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Old 30-12-2017, 04:10   #1
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Iridium GO or SCS P4 Dragon tnc

Thoughts on upgrading.. the Iridium Go or a SCS P4 tnc??
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Old 31-12-2017, 00:59   #2
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Re: Iridium GO or SCS P4 Dragon tnc

You really need to add some more info as to what you want to accomplish and where for anyone to give you a reasonable response. How do you plan to use the communications?
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Old 31-12-2017, 01:48   #3
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Re: Iridium GO or SCS P4 Dragon tnc

I have used the Iridium Go for 4 months with the "unlimited" subscription. It is way to complicated but you will get use to it. The android apps are very poor and too complicated as well. It is not an internet router but really a black box with specific apps that allow you to download gribs and make phone calls. You can also download your emails but the data rate is so slow and the app so poor that I decided not to.

I have no idea how the other product works but am interested. Is there a service provider for such a technology ? cost ?
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Old 02-01-2018, 11:33   #4
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Re: Iridium GO or SCS P4 Dragon tnc

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Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
You really need to add some more info as to what you want to accomplish and where for anyone to give you a reasonable response. How do you plan to use the communications?
Those with experience/familiarity with the products mentioned would have given insight...
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Old 02-01-2018, 11:48   #5
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Re: Iridium GO or SCS P4 Dragon tnc

I use the Iridium Go, and we are very happy with it.

By far the most use it gets is to download weather data through our PredictWind account. Using it for email, text message, and voice is a piece of cake. We have used it to send emails and text messages quite a bit, and voice just a few times.

I can't imagine why someone would think it hard or complex to use. The apps are simple and straightforward. We got ours through PredictWind, and everything came together easy without hassle.
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Old 02-01-2018, 13:15   #6
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Re: Iridium GO or SCS P4 Dragon tnc

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Originally Posted by billknny View Post
I use the Iridium Go, and we are very happy with it.

By far the most use it gets is to download weather data through our PredictWind account. Using it for email, text message, and voice is a piece of cake. We have used it to send emails and text messages quite a bit, and voice just a few times.

I can't imagine why someone would think it hard or complex to use. The apps are simple and straightforward. We got ours through PredictWind, and everything came together easy without hassle.
Funny that our experiences differ so much ! Do you use iridiumgo & iridiummail apps ? I did not know about PredictWind, thanks, I will look at it for the next passage... How much did you pay for it ? Does it replace iridium apps ?

FWIW, i paid 7 EUR for some grib app which name I can't remember, that one was almost as poor as the iridium apps (understand those made by iridium) that I ended up creating the mail requests manually. I would then transfer those grib requests in the spooler of iridium mail, send, receive, transfer onto the computer ... and then I could use them on my PC/OpenCPN. Did I say complicated ?

I have to add: all apps (including opencpn) will create a grib request based on the size of your screen. Manually resizing the coordinates allowed me to save a lot of bandwidth.
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Old 02-01-2018, 14:19   #7
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Re: Iridium GO or SCS P4 Dragon tnc

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Those with experience/familiarity with the products mentioned would have given insight...
Huh, I have a ton of experience with the Pactor P4. It's still hard to comment on your comparison request without knowing what you want to accomplish. Costs change a lot based on full time or part time use. Do you have an SSB installed that supports Pactor modems? If not, the install costs will be much higher. Do you have a HAM license or would you be using Sailmail with the Pactor. Are you only looking for offshore weather? Likea I said a little more info would help in getting you useful responses.
I
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Old 02-01-2018, 14:35   #8
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Re: Iridium GO or SCS P4 Dragon tnc

Paul's questions are very valid...some thoughts, if you were a committed offshore cruiser that was going to spread the purchase over many years I'd probably go SSB and Pactor 4, it's not cheap so you'd need some years to make sense out of the initial outlet. If you were doing an ARC across the Atlantic or hanging out in one of the cruising areas for a couple of years I'd probably go with the Sat Phone option. But to really drill down, as Paul mentioned you need to give more information.
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Old 02-01-2018, 14:58   #9
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Re: Iridium GO or SCS P4 Dragon tnc

We have both an Iridium Go and a Pactor modem. The modem we've had for years and it mostly works okay but it was worthless crossing the Indian Ocean. The Iridium Go has worked everywhere and is exponentially faster than the Pactor modem. I guess it depends on how important your communications are, however, for my wife and me, the additional cost of supporting both is just part of our routine cruising expenses. Of course, we could do without either but we choose not to.

