The Inmarsat IsatPhone Pro offers a low-seed internet access which works well for connecting to Sailmail. There is one important caveat: The Inmarsat gateway allows full internet access, which means that other programs (including a variety of auto-update software) can hijack the connection and slow it dramatically, or even bring it to a virtual halt. It is important to disable other software, Airmail 3.5 includes a “Dedicated Route” option which solves this in a simple way.
In order to make a data connection, the IsatPhone Pro firmware must be version 4.0.0 or later (check the phone’s Settings menu, “About”). The updater software is found on the CD that came with the phone, and firmware files can be downloaded from Inmarsat (www.isatphonelive.com/support).
Also, you must have a data-enabled SIM card, check with your Inmarsat service provider. This is critical. You will also need the USB Device Drivers for the iSatPhone Pro, to connect it to the computer, those are also included on the IsatPhone CD, or can be downloaded from the “IsatPhoneLive” website above.
Run the USB-driver installation program before connecting the phone. Once you’ve got the USB drivers installed and the phone connected to the computer with no device-driver error messages from Windows, then you need to tweak the modem settings, and create a Windows “dial-up connection” to make use of the data connection.
Part One: Modem settings:
1. Open Windows Control Panel, select “small icon” view, and open “Device Manager”.
2. In Device Manager find “Modems”, expand that, and find the “iSatPhone Pro 1.0 Modem”.
3. Double-click that to open “Properties”, select the “Modem” tab, and set the “Maximum Port Speed” to 2400.
4. Now select the “Advanced” tab, and enter “&FE0&D2” in the “Extra Initialization” box (without the quotes, and “FE” is followed by the number zero).
5. Click OK, and close the Device Manager window.
Part Two: Configure a Dial-Up Networking connection
For Windows-7 (Win-8 is similar):
1. Open the “Network and Sharing Center” window from Windows Control Panel.
2. Click “Set up a new connection or network” and then click Next.
3. Select “Connect to the Internet” and click Next.
4. If you see “You are already connected to the internet”, click on “Set up a new connection anyway”.
5. Then select “No, Create a new connection” (unless you are checking settings of an existing connection).
6. Click on “Dial-up”, and (if prompted) select the “IsatPhone Pro 1.0 Modem”.
7. In the “Dial-up phone number” enter 28
For User name and Password enter INMARSAT (for both, all cap’s),
Check the “remember password” box.
For “Connection Name” enter “IsatPhone Pro”
8. Then click “Connect”, Windows will try to connect– click “Skip” to continue.
9. Click Close and return to Network Center.
10. Click Change Adaptor Settings” on the left, find “IsatPhone Pro” and right-click and select “Properties”. (Or, open the connection and then click the “Properties” button).
11. On the first tab make sure “Use dialing rules” is not checked, and click “Configure”
12. Then click “Configure”, set “Maximum speed” to 2400, and select all three hardware features, then click OK.
13. On the “Networking” tab, un-check all items except “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)”. (If any items won’t un-check, that is OK). Click OK to close.
1. Open “Network Connections” window (Start-button, Settings, Network Connections).
2. Click “Create a new connection”, click Next.
3. Select “Connect to the Internet” and click Next.
4. Select “Set up my connection manually” and click Next.
5. Select “Connect using a dial-up modem” and click Next.
6. If a “Select a Device” window appears, check the box next to “IsatPhone Pro 1.0 Modem”, and uncheck all other devices. Click Next.
7. Enter a connection name (e.g., “IsatPhone Pro”) and click Next.
8. In the Phone Number box, enter 28 and click Next.
9. Enter INMARSAT (upper case) for both username and password.
10. Click Next, then Finish.
11. Click Properties for the new dialup connection, make sure “use dialing rules” is NOT checked.
12. Then click “Configure”, set “Maximum modem speed” to 2400, and check all three hardware features, then click OK.
13. On the “Networking” tab, make sure “Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)” is checked. Uncheck all other components (if they won’t un-check, that is OK). Click OK and close the connection box.
To connect manually, click on the Networks icon in the system-tray (lower-right corner of the screen), select “IsatPhone Pro” and select “Connect”. Repeat to disconnect. You can also get to the connections properties from this window.
The following details are important:
* Don’t forget the “Extra initialization string” in the Part One, this is critical.
* Be sure that maximum speed is set to 2400, in two places.
* Under Network Connections (second step), only “TCP/IP (ver-4)” should be checked (others are OK if they can’t be un-checked).
* Your SIM card must be current and enabled for data (check with your airtime provider)
* You must be logged into Windows with Administrator privileges.
Once all that is done, open Airmail’s “telnet” window (click the “Internet” button on the toolbar or open the Modules menu then Telnet-client). Check the “dial first” box in the Telnet window, and select the “IsatPhone Pro” connection, and check the “Dedicated Route” option. At the top, “Server1” should be selected (SMSG1 for previous Airmail versions).
To check mail, click Airmail’s “Internet” button (or go to Modules menu, Telnet-client), make sure “Server1” is selected, make sure the phone has a good signal (should be 4-5 bars) and click the green “connect” button. Airmail will dial the phone, contact the server, and exchange mail. Watch the connection and make sure it disconnects when finished.
It takes about a minute to get connected to the internet (airtime charges start after about 20 seconds), 20 seconds to connect to Sailmail and check mail, and 15-20 seconds to disconnect.
Remember that the IsatPhone antenna must be outdoors, with a clear view towards the satellite. The best antenna is a proper fixed-mount IsatPhone marine antenna, not cheap but strongly recommended if you are serious about it working reliably. The phone’s antenna also works, IF it is above-decks with a clear view towards the satellite– orient the antenna generally towards the satellite.
If you do not have an internet/telnet window at all then go to Airmail’s Tools menu, Options window, Modules tab, and check the box to the left of “Telnet Client”. Click OK.
To check your telnet settings first open the Telnet window (click the “Internet” button or go to Airmail’s Modules menu and select Internet or Telnet Client). Make sure “Sailmail” is selected if you have also configured Airmail for ham use. Select “WRD719” and click “Settings”, or if not found then click “New”.
Check the following settings:
remote callsign: “Server1” (or SMSG1)
remote host: smsg1.sailmail.com or 126.96.36.199 (see ** note)
Local callsign: (your Sailmail/marine callsign)
Password: (your Sailmail internet password, Case-Sensitive!).
Click OK to save settings.
** Note: For quickest access select “Server1” or “SMSG1” as the server, make sure the port is “50”, and enter the numeric IP-address instead of the name “smsg1.sailmail.com” — this saves a few seconds. But remember that this numeric address may change if we need to shift servers– so if you cannot connect then enter the “smsg1.sailmail.com” (without the quotes) and note the address which is shown when you connect. A second gateway server is SMSG2, remote-host: smsg2.sailmail.com or 188.8.131.52 and port: 50.
If you want to initiate a Data connection manually, open the Dial-Up Networking window and open the “IsatPhone Pro” dial-up connection and click “dial”. And don’t forget to disconnect when you are finished!