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Old 21-04-2013, 03:42   #1
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I see more and more yachts with communications domes, are they any good ?

I am fitting out the boat for some long distance cruising and was wondering, is a communications dome any good ? and how much to run a month ?
Just asking the question, does anyone have, or had any dealings with them ?
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Old 21-04-2013, 04:57   #2
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Re: I see more and more yachts with communications domes, are they any good ?

Are you talking Iridium, Inmarsat etc.?

If so, they are expensive to buy, expensive to use, but if you can afford it I say go for it.
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Old 21-04-2013, 05:42   #3
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Re: I see more and more yachts with communications domes, are they any good ?

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Originally Posted by Big Joe Bob View Post
... is a communications dome any good ?
Depends what you're using it for.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Joe Bob View Post
..how much to run a month ?
Depends what services you have.
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Old 21-04-2013, 05:51   #4
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Re: I see more and more yachts with communications domes, are they any good ?

if you have money, do what you want.
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Old 21-04-2013, 05:52   #5
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http://www.kvh.com/~/media/Site%20Do...gA4%201212.pdf

Here are the rates for one of the more popular services. You decide if it's right for you.
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Old 22-04-2013, 13:12   #6
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Re: I see more and more yachts with communications domes, are they any good ?

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http://www.kvh.com/~/media/Site%20Do...gA4%201212.pdf

Here are the rates for one of the more popular services. You decide if it's right for you.

Thanks for the link.

Will be wanting to use it for data mostly.
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Old 22-04-2013, 18:54   #7
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Re: I see more and more yachts with communications domes, are they any good ?

Big Joe,
If you really want data and speed, be prepared to bleed. Figure the KVH system will cost $20k to install and about another $10k per year to use - limited.

I left a KVH FB500 on the dock at Captain Olivers Marina the day we left for our Transatlantic. It was worthless as no one wanted a perfectly good used one. If you really can't survive for the 17 days between landfalls to get your internet fix then get one. Otherwise, invest in a good wifi extender or appreciate a coffee while using a hotspot on shore.
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Old 22-04-2013, 19:22   #8
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Re: I see more and more yachts with communications domes, are they any good ?

Pretty much right Palarran. On the other hand, if you can settle for email text only then the price isn't too bad.
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Old 22-04-2013, 19:34   #9
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Re: I see more and more yachts with communications domes, are they any good ?

An Iridium 9555 for $1000 can handle small text only e-mails. Maybe 4 paragraph's for 3 minutes airtime ($3 total). And what do you have but time on your hands during a crossing right? That's with no compression or secondary service providers. I just use Outlook. Now, if you want to send a photo - that takes a while even on the lowest resolution. Personally, for offshore communication, I really can't see something with a better cost / performance combination than the 9555.
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Old 22-04-2013, 19:37   #10
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Re: I see more and more yachts with communications domes, are they any good ?

At 20 grand for just the dome, you can do a hell of a lot of radio, and modem time for a lot of years !! It used to be folks were glad to get a post card from all over the world! now a days, everybody wants instant connections to everything !! I think sometimes that the times before the world wide web were much more relaxed ! Connie and I could cruise for 3 or 4 years on this amount of money !! LOL And even eat out once in a while !! just sayin moneys nice but if you can afford to have a dome you sure can afford the service !! We will stick with our ICOM and our modem Just sayin we are cheap cruisers LOL
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Old 22-04-2013, 19:41   #11
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Re: I see more and more yachts with communications domes, are they any good ?

My Iridium is a little older but I will have to fire it up in June with some kind of similar plan. Looks like I'll be paying around $1.25/minute on prepaid rates.
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Old 22-04-2013, 21:49   #12
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Re: I see more and more yachts with communications domes, are they any good ?

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An Iridium 9555 for $1000 can handle small text only e-mails. Maybe 4 paragraph's for 3 minutes airtime ($3 total). And what do you have but time on your hands during a crossing right? That's with no compression or secondary service providers. I just use Outlook. Now, if you want to send a photo - that takes a while even on the lowest resolution. Personally, for offshore communication, I really can't see something with a better cost / performance combination than the 9555.
+1. I've been using the Iridium 9555 for a couple years now. The sweet thing about the system is that you can purchase a pre-paid sim card for $150 that gives you 75 minutes to use over a 30-day period. In other words, you're only paying for the time while you are on passage, and not paying for the bulk of the time when you are anchored within cell and/or wifi range.

Iridium has an SMS service that limits at 160 characters. It's pretty slick, and can be used with pagers as well as the phones. I'm surprised more cruisers don't use it.
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Old 22-04-2013, 22:19   #13
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Re: I see more and more yachts with communications domes, are they any good ?

I've got an iridium and KVH Trackvision. Use KVH for satellite TV on the hook. Keeps the kids happy while we do boat stuff. Iridium better for cheap SMS. I got my KVH unit cheap right here on CF Classifieds. Get to know the models so you know what you're getting, they're out there.
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Old 06-05-2013, 15:19   #14
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Re: I see more and more yachts with communications domes, are they any good ?

Hi,

Thanks again for the replies; Mrs BigJoe has announced that she wants an internet connection, wherever we are in the world, so it looks like I will be looking at the data package from FleetBroadband.

Am I right in saying its $149 a month and you get 5 meg of data ?
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Old 06-05-2013, 15:24   #15
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Re: I see more and more yachts with communications domes, are they any good ?

You should also look at the iridium pilot. It's the primary competitor to Fleet in the cruiser market. There are various pros and cons to each.
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