NEW Sidekick Satellite Wifi Router Now Available from OCENS

NEWS – For Immediate Release

OCENS Inc., Seattle WA

Media Contacts:  Jeff Thomassen, 206.878.8270, jeff@ocens.com

NEW Sidekick Satellite Wifi Router Now Available from OCENS

Sidekick and Sidekick Pro extend access of legacy satellite phones to mobile devices

SEATTLE, WA January 26, 2016 – OCENS today announces the availability of the Sidekick Satellite Wifi Routers. Sidekick connects all of your wifi-­‐enabled smartphones, tablets, and computers to your satellite telephone for weather, email, messaging and more.

For most of their history, wifi-­‐enabled satellite phones have been few and far between. Connections were unavailable to smartphones and tablets and those to PC and Macs were made with an all too often cumbersome process of serial and USB cabling and driver install. Meanwhile, our world was moving in an entirely different direction. Smartphones and tablets were proliferating. Each one of those iOS, Android and Windows devices shipped with built-­‐in wifi capabilities to link their onboard apps with the internet for email, weather, messaging, gaming, and a host of other services. None of them offered any form of USB or serial connectivity.

The Sidekick now connects these two worlds by broadcasting a local wifi signal to connect it to your tablets, smartphones and other wifi-­‐enabled devices. In the direction of your satellite phone, the Sidekick comes equipped with USB and Ethernet ports to allow you to hook it to that satellite phone with a simple plug-­‐in. In effect, you’ve transformed your wifi-­‐less satellite phone into a wifi-­‐enabled unit now able to communicate with any of your tablets and smartphones.

All OCENS software is designed to communicate with the Sidekick. After auto-­‐dialing through the satellite phone, OCENS software connects to the Iridium, Inmarsat, Globalstar or MSAT satellite networks and processes your email, weather request, position report, text message or web browser connect. Press the ‘Connect’ button in the OCENS’ OneMail app on your iPhone, for example, and OneMail will auto-­‐dial through the Sidekick to your satellite phone, connect to the satellite network, retrieve your Gmail to the OneMail app and then  auto-­‐disconnect.

A basic and Pro version of the Sidekick are available. The Pro offers Power-­‐over-­‐Ethernet (POE) capabilities and adds an external antenna for extended range. Pricing starts at $99.

Sidekick is compatible with the following satellite devices:

Iridium: 9505, 9505a, 9555 and 9575 and Iridium OpenPort

Inmarsat: IsatPhone 2, Fleet Broadband, FleetOne.

Globalstar: 1600, 1700

MSAT: Westinghouse and Mitsubishi

About OCENS, Inc. OCENS data services, software and apps merge easy-­‐to-­‐use applications with unprecedented content offerings to affordably deliver data over satellite phones to remote users around the world. OCENS weather, ocean and         fishing services provide access to the largest collection of GRIB and classical data that can be found anywhere. Using patented pull-­‐me technology, OCENS WeatherNet provides fast access to the world’s widest selection of weather and ocean information over PC and Mac platforms. GRIB Explorer processes highly compressed GRIB information into unique decision products for use on PC, Mac or iPad platforms. MetMapper transforms static weather charts and satellite imagery into dynamic planning tools. OCENS’ iPhone, Android, Windows phone and Blackberry apps provide weather and messaging services to the smartphone community. Its SpotCast weather service provides multi-­‐day, multi-­‐point forecasts of weather and ocean conditions for any point on earth in a highly compact form. OneMail provides clean and quick access to your Gmail account through satellite connections. OCENS augments its software core with satellite equipment, satellite accessories such as the Sidekick satellite wifi router, and airtime solutions it provides in cooperation with all the major satellite providers.

Satellite Communications: Getting it Installed on your Boat

As you accumulate all of the necessary supplies for your next and ongoing voyages, you have undoubtedly already acquired or are planning to invest in a satellite communications package. The following are the critical points to consider when selecting equipment and preparing it for the installation.

Line of sight. This is the most important concept to understand with satellite communications. All satellite communications networks have at least one common fundamental: the satellite phone has to have a direct line of sight with the satellites. The satellite RF signal will not travel through dense objects (such as a bulkhead, ceiling, wall, etc.), so this means that to use your satellite phone, you must either be outside or have a remotely located external antenna in place. The former is pretty self-explanatory, so I will address the latter by outlining the necessary components for this type of installation.

