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Step 6: Installation and using the Iridium GO!
Step 6: Installation and using the Iridium GO!

Where to install the Iridium GO! and external antenna on your boat, and how to use it

Jon Bilger avatar
Written by Jon Bilger
Updated this week

The Iridium GO! needs an unobstructed clear view of the sky and horizon, away from radio frequency interference of marinas and port authorities. It may be necessary to take the boat away from the harbour (1NM) to test the connection thoroughly.

You must correctly mount the Iridium GO! and external antenna to ensure a strong satellite connection and signal.

Please read all the important information below before running any cables for the external antenna, power source, voltage, mounting, GPS signal, etc., as most likely, it will answer any questions. Reading this article on a computer with a large screen is recommended.

Iridium GO! installation

Location

  • Find a dry location for the Iridium GO! inside the vessel, away from direct sunlight. Exposure to high temperatures under a spray dodger and bimini can result in overheating and battery damage.

  • The Iridium GO unit should be installed high in the cabin, ideally close to a window so that the GPS signal can penetrate the cabin top. The GPS antenna is inside the Iridium GO unit only.

  • Avoid proximity to instrument panels, which may cause radio frequency interference.

Power

  • Use the Iridium GO! device with Iridium-supplied power accessories only.

    Using non-Iridium-supplied power accessories could expose the device to excessive voltage, which could cause fire or cause the device to fail so that it is unavailable in an emergency situation, preventing or delaying emergency response.

  • The Iridium GO! device utilizes a negative ground system. The power system must be a negative ground system when using a DC power source, such as a car or boat. Do not use the device with positive ground systems. Failure to properly ground the Iridium GO! could cause fire or cause the device to fail so that it is unavailable in an emergency, preventing or delaying emergency response.

GPS

  • The Antenna for GPS tracking is inside the Iridium GO! unit. The external antenna only repeats the Iridium satellite signal but not the GPS position signal necessary for tracking.

  • At present, there is no external antenna for the Iridium GO! that will boost the GPS signal. The GPS tracking will not work with the Iridium GO if you have a steel, carbon or alloy boat and place the unit inside the vessel. We recommend using the PredictWind DataHub, which can use the GPS data from your instrumentation system.

  • The internal GPS receiver in the base unit faces the same direction as the LCD screen, so if possible, please make sure the LCD screen is facing the sky for the best tracking reception.

External Antenna Installation

  • The external antenna must be mounted with the best possible view of the sky and horizon with minimal obstruction to get the best Iridium signal level. If on a yacht, we recommend installing the antenna near the pushpit area, above solar panels and not on the yacht mast.

  • Avoid mounting the external antenna near any radar that is 4KW or higher. If mounting near the radar, please mount above the radar.

  • VHF antennas will not cause signal interference but mustn't obstruct the Iridium GO! antenna's view of the sky/horizon. If you have a GPS receiver, it is essential to mount the external antenna with at least a 1-meter separation between the two.

  • Avoid mounting the antenna within 2 meters of a wind generator, which may cause electrical interference.

  • The black coaxial cable is not designed to be bent around hard corners. It has a 25mm minimum radius.

  • Be careful of the Iridium GO! Cable Adaptor that connects the large cable to the Iridium GO! unit. This is quite delicate.

  • Secure the Iridium GO! Cable Adaptor with cable ties, so there is no strain on the small connector into the unit.

  • Use coaxial sealant, shrink-wrap tubing, electrical tape or another suitable product to seal all cable connections appropriately to prevent moisture and corrosion damage from weather exposure.

  • When an external antenna is connected, you must still raise the device antenna; this action turns the unit on and allows for transmission with the Iridium network. Lowering the device antenna will disable transmission or effectively switch the device off.

Move on to Step 7

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