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Sat Wifi and chatting and GRIBS and more


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Ran into this interesting looking bit of kit.

 

Anyone know anything about it?

 

http://www.predictwind.com/iridium-go/

 

I'm thinking it could replace my Sat Phone and at the same time give me GRIBS, which I wasn't going to bother with but if that gizmo is a goodie them I'll have that option if I want it.

 

The price looks OK as do the running costs and the ability to hook into or out of the system month by month.

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seems a logical step after the sat-sleeve

 

http://www.pivotel.com.au/pivotel_thura ... oCePrw_wcB

 

and better coverage for nz than the thuraya

 

thuraya_global_satellite_coverage.jpg

 

iridium coverage

 

iridium-coverage-map.gif

 

Speeds will be low -- about 20 kilobits per second, according to the company -- but a slow connection might be better than none at all, depending on the location.

 

To tackle the slow data rate, Iridium will offer its own email application that utilizes compression to increase data transmission efficiency. That should enable about 20 text-based emails per minute, the company said.

 

"We're working with app developers to create apps that are maximized to run on our network," said Ashley Eames, a spokeswoman for Iridium.

 

The hotspot will cost about US$800 and data rates will vary depending on the Iridium airtime plan. They will be sold as regional or seasonal packages with prices of around $1 per minute on prepaid plans.

 

Data speeds are expected to get faster in the coming years after Iridium launches a new fleet of satellites.

 

The low data transmission speed on the current network is a result of the satellites having been designed when data and Internet access weren't large priorities. The Iridium Next satellites that will launch from 2015 should provide 1.5M bps data service, according to the company

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Yeap that's my read as well but that's better then paying month after month if the boats sitting in the Waitemata. 8 moths home then activate it for 4 months then turn it off agian. I see talk of pre pay, that could be good if it's like what Inmarsat does. You buy a block of minutes and depending where you buy then they last for up to 720 days, use at your leisure. If this gizmo goes that way it would be damn good I think.

 

I say depending on where you but as from my sussing if that's Aussie you pay a lot per minute for short times frame, the US is cheaper per minute for a long time frame, NZ was cheaper per minute for a intermediate time frame. I thought that was weird but it seems they pray on the locals not looking far afield I suppose.

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We had what might be described as version 1 on Django - sat receiver which got two predictwind routings per day, as well as sending out location ping to predictwind site. Good for family and friends to track progress. Also had send and receive text only email capability, but couldn't send and receive files - eg gribs.

 

So this new one looks like the solution, am ordering one today for new race boat. I like the pricing, compared to Thrane type sat receivers, and as long as we don't try to download a movie, it will be an adequate solution to the sat comms question.

 

Agree that its a bit of a bummer to have to pay $50 (US) every time we reconnect, but I guess in the grand scheme of things and compared to all the other expensive surprises that yachts (esp when racing them) throw up, it is bearable.

 

Will post when fitted, likely to be in a month or so but if the last Predictwind receiver we had on board (which is now at the bottom of the ocean on Django's pushpit) was anything to go by, it should work as advertised. Support from PW team is also good.

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The capabilities look good. However, the proof is in the pudding - IMO the speed is very low for a voice and data system. So low it may not be practical to use. It's about 2x the speed off a pactor 4..., which is data only.

 

+ will it be accepted in lieu of an SSB for Cat one??

I'll be very interested to hear from someone actually using one!

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Don't need a SSB for Cat 1 any more, a SatPh is fine.

 

micro kb's are what Inmarsat runs and that's used a lot for data swapping as it's a lot cheaper than Iridium. So it works even if it is as slow as an unconscious snail. Did you read the bit where they said when the new Satellites are all up and running the system will be near 3G speed?

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Having an Iridium Sat phone that works @ the same speed I can say I don't think this new device will be up-to much. As if you try & use it as a wireless hotspot as advertised for Tablets/phones/pcs's any/all of them will ordinarily try to download up-dates, and instant messaging face-book etc and that will eat the connection. Till the new faster Sats are up I don't think this will be of much use. Having a dedicated PC with all updates & skype etc all turned off, its still slower than watching paint dry. And even then u need a specialised email client (like uu plus that zips up/compresses the emails etc) to receive email at the snails pace that the connections will cope with. So I don't really see a practical use for this new gadget?

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Hi KM

 

its not so much the emails take long (as long as there are no attachments) but if you connect an Iphone, Android phone, or tablet , windows8 pc etc to one of these gadgets it will simply lock up the connection, as those gadgets are built to run on broadband. Untill the speed is good enough its a waste of time. Better off with a second hand phone & data lead connected to something like an old netbook PC. Turn off all windows and automatic up-dates and stuff like skype, bookface etc and you have half a chance of it working. I've set up several sat phone email systems, and know how much effort it takes to make it work reliably. Thats the only way I've got it to work.

 

:-))

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Agreed Redline, totally with you. KM, I know you can use a sat ph instead of SSB for Cat 1, but surely you'd want this device instead, not both? I don't think (but could be wrong) that the Cat 1 inspectors would allow this yet?

 

I had an irridium phone, and a pactor on my ssb. I sold the irriduim sat phone - the pactor was FASTER and way cheaper. But in those days you could not get unlimited bandwidth for $125 per month. Sailmail was, and still is, $250 per year. But the radio and pactor cost more..

 

However, this unit might work, if, as redline says, you block all comms, except your mail client. So a bit of expertise to do that, AND then you'd need their special email client, or perhaps sailmail (free software) to have a minimal bandwidth requirement. I've also set up a few sat phones, and some fancier stuff. I reitierate that I'd like some feedback from genuine users, not sales people, before i'm convinced. Ask to see it working....

 

By the way KM, the pactor could send a 10 page txt in a couple of mins. That's heaps I reckon, but no graphics or attachments (except gribs)...

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My choice would be satph if this widget wasn't up to it. Easy choice for me
Me as well. Satph wins on weight, cost, power consumption and usability. I can't think of one thing a SSB could do better bar if your sinking and shout down a SSB more people will hear it than if you use a Satph.
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