Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 26-11-2015, 05:38   #1
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: St Augustine
Boat: '87 Irwin 43
Posts: 146
Best Sat phone for wx offshore?

Buying either a Iridium 9555 or 9575 or Iridium GO primarily for weather forecasts and updates while offshore?

Leaning towards the 9555...

Thoughts, opinions, experience ?

Thanks
__________________

__________________
malyea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-11-2015, 06:45   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Oregon
Boat: 57' Laurent Giles Yawl
Posts: 755
Re: Best Sat phone for wx offshore?

I've used a 9555, external antenna, USB cable, UUPlus on a Mac to then request GRIBs via email from Saildocs.

It worked very well, and I really liked the fine grained email control we had with UUPlus. We would often upload a JPG to the kids grandparents while downloading a similar sized GRIB file, for free. But it sometimes it felt like a lot of steps. I have never used a Go, but I wonder if it's easier-- more like you open a GRIB app, say Fetch, and you have a new one a few minutes later. That would be nice.

So for our next year of travel I am adding up the cost of a Go, a data plan for it, and whatever GRIB viewer app (some of them require a somewhat expensive subscription, but UUPlus also has a subscription fee).

Some prepaid Iridium cards come with email compression software. Does anyone have experience with those?
__________________

__________________
our blog
msponer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-11-2015, 10:23   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Hood River Or
Boat: Boereal 44
Posts: 189
Re: Best Sat phone for wx offshore?

I'll second what msponer has. We also use Iridium 9555 with an external antenna and most importantly we use UUPLUS as our delivery company. We also use a Mac as our computer with usb cord to 9555 to laptop. I also use Polar Express as weather software. Not crazy about Polar Express a bit confusing to use but you can learn it by going to youtube. We sail all over the world and rarely ever get dropped when sending and receiving but the external antenna is important. UUPLUS dose a great job and always has fast and great customer support, Jeremy the owner of this small company really works hard for you.

As for the GO from what I'm hearing from those who have it that it works fine along coasts but once your away from shore on an ocean crossing it is not so hot. Lots of dropping out even with the external antenna.

Good luck with your choice.

Cheers
RC LOUISE
__________________
stevewrye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-11-2015, 05:21   #4
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: St Augustine
Boat: '87 Irwin 43
Posts: 146
Re: Best Sat phone for wx offshore?

Great info, thanks!
__________________
malyea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-11-2015, 05:47   #5
Registered User
 
hoppy's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Boat: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 40
Posts: 2,842
Re: Best Sat phone for wx offshore?

I'm also looking for a sat phone for weather and some text. I prefer the idea of a proper phone like the Extreme but the pricing plans and the functionality of the GO make it seem to be a much better choice

There were certainly a few teething problems with the GO but users seem to be having better experiences with it.

There is lots of discussion about the GO here, but it is probably best to focus on the newest posts
Does anyone have an Iridium Go yet?

I've been using predictwind for gribs via wifi/cellular and I like that it is setup for the GO
__________________
S/Y Jessabbé http://www.jessabbe.com/
hoppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-11-2015, 05:55   #6
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: St Augustine
Boat: '87 Irwin 43
Posts: 146
Re: Best Sat phone for wx offshore?

I'm leaning even more towards the 9555 over the GO -
... not that much more money
... single unit simplicity
... does everything GO does (I believe)
... goes in the ditch bag / life raft if need be

Other than saving some money I don't yet see an operational advantage to the GO.
__________________
malyea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-11-2015, 06:46   #7
Registered User
 
hoppy's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Boat: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 40
Posts: 2,842
Re: Best Sat phone for wx offshore?

Quote:
Originally Posted by malyea View Post
I'm leaning even more towards the 9555 over the GO -
... not that much more money
The lower purchase price plus lower plans can add up but that depends on your usage(how long you cruise, emails etc)
... single unit simplicity
but it seems that the 9555 will be more complex to setup to communicate with your computer
... does everything GO does (I believe)
I believe the GO does make everything simpler
... goes in the ditch bag / life raft if need be
Can't disagree here
Other than saving some money I don't yet see an operational advantage to the GO.
I like the idea that with the GO I can upload photos and posts to my blog and not have to worry about the data. I also like that my girlfriend and I can send and receive SMS's or emails from anywhere on board using out phone and do this on a regular basis without worrying about the cost. That ease of contact will hopefully let our families sleep better at night when we are cruising.

The Iridium AccessPoint can add the similar use functionality to the 9555 & Extreme but there is no usage plans for the phone that give the same unlimited data.

Whilst it is easy to say you want a phone just for weather and safety, but sometimes the "toy" functionality is nice to have.

If with an Extreme & AccessPoint I could have a similar pricing plan as they have with the GO, then I would probably be willing to pay a purchase price twice that of the GO.

