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Communications Connecting - internet cafes, laptops, Palm devices, cell phones - how to connect, use, which one, and Bike to Bike and passenger intercoms.
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  #16  
Old 7 Nov 2008
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On my last trip to a HU meeting my mom and dad had a fit and beged me to get a cell phone worked about half of the time and dint work when I got to the meeting. That was in the USA.

good thing its small and light.
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  #17  
Old 9 Nov 2008
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Originally Posted by Alexlebrit View Post
Well if you're insured that's different, what I was getting at was that a Satphone is only as good as the number you call.
i'd swear i remember a story in the news last year of someone in a boat off sinagpore (or somewhere else the other side of the world) texting his gf back in the UK that they were sinking, she called the coastguard & got the message relayed to where he was & he was rescued.

so even a normal phone could save your life i guess. mind you so could not going out in a boat without flares etc.
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  #18  
Old 9 Nov 2008
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Yup I remember the exact same story, so it does go to show, that it's all possible, if you know someone, who can ring someone.
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  #19  
Old 16 Nov 2008
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Originally Posted by butchdiamond View Post
Those of you that have them - how much do you use them and would you be without them?
I don't, but I will. When I head out to Iceland for example, I will have an Iridium sat-phone for emergency communication and a Personal Locator Beacon.

How often will they get used? Not at all, I hope. I am very paricular about the preparation/maintenace of my motorcycle, so that is one instance that is almost completely covered. In the case of a life & death emergency, I will use the PLB first and the sat-phone after the PLB is activated.

If I had a choice of ONE item, it would be a PLB.

Cell phone? I have one with me all the time...it never rings...because only two people have the number and they know I didn't buy it for mindless chit chat.
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  #20  
Old 16 Nov 2008
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Originally Posted by Alexlebrit View Post
I so don't want to be called up in the middle of nowhere, or alterantively have people hassling me saying "why didn't you call?".
So, don't hand out the number! When I get mine, only two people with have that sat-phone nuymber; home and a neighbour and they know I won't call to chit chat and neither will they.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexlebrit View Post
And a big question I always wonder "Who are you going to call when you're in the middle of nowhere, and who do you reckon will come to your rescue?"
I guess you'll never know.


I carry the OEM tool kit on my bikes (plus more when going where there are 180 miles between gas stations and people), yet I have never needed them in 33 years on the road. Preparation is the key!
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  #21  
Old 17 Nov 2008
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Originally Posted by Global Rider View Post
Preparation is the key!
I couldn't agree more. The old acronym "PPPPPP" springs to mind.

There have been some very interesting opinions on here but I guess, as always, it's down to personal choice. There will always be folk who take these gizmos and swear by them, and there will always be people who don't. I think I'm in the latter catagory.
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  #22  
Old 17 Nov 2008
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Originally Posted by butchdiamond View Post
There will always be folk who take these gizmos and swear by them, and there will always be people who don't.
Well there are gizmos (I call them toys) and then there is life saving equipment such as a PLB or a sat-phone. One can't afford to buy toys when your life is on the line.

To draw a parallel to some of us who ride in very remote areas, it is interesting that there are people who would cross the ocean on a 36' sailboat and not bring a life jacket (forget that there is a legal requirement to do so). Thats not too smart.
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  #23  
Old 18 Nov 2008
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I just wanted to say, I'm not anti Satphones, if I were travelling to somewhere remote I'd probably get one too, but rather that they seem to me to be of limited use UNLESS you've got someone to ring - like your insurance/medevac service. I'm pretty sure no-one here would be llike those "hikers" who ring up mountain resuce services on their cellphones to complain that the path isn't suitable for their stilettos and there's no café at the top of the Old Man of Coniston, but you never know.

Like everyone knows preparation is key, so prepare who to ring in advance.
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  #24  
Old 18 Nov 2008
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life line

For me its simple. On our trans Africa we crossed the Tenere and Bilma desert (1500 km of virgin sand) which I would not had dared to do without the satphone. I bought it in Niamey for Euro 270,- especially for that purpose, just had to put the GSM sim card in and it worked! Only used it once in the Bilma desert to receive a call from my dad on my birthday
You can switch it off at will, you know!!

Cheers

Noel
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  #25  
Old 20 Nov 2008
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Just plan properly and let people know your route, then check in... There is no AA RAC in the desert so do not rely on some fancy phone to get you out of trouble. We have traveled far and wide without any communication and once you leave behind our world you will not miss it.
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  #26  
Old 20 Nov 2008
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life line 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Dennis View Post
Just plan properly and let people know your route, then check in... There is no AA RAC in the desert so do not rely on some fancy phone to get you out of trouble. We have traveled far and wide without any communication and once you leave behind our world you will not miss it.
until your car or bike breaks down 500 km from any living soul. Then I can assure you that any suggestion is welcome how you fix it. With the sat phone you call your back-up (garage) when you'r done fiddling around yourself and can't fix the problem. Nobody is suggesting you call in the cavalry to evacuate you from the desert!

I was in group once crossing the Murzuq in Libia when a brand new LC105 just stopped. We are no novice mechanics and as matter of fact there was many years experience of car mechanics between us but eventually we used the sat phone and called the garage. They gave us some useful tips which ultimately led to the fix. It was some freak electrical problem. This was a group of 10 cars.

When you'r alone or with another car (always advisable in the desert) and totally on your own devises then the (mental) pressure gets a lot higher. To me its a matter of common sense; if you go really remote, then you take a sat phone.

Why would you take engine spare parts, spare tyres, tools etc. The satphone is just another spare part for emergencies. You hope you never need it but its there if thing go pear shaped

Cheers,
Noel
exploreafrica.web-log.nl
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  #27  
Old 20 Nov 2008
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I resisted having a mobile phone for ages. I do however carry one. It is always switched off unless I want to make a call. Only my wife knows the number ( not even me) and it is useless her having it, as it is always switched off. this way the battery lasts for many weeks. It is there should I ever need it. I can see it can have its uses in a breakdown or other scenario. and for those out of mobile network range, I think having a satphone is better than not having it. bit like a spare wheel, always in teh way until you need it..
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