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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 06-15-2008
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wi-fi antenna

recently sailed thru bahamas along with fellow cruiser who had a c. crane external super wi-fi antenna that worked very well allowing him to recieve signals from houses on various islands & use skype for phone calls. did some research & find what appears to be an even better choice although more money ($140 vs 100) at radiolabs, the "wave rv marine". anyone had any experience with this unit?
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Old 06-15-2008
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on my dock i have friends with both the wave rv, and the c crane. the biggest difference aside from the cost is the wave rv has the wireless card in the antenna itself, while the c crane has a card you have to buy in addition to the antenna at the computer end of the cable.

the long and the short of it is whether you prefer to run great length of coax, or usb cable.

also there was some issues with the wave rv being water tight, one fellow sent his back because it had filled with water, only to have it returned with a new silicone bead around the base. don't know if that fixed it, but the gentleman was not very enthusiastic about the resolution.

btw, i got the c crane 'super usb wifi antenna' $99 if i remember, it is an interior antenna (suction cup to the inside of a portlight). i do not think it is drastically outperformed by either the wave rv or the c crane, and no holes to drill.
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Last edited by rrgane; 06-15-2008 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 06-15-2008
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There are much cheaper solutions which will provide the same functionality. I just bought a higher power usb wi-fi adapter along with external (omnidirectional) antenna for all of the $40 (as a bonus it works with my Mac).

Pretty much any usb based adapter with higher power (300-500 mwatt) and external antenna would do well. Antenna can be placed remotely connected to adapter with the wire (and adapter can be connected remotely using long usb cable).

Here is an example: LONG RANGE WIRELESS-G USB adapter kit for Apple Mac NEW - eBay (item 110211730589 end time Jul-03-08 16:14:42 PDT)
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Old 06-16-2008
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I have the Radiolabs antenna. It does an excellent job (up to a mile away!) but notice there is a different version for Windows XP or Vista. You have to have the correct one. A long run of USB cable requires powered extension cables which are not very expensive on the web (GoldX Products). My antenna has a standard Shakespeare antenna mount which allows it to be clamped to a 1" tube (bimini, rail, etc.) The antenna is "line of sight" so higher and less obstructed is better.

Colin
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Old 06-16-2008
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Any wifi antenna is line of sight - that's the nature of short wavelength used for wifi.
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Old 06-16-2008
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I used an Engenius range extender with external antenna with great success. Just stick the external antenna out a hatch. USB plug and sofware downloadable for Vista.
Keenan Systems Wireless Store Featuring Engenius

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Old 06-16-2008
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Note the number in milliwatts - that is the transmit power of your adapter and that is what matters most for range. The adapter I mentioned transmits at 300 mwatt (or so the spec says) and the same store has another one that transmits at 500mwatt (windows only though).
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