Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Choosing the right safety and communication equipment for your next trip

The thrill of pursuing an adventure; whether it’s hiking at Kakadu National Park, 4WDriving along the Simpson Desert, heading out fishing in the crystal clear waters of Hervey Bay or camping out at Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair, there is no denying the absolute isolation you feel from the rest of the world.
Rushing out into the great outdoors and traveling to remote locations would require research and knowledge about the places you’re visiting as well as being smart about what to pack along with you throughout the journey. Apart from the obvious items, you’ll bring along, such as water and food, you always need to be prepared for the unexpected.  After all, we’re not all like Bear Grylls where we fight to survive.  Yes, we need to bring the right tools but we also need to have the right equipment.  There’s no shortage of equipment available out there, and it can get quite overwhelming to choose which one and what product is right for your next adventure.
TRACKING YOUR WHEREABOUTS
One of the best devices you can bring with you when you’re out hiking or cycling would be a GPS tracking device.  These compact, lightweight, durable and most often waterproof devices are great for any weather condition.  They’re can range from $150 – $1000, depending on the features you want and/or need. There are so many different GPS devices on the market it can be hard to choose the right one for you. The best way to choose is to look for one that is specifically tailored to your adventure through the features of the GPS.  A good quality GPS can boast features such as upgradable maps, compass, altimeter, barometer and emergency services options enabling you to reduce the amount of equipment you need to take with you.
For hiking and cyclists, a great feature to look for is the ability to chart your courses. You can then upload it to your computer and analyse your course, enabling you to see altitude changes, climbs, descents and distance. You can then share it with your family and friends. It is also a great way to keep track of where you have been and visit those places again.
Some GPS also come with an SOS button that allows you to send a text to emergency services and even your family.
The Garmin GPSMAP 64ST features a 2.6-inch sunlight-readable colour screen and is preloaded with TOPO Lite Australia and New Zealand maps and retails for $499.00.  It has a high-sensitivity GPS and GLONASS receiver that can reach into the thickness of the woods.
COMMUNICATE IN GROUPS
UHF radios are great devices to have for communication over short distances as they work on a line of sight. Travelling in a 4×4 convoy across Australia, it is crucial that you have a set of these to allow communication within your convoy. They are a low-cost option with no setup fees or ongoing costs. The UHF units are also available in vehicle packs that will keep you hands-free while behind the wheel but, also the option to take it out of your vehicle to use as a portable device.
The Uniden 820S 2W (Tradies Twin Pack) is a great kit to take along and install in your car.  It is built for rugged conditions and is a reliable 2-way radio ideal for communicating in a group or the outside world. The UHF820s-2 Tradies pack retails for $249.99.
FOR PEACE OF MIND
If you find yourself fishing in the open seas or hiking in the thickness of the bush, you should never leave without an emergency beacon.
EPIRBS and PLBS very similar, and will both send out a distress signal when activated. EPIRBs are for marine use only and are designed to float upright to gain a more efficient signal to the satellite.
Personal Locator Beacons or PLBs are mainly used for land base travels. These are small, lightweight, pocket-sized units that will easily stow away in your backpack. If you find yourself in an emergency, all you have to do is raise the antenna on your PLB and press the emergency button, this will notify emergency services of your approximate location.  The search can take about 1-4 hours instead of days.
Added security for EPIRBS and PLBS are strobe lights and rescue whistles. These small inexpensive tools will assist search and rescue teams in locating you if it is dark, you are in a high-density area, in low visibility or areas that are hard to get to.

ALL CHARGED UP
Most often than not, you can find yourself in a position where your devices are running low in battery, therefore compromising your safety by conserving power by turning off your devices or having to weigh yourself down with extra batteries.  And because we rely so much on our devices and equipment, such as phones, laptops, tablets and cameras, a good and reliable solar charger is a must for any adventurer or traveler on the go.  The GOALZERO Nomad 28 Plus is a light 28-Watt panel (when it’s in full direct sunlight) designed to withstand water, heat and drop resistant.  The Nomad 28 is a very reliable solar panel to charge your USB devices and retails for $399.00.

