Sat Phone #3

Submitted: Thursday, Jan 29, 2004 at 18:16
ThreadID: 10114 Views:2497 Replies:6 FollowUps:10
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Hi

Anyone have a Erickson R290 connected to Globalstar?

What do I actually need (external aerial etc???) to get it to work properly in the remoter areas of Oz (the non-CDMA areas)? It apparently accesses satellite AND/OR GSM?

Where can I get whatever I need (I'm in Sydney)?

Thanks
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Reply By: Dave from Fraser Coast 4WD Club - Thursday, Jan 29, 2004 at 18:59

Thursday, Jan 29, 2004 at 18:59
we've hired all the types of satphones and were most disappointed with Globalstar. It requires a lock on three sats to place or recieve a call, and therefore needs a huge amount of clear sky.

But if that's what you want and you're visiting deserts or using at sea, then knock yourself out.
AnswerID: 44777

Follow Up By: goldfinder - Thursday, Jan 29, 2004 at 19:16

Thursday, Jan 29, 2004 at 19:16
I use my Telit (globalstar) while in my van as long as I'm near a window it works fine. As someone else mention in the forums Iridium has been, gone and been again while Globalstar is still here. Globalstar was the easy choice when I wanted a portable sat phone as iridium had gone at that time. Will they go again in the future?? Wait and see maybee.
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Follow Up By: John - Thursday, Jan 29, 2004 at 21:17

Thursday, Jan 29, 2004 at 21:17
goldfinder
Iridium No 1 went broke as they could not get enough subscribers to pay for a system that cost 8 Billion (That is BILLION) US Dollars to build.
The original cost to base level subscribers was I believe about $12.00 US dollars per minute and at these rates it was to expensive to most users.

The Iridium company went into receivership and was going to be closed down until a consortium of international businessmen including an Australian who comes from Perth purchased the system from the receiver for a total of $25 Million (That is MILLION) US dollars.

They then wrote a contract with the US Defence Department who have I believe have 20,000 phone handsets in various uses for a minimum monthly spend of $3.5 Million US Dollars.

The US Military actually used the Iridium system extensivley during the recent Iraq war as it was easier to use phones then have various soldiers carry larger bulkier digital radio's.
It was also more reliable and signal strength was always avaliable as opposed to having to locate sat signals with their normal radio's.
It's also digital and is very difficult to eavsdrop.

The Iridium system is as safe and reliable to use as any GSM land based network.
There is no question as to why the system went off the air a few years ago and it has nothing to do with reliability.

Regards
John
These phones were used to call in air strikes amonst other use's
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Follow Up By: Graeme - Friday, Jan 30, 2004 at 18:54

Friday, Jan 30, 2004 at 18:54
Dave from Fraser Coast 4WD Club

I have re-read my question & your answer .... will get back to you when I've lost a few million more brain cells!
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Follow Up By: Dave from Fraser Coast 4WD Club - Friday, Jan 30, 2004 at 19:35

Friday, Jan 30, 2004 at 19:35
Graeme, do you already have the phone or are you in the market??

If you already have the phone, then please disregard my post. If you are in the market then take it as a warning about the major, and well documented, disadvantage of the Globalstar system.

I did not mean to cause offence, i thought that I was offering sage advice.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Graeme - Saturday, Jan 31, 2004 at 18:16

Saturday, Jan 31, 2004 at 18:16
Yes Dave

I bought the phone on eBay; figured at that price it was a buy (PROVIDED it worked when my CDMA phone doesn't) for emergency purposes - I will only tell my family my number.

Sorry for being terse ... long day & too much to drink -
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Reply By: chrisfrd - Thursday, Jan 29, 2004 at 19:09

Thursday, Jan 29, 2004 at 19:09
Yup.. I've had both the 290 and the Telit 550.

With the 550, I have a car kit and a small dome antenna on the roof rack. The reception from anywhere is fantastic, so long as you have enough clearence above the antenna. Normally, it would work even in the brindies, when trees were either side of the truck, limit the visibility of the antenna down to about 15 degrees either side.

