sat phone for Simpson crossing in october

Hi all,
We are going across from mt dare to birdsville in the October school hols.

I am thinking of hiring a sat phone at mt dare, just wondering is it needed at that time of the year .

How much traffic might there be as its school hols.

we will be travelling as light as possible in a 2010 prado diesel. Just the usual spares, tools swags camping gear water and 190lts fuel etc.
Thanks
mike
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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Aug 10, 2014 at 11:15

Sunday, Aug 10, 2014 at 11:15
Hi Mike,

Depends on seasonal changes of course. but the Simpson can go from pretty warm to damned hot in October. As a consequence, there are fewer travellers at that time. The heat can put a strain on the vehicle as well as the occupants so ensure that the vehicle cooling system is good and carry adequate water.

I encounter few other travellers whilst crossing in late October so there is less support but at school hols may be different. However with correct preparation you are not at great risk so the question of communication depends on your preparedness and physical condition. A satphone may not be essential but it can provide peace of mind. You do need to know who to call though. They are not prohibitively expensive to hire from Mt Dare with return at Birdsville.

We have our own satphone so the question does not arise.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: cruza25 - Sunday, Aug 10, 2014 at 16:53

Sunday, Aug 10, 2014 at 16:53
Thanks for the reply Allan,
For peace of mind its probably worth it. I have emailed mt dare to book one. $140 for 4 days is quite reasonable. I will take a list of numbers just in case.
Hopefully just insurance and we wont need it.
Counting down the days.
Thanks again ,
mike
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Follow Up By: Ozrover - Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 08:17

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 08:17
You get a list of relevant numbers when you pick up the sat phone.

Make sure that you actually turn it on & test it before you leave Mt Dare.
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Follow Up By: cruza25 - Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 09:24

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 09:24
Thanks Jeff. Will make sure we can use it and its works/charges... Mike
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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Aug 10, 2014 at 17:31

Sunday, Aug 10, 2014 at 17:31
Mike, I think the relevant numbers will be supplied with the hired phone but anyway, here are some numbers that relate to that area.


Birdsville Police 07 4656 3220
Maree Police 08 8675 8346
Bedourie Police 07 4746 1220
Thargomindah Police 07 4655 3200
Windorah Police 07 4656 3133
Boulia Police 07 4746 3120
Birdsville Shell Auto Service 07 4656 3226
Mt Dare Station 08 8670 7835
RFDS Alice Springs 08 8952 1033
RFDS Broken Hill 08 8080 1777
RFDS Port Augusta 08 8642 5555



Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: toffytrailertrash - Sunday, Aug 10, 2014 at 17:42

Sunday, Aug 10, 2014 at 17:42
Don't forget. +61 prefix first

Cheers
Merv
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Follow Up By: Jackolux - Sunday, Aug 10, 2014 at 18:18

Sunday, Aug 10, 2014 at 18:18
I don't think you need the +61 with the Hire Phones from Mt Dare , I do with my Sat phone

Jacko
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Sunday, Aug 10, 2014 at 18:19

Sunday, Aug 10, 2014 at 18:19
No. Do not dial prefixes with the Mt Dare hired satphone.
They are Iridium 9555/Pivotel and do not require international prefix.

The following is from the Mt Dare website.........

"All of our hire Sat-Phones are the new handheld Iridium 9555 phones by pivotel and are packed in a "Pelican case" with a 12 volt charger and instructions. They use local dialing area codes, so no complex international numbers are required. Just dial state code and the number, for example 08 8670 7835 or 0418 xxx xxx. It's the same when calling the Sat-phone, just dial 0424 xxx xxx and your done."
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 19:11

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 19:11
"No. Do not dial prefixes with the Mt Dare hired satphone"

You can if you want - it makes no difference. I always enter phone numbers into my sat phone memory (9555) with international prefix in case I happen to end up OS and need to make a call (when I assume it will be required), but with my current setup (Iridium with telstra sim) not actually required in Australia.

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: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Thursday, Aug 14, 2014 at 10:37

Thursday, Aug 14, 2014 at 10:37
Hi Greg, Late reply as I have been away from the computer for several days.

My current account used in my 9555 is a Telstra $10 Casual Plan.
However earlier my account was an Iridium/Telstra $30 Satellite Plan. At the time of starting that plan the Telstra salesperson specifically instructed me to NOT dial international prefixes when calling an Australian number from within Australia as extra call charges could apply with that Satellite Plan.
Knowing the somewhat uninformed status of some Telstra people, that may not be correct, however I followed the advice and expressed it here.

Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Thursday, Aug 14, 2014 at 11:20

Thursday, Aug 14, 2014 at 11:20
Hello

Fair enough - never heard of that issue (being charged more if using int. prefix) but knowing the telco's anything is possible.

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: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Thursday, Aug 14, 2014 at 11:28

Thursday, Aug 14, 2014 at 11:28
......."knowing the telco's anything is possible"...........
Exactly Greg! But so also is mis-information from them!
I may test it out when I get around to it.

When I went to the $10 Casual Plan, the Telstra Dealer was certain that it would not work in a satphone until I stood on the footpath and phoned him! He is now agreeably wiser.
Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: olcoolone - Sunday, Aug 10, 2014 at 21:41

Sunday, Aug 10, 2014 at 21:41
Rule 101 of travelling...... Never expect or rely on others for help.

Something life threatening happens at 7pm at night...... What are you going to wait for the next car at maybe 10am the next day for help...... And hope they have long range comms or can offer help....... Could be two to three days before real help arrives.

Now if you had a sat phone you could get things happening just after 7 pm on the night of the incident.

