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Old 03-09-2020, 14:34   #1
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Satellite internet/working aboard

Hello. I'd like to hear from anyone who is working from home aboard their boat while cruising. Specifically I am interested in learning what satellite internet source would be most appropriate for working aboard while cruising remotely. The job requires internet 6hrs a day, 5 days a week, primarily emailing files back and forth.
Since the job provides about $3k a month in income I could not spend thousands on data. Its been about 10 years since I last researched this subject, I'm sure there's some new/more affordable system out there. Anyone?

Thanks!
Bob and Sharon
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Old 03-09-2020, 14:50   #2
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Re: Satellite internet/working aboard

Where are your intended cruising grounds?

In the US, we typically use a hotspot type device and generally works fine. Depending where you go and your carrier, you could be w/o coverage in some areas.
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Old 03-09-2020, 14:54   #3
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Re: Satellite internet/working aboard

StarLink should be up and running fairly soon. Blazing speeds everywhere but the Artic Circle. I think unlimited too for about $80/mo.
It's in beta right now.
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Old 03-09-2020, 14:59   #4
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Re: Satellite internet/working aboard

Well to be honest Bill we were planning on a 3-5 year circumnavigation, so we would need world-wide coverage.
Should I wait another 10 years? Not!
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Old 03-09-2020, 15:02   #5
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Re: Satellite internet/working aboard

When I looked into this it was quite cost prohibitive.


If I recall correctly, the hardware was almost $5K and the data plan was going to run $1,500 a month for 1.5GB at up to 128 kbps.


We ended up just getting an Iridium Go and passing on the "high speed" internet. We can do basic email / texting and get the weather files. The plan is to try and get new SIM cards to use in various locations with no real connectivity on crossings.
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Old 03-09-2020, 19:00   #6
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Re: Satellite internet/working aboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob and sharon View Post
Well to be honest Bill we were planning on a 3-5 year circumnavigation, so we would need world-wide coverage.
Should I wait another 10 years? Not!
It's in beta in the US right now. Should be released to the public in early 2021, if not earlier. Feel free to get an Iridium if you'd like though. Instead of plunking down between $500 and $1200 for the equipment and have severely throttled speeds and limited use, I'm going to hold out. 9.6kbps compared to 60gig with 20ns latency.

StarLink already has ~400 satellites in orbit and is planning on having 12,000. As soon as it's available, I’m going to jump on it.

I put in my name to be a beta tester, but for some reason they're only testing in the Northwest so far. The beta testers are paying $1 (that's one dollar) for the equipment and $1/month and they're reporting getting the advertised speeds.


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Old 03-09-2020, 21:39   #7
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Re: Satellite internet/working aboard

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StarLink should be up and running fairly soon. Blazing speeds everywhere but the Artic Circle. I think unlimited too for about $80/mo.
It's in beta right now.
That's what I'm thinking too. I'm waiting since we're not leaving the US until November next year. I'll probably have redundant ways to gt GRIBS anyway, but Starlink is a global game changer.
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Old 04-09-2020, 00:53   #8
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Re: Satellite internet/working aboard

While I hope for Starlink too and we plan to do the big casting off in spring 2022, I would be surprised about World wide availability than.

I guess it's US Northwest first, followed by the US followed by any populated area worldwide followed by the open ocean.
Populated areas might be rural at first, as they tend to have sketchy, if at all, internet. That way they can get new clients which might be easier inclined to switch.

Big cities usually have great internet. They may try the odd one for testing though.

Let's not give up hope, but I doubt it will follow a much different path.
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Old 04-09-2020, 01:03   #9
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Re: Satellite internet/working aboard

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StarLink already has ~400 satellites in orbit and is planning on having 12,000. As soon as it's available, I’m going to jump on it.
12,000 satellites... Researchers trying to look a bit further afield than our planet's immediate surroundings are reporting already now that these 400 satellites are blinding us. So that's it then, as long as we can get our youtube vids, all is well. At the expense of everything else.
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Old 04-09-2020, 01:08   #10
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Re: Satellite internet/working aboard

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12,000 satellites... Researchers trying to look a bit further afield than our planet's immediate surroundings are reporting already now that these 400 satellites are blinding us. So that's it then, as long as we can get our youtube vids, all is well. At the expense of everything else.
Exactly. We need a garbage scow to sweep this space junk up and dispose of it before itís too late.

Further, how does the world allow an American company to destroy ground based astronomy?
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Old 04-09-2020, 01:18   #11
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Re: Satellite internet/working aboard

Once more I agree with you :-)

While I hope for some sort of affordable satellite www for my business purposes, I see that one nation giving the ok for this as highly problematic.
This does absolutely call for international collaboration & regulation.
Still, that will not happen with the current US "leadership" and unfortunately also unlikely with any successor to it.

