Following on from the Atlantic Crossing Preparation Webinar recorder 30th October 2020, we answer the 5 most commonly asked questions.
To view the webinar click here
Here are the 5 most commonly asked questions from the Webinar:
- What are the key points I need to know for the Iridium GO?
- Why do I need to buy multiple Iridium GO! SIM cards?
- Why do I need the Iridium GO! Unlimited Airtime plan?
- What level of PredictWind forecast subscription do I need?
- Where do I find the help center and tutorials?
1/ What are the key points I need to know for the Iridium GO?
The Iridium GO! unit is a Wi-Fi base station for satellite connection. It is like a portable Wi-Fi hotspot that retrieves data via satellite. You can connect your smartphone/tablet wirelessly to the Iridium GO to make phone calls, SMS messages and send emails. You can connect your PC/Mac/tablet/phone wirelessly to the unit, and using the PredictWind Offshore App download and view weather GRIB files, weather routes, GPS tracking and blogs.
We recommend the Marine Pack US$999 plus shipping and import duties. The Marine Pack includes the Iridium GO, wall mount, the external antenna and rail mount with cabling which is crucial to a good satellite connection.
The external antenna should be mounted on the back of the boat, with a clear view of the sky, not on the mast.
Each order from our website will also include a Free SIM card. Pricing for the Iridium GO can be found here
2/ Why do I need to buy multiple Iridium GO! SIM cards?
We recommend multiple PredictWind SIM cards because it is the cheapest way to reconnect the service, after disconnecting the service, for example when you are wintering the boat.
You cannot activate a SIM card that has previously been used. A new PredictWind SIM card costs US$10 and has no activation fee. There is no expiry on the lifetime of a SIM card. For this reason we recommend purchasing additional PredictWind SIM cards when purchasing the equipment.
Please note that the billing cycle for the first month is pro-rated (for example activation on the 15th of the month will only incur 50% of the monthly charge). You cannot activate and deactivate in the same month, you can change Iridium GO! plans month to month, and step down to the GO! Basic Plan at US$59.95/month when only needing the service as a backup.
3/ Why do I need the Iridium GO! Unlimited Airtime plan?
We have 3 data/airtime plans for the Iridium GO, the most popular by far is the Unlimited plan which is US$139.95 per month. This has 150 minutes of voice calling, unlimited data and unlimited SMS messaging.
The vast majority of our customers chose the Unlimited Plan, due to the variability of the data rate, and the slow data speed of 2.4 Kbits/s (12 Kbytes/min). We would recommend that you use the Unlimited Plan if you intend to regularly use the system. It is a "false economy" to use the Plus plan as you can easily still get a large bill if you do not carefully track your data & voice minutes.
For example: Let's say an average download would be a 50kb sized file which will take approximately 5 mins to download as the data speed is 12kb/minute (if you wanted all 4 models it would be 200kb and it would take approximately 20 mins). If you do this every 12 hours it will be 40 mins of data calls. So if you want Weather Routing, and GMDSS downloads for an average 5-day trip, that works out to be about 200 mins. Plus this doesn't even include downloading your emails which could take about the same amount of data calls. You can see why the Unlimited Plan is a must in our opinion.
4/ What level of PredictWind forecast subscription do I need?
You will require the Standard or Professional subscription to PredictWind Forecast subscription to access our weather data, routing and GPS tracking service offshore. To purchase the subscription please follow the links at here
To access PredictWind weather while offshore using the Iridium GO you will need to use the Offshore App and you can download this from here
5/ Where do I find the help center and tutorials?
We have a great help center for all aspects of PredictWind at https://help.predictwind.com/en/ which would be worth taking the time to look at.