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Old 09-10-2006, 18:32   #16
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Try this if cell phone service is avaliable

Canibul, check this out.

http://powervision.sprint.com/mobile...bile_Broadband


It should work great when you are in their coverage area. USA only from what I can tell. So when you're in this neck of the woods, it should get you going. Might even work with a cell provider in the areas you plan on being.
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Old 16-11-2006, 10:14   #17
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Another option is to get direct pc and hook it up to a gehto gyrosocpe/stabaliser at sea and then just throw it out on the dock it will work in the bahamas.. and carabean for the most part. it will never be perfrect but the rates are much nicer..
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Old 16-11-2006, 10:39   #18
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http://www.groundcontrol.com/galileo_coverage.htm check this out.. its designed for RVs etc.. but im betting if its not terribly windy you could fit it out for the boat at least enough to work when you were not under full sail/power
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Old 16-11-2006, 10:55   #19
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Actually to use DicrectWay takes a more stable platform than a boat. The satellites are also a lot lower in the sky and harder to lock thna TV or phone. The upload bandwidth not that fast and with the power you have to transmit with it's not easy. I really doubt it would ever work except at the dock no matter how you set it up..

Attached to the Pylon in the marina does work though. You just need the calibration software each time you move.
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Old 16-11-2006, 11:09   #20
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Has anyone looked into this device http://store.icsmarine.com/item-KVH-...-tracvision-a5

I can not see why it would not work reasonably. I looked and looked for a reasonable web service on board and never found one besides the WIFI
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Old 16-11-2006, 11:18   #21
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Quote:
Has anyone looked into this device http://store.icsmarine.com/item-KVH-...-tracvision-a5
This is for TV and is not even close to the same thing as two way Internet communication. The TV part is I'm sure just fine but there are other choices for TV too.

When you have to transmit it becomes a lot different situation than just receiving. I have used the DirecWay two way system for about a year until I finally got cable access. The download was fine at 3/4 Mb but the upload wasn't that fast and not even modem speed most of the time. There is also a latency issue that you need to get used to as well.
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Old 06-12-2006, 15:08   #22
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I am having same dilema

I would also love your advice. I run a consulting firm and am "going virtual" this spring. I will be purchasing a liveaboard and anchoring around Wilmington, NC. I will need to return every now and then to our home office in the RTP area of NC and yes...I am beside myself with joy that this is happening.

I have done some research, but need more. My plan up to this point is to stay near shore (cell service availability) for the next few months. I want to do bigger sails, Caribbean, by next winter.
I will be using a verizon smartphone to get my internet connection and hook it up to my laptop. I am thinking I will get a wifi card as back up also. With a reasonable signal in place I will take advantage of the "remote desktop" function which basically allows for me to access my land based computer that is the one with all the "juice". That way I will not have to worry about upload and download time. I will basically be working off my land based computer and my laptop acts as a remote control. It really resolves all of the major upload/download problems. Remote desktop take very little bandwidth to work very effectively (I was told by my tech person that it is only a tiny bit slower than I now have in office and would not be noticeable). I am assuming that you could do this with a satellite scenario as well which would allow for offshore access, not positive. So just to sum up:
1.Verizon cell service (they seem to have good coverage)

2.Verizon smartphone (thinking of the XV6700)
3.Remote desktop through my laptop and land computer

I hope this helps and would love feedback or potential holes in my initial strategy.
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Old 06-12-2006, 15:38   #23
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I have friends using Verizon Wireless. It's clearly not for offshore, but it's easy and you can get in a places where you have reasonable Verizon cell phone coverage.

When you say you will use remote desktop I guess it is a function as to what you actually do with it more than if it works. It's not as fast as "a tiny bit slower" (they lied) but depending on how you use it it may do well. If you can't work long periods with no connection at all then it clearly won't work. If you need more than minutes at a time then it may also not function well or be expensive.