ONE-STOP-SHOP
At SatPhone Shop, we understand the importance of communicating at all times whenever you are traveling alone or in a group and heading out to remote locations.  Our experienced team of professionals can guide and assist you with your safety equipment or satellite communication needs with 100% support from our team.
SatPhone Shop is your one-stop shop for communications and safety solutions.  Whether you are looking to buy, rent or simply have a question you can visit our showroom at 5/8 Anzed Court, Mulgrave VIC or call us on 1300 368 611.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Stay Connected During your Aussie Adventures

Aussies are known to be an adventurous bunch and have always loved to explore our great country. Typically the best way we know how to explore our land is to travel in 4x4’s, caravans or trekking across the remote wilderness.  One thing that you will find out very quickly whilst travelling across the vast terrain, is that your mobile phone is basically rendered useless once you travel outside our major capital and regional centres. Most mobile networks cover 98% -99% of the population, which is great, however in land mass this equates to only around 20% of Australia having mobile coverage, the other 80% where you need communications even more, has nothing.

Of course, there is radio, either UHF or HF. UHF is pretty inexpensive and easy to use, however even with a 5watt system the signal at best only carriers 17km. In the outback, most properties are bigger than that. HF carries further however is very expensive to install, at around $3,000 - $6,000 and most people find it very difficult to use and still doesn’t work EVERYWHERE.

For this reason, there is a genuine need for most travellers to have a satellite phone for use on their trip and to have that peace of mind.  To know that you will have a reliable source of communication for emergencies and life-threatening situations is crucial.  Even just to keep in touch with your loved ones and keep up with those important footy scores doesn’t make you feel isolated.

There are a few different choices out there when it comes to satellite phones, and like mobile phones, coverage is key. You want to go with the network that offers the best coverage possible, as there is no point really having a satellite phone if you can’t get a signal when you need it.  SatPhone Shop is supported by the Iridium network.  Iridium is the ONLY satellite network provider that offers 100% global coverage, so you can’t get better than that!

The Iridium network operates a LEO (Low Earth Orbiting) satellite constellation.  It consists of 66 moving satellites, about 800km in orbit. From a usage perspective, one of the important things of a LEO constellation is that they enable satellite phones to be designed with omni-directional antennas.  This offers great coverage even in hilly areas and the most rugged of terrain, always giving you 100% global satellite coverage.

The important thing to remember when using a satellite phone is the phone must be able to see the satellite and vice versa. You must be outside with a clear view of the sky (unless your using an external antenna) to make and receive calls.

If you happen to be in a deep gully or valley with high cliffs either side, this may affect the phone getting a good satellite signal.  If possible, you would climb higher up to increase your chance of getting a better coverage. The benefit of Iridium and their 66 satellites is they are always moving, so even in a bad location, there will be times a satellite will be overhead to enable you to make a call or send an SMS.  This could be a real life saver compared to a geostationary satellite, where you only have access to one satellite, so if you don’t have signal where you are, you will never have a signal.

As many people may only travel for a brief period of time, maybe once a year, but do not want to invest into buying a satellite phone.  A less expensive option is to rent a satellite phone for as little or as long as you need. Renting gives you all the benefits and peace of mind of having a satellite phone, without the investment and ongoing costs of owning a satellite, so is certainly a very popular option of many people.

SatPhone Rentals, a subsidiary of SatPhone Shop, offer the cheapest rental rates around and offer the full range of Iridium phones with 100% satellite coverage on the Iridium network. SatPhone Rentals can advise you of a calling solution that will meet your needs whether post-paid or pre-paid, there is a plan that is right for you. Renting a satellite phone is also a terrific way to try before you buy...it really couldn't be any easier than that.


