Long-Term Storage of Your Iridium Satellite Phone Battery

Storing Your Satellite Phone Battery:

Satellite phones are often used under harsh temperature conditions and stored for extended periods of time. This can be stressful to your phone’s battery.  The following guidelines will result in maximum battery performance.

  1. Avoid excessive heat. Don’t store your battery in a vehicle or in an area that is vulnerable to becoming hot.

  2. Unlike older NiCad batteries that had “memory” and needed to be fully discharged, Li-ion batteries can be recharged at any charge level, and you should actually avoid letting them discharge below 20%.

  3. If you intend to store the satellite phone for more than two months, make sure that the Li-Ion battery has about 50% charge remaining and then put the battery in a resealable plastic bag in the refrigerator or other cool place. Place the phone and its other accessories in a cool dry place.  When you take the battery out of storage, be sure it is back to room temperature before exposing it to moist air. Remove any condensation before putting it back in the phone

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Using the Iridium AxcessPoint on Windows

Using the Iridium AxcessPoint on Windows

Outfitter Satellite's customers have generally given the  Iridium AxcessPoint Wi-Fi Hotspot device great reviews on its email performance for use with the iPhone, iPad,  Blackberry, or Windows computers. If you absolutely need to browse the web, use web sites optimized for low throughput data connections such as 'mobi' sites.  For most applications, web access over the Iridium network is just too slow to visit typical websites such as Google or news sites -- even with the powerful compression provided by the AxcessPoint Mail and Web software.

POWER ISSUES:   You need to charge the AxcessPoint battery for at least  4 hours and the only method is an AC wall charger. The AxcessPoint does not charge from its USB port.  This means that once you are in a remote location, you will need an external power source such as a battery pack with an AC inverter.    The AxcessPoint has an ON/OFF switch so be careful to remember to turn it OFF when not in use.

INITIAL REGISTRATION:    Each AxcessPoint user is assigned an email address which is 'username'@myiridium.net.   To get your username and password you need to register at the Iridium web site and supply the MAC address of your AxcessPoint (found on the device).   You are then given instructions to download the AxcessPoint Mail and Web (APMaW) software for your Windows machine (or iPhone, iPad, or Blackberry). Follow the installation instructions.

WHY YOU SHOULD STICK WITH THE DEFAULT SETTINGS:    Though it is possible to use the AxcessPoint without the APMaW software, Outfitter Satellite's view is that the main benefit of the AxcessPoint is not the WiFi access but the APMaW software itself which keeps your airtime usage costs down by pre-compressing the email and web traffic and automatically turning the Iridium data connection on and off as you actually need it.  This keeps your Iridium airtime costs down.

CONNECTING A WINDOWS COMPUTER TO THE INTERNET THROUGH AN AXCESSPOINT: 

STEP ONE:  Plug the Iridium phone into the AxcessPoint using the USB cable provided.  The AxcessPoint should be switched OFF until step three.

STEP TWO:  Set up your Iridium 9555 or 9575 phone in an outdoor area with open access to the sky and adequate signal strength prior to use.  You will need at least 3 bars of signal on the Iridium phone to have good success.

STEP THREE:  Turn your Iridium AxcessPoint device switch ON.   Open Iridium AxcessPoint Mail & Web on your Windows computer and login with the username and password provided during registration.

When two of three lights on the Iridium AxcessPoint device are green, you can connect your Wi-Fi enabled device and use your Iridium AxcessPoint Mail & Web to send emails and browse the Internet.

ONE PITFALL: If you connect the AxcessPoint (in its default configuration) to the Iridium phone -- without first having gained control of the AxcessPoint from the APMaW software, then the AxcessPoint (by default) will dial out and make a data call.  You will see "USB Data Call in progress..." on the LCD screen of the Iridium phone. This just wastes airtime.   We know because we wasted a bit of airtime during our initial tests of the AxcessPoint.     Recommendation: Don't let much time elapse between switching the AxcessPoint ON and connecting your computer wirelessly to the AxcessPoint and logging into the APMaW software.

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Controlling Costs on an Inmarsat BGAN

Controlling Costs on an Inmarsat BGAN

One of the most common issues that comes up with our Inmarsat BGAN customers is that they use more megabytes (MB) than they expect. The reason for this is that people don't realize that simply going to Google can use around a quarter of a MB.  Most popular news sites have a lot more graphics and even animations which will use up a lot of MBs. When you are using a conventional broadband terrestrial internet service for which you only pay a fixed monthly fee, it doesn't matter how many MBs you download.   When you are using an Inmarsat BGAN in Standard IP data mode, you pay for each MB you transfer.

Here are a few simple ways to reduce unnecessary data usage:

  • Most computers that have been setup for terrestrial broadband internet connections use the internet constantly to check email, run instant messaging, update virus definitions, update the operating system, run backup services,  etc... All of these processes transfer enormous amounts of MBs. So, when you are done with your internet activity, HIT THE DISCONNECT BUTTON on Inmarsat Launchpad to end the internet session.

  • Keep emails text based and avoid uploading or downloading large attachments with photos or graphics.  A typical photo using a digital camera may be several MBs or larger.  

  • The overwhelming majority of data transfer that occurs during web browsing is used to download graphics. If you enable Picture Placeholders  in your web browser, it prevents your web browser from downloading the graphics on the web site you are browsing -- unless you specifically right click on a particular graphic that you want to see.  We have included instructions below for Internet Explorer 9.0 but similar capabilities exist on other browsers.

Using Picture Placeholders on Internet Explorer 9.0: 

  1. From the IE 9.0 Web browser, click on the Gear symbol (see right).

  2. Select “Internet Options”.

  3. Click the “Advanced” tab.

  4. In the “Settings” area uncheck the following:  “Show Pictures”, “Play Animations”, “Play Sounds” as shown below:

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