Satellite phone needed?

Submitted: Thursday, Aug 02, 2018 at 20:00
ThreadID: 137073 Views:1454 Replies:5 FollowUps:17
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We are shortly leaving to cross Australia with our caravan from the Sunshine Coast to the coast of WA across the middle of the continent. Would it be wise to carry a satellite phone as we drive the Great Central Road? We look forward to any advice. Thank you.
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Reply By: IvanTheTerrible - Thursday, Aug 02, 2018 at 21:12

Thursday, Aug 02, 2018 at 21:12
https://www.satphonesales.com.au/
Great to deal with and sell and even rent the phones.
AnswerID: 620462

Follow Up By: cookie1 - Friday, Aug 03, 2018 at 08:42

Friday, Aug 03, 2018 at 08:42
I'll second this sentiment, comes in incredibly handy particularly if there's a problem. Can I suggest you send messages though in preference to talking as it is far more economical
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FollowupID: 892919

Reply By: qldcamper - Friday, Aug 03, 2018 at 08:06

Friday, Aug 03, 2018 at 08:06
Highly recommend the Thuraya network. Give Robert a call, he is listed as the Noosa agent on pivotel's website. Just a mobile number but if your nervous about forking out without meeting him he will wait till you have the phone before you have to pay, its useless if it isnt connected.
Ours worked fautlessly.
Incoming calls are free and only cost the caller the price of an australian mobile number.
Google thuraya's plans, cheap as.
AnswerID: 620464

Reply By: Greg J1 - Friday, Aug 03, 2018 at 08:34

Friday, Aug 03, 2018 at 08:34
I would take a sat phone.

I keep a sat phone in my glove box permanently. I used to do a lot of traveling in western Queensland for work. My son and son in law do those jobs now and there is sat phone in both of their utes.

You don’t need to be remote to need a sat phone. I come across a really nasty accident 30 kms south of Barcaldine on the Landsborough Highway a few years ago. No mobile service. There were 3 caravanners stopped helping the injured man but they had no way to contact emergency services so one of the them was about to turn around and head back to Barcaldine. I called 000 and the ambulance and police were there in about half an hour.

I believe everyone travelling in remote areas should have one. It amazes me that some people buy a shiny 4WD then go to arb or tjm and spend another $10 000 (plenty do) on crap that’s rarely needed, but can’t afford a $1200 sat phone !!!

Cheers Greg




AnswerID: 620465

Follow Up By: Member - peter_mcc - Friday, Aug 03, 2018 at 17:16

Friday, Aug 03, 2018 at 17:16
You can get an ex-hire Thuraya XT-Lite for $715 from www.epirbhire.com.au - put it on a $15/month Pivotel plan and you're good to go!

I travel with one - mainly because of work - but I agree they can be really useful if something goes wrong (medical or mechanical).
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Follow Up By: maurice b - Friday, Aug 03, 2018 at 19:15

Friday, Aug 03, 2018 at 19:15
A brand new thuraya XT Lite is only $739 so dont buy a second hand one at that price.https://www.satphonesales.com.au/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=51_4&products_id=136
These a an excellent satphone . I had reception fully time on a recent trip ,however i used the external antenna which basically moves the antenna to a clear view. I understand it may not be as good in the VHC but all my trips are desert. Image shows area i had full service 100%
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Follow Up By: Member - peter_mcc - Friday, Aug 03, 2018 at 19:19

Friday, Aug 03, 2018 at 19:19
That's cheap for a new one. The ex-hire ones are less than 4 months old and include 2 x USB charging cables and a dolphin box (whatever that is!). If you add the cost of those to the new on e it makes them a bit cheaper.

I've got an external antenna too - works well.
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Follow Up By: Greg J1 - Friday, Aug 03, 2018 at 19:23

Friday, Aug 03, 2018 at 19:23
Hi Pete. I got home from holidays last winter to find son and son in law were competing in the business acumen of the year awards and ended having to write a cheque for a kenworth t909 and three trailers.

This truck is carrying cattle fodder from South Australia to western Queensland every week. It has a NEC data link installed in it. So much better than a sat phone. The driver can text email or call from the seat as he drives. Probably not recommended. I can look at where the truck is 24/7 and it tells me to within 10 metres of where the truck is. I have bit of a prostate problem so I wake during the night to go to the loo. I always look to see where he is. If the truck is moving I always have a yarn with him.

Sorta been thinking about getting the same installed in my ute. But after all I’m nearly retired so no. Rather be fishing somewhere then worried about home. Technology is so advanced these days it’s nearly scary.

Cheers Greg
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Follow Up By: maurice b - Friday, Aug 03, 2018 at 19:23

Friday, Aug 03, 2018 at 19:23
Usb charging cables a only $1 to $1.50 on ebay . Thuraya dont supply the straight usb to small pin charger, only with the attached cig plug and expensive.
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Reply By: IvanTheTerrible - Friday, Aug 03, 2018 at 19:58

Friday, Aug 03, 2018 at 19:58
And dont forget to get yourself an PLB as well
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Follow Up By: qldcamper - Saturday, Aug 04, 2018 at 08:58

Saturday, Aug 04, 2018 at 08:58
The XT lite has a function on it that if you hold down a single button for a few seconds it will send a pre written text message to 5 i think it is different phone numbers along with your exact co ordinates, eg, RFDS,police, SES and family members. A PLB is good but maybe not necessary if you know how to use the sat phone.

