Satelite Air time

Bilgediver

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I have a sat phone and minutes
What is the bast / cheapest system/software to send and recieve emails amd ugrib data?

There are some around that will compress the data for e mails...

I will sniff around however I seem to remember that Sea mail or airmail which is used for Pactor may aso be used on Iridium!!! May be wrong but it ois worth sniffing around and no doubt someone will confirm.

Here is a thread on this matter from across the pond.

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f13/e-mail-via-iridium-phone-w-o-x-gate-15482.html
 
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Bilgediver

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MailASail

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Hi, Ed from MailASail here:

You can trial our service completely free by clicking the Signup link on our website
(direct link: http://www.mailasail.com/signup )

All customers get a free trial and only once you have decided that it's as great as we claim do you basically volunteer to pay. This is intended to show our confidence that you will like our service?!

People will give you various marketing numbers for their service - at the end of the day what matters is your real speeds for your own usage. I prefer not to, but as you probably want some numbers, well roughly I would expect around a 4-5x speedup for most customers.

I find talking about price starts a rather peculiar analysis where folks start counting pennies in a way they don't normally. All similar services are "inexpensive" and so is ours - we charge around £10/month (varies a little depending how long you subscribe for). Given my claim of around a 5x speedup, that means you might break-even if you use your phone for around 2 minutes...

I think far more important is backup and support. I see folks optimise at the level of trying to save £2 on setup costs and then spend £150 in extra airtime while setting up, due to not having good support....

So yes, we charge a touch more than gmail, but when was the last time gmail called you back on your sat phone mid atlantic and spent an hour helping you solve a technical problem? (A call which might cost the caller £3/min over BT)

Although we advertise to sat phone users mainly, our service is basically a "premium" email service and we keep a lot of our customers who then use our service both at home and afloat. We mainly document the stuff for low speed internet use, but our server is a fully loaded service with all the latest toys you expect, such as "push email" for your iphone, fully IMAP access and much more. In fact we use it as our office email server, and we sell service to a number of broadband based businesses.

No, our service did not go down last week like Amazon did. Nor was it down 3 days ago like Yahoo, nor even at the start of March like GMail.... (Search google for outage alerts on your favourite "free" service)

Hope you will give our service a try and be very happy? Note it includes a lot more services than just email? Any questions please drop me a line directly! You can also ask me for a quote on airtime?
 

MailASail

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I think there are some quite polarised views in that post. As with so many "forum posts" it basically averages out to roughly the right answer, whilst at the same time much of the specifics is somewhat "wrong"...


Just to highlight something which doesn't seem to be "common knowledge" (I'm trying to spread the word...): Signal strength on your phone is about *THE* most important thing to address. The phone will give give you full speed with all the signal bars lit up (obvious!). Drop one bar of signal and the speed drops by around 50%. Drop two bars of signal and the speed drops by around 80% (ie to around 1/5th normal). Therefore having a good solid 5 bars signal all the time is the MOST important thing you can address with your installation.

So I see folks trying to optimise installations with marginal and variable signal and sometimes a bunch of voodoo is quoted like how different times of the day or parts of the world or software products or something else, make a difference. In fact fixing the antenna would give perhaps a 5x speedup and eliminate the need for the voodoo...

With a strong signal you will never see call drops or slowdowns. To give some context on that claim, I have one customer who flies a model plane over an Iridium link (quite a serious model plane!!) and it stays up for some 8+ hours at a time without ever dropping the call... Iridium really is that solid *if* you install the equipment correctly...

Kind regards
 

Bilgediver

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Just to highlight something which doesn't seem to be "common knowledge" (I'm trying to spread the word...): Signal strength on your phone is about *THE* most important thing to address. The phone will give give you full speed with all the signal bars lit up (obvious!). Drop one bar of signal and the speed drops by around 50%. Drop two bars of signal and the speed drops by around 80% (ie to around 1/5th normal). Therefore having a good solid 5 bars signal all the time is the MOST important thing you can address with your installation.

You are quite correct here and of course things work better with a good fixed antenna system .... All data systems work best with a good signal!
 

E1_1966

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Cheapest?

The 'cheapest' would be SSB and pactor modem, however for satcoms, you pays your money and takes your choice.
I did a somewhat extended post on my 12 years experience with satcom systems.
http://www.ybw.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2906427#post2906427

if you are looking at one of the new Inmarsat fleetbroadband systems, check how bad the inmarsat overhead is with the provider you will use, which is on top of the actual data passed. This is missed packets, resent packets and general 'behind the scenes' chatter that you dont notice on other systems. It can vary between 40% to 120%, depending on the software/system used and if you have good connections on the system.

cheers
E1
 
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