If I get the GO, I'll keep one of my old iPhones in the grab bag in a waterproof cover with an external battery just in case.
__________________
S/Y Jessabbé http://www.jessabbe.com/
hoppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-11-2015, 10:08   #8
Registered User
 
Nicholson58's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Live aboard
Boat: Camper & Nicholson58 Ketch - ROXY Traverse City, Michigan No.668283
Posts: 3,466
Images: 83
Re: Best Sat phone for wx offshore?

I have a current SPOT promo for a free SPOT global phone. It sounds like a deal but I am a novice on this. Love to hear from folks who know.


FREE SPOT HOLIDAY OFFERS
__________________
Nicholson58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-11-2015, 10:46   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Hood River Or
Boat: Boereal 44
Posts: 189
Re: Best Sat phone for wx offshore?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
I have a current SPOT promo for a free SPOT global phone. It sounds like a deal but I am a novice on this. Love to hear from folks who know.


FREE SPOT HOLIDAY OFFERS
I've do not have any info on Spot sat phones. I guess it all depends on world wide satilite coverage they have. If you are going to be coastal or just sailing down to the Virgin Islands I'm sure they work fine. But even with the best setup going in the 9555 and the best external antenna, sometimes there are problems connecting in places like Tonga to New Zealand, southern oceans and Indian Ocean. If you are seriously going off shore get what really works, it cost more but it works.

Cheers
__________________
stevewrye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-11-2015, 11:30   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Alert Bay, Vancouver Island
Boat: 35ft classic ketch/yawl.
Posts: 937
Images: 4
Send a message via Skype™ to roland stockham
Re: Best Sat phone for wx offshore?

SSB for weather either through a radio or a dedicated Wx machine. Much cheaper to run and plugs you into the global military & professional marine weather service. There is nothing like having a real professionally prepared weather chart automatically delivered every 6h when things get rough.
__________________
roland stockham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-11-2015, 13:38   #11
Registered User
 
wrwakefield's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Wrangell Island, Alaska
Boat: Nauticat 43
Posts: 864
Re: Best Sat phone for wx offshore?

Quote:
Originally Posted by malyea View Post
Buying either a Iridium 9555 or 9575 or Iridium GO primarily for weather forecasts and updates while offshore?

Leaning towards the 9555...

Thoughts, opinions, experience ?

Thanks
Malyea,

We bought an Iridium Extreme [9575] and passive external antenna before the Iridium Go was released, so that is what we have experience with so far...

We use it with UUplus [Personal version] for extraordinary email and file transmission performance. [UUplus still pays for itself- oftimes more than twice- in sat phone time saved each month. A technical overview describing why is included below...]

We chose Iridium because of their proven and dependable coverage at higher latitudes.

We chose the 9575 over the 9555 for multiple reasons [e.g., the slightly higher cost was worth it to us...]:
  • Ruggedized
  • Water and dust resistant [IP65]
  • GPS built-in
  • SOS [via GEOS- like Spot and DeLorme Inreach]
  • Direct USB connection to laptop computer [i.e., no intermediary black box required]

I suspect a sat hot-spot device [e.g., an IP device like the Iridium Go] is in our future. However, we aren't there yet because based upon our current usage and sat phone plan [US$1/minute] the Iridium Go unlimited data plan [US$120/month] would cost us almost twice what we now pay- including the UUplus subscription.

What is our current daily usage? Email, twice daily wx files including text forecasts, gribs, wefax charts, etc. All using UUplus. [Our sat phone alerts us- for free- when a new email is received so we only check then, or when we have something to send, or wait until the next wx file session- all of which we initiate manually...]

With that said, once we start using more than 200 minutes per 6 months the Sat Phone starts costing about the same as an Iridium Go- but without unlimited data. That will add to our tipping point for that decision.

For example, our current sat phone plan [Northern Lights Plan- Alaska and Canada only- shop carefully...] requires a minimum of 200 mins every 6 months for data to roll-over, and can only be bumped in 200 min increments... [Here is a blog post with a bit more detail about our sat phone plan if you are interested..]

If/when we obtain an Iridium Go, it will connect to the same external antenna we use now, and the 9575 will be kept active for land and emergency use, and as a back-up to the Go for email, etc.

Another factor that would make an Iridium Go even more enticing [with an unlimited data plan] is once Iridium activates their [yet to be launched...] new satellites and offers some usable bandwidth using these devices. [Especially if unlimited data is still offered...]

More about UUplus: [With technical details provided by UUplus from their recent testing using an Iridium Go on their office rooftop- i.e., without an external antenna...]

