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post #11 of 26 Old 07-24-2012
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Re: Wi-Fi

A bit more pricey, but have great results with this MWB.
Substantially more powerful than any usb solution.
MWB-200 Marine Wireless Bridge
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post #12 of 26 Old 07-24-2012
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Re: Wi-Fi

Brian,
Where are you using it? Are you trying to reach your marina's wifi from the end of the dock or a mooring? Are you cruising the FLA coast and trying to hit open wifi connections from anchor?

I had played around with re-configuring a router as a repeater and using a larger antenna with mixed results (this was two years ago)

I ended up getting a MiFi unit that uses the cellular network. Basically I can get online anywhere I can get a cell signal. When I first got it speed was good enough to stream NetFlix to my 12v TV when anchored out. But Comcast started making an orphan out of these units and throughput fell through the floor - Comcast assures me this is a coincidence.

They're also going to stop supporting them in August. I hate Comcast

I'm going to get a new SIM card and convert it over to the Sprint network. If that doesn't work I'll pick one up from Verizon. Current cost is $40 a month, but it's reliable anywhere I can pick up a cell signal. It's a third smaller than a Blackberry. Best of all up to five people can share the connection. So far I've never even come close to the 5GB monthly limit.

YMMV depending on where you're cruising.

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post #13 of 26 Old 07-24-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Wi-Fi

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Originally Posted by JimMcGee View Post
Brian,
Where are you using it? Are you trying to reach your marina's wifi from the end of the dock or a mooring? Are you cruising the FLA coast and trying to hit open wifi connections from anchor?

I had played around with re-configuring a router as a repeater and using a larger antenna with mixed results (this was two years ago)

I ended up getting a MiFi unit that uses the cellular network. Basically I can get online anywhere I can get a cell signal. When I first got it speed was good enough to stream NetFlix to my 12v TV when anchored out. But Comcast started making an orphan out of these units and throughput fell through the floor - Comcast assures me this is a coincidence.

They're also going to stop supporting them in August. I hate Comcast

I'm going to get a new SIM card and convert it over to the Sprint network. If that doesn't work I'll pick one up from Verizon. Current cost is $40 a month, but it's reliable anywhere I can pick up a cell signal. It's a third smaller than a Blackberry. Best of all up to five people can share the connection. So far I've never even come close to the 5GB monthly limit.

YMMV depending on where you're cruising.

Use will be US, Bahamas, and other destinations. We have the ATT Wifi card which is awesome!! Used it a lot of the last few week, even anchored out at cabbage key. However, I am limited to 5 gig/month before I start getting charged.

Kids need homeschooling and we need internet connections for office and personal stuff. Let's not even discuss Sailnet!!! So we are trying to minimize our time on the wifi card. BTW, the 4glte is as fast as broadband.

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post #14 of 26 Old 07-24-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Wi-Fi

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Originally Posted by bvander66 View Post
A bit more pricey, but have great results with this MWB.
Substantially more powerful than any usb solution.
MWB-200 Marine Wireless Bridge
Wow, looks interesting too. I have no problem permanent mounting though.

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post #15 of 26 Old 07-24-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Wi-Fi

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Brian,

I was using a Bullet on a omni antenna that I would haul up the backstay using a halyard. This uses power over ethernet so only one cat5 cable to run which I connected to a router for distribution in the boat.
Hey DOn!! How are you guys!?? Tried to find you last time I was in Marathon. Which brings up the question: How did it work at Marathon Marina? We will be spending smoe time there.

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Re: Wi-Fi

S/V Auspicious -

THank you for the info. I am honestly leaning that way. Seems easy.

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post #17 of 26 Old 07-24-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Wi-Fi

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Brian, depending on how technologically impaired you feel and how fat the budget is...

That Alfa sells for $35 on Amazon then all you need is a longer USB cord to get it out of the cabin. Yes, the USB cord length limits position but for $35 versus 250+, I'd try it first.

Which also means you'll need to use the Wifi tools that come with your computer, to choose and connect to a network. Which isn't such a big deal these days.

The many folks who repackage it...OK, they're entitled to a profit if they make life easier but really, how badly can you lose by trying the $35 solution first? And at that price, you can carry a spare and sell it to the next hapless cruiser. :-)
I am not opposed to trying that, but really need smoething fairly robust. I hope to be places where getting it replaced will be difficult or expensive. However, maybe this would be a good backup too? Wasn't that your point also?

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post #18 of 26 Old 07-24-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Wi-Fi

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Originally Posted by TQA View Post
Wirie $250

Alfa $25 + extension high gain aerial $10 stick the aerial out the hatch and bobs your wifi.
I assume that is working for you down there? Is that where you SN from?

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post #19 of 26 Old 07-24-2012
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Re: Wi-Fi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
Use will be US, Bahamas, and other destinations. We have the ATT Wifi card which is awesome!! Used it a lot of the last few week, even anchored out at cabbage key. However, I am limited to 5 gig/month before I start getting charged.

Kids need homeschooling and we need internet connections for office and personal stuff. Let's not even discuss Sailnet!!! So we are trying to minimize our time on the wifi card. BTW, the 4glte is as fast as broadband.

Brian
Out of interest Brian .... how much do you expect to use on a monthly basis ?

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post #20 of 26 Old 07-25-2012
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Re: Wi-Fi

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
That Alfa sells for $35 on Amazon then all you need is a longer USB cord to get it out of the cabin. Yes, the USB cord length limits position but for $35 versus 250+, I'd try it first.
You aren't giving the resellers credit for the weatherproofing and technical support.

I experimented with an Alfa, a Bullet, and a Port Networks bridge before landing on my own solution. I've also installed some Bullets and some Wiries (Alfa) for clients.

On Auspicious I have a Bullet with 8 dB omni mounted above the radar on an aft radar pole. The Cat 5 Ethernet goes to a POE injector behind the electrical panel. A Linksys WRT-54GL is under a locker nearby. Everything runs off 12VDC on a "network" breaker on the panel.

Between laptops, iPhones, iPod Touch, and other odds and ends I've had up to eight devices sharing the boat WiFi network. At the moment it's just my boat computer, my lab laptop, iPhone, and the iPod Touch streaming Netflix to the TV (*grin*). The community wireless AP I'm hooked up to is about half a mile away.

I do still keep a standard Alfa in my boat bag for trips. It works okay but isn't anything like weather-proof and keeping the drivers working is a pain.

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