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post #61 of 204 Old 10-19-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwood1 View Post
Yeah, but all good points nonetheless. Another consideration is that it doesn't seem like the Alfa unit is weatherproof, or am I mistaken?
No, it isn't weather proof...

Quote:
I also remember reading somewhere that the high current demanded by a device like the Alfa could damage the PC USB port. Is that right?
Yes, but usually this is only a problem on older computers that don't have high-power USB 2.0 ports.

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post #62 of 204 Old 10-19-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwood1 View Post
Yeah, but all good points nonetheless. Another consideration is that it doesn't seem like the Alfa unit is weatherproof, or am I mistaken?

I also remember reading somewhere that the high current demanded by a device like the Alfa could damage the PC USB port. Is that right?
Rather than answer your questions with secondhand knowledge, check out this supplier of Alpha kits. I've met the guy & he has a good product but it didn't suit me for a permanent boat installation.

Some of his claims about the Bullet are untrue though particularly the bit about not be able to share a paid connection. He would have done better ignoring the competition given that there is no such thing as bad publicity

As you will see the Alpha is not waterproof per se but you can make it so & save a large sum of money over the kit price. I wouldn't worry about the USB power issue either.

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post #63 of 204 Old 10-19-2010
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Interesting.

So, which do you think would be better at providing a quality wifi connection at a distance:
Alfa + 8dBi antenna (with minimal coax connection)
vs
Nanostation 2 aimed correctly.

Assume both are mounted say, boom height.

The Alfa seems to have more power 1 watt vs 400 mw, but the directionality of the NS2 might moderate this difference, no?
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post #64 of 204 Old 10-19-2010 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by remetau View Post
That sounds like a situation where you controlled both ends of the connection.

What about in a harbor trying to pick up a free wi-fi?
Some marinas are practically blasting their signal out over the water and would be reachable at a couple miles. This is due to having outside antennas and perhaps directional antennas to cover a large sprawling marina with several antennas.

Houses, on the other hand have their wireless access points/wireless routers inside and this result in signal loss. Those antenna are almost never directional but are rather omni-directional. So they are reachable at a much shorter distance, maybe 1/4 mile.

The third option is subscriber access points. Timewarner Cable and Optimum Online/Cablevision both have coverage in our area. I have Optimum, so there's another "free" (I pay at home) way.

with some creative anchor locating, you should be able to pick up somthing.

Best thing to do is get the highest gain antenna that you can fit (12 db), use a Bullet2HP (1 watt version) that connects right to the antenna (no cable loss) and mount it high up (N connector rivited to the mast). I like the POE injector inside the boat near the base of the mast, so if/when you have to take the mast down it becomes a natural disconnect point for the wires.

Regards,
Brad

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Last edited by Bene505; 01-16-2012 at 10:54 PM.
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post #65 of 204 Old 10-19-2010
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The Bullet 2HP or M2HP are 800 mw, not 1 watt units.

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Originally Posted by Bene505 View Post
Best thing to do is get the highest gain antenna that you can fit (12 db), use a Bullet2HP (1 watt version) that connects right to the antenna (no cable loss) and mount it high up (N connector rivited to the mast). I like th ePOE injector inside the boat near the base of the mast, so if/when you have to take the mast down it becomes a natural disconnect point for the wires.

Regards,
Brad

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post #66 of 204 Old 10-19-2010
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Quote:
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The Bullet 2HP or M2HP are 800 mw, not 1 watt units.
Now that's just plain picky

Jumping on the same bandwagon though the +/- in the spec could make a 2HP Tx 30dBm = 1 watt.

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post #67 of 204 Old 10-19-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richardhula View Post
Now that's just plain picky

Jumping on the same bandwagon though the +/- in the spec could make a 2HP Tx 30dBm = 1 watt.
If someone goes looking for a 1 watt Bullet 2hp... they might be looking a long time. It isn't picky, just precise.

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post #68 of 204 Old 10-19-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwood1 View Post
Interesting.

So, which do you think would be better at providing a quality wifi connection at a distance:
Alfa + 8dBi antenna (with minimal coax connection)
vs
Nanostation 2 aimed correctly.

Assume both are mounted say, boom height.

The Alfa seems to have more power 1 watt vs 400 mw, but the directionality of the NS2 might moderate this difference, no?
OK
NS2 Tx 26dBm + gain of its 11db dual polarity antenna's = 37dBm EIRP
Alfa Tx 30dBm + 8dB antenna = 38dBm EIRP

Scratching your bum would make a greater difference in their relative performance

I would go with the NS2 (not loco) for (marginally) best signal & the Alfa for max portability - the final choice is yours.

Richard

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I thought I bought a 1 Watt Bullet2HP. Now I'm going to have to look at the box again.

One of these days, I'll have a webcam on the boat, so I can check on it -- can't do that as easily without an omni-directional antenna.

Regards,
Brad

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post #70 of 204 Old 10-19-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bene505 View Post
Some marinas are practically blasting their signal out over the water and would be reachable at a couple miles. This is due to having outside antennas and perhaps directional antennas to cove a large sprawling marine with several antennas.

Houses, on the other hand have their wireless access points/wireless routers inside and this result in signal loss. Those antenna are almost never direction but are rather omni-directional. So they are reachable at a much shorter distance, maybe 1/4 mile.

The third option is subscriber access points. Timewarner Cable and Optimum Online/Cablevision both have coverage in our area. I have Optimum, so there's another "free" (I pay at home) way.

with some creative anchor locating, you should be able to pick up somthing.

Best thing to do is get the highest gain antenna that you can fit (12 db), use a Bullet2HP (1 watt version) that connects right to the antenna (no cable loss) and mount it high up (N connector rivited to the mast). I like th ePOE injector inside the boat near the base of the mast, so if/when you have to take the mast down it becomes a natural disconnect point for the wires.

Regards,
Brad
Good info Brad. I've been using WiFi on a boat throughout the Caribbean, Bahamas & east coast US for seven years. Its only recently I've got around to having a long range system though.

I think way too much emphasis is put on the numbers & transmission strength of your setup. As its a two way thing, equally or more important is the sensitivity of your receiver & the gain of the antenna. Remember that many AP's you connect to will likely have less transmit power & a lower gain antenna even in marina's.

I've also found that the signal to noise ratio with any AP you are connected to is nothing like as important as the bandwidth of Internet throughput available at the AP's end. The actual "last mile" WiFi link will always have bandwidth way in excess of what's available coming in to the AP upstream, in all but worst case scenario's (i.e. weak 802.11b connection, lots of lost packets)

e.g. I am paying for access to a local AP running 802.11b about 200 yards away & am connected with a -45dBm signal. -50dBm (a weaker signal) is generally accepted as 100% signal strength, so its really blasting in, but the service although reliable is slow.

If I connect to another AP over 1km away using an 802.11g home router (I know 'cos I looked I get a signal of -88dBm, only 3dB above the noise floor. However I get considerably faster throughput from this under used AP than I do from the local one despite vastly superior signal, accepting the occasional dropout altogether. This sort of comparison bares out time & again.

Obviously with a heavily used AP the available Internet bandwidth is only enjoyed by the strongest connections. In this case power/sensitivity does count else your at the bottom of the list for sending/receiving packets, but at other times it seems not.

To sum up, subjective assessment of throughput is what counts not numbers.

Richard

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Last edited by richardhula; 10-20-2010 at 09:40 AM.
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