  • External Antenna. Using your satellite phone inside while maintaining line of sight with the satellites is as simple as installing an externally mounted antenna. Both Iridium and Globalstar have orbiting satellite constellations, so the antenna should be positioned in a location that will offer it the most panoramic exposure to the sky. The antennas are passive, so they have no moving parts, rather, they are designed to cover a broad look angle in all directions for maximum satellite visibility. Antenna height is not important in and of itself unless it is for the purpose of getting it above a potential obstacle, such as a bulkhead. Also, you generally want to keep the antenna at least two meters away from any other RF antennas, particularly radar. A satellite antenna can me mounted on the mast, however, a rail mount is also very common. Most marine antennas have a standard 1” diameter female pipe thread, and there are many different 1” adapters to choose from at your local marine supply store. Marine rated satellite antennas are hermetically sealed and designed to be continuously exposed to salt-fog, moisture, and UV. The only point of moisture entry is the cable connector, so it is recommended to use a marine rated dressing on the connector followed by a good tape job.
  • Antenna cable. For an external antenna to work, you must run the correct type of antenna cable from the antenna to the phone or docking station. With Iridium, it is typically a single cable run. The exception is in the case of a dual mode antenna and a 9575 model phone. A dual mode antenna has both Iridium and GPS elements built in, giving you both signals off of a single antenna. A dual mode antenna requires two cable runs—one for the Iridium signal and one for GPS. The GPS signal feeds GPS coordinates to the phone for the purpose of using the SOS and tracking features on the 9575. Globalstar always requires two cables traveling from the antenna to the phone’s docking station. The overall length of the cable determines the cable stock required in order to remain within the dB loss spec for the satellite signal. A qualified satellite equipment provider will supply you with the correct cable and connector combination for your system, so all you need to worry about is mapping out your cable run and then determining the necessary cable length. And keep in mind – the shorter the cable run the better!
  • Docking Station. In the case of Iridium, when using a remote antenna, you have the option of using the basic antenna adapter that comes with the phone, or the much preferred option of using a docking station. There are several docking station models available for Iridium phones, but they all commonly provide the four basic functions: a secure place to dock the phone, power supplied to the phone keeping it charged, antenna cable connection to the phone, and a data port interface. Depending on the docking station model, some may include additional features such as an RJ11 port, audio input/output, and Bluetooth. With Globalstar, there is one docking station model available and it comes as a package that includes the antenna and antenna cable. When ordering a Globalstar docking station kit, all you need to do is specify the marine antenna and desired cable length. Most docking stations require a 9-32VDC power source and are typically hardwired to your boat’s DC power supply. The overall advantage of a docking station, besides the inherent purpose of using it with an external antenna, is that you have a clean, streamlined, and durable installation, yet within seconds you can deploy your phone from the dock for general use off of the boat or in an emergency situation.
  • WiFi. A wireless data connection from the satellite phone to a computer, tablet, or smartphone can be achieved by adding a simple, but specialized wireless access point. The Sidekick, by OCENS, is specifically designed to interface with satellite phones. It is an optional item for use with computers, but necessary for smartphones and tablets. With a computer, besides being a wireless connection, it is largely beneficial because it eliminates the need for finicky USB drivers since the computer only has to make a standard WiFi network connection. The Sidekick is “plug-and-play” and compatible with all satellite phone models, so to install it, you simply connect it to the USB port on the phone or docking station. For power, the Sidekick requires a standard 5VDC USB power source via its micro USB port.

Installing an effective satellite communications system is not a daunting task once you understand the core components of the system and how they interact with each other. A “do-it-yourselfer” can confidently take on this job him or herself or at least understand the process before hiring a marine electrician to perform the installation. Take your cruising to the next level by leveraging the power of modern satellite communications networks.

About OCENS. OCENS has been providing satellite communications, weather, and email solutions to the marine and other industries for the past 20 years and has established a reputation of providing consistently high-quality support to all of its clients. Please contact OCENS with any questions or concerns related to satellite communications applications.

NEWS – For Immediate Release: OCENS announces the availability of its new OCENS Mail service for the PC and Mac

NEWS – For Immediate Release

OCENS Inc., Seattle WA

Media Contacts:  Jeff Thomassen, 206.878.8270, jeff@ocens.com

OCENS Mail from OCENS for PC and Mac

Mail service extends OCENS mail services across all platforms

SEATTLE, WA January 12, 2016 – OCENS today announces the availability of its OCENS Mail service for the PC and Mac.

OCENS Mail is mail with a singular purpose…to move your email as fast as possible. This speed and the key features of OCENS Mail are gleaned from more than a decade of listening to and building software and apps for satellite users…its superior design emphatically demonstrating that simplicity and performance can coexist with craftsmanship and personality. All backed by a company with an unrelenting and uncompromising commitment to supporting our customers.

The OCENS Mail program is using the latest versions of Thunderbird. But the integration is then personalized by OCENS to make the interface even sleeker and more simple to use. Any of our customers who want to use Outlook, their own version of Thunderbird or almost any other client for that matter can readily do so.

On the back-­‐end, the server infrastructure supporting the new mail is state-­‐of-­‐the-­‐art. Features such as MegaMail for large file shunting, high-­‐level mail compression, mid-­‐file restart and webmail are all present for our users. Customers seeking a dedicated mail service for satellite connectivity enjoy an ocens.com domain.

In addition to OCENS Mail, OCENS has also recently released OneMail and OneMessage for iOS and Android phones and tablets. OneMail revolutionizes connectivity while you are away by enabling you to continue to communicate on your mobile device with friends, family and coworkers through the same pathway you use when at home or the office—your Gmail account. OneMessage is the first satellite messaging app which allows private, real-­‐person to real-­‐person communication through texting. Furthermore, OneMessage brings state-­‐of-­‐the-­‐art messaging to the satellite user without the heavy overhead of the popular network-­‐based messaging services.

Above all, never forget that the service and support which has set OCENS apart from its peers remains the benchmark of this upgrade.

 

About OCENS, Inc. OCENS data services, software and apps merge easy-­‐to-­‐use applications with unprecedented content offerings to affordably deliver data over satellite phones to remote users around  the world. OCENS weather, ocean and        fishing services provide access to the largest collection of GRIB and classical data that can be found anywhere. Using patented pull-­‐me  technology, OCENS WeatherNet provides fast access to the world’s widest selection of weather and ocean information over PC and Mac platforms. GRIB Explorer processes highly compressed GRIB  information  into unique  decision products for use on PC, Mac or iPad platforms. MetMapper transforms static weather charts and satellite imagery into dynamic planning tools. OCENS’ iPhone, Android, Windows phone and Blackberry apps provide weather and messaging services to the smartphone community. Its SpotCast weather service provides multi-­‐day, multi-­‐point forecasts of weather    and ocean conditions for any point on earth in a highly compact form. OCENS augments its software core with satellite  equipment and airtime solutions it provides in cooperation with all the major satellite providers.

 

OCENS Inc.