Iridium Go!

Batteries, Generators, Solar, Wind and Electronics

Iridium Go!

Postby GeoffSchultz » Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:27 pm

New boat toys arrived today...In this case it's an Iridium Go! which provides a satellite based WiFi hotspot with very slow Internet connectivity using specialized Android/IOS applications, phone and position tracking. The device on the left is the actual device and is about the size of a pack of cigarettes. The device on the right is an external antenna which will allow the electronics to stay safe and dry below.

For $125/mo I get unlimited data (at about 1-2 Kbps), 150 minutes of satellite calling time and unlimited SMS. This will replace my satellite phone (where minutes run from $1.75 to $2.40 based upon the plan), my Spot tracker (plan runs $150/yr) and my SailMail high frequency e-mail system (which runs $275/yr). Lets hope that it works as expected!

2016-02-26 13.58.28.jpg
2016-02-26 13.58.28.jpg (70.16 KiB) Viewed 2263 times
BlueJacket
1997 Freedom 40/40
http://www.GeoffSchultz.org
User avatar
GeoffSchultz
 
Posts: 1024
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:39 am
Location: BlueJacket: Guatemala

Re: Iridium Go!

Postby Kimber » Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:51 pm

Looking forward to your review of it. I'm heading across that Atlantic from the BVI to Europe in May/June and have been looking very hard at the Iridium Go. I crossed the Pacific a couple of years ago on a boat that used the Delorme Inreach and it worked well enough.
1985 F39 Express
Kimber
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:18 am
Location: St Thomas USVI

Re: Iridium Go!

Postby jdpandlp » Sun Feb 28, 2016 7:30 am

I have also been looking at the Go to be used in conjunction with weather routing company PredictWind? I will also be interested in how it works for you.
jdpandlp
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:59 am

Re: Iridium Go!

Postby daletournier » Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:42 am

Ive only just been looking at these. Im seriously over the sat phone. My needs are weather and texts. My iridium sim card is ridiculously expensive , and on the last trip couldn't text? Also using it combined with sailmail and its servers was problematic. I dont expect to surf the net with the Go but combined with the Predict a wind option it seems ideal. Interested in your future review. Im most likely crossing to the med from Asia next year thus my interest in replacing 9505 iridium with it.
Cheers Dale.
Freeform.
daletournier
 
Posts: 181
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:25 pm

Re: Iridium Go!

Postby GeoffSchultz » Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:27 pm

The Iridium Go! plans are billed monthly, from the 1st of the month, so I delayed turning it up until today. There was no reason to pay $125 for a couple of days of service.

Anyhow, I took it to the charity that we run which is on top of a hill with clear views of the sky and fired it up. Right away I was able to connect with the apps that I've been configuring over a wireless connection. Most of the time they operated just as expected. The mail package (OneMail) that we'll use pulls down your gmail headers and allows you to select which email bodies your want to download. It tells you how large the original is, but the system compresses everything, so data transfers are *much* smaller than the original. As a result mail downloads fairly quickly.

Texting is problematic. You can send texts to people, but the number that they come from is international. Some cell plans charge for international texts, others don't. Verizon doesn't. However, you can send an e-mail to <iridium_phone_number>@msg.iridium.com for free to send a text.

I was quite amazed to see that when I raised the antenna in our kitchen with only a small view of the sky through trees that it had 1+ bars of signal. When I moved it to the picture window, I had up to 5 bars of signal! It varied as the satellite moved. I was amazed as they tell you that you need a full, clear view of the sky.

Anyhow, so far it's working as expected.
BlueJacket
1997 Freedom 40/40
http://www.GeoffSchultz.org
User avatar
GeoffSchultz
 
Posts: 1024
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:39 am
Location: BlueJacket: Guatemala

Re: Iridium Go!

Postby GeoffSchultz » Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:31 pm

Another thing that I've noted is that the automatic position reports that it generates don't include a time stamp. If you send a "Quick GPS" position update, the message includes a time stamp. Why they don't include this in the other is beyond me, as you have no idea how long the SMS message has been delayed.
BlueJacket
1997 Freedom 40/40
http://www.GeoffSchultz.org
User avatar
GeoffSchultz
 
Posts: 1024
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:39 am
Location: BlueJacket: Guatemala

Re: Iridium Go!

Postby GeoffSchultz » Fri Mar 04, 2016 6:33 am

I use Spotwall to map my sailing trips. In the past I had a Spot tracking device, but that service runs $150/year & the Iridium Go provides similar tracking capabilities. Unfortunately Spotwalla doesn't process messages from the Go as of yet. I've provided them with a sample message and they're supposedly working on it. However, they do provide a variety of interfaces which allow position updates to be provided to them.

Yesterday I wrote code which run on my web server which processes the messages from the Iridium Go and updates the my position on Spotwalla and on my own web site. It even can tell when we're at anchor and doesn't update the position when we're floating around an anchor. Anyhow, we're now tracking using the Go!

P.S. Here's a link to my Spotwalla tracks from 2014 (I didn't use in 2015 as we weren't going far) https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=89b552dbeeb998543
BlueJacket
1997 Freedom 40/40
http://www.GeoffSchultz.org
User avatar
GeoffSchultz
 
Posts: 1024
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:39 am
Location: BlueJacket: Guatemala


Return to Electrical and Electronics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron