Iridium 9505a not connecting....

Submitted: Monday, May 30, 2016 at 19:34
ThreadID: 132569 Views:2538 Replies:6 FollowUps:6
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Hi folks,
I have purchased a 2nd hand Iridium 9505a with the intention of using it in an emergency with my Telstra NextG sim. I have international roaming activated & my plan is post paid.

When I power up the phone outside in full view of the sky, the phone variously tells me to "rotate the antenna", "searching....check signal", "registering" but does not connect. The signal strength indicator will show 4 or 5 bars & then vanishes only to return a couple of seconds later before vanishing again.

I know that I am probably doing something stupid or have not read enough of the instructions but judging by some of the posts about how easy it is, I should be making calls by now.

Help anyone please.
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Reply By: Member - Tony H (touring oz) - Monday, May 30, 2016 at 20:58

Monday, May 30, 2016 at 20:58
Silly questions .....have you extended the aerial.?
Are you in a 'clear' area.....no buildings or other obstructions possibly blocking the signal?
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Follow Up By: Member - Milton477 - Monday, May 30, 2016 at 21:10

Monday, May 30, 2016 at 21:10
Not silly questions thanks. Aerial is extended but I have been trying while at home in the suburbs. I'll go for a drive & find some open space.
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Reply By: TomH - Tuesday, May 31, 2016 at 07:26

Tuesday, May 31, 2016 at 07:26
Hold the phone so the aerial is as near to vertical as possible and is extended. It can be rotated to suit. Mine would actually connect inside my house at times. It should say registering on the network first then connect.
Otherwise the Sim is suspect.

Did you try it before you paid for it and did it work then.
AnswerID: 600761

Reply By: Member - Boobook - Tuesday, May 31, 2016 at 07:39

Tuesday, May 31, 2016 at 07:39
Are you sure that it has international roaming, and not just international call capability? I mean really sure, not just 'Telstra confirmed it 'sure. If you have used it overseas then it will be ok.

My money is on it not having roaming enabled. For whatever reason you have to ask Telstra to do this 3 or 4 times before they get it right. Call them and tell them it isn't enabled. Also ask for 1900 access. Some people say you also need this.

Also in the burbs will be ok unless you are next to large buildings.

AnswerID: 600763

Reply By: vk1dx - Wednesday, Jun 01, 2016 at 10:22

Wednesday, Jun 01, 2016 at 10:22
I have an isatphone and am not familiar with iridium, but here goes.

Searching, check signal and then registering seems to me that the registering was when it was trying to "log in" and failed. ie couldn't find an account to actually registered with.

Do you need an actual Iridium, or iridium account supplier to continue?

Anyone??????

Phil
AnswerID: 600805

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Jun 01, 2016 at 12:06

Wednesday, Jun 01, 2016 at 12:06
Phil the Telstra account will work if set up properly.

With the phone attempting to register, then not connecting sounds to me like the Telstra SIM doesn't have International roaming which is a pre-requisite. I have experienced this several times.

For some reason Telstra seem to get confused between international roaming, and ability to call international locations. You need the former enabled for the SIM to work in a Sat phone
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FollowupID: 870161

Reply By: Member - Milton477 - Wednesday, Jun 01, 2016 at 17:49

Wednesday, Jun 01, 2016 at 17:49
So if I can use my phone to make calls while in another country, I presume that international roaming is active.

When I first installed the sim in the sat phone, it did not locate properly & the sat phone popped up a message that it could not find the sim. I re-seated the sim & now no error message.

Can someone who actually uses their telstra sim in a sat phone tell me what size the sim is. Mine is the small sim & I have to put it in a regular size sim frame to make it fit my sat phone.

Is there a difference between small & regular sized sims?
AnswerID: 600817

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Jun 01, 2016 at 18:03

Wednesday, Jun 01, 2016 at 18:03
The 9505A uses a mini SIM. about 15mm x 25mm.

If you use a smaller SIM and an adapter then that is possibly your problem. Often the don't seat the SIM properly. I have had a lot of problems with them.

Electrically the SIMs are the same, it is just the plastic surrounding the contacts that is different.


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Follow Up By: Member - Milton477 - Wednesday, Jun 01, 2016 at 20:23

Wednesday, Jun 01, 2016 at 20:23
Thanks Boobook. My sim is the micro sim & I use an adaptor to upsize to mini. I wonder if the position of the sim in the adaptor is not the problem.

I would still have thought that the phone would lock onto the satellites & show some sort of signal strength even if no sim was present.
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Reply By: Member - Milton477 - Wednesday, Jun 01, 2016 at 21:35

Wednesday, Jun 01, 2016 at 21:35
All good thanks folks.

The antenna was not installed correctly. It is possible to push it half in & it still clicks as you rotate it but it is loose. After I pushed it in all the way, the phone registered within a minute or 2 & I was able to make a call & send & receive texts.

A big thank you to the forum for providing this kind of information.
AnswerID: 600825

Follow Up By: Motherhen - Thursday, Jun 02, 2016 at 00:39

Thursday, Jun 02, 2016 at 00:39
Pleased to here you have solved the problem Milton. When I first used my Iridium Satellite phone (on a plan at the time), I had trouble with drop outs. By chance we met up with friends while stranded in a remote location and needing to use the phone. She said the short antenna the phone comes with is not good, and she only uses the car roof antenna, and shuts the door on the cable. This is how (as passenger) she uses the phone while they are driving, without drop outs. I recall I worked out I was not clicking the small antenna in correctly, and took her advice about the car roof antenna.
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Follow Up By: Member - Milton477 - Thursday, Jun 02, 2016 at 14:28

Thursday, Jun 02, 2016 at 14:28
Thanks Motherhen for the advice. I have the external antenna but not the bit that connects to the phone. Took a while to figure out that was a bit missing. Guess it's ebay time again.
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