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Author Topic: Using a satellite phone for remote areas  (Read 478 times)

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Offline pabst79

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Using a satellite phone for remote areas
« on: March 19, 2017, 08:16:32 pm »
I'm looking for information and or advice for those of you that work and travel in remote areas of the World, what works best for a Satellite phone ? We travel to an area in Ontario every year that is completely off the grid, and travel to Manitoba sometimes with the same issue. We rented a sat phone a couple years ago, it cost us 400.00 for the week and its performance was spotty at best. We will be up there again in June for 10 days and I will have work things that will have to be checked daily. Is a satellite phone the only option? Maybe some sort of paid app or program? I remember seeing another guy a few years ago standing on the dock with his laptop and a bluetooth headset on, I never asked what he was doing, didn't want to be nosy.
4th Generation Plumber/Fitter who moonlights in too many hobbies to master any, 2 little girls are a blessing and ensure that a new mill may be a few months...years away.

Offline Gearbox

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Re: Using a satellite phone for remote areas
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2017, 09:02:41 pm »
A Spot Beacon works off satellite you can be tracked or push the button to be rescued . A lot of motorcycle adventure riders use them .
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Offline pabst79

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Re: Using a satellite phone for remote areas
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2017, 08:40:30 pm »
I had never heard of the spot device, pretty neat, if I could receive a message back it would work good. I see they have Sat phones too, but at 410.00 for the phone and a 12 month contract (40.00 per month), it looks like I'll be renting one again.  smiley_headscratch
4th Generation Plumber/Fitter who moonlights in too many hobbies to master any, 2 little girls are a blessing and ensure that a new mill may be a few months...years away.

Offline coxy

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Re: Using a satellite phone for remote areas
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2017, 08:43:53 pm »
don't know how the new ones are but about 10years ago the fish police had them and they where junk

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Using a satellite phone for remote areas
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2017, 10:28:17 pm »
We used them in the late 90's, they were the only option in the remote area we worked. Met our needs reasonably well but the delay took getting used to. Air time was DanG expensive so the crews were asked to use discretion.  Technology has likely improved.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline OntarioAl

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Re: Using a satellite phone for remote areas
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2017, 10:58:03 pm »
I work with Sat phones in North Western Ontario.
They work but be prepared for dropped calls.
getting a satellite lock can sometimes drive you nuts
A helpful hint in acquiring a satellite is try to have as much as possible an unobstructed view of the southern horizon open areas lakes etc.
There is cell coverage but it is limited to the trans Canada highway corridor, establish communities and some of the First nations are  also wired (Bell, Rodgers)
Have a nice vacation
Al 
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Online gspren

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Re: Using a satellite phone for remote areas
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2017, 09:23:33 am »
  My brother recently got a Garmin Inreach device that combines GPS and texting capabilities. From what I remember him telling me he has a few short texts such as "I'm OK" that he can send without going against his count, he is only allowed a few texts before charges start but the basic is only a little over $10 a month. Our hunting camp has no cell coverage so he got this for safety as it will work in an emergency. It has an "SOS" button.
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Online Ianab

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Re: Using a satellite phone for remote areas
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2017, 03:21:48 pm »
Not cheap, but likely the guy the OP saw was using something like this.

http://www.groundcontrol.com/IsatHub.htm

Combination satellite link and wifi access point. Then connect your laptop / tablet etc to the wifi hotspot.
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Offline starmac

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Re: Using a satellite phone for remote areas
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2017, 04:58:15 am »
I have an iridiniam or at least I think that is how it is spelled. I think I paid in the 12 hundred dollar neighborhood and 200 every 6 months for something like 200 minutes. I keep it in the truck at all times and it may not be the best, but has always worked when I needed it. It will drop some calls, and I only turn it on when I really need it, I doubt if I have ever had over 20 minutes on it in a 6 month period, surely not over 60 minutes.
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Offline pabst79

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Re: Using a satellite phone for remote areas
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2017, 11:44:26 am »
I was looking at the irdidium and others, can get one used for 400-600, with a return guarantee. I also found that you can buy cards with a chip, with a certain amount of minutes attached, if the cards don't expire it might be a better option then renting every year. Technology is great, just DanG expensive sometimes...
4th Generation Plumber/Fitter who moonlights in too many hobbies to master any, 2 little girls are a blessing and ensure that a new mill may be a few months...years away.