About 2 weeks ago our Iridium Satellite communication system, Iridium GO!, arrived. It is a satellite communication system that does not use a satellite phone anymore, but provides a wireless network instead. That network allows the use of regular smartphones instead and is especially useful for data exchange and SMS.
All it takes is in app on the phone to send and receive messages, weather forecasts, update blogs or activate tracking (via SMS). That’s where the GPS re-radiator of the previous post comes in. We bought the marine kit with this Iridium GO!. It includes the unit itself and also an external antenna and a 30ft antenna cable. Reading the manual, it turns out that the GPS of the Iridium GO! does not receive any GPS data when connected to the antenna and mounted inside.
As a result, a GPS re-radiator needs to be installed next to the GO! and with the GPS antenna outside, so that the GO! is able to know its location.
That way, we can use the marine antenna for satellite communication and the GPS antenna for location services, incl tracking.
Iridium provides a website that shows this tracking information and stores if for three years after the last subscription for this specific device ends (we are planning to use various SIM cards with different numbers throughout the trip. They can all be combined on one site as long as we use the same GO!). That website will be embedded in this blog once we have our first SIM card activated (likely in June) so that people can follow our progress in real-time.
So, yet more holes to drill into the boat and more antennas to install on the rail…