Norm- I'm still trying to decide which way to go on this, what you did sounds interesting. I don't understand how just the router gained the extra range you needed. I'll google the software, but do you know what range people have been able to pull in signals from? Thanks very much for the info.
I think I gained about 200 meters of range over just using the laptop alone. This is based on an experiment I did by using the laptop in the parking lot. I had to be about half the distance to the hotspot before I could make it work reliably.
I'm sure that the increased range was due to the better external antennas on the router. It has two adjustable antennas about 6" long.
I like the looks of the Ubiquiti Networks products. I'd love to hear about anyone's experience using them. The "Bullet" with an omni-directional antenna might be a great solution for a sailboat.