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Using a Satellite Phone
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stephen.trenery


Aug 24, 2012, 4:15 AM
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Using a Satellite Phone
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Does anyone take a Satellite Phone with them?


Gmburns2000


Aug 24, 2012, 5:39 AM
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stephen.trenery wrote:
Does anyone take a Satellite Phone with them?

where? when? under what circumstance? do I take one with me to Rumney? Do I take one with me to Patagonia? Do I take one with me when driving across country?


Kartessa


Aug 24, 2012, 5:54 AM
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I took one to Afghanistan


stephen.trenery


Aug 24, 2012, 6:21 AM
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In general when you go climbing... However in areas with no cell coverage.


Dip


Aug 24, 2012, 6:29 AM
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I like areas with no cell coverage because there is no cell coverage. So no.


Gmburns2000


Aug 24, 2012, 6:32 AM
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Kartessa wrote:
I took one to Afghanistan

I don't think that's what he meant, but I get it.


cclarke


Aug 24, 2012, 6:55 AM
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I use one in Bolivia. My wife insisted that I get one to call home when on climbing trips. Expensive but worth it for keeping the peace. It works ok although finding the satellites can be a problem and calls get dropped a lot but it works to let her know I am ok.


ecade


Aug 24, 2012, 7:25 AM
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Re: [stephen.trenery] Using a Satellite Phone [In reply to]
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stephen.trenery wrote:
Does anyone take a Satellite Phone with them?

I've never taken one climbing, not at the level where i feel comfortable going so remote to warrant.

I have used them on remote northern river canoe tripping. Best to rent, I recommend taking out the insurance, and getting a pelican or otter box style case, the insurance premium is often nominal in comparison to your possible liability, many talk plans exists when renting one. I know of a few companies in Canada if you need more information.

They don't always work like people think, you do need to have clear unfettered access to the sky, and sometimes you have to wait until a satelite is within range (they orbit) sometimes calls get dropped, but when you consider how remote you can be and the fact that you can call your mother (ah how sweet) its a damn good deal if you ask me.


chadnsc


Aug 24, 2012, 11:05 AM
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I've rented them a few time for longer winter backpacking trips where there is no cellphone coverage (95% of Minnesota's North Shore)

I've never taken one with for climbing. Come to think of it I've never even taken a cellphone with on any backpacking or climbing trip. I suppose that's because we don't own one. Tongue


TScott27


Aug 31, 2012, 7:31 PM
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Re: [stephen.trenery] Using a Satellite Phone [In reply to]
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Here's the thing. I consider a satellite phone both a boon and bane. Just imagine when you are in a difficult position and the phone rings, it will surely be a distraction. on the other hand, it can keep the peace between husband and wife.

In my case, I don't bring one, except when the wife explicitly wants to monitor my activities. Cool


vinnie83


Sep 1, 2012, 8:35 AM
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Re: [TScott27] Using a Satellite Phone [In reply to]
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TScott27 wrote:
Just imagine when you are in a difficult position and the phone rings

Based on my experience (rescue operations everywhere from alaska to afghanistan) and the models I used they are really more practical for making calls instead of receiving them. Unless you have a pre arranged time for calls it is a pain to leave it on and with the antenna out.

Like others have said sat phones don't always work perfectly, make sure you know their limitations. They aren't the kind of thing I would bring on a weekend, or even weeklong climbing trip. Long expedition or work related stuff where I need a communication link, yes, but even then it is usually a backup.

EDIT: If you don't need to have long conversations and just need to let people know you're ok look into some of the emergency beacons that allow you to transmit location updates and pre programmed messages to friends.


(This post was edited by vinnie83 on Sep 1, 2012, 8:41 AM)


marc801


Sep 1, 2012, 8:39 AM
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Re: [chadnsc] Using a Satellite Phone [In reply to]
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chadnsc wrote:
Come to think of it I've never even taken a cellphone with on any backpacking or climbing trip. I suppose that's because we don't own one. Tongue
That's pretty surprising in 2012!


USnavy


Sep 1, 2012, 8:24 PM
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Re: [stephen.trenery] Using a Satellite Phone [In reply to]
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I spoke with customers on a daily basis who were using satellite phones at my last job. The phones we were using were provided by the military, they weren't some random commercial phone you can get on eBay. But I can tell you that the voice quality is complete utter crap. But again, we all used one brand, so a different brand may offer better performance.


climbingaggie03


Sep 2, 2012, 4:49 PM
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I've never bothered with one on personal trips, but I have used sat phones alot when guiding. Like someone else said they're not really for receiving calls unless you're expecting them.

One company I worked for had a pre-determined hour every day for me to have the phone on in case they needed to get a hold of me. I've found that texting is more useful than voice communications usually, or I'll text to set up a time to talk to whoever I need to call. They're hit or miss, but usually pretty good once you find a spot with good service. I don't think I'd ever take on with me unless I was on a trip that was a month long or longer, or if I was going to be somewhere and knew I'd need to stay in touch with the world.

For working though, they are really useful. Depending on the company and the setting, I'll touch base with them if I'm changing the groups itinerary, need to change a resuply, or evacuate a participant. I even called my mom one time to get a recipe (don't tell though, that employer didn't allow personal calls on the sat phone)


stephen.trenery


Sep 4, 2012, 6:12 AM
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From my own experience, and others I've spoken to, it's better to have a Satellite Phone on you than not. I've spoken to people where a Satellite Phone has saved their lives, just because they have been able to make one phone call where a cell would have been useless.


jsunmatthews


Feb 11, 2013, 9:22 AM
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Re: [Kartessa] Using a Satellite Phone [In reply to]
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Kartessa wrote:
I took one to Afghanistan

Kartessa, thank you for your service (assuming that's why you were there).

In terms of a safety net, I'd suggest looking into a PLB. There are no subscription fees and it's going to be your best best if the turd hits the proverbial windmill. If you want to be able to call your friends from some faraway peak and don't mind the hefty bill, what the hell, but otherwise go the PLB route.

Hunt around on ebay. I found a brand new ACR for $150. SPOT locator beacons and the like are shit, IMO.


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