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Old 23-10-2011, 11:19   #16
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Re: SSB vs Satphone

We've had both and cruised 30,000 miles.
If I had to pick only one, it would be the satphone for all the reasons given by the others.
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Old 23-10-2011, 13:18   #17
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Re: SSB vs Satphone

Satphones all sound to be a wonderful part of 'new' sailing gear. However, apart from teh running costs, with a phone, you need someone on the other end to pick up and answer. An SSB has hundreds of listeners 24/7. We have our own net with some friends and talk twice a day when travelling.

Therefore, I guess the answer in an ideal situation is both.

The 3G phones work much further than the 15nm mentioned earlier. I have a bluetooth handsfree device. So I hoist the phone half way up the mast, and talk through the bluetooth.

Alternatively, get an sms text ready to send to a group of people, push the send button and hoist the phone to the top of the mast. I know this has worked in places that are about 65nm away from a town. It saves a long walk up a hill.
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Old 23-10-2011, 14:26   #18
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Re: SSB vs Satphone

Sat phones! "Who ya gonna call?"

I guess if one has business ashore then it's a necessity. But it's a personal choice. I'd prefer both but don't really need to talk to landlubbers, I rarely use my cell.

1+ about SSB not mentioned above is the range over the VHF. Here's a good link to SSB info. SSB
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Old 23-10-2011, 17:22   #19
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Re: SSB vs Satphone

Keep your eyes open for Globalstar's new satalite constellation coming on-line in the foreseeable future. Half have been launched and the last half should be up within a year or so. They claim to be compatible with all their old phones so if you've got one, then likely best to hang onto it. Technology should be state of the art ( It sure wasn't last time..).

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Old 23-10-2011, 18:13   #20
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Re: SSB vs Satphone

when we brought our catamaran from SA to the caribbean the crew used the SSB for email which worked sometimes but not all the time (propagation issues mostly).
we also had an Iridium sat. phone which worked 24/7/365.
prices of sat. phones have come down (and I expect there will be some deals on the 9555 phones as there is a 9575 phone now). also, there are Inmarsat IsatPhone Pro on Ebay for around $500. even when air minutes are added, the price, along with the ease of use, makes them my choice.
at $500/each plus airtime I would buy two new sat. phones before I would buy a SSB which would most likely have to be used (that's another potential bag of worms) be be anywhere comparable in cost.
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