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Old 14-03-2021, 10:25   #1
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Iridium External Antenas

Hello,

Trying to evaluate the different brands of external antenas for my IridiumGo.
The options available

1) By Antcom 3.5-diameter-x-4-tall-diameter-iridium-antenna
2) By Aero Antenna AT1621 73
3) By Antcom GPS Helix Antena
4) By Predictwind RAMģ Mount Iridium Passive Omnidirectional Antenna
5) By WestMarine SeaWatch 3004 HDTV Vertical TV Antenna

Too many options to choose from. Does any one has done a comparison among them that I can be referred too.

Thanks,

Gian Luca
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Old 21-03-2021, 01:48   #2
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Re: Iridium External Antenas

Hi.
I don't have a comparison, however I can say that I get 5 bars constantly from my Predictwind, Iridium antenna (for Iridium Go). I did a big write up about the entire system, so I won't repeat it here. But I am happy with the way the install went, and the results.

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Old 01-05-2021, 02:36   #3
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Re: Iridium External Antenas

We also did an Iridium antenna with good results.
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Old 01-05-2021, 04:02   #4
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Re: Iridium External Antenas

Do these external antennas work significantly better than just sticking the IridiumGo under the Dodger and using its flip up antenna?
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Old 01-05-2021, 04:48   #5
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Re: Iridium External Antenas

Several of those antenna's are specifically designed for something other than a Iridium Go! Antenna's are not interchangeable between applications. Whatever you get, it MUST be for a Iridium Satellite device. Something else will be worse than no external antenna at all.

If you get an antenna designed for a Iridium, install it well with quality cable, there is probably little difference between brands, and you should almost always have 5 bars, and always have signal. (provided a clear view of the sky)

Predictwind has world class support, so I would vote for them for that reason.
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Old 01-05-2021, 16:06   #6
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Re: Iridium External Antenas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
Do these external antennas work significantly better than just sticking the IridiumGo under the Dodger and using its flip up antenna?
In our experience: Yes, largely due to the better location of the external antenna. The differential was smaller when the IridiumGO was mounted externally where we mounted the antenna.
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Old 01-05-2021, 16:26   #7
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Re: Iridium External Antenas

I installed the docking station and external antenna in my last boat with the antenna on the stern rail. I saw little if any improvement in performance over just having the Go under the dodger. When we moved to our new boat I opted to not install an external antenna and have not regretted it yet. Usually I just leave it under a salon window. If I want to make a voice call I'll move it outside for a less obstructed view. Inside it will get low signal for a few seconds frequently which doesn't slow data transfer much but is problematic for a real time conversation.
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Old 01-05-2021, 19:28   #8
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Re: Iridium External Antenas

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Originally Posted by dougweibel View Post
When we moved to our new boat I opted to not install an external antenna and have not regretted it yet.
Hello Doug, have you found the reception inside the cockpit to be OK when on passage in larger shorter period seas when there is significant motion? This is when the external antenna made a significant difference for us vs mounted inside. Not sure if the density of sats is different in the middle of the Pacific and Atlantic... Thx
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Old 02-05-2021, 06:37   #9
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Re: Iridium External Antenas

We just made a passage with about two days of 5-6 feet at 4.5-5.5 seconds, so not especially large but pretty steep. I had no problem with reception.

This all really gets into subjective observations and expectations. I am happy if my weather downloads without trouble and donít care much if it takes 25 or even 30 minutes when optimally it might only take 20. If I were using it for voice communication then Iíd probably be more aware of dropouts and reconnects. Still, I didnít notice much difference with the external antenna. On the other hand that is a sample size of one. It would be nice to hear from several others to get an average experience.
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Old 02-05-2021, 08:20   #10
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Re: Iridium External Antenas

Quote:
Originally Posted by dougweibel View Post
We just made a passage with about two days of 5-6 feet at 4.5-5.5 seconds, so not especially large but pretty steep. I had no problem with reception.

This all really gets into subjective observations and expectations. I am happy if my weather downloads without trouble and don’t care much if it takes 25 or even 30 minutes when optimally it might only take 20. If I were using it for voice communication then I’d probably be more aware of dropouts and reconnects. Still, I didn’t notice much difference with the external antenna. On the other hand that is a sample size of one. It would be nice to hear from several others to get an average experience.
We did a 10 day passage recently putting the Go under the dodger when I wanted to send an email or to download Gribs. Same experience as yours. It connected and moved the data. Not sure if it would have been faster with a mounted antenna - using the word fast with an IridiumGo is stretch. Either way, it was functional.
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