A satphone rental can start from as little as $7 per day with 3 different handsets to choose from and all phones come in a water proof protective hard case to keep everything safe and dry!  SatPhone Rentals offer additional accessories like external antennas and extra batteries in case you need them and you also have a choice to get insurance to protect you from loss or theft of your satellite phone rental.

SatPhone Rentals, offer one of the largest fleets of satellite phones to ensure availability of phones, when you need it.  SatPhone Rentals delivers phones anywhere in Australia from Melbourne to Nhulunbuy to Oodnadatta to Carnarvan via Express Post.  A self-addressed Express Post envelope is even provided for you to return the phone, it couldn’t be easier!  With a low minimum 3-day rental for phones you can rent for as long as you like. SatPhone Rentals also offer Post Paid SIM cards which are available for rent for a minimum of 7 days or Pre-paid cards starting at 30 days with 75 minutes of call credit for a low $175.

Typically, you will receive your satphone rental within 2-3 working days depending on where you’re located. If you are in Melbourne, then you are welcome to come to our showroom and collect a phone for those last-minute trips.

All phones are fully tested prior to shipping, so you can have peace of mind.

If you are going off the beaten track in your 4x4 and require a truly ruggedized phone that is shock resistant, dust proof and jet water resistant, then the Iridium Extreme® 9575 is the one for you.  This phone is built for the toughest of conditions, it has lots of features and accessories like real time tracking, GPS enabled, SOS emergency distress at no additional charge.  You can add a magnetic antenna to your kit so there is no need to pull over to use your satellite phone, you will always be connected.

If you need a satellite phone to have in your caravan for that peace of mind, but do not need all the extra features that the Extreme® offers, an Iridium 9555 satellite phone is designed to go easily wherever you go.  The Iridium 9555 offers call and text capabilities and an internally stowed antenna making this a sleek portable option.

And for those who just can’t bare to be without their smartphones, the Iridium GO! is one of our most popular devices.  The Iridium GO! is a compact and portable, yet rugged satellite backed Wi-Fi hotspot.  Just download the free Iridium GO! app and you can turn your smart phone into a satellite phone. This great little device can also connect up to 5 smart devices whether it is a smart phone or tablet (for Apple and Android users), making this a great option for people traveling in groups.  The Iridium GO! is small enough to fit in your pocket or stowed away in your backpack, with the bonus addition of being able to support a range of communications, including GPS tracking and email access.

SatPhone Shop’s foundation is built on having some of the best employees in the industry, with years of satellite telecommunication experience from sales and marketing right across to engineering and excellent customer support.  

Let us assist you with your satellite communication needs, call now on 1300 368 611.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Riding the Ice in Antarctica

Early this year, Charles Werb embarked on a world first attempt to snow sail across the Antarctic Plateau.  He now holds the world record for being the first person to ever snow sail in Antarctica.  SatPhone Shop, communications partner for the Outer Edge Polar Challenge, Ride for Leukaemia sponsored Charles with 2 x Iridium GO! devices to maintain contact with base camp and the rest of the world.  He said that the Iridium GO! surpassed his expectation for reliability and ease of use.


“If it works in the wilds of Antarctica without fault, it’ll work anywhere in the world.  I can’t recommend the product highly enough.” 

Watch the video below featured on Scope TV

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Outer Edge Polar Challenge - SatPhone Shop Communications Partner


SatPhone Shop, communications partner for The Polar Challenge Ride for Leukaemia, is proud to be part of Charles Werb's journey in making his dream a reality.  
Charles was equipped with an Iridium GO! Wi-Fi hotspot device, which he used to get in touch with base camp, family and his crew.  Check out the video:  https://youtu.be/N2kWq8V5KwA
SatPhone Shop would like to congratulate Charles and his team in successfully achieving a world 'first' record.  Well done!

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

2015 Victorian Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow - SatPhone Shop Inte...

Check out the interview with Terry Rogers from WHATS UP DOWNUNDER with SatPhone Shop's Business Manager, Damian, at the Victorian Caravan Camping & Touring Supershow.  It highlights one of the latest satellite products in the market, Iridium GO!™