Sat phone hire

Submitted: Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 15:03
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Hi folks,

Doing the Nullarbor in January west to east (yes, I know it will be hot!) to visit friends and spend some time exploring the east side. I have planned to go via Esperance and Israelite bay taking in the Bilbunya Dunes, Baxter Cliffs, Twilight Cove etc etc and joining up with the Nullarbor via Cocklebiddy. It looks like an amazing trek and looking forward to it. I already have an EPIRB in case of emergency but was considering a Sat phone as well to let people know how we are travelling as we may not make our destination on time due to various possible factors. There is a link on the EO site to a sat phone hire company but you have to contact them for a quote so thought I'd ask here first if anyone can recommend a company and experiences they had with coverage etc. Any advice appreciated.

Craig
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Reply By: Member - Cruiser74 - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 15:17

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 15:17
Also an idea of cost would be great as well!

Cheers
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Reply By: Member - John - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 15:17

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 15:17
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Reply By: The Landy - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 15:23

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 15:23
A Globalstar handset through Pivotel is around $499 these days. Fairly cheap when you put it up against rental fees for a couple of weeks.

Might be worth considering.
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Follow Up By: bks - Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 11:37

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 11:37
I agree. I found the cost of hiring one a coupe of times, was pretty close to having your own.

Because of an incident with my wifes heath, we decided to always try to be in phone contact. As you dont have to go very far away from the capital cities and major towns to have no mobile signal, we decided to buy out right will be a good ongoing investment.

Also when overseas the call costs are similar to the normal mobile gobal roaming charges.
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Reply By: aussiedingo (River Rina) - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 18:24

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 18:24
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Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 15:51

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 15:51
Craig

Most of where you are going is not really remote. You may even have a very good chance of having mobile phone access. And if you don't have access on the Nullabore then there is plenty of traffic to help you and the EPIRB will cover emergencies.

Personally I wouldn't bother. Unless you are a true Borg (look it up) being and can't exist without 100% net access. Chuckle

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Cruiser74 - Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 16:29

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 16:29
G'day Phil,

No, far from a "Borg". One of the reasons we love to get away so much is to enjoy some peace from all that noise!

Thing is we won't be on the actual Nullarbor for a good part of the way as we will be travelling along the coastal route and I know for a fact there is no reception down from Israelite bay and beyond (heading east) because I have been down there before it is extremely remote. We have friends expecting us on a certain date in Victoria and certainly don't want to set off my EPIRB to get them a message that we may be a few days late for whatever reason!

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 16:33

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 16:33
QUOTE: "and certainly don't want to set off my EPIRB to get them a message that we may be a few days late for whatever reason!"

I think you would find yourself in a bit of trouble if you did!


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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 18:12

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 18:12
Do as we do. I tell the friends that I may be late and don't make any plans. If they set up a big dinner expecting you to drive in then you have warned them!!

If we have to be there for a specific reason then we are. And in this case we visit the "risky" places on the way home. That way just the postman will be upset.

Did I detect a "so what if you are out of mobile phone range" attitude. Good on you. That is very refreshing. The world won't end and you may even appreciate the thing not ringing when in an intimate or important conversation with your wife or partner. Don't you just hate that happening. It spoils the whole mood.

I still wouldn't bother getting one. Buy a bottle of Moet with the money you save, and take it with you instead. Chilled, of course and two nice iced glasses.

Phil

PS You ain't kidding Shaker.
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Follow Up By: Member - Cruiser74 - Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 19:12

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 19:12
Thanks Phil, some sound advice there!

One of the very kind EO members has offered to hire his out to me for a steal and hundreds of $$ cheaper than buying one and a fraction of the cost of hiring from a company. Will unlikely need to use it but for the cost it will be nice knowing it's there in the event we need to and it certainly won't be turned on unless we do. Given how much it will cost there will still be enough for a nice bottle of bubbles!

I am a product of the mid 70's and I think my generation is probably one of the last to know what it's like to live without technology with regards to phones and computers. As teenagers we had no mobile phones, facebook etc etc and I am so grateful for that. The most we had was a Commodore 64 with some clunky games that held our interest for short periods of time but the lure of the outdoors always won over in the end. My girlfriend and I love going away to refresh our perspective and escape the "noise" as I like to call it.

