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Author Topic: Satellite Comunications  (Read 2216 times)
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Hi,

I've worked on a number of arduino projects that involve tracking balloons/planes/boats. So far I've always used a GSM modem to send data in the form of SMS messages.

The catch is that above a few hundred feet, or out-of sight of the shore the modem stops working for obvious reasons. The solution seems to be to  use a satellite modem. I've seen solutions in the past that are based on hardware-hacking of old satellite phones, but even this seems to involve expensive hardware, long contracts and expensive data rates. Just buying an iridium modem seems to be impossible, they only seem interested in selling large quantities at high prices with long contracts

I've come across this recently.....
http://rockblock.rock7mobile.com/
This seems to tick most of boxes, the modem is about £160, the subscription is £8 a month and it's 12 pence for 50 characters.

My questions are...
Has anyone used this with an arduino? if so any problems?
Is anyone aware of any similar or better options?

Cheers
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I'm not involved with it, but I understand that the UK High Altitude Society have a free collaborative radio tracking solution which might conceivably work for you. Otherwise, the conventional solution seems to be some sort of ham radio based system. I'm not surprised that satellite phone based solutions are expensive - it needs specialist hardware and the price you quoted seems quite a lot cheaper than I remember from Inmarsat.
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price you quoted seems quite a lot cheaper than I remember from Inmarsat.
That's what I thought! It's partly the reason for the post, I was hoping someone might have already used it and could advise on it's viability.

Thanks
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from home page
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Hello World
RockBLOCK can send and receive short messages from anywhere on Earth with a view of the sky.
Compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux computers (including Raspberry PI™) and many other platforms with USB or serial ports.

Plan A. use Raspberry PI as shield connect with box, and connect Raspberry PI via USB to Arduino.
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So far I've always used a GSM modem to send data in the form of SMS messages.

GSM modem -> 2G technologies

plan B.  upgrade it to 4G Wimax, 30 to 40 megabit-per-second data rates, and 34 mb seem is  the standard. Operating at the maximum range of 50 km (31 mi).  to make 4G Wimax  working with Arduino  is easy. use Raspberry PI as shield connect with Wimax USB stick, and connect Raspberry PI via USB to Arduino. It works for me.

Now we have big problem, Did we have enough data, 10mb/s  to transfer?

« Last Edit: April 07, 2013, 11:02:00 pm by sonnyyu » Logged

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http://globalstar.com/en/?rls=1
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plan B.  upgrade it to 4G Wimax
Does 4g Wimax work at a greater altitude than 2g? that's the underlying issue. The only reason I'm considering going to satellite is that I know it will work at almost any altitude.

Regards
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Hi

Just to let you know, I work for Rock7 (who make the RockBLOCK) - happy to answer any questions you might have.

We have quite a few people using RockBLOCKs in high-altitude projects, seems to be quite a good application for the unit, and by all the reports and photos I have seen people are happy with it.
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I need to send data from an Arduino data logger to remote SQL server, from remote places with little or no GSM / GPRS signal. Has anyone done something like this, successfully? The monitoring will be done in Africa though.
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One more Satellite Comunications thread
« Last Edit: June 17, 2013, 10:33:36 am by sonnyyu » Logged

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I need to send data from an Arduino data logger to remote SQL server, ...

I did one mini concept proof Arduino data logger project a while ago, which use remote NoSQL server.
NoSQL give a way better speed, scalable, hardware requirement than SQL server.

Use NoSQL might help you get rise as well.  smiley-razz
« Last Edit: June 17, 2013, 10:36:27 am by sonnyyu » Logged

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plan B.  upgrade it to 4G Wimax
Does 4g Wimax work at a greater altitude than 2g? that's the underlying issue. The only reason I'm considering going to satellite is that I know it will work at almost any altitude.

Regards

No.
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I need to send data from an Arduino data logger to remote SQL server, ...

I did one mini concept proof Arduino data logger project a while ago, which use remote NoSQL server.
NoSQL give a way better speed, scalable, hardware requirement than SQL server.

Use NoSQL might help you get rise as well.  smiley-razz
We already have a PHP + MySQL application for our purposes and I just need to get the data to the server, reliably.
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He did it!  Works great!  Rockblock Library for Arduino:

http://arduiniana.org/libraries/iridiumsbd/
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Just use a radio modem in 400 Mhz band UHF , with FSK or QFSK modulation or other, you do not get the high data rate like the modem but with a power amplifier of 6 to 10 W and a directive high gain antenna you cold receive the data with no problem from space. Of course you shod have a transceiver or the proper equipment, antenna, etc at the receiving side. See APRS ISS transmission from space for reference.
Also there are radio repeater satellites for HAM radio use if you can send data threw thous. Up link in VHF and Down link in UHF and so on. 
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