Even more is that there are several companies competing at this, which will create even more satellites and eventually space junk.
Not to speak about the pollution we will eventually see from rocket fuel (no-one seems to talk about that).

So why do the not limit it to two internationally run systems (to have a bit of competition), and add the obligation to remove an equal amount if space junk for each satellite going up.
They have the money and know how to develop suitable technology fairly quick, if their main business goal would depend on it.
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Exactly. We need a garbage scow to sweep this space junk up and dispose of it before itís too late.

Further, how does the world allow an American company to destroy ground based astronomy?
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Old 04-09-2020, 03:56   #12
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Re: Satellite internet/working aboard

I’ve looked at Hugh’s satellite internet and its expensive and slow. I myself am looking at the various cellular based Systems, from LTE antennae’s and receivers from Pep link and Shakespeare and combined systems with WIFI transiever’s, like the one from Glomex, which I don’t need t pay for a service and only need to wire for power as it has LTE, WiFi receivers and a WIFI hotspot for in boat access. I’m still looking.

Cellular won’t help you off-shore, but ashore the land based cellular infrastructure seems to be almost everywhere. A plus is that you just get the SIM card from a local store wherever you are and it will be faster and less expensive than satellite. If you go satellite, HVH has everything you need, but be prepared to sell your car for the equipment and a child for the service...
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Old 04-09-2020, 04:27   #13
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Re: Satellite internet/working aboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob and sharon View Post
Hello. I'd like to hear from anyone who is working from home aboard their boat while cruising. Specifically I am interested in learning what satellite internet source would be most appropriate for working aboard while cruising remotely. The job requires internet 6hrs a day, 5 days a week, primarily emailing files back and forth.
Since the job provides about $3k a month in income I could not spend thousands on data. Its been about 10 years since I last researched this subject, I'm sure there's some new/more affordable system out there. Anyone?

Thanks!
Bob and Sharon
s/v Deja Vu

Satellite data is very expensive, and slow, but most coastal water sailing allows you to use local cellular at about 10% of the price.
You do not have the bandwidth to send pix and dense information.

That does mean you are unable to visit world beating centres of solitude, but you'd probably have more effective communication when in range. I've used local cellular companies around Europe, most effectively - frequently in preference to "free" wi-fi in marinas and town quays.
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Old 04-09-2020, 04:29   #14
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Re: Satellite internet/working aboard

So a little bit of info on Starlink. it's currently in beta but this is limited up to about 50 odd degrees North and only mainland U.S. - This is due to a requirement for ground stations to pick up the data from the sat and pass it to the internet backbone.

To overcome the need for ground stations ( and give you full coverage over oceans and countries where SpaceX can't put a ground station) they will use sat to sat laser links. So the sat you are connected to will relay to the next and so on until it finds a path to a ground station and the to the net.

Good news is they have been testing the sat to sat links on some sats from the last launch and it appears to be working great. They will need an antenna that can lock onto the sat from a pitching deck but I expect people are already working on that (I've attached photos of the current antenna)

so maybe by mid 2021 we'll have ocean/Caribbean & med with >60 mb which would be a game changer for us yachties.
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Old 04-09-2020, 04:50   #15
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Re: Satellite internet/working aboard

Hey Kevin, thanks for the info and the antenna pic.

What makes you believe that they will cover Caribbean and Med so early?

Africa or India would be a much bigger market than an almost (in sheer user numbers) empty ocean. Just thinking.

If they need 40000 seats for the whole globe, how many do they need initially to actually have it start to work globally?

At the moment they have about 400 working & focusing on one area. I'd suspect they focus on inhabitated areas first and far and few in between to connect those areas.
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Originally Posted by kevinof View Post
So a little bit of info on Starlink. it's currently in beta but this is limited up to about 50 odd degrees North and only mainland U.S. - This is due to a requirement for ground stations to pick up the data from the sat and pass it to the internet backbone.

To overcome the need for ground stations ( and give you full coverage over oceans and countries where SpaceX can't put a ground station) they will use sat to sat laser links. So the sat you are connected to will relay to the next and so on until it finds a path to a ground station and the to the net.

Good news is they have been testing the sat to sat links on some sats from the last launch and it appears to be working great. They will need an antenna that can lock onto the sat from a pitching deck but I expect people are already working on that (I've attached photos of the current antenna)

so maybe by mid 2021 we'll have ocean/Caribbean & med with >60 mb which would be a game changer for us yachties.
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