How does UUplus more than pay for itself for us? UUplus can communicate directly with the modem in Iridium [and perhaps other] sat phones. This allow it to bypass the usual internet protocols [e.g., Unreliable PPP for connections, and overhead intensive TCP] in favor of a hybrid protocol [a variant of UUCP] optimizing throughput over slow and relatively high latency sat phone connections.

Note: the throughput optimization gained with a sat phone using UUplus will be diminished with an Iridium Go because a Go is [currently] dependent upon Internet Protocols [PPP and TCP] since it allows smart phones to use [specific] apps online. However one could argue those losses [i.e., more dropped connections and slower performance] are partially mitigated by an unlimited data plan... Time will tell...

Position statement: It is worth reiterating that regardless of whether we ever acquire a sat hot-spot device like the Iridium Go, we will always keep an active sat phone onboard because it is the least complicated communications device in an emergency. [The Iridium Go is dependent upon smart phones, so that is 2+ devices that need to be grabbed {and have fully charged batteries} adding more complication in an emergency situation...]

I hope this helps explain our thinking and decisions to date, and is useful to you as you ponder yours.

Cheers!

Bill
__________________
SV Denali Rose

Short on opinions; focused on research, facts & experience [yours and ours...]
wrwakefield is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-11-2015, 18:48   #12
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: St Augustine
Boat: '87 Irwin 43
Posts: 146
Re: Best Sat phone for wx offshore?

Great info, thanks!
__________________
malyea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-11-2015, 22:48   #13
Registered User
 
Gerrycooper56's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Boat: Tayana 52
Posts: 232
Re: Best Sat phone for wx offshore?

I think I missed something here - the Go allows you to connect smart phones to the iridium network and I think needs an app. How then do you connect your laptop which doesn't have an app?


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
Gerrycooper56 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-11-2015, 01:00   #14
Registered User
 
Boardshorts's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Boat: Lagoon 440
Posts: 42
Re: Best Sat phone for wx offshore?

Stay away from KVH V3 !

Our system was just a few months outside its 2 year warranty when the sat modem inexplicably stopped working.

It took months to get their assessment that it cannot be repaired ..... before we were horrified to get a quote of nearly $7000 to replace the component!

Any option would be better than this !
__________________
Boardshorts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-11-2015, 12:37   #15
Registered User
 
wrwakefield's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Wrangell Island, Alaska
Boat: Nauticat 43
Posts: 864
Re: Best Sat phone for wx offshore?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerrycooper56 View Post
I think I missed something here - the Go allows you to connect smart phones to the iridium network and I think needs an app. How then do you connect your laptop which doesn't have an app?


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
Hi Gerry,

I have the same understanding as you [remember I don't own a Go... yet...] According to the Iridium web site, currently Iridium Go only works with these specific apps...

If you are referring to my previous post about using UUplus with a Go, according to Jeremy at UUplus, they just added Iridium Go connectivity to their current beta software release. [Personal version 6.4.46, for Windows, Linux, and the Mac as of this writing. Go to UUPlus and click on downloads... Sorry, their site doesn't seem to currently allow for direct links to specific pages, or I forgot how to capture the URL...]

Following is Jeremy's description of the UUplus/Iridium Go beta experiments:

Quote:
We just added Iridium Go support. It is in beta right now. I really like how easy it is to set up. No wires or drivers. I also like its seemingly rugged design and that you can mount it onto a tripod. In our testing here in California where our link only passes through one satellite before reaching Iridium's Earth station in Arizona we have found it to be fairly reliable. However we did put the Iridium Go on the roof and suspect our optimum conditions will not apply in real world situations.

So if you get the Iridium Go do have an external antenna you can plug into it. I just don't see the 1.5" antenna giving the best connectivity. Also expect connection and timeouts to occur 2 to 3 times more often with the Iridium Go vs the Iridium 9555 or 9575. Also expect the Iridium GO! to be 30-50% slower than then 9555 and 9575 (using the UUPlus software) [for the IP reasons I mentioned in my initial post in this thread...]
According to Jeremy they are still in beta testing and are consequently still tuning and tweaking before submitting to Iridium for approval and subsequent release.

I hope this helps provide some clarity.

Cheers!

Bill
__________________

__________________
SV Denali Rose

Short on opinions; focused on research, facts & experience [yours and ours...]
wrwakefield is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
offshore, phone

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
A Sat-phone Sleeve For I-Phone...... Lagoon4us Marine Electronics 1 18-10-2013 11:55
Emergency Phone Numbers for Sat Phone SV Demeter Health, Safety & Related Gear 0 13-09-2012 08:46
12v main to cell phone/sat phone/VHF recharge sneuman Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 2 04-01-2006 09:41
Caribbean Cell/Sat Phone Service JB General Sailing Forum 3 12-12-2004 09:11
Sat. phone web site info./sales/rates. maui Marine Electronics 0 08-04-2003 18:48



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 21:28.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.