Nothing worse then coming across someone who needs help and use of your sat phone....... It can put you behind hours and if not days.
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Follow Up By: cruza25 - Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 09:28

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 09:28
Thanks olcoolone. That all makes very good sense. It makes the decision much easier when people highlight the obvious. Cheers mike
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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 12:21

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 12:21
Many travel with no long range communications and think they will never need it...... you only have to use it once especially if it's life threatening and it would pay for it self millions of times over.

Some put the price of a life or stress as something very cheap and others don't put a price on it because once something has happened it's gone and it's no use saying "but only if I did this it would of been different".

The $140 may be the best money spent and much greater then a winning lotto ticket.


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Reply By: toffytrailertrash - Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 17:30

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 17:30
Hopefully we all live and learn something new every day. On my Inmarsat phone I have to use the +61 prefix or the Country code that I am calling, so I wrongly presumed that the same would apply to others as well. My mistake, hence no need to condemn my reply, I was only trying to be helpful.

Cheers
Merv
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 19:21

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 19:21
Hi

I dont think any one was condemning your reply - just pointing out that in this case (i.e when using an Iridium phone (on Pivotel plan at least) in Australia to contact a number in Australia) an international prefix is not required. You advice is actually good in a general sense as some phones/plans need the prefix, others dont ..so if unsure, use it and you will be OK in all cases (and countries).

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: Turbo 1 - Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 22:09

Monday, Aug 11, 2014 at 22:09
It depends on who is your Iridium reseller in Aus, i.e. with TRTelecom +61 is needed to dial within Aus.
However in an emergency forget about all this and dial 000/112, that's the only number you need.
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Follow Up By: Member - pedro1 - Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 16:25

Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 16:25
When I past through Mt Dare a couple of years ago on the way to the Birdsville Races I meet some very unhappy travellers who had reserved Sat Phones at Mt Dare only to find out that when they arrived there that all the phones were all in Birdsville awaiting transport back !
They then had to travel the Simpson Desert Madigan Line without any emergency comms
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Follow Up By: cruza25 - Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 20:26

Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 20:26
Hi pedro1,
thanks thats interesting. Its been a couple of days and no reply to my email yet. Maybe busy or emails a bit slow to get there. I will call them tomorow.
chers mike
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Follow Up By: Ozrover - Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 08:44

Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 08:44
Mike,

You are better off phoning Mt Dare & booking a Sat phone, they should be able to give you an idea of how many will be available at that time.

You shouldn't have a problem in October, most should be back from Birdsville by then.

The problem that they have is that there are more people travelling west to east than the other way, so the Sat phones tend to accumulate in Birdsville, the guys at the Information center are supposed to send some back to Mt Dare if the get a surplus, doesn't always happen.
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Follow Up By: cruza25 - Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 22:27

Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 22:27
Thanks Jeff , that is my job for tomorow.
Just got my desert pass in the post, so something else to tick off the "to do" list.
Cheers mike
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Follow Up By: Sat Phone Sales - Friday, Aug 22, 2014 at 16:42

Friday, Aug 22, 2014 at 16:42
We connect through Pivotel on Globalstar, Thuraya and Iridium - using these plans just treat the sat phone as if it was an ordinary mobile phone. The call routing is the same. You can if you wish use the international prefix, you'll still connect and the call charges won't be any different.

Presently there is no Australian call routing on the Inmarsat network - you must dial the prefix to make a call

Kevin
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Reply By: RichieK - Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 17:52

Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 17:52
Hi Mike - I did the crossing with a mate in our vehicles about 4 weeks ago and I used the services of a very nice fella from this forum who hired me his personal sat phone at a very reasonable cost, which meant I had it for the entire trip. I was travelling solo for about half the trip (Sydney to Uluru, Alice, Simpson then home) so I was very keen to have a phone for the whole distance just in case..plus it was good to send/get texts from the wife and kids along the way...

It was the tail end of school holidays and we passed maybe 20-30 vehicles a day heading the other way, and probably 6-8 a day would overtake us at lunch stops etc..Take fly veils..I was surprised how many there were in July!!

I was in a 2002 Prado diesel - from memory I used 110 litres from Mt Dare to Birdsville and we did a combination of French, Rig, WAA and QAA lines.. So you will have some good emergency fuel there but of course let's hope you won't need it! My Prado was wearing new muddies (not bought for the trip but they had more tread than my ATs so were less likely to puncture on the roads either side of the desert) and they were giving me something like an extra 15% fuel usage since departing Sydney...hmmm... so maybe I would have only used 95- 100 litres with my 697s..

Anyway, packing light is definitely the go, I had the luxury of being able to remove all but the front seats so was able to put anything heavy over or between the axles instead of the roof.. Tyre pressures ended up at 18 rear and 16 front and I had very little boggage issues, just the odd bit of wheelspin on some softer dunes and maybe 2 or 3 that I got a bit complacent with and lost a bit of momentum on the way up..but basically the Prado was sitting between 1500 and 2000rpm for most of the dunes..Big Red was fun, she sailed straight up - the vehicles in front of us were having many attempts to get over but they said they were running 24psi.. I was on some very tired (read "original") suspension too..thought the thing was gonna shake to bits on the roads to the centre but once on the sand there were no issues..I'd head off for another crossing tomorrow if I could!

Enjoy your trip!
Rich





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Follow Up By: cruza25 - Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 20:38

Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 20:38
Thanks Richie,
Good info, glad you had an enjoyable trip. I just put a new set of BFG ATs on hope they run well. We are still prepping but want to stay as light as poss. Often think that too much weight causes many a problem, suspension, handling and extra load on engine/driveline. We are looking forward to the trip.
cheers mike
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