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Thread: Offshore Tracking

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    3,534

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    Quote Originally Posted by Critter View Post
    More mumbo jumbo.
    Absolutely.

    The RYC Foundation has a nice Snipe for sale. It's very tempting.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Alameda CA
    Posts
    463

    Default Hedgehog SatComs

    I have both an Iridium Go! and Garmin InReach - both tie to phone or tablet via individual apps.
    the Go! of course creates a WiFi hub that tethers to the laptop

    I end up using the 2 systems for different things, partly based on the UI, but one could fully replace the other if needed.
    I do like having redundant yet independent hardware interfaces.
    And yeah, I have a plain old sat phone, because.

    This is how I break down the InReach and the Go!-

    InReach - SMS Messages and Tracking -
    • good text plan, tracker set up is very easy, Map Share integrates these so you can see what you said where.
    • easiest interface for these functions, IMO.
    • Thumb typing data entry is ok.


    Go! - email, grib, weather data -
    • WiFi bridge to laptop + iPhone + Android Tablet.
    • mostly for data I don't want to thumb type, or needing a laptop interface.
    • Grib requests via Sail Mail or Predict Wind (depending on what's allowed)
    • Predict Wind works very well with Go! - compact files, good app interface


    FWIW

    DH

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    Palo Alto
    Posts
    52

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    I have a similar setup to DaveH

    1. I have an Inmarsat IsatPhone 2 phone, like this https://www.bluecosmo.com/inmarsat-i...ite-phone.html but the one time I tried to call David H at around noon first day of LongPac in order to test things I could barely hear him. I could never get a good signal. Now I guess that did work as sort of a proof of life, POL. From then on I used the Iridium GO! app for POL via SMS which was not what the SIs required.
    2. The LongPac SIs required sending a custom POL email (which was hardest on the Iridium GO!). I did do this but was never sure they got through because I would receive "bounce" messages back in the Iridium Mail app. This is partly because of the way the Iridium Mail system works and partly because we were using reflectors to email multiple people with one address.
    3. I could send a Quick GPS email (one button) which is super easy on the Iridium GO! but we didn't use that feature. I'd recommend thinking about that for Iridium GO! users.
    4. Easiest on the Iridium GO! is sending an SMS text but you need your iPhone. For me this was the most reliable and fastest way to communicate with David H and the RC. When I really needed to communicate in near real-time then the Iridium GO! App was the only way to do it. At the end of the LongPac race I was so tired and not thinking straight. I could not figure out why I was going backwards and the RC was asking me when I would finish. I really panicked and felt awful for keeping these guys on the sea wall for days on end. If I had not been able to get some encouragement back from RC almost real time via the Iridium GO! App that I needed to just wait (it was still ebbing near Pt Bonita even though flooding elsewhere) I would have given up. VHF did not work even close to the gate. If I had an emergency situation, for sure Iridium GO! App would be my best bet.
    5. My Iridium GO! has an external antenna, I think I need it.
    6. There were only a few occasions on which I got less than 5 bars on the Iridium GO! The Iridium GO! does work like an old-fashioned modem though. The interface between phone, Iridium GO! and the end points can be very slow and quirky (checking modem status, waiting for connections .... can take minutes) and is not "smart". This is especially noticeable when trying to send email via the Iridium Mail App (which is different, separate and much worse than the Iridium GO! App) and when you are using the the PredictWind interface to the Iridium GO!. Sending a custom email (as required for POL) or downloading GRIBs can take a very long time and require monitoring, stopping/starting connections. Again, SMS and the Iridium GO! App just plain worked, and was fast - often just seconds - and never more than a couple minutes.
    7. I only used my Garmin GPSMAP 86sci handheld for friends & family tracking (since my Iridium GO! was being used to direct tracking to SSS RC & Ray). The Garmin worked perfectly for tracking without a hitch. The Iridium GO! tracking worked OK, but with one weird glitch that put me miles from where I actually was. Ray has seen this behavior with Iridium GO! before. I am still trying to figure it out with iridium, but I don't hold out much hope.
    8. My Garmin GPSMAP 86sci handheld was mounted on a RAM mount with charger on my steering pedestal and worked flawlessly. Easy to read screen too.
    9. I think tracking is easier to setup for the Garmin devices because Ray has put so much work into that. I think more people currently use Garmin than Iridium but Ray could tell us that for sure. Next I need to work on sending email and text from the Garmin in case I had to.
    10. PredictWind is pretty good about support. Garmin is non-existent. Iridium, time will tell. Next (I wont hijack this thread) I want to ask about the PredictWind plans folks use. I could never get a straight answer from PredictWind on which resolution models were supprted on which plans offshore and despite paying a fortune I could only get extremely low resolution GFS models.
    Last edited by GBR3068; 08-15-2022 at 12:53 PM.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    561

