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Old 02-11-2016, 06:01   #1
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Installing External IridiumGO antenna

Hi,

I just got my IridiumGO and am looking where to install the external antenna... I think Iridium or Predictwind nixed the mast... we are going to mount the unit itself at the internal helm by the 12v outlet on the right side of the helm facing forward (Starboard )... we have 10m of thick antenna wire so that is the limit we have from the internal helm to the external antenna... I had thought about mounting it on the fly helm, but that will expose it to a lot of weather, but would give it better access to the GPS constellation.... However we thought inside would be better for the life of the unit.

Just looking to see if anyone else has mounted the external antenna on a 450, and if so where.

Regards, Rick
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Old 03-11-2016, 04:43   #2
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Re: Installing External IridiumGO antenna

I am very interested in where you mount the antenna as I am about to buy and install one. I was considering the outer lower spreader. I had the same comments when I installed my AIS aerial on the upper spreader but reception has been exceptionally good.
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Old 03-11-2016, 05:36   #3
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Re: Installing External IridiumGO antenna

I set my antenna up on the bimini frame and the system works really well. You will need a clear and unobstructed view of the sky.
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Old 03-11-2016, 05:58   #4
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Re: Installing External IridiumGO antenna

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Originally Posted by DavefromNZ View Post
I am very interested in where you mount the antenna as I am about to buy and install one. I was considering the outer lower spreader. I had the same comments when I installed my AIS aerial on the upper spreader but reception has been exceptionally good.
The mast was our first choice, but the GO antenna needs to be 2m from the radar, and the spreaders do not extend out far enough... my radar is at the lower spreader...

Also the antenna cable is 8mm thick and does not bend well (a 90 degree bend would take up some space)... right now we are looking at the port side forward of the fly helm..

And the base unit of the GO contains the GPS antenna so it also needs a clear view... we are putting it forward of the inside nav station where the other antennas are, as I don't think we need much access to it...
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Old 03-11-2016, 06:11   #5
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Re: Installing External IridiumGO antenna

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Originally Posted by bgallinger View Post
I set my antenna up on the bimini frame and the system works really well. You will need a clear and unobstructed view of the sky.
Hi,

Do you have the stock bimini or a custom one... did you run the cable down the support tube? we have the stock small bimini and I'm not sure how to run the cable down the tubing as it folds away...

Do you have a picture?

We are currently in Malta, but are leaving in about 2 weeks for the Canaries for an Atlantic crossing just after Christmas and need to either get a temp install or a permanent install in the next 2 weeks....

We just have the stock small folding bimini right now, but are getting a full width bimini once we get to the Caribbean, and I might have more install options once that is complete...

However I am also considering putting an arm out from the mast just above the last reef line and mounting it up there out of the way...
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Old 03-11-2016, 10:20   #6
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Re: Installing External IridiumGO antenna

I just installed an external antenna a couple of months ago. I ran 12V power to a corner of the aft lazarette (high and dry) and installed a semi-permanent mount for the GO inside and out of the way. Constantly powered, there's no need to access the unit. I put the antenna at the end of the davits aft of the solar panels and ran the antenna wire back to the GO. It's working fine. We can see the wifi throughout the boat and it improved the reception considerably.
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Old 03-11-2016, 10:38   #7
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Re: Installing External IridiumGO antenna

We have an Antares 44 cat. one or two sisterboats have installed the antenna in the spreaders, but this makes little sense to me. Unlike AIS, which is line of sight line a VHS, with the IridiumGo! you are dealing with satellites, for which unobstructed sky views are the imprtant thing, not height over deck.

We have just installed the antenna (which, if you got the PredictWind package, looks to be a good all-weather fixture) on the arch at the stern. We actually installed the unit at the navdesk inside, close to a forward window. The unit has an antenna on it for GPS readings, and it seems to work fine with that exposure to the sky. The external antenna is for voice/data signals, and having that outside and unobstructed is essential. Or at least that is what I am hearing from sister boats. We will see in a few weeks for ourselves.
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Old 03-11-2016, 11:59   #8
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Re: Installing External IridiumGO antenna

I have had my GO for a year. Purchased from Ocens. I mounted the unit at the nav station on my mono hull Jeanneau 50. I mounted the external ant. on the stern rail with a clear view of the sky.

