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  #31  
Old 01-25-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Sab-
You'd have to poke around and see if that unit is competitive in terms of price and reliability. The strongest Wifi radios I've heard of are 600mW, so that 500mW unit is near the top. The higher power ratings they mention are "ERP" effective radiated power, which is the radio multiplied by the gain of the antenna. Also respectable numbers but be aware that Wifi is regulated differently in each nation, you may be allowed 100 watts ERP or only one watt ERP, and there's also some variation in which channels are allowed.

Seems like a nice package, overall. Putting the radio and antenna together with a short antenna cord, and using a longer USB cord (there are limits to that too) to connect to the computer, is the best way to boost overall performance.
Thanks..I guess we are trying to solve the problem of being on the mooring ball in sight of the marina wifi or in our case usually the slip is so far down the dock that reception is spotty at best. We use Skype quite a bit so just looking for that "boost" close to shore. I figured up to 6mi would cover than no problem as realistically we are usually within 2mi.

Reviews seem to be good but I will keep poking around. Just wondering if there was any first hand reviews from somoone that may be using this setup.

Cheers...
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  #32  
Old 01-25-2009
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Originally Posted by wind_magic View Post
Welcome to the forum, Vega.

Had you read anything I've ever written before, or even paid attention to the last line in my post where I said seamanship comes first, you'd know that I would never suggest anyone rely on electronics. We're always one lightning strike away from losing all of those gadgets, they are all a luxury, but they are a nice luxury when you have them.

Try to chill out, you're among friends, and this isn't sailing anarchy.
Thank you for the welcome. I have been posting here since December 2006, although I have not been as prolific as you having been at sea and/or without internet access for much of that time.

I have, in fact, read several of your posts and took the opportunity to scan through the most recent 300 or so of them just now. Have you read any of mine?

I didn't mean to sound hostile or critical in any way. Just presenting my opinion which is: You are quite correct that you cannot buy enough electronics to substitute for good seamanship. My post was directed more at the board in general than at you personally.

I am quite well chilled, thank you; Retired, cruising and at this moment in Seattle with snow threatening it is too cold to ride my bicycle to the boat show.
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  #33  
Old 01-25-2009
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WiFi

I am no expert here, but, I couldn't help but notice that the sponsor banner that was above this page was for WiFi link (Buy Wireless antenna,WiFi Antenna,2.4Ghz 5Ghz Wlan Antenna,RF connector,RF pigtail cable,Lightning Protector,802.11 a/b/g, Omni ,panel ,yagi ,Grid antenna). I went to their page and noticed several hi-gain antennas for modest prices. It might be worth a look (I have no connection to this company).
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  #34  
Old 01-25-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vega1860 View Post
Thank you for the welcome. I have been posting here since December 2006, although I have not been as prolific as you having been at sea and/or without internet access for much of that time.

I have, in fact, read several of your posts and took the opportunity to scan through the most recent 300 or so of them just now. Have you read any of mine?

I didn't mean to sound hostile or critical in any way. Just presenting my opinion which is: You are quite correct that you cannot buy enough electronics to substitute for good seamanship. My post was directed more at the board in general than at you personally.

I am quite well chilled, thank you; Retired, cruising and at this moment in Seattle with snow threatening it is too cold to ride my bicycle to the boat show.
Look Vega, if you think you can use your offshore sailing experience to back up what you say here on Sailnet and that I'm going to just listen to what you have to say just because you know what you are talking about, well .. yeah, that's exactly right.
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Last edited by wind_magic; 01-25-2009 at 03:54 PM.
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  #35  
Old 01-25-2009
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Originally Posted by vega1860 View Post
For me, 90% of the reason for going to sea is to get away from all the bad news and stress that comes from the overwhelming stream of information that is part of life in today's world. Free of those distractions our lives are improved dramatically.
I agree entirely. While I intend, upon going offshore, on having the fairly standard SSB/Pactor data capacity (primarily for GRIB files, light e-mail, and cruiser nets), I doubt I will get a satphone at this stage, nor will I have a TV. "DVD Night" will exist, as a treat, dependent on the amps we've made via wind and sun.

Other than that, I don't see a compelling reason to stay in touch beyond whatever is necessary to keep my school-age son current with his land-based schoolwork. And I'm pretty sure most of that can wait for internet cafes ashore.

At anchor, WiFi is usually available casually, to update our mail and to update virus definitions/patches (something I would do before bringing the "ship's laptop" ashore to some cafe/hotspot, anyway), as is cellphone rentals or "minutes buying". If it isn't, I'm OK with that. We're sailing.

BBC World Service will be mainstay for my news fix. Aside from having packages of Practical Sailor/Ocean Navigator couriered to me a few times a year, I'll have to trade paperbacks or rely on PDFs of my favourite books to occupy me when I'm not reading boat repair manual and spec sheets!
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  #36  
Old 01-26-2009
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i had sattelite internet once, it averaged 5kbps, not too long ago either. some internet by microwave beam can give you a little bit of freedom though.
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  #37  
Old 05-24-2009
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No to all of that. I wanted to know if anyone was aware of any reliable, affordable way of maintaining an internet connection while offshore.

Nothing to do with navigation. Everything to do with earning a living.
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  #38  
Old 05-24-2009
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2Gringos -- I've read some of your blog of the last couple of years. Good stuff.

There are lots of answers above but few questions. Let's ask some questions first and then explore the possible answers.

What do you mean by an internet connection? Do you need to be able to surf the 'net to do research? Do you only need e-mail connectivity? Do you need FTP? In an average month (or time period of your choice) how much data do you send back and forth, including FTP and web pages if applicable.

Do you expect to really be at sea for extended periods of time, or simply going from one isolated or semi-isolated spot to the next? Is electrical power an issue? If you are anchorage hopping, how long do you think you would stay in one spot before moving on?

I currently use a mix of WiFi, cellular air/data-card, and HF radio (ham and marine) for e-mail and Internet access. In the past I have used satellite phones and Inmarsat. There are pluses and minuses to all, with a heavy dose of economics sprinkled in there.
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  #39  
Old 05-16-2011
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We have AT&T unlimited wireless. We could watch netflix at anchor and check weather, etc. It was fantastic. Then AT&T said that were cancelling the contract and we would have 5G max per month or be charge $.40 a mb for overage. 5g is enough for checking email with no graphics.

The USB modem worked fine and there are newer ones coming along all the time. I have been told Virgin Atlantic offers internet access and doesn't require a 2 year contract. That may be worth investigating.
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  #40  
Old 05-16-2011
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Helen, last I knew VA was using Sprint's older network, possibly the Nextel network, which has much slower data speeds and much less capacity than the one you get with a "Sprint" contract. There's a reason VA charges so much less than Sprint, caveat emptor.
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