I started an SSCA thread about a month ago for a friend who is offshore
and having issues with Iridium
GO. This is someone that has ?25K-40K? nm of Iridium experience
on his boat
in last handful of years since picking it up in France
, ending up in Buenos Aires on way to Cape Town
(I got off there) and then up/dwn E coast of SA and single
hand to NYC
, two trips Greenland
, NW Passage
and now is doing Pacific things.
All this was with older Iridium phones and and now has the Iridium GO and his connection success rate has dropped from 99% => 50%. What gives?
Tune in now as s/v Issuma is in Easter Island and will be departing soon.
His last message:
"We've moved anchorages
four times now. Theres another front coming thru soon. I'm staying aboard today doing maintenance
while my crew does the last food shopping
and goes surfing. I've now got a zarpe to leave on Sunday, so we're pushing to do that (a stronger front coming thru Friday/Saturday)."
SSCA Forum - View topic - Iridium Go - problems during Pacific Crossing
s/v Issuma Blog:
Downwind! | Issuma
Website with interesting ifo on current
Here is the first of 13 SSCA posts:
friend is crossing the Pacific and is experiencing dropout problems with his Sat comm link.
Iriduim-Go and laptop
In addition to the blog post that I have copied below, he asked me via email
"If you could please do a quick google
and see if there are Iridium Go! firmware versions higher than 1.0.66 and what bugs they fix, I'd appreciate it (I don't know if that info is available to the public or not)."
I had no luck searching for the Iridium Go firmware info. The Iridium website resource page for the 'Go' does not have any info on firmware.
trying to help,
Downwind! | Issuma
Iridium Go! and XGate Connectivity Issues
Tue Dec 23 11:54:00 EST 2014, 1 6'S:118 32'W,
I am hoping that some people reading this blog have experience using Iridium Go! devices, and/or XGate software
. On this trip, I've been using an Iridium Go! (a new satellite
communication device) and a version of XGate called SatLink (as I understand it, Global Marine
Networks markets their XGate software
to other companies to resell/operate).
I get a lot (about 30%) of failures during the call attempts. Retrying sometimes works (I had two successive failures yesterday trying to post this), sometimes doesn't--often trying again the next day is successful, sometimes it takes several days to get a connection.
The timeouts I'm referring to are NOT related to: * battery
state of charge * number of bars of signal strength indicated on display or %strength listed in log * time of day * WiFi
signal strength (computer and Iridium Go! are within 4m * one specific computer * boat engine
(and therefore alternators) running or not
The failures that I see look either like this: CMail 09:34:44 Dialing Iridium GO! at 192.168.0.1:80 CMail 09:34:45 Authenticating CMail 09:34:51 Current
signal strength is 100% CMail 09:34:51 Dialing... CMail 09:34:57 WAN Status: Dialing CMail 09:35:13 WAN Status: Negotiating CMail 09:35:36 WAN Status: Terminating CMail 09:35:36 Disconnecting from device... CMail 09:35:38 ERROR: Dialup failed CMail 09:35:38 Finished.
or like this: CMail 23:06:33 Dialing Iridium GO! at 192.168.0.1:80 CMail 23:06:34 Authenticating CMail 23:07:05 Current signal strength is 100% CMail 23:07:05 Dialing... CMail 23:07:10 WAN Status: Dialing CMail 23:07:34 WAN Status: Negotiating CMail 23:07:39 WAN Status: Authenticated CMail 23:07:52 WAN Status: Connected CMail 23:07:52 Connected CMail 23:09:25 Connect timeout No error - Error #0 - 0 - 0 CMail 23:09:25 Finished.
The first example fails (by "Terminating") in the "Negotiating" phase, the second (more common) fails via timeout after "Negotiating", "Authenticated" and "Connected".
reading a non-technical press release saying Iridium was going to do some network upgrade in mid-October to fix connction problems for Go! devices. I didn't read anything after that indicating it was successful or not. The symptoms look to me like a problem with the modem
that answers the call (as far as I know, the Iridium network is still all voice, so all data goes via modems), but I don't know who controls those modems (who would therefore have the logs
to help debugging)--whether it is Iridium, or Global Marine
I've been working with the SatLink folks (who have escalated to Global Marine Networks Tech Support) on this problem for over a month, but it appears to mystify everyone so far involved.
Is a 30% connection failure rate normal for an Iridium Go (from personal experience, it is definitely not normal for a modem
connected to an Iridium phone)? Or for accessing XGate over a satellite
I am unable to directly make blog comment responses while at sea, but they do get emailed to me at sea, so as long as the satellite connection is working, I will receive them. Thanks in advance for any help!
Comments on Blog:
Tue Dec 23 14:24:17 EST 2014 | Jocelyn
Sorry, I cannot help you on that, I could not even find anything related on the net.
Wed Dec 24 7:25:56 EST 2014 | Ralitsa
Thank you for this interesting post as well. Searching the net, many people seem to get +/- similar problems. If using Xgate, you may contact directly Luis Soltero (GMN). Other thing I found was at http://davidburchnavigation.blogspot.co
It seems that for making "talk calls" you don’t need full signal strength, but for data transfer, you need a good and steady signal for at least 30sec. Even if the phone
shows 5-bars signal strength, it could be not truly this way, so the connection fails (and this unfortunately charges as air time is charged even when no success of the call...).
Wed Dec 24 7:27:43 EST 2014 | Ralitsa
I don’t know if applicable for your system, but one advice there was to install a satellite signal strength software module SatMon. It samples the phone
every 3 seconds. The phone display can take up to 10 seconds to report the signal strength. If the time it takes to report back signal is long, SatMon will timeout and display 0 - i.e. you have bouncing bars on SatMon even if the phone is not reporting it this way, which means your connection is doubtful. If you don't have the signal strength needed, you will have a timeout and a bad connection. The guy says he had tested cases with a solid 4 bars showing on the phone but SatMon bouncing to 0 periodically, and therefore there was no connection.
Wed Dec 24 7:29:05 EST 2014 | Ralitsa
The bars and monitors are providing the incoming signal strength. For data transfer you need good clean connections in both directions. At open sea the full bars mean you are good to go, but in near-coastal waters or any large ships, interferences are possible, therefore you cannot make good data connections even with 5 bars of reception
Also, when crossing the tropics, the density of usable satellites seems to be lower than at higher latitudes, meaning bad connectivity too.
More on the blog of this guy (given above).
Fri Dec 26 7:06:41 EST 2014 | George Ray
ThankYou for being on the bleeding edge of technology and breaking ground and walking point guard for the rest of us....... I have to hope that the GMN team are working hard on your behalf.