Dongle for use at sea

Associate
Joined
15 Sep 2012
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22
Hi guys,
So I work in the north sea on rig support vessels and the internet the company provides is bobbins
To the point where during the day you can't load up a website and barely receive emails.
There is no phone signal out there unless you're near a norwegian rig and the internet is extremely expensive
So my question to you guys, is there a dongle that will give me signal while at sea? Or should I just suck it up and deal with it?
 

KIA

KIA

Man of Honour
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14 Nov 2004
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Suck it up and deal with it. :)

How far from the shore are you?
 
Associate
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7 Mar 2011
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UK
Take a look at Tooway satellite broadband. You'll need a dish and the modem/router/cable run. As well as a minimum 25 quid a month sub.

That's pretty much your only option when you're in the sea.
 
Soldato
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18 Oct 2002
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'gis a job mate? Would love to be out rolling on the high seas!

Perhaps the previous skipper had the satellite set up to run with an access point to run wifi on the boat? And he connected via USB wifi dongle?
 
Caporegime
Joined
20 Sep 2006
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28,808
You'd need something about A3 size to work with a satellite, I doubt something the size of a dongle could do it.
 
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Soldato
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High Wycombe
if you get an iridium sat phone you can connect to it and use it for data - expensive but thats what you have to pay if its your only option!
 
Man of Honour
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If there no phone signal then no mobile internet based dongle will work either - but due to the lack of stuff blocking line of sight, etc. mobile phone signals do travel quite far out to sea - might be worth looking at high gain or parabolic antenna.

EDIT: Looks like for normal reception mobile phone coverage at sea drops out at around 20 miles off-shore at best while you might be able to pickup a signal further out with fancy antennas transmitting back will be a lot more complicated.
 
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Soldato
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19 Jul 2004
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Shoreham by Sea
I'm away for 28 solid days at a time. I serve the oilfields between Shetland and Norway.

May be worth checking to see if any of the mobile networks have coverage anywhere near you. The closest towers might still reach but you'd need to be outside since signals drop off quickly when you're behind metal walls! Used to have to leave my phone in a fairly high compartment on my ship right by the window when I was in the Navy :E
 
Associate
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London
Suck it up. It's life offshore. Slow Internet and very flaky tv. Get yourself on the wind farm boats, much closer to shore ;)
 
Associate
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There are quite a few companies out there that have tested and working solutions that rival Iridium/Inmarsat/KVH/Marlink etc........ using 3G etc... Have a serach... i would link you but that would be considered advertising as i work for one such company. Bear in mind it is more expensive compared to terrestrial services, but then again a FBB/VSAT can cost $20,000+(when i say plus, C-Band can cost over $60,000) for the equipment + up to $15(dependant on provider, streaming vs standard bla bla bla so many variables) per MB :)
 
Soldato
Joined
20 Oct 2008
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12,096
If there no phone signal then no mobile internet based dongle will work either - but due to the lack of stuff blocking line of sight, etc. mobile phone signals do travel quite far out to sea - might be worth looking at high gain or parabolic antenna.

EDIT: Looks like for normal reception mobile phone coverage at sea drops out at around 20 miles off-shore at best while you might be able to pickup a signal further out with fancy antennas transmitting back will be a lot more complicated.

At 20 miles you must be getting into issues caused by the curvature of the Earth (as mobile signals are basically line of sight). About 20 miles rings a bell for the spacing of microwave repeater towers (but it's a long time since I worked for GEC/GPT/Etc. so I'm probably wrong).
 
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Associate
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6 May 2011
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Nr Watford
Take a look at Tooway satellite broadband. You'll need a dish and the modem/router/cable run. As well as a minimum 25 quid a month sub.

That's pretty much your only option when you're in the sea.

If he's beyond Shetland he'll have trouble picking up the satellite signal - Orkneys and Shetland need a 1m dish - may not get anything further out
 
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