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Old 27-12-2013, 19:54   #16
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Originally Posted by Steve Lavigne View Post
For some perspective:

Inmarsat fleetbroadband service will give you a 0.5 megabit/second internet connection (most cable internet is 20.0 - 50.0 megabits/second). The antenna is about 2 feet in diameter by 2 feet tall. The system is about $16,000 and monthly unlimited service is about $2,800 per month. In the next year, you will be able to upgrade to a service that is up to 50 megabits, but the cost is unknown at this time. Also, with the unlimited service, the terms of service stipulate that they may limit the connection if you are using skype, youtube, or other high bandwidth consumption activities.

The effort required for internet access away from terrestrial antennas is significant, so the cost is also significant.
Of course there is also the 150 & 250 with equipment costs of about $4000. & $ 8000 respectively , airtime still the same at around $ 20 per mb and that's the killer issue

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Old 27-12-2013, 19:54   #17
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Re: staying connected?

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Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
If you don't mind just a text message you can use the inReach SE anywhere in the world at any time. It has other map options as well so people at least know where you are.

https://support.delorme.com/WebHelp/inreachse/
Following a cursory reading of the provided link leaves me excited for this option. However, I have a few questions, namely what is the range of signal? And what is the cost of the plan of say, a few texts of 100 spaces every week?

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Old 27-12-2013, 20:06   #18
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Re: staying connected?

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Following a cursory reading of the provided link leaves me excited for this option. However, I have a few questions, namely what is the range of signal? And what is the cost of the plan of say, a few texts of 100 spaces every week?
The inReach uses the iridium network, so as long as you are somewhere on earth between the north pole and south pole, you should have coverage. For simple global communication, you can't beat the price. $10 per month for 10 messages, with each additional message $1.50.

http://www.inreachdelorme.com/produc...tion-plans.php
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Old 27-12-2013, 20:20   #19
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Re: staying connected?

Good point... We wil be starting our journey in the carribean.. basically working our way from Key West down to Trinidad and tobago... so, that is our main area right now... we really have the desire to eventually take the boat transatlantic and spend some time in the med... but, that is in the distant future..

My parents live in wisconsin... my father in law lives in Cleveland.. and my mother in law lives in Hilton Head... they are all in their mid to late 70's.. so they are beginning to have health issues. It's not a matter of me wanting to communicate with them everyday.. it's more an issue of them being able to reach me quickly in an emergency....
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Old 27-12-2013, 20:34   #20
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Re: staying connected?

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Originally Posted by Steve Lavigne View Post
The inReach uses the iridium network, so as long as you are somewhere on earth between the north pole and south pole, you should have coverage. For simple global communication, you can't beat the price. $10 per month for 10 messages, with each additional message $1.50.

InReach
Sumbitch. I am hoping to avoid Iridium. Steve, thank you for the reply.

So...do the messages have a max character space per message?
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Old 27-12-2013, 21:32   #21
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Re: staying connected?

What about using BGAN for email? I saw equipment used on eBay (a dish style antenna the size of a laptop) for about $700 and there are no monthly fees if you buy pre-paid cards on eBay too.
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Old 28-12-2013, 00:31   #22
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Re: staying connected?

We've found that we spend most of our time at anchor or in marinas and cell phones and the internet are our primary communication.

Some cell service providers have been abysmal and others excellent so initially I'd suggest some research.

Cell phones are so common these days that virtually every place has it available. The difficulty may be finding the best provider.

I've found that the US system is not used world wide so buying a few different types of phone may be a good idea.

My wife seems to use Facebook heavily to keep in touch with her family so joining and getting up to speed if necessary may help. No one ever seems to want to contact me...
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Old 28-12-2013, 01:02   #23
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Re: staying connected?

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We've found that we spend most of our time at anchor or in marinas and cell phones and the internet are our primary communication.

Some cell service providers have been abysmal and others excellent so initially I'd suggest some research.

Cell phones are so common these days that virtually every place has it available. The difficulty may be finding the best provider.

I've found that the US system is not used world wide so buying a few different types of phone may be a good idea.

My wife seems to use Facebook heavily to keep in touch with her family so joining and getting up to speed if necessary may help. No one ever seems to want to contact me...
So, to parse your comment, it's by FB which you stay in touch? I've more to say but will limit myself to the one question.
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Old 28-12-2013, 02:30   #24
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Re: staying connected?

