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Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Globalstar launch successful, sats in service "by this summer" on 02/06/2013 20:03:25 MST Print View

Covington, LA. , February 06 2013- Globalstar, Inc. (OTCBB: GSAT) today announced that six new second-generation Globalstar satellites were successfully launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
...
Globalstar reports that all six satellites have been successfully acquired following separation from the Dispenser and Fregat Upper Stage. Globalstar has begun initial satellite in-orbit testing and all six spacecraft are operating normally at this time.
...
Globalstar expects to place these final six second-generation satellites into commercial service by this summer, with the first two being raised and placed into service by the end of February. These new satellites are designed to last for 15 years, twice the lifespan of Globalstar’s first-generation satellites.

Matt Durian
(matthewd) - F
re: Satellite Phones on 09/06/2013 10:12:36 MDT Print View

I'm new here, what's up everyone?!

I do business with a guy who sells satellite phones. I've used both Globalstar and Iridium phones. Globalstar has had issues with their service for the last 5 years now and while they claim they are making a comeback, only time will tell. Globstar phones work only some of the time, at certain times of the day. Iridium phones have much better service but they are costly with a price tag of at least $1,200 and up..however they do work. Whenever I travel where there's no cell service, I use the iSatPhone from a company called Inmarsat. My buddy rents it to me but the cost is around $650 and the service is pretty inexpensive. If anyone is interested, I can forward my buddy Jon's information. He also sells portable internet devices, about the size of lap top. I use this for email and skype. Cool technology.

Matt

Edited by matthewd on 09/06/2013 10:17:21 MDT.

Zorg Zumo
(BurnNotice) - F
No magic under canopy on 09/06/2013 14:48:36 MDT Print View

Spot works as well under canopy as any sat phone - terrible. Don't be fooled by the non-think of the 'i hate spot irrationally' crowd. Neither spot or plbs or inreach or sat phones work well unless you have a clear view of the sky. Spot has the advantage in that you are not limited to one message and should be leaving lots of messages. But some folks just can't seem to understand that.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: No magic under canopy on 09/06/2013 15:01:05 MDT Print View

I test my Sat phone by calling Inmarssts free test number once a month or so.

Jim Milstein
(JimSubzero) - M

Locale: New Uraniborg CO
Re: No magic under canopy on 09/06/2013 15:08:55 MDT Print View

Beg to differ, Zorg. Sending a text message "under the canopy" is magic compared to trying to have a full voice connection "under the canopy" (or any other adverse conditions). Short burst data transfers only take a few seconds. This was discussed much more fully on the inReach SE thread.

Another question is which sat network one's device uses. Some are better than others. Most reviewers rank Iridium at the top. That is subject to change, of course.

Do you, Zorg, happen to use a Spot? Just guessing.

KEN LARSON
(KENLARSON) - MLife

Locale: Western Michigan
PLB Issues on 09/06/2013 16:37:38 MDT Print View

"Neither spot or plbs or inreach or sat phones work well unless you have a clear view of the sky.”

Just returned from Isle Royal National Park where I use ACR Resqlink™ 406 GPS (PLB-375). Ten 1 sec OK messages were sent, 5 were received properly by the grandchildren's parents. All case I thought I had a clear enough view of the sky. This is NOT the first time I have had issues of less than 50% message completion this device in the past three years. One year the hurricane on the East Coast interfered with ACR message transfer from satellite to receiving station in the state of Maine
I also set ONE 5 sec OK message with coordinates attached that was not received...Houghton County Memorial Airport parking lot, sky clear but many cars (that is the issue according to ACR.)

Isle Royale PLB Record

Jack Ryan
Customer Service Technician
ACR / ARTEX - ACR Electronics, Inc
"The PLB when tested with the optional 406Link Messaging system has to be done during a clear sky with the antenna deployed and no buildings/ metallic objects/ trees/ mountains/ or other radio interference nearby for it to work at its optimum. When performing the self-test and GPS test you have to keep in mind that the signal is only sent out once per self-test/GPS test and if not performed in the best conditions the signal may become corrupt and the satellite may not be able to recognize the Unique Identification Number (UIN) that is encoded and sent with the 406 MHz signal.

Edited by KENLARSON on 09/06/2013 16:40:33 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: PLB Issues on 09/06/2013 16:47:38 MDT Print View

There are at least two big problems with this entire discussion. Most of my experience is with GPS reception, and that is on 1.57GHz. However, many of the same issues are present with beacons and sat phones.

