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Old 29-10-2014, 16:56   #46
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Re: Internet from Anywhere

Sailmail. Some hate it, I like it. It is NOT internet from anywhere. It is email and weather only. Email is txt only, no graphics at all. Sometimes you have to wait a few mins to get a clear frequency to use. There is a bit of a learning curve. Read the sailmail primer on the website. Setup cost vary depending on equipment chosen, and new or 2nd hand. A new rig (SSB and Pactor) will be from about $3000, and can be $5000 or more. It is MUCH cheaper to use than a sat system for a long term cruiser...
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Old 29-10-2014, 17:08   #47
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Re: Internet from Anywhere

Thank you. Once you have all the equipment and setup with SailMail, are there monthly fees involved?

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Sailmail. Some hate it, I like it. It is NOT internet from anywhere. It is email and weather only. Email is txt only, no graphics at all. Sometimes you have to wait a few mins to get a clear frequency to use. There is a bit of a learning curve. Read the sailmail primer on the website. Setup cost vary depending on equipment chosen, and new or 2nd hand. A new rig (SSB and Pactor) will be from about $3000, and can be $5000 or more. It is MUCH cheaper to use than a sat system for a long term cruiser...
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Old 29-10-2014, 18:25   #48
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Re: Internet from Anywhere

No, the fee is a flat $250 USD per year... It is not for business use, and there are max limits to use. However, if it is for personal use while cruising, it's plenty, especially if using a pactor 3 or 4.
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Old 29-10-2014, 19:52   #49
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Re: Internet from Anywhere

Just to be clear....Sailmail and other HF-radio data comms, provide only low-speed data connectivity, for e-mails ONLY....not web-surfing, nor even web-mail....


Matt,
You are confusing / combining features and services of Sailmail and Winlink...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neptune's Gear View Post
No, the fee is a flat $250 USD per year... It is not for business use, and there are max limits to use. However, if it is for personal use while cruising, it's plenty, especially if using a pactor 3 or 4.
---Fact is Sailmail is a commercial, non-profit organization....
which uses maritime and commercial fixed/land-mobile frequencies...(no ham license required, but just as with all Marine HF-SSB radios, a ships's station license and oeprators license IS required)
Sailmail users pay a flat $250/yr....business or personal use...approx. 90 minutes of connection time allotted per week (so maximizing your connection speed with PACTOR III or PACTOR IV, is very useful)

Low-speed data can be quite effective...PACTOR III is typically 2.4kb - 4kb...and PACTOR IV is double to triple this speed...

http://www.sailmail.com/

Sailmail stations are well designed and maintained, and are always on-line (or are noted as otherwise), and stations are well-spaced around the world....users typically are within easy contact of multiple stations....




---Fact is Winlink is a ham-radio-based, non-commercial, ad-hoc system....which uses only ham radio frequencies...(a ham license is required)
Use is free, but business communications is forbidden (and enforced harshly)....
As the system is all done by ham radio volunteers, stations are located in an ad-hoc way, and signals/reliability are sporadic...

Winlink uses PACTOR II or PACTOR III (slower than Sailmail's PACTOR IV).....
http://www.winlink.org/

{Winmor, a "sound-card / software" type of quasi-Pactor, typically has speeds about 1kb, or slightly higher.....a bit higher than PACTOR II (< 1kb)....
But, this does not require purchase of the proprietary SCS PACTOR modem....}



---I've kinda' given up explaining the costs of "internet at sea" and/or "internet everywhere", etc....
But, I REALLY wanted to point out the confusion here about Sailmail...


Fair winds...

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 29-10-2014, 20:08   #50
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Re: Internet from Anywhere

Sorry John, no, I'm not, but perhaps I could have explained it better. Sailmail itself is commercial. It's terms and conditions are here Terms and Conditions
among that is that sailmail is not available to commercial vessels, and max time using it limited to 90 mins/week... I'm sure it used to say no business emails as well, but with a quick scan now I did not see that...

Cheers
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Old 29-10-2014, 20:47   #51
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Re: Internet from Anywhere

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neptune's Gear View Post
Sorry John, no, I'm not, but perhaps I could have explained it better. Sailmail itself is commercial. It's terms and conditions are here Terms and Conditions
among that is that sailmail is not available to commercial vessels, and max time using it limited to 90 mins/week... I'm sure it used to say no business emails as well, but with a quick scan now I did not see that...

Cheers
Matt
I just read the web site, and there is no restriction WHAT it is used for (commercial is OK), but the 90 minutes makes it limited to only occasional use.
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Old 29-10-2014, 21:05   #52
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Re: Internet from Anywhere

Why do you think "occasional use" only?
90 mins per week is heaps to send/receive up to ten pages of txt emails, and get your forecasts via grib every day! I did that for 3 years, with a Pactor 3, and never went over the limit once. A pactor 4 is 2x as fast!
How much time do you want? Remember you cannot browse with this system.
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Old 29-10-2014, 21:21   #53
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Re: Internet from Anywhere

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neptune's Gear View Post
Why do you think "occasional use" only?
90 mins per week is heaps to send/receive up to ten pages of txt emails, and get your forecasts via grib every day! I did that for 3 years, with a Pactor 3, and never went over the limit once. A pactor 4 is 2x as fast!
How much time do you want? Remember you cannot browse with this system.
I was referring to trying to run a business via Sailmail. I suppose some business models it would work for, but I suspect most would not.

Interesting reading the Sailmail website that they do not mention Pac 4. Thanks for mentioning it... now to search the websites that sell those modems. Do you have any suggestions?
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Old 29-10-2014, 22:59   #54
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Re: Internet from Anywhere

avb,
Some Sailmail users DO run their businesses from their boats....although some use a combinations of Wi-Fi, cellular, Sailmail, etc...
Quote:
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I was referring to trying to run a business via Sailmail. I suppose some business models it would work for, but I suspect most would not.

Interesting reading the Sailmail website that they do not mention Pac 4. Thanks for mentioning it... now to search the websites that sell those modems. Do you have any suggestions?
PACTOR IV modems, cables, installation kits, tech support, as well as Icom HF Marine Radios and installation kits/support, etc. are available form a few sources....
Gary, at Dockside Radio (in Florida) is one of them, and he'll take good care of you....

Pactor Modem Kit Contents and Pricing.htm

Icom SSB Radio Kits & Components


If you have a need for e-mail at sea and/or in far remote areas away from Wi-Fi and cellular network, them Sailmail is an excellent choice...
(but, understand that MANY cruisers / sailors / voyagers live full, complete, safe and happy lives, sailing offshore and across oceans, etc. without the need for e-mail connectivity when offshore at sea, etc....so, whether spending ~ $1500 on a PACTOR is something that you choose or not, will depend on your exact need....remember this is only needed for e-mail connectivity, not safety, not weather, not voice comms, not ship-to-shore telephone calls, etc. just e-mail....and while this is a lot of cash to spend, it is about the same as an Iridium phone / data kit / ext. fixed-mount antenna....just for e-mail when offshore or in far remote areas, and that's a choice you'll need to make for yourself...)


Fair winds...

John
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Old 29-10-2014, 23:41   #55
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Re: Internet from Anywhere

Very true John, but it is also a good source of weather (grib files), automated position reporting, and automatically delivered forecasts - without having to leave the ssb on for radio scheduled forecasts/weather fax etc. Just connecct, and what you ask for is delivered when you are ready to collect it. Plus your email, connection to family etc.
I guess it would be ok for basic, non urgent business mail.
It worked great for us for connection to family etc at home while offshore for a few years. Not for everyone though, as you said.
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