BGAN on a boat? A test in Hawaii

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now excited to have Ben Stein as very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Panbo is going to the next level in 2019 and beyond.

8 Responses

  1. Incidentally, Dan is also quite a pianist. I’ve been enjoying his latest CD, Art Attack:
    http://www.dan88.com/

  2. Jorma says:

    Important topic.
    I did look into this 2 years ago, because of the reasonable equipment prices. I found one sailor with some real word experience with BGAN and sailing:
    http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f13/ham-marine-ssb-other-6951-8.html#post255975
    His experience was that it only worked when moored or anchored in very still conditions.

  3. Søren Laursen says:

    On The Sea Stallion from Glendalough we used a BGAN 250 from Thrane & Thrane. And it could be used while sailing.
    One person on the computer and one person holding til BGAN antenna in level and used the build in compass to aim south.
    We used it for uploading pictures, editing the homepage, etc…
    Regards
    Søren

  4. Wow, so that would be BGAN on board the world’s largest viking warship replica:
    http://www.vikingtoday.com/ships/denmark/seastallion-from-glendalough.htm
    30 meters and 60 oarsmen! Thanks for sharing, Søren.

  5. Godfrey says:

    This may be helpful: From http://www.groundcontrol.com/BGAN-FAQ.htm “The BGAN Explorer models (300 and 500) have shown to work well on a boat at anchor that has limited rocking and swinging. If you try using any portable BGAN terminals while moving on the open sea, Inmarsat (the owning company) will suspend service.”

  6. What a wild world marine electronics can be. I just added a photo above (refresh your browser if you don’t see it) of Søren doing BGAN Viking style, and Dan’s testing an app for receiving WeatherFaxs on an iPad:
    http://www.ourseaspirit.com/aspx/m/614771/beid/148450

  7. Godfrey, In Miami an Inmarsat representative assured me that it does not cut off BGAN users just because they’re to use the system offshore.
    Dan Freedman, author of this entry, ended up getting a KVH V7 system and may be bumming a bit that V3 just appeared. But then again, he’s pretty busy trying to settle into the cruising life, which he’s blogging very well about:
    http://www.ourseaspirit.com/aspx/m/614771

  8. BenBen says:

    It works 🙂 check my trip through asia on a trawler and and a wideye bgan unit. http://www.blogatrip.com was entirely uploaded from the boat using BGAN. Used it for weather and emails, blogging and checking the news on the net. To control browsing costs,set-up your browser to avoid downloading pictures, use a network monitor program(little snitch on MAC) and block all emails more than 50kb.
    Got caught in a typhoon during the Hong Kong to Philippines trip, The eye of the storm came really close to us. I was able to download sat pictures of the storm almost every hour, even with 75knots of winds. Was able to stay in the right quarter of the typhoon looking at sat pictures of the storm updated every hour by the Hong kong weather website. Priceless:)
    Inmarsat’s Fleetbroadband prices are too high when you can use bgan for the “same” quality of services. (you have to align the antenna, and during rough seas you can sometimes loose the signal). I’m ok to spend the money on a stabilized antenna, but FB connection rates should be identical to Bgan’s .
    go buy a bgan and a used irridium satphone for back-up(independent systems) and forget ssb and sailmail.
    ben

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