For offshore you can use satellite phone service but these are very very expensive minutes. Offshore there really isn't anything affordable other than text email and weather downloads through SailMail on SSB radio. Data uploads and downloads are only possible with Sat phone and are expensive. You may find Internet cafés in a great portion of the world these days.

Once thing to note is most US marinas have WiFi these days or else with a directional antenna you can find an open network most places. The more people around the better the availability. You may also be able to get other broadband at the dock as well. I would use the cell phone if you can't get anything land based. if you need more than a few hours of Sat phone per week then you need to be bringing down a serious salary to pay for it.

There really isn't a good universal way to access the Internet on board at sea that is affordable. The key is minimizing the amount you need. If you don't you'll be tied to a dock in Wilmington.

Personally, I office from my home and have land based broadband. I have not worked in an office in 10 years. If I can still remember it seems I didn't like it very much back then so I doubt it's gotten any better. My own plan is to quit working before I take to the water. Working on the boat should be scrubbing decks and drinking rum with climb up the stick once in a while to inspect the VHF antenna and check out the view.
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Old 06-12-2006, 16:13   #24
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If you are going to be living aboard, that means typically you will be in a marina. Most marinas have WIFI at reasonable rates. In my opinion it is not wise to use cell phone web connections unless you plan on spending a lot of $'s for general poor service.
Last month we took on a wireless carrier that offered wireless cards for my employees that are on the field within southern California and Souther Florida. My tech department did the research and brought us into a commercial plan so that my guys who are on the field could stay in contact with the office.

What we have found in the last 30 days is that the connection can and is sporadic at best. When you do have a connection, the upload speed is minimal at best, download is quick. There are all kinds of things that can be done to ensure that your time on line is minimal.
When you leave the service area you are charged for it, when you run into a network that is exceptionally slow, you are charged for it. The list goes on and on. When we contacted the carrier over the excessive charges, poor connection speed, lack of connection etc. that were not clearly set forth when we bought into the plan the wireless carrier has offered a few solutions as well as the solution of allowing us out of the contract.
Typically it takes time for this type of service to iron out the glitches, and is typically stronger in places where cell phone service is a way of life. An example of this is several years ago when Nextell came out with the two way radio cell phone that was advertised to work Nationally. I did not have a problem with New York, and San Francisco. When we took on a contract in Los Angeles, I was amazed at the poor coverage of the network. It was so terrible at that time that I was forced to take on another carrier for that area. Today the coverage is up to par with other carriers.
I am sure that in time it will get better, considering the cost, the convenience is not worth the expense. We will be switching back to use of wirelss PDA's until a provider has ironed out the bugs.
On the International cruising front,
I started a search for the best solutions for connection during extended voyages, during that search I found a lot of possibilities available to keep me in connection. All of these possible ways of staying connected involved a lot of equipment that was astronomically expensive, the up load and down load speeds are beyond unreasonable. The majority of providers charge you not by time on line but amount of information exchanged.
I recently had a an house guest who lives aboard her boat in the Carribean. She has a charter and diving company, all of her reservations are taken over the web. I asked her about what the secret was to her ability to respond to emails daily when aboard.
She told me how in recent years the cruising area of the Bahamas/Carrib has become wired with various hi powered WIFI providers. She has installed a high powered receiver/antenna on her mast to grab these signals and subscribes to one of the larger WIFI providers that is available over several of the islands.. She uses a WIFI map that is constantly updated by cruisers in the area. I am looking forward to receiving a copy of this from her!
I have read this before somewhere else on this board and I am sure it can be found in a search. I am sure that this will remain a hot topic until a cost effective solution is found.
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Old 06-12-2006, 16:44   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pblais
Working on the boat should be scrubbing decks and drinking rum with climb up the stick once in a while to inspect the VHF antenna and check out the view.

Before or after drinking the rum???

