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4/28/2021 10:19 am  #1

satellite phone

I have to rent and set up a satellite phone for some upcoming races.
Any suggestions on the phone that will play nicely with expedition?

Last edited by sjones23 (5/06/2021 4:30 am)


4/29/2021 9:55 pm  #2

Re: satellite phone

Am presuming you are looking at an iridium option? Anything that you can supply an internet connection to your PC with will work (so more about playing nicely with your PC, not Expedition), however be aware that iridium is painfully slow at max 2.4 kbps or 0.000125 MBps so you will not be able to download anything too large, even if you have a good connection. 

:::Campbell Field::::::www.fieldyachting.com:::

4/30/2021 4:25 am  #3

Re: satellite phone

What is faster? Is the Iridium Go any faster or is it the same?


4/30/2021 4:26 am  #4

Re: satellite phone

If you're looking for a less robust system, that only allows emailed grib and some other files, you can look into the Iridium GO with the Airmail App on the PC.  I'm on a boat to Bermuda this year with that setup but because of trees in my yard can't really wring it out at home. Seems promising though for those looking for a less expensive solution than a nice Fleet Broadband setup.


4/30/2021 4:47 am  #5

Re: satellite phone

SmokumTOO wrote:

What is faster? Is the Iridium Go any faster or is it the same?


:::Campbell Field::::::www.fieldyachting.com:::

4/30/2021 7:50 am  #6

Re: satellite phone

I think Campbell is right, they are both slow compared to what we expect at home these days.
Th big difference is that the Iridium GO can only do email sourced gribs etc NOT a true 'internet' source.

You can see what that's like at home by searching "email sourced weather gribs", there are several. Most popular in the US is 'Saildocs'.  Once you see how the email sourced grib work you can try it for other items like Yellowbrick

This field is changing quickly so you may find it will work for you as well.  There are a couple new features in Exp that facilitate working with these email servers look for tic boxes for Saildocs or Airmail on the WXData>Saildocs and Sai>l YB Tracking buttons

Hope this helps,


5/05/2021 3:34 am  #7

Re: satellite phone

We have used an iridium go succesfully  - but from memory we copied the gribs and then loaded them into expedition - you could not just use the get weather button!  But maybe my nice shiny new version of expedition will do that? 


5/05/2021 5:18 am  #8

Re: satellite phone

The Go and the handset have the same native data speed - 2.4kb/sec

you will see an "effective" rate of 9.6kb/sec advertised for both - with compression...

The fact is that most of what you will download is already compressed - gribs are already compressed, and do not benefit from further compression.

I think email is the best way to get files over both devices.

in addition to providing grib files by return email, saildocs will also send any of the noaa weatherfax images. if you get them from saildocs, they are about half the size they are on the noaa website - typically less than 20kb

get one of the email services that restarts interrupted downloads

a good external antenna helps a lot for both devices - these are sold as a "fixed mast antenna".., or just "mast antenna", but they do not generally go on the mast. they usually go on the aft rail. I think the term "mast" here refers to the shape of the antenna...


5/05/2021 12:18 pm  #9

Re: satellite phone

Yes, Iridium is 2400 baud. What will affect effective data rate is the quality of the connection due to data loss, retries etc. As US7070 says, a good external antenna is a requirement.

I do have an Iridium Go solution in Exp, but it isn't certified so can't be offered. Part of the reason is I also think it is best to pass such long processes out to (eg) Sailmail.

Grib files are normally compressed internally. Most grib services then compress the file with bzip2, which saves about another 5%. The Great Circle and Expedition grib servers also offer the option to use JPEG compression as the grib compression type, which will save another 5-10%. The Jpeg files are slower to read though, so may only be  useful option for satellite connections.


6/07/2021 2:02 am  #10

Re: satellite phone

Just used Expedition / IridiumGo! / SailDocs& AirMail / Predictwind combo to cross the atlantic.

It doesn't give you everything you can get with a dedicated FleetOne on OPB, but it worked well and was very reliable.

What pulled it all together was AirMail from SailMail/SailDocs. Then just save the emailed files to the Exp Grib folder. Done.

Not as seamless, but if budget is an issue it is the ticket. But I'm back on the board searching for a more integrated solution.

If budget isn't a major factor just go for rhe FleetOne, you will be happier.


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