The Phones we have at work aren't car kitted (therefore no external antenna) and they perform "acceptably" with few, if any drop outs when on Sat mode.

An E-bay guy is selling R290's for cheap at the mo. Just do a search on "globalstar" and find him. The 290 is a better phone that the Telit (it's also more expensive!) but only the Telit can be car-kitted.

I recomend buying a pelican case and installing the car kit and phone into that, so if you drown the truck, the complete phone is in operable condition, safely sealed from water ingress by the pelican case. You can purchase all of the water proof connectors from AMP for this.

AnswerID: 44780

Reply By: goldfinder - Thursday, Jan 29, 2004 at 19:22

Thursday, Jan 29, 2004 at 19:22
Dropouts are a part of life with most digital communications. How many people have a standard digital mobile and have never had it drop out at some time? Not too many I think!
AnswerID: 44781

Follow Up By: sean - Thursday, Jan 29, 2004 at 22:25

Thursday, Jan 29, 2004 at 22:25
Goldfinder
How about telling us where all the gold is to be found these days so that I can become a drop out chasing that yellow metal.

Sean
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Follow Up By: goldfinder - Friday, Jan 30, 2004 at 11:58

Friday, Jan 30, 2004 at 11:58
Sean I've walked a lot of K's looking for gold. I always find gold on my trips but this ranges from 0.1g upwards. The biggest bit to date was 14g but I've been with others who were luckier than myself. The biggest nugget I've seen dug up was approx 15oz found at Marry River NT. I enjoy using a metal detector and travelling so finding gold is just a bonus. Don't think I'll ever get rich form it though. As they say I think I have gold fever because every time I see the right colour it's like I've found my first nugget all over again.
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Reply By: sean - Thursday, Jan 29, 2004 at 22:01

Thursday, Jan 29, 2004 at 22:01
Graeme

Gloabalsar will never reliabably work properly over teh remote areas of Oz.

Sean
AnswerID: 44807

Follow Up By: Member - Bob - Thursday, Jan 29, 2004 at 22:35

Thursday, Jan 29, 2004 at 22:35
Sean,
I am interested to learn why that might be. It seems to conflict with my experience which has been 100% reliability over a couple of two week periods. Ok you may have more experience but I would be surprised if extrapolating from my limited experience yielded something completely different. Couldit be a bit like the Nissan/Toyota thing?Bob
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Follow Up By: Dave from Fraser Coast 4WD Club - Friday, Jan 30, 2004 at 09:59

Friday, Jan 30, 2004 at 09:59
Bob, It's not a nissan/toyota thing.
Nissan and Toyota each have 4 wheels and a motor in addition to many other similarities.

Globalstar/Iridium are both phones that use satelites, but that is where the similarities end.

Try to find a sat phone hire mob who didn't sell off the Globalstars as soon as Iridium came back. Like I said earlier, I've tried all of the types and Globalstar is in a league all on its own, B grade.
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FollowupID: 306982

Reply By: Peter - Friday, Jan 30, 2004 at 04:31

Friday, Jan 30, 2004 at 04:31
Buy an R290 on ebay or from www.r290.net They come from the UK as they are now no longer made. Globalstar are going to a CDMA/satellite phone in a few months.

Works fine for me and have used it several times under trees.

Peter
AnswerID: 44828

Follow Up By: Graeme - Friday, Jan 30, 2004 at 19:00

Friday, Jan 30, 2004 at 19:00
Hi Peter

Does it work in your car while you are driving along? Do you have any 'aids' for it - an external aerial or anything other than what the phone came with?

I need it to work for me as an emergency phone ... when CDMA & GSM stuff is 'out of range' & I need urgent help.

What can I buy to augment the R290's performance?

thanks
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FollowupID: 307024

Reply By: Peter - Saturday, Jan 31, 2004 at 01:33

Saturday, Jan 31, 2004 at 01:33
Graeme,

There is no external aerial available for the R290 but it does work with the end pointing out of the window. I usually stop and try to stand in the open though. You can get a handsfree set and car charger. Mobile phone accessories in Brisbane have these.

It is fine for those occasions when the GSM/CDMA doesn't work.

Peter
AnswerID: 44918

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