Sunday, February 26, 2012

BEAM SatDOCK 9555 proves to be reliable on the road  
Rory Byrne, Maxidale Pty Ltd

My work involves a lot of travelling widely across Australia, covering many of the unsealed roads of the country, where it would be impossible to get any GSM network coverage. I knew I had to install a reliable, in-vehicle solution that allows handsfree communication and after having installed and used the Beam SatDOCK 9555 for the last 14 months, I am only happy to say that the support and reliability that I have received has been exceptional.

The industry I work in is Non Destructive Testing, and the nature of work involves analyzing and evaluation of materials and components.  My travels have taken me to remote areas of Australia, inspecting and testing welded joints on cross country pipelines.  The fresh tracks that are constructed for access can be very rough and dusty and I believe that the SatDOCK 9555 in the vehicle has stood up to its testament with its tough exterior construction and reliability of the unit.  

Summing up I now have a phone that when secured in the SatDOCK 9555 provides me a reliable service, a stronger signal strength and having the battery always charged gives me the peace of mind and confidence at work that in a case of emergency or incident I have a tool that could make a difference.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions depend on Beam equipment

Reliable communications is not an option rather it is an imperative component in the base camp. Beam’s products are an integral part to their services, the RST100 base station units, RST600 data units and RST620 units have all proven to be robust and functional under the tough conditions.
Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions (ALE) operates the largest seasonal field camp in Antarctica. Situated at Patriot Hills, Antarctica (80 Deg 81 S 081 W), ALE provides support for intercontinental flights for tourists visiting the South Geographic Pole such as:

• travels from Chile to the Patriot Hills Blue Ice Runway;
• private expeditions to climb Antarctica’s highest Mountain, Mt Vinson;
• adventurers making the long journey man-hauling to the South Pole from various points on the coast;
• short journeys using essentially man power to haul a sledge under the tough conditions on the Polar Plateau.

In addition ALE also provides logistics support for organizations such as British Antarctic Survey, National Science Foundation and KOPRI (Korean Polar Research Institute) as required for research and development within the vicinity of Patriot Hills.

Unlike many organizations, ALE do not have the resources to solve issues arising from poor equipment selection, rather it must rely on the first time selection of reliable and durable equipment that are cost effective. In particular, the RST620 unit installed in one of the Prinoth BR-350 SnoCat hauled traverse trains travelled a remarkable 3200 kms over 40 days starting in late December 2007. Throughout its journey, the RST620 never missed a beat in the important role of providing daily situation reports back to base as the traverse train made
the long haul from Patriot Hills up the South Pole, then onward toward the South Pole of Relative Inacessability and return.

Peter McDowell, one of the partners who formed Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions
said, “We simply depend on our Beam equipment to be reliable, robust and
economical and to this point we’re very happy (snow) campers.”



Thursday, February 2, 2012

Time Bandit in the Deadliest Catch is using Beam Oceana 800 FleetPhone to communicate and to get weather reports

Brothers Andy and Johnathan Hillstrand and their crew may take to the seas in a vessel resembling a pirate ship. But unlike the buccaneers of old, they prefer to rely on modern communications like FleetPhone - Inmarsat’s new low-cost satellite phone service - while fishing in one of the most dangerous seas on the planet.

Time Bandit, the 34.44 metre-long (113ft) boat, named after the motion picture of the same name, is only on a mission to capture king crabs rather than human beings. And although the exterior of their boat looks similar to a pirate ship from yesteryear, both of them prefer to rely on the latest modern technology systems while working off Alaska in the Bering Sea.

Along with their four-man crew, they put BEAM’s Oceana 800 terminal accessing Inmarsat’s new low-cost satellite phone service – FleetPhone - through its paces. "We were extremely pleased with the performance of the BEAM Oceana 800 Fleetphone – particularly the voice quality of the service," said Captain Andy.

Weather reports
"We’ve been using it to call in for weather reports and to keep in touch with fish processors, as well as family and friends. Everyone we spoke to on the phone commented on its clarity – saying they could hear us so well." The Oceana 800 FleetPhone Terminal phone was supplied by BEAM Communications, with airtime from Inmarsat distribution partner Stratos.

Emergency calling
It offers mariners a host of features, including global coverage for its voice, text and low-speed data services, as well as Inmarsat’s 505 emergency calling capability and an additional SIM for multiple users. "We were anticipating that the sound quality and reliability of the terminal might not perform in the areas we venture to, but the phone exceeded our expectations." The unit even provided service going through False Pass - except for a very narrow spot with steep mountainous sides, and however to be fair this is a location where our old other satellite equipment could not provide any service at all, said Captain Andy.

Voice quality
"And unlike our old satellite service, which couldn’t be relied on 24 hours a day, with FleetPhone we found we could make calls at any time of the day and guarantee a connection." The voice quality of the FleetPhone came in particularly useful when the crew dialled into the National Weather Forecast Office in Alaska for weather predictions. Captain Andy said: "Getting the weather forecast can literally be a matter of life or death for us and voice quality is important because we have to state our position before we can get the forecast."

Reliable phone
The brothers - who are both third-generation Alaskan fishermen - named their boat after the movie, Time Bandit, because they say "the sea steals your time". But having a FleetPhone helped them make up for lost time, especially when it came to getting their catch processed. Captain Andy said: "Around 60 fishing boats get their crab catches processed at one of two plants, and we need a reliable phone to keep in contact with staff at the plants."