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Old 01-31-2011, 11:39 AM   #41
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Re: Satellite phones

Yep, but 20 bucks a month and free calls??? Did I read that right? It just don't seem right unless you got to buy a phone EVERY year OR something in there like free calls up to a minute. Seems to good to be true. You got something else going for you Scatter 20 bucks a month and unlimited calls is cheaper than most every cell plan out there! If the system works, I'll switch over.
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Old 01-31-2011, 01:54 PM   #42
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Re: Satellite phones

Yes, it's $20/mo with unlimited U.S. calls. I didn't ask for Baja, but last year when I made a call from there it was around $2/min. The only problem with this Globalstar plan is the satellite coverage. You can look on here:

http://calltimes.globalstar.com/

to find out when a satellite will be over any specific location. If you can live with the dead times, it's a great deal.

Yeah Herb, I agree. I have a cell phone, HAM radio and bug out bag too. When I started this Sat phone with Globalstar it was $10/mo with unlimited calls. I thot it was a good deal. At $20/mo still not bad. Kind of fun calling someone from the middle of nowhere and asking them how's it going at the office. I'm now getting it for $0/mo, but at $1.49/min. My plan is to have a non life threatening problem (if I have to have one at all) and I can wait a bit for the phone to connect. If it gets to the point where it costs too much for the Sat phone, you'll find mine listed in the classifieds section.
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Old 01-31-2011, 02:49 PM   #43
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Re: Satellite phones

We have a Global Star phone in our dept. and it just don't get it...W/O full quick coverage nobody even wants to use it. But if they get more satellites up and the service is improved hopefully they won't raise the rates and I'll look closely at it. My sat phone has saved my butt 4 times and each time it involved either a tow or information needed to get me out of a jam. Unfortunately I do not have people watching for E-mails from a spot device if that's how they work. I'll be looking forward to see how much their system improves.
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:31 PM   #44
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Re: Satellite phones

Too bad there's not a Pay-only-when-used plan with GlobalStar. I've been offered a used GlobalStar 1600, battery and wall charger in a Pelican case for just over $80 plus shipping. Hate to pass up a good deal, but I just can't see having it on hand while paying $30/month.


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Old 02-01-2011, 10:46 AM   #45
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Re: Satellite phones

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncoHauler
Too bad there's not a Pay-only-when-used plan with GlobalStar. I've been offered a used GlobalStar 1600, battery and wall charger in a Pelican case for just over $80 plus shipping. Hate to pass up a good deal, but I just can't see having it on hand while paying $30/month.


Herb
Really? I'm on the Pay-only-when-used plan with GlobalStar.. maybe you get to do it only after you pay for it for a year at $50.00 per month after a year, was it not an option?

It's been $0 per month for 2+ years now. I only use it when I can't get cell service to call in my coordinates to Wifey.

I have the 1600, pelican case and 12v charger.
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:21 PM   #46
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Re: Satellite phones

I ended up renting an Iridium phone from mobal.com recently for a 2-week trip.

Despite what the website says, incoming calls are NOT really free. Otherwise, I had a good experience.

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Old 06-22-2011, 11:30 PM   #47
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Re: Satellite phones

Probably depends on the plan you choose. Mine is 34.00 a month and I pay .99 cents per min. It's very costly but the times I've needed it I was glad I had it.
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Old 06-23-2011, 12:11 AM   #48
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Re: Satellite phones

I have an Iridium and a plan similar to daveb's. I've used it for a few breakdowns, a bunch medical consults, and a couple helicopter evacs...and will never leave home without it.
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Old 06-30-2011, 03:31 PM   #49
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Re: SPOT comments

Quote:
Originally Posted by NRL
Quote:
Originally Posted by bitburger
Edie,

I am a SPOT fan, I just think it has limitations when compared to a Sat phone or an EPIRB.

For example, with it, you can't differentiate between
I'm out of gas and will need someone to hump some gas 25 miles down a dirt road requiring 4x4 clearance to get out of here.
or
I'm having heart trouble and think my wife may have poisoned me with bad shellfish. I need an helicopter immediately.

Anything short of an emergency is left to a canned help message to be interpreted by your home base team.

I have also had some issues with SPOT messages getting through. Other reviews have seen similar results. For example, you push the OK button. It will give 3 tries, 5 minutes apart but there is no confirmation capability to say that it was successful so you are left wondering if it did or not. In my case most did but many (25%?) didn't.

