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Old 28-12-2012, 15:26   #1
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how to email on isatphone with low data/time

We have an isatphone pro that we will take curising in 2013. I believe that you can send emails via the sat connection & a computer but it is very slow and uses a lot of airtime.

Has anyone found some solutions such as email programs that will compress the text to minimise time for transmission.

What email servers gmail/hotmail/yahoo, etc might be best in terms of minimising time on the connection ?

It is not for images, just reports in text format. Would be nice to receive simple weather updates as well.

Thanks
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Old 28-12-2012, 16:08   #2
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Re: how to email on isatphone with low data/time

I don't know what the basic iSatphonePro email service involves, but most satphone-specific email services already use heavy compression and minimal-overhead protocols. Take a look at XGate from Global Marine Networks for an example of an efficient satphone email program/service.
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Old 28-12-2012, 16:37   #3
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Re: how to email on isatphone with low data/time

Thanks for the Xgate link. I had a look and though it might be perfect for the full time use, we are only going to use the isatphone occasionally as we can access 3G netwrok services while travelling along the coast. Looking for something more economical for when we are truely offshore, for short stints.
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Old 28-12-2012, 18:13   #4
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Re: how to email on isatphone with low data/time

You wouldn't perhaps already have a SailMail membership? SailMail is typically used for SSB email (and costs about the same as XGate), but SailMail can also be used for efficient satphone email.
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Old 28-12-2012, 18:22   #5
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Re: how to email on isatphone with low data/time

Thanks Paul.

We do not have sailmail as yet, though we have been looking at that service this morning in our researching. There are also a few other service we found and are looking at, such as Zap-email & UUPlus email, they seem to heading along the same direction. Providing a email server and compression software.

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Old 28-12-2012, 20:04   #6
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Re: how to email on isatphone with low data/time

We use Onsatmail personal. Onsatmail.com

It's free to use (apart from phone charges) and free to download.

We also use it to download GRIB files, which can then be viewed either on Open CPN or US Grib.

You can also text quite cheaply with the isatphone pro.
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Old 28-12-2012, 23:26   #7
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Re: how to email on isatphone with low data/time

That onsatmail.com is interesting, I came across it this morning but thought it was a mirror of the UUPlus, however though it uses UUPlus and the site looks remarkable similar there does not appear to be any fees or charges to use it. I have downloaded the software and will see what it is like.

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Old 29-12-2012, 06:48   #8
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Re: how to email on isatphone with low data/time

Quote:
Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
We use Onsatmail personal. Onsatmail.com

It's free to use (apart from phone charges) and free to download.

We also use it to download GRIB files, which can then be viewed either on Open CPN or US Grib.

You can also text quite cheaply with the isatphone pro.
What bandwidth are you seeing using this approach?
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Old 29-12-2012, 07:05   #9
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Re: how to email on isatphone with low data/time

I cant comment on iSatphone, but I can comment on Iridium. ( isatphone is rumoured to be harder to maintain lock in certain circumstances).

We used mail-a-sail. But in reality compression adds little advantage to text only or GRIBS. The main issue we had was arbitrarily disconnects especially during GRIBs downloads, so you do need a downloader that has a good "resume" ability. With time based charging, disconnects cost money.

Even so you can crank up fairly large bills, on one Atlantic we ran up 900$ in downloads. ( and we weren't over doing it)

There really is a need for a data based charging, slow speed ( say 9600) iridium/inmarsat internet solution, A sort of internet Inmarsat C type of thing. Its a pity the iridium modem service isnt up to it ( or is restricted to be short )

Fleetbroadband is too sophisticated for most email uses and too expensive.

Dave
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Old 29-12-2012, 12:54   #10
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Re: how to email on isatphone with low data/time

"isatphone is rumoured to be harder to maintain lock in certain circumstances"

Interesting, we have not used the phone out at sea, only played with it in the mountains at home and in Nepal where we have to point it at the approximate location of the geostationary satellite over Papua New Guinea. If there is anything in the way such as light foilage on a tree, then we get no connection. It must be a clear view. Having not tried it at sea it would be good to hear from anyone who has used an isatphone to hear how it went ???/
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Old 29-12-2012, 13:44   #11
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Re: how to email on isatphone with low data/time

In the South Pacific we had no problem with dropout of signal, ie loss of phone connection. We could use the phone inside the boat, just point the antenna roughly North. Sometimes we'd get better signal strength by going into the cockpit though.

Occassionally the downloads would stop for a while though, even though signal strength looked good. Sometimes it would resume after a few seconds, other times I'd hang up and call again. Onsatmail does resume from where it left off.

It used to take about 30 seconds of call time to establish the connection and synchronise, and often to download onr grib file would need a call time of 1:05 or thereabouts. Annoying when you're being billed in 30 second increments, so I tried downloading 2 gribs at a time, one local, one wider, and found I'd almost always get the two in under 1;30.

Overall, we've been happy with the phone. The most difficult thing to get used to is how long the tme lag is in voice calls. The signals do travel a LONG way.
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