Fair winds and calm seas.
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Old 02-01-2018, 15:09   #10
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Re: Iridium GO or SCS P4 Dragon tnc

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Funny that our experiences differ so much ! Do you use iridiumgo & iridiummail apps ? I did not know about PredictWind, thanks, I will look at it for the next passage... How much did you pay for it ? Does it replace iridium apps ?

FWIW, i paid 7 EUR for some grib app which name I can't remember, that one was almost as poor as the iridium apps (understand those made by iridium) that I ended up creating the mail requests manually. I would then transfer those grib requests in the spooler of iridium mail, send, receive, transfer onto the computer ... and then I could use them on my PC/OpenCPN. Did I say complicated ?

I have to add: all apps (including opencpn) will create a grib request based on the size of your screen. Manually resizing the coordinates allowed me to save a lot of bandwidth.
I have never used the Iridium apps for specifying weather information, only for communications. You shouldn't be using them to specify your grib files for download. If you chose PredictWind, its app interfaces directly with the IridiumGO. No transferring of files or other fussiness. No need even for email.

If you want you get weather data through the IridiumGO and NOT use Predictwind, you should be requesting the files with an email request formulated directly from your weather program and sent via IridiumMail. If you have to create the requests manually, then you are missing something, or you are using a primitive grib program. If you want a standalone grip display program that is really slick, you might try LuckGRIB. It's even free.

I do not know why the size of your screen should have anything to do with the grip data you download. Grib data has to do with the area of the earth you want data for and the resolution of the data you wish. Your girb display program should then present the information at a zoom level appropriate for your screen size, changing the presentation as you zoom in and out. The same grib file should be usable on anything from a 4 inch phone to an 18 inch monitor.

The Predictwind "Offshore" app is easy to use and complete with auto-routing, and has been on a pretty quick and user directed upgrade cycle. At least, the updates have addressed feature requests I have made. As full time cruising sailors we use the PredictWind "Pro" version, and are happy with it for $500 a year. We find the higher resolution models and current data valuable. Most cruisers would likely be happy with the standard package for half that. They are also very flexible, allowing you to upgrade or downgrade your subscription as your needs change. So if you are land bound for a few months, you can just drop back to the "Free" service until you are ready to go to sea again.
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Old 04-01-2018, 11:47   #11
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Re: Iridium GO or SCS P4 Dragon tnc

@billknny: thanks for the details. I don't feel like paying that much for any particular application that would ease the process of getting gribs. I can download saildocs gribs for free and they have been rather accurate in my experience. Of courses it takes a bit longer than with some fancy app but I guess I have enough time for that on a transatlantic ...

I had a look at luckgrib but this is just another grib display app. I have no interest in that as I am using opencpn does it all on my pc.

As for the "size" of the screen, of course I meant display resolution (x*y). I could have added zoom increment as well as they may not allow you to get precisely the grib coverage you need.

cheers
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Old 04-01-2018, 13:09   #12
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Re: Iridium GO or SCS P4 Dragon tnc

Use of P4 within the CONUS is not legal. (Read the Pactor forum). Some on here mention the use of Iridium Go as being preferred over a SCS P4 Dragon which by the way ..is supported in the RMS Express program..
But currently using onboard a SEA 322 HF Marine & Kantronics KAM+(PACTOR 1) and Airmail ..thus looking to upgrade.

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Old 04-01-2018, 13:26   #13
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Re: Iridium GO or SCS P4 Dragon tnc

If you plan to do serious cruising, you'll need the SSB (with modem) and the Iridium GO.

We used the Iridium GO a lot to get weather reports (Predictwind, etc.), check email, and call home. The SSB was used to get in touch with local cruising groups during long crossings.

Make sure you the SSB is installed by someone who knows what he's doing...
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Old 04-01-2018, 13:29   #14
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Re: Iridium GO or SCS P4 Dragon tnc

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Originally Posted by AA3JY View Post
Use of P4 within the States is not legal. ......
It is not legal to use on Ham bands, it is legal on the SSB frequencies used by Sailmail.
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Old 04-01-2018, 13:35   #15
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Re: Iridium GO or SCS P4 Dragon tnc

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It is not legal to use on Ham bands, it is legal on the SSB frequencies used by Sailmail.
It's Amateur Radio legal anyplace else other than CONUS..Read the Pactor forum

FYI.. the P4 restriction was lifted temporarily during the Puerto Rico hurricane relief efforts to move communications from the stricken area to the US
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