Dave
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Old 06-12-2006, 20:00   #26
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Since Verizon comes up, I can mention my experience:

Verizon tells me that the coverage area for EVDO is about 3 miles from the cell site. I am about 2.8 miles from the nearest site, and I typically see throughput of 30 - 60 k bytes / sec. Mostly it works ok, but other times I can't maintain a connection long enough to download a file.

I have used it at anchor near Baltimore MD with no problems, and I found pretty good service near Philadephia. Both are near a big city.

Verizon claims a pretty wide coverage, though some areas only get 1xRTT (max 144 k bits / sec) instead of EVDO. And, of course, there were many spots on the ICW where I couldn't get normal cell phone coverage.

Overall, I would say it is adequate service, but you must expect that it is nowhere near the quality of a wired connection.
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Old 06-12-2006, 20:31   #27
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Ok off topic I am sure but I had to throw in my little bit on this.
Last year I signed on for a private account from T-mobile. The network was great in Los Angeles area, and worked ok in Florida. I took the phone on for my trips to Thailand as the phone apparently would work well there as well.
I flew from Los Angeles to Bangkok, Bangkok to Chaing Mai and a several hour car ride to Burma. I was on a broke back road in Burma when I heard my cell phone ringing. I pulled out the phone and had a conversation with my sister in Canada. It kind of amazed me to think that here I was in the middle of the Burma jungle talking to my sister who was in Inuvik Canada. The phone worked amazing all across Thailand, Burma, Laos, and Singapore. When I returned to Califonia I sailed out to Catalina sland. I was the only one aboard with a signal the entire way.
From Los Angeles I stopped in Palm Springs where the phone would not get any kind of signal, and still dos no get any kind of signal... Go figure.
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Old 07-12-2006, 00:31   #28
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Chris, your TMobile phone roamed automatially in SE Asia?? And you didn't get a world-class roaming charge on your bill??

Pretty much any quad-band GSM phone will work all over the world--subject to roaming locks and charges. And TMobile is GSM, owned IIRC by what used to be the German post office rather then being a US-domestic company. But I'm still surprised you didn't get a bill for over a buck a minute.

Apparently Verizon's EVDO is a hybrid that is either CDMA or GSM depending on whose definition you use, rather than "plain real GSM", fwiw.
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Old 07-12-2006, 01:25   #29
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I am on a plan that was designed for international use. The charges were suprisingly nominal.
The reason I took up the T supplier was due to the fact that both supplyers we currently used did not preform in previous atempts abroad, from what I understand other suppliers are now catching up to T for international use. I am looking forward to testing my Verizon supplier the next time I am out of the country.
From my travels I tent to find the purchase or rental of a local phone is typically the way to go if you are going to be staying in that area for any extended period fo time. You can typically purchase a phone that is good for several years that accepts a chip that slides nto the back of the phone placing talk time into your bank.. Kind of a pay as you go deal used throught the rest of the world.
By no means is this a promotion for any supplier, just a statement of what I have personally experienced.
To ensure that this post remains tied in with sailing it should be said that the T phone works much better off shore than most other phones due to the signal it uses (GSM)
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Old 07-12-2006, 09:01   #30
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"the T phone works much better off shore than most other phones due to the signal it uses (GSM)"
I'm not sure that's the real reason. I suspect that since T-Mob concentrates their towers in dense urban regions, they simply have more along the shores (where cities often started and are oldest and densest) or some other pattern that simply gives them more presence there. From what I've been told all the systems have a software limit on the max distance. Because of the delay from a distant signal (like the audio of the NASA moon missions) the software rejects any phone that is more than 32 miles away. This also limits the possible contention for any one tower. And, it could be the other carriers are setting lower rejection zones in busy areas, i.e. if the other carriers have more towers, they might be rejecting callers at 6 miles instead, figuring that's still solid coverage. Collateral damage, no signal at sea.

Asking a cellular company about anything technical tends to turn them all into politicians. You know, if the lips are moving, they're telling a lie.
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