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    5. My Iridium GO! has an external antenna, I think I need it.
    Mandatory.

    I want to ask about the PredictWind plans folks use. I could never get a straight answer from PredictWind on which resolution models were supprted on which plans offshore and despite paying a fortune I could only get extremely low resolution GFS models.
    Any PAID weather models are against the rules. Only PUBLICLY available FREE models are allowed. PredictWind Offshore Routing is also against the rules as the routing is done onshore, not on the boat. Programs like OpenCPN, Expedition, LuckyGRIB are allowed as the routing function is onboard.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    3,101

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    This from Bob Johnston, returning from the Pac Cup with friends:

    08/13/22 1220PDT, 38 09'N, 130 54'W, 398 nm to the Gate

    Despite fresh GRIBs that show increasing wind on the beam, any breeze remains light and well aft. We've been motoring almost continuously for a couple of days.

    I get their desire for diversification. I also get the connection between weather and the ark. But I think the GRIB experiment hasn't gone well and they should stick to the bagels. Maybe waffles? "You want GRIBs on your grids? Side of grits?" The weather GRIBs must just be for grins. The result is looking grim.

    Returning from the 2006 SHTP I motored the last couple hundred miles, including through a glassed-off Gulf of the Farallones. Yeah, I know what the models show but could this arrival be a repeat of 2006?

    ETA at the Gate is now moving into mid-late afternoon on Monday. Otherwise all is well.

    Bob, Dave and Neil

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    Palo Alto
    Posts
    52

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    Help me out here. I went by the SIs and this: https://youtu.be/Nl8cGyzakTE?list=PL...O2tPdmbq&t=566 (at that time in the video). That was a very useful video, I know I will have to watch it many times to understand it all...

    But when I was staying at the STFYC the night before the LongPac, I couldn't get anything but low resolution GFS from the PredictWind Offshore app and if I was offshore and not racing, like cruising or returning from somewhere like Hawaii, or even in an emergency for example, I think it would be good to have finer resolution models.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    Palo Alto
    Posts
    52

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    Oh and BTW I got that Stan Honey weather video from this page, which continuing with my learning as a newbie, was really helpful to me: https://cruisingclub.org/article/wea...ar-videos-2020

    Maybe I will start a new newbie thread on weather and PredictWind and models ...

  8. #18
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    106

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    I love the InReach Mini... when set on low power... sends locale every 4 hours and is otherwise "off", it will transmit nearly a month. So no matter how I am doing mentally, the race and friends know where I am.

    Sure it can be used for daily proof of life... but for that the Iridium GO+Sailmail is the trick as its both a POL email with fun local color (caught a fish... blew up a chute) and source of GRIBs. And maybe a few phone calls to the wife (Iridium app on my android phone for phone calls).

    And if the InReach or GO go belly up, I have a backup.

    Now if only the GO and its subscription was as cheap as the InReach... sigh

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3,534

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    In a major concession to the realities and capabilities of offshore electronics, the SHTP R/C has reluctantly approved a new weather routing device:

    Name:  Routing.JPG
Views: 63
Size:  2.82 MB

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    3,101

    Default

    Good one, Bob. Include in the SIs?

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