1. There is no definition of what is a clear view of the sky.

2. Most users would not know radio frequency interference if it bit them on the butt.

--B.G.--

Zorg Zumo
(BurnNotice) - F
Re: PLB Issues on 09/08/2013 10:16:50 MDT Print View

Thanks for helping dispel this myth of the "invincible PLB". Until recently, you couldn't test a PLB, and people just put faith in them like a good luck charm. SPOT's ability to signal has been well known from the beginning, and some people were really put off that sometimes SPOT missed messages. So I think there is a new awakening amongst the outdoor crowd as they come to understand the limitations of these products.

Perhaps Sat phone users were the most savvy as they had to get optimum position to make their call.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: PFM on 09/08/2013 10:36:35 MDT Print View

"Neither spot or plbs or inreach or sat phones work well unless you have a clear view of the sky."

Well, maybe....

From Equipped to Survive:

"We started with a baseline test with a wide open sky, lots of satellites visible, and the Fast Find consistently sent out its GPS location in the first 406 MHz data burst, 50 seconds after deployment.

"We then started to artificially create much more difficult circumstances, using a "space blanket" with metalized lining to block GPS signals down to no more than 3-4 satellites visible and forcing difficult geometry.

"Even under the most difficult circumstances we could create using the blanket, such as at the bottom of a 5-galloon bucket surrounded by the space blanket, it still got a GPS fix consistently within the first 1-2 bursts with a single case of 3 bursts."

McMurdoPLB

If you follow the link there is more, but of course you must be willing to read...

Edited by greg23 on 09/08/2013 10:52:40 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: PFM on 09/08/2013 11:09:07 MDT Print View

Nice they're testing it, but I don't care how it works when you put up a space blanket, I won't be doing that.

What about when it's in a canyon or under trees : )

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: PLB Issues on 09/08/2013 11:13:16 MDT Print View

Declaring failure of a PLB to save a life by it's messaging failures is not an accurate assessment.

Jim Milstein
(JimSubzero) - M

Locale: New Uraniborg CO
Re: Re: Re: PFM on 09/08/2013 11:15:34 MDT Print View

In effect, Jerry, the testers were creating an artificial canyon with the bucket and space blanket. The good thing is that this condition is easily repeatable. The bad thing is that it is not a real canyon.

The space blanket wrapped bucket restricts the device's view of the sky to a fairly narrow cone. As they say, this means few satellites and poor geometry (they are all close together). Not a meaningless test.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: PFM on 09/08/2013 11:19:58 MDT Print View

"Space Blackets" are far more opaque to radio signals than a tree canopy.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: PFM on 09/08/2013 11:28:49 MDT Print View

"Space Blackets" are far more opaque to radio signals than a tree canopy."

As are some clothes.

Jim Milstein
(JimSubzero) - M

Locale: New Uraniborg CO
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: PFM on 09/08/2013 11:38:45 MDT Print View

I'll put my tinfoil hat up against anything from RBH! It also shields me from the emanations of Zorg Zumo.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: PFM on 09/08/2013 11:42:38 MDT Print View

I'm not saying the test is invalid

But why put another layer of uncertainty on it, is this adequately simulating canyon or tree cover?

Another good test would be to go under trees and in several different canyons

Jim Milstein
(JimSubzero) - M

Locale: New Uraniborg CO
Re: Re: PFM on 09/08/2013 11:55:03 MDT Print View

Ok, Jerry, but to be valid the study would need to use thousands of locations in hundreds of canyons in all sorts of environments and have solid statistical design. The bucket 'n' blanket test is a pretty good cheap and dirty first draft. Going to a couple of your favorite canyon locations and reporting the results is classic anecdotal evidence. Interesting, but that's all, and arguably no better than the BnB test.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: PFM on 09/08/2013 12:25:12 MDT Print View

Did they design their space blank test statistically?

You also need to test with different satellite positions. It varies over the day, and from year to year. I can think of places where my GPS loses lock, but another time it worked.

Probably someone else has tested at some representative locations.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
the bucket test on 09/08/2013 14:18:17 MDT Print View

"The space blanket wrapped bucket restricts the device's view of the sky to a fairly narrow cone. As they say, this means few satellites and poor geometry (they are all close together). Not a meaningless test."

I agree. From the GPS receiver world, we used to use a 5-gallon metal bucket that was grounded. Then, we put the GPS receiver antenna on a screw threaded rod in the center. By turning it, we could raise or lower the antenna which would affect the horizon mask angle. In effect, we could selectively block RF interference which tends to approach from the horizon.

---B.G.---

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: the bucket test on 09/08/2013 20:33:34 MDT Print View

The devil wants me to say:

"if I wanted my GPS receiver to work in a metal bucket, this would be a very good test"

It's sort of like the Soto test where they put it in ice water - if I wanted my stove to work in ice water, that would be a good test.