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Old 16 September 2004, 02:02   #21
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Interesting price. Even in Zone 5 I wouldn't mind paying 1.77/minute to say "Hellllllllllllllllllp the boat as sunk"

Another advantage of the phone is the ability to tell rescue services, numbers of people on board, medical problems and whether your in a life raft, floating etc etc, is not possible with an EPIRB. Also with the GPS location transmission it looks like a winner.

Also the ability to phone the misses to say "We'll be home at 7.30pm and make sure the wine has breathed and the dinner is on the table" when your half way across the channel.

But knowing me, the battery would be flat and the line engaged!!

Cheers

Mark
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Old 16 September 2004, 02:30   #22
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Out of interest has anyone tested or have any idea how far a mobile phone will work over open water ?

I guess it's more than on land as you have nothing to get in the way, but I have no idea how far it willl work from a single transmitter.
I did the Pool Cherbourg ferry a few years ago and had a signal all the way accross although it did become French at some point, where I'm not sure.

I would think it's also height related like the VHF.
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Old 16 September 2004, 02:34   #23
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Out of interest has anyone tested or have any idea how far a mobile phone will work over open water ?

I guess it's more than on land as you have nothing to get in the way, but I have no idea how far it willl work from a single transmitter.
Yes! post no. 14 on this thread and I don't think it's height related as the Alderney transmitter is on the top of the island.
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Old 16 September 2004, 02:56   #24
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[QUOTE=codprawn] 500 for a satphone and calls not as bad as I first thought - would have to have a proper need for one though - an epirb would be a better bet!

An EPIRB does not give any details of the trouble you are in where as you can have a direct conversation with your rescuers and discuss rescue options with a sat phone. Of course, if you are only crossing the English channel and you have an half decent tri band GMS phone you will only be out of telephone signal for about 10 miles so you do not need either! Richard B. If your mobile phone only works 4 miles out of Alderney chuck it overboard and buy a decent one! I do this trip every other week and my Nokia works nearly all the way over from Weymouth to Guernsey. Alan P
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Old 16 September 2004, 03:02   #25
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What network are you on Alan? I'm on Orange which I guess will be the poorest performer at sea!
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Old 16 September 2004, 03:12   #26
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Surely GMDSS gives a much easier distress call without the risks of not being heard or the added distraction of having to deal with the situation at hand, with the nature of the distress and position contained within the message and the ID known to anyone with access to details and an acknowlegment function to reassure anyone sending the call will ease matters in a crisis surely. The voluntary registration also would aid the conveyance of information without any drawbacks.

Plenty of flares seem a cheap backup option, mobiles, I imagine, will also be on board almost all the time and could be tried by another crew member whilst other methods are being attempted by the skipper. The satphone option seems to be a good standby as it costs about the same as an EPIRB and could, as Alan P says, allow better communication of the nature of the problem. The call costs are not something that would ever concern anyone in distress, I am positive. They are normally done on a prepaid option so will only be used up if needed.

It does seem as though VHF would have a wide catchment area in popular cruising grounds as the line of sight is to the next VHF and not as with mobiles to the land based station.
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Old 16 September 2004, 07:06   #27
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What network are you on Alan? I'm on Orange which I guess will be the poorest performer at sea!
Orange is useless - it is what I use as we have done loads of work for them - they are getting worse as the new French parent company are milking their profits to keep themselves afloat!

Vodafone did own them for a while when they bought out Mannesman but the monopolies and mergers lot made them sell Orange off!
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Old 16 September 2004, 07:09   #28
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[QUOTE=Alan Priddy]
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Originally Posted by codprawn
500 for a satphone and calls not as bad as I first thought - would have to have a proper need for one though - an epirb would be a better bet!

An EPIRB does not give any details of the trouble you are in where as you can have a direct conversation with your rescuers and discuss rescue options with a sat phone. Of course, if you are only crossing the English channel and you have an half decent tri band GMS phone you will only be out of telephone signal for about 10 miles so you do not need either! Richard B. If your mobile phone only works 4 miles out of Alderney chuck it overboard and buy a decent one! I do this trip every other week and my Nokia works nearly all the way over from Weymouth to Guernsey. Alan P
The more I think about it the more I am starting to like the satphone option - I am about to go to Morocco and the desert and it would be very usefull.

One question though Alan - do they always have lock or do you have to wait to aquire a signal?
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Old 16 September 2004, 09:09   #29
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Thought I'd stick my oar in at this point as I haven't posted for ages.
I've been using my Iridium Satellite phone now for 4 years all around the world. You can pick them up on ebay pretty cheap. My deal is around 15 a month and us$ 1.50 a minute. At this rate it's less than 1 a minute and in a lot of places is cheaper than using a UK mobile abroad. Coverage is global and I've used out in Antarctica, Mid Atlantic, 18000ft up in the Andes and in the middle of the Gobi desert. It's happier out at sea or in the desert where it gets better signal strength. Mine cost 300 fully reconditioned from Marconi complete with full accessories kit but I think they've stopped doing that deal now.
Other options are INMARSAT phones which are about the size of a laptop. I've got an Inmarsat as well which I bought when Iridium were going through financial troubles. It has the advantage that there is no subscription fee but the calls are more expensive at around 2.50 / 3 a minute. These sets can be had for a few hundred quid 2nd hand but are a bit bulkier to carry around.
Taking into account all the previous posts, I think the best idea is a combination of VHF / EPIRB / Cell or Satellite phone, or as much as you can get in the grab bag.
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Old 16 September 2004, 10:29   #30
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I've been using my Iridium Satellite phone now for 4 years all around the world.

Other options are INMARSAT phones which are about the size of a laptop.
Do they need to be aimed at the satellite to work or is it just like a large mobile. When I've seen them on the TV they look like small dishes that need to be aligned with the satellite to work.

If this is the case then they are not going to be much use in a Mayday situation.
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