather a sat phone and data connection is far more useful then SSB

6. As to HF/MF cruiser nets. In my experience they seem to be on the decline ( I'm a ham radio operator) maybe due to the increase in sat phones. There still are many impromptu VHF nets anyway.

If you like messing around with radios go for SSB. If you need simple reliable comms use a sat phone.

Dave

That's a good post Dave.
The new Iridium phones cost more like $1,000. If you want to get down to $1 / minute you have to buy about 3000 of them in advance.

A big plus for the sat phone is that you don't have to worry about getting a sim card when you get to where your going. Sometimes it's fairly cheap to call home but in many areas you will find that sim plans will cost over $1.50 per minute. Add to that the time it takes to track down a cell phone provider in each location you visit and the sat phone to me makes sense.

For cost it is about $10 per day to download a detailed grib file. You would need to do that a whole lot to justify installing a new ssb.

What I would guess is that ssb users will decrease about 5% each year for the next 20 years as those who use them now either swallow the hook or pass away. The attraction for anyone under 50 has to be near zero.
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Old 28-02-2012, 19:50   #26
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Re: weather... SSB or sat phone?

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
I dunno...based upon the poll I posted here on CF, and what I know about other cruising friend's comm set-ups, SSB is still the most common long-range comm config for cruisers.
I don't think I would hang my hat on a poll sample size of 20.

The simple facts of the matter are that installation and use of a sat phone requires almost no special knowledge, that is, there is no learning curve, it's the same a using a cel phone.

The SSB requires a fair investment in learning and understanding to obtain good results. Most people don't want to invest this kind of time and energy in learning to use the SSB radio. IMO this is the main reason for the decline in the use of the SSB.
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Old 29-02-2012, 02:18   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IslandHopper

This statement is a bit broad as every ship i have worked on to date has (and is required to have as per SOLAS/GMDSS equipment requirements) MF/HF capabilities amongst others......

See equipment requirements for sea areas below....

GMDSS requirements
Didn't say they weren't fitted. I was talking about usage. Any ship of any size often as GMDSS sat phone
Like Inmarsat M. This also fulfills the GMDSS carraige requirements.

Dave
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Old 29-02-2012, 02:22   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palarran

That's a good post Dave.
The new Iridium phones cost more like $1,000. If you want to get down to $1 / minute you have to buy about 3000 of them in advance.

A big plus for the sat phone is that you don't have to worry about getting a sim card when you get to where your going. Sometimes it's fairly cheap to call home but in many areas you will find that sim plans will cost over $1.50 per minute. Add to that the time it takes to track down a cell phone provider in each location you visit and the sat phone to me makes sense.

For cost it is about $10 per day to download a detailed grib file. You would need to do that a whole lot to justify installing a new ssb.

What I would guess is that ssb users will decrease about 5% each year for the next 20 years as those who use them now either swallow the hook or pass away. The attraction for anyone under 50 has to be near zero.
I have a second hand iridium 9555 cost $400 I have $1.10/minute on a bill pay scheme. (30/month)

Isatphones from inmarsat is about 450-500 dollars. Outside the US you can easily buy prepaid minutes in small quantities to get down to $1. Unlike iridium the have a long validity.

Dave
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Old 29-02-2012, 03:44   #29
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Re: Weather ... SSB or Sat Phone ?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Didn't say they weren't fitted. I was talking about usage. Any ship of any size often as GMDSS sat phone
Like Inmarsat M. This also fulfills the GMDSS carraige requirements.a sat phone in itself does not fulfill any carraige requirements, but it can compliment them....

Dave
I know what you are saying, but our Sat Phone NEVER rings (unless it's a crews spouse) and the HF is on 24/7 and gets quite a bit of use.....do you have my current ships Sat phone number for emergencies...??

In all the time i have been using GMDSS i have NEVER received a distress message over the sat phone,ever, but i have lost count of the amount received over the MF/HF, MF/HF DSC and Sat C.....and thats from both vessels and RCC....also what happens if the bloody phones engaged??

All this talk of a decline in the use of HF is just bull, while there may be a few yachties giving them away (some credible figures would be nice), the commercial, Military and Rescue sectors are NOT....and it's more than likely one of these that will be called upon to pull your sorry arse out of the drink....do people really think it's a good idea to cut off a means of communicating with them....

Also if you read the link i supplied, size does not always matter we are A3....
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Old 29-02-2012, 05:06   #30
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Re: Weather ... SSB or Sat Phone ?

Hang on Island Hopper, You seem to have forgotten the requirements of GMDSS.

Certainly here in Eurup, I find that unless I generate a MF/HF DSC call my MF/HF call will go unanswered. This is because of course under IMO/GMDSS rules there is no mandatory listening watch on MF/HF, whereas the provisions were extended for VHF.

Secondly according to various bodies and a read of the very good gmdss.co.au, nearly 99% of MF/HF DSC alerts are false, to such an extent that the very system is under question.

Immarsat EGC system, widely used for safety and distress alerting has, as an alternative worked really well. The vast vast majority of ship to shore traffic is now Sat based.

I was making the point, that on a lot of modern bridges Inmarsat M ( or A/B) is used to meet the GMDSS carriage requirements ( and YES your phone number is published in the ITU quides - BTW).

For Yachties, ordinary non-approved sat phones such as LEO systems or Isatphone, do fine for rescue. The whole purpose of GMDSS was to remove the need to try and contact surrounding ships, BUT TO CONTACT THE RCC. This seems to be repeatedly forgotten by people still with old SOLAS concepts.

Hence you program up your non GMDSS sat phone with a convenient MRCC number, i.e. Falmouth or Haliifax, ring them ( not relying on dodgy HF, or maybe your in a lifeboat) , They then set off the appropriate rescue assets, including local ships ( via AMVER etc) and SAR etc. YOU DO not need to broadcast distress. In fact on MF/HF this has brought the system to its knees.

The fact is that a modern non-compulsory fit sat phone, will do the average leisure user fine, in weather info, in face to face comms, and in rescue situations, backed up by a conventional DSC VHF unit. This is the most useful, most cost effective trans-ocean system we have.


Im not deriding MF/HF I'm an instructing GOC , i used to teach it and I'm an amateur and I have ( or used to have) on my boat a full Ham and MF/HF and sat phone setup. But thats just me. Its not at all necessary for the average person to have MF/HF in any way and still be able to communicate simply, reliability and conveniently.


as to commercial MF/HF. I still hear a chatter on MF mainly from fishing boats suffering from A2 carriage requirements. I hear almost nothing on HF.

Ogh, an now that Inmarsat have a low cost sat phone service, how long do you think it will be before GMDSS rules allow it, instead of MF/HF, not long I think given the clout that organization has with COMSAR and the IMO/ITU
Dave
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