It is great being somewhere where there is no reception as you know you don't need to check your phone for emails or texts. When your daily working life revolves around this sort of communication it is the best feeling being free of it for a while. It's one of the main reasons we've invested in our Cruiser in the first place. I know you can always "switch off" when you're at home but it's just not the same as getting out there!

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 19:47

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 19:47
Cruiser

I first got involved with communications networks in early 1969 and worked with some very sophisticated and "cleaver" stuff over the next 47 years. It was such a relief to finish work and leave it all behind me and get back to MY life. Not one as part of the technology society. I think that is why I don't use the mobile phone.

We purchased the phone for emergencies only as I am at risk all the time. It was also to appease the doctors and get their concent to travel remote. Otherwise not only am I putting my life at risk but I am putting a 100% medical cover at risk also. And at my age that would be a vloody big stupid thing to do.

So I understand the need for a satellite phone on an emergency basis. But I wouldn't call being late for dinner an emergency Hi..

Catchya Enjoy and the trip

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Cruiser74 - Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 20:12

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 20:12
Thanks Phil,

Nope certainly won't be using it for that however we do have people relying on us to be in Victoria by a certain date as we will all be travelling on to a different destination together. Our arrival time will affect their work and plans they have made around it so we want to make sure we aren't inconveniencing them if we get way laid for whatever reason.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Friday, Nov 22, 2013 at 16:36

Friday, Nov 22, 2013 at 16:36
"I am a product of the mid 70's and I think my generation is probably one of the last to know what it's like to live without technology with regards to phones and computers."

What about the people born in 60's, 50's, 40's, 30's and 20's who are still alive and kicking, or were you born in 1870's :)

Cheers
Greg

PS: Sat phone is a great idea - very cheap insurance.
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Friday, Nov 22, 2013 at 16:54

Friday, Nov 22, 2013 at 16:54
Excellent insurance mate. Well put.

As a product of the 40's I can easily do without the internet, mobile phones and MacDonalds as well.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - Cruiser74 - Friday, Nov 22, 2013 at 17:45

Friday, Nov 22, 2013 at 17:45
Hi Greg. No haven't forgotten! My point was that i am grateful that my life wasn't dictated by the internet and computers when growing up and that I just scraped into the generations of folks who were as lucky. Read "I think my generation is probably one of the last"!
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Friday, Nov 22, 2013 at 18:03

Friday, Nov 22, 2013 at 18:03
..No worries, I misinterpreted your comment - you were referring to generations after your childhood, I thought you were referring to generations older than you (most people in Australia (i.e. >50%) are probably older than you and also had no computers/mobile phones in childhood).

Anyway.. understand completely...technology is not always a good thing...though Satellite phones are pretty handy (trying to stay OT :))

Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Friday, Nov 22, 2013 at 19:27

Friday, Nov 22, 2013 at 19:27
...by the way if you have on Optus phone you will experience the feeling of isolation fairly often if traveling in regional WA....all the more reason to have a sat phone.

Cheers
Greg
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Reply By: Michael Troopy - Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 08:17

Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 at 08:17
We hired one earlier this year from Norm Fairbairn - normfairbairn@gmail.com

Cost was $3 per day. Arrived by express post, returned by same. Didn't need it but it gave us the security of having one if necessary and the price was very reasonable.

Michael
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Reply By: JAX W - Friday, Nov 22, 2013 at 16:10

Friday, Nov 22, 2013 at 16:10
Hullo Craig

A few months ago my wife and I were stranded 90km east of Border Village on the Nullabor as a result of an incident with our tow vehicle. We were towing our large caravan east at the time. The vehicle could not be repaired on the side of the road!

Having the Sat phone allowed us to organise our recovery. (We have a Telstra Next G mobile with high gain antenna and there was NO RECEPTION.) I made $140+ worth of calls on our Sat Phone to arrange the recovery. We had to wait about 18 hours to be picked and towed (Tow vehicle on truck and van behind) 400km east to Ceduna.

There is absolutely NO WAY such a recovery could be arranged without a Sat phone, so other comments are inappropriate at best!

Reception on the Iridium 9555 on a Telstra plan was pretty ordinary to say the least. Since this "incident" I have invested in a better quality antenna (Beam Antenna RST714) for the Sat phone, which is mounted on the bulbar alongside UHF and Mobile high gain antennae.

We also travel with a PLB and will not travel without adequate communications capability.

Of course, make your own decision.

By the way, the recovery cost was in excess of $3,200 - just for the tow.

Regards, Jack
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