Putting the ant. on the mast is totally unnecessary and a waste of time and effort. Height is irrelevant for satellite comms.

Putting the unit close to where you phone a tablet will be and out of the weather is most important. Then put the antenna away from interference with a clear view of the sky.
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Old 03-11-2016, 13:09   #9
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Re: Installing External IridiumGO antenna

Quote:
Originally Posted by Briandownsouth View Post
I just installed an external antenna a couple of months ago. I ran 12V power to a corner of the aft lazarette (high and dry) and installed a semi-permanent mount for the GO inside and out of the way. Constantly powered, there's no need to access the unit. I put the antenna at the end of the davits aft of the solar panels and ran the antenna wire back to the GO. It's working fine. We can see the wifi throughout the boat and it improved the reception considerably.
Hi,

Did you lose any GPS signal quality by putting the base unit in the lazarette?

Rick
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Old 03-11-2016, 13:15   #10
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Re: Installing External IridiumGO antenna

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZUS View Post
We have an Antares 44 cat. one or two sisterboats have installed the antenna in the spreaders, but this makes little sense to me. Unlike AIS, which is line of sight line a VHS, with the IridiumGo! you are dealing with satellites, for which unobstructed sky views are the imprtant thing, not height over deck.

We have just installed the antenna (which, if you got the PredictWind package, looks to be a good all-weather fixture) on the arch at the stern. We actually installed the unit at the navdesk inside, close to a forward window. The unit has an antenna on it for GPS readings, and it seems to work fine with that exposure to the sky. The external antenna is for voice/data signals, and having that outside and unobstructed is essential. Or at least that is what I am hearing from sister boats. We will see in a few weeks for ourselves.

Hi,

We did get the PredictWind package, and the external cable is very stiff so we are trying to get the least bends between the external antenna and the base unit... the mast gives me a straight run down into the salon and puts the cable right by the the nav station... however there is no need to have the base unit there as it functions without any input... I like the lazarette idea as long as it does not impact the GPS signal..

Rick
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Old 12-11-2016, 15:21   #11
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Re: Installing External IridiumGO antenna

HI,

Decided to put the external antenna just aft of the port side toe rail on the smooth fibreglass... Using an 18" mast.. It will be on the outside of the lifeline... Going to have the base unit in the port engine compartment... We tested it out and the WiFi signal is good except in the starboard head (owner version).... It picks up the GPS fine through the fibreglass engine hatch... The 18" mast gets it high enough to get a better angle for the sky over the rear deck roof line.

Regards, Rick
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Old 19-11-2016, 15:58   #12
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Re: Installing External IridiumGO antenna

I was using a Iridium Phone since 2001 until 2014 on two different cats. One built in GRP the other in Epoxy and Foam Sandwich. I had an external antenna for a while but this one failed because I tightened the screws during the installation to much and water penetrated in the external antenna.
I found that without the external antenna the reception and transmission quality has not changed or not so much that I had feelings that the function of the Iridium Phone was impaired.

Fair winds
James
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Old 19-11-2016, 16:57   #13
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Re: Installing External IridiumGO antenna

Mounting the antenna high does not improve things, best position is as close to the water line as possible with clear face to the sky.. this will decrease the movement of the antenna.

The supplied cable is crap on a boat, it has a solid inner conductor and will not bend. Buy a piece of quality cable for example, M&P Ultraflex 10.
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Old 25-11-2016, 11:59   #14
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Re: Installing External IridiumGO antenna

Hi,

We finally have our IridiumGo installed. We put a 1.3m post on the port side beside the end of the life lines. The height was needed to clear the cockpit roof... we mounted the actual IridiumGo device in the port engine bay on the side of the right most storage tray (the one that does not move), and wired a dedication 12v power supply to a USB connection. It is easy to remove if you need to take it somewhere. WiFi access is good everywhere but the starboard forward head (owners version)... and we are getting 5 bars in the marina with buildings all around us... we stabilized the post with a secondary connection to the SS tubing just behind it...

If I figure out how to post pictures here, then I will...

Rick
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Old 25-11-2016, 12:19   #15
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Re: Installing External IridiumGO antenna

Hi,

Here are the pictures of the install... I have the plastic external cover on the IridiumGo unit, but took it off for the picture... it had to be trimmed for the external antenna connection...

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Regards, Rick
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