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Thread: Iridium Go

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Discovery Bay, CA
    Posts
    411

    Default Iridium Go

    I decided on an Iridium Go for the 2106 Transpac and just activated my unit for the 2018 race. I decided on the Go primarily for economic reasons. I found a really good deal on ebay for a Go and external antenna so I went for it. Also the unlimited data sub package is attractive but prices have gone up this year. At the same time I transitioned all of my RF cable (VHF and sat) to LMR 400 low loss.

    An outfit called The Antenna Farm located in Montana (I'm supporting your local economy Shad) did all the cable fab and terminations for me.

    What was surprising was how difficult the Go was to set up. Boy what a hassle working through network configs with the phone and tablet and the two Iridium Android Apps. It really seemed like everything was is beta release and had not been properly tested. During the race I also experienced more link dropouts than I was expecting. I could communicate but it was a hassle, often with multiple dropped calls.

    The point of this post was to remark on the sea change in hassle factor between now and the last time I activated the system. I was really surprised when I activated the Go, everything just worked. Now, I know I have not suddenly become a networking genius so Iridium must have significantly improved the firmware and related apps. I did perform a Go firmware update just before activation. If you have a Go, the latest firmware came out in December ,17. I would do the update. It is a pretty painless process.

    With regard to dropouts I took two actions, Prior to the 2016 race I had located the external antenna about six inches from my carbon fiber radar reflector pole. In retrospect I realized I was probably introducing an significant RF shadow from the pole. I also found a poor RF connection at the external antenna connection. This is a connection I had to do myself due to the tight thru deck aperture. So I rebuilt the connector and moved the antenna across to the opposite side of the stern rail and have been getting a nice 5 bar signal ever since.

    PJ mentioned he was looking into using the Go tracking for the race. That would be awesome. Even though I had hassles with calls and date transmissions, I had superb tracking from the Go on the way out and the way back. It t is permanently hooked to power on the boat so no worries about internal battery.
    Last edited by mike cunningham; 05-06-2018 at 07:52 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Redwood City
    Posts
    741

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mike cunningham View Post
    PJ mentioned he was looking into using the Go tracking for the race. That would be awesome. Even though I had hassles with calls and date transmissions, I had superb tracking from the Go on the way out and the way back. It t is permanently hooked to power on the boat so no worries about internal battery.
    There's a possibility the RC will support the GO. We were able to test the GO tracking with Jibeset. More should come from the RC. I'm just a dumb tester who expressed interest in an Expedition normalized racer position file :-)
    P___/)___J
    Solo RTW

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