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Thread: Sat phone & SSB

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Default Sat phone & SSB

    I understand that SSB has been an integral part of the SHTP in the past. If the majority of the boats (60%+) will have SSB, I probably will install one as well. On the other hand if more boats are moving to Sat phones, it would be interesting to discuss a daily call in to a conference number where there can be a roll call and share information.

    To me adding SSB is bringing in another hobby into the race. It's not straight forward, it's expensive and complex to have it installed correctly.

    It would be interesting to learn what folks want to do for this race.

    Dirk "TIJD" - First 30JK

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    I will have both on board. The phone gets expensive for fetching weather, so it is a backup or for serious emergencies. The phone minutes expire, so you can end up burning them in the end.

    The checkin becomes a big highlight of the day especially on the way back where things are slower and weather more variable.

    A Ham license can be useful to get more/free airtime and for talking to the Pacific Seafarers Net. There are some pretty good cram and test sessions put on in San Francisco. You can get an Expert rating in a weekend.

    Installation is not really that complicated, though there are a fair number of wires running hither and fro.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakmang View Post
    I will have both on board. The phone gets expensive for fetching weather, so it is a backup or for serious emergencies. The phone minutes expire, so you can end up burning them in the end.

    The checkin becomes a big highlight of the day especially on the way back where things are slower and weather more variable.

    A Ham license can be useful to get more/free airtime and for talking to the Pacific Seafarers Net. There are some pretty good cram and test sessions put on in San Francisco. You can get an Expert rating in a weekend.

    Installation is not really that complicated, though there are a fair number of wires running hither and fro.
    Thanks for your input. If one does not invest in SSB, a monthly Sat phone cost for one month is not expensive. $199 for 250 minutes talk and "unlimited" data.
    I understand that if you already have SSB installed, satellite communication becomes an extra cost.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    That sounds like a better deal than I was able to find a couple years ago. Perhaps you could PM me the company.

    Thanks,
    -jak

  5. #5
    pogen's Avatar
    pogen is offline Sailing canoe "Kūʻaupaʻa"
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    Default

    I've rented a satphone twice (PacCup, LongPac) and found my usage of minutes was a lot less than I thought it would be. Daily usage was getting some GRIBS and text weather every day, maybe a few text emails every day, and sending text and a few photos (already converted to smaller size) to my blog, such as it was. Almost no voice calls though.

    Overall, MUCH cheaper than a new SSB setup, especially if you go the full-boat with pactor modem, etc. to get weather fax and GRIBs.

    Also, if you have to ditch, you can take the satphone with you onto the life raft and call the USCG to tell them what happened. This is what XL did when they were sunk by a whale on the return delivery for PacCup 2006.

    As an exercise, take the installation cost of a new SSB (console, antenna tuner, antenna, modem) and divide by the number of minutes you will be actually talking on a 15 day race.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    You will enjoy the race much more if you can participate in the SSB chat sessions after the twice daily check-ins. I'\'m sure a lot of others will agree.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harrier View Post
    You will enjoy the race much more if you can participate in the SSB chat sessions after the twice daily check-ins. I'\'m sure a lot of others will agree.
    I agree, the SSB check ins during the SHTP are fun. And its nice to be able to be on the pacific seafarers net (14.300 HAM) on the way home.

  8. #8
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    Jun 2010
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    Fremont, CA
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    I believe, per RRC & Comm Plan, neither SSB or sat phone is required. Current plan for me is Delorme Inreach with a texting plan. Still thinking about sat phone.

    One thing I am curious about is the inreach's capacity to do group text when paired w iPhone, iPad, or android device. It seems that if group texting is effective, this could replace some of the functionality of the SSB.

    There is considerable evidence of enthusiasm online among hunters, back country adventurers, and remote expedition kayakers for the inreach.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2010
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    Subject: Gribs My local computer geek converted my laptop to Windows 7 from Vista. In so doing, my Xaxero program for receiving weatherfax was erased. Not sure what the future holds for what has been my standby for offshore weather. Is there a step-by-step instruction available for obtaining grib files on my laptop via my sat fone? This was once demonstrated to be...but once was not enough! Any advice would be appreciated,

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Albany, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harrier View Post
    Subject: Gribs My local computer geek converted my laptop to Windows 7 from Vista. In so doing, my Xaxero program for receiving weatherfax was erased. Not sure what the future holds for what has been my standby for offshore weather. Is there a step-by-step instruction available for obtaining grib files on my laptop via my sat fone? This was once demonstrated to be...but once was not enough! Any advice would be appreciated,
    Does it make sense to setup a few (informal) skippers meetings, where we discuss communications, grib file downloads, and other stuff. I'm happy to host at my house and setup video conference call for remote folks.

    Any interest?

    Dirk "TIJD" First 30JK

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