GSM, satellite and VHF communications systems for boats
Marine communications systems, voice & data
satellite phone, GSM cellphones and VHF radio
by Adrian Biffen
This section will cover the use of GSM cellphones, using our Bluetooth Nokia 6820
as an example of the new generation of 'SmartPhones' that can
manage voice and data transmissions in the marine environment.
Our 'clamshell' GSM phone also acts as a wireless modem for my laptop - see how I can hoist it to the top of my
mast when the reception needs a boost.
For those out-of-the-way places where there just ain't no cell reception, you'll see how I
use my Globalstar
to fill the gap. It works almost anywhere, with a large constellation of orbiting
satellites that automatically switch your signal to the best one.
And let's not forget about VHF radio. In times of extreme emergency, you may be too rattled or physically
unable to dial a number, and it sure is nice to just press a button and talk to someone in a hurry.
We'll also take a good look at the clever new GPS VHF units that can automatically flash your precise location
to the Coast Guard in an emergency.
These GPS capable units should really help improve safety on the water, as the Coast Guard reports that one of
the biggest challenges for their SAR (Search and Rescue) units is determining where callers are located. Many
people have difficulty explaining their precise location, especially in an emergency.