And hello Cerberus! Spot Connect on steroids?

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

8 Responses

  1. chriggel says:

    Hi Ben,
    I always thought Iridium’s SBD service would only support the transmission of short data packets (about 2kbyte each). But did you have a look to PredictWind’s Satellite Communicator?
    They intend to transmit weather data like GRIB files, which are usually much larger than 2kB. They also offer email services using Iridium’s SBD. It all sounds too good 🙂

  2. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Right, I’m pretty sure that Cerberus can only deliver alerts, not GRIB files. And thanks, I had not seen the PredictWind site or its satellite communicator. I’d guess the latter contains a full Iridium audio/data modem, not the SBD, so it’s going to be more expensive, both for hardware and service I think. It’s also not portable, and it looks like there is no manned message center like BriarTek intends to run (I’m deducing that as it says the Alert button only sends messages to friends and family). It’s going to get complicated!

  3. John - gCaptain says:

    Thansk for this one Ben, I had not seen it before. This is am important technology for those of use who venture outside of Globalstar’s limited footprint. The pioneers in the field are Solara data systems, who have a great product that’s built to epirb specs but they have do not have the extensive features that make transmitting data seamless. I think many in the SAR community will be very interested as well.

  4. Bremer Speck says:

    The PredictWind subscription fees for their weather alert services are reasonable. It is the hardware costs that make it quite expensive. I inquired with them about the Iridum based satellite communicator and got quoted a price of $2,200.00 plus S/H of $220.00

  5. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Thanks, John. I believe the Solara Field Trackers are based on Iridium’s earlier SBD modem, but it seems likely they’re working on a 9602 model. It also seems possible that there could a messenger with a keyboard like their’s that also has an apps phone interface, which might be a nice choice to have.
    How easy is the Solara keyboard, by the way, and do you know the pricing, which I can’t find at their web site?

  6. John - gCaptain says:

    Good but not great. Similar to texting with a regular cell phone.
    I don’t remember the exact price but I do know they are not cheap.
    BTW I just found this… a list of other Iridium communicators:

  7. rxc says:

    This sounds really useful. And it is interesting that after over a hundred years since the introduction of the telephone, we seem to be rapidly moving back to the telegraph model of communications: relatively compact messages that do not take up much bandwidth, and for which we have a record of origination, transmission, and delivery. Yes, we still have the phone and wild internet sites with dancing monkies and music, but what really matters is short messages that tell us everything we need to know in as few characters as possible.

  8. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    BriarTek finally put up some Cerberus info:
    There’s not much on the site yet, but the product is supposed to ship in June.

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