Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 23

Thread: sat phone options

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    2,718

    Default

    It's still a little soon but it would be interesting to know how LongPac skippers plan to report in.

    I took my SSB last time but the backstay connection blew off and it was too high (and too rough) to attempt a reconnect - first time that's happened and it won't happen again. I was out of VHF range for much of the race and didn't know what was going on until the photo boat told me as I approached the finish line. Kinda cool actually, but I'm weird that way.

    I'm thinking I'll rent a satphone if I go this year - pretty cheap for a week's rental.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Santa Rosa
    Posts
    500

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BobJ View Post
    It's still a little soon but it would be interesting to know how LongPac skippers plan to report in.

    I took my SSB last time but the backstay connection blew off and it was too high (and too rough) to attempt a reconnect - first time that's happened and it won't happen again. I was out of VHF range for much of the race and didn't know what was going on until the photo boat told me as I approached the finish line. Kinda cool actually, but I'm weird that way.

    I'm thinking I'll rent a satphone if I go this year - pretty cheap for a week's rental.
    Bob, A SSB antenna isn't brain surgery or rocket science. It's a piece of wire. We used a 24' piece of scrap yard insulated copper stranded wire for the PacCup. Tied one end to a lightweight halyard and put the other end through a hole in the deck and attached to the AutoTuner. Our "spare" antenna was another roll of stranded wire just in case. We planned to lower the antenna when not using it, but after day #2 just left it up. I think the backstay is one of worst/complicated/expensive antennas possible It's stainless steel. It supports the mast so is important that way. It's near the cockpit, so the insulator needs to be above arm's reach, which means a cable connecting it to the tuner running down and through areas occupied by steering equipment, mainsheet systems, and people (well, one person if it's the SSS TransPac - or whatever we're gonna call the race next time).

    Bore a hole in the cabin roof near the shrouds. Run an insulated 14 gauge wire up about 24' on a light halyard inside the shrouds to a spreader. Put the tuner under the hole and connect the antenna. Connect the SSB-Tuner cable and you should be good to go.

    If you need an emergency antenna, hook a wire to the tuner and haul the other end up somewhere. If your mast is down, just toss the wire over whatever's sticking up. It's insulated. Always take a 100' or so of insulated 14 gauge (12 or 16 will work) wire. You'll have more emergency antennas than you could (almost) possibly need.

    But, and it's BIG but, don't touch it while transmitting. RF burns flesh. If it's you alone and if you're inside the cabin while transmitting, the antenna's outside somewhere so that shouldn't be a problem.

    Pat

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    2,718

    Default

    All true but the insulated backstay is already there and the connections made it through two SHTP's and a trip home. I just did a crappy job of hooking it up for the LongPac.

    Won't happen again.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Santa Rosa
    Posts
    500

    Default

    Bob, I'd still toss a roll of insulated wire in the tool bag just in case. I think I paid about two bucks at the junk yard and it weighs half a pound or less. At least in the PacCup the penalty for not checking in will cost you any chance of placing. Pat

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    155

    Default

    And then there is this:
    http://www.inreachdelorme.com/
    It uses Iridium not Globalstar.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    515

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BobJ View Post
    It's still a little soon but it would be interesting to know how LongPac skippers plan to report in.
    At this point I'm leaning toward satphone rental. But the Inreach dealie looks intriguing.

    Question from a Luddite: with a satphone can I text-message my position report directly to the race committee, or do I have to call the uxorial unit and have her email the RC? I don't think she'd have much enthusiasm for that job.

    My crew works at Google, so I'm kinda depending on him to get us up to speed on all this stuff. Gives me a headache.
    Max

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    155

    Default

    And a competitor to Inreach:
    http://cerberus.briartek.com/
    They have rentals also.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Santa Rosa
    Posts
    500

    Default

    The problem I see with this communication plan is that it's a hodge-podge of methods, most of which depend on a 3rd party to relay information. Sometimes that 3rd party needs to be on a boat (SSB) or a licensed HAM on watch. Sometimes it's a relative/friend who's going to receive a phone call. All will then contact the RC with the info, I guess. I don't see the RC receiving anything directly like they did with the transponders. I know it's only 3 or 4 days (unless someone decides to stay out and wander around testing equipment, etc. - that's happened), but if it's a prediction of next year's SSS PacPac (new name!) I have even more serious doubts.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    2,718

    Default

    Or we could go back to the way it used to be - head out the Gate and call on the VHF when you get close enough to Hanalei. If you're truly in distress you have an EPIRB. No GPS's back then but everyone got there eventually.

    And we're not changing the name - what's up w/that?


    Re the DeLorme unit, the link says it's $300 for the hardware (vs. $100 for SPOT) and the subscription is more expensive too.

    Max, some sent texts w/position info in the 2010 SHTP so it's possible - HECLA sent a single text with several positions while he was com boat early in the race. The main thing is not having the R/C trying to field a bunch of phone calls directly from skippers.
    Last edited by BobJ; 04-17-2013 at 11:20 PM.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    138

    Default

    I was planning on sat phone rental for voice check ins, and hopefully playing with the connection to laptop, sailmail, macEnc, gribs etc.

    But seriously, if the SPOT or DeLorme system satisfies the MEL for 2013 LongPac I need to know!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •