The final piece in the 4 part kit install is the Satellite Dome for Communication of both Voice and data whilst in the middle of nowhere. This is something again, like the watermaker, we too’d and fro’d about, with the current explosion of 4g worldwide, communication around the world is a hundred, maybe even a thousand times better than it ever was, even poverty-sticken countries at the far ends of the globe seem to have cellular and often mobile data access. The same in a lot of ways goes for local wifi, this has seen a massive surge worldwide.
All of this said, there are still a lot of holes in service, often where you expect there to be service there often isn’t. Helen still has a few contracts that will still be live when we leave in May. Although her team on the ground are more than capable of dealing with issues, its Helens company and she needs to be contactable. With some clever call diverting and email forwarding, She can still conduct her business from anywhere on earth.
This is where the Iridium Pilot comes in to play, apart from the fact that the Iridium service is the only satellite service that offers truly global coverage, this piece of kit also differs from traditional sat comms as it has no moving parts, instead of having a gyroscopic dish inside a dome, the pilot has an array of mini antennas inside a mushroom type dome, with some clever techy stuff that i don’t really understand, the kit is able to deliver voice and data at the same time. although by our home broadband speeds its still incredibly slow (cast your mind back to dial-up if you can) but still quick enough to get email everywhere, although without attachments.
I’ve coupled the Below decks unit to a pair of BT Elements Dect phones
These phones are waterproof to 1m and have an amazing 1k range, allowing us to take the dect phones with ashore and still be in contact with the boat or world via satellite.
We do still have our Iridium Extreme Mobile,
which we will liven up for ocean passages to allow us to take it into the life-raft “heaven forbid” we should ever need to.