The concise reply would have to be "yes" for my wife with email my weapon of choice.
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Old 28-12-2013, 03:19   #25
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Re: staying connected?

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Sumbitch. I am hoping to avoid Iridium. Steve, thank you for the reply.

So...do the messages have a max character space per message?
Here are the rates.>> InReach
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Old 28-12-2013, 07:48   #26
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Re: staying connected?

i only use connexions in port.at sea i use my spot tracker so momma knows where to send rescuers for my gato.
in port i use wifi for free and banda ancha here in mexico is 399 pesos each month for 3 gb service. works well enough for needs mentioned in thread.
if you want to send emails at sea, ssb or sat fone or iridium fone.
good luck. i find i am way too busy on passages for any interweb nonsense. unless crossing oceans, the time away from emails is short. the spot tracker reminds folks i am not sitting still.
now that i AM siting fairly still i use banda ancha and wifi depending on my location. on boat...banda ancha. on shore..wifi. dont this only 3 years so far, so far, no problems that are insurmountable. momma knows where number one kid is and the gato accompanying me.
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Old 28-12-2013, 08:52   #27
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Re: staying connected?

Do any of you anchor in remote areas?
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Old 28-12-2013, 10:20   #28
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Re: staying connected?

scarlet -

if your primary concern is that the old folks will have to reach you then there is only one service you need to consider. Iridium.

The phone will cost you about $1500. then you buy airtime cards. but since you won't be making any (or many) calls you can easily control the cost of airtime cards. What you really want is a phone number the old folks can call in an emergency, and that's what an iridium phone really gives you. you will have to keep the phone on 24/7 but that doesn't cost anything except electricity. you can also carry it around with you while you're touring the islands (try that with immarsat or an ssb!) so you really are always in reach. because iridium covers the entire globe - thanks to the good old u.s. government - there is really no place on earth you can't be reached except maybe in a cave somewhere.

no contest. for being able to be reached and hold a conversation anywhere on this planet, iridium is the answer.

as for calling the old folks, we use Skype. unless you need to call them every day you are nearly always somewhere where internet access is available. we have Skype on our laptop and also on our smartphones. you can carry your smartphone around with you when you're touring and make Skype calls where you can find free or cheap internet access. the cost of getting Skype is FREE. you will have to deposit some money upfront in your accouint with them, but calls are very inexpensive. we call Bahamas to u.s.a. for nine cents a minute.

we also keep in touch with the kids and family using spot. every day we send a spot message which sends an email to up to ten recipients. they know we are still alive and exactly where we are. costs about $150 for the unit and $100 a year for service. the only downside is that the message is pretty much fixed, that is, you can't easily change the message every day, although it is possible if you have internet access.

finally there are cellphones. every country on earth - except the u.s.a. - uses the gsm system. there are now several gsm systems in the u.s.a., notably at&t, but their phones are not suitable because they are locked on to at&t and can't be used with any other company or country without being unlocked. probably not worth the hassle. here's my solution.

when you get to another country, buy a cellphone. get the cheapest one. they are all unlocked. you can now use this phone in any other country on earth by simply buying the local sim card with talk time on it. when you get to another island, get the local sim card with time. in the Bahamas the cheapest phone is $30, and with sim card setup and time the minimum is about $60. air time to the u.s.a. from the Bahamas was fifty cents a minute. but once you own the phone It can be used everywhere on earth - including the u.s.a. go figure.

and just to remind you, one of the reasons to go cruising is to leave all that stuff behind you.....
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Old 28-12-2013, 11:55   #29
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Do any of you anchor in remote areas?
Sure, that's why we explore by boat.
When we left, we told everyone that if there was an emergency it could be several weeks before we could be reached.
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Old 28-12-2013, 17:58   #30
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What about using BGAN for email? I saw equipment used on eBay (a dish style antenna the size of a laptop) for about $700 and there are no monthly fees if you buy pre-paid cards on eBay too.
BGAN will be no use except on a stable surface like on land ( I have two BGAN phones )

Furthermore Inmarsat prevents these systems being used offshore forcing you into the iSatphone or FB or Inmarsat A, B or C etc

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