My wife loves it but that is because she wants to know generally where I am. I commit to her to send at least 1 ok message per day. I try 3 or 4 times and assume that at least 1 will make it. I also have the potential to use it as a 911 (medevac me out!) system but personally I don't think I would bank my life on it.

I also can't figure out a use for the help button because I expect that I would be quite a ways away from my friends if I had a problem and I expect few would be willing to drive 1000 miles to help me fix a mechanical issue:-).
If I was using it in the local mountains, a few hours from friends and family, I might have a different view.

Best wishes on any choice you make.
Spot Update:
DeLoreme and SPOT unveils a First Handheld GPS with Satellite Communicator

https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http ... .pdf&pli=1

The revolutionary SPOT Satellite Communicator, designed exclusively for the new PN-60w, merges SPOT satellite message functionality and DeLorme state-of-the-art GPS mapping via wireless. Together, this product pairing offers broader messaging capabilities. Users can send freeform text messages using the PN-60w’s keyboard to select individuals or groups from the field even from remote areas world-wide.
Established SPOT technology allows real-time location updates and the ability to summon help in an emergency. Custom messages and waypoints can easily be shared with social networking sites like SPOTadventures.com, Geo-caching.com, Twitter, and Facebook. As an emergency back-up, the SPOT Satellite Communicator has stand-alone capability to send location-based SOS notification to an emergency response center.
“Today’s announcement combines the latest in sophisticated handheld GPS with SPOT satellite communications providing one-of-a-kind, custom messaging and sharing of geo-location information with others in real-time,” said Peter Dalton, President of Spot LLC and CEO of Globalstar Inc. “We are excited to partner with DeLorme in bringing to market a new wireless GPS solution to consumers.”
“For the first time, people will be able to type custom text messages using the Earthmate PN-60w internal keyboard and then transmit wirelessly to the unique DeLorme SPOT Communicator for sending satellite messages around the globe,” said Caleb Mason, DeLorme Vice President.
Users of the PN-60w can easily manage their profile online including custom maps and message history utilizing a fully integrated user interface designed by SPOT. Information can be kept fully private or shared with family and friends using custom tools like SPOT Shared Pages and SPOTadventures.com.
As a stand-alone GPS, the Earthmate PN-60w delivers premium navigation features including a 32-channel GPS chipset, blazing-fast dual-core processor, 3-axis electronic compass, sensitive barometric altimeter, elevation profiles, and GPX file transfers.
At CES, DeLorme also will be announcing new worldwide map data for the PN-60w, including high-resolution color aerial imagery.
SPOT also will be showcasing its SPOT Satellite Messenger product family and satellite-based services at CES including the award-winning SPOT Personal Tracker™ and the new SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger™. Learn about new SPOT Assist services, including SPOT Assist Roadside, providing the only satellite-based roadside assistance and SPOT Assist Maritime providing direct access to BoatU.S. Towing services with the push of a button.

Will be released this Spring June 10th
Delorme has another product planned that works with Iridium, works with SMS and your smartphone; two way satellite messenger.

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/06/ ... satellite/
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:24 AM   #50
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Re: Satellite phones

We use the SPOT for our travels and also for safety check-ins at work and I'm a big fan. My family follows our travels, we send an ok message at each campsite. They all think it's fun. We have a protocol for "need help" messages. One message means wait for a second message within an hour. These are for care problems, etc. Then we would send an "I'm ok" message or a second need help message. If we were to have a medical emergency we send the "911" message. This goes directly to the 24 hour Spot emergency center and they send rescue and notify our other contacts. I purchase the insurance with my annual subscription to cover the cost of rescue (total about $160 per year). It's only about $20 extra. So far all of our messages have been received. I bought a SPOT for our field crews doing owl and/or river surveys in the boonies. I've been surprised how well they work in canyons and draws with large trees and dense canopies. Most of the time the messages go out quickly. The Spot website explains the satellites, procedures and costs. They also now offer a texting unit that allows written messages. I haven't looked into that too carefully. I may still get a sat phone, but am waiting for Globalstar (we use these at work too) to complete their replacement satellite process. It's getting better with each deployment. They post a schedule by location (utms or lat/lon) for the times when service will be available. Most delays are 5 to 20 minutes. Occasionally, the delay to connect is an hour. Globalstar is about half the price of Iridium and they are offering specials on phones and service right now. Hope this helps.
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