Maybe if your travelling alone there would be a small advantage with the PLB.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Aug 04, 2018 at 09:40

Saturday, Aug 04, 2018 at 09:40
A PLB is the cheapest piece of safety equipment that any can carry
Roxby Downs Special

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Follow Up By: maurice b - Saturday, Aug 04, 2018 at 12:08

Saturday, Aug 04, 2018 at 12:08
No always the case @Stephen L . .Two badly damaged tyres in a remote area and you a stranded but not life threating ,Activing a PLB triggers a fleet of emergency services. A call from a satphone explaining your ok have food/water for 10 days , organise a spare to be sent with a vks member enroute/ family/ friend. Or speak directly to the doctor if someone is badly injured. Thats the way i see it . A plb would be a good back up.
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Follow Up By: Greg J1 - Saturday, Aug 04, 2018 at 14:12

Saturday, Aug 04, 2018 at 14:12
I totally agree with Ivan. Take a plb as well. I have a small gme plb attached to the transfer case lever held there by an elastic loop the missus made up.
Was wondering how long this would take to turn into a plb vs sat phone war.
Cheers Greg
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Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Saturday, Aug 04, 2018 at 14:59

Saturday, Aug 04, 2018 at 14:59
PLB is a set and forget item. Once triggered it will run till the battery goes flat. You dont have to worry about satellite position or signal strength. You trigger it and forget. Also has a locator beacon for planes to home in on. Sure you should get a sat phone but you need a PLB before anything else!
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FollowupID: 892956

Follow Up By: Greg J1 - Saturday, Aug 04, 2018 at 15:36

Saturday, Aug 04, 2018 at 15:36
My take on it Ivan is that they are 2 vastly different items. We have sat phones for our business, they are just as important to us as a city tradie has his mobile.

It just so happens you can ring your grand daughter for her birthday while you are camped at well 16 on the canning, ring the ambulance if you arrive at an accident scene, ring whoever if your wife has a heart attack in the middle of the Simpson. They are just so convenient.

A plb is a device for when it all turns to crud in the middle of nowhere. That’s it. It’s only use. Once you push that button help is on the way. A very welcoming feeling I guess.

I carry both.

Cheers Greg
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Follow Up By: Greg J1 - Saturday, Aug 04, 2018 at 16:41

Saturday, Aug 04, 2018 at 16:41
Yeah I think I would push that button if the Missus had a heart attack !!! Lol I did have to think about that.
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Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Saturday, Aug 04, 2018 at 16:54

Saturday, Aug 04, 2018 at 16:54
Wonder if the feeling is mutual Greg. :)
Dave.
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Follow Up By: Greg J1 - Saturday, Aug 04, 2018 at 18:03

Saturday, Aug 04, 2018 at 18:03
After nearly 40 years of marriage I think she would have a think about it too. You’re a funny man !!! ;)
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, Aug 04, 2018 at 18:27

Saturday, Aug 04, 2018 at 18:27
.
The fundamental is.................

A PLB is for absolute emergency. It is simple to activate (pull a pin) and will summon general assistance and transmit your location but it is not specific as to the nature of the emergency. And the arrival of assistance may be some time coming.

A Satphone used in a similar manner would be to dial 000 and describe the emergency nature in order to be directed to the appropriate service. It is not quite so simple to operate. Unless it is constantly active and registered to a satellite it will take a little time to engage the called party. It does not transmit your location so you may need to be able to determine this and announce it.
On the other hand, it has the advantage over a PLB that you are able to talk with professional support such as the RFDS and obtain advice for first aid.
Of course, it also serves for social purposes.

MOST IMPORTANT: Both of these devices need to be able to "see" the satellites before they can operate. Neither will work if within the confines of a vehicle cabin. They must be out of the vehicle for reliable connection.

In my case, the Satphone is in a pouch attached to the roll-bar and is constantly connected to the vehicle 12v to keep the battery charged and constantly connected to an exterior antenna (and thus to the satellites) so that we can receive calls, but more importantly, so that there will be no delay in gaining registration. The PLB is also in a pouch that can be grabbed quickly. Neither will fall out in the event of a rollover.

Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: qldcamper - Sunday, Aug 05, 2018 at 09:07

Sunday, Aug 05, 2018 at 09:07
The XT lite will transmit your location along with a pre written text message if you use the emergency button.

Time taken to engage a satellite does vary but never took longer than a couple of minutes on our last trip, however dont know how it would go if under heavy cloud and in the rain.

Depending on the severity of the situation a PLB would be quicker to activate.

But the OP did ask a question.
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Reply By: Sat Phone Sales - Tuesday, Aug 14, 2018 at 15:31

Tuesday, Aug 14, 2018 at 15:31
Hi James, with the low cost of ownership and really low running costs I am surprised when people "outback" DON'T have access to a satellite phone.

One of the other benefits (aside safety) is finding that brilliant campsite and not having to worry about whether it has mobile reception or not. That opens up lots of new places, and means you don't have to drive to coverage to let family and friends know the itinerary has changed!

For the price of a couple of city coffees per month you can be in touch with anyone from anywhere in Oz! :) A lot of people think of that as freedom (Granted some might want to get away from "contact" but every phone has an "off" button to go with it!!)

And thank you to everyone that has commented on our service, we try to deliver the best in price, service, speed and stock availability. Getting feedback helps us maintain that.
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