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Thread: Best Sat Phone???

  1. #1
    Member Carlak2fl's Avatar
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    Default Best Sat Phone???

    Last "big ticket item" i need to complete my gear list. I have scoured the internet and get very different answers. Ive gotten nothing but good advice (and sarcasm) while gathering info here. I value what other hunters have selected, and why they made that choice. Especially since Alaska is far different in remoteness than other areas people hunt. What brand/ type of sat phone did you buy, and why? I am no closer to making my mind up now, than i was before i started reading. I have a spot personal locator now, but the wife would sure appreciate a phone call now and then. Not that money isn't an issue, but when it comes to safety, i could stretch the budget if it meant a superior product. Thanks for the help in advance!!! Carl
    its better to be silent and thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt...

  2. #2
    Member ekberger's Avatar
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    I have an Iridium Extreme 9575 that has served me well for a couple of years of hard use in my summer guiding on AK rivers. Had an older model Iridium previously. Iridium had a recall on this phone when it first came out but it was a FCC frequency issue from my understanding and they replaced it without question. Last year I noticed a little moisture in the front glass on a cold wet damp day and took it in and once again Iridium replaced it. I know that this sounds like it was a hassle for me after paying so much for that highly rated piece of equipment it shouldn't happen, however, the fact that it did happen and I got excellent customer service from Surveyors Exchange in ANC where I bought it says it all. It never failed me. They have used phones from time to time so you might want to check with them.

    I use the Northern Lights Plan and do carry an extra battery in my kit.

  3. #3
    Member cjustinm's Avatar
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    i've had very good luck with the Iridium 9555. very simple phone to use and with a small case can fit into a large coat pocket. i would reccommend an extra battery just in case. I had the northern lights plan through surveyors exchange in anchorage the plan was around $200 ish for 6 months.

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    We have been with Global Star for several years now. While they did have some 'issues' when they first started up, they seem to have them under control now. We are under and old program that cost us $50 a month, no matter how many minutes we use. I recently made a trip from Idaho back to Alaska and call everyday. Not once did I have an issue connecting.
    Like many here, I would be going any place with out a source of contacting some one for help or to just let them know that 'all is good'. I do know that keeping the battery warm in the winter can be challenging, but that goes with the country.

  5. #5
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    We are using the Iridium also- the 9555 maybe. We got the 'older' model- which had better reviews when we bought it. We keep it in a pelican case. Works great. Recently we installed an antenna at our cabin & have the adapter to hook it up to that. It's awesome! We also have the Norther Lights plan thru surveyors & are happy with the $200 every 6 months. If you re-upped before expiration, the minutes rolled over. There have been some changes to this- but I can't remember. LOVE have a sat phone with us- I bought 2nd hand & feel that it's been a very worthwhile investment.

  6. #6

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    The best plan I could find is offered by an outfit in Seattle called Blue Cosmo, it just covers calls made from Alaska (and Canada I think), 200 minutes for 12 months for $229. Any unused minutes will rollover into the next year.

  7. #7

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    The Iridium 9575 is the shiz. lighter than the previous generations, water resistant, smaller, text for free, few dropped calls. Like it a lot. New about $1800 with 150 minutes card.

  8. #8
    Member JR2's Avatar
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    Looking on eBay and there appear to be some decent deals
    2007 Kingfisher 2825 - Stor Fisk

    Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top. -- Hunter S. Thompson

  9. #9
    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Bartlett View Post
    The Iridium 9575 is the shiz. lighter than the previous generations, water resistant, smaller, text for free, few dropped calls. Like it a lot. New about $1800 with 150 minutes card.
    I have this phone as well and love it. Iridium did change their plan tho, and minutes do rollover, but they have an expiration date.
    In 1492 Native Americans discovered Columbus lost at sea
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  10. #10
    Member joebut1985's Avatar
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    I have been using an iridium 9505a for quite some time and it has worked fine. The newer 9575 looks very nice and I have been thinking about upgrading to that one.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wags View Post
    The best plan I could find is offered by an outfit in Seattle called Blue Cosmo, it just covers calls made from Alaska (and Canada I think), 200 minutes for 12 months for $229. Any unused minutes will rollover into the next year.
    I just checked out Blue Cosmo, and the only Alaska/Canada Plan I could find was 200 min for $220, but it was only for 6 months. Do they have special deals that last a whole year, or is this the plan you are talking about?

  12. #12

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    ^^^^^
    I'm pretty sure it was a 12 month plan, I just renewed it and I'd almost swear it was a year ago that I originally got the plan. Did you get your information on line? If so, maybe you should give them a call directly.

  13. #13

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    I have the Spot sat phone and it has worked every time. I am very happy with it.

  14. #14

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    I have a 9505 for sale if you're interested by chance?

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...-Phone-Package

    Willing to negotiate a little bit on the price and will likely be in Anchorage within a couple weeks as well.

  15. #15

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    Iridium is coming out with the "GO" that can connect up to 5 smart devices by acting as a wifi cell tower essentially and then connecting to the satellites. Looks interesting, but not sure how they'll handle the Northern lights plan as there is a bit of data associated with the "go" and not just straight minutes. Could be worth looking into as they are going for $800-$850 it appears on several websites. Not selling my sat phone anytime soon as I don't want to have to make sure my "GO" AND my sat phone don't run out of batteries and would rather just make sure I only need to bring an extra battery for my sat phone. But could be an option for someone.

    http://www.iridium.com/products/iridium-go.aspx

    Personally I plan on keeping my 9555 for the foreseeable future as the GO isn't any lighter than my sat phone and means I have to bring my smart phone into the field always as well. But I'm sure these will be a huge seller for Iridium.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbCakX3QdUw

  16. #16
    Member Grayling Slayer's Avatar
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    I'm starting a small sat phone rental business in Fairbanks. I chose to buy the 9555 models because it was the best compromise between cost, features and size.
    "I'd rather be fishing!"

  17. #17

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    Blue cosmos plan that is six months long..... Just activate in early august for fall usage.

  18. #18
    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    Used Iridium all over Alaska, New Zealand, Russia, China, Mongolia and thru out Eurasia without a problem - the only one I carry for international hunts.
    "Actions speak louder than words - 'nough said"

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska_Lanche View Post
    Iridium is coming out with the "GO" that can connect up to 5 smart devices by acting as a wifi cell tower essentially and then connecting to the satellites. Looks interesting, but not sure how they'll handle the Northern lights plan as there is a bit of data associated with the "go" and not just straight minutes. Could be worth looking into as they are going for $800-$850 it appears on several websites. Not selling my sat phone anytime soon as I don't want to have to make sure my "GO" AND my sat phone don't run out of batteries and would rather just make sure I only need to bring an extra battery for my sat phone. But could be an option for someone.

    http://www.iridium.com/products/iridium-go.aspx

    Personally I plan on keeping my 9555 for the foreseeable future as the GO isn't any lighter than my sat phone and means I have to bring my smart phone into the field always as well. But I'm sure these will be a huge seller for Iridium.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbCakX3QdUw
    Great info here!! Thanks!

  20. #20
    Member mtnclimber's Avatar
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    I really wanted to get the 9575 extreme but the sat phone guys said they were having a lot of problems with dropped calls and not connecting. they advised us to keep our 9505a which is odd for a salesman but appreciated the honesty

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