WiFi on the Boat? - SailNet Community
 9Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 43 Old 01-30-2006 Thread Starter
560kts sucks/7kts perfect
 
Sailpilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Jupiter
Posts: 35
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
WiFi on the Boat?

Hello to all,

I am currently living aboard in Miami. I have a coffee shop near me that has WiFi that I use to check my emails. I have heard that there is equipment that allows you to receive the WiFi signal from long distances. Can anyone advise if they have used or seen anything that allows you to check the emails from the boat.
Sailpilot is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 43 Old 01-31-2006
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,120
Thanks: 0
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 14
 
WiFi on the Boat?

There are some lengthy, knowledgeable threads on this topic at the SSCA Discussion Board in the Communications section - http://ssca.org/sscabb/index.php They are very thorough.

The bottom line is that you can''t expect much more than 1 NM range unless you start getting quite fancy (and $$)...and even then, more than a few miles is unrealistic. Occasionally, a boat will exceed 1 NM but that may well be because of the height of the shoreside wifi system and the boat using a directional vs. omni antenna.

Jack
WHOOSH is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #3 of 43 Old 02-24-2006
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Delaware City, DE
Posts: 1
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
As municipalities install WIFI that will provide universal (and free) Internet access, we must be sure that marinas and state parks will be included.
dha628 likes this.
jackmccallin is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #4 of 43 Old 02-24-2006
Administrator
 
administrator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1,887
Thanks: 3
Thanked 18 Times in 10 Posts
Rep Power: 10
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmccallin
As municipalities install WIFI that will provide universal (and free) Internet access, we must be sure that marinas and state parks will be included.
That was not my experience in the Florida Keys over the Xmas holidays when my wife and I went crusiing. Every marina subscribed to a local Wifi service company that wanted about $29.95/month for access or $1.99/day.
administrator is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #5 of 43 Old 03-13-2006
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 19
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
I'll defer to the SSCA discussions about very long-range WiFi connections. I moor up in about as urban an environment as you can imagine- Lake Union in Seattle, WA. There are dense office and residential neighborhoods on all sides of the lake.

SeattleWireless has a powerful directional antenna aimed my way from Eastlake Avenue, but I can just barely connect with the tiny antenna in my Linksys WiFi card in my Dell Latitude PC. There is an inexpensive wireless access cooperative in the marina, but I won't always be right here at the marina, and isn't Free so much more fun ?

I just purchased a Hawking HWU8DD USB wireless "dish adapter" from Fry's Electronics for about $70. It's just a USB WiFi adapter with a shiny dish-like antenna attached. It claims 8 dBi gain. It gets power and connection via a simple USB cable. Unfortunately the business end where it plugs into the dish is a mini-USB connector, so I'll need a special extender if I want to put it up on deck while I'm at the nav station.

I am using it from my apartment, in which I can get a handful of neighbor's signals. I am excited to try it out from the marina, and I'll post my results.

I expect a stronger directional "Cantenna" might also do the trick, as would very expensive marine antennas and directional antennas.
Kakkerlak is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #6 of 43 Old 03-15-2006
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 399
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 12
 
I met a guy this past fall that had an antenna on his standing rigging that gave him a 5-20 mile range. The system required some software "HIS" and he has a patten on this device. He said he could get up to 20 miles with it. He also was very tight lipped about most of it but he had a few and spilled that much to me. I wish I had a contact for him. I only know the name of his boat so I will try and track him down.
sailnaway is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #7 of 43 Old 03-16-2006
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,120
Thanks: 0
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 14
 
For an effective, homebuilt directional wifi antenna, visit Eric & Sherrell's 'Projects Page' at SARANA's website - http://www.sailsarana.com/ This "3 tomato cans & an adapter" approach will work well in settings where the boat isn't shifting on a mooring.

Jack
BlkOnyx488 likes this.
WHOOSH is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #8 of 43 Old 03-16-2006
Catalina 38 Avantura
 
duffer1960's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Michigan
Posts: 208
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 16
 
There was just a very very lenghty discussion about this on the electronics e-mail list. You should check it out.

Sincerely,
Russ Duff
Catalina 38, Hull #112
"AVANTURA"
Lake Erie
Grosse Ile, Michigan
duffer1960 is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #9 of 43 Old 04-11-2006
Reward for lost Kraken!
 
hellosailor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 11,566
Thanks: 6
Thanked 137 Times in 134 Posts
Rep Power: 11
   
You can do many things with WiFi, but what you can do *practically* is much more limited. A couple of ham radio ops have the current world record for something like 125 miles using standard WiFi cards--but in order to get that working, they also use a 12' dish antenna and special software because there are timing issues when standard networking is pushed that way.

As a civilian your practical limit will probably be 1/4 mile to 1/2 mile even if you buy a direction gain antenna, which can be a yagi or parabolic type with 9 to 24db of gain. (More is better.) So what you can do is buy the highest gain antenna you are willing to afford. Know that you will have to hunt & point it directly at the other connection. Height counts, so raising it 20' or so will help establish a clear connection. But the coaxial cables used for WiFi antennas have a great deal of loss in them, so you also need to attach your WiFi *router* to the antenna with the shortest possible antenna cable, and then use a longer USB or ethernet cable to come down from the router to your computer. Sounds convoluted, but that is how all the long-distance WiFi work is down, with the router up at the antenna. Not with a Wifi card in your computer.

Check out the seattlewireless web site, they also list the power output of various models of WiFi router. The more power it has, the more power goes into your antenna, the better chance you have of longer range.

On the bright side, two new forms of wireless are deploying this year and next year, and both will have much larger ranges. "WiMax" is one of them, but right now you probably won't find it.
slax likes this.
hellosailor is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
post #10 of 43 Old 04-12-2006
Telstar 28
 
sailingdog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 43,290
Thanks: 0
Thanked 15 Times in 12 Posts
Rep Power: 14
         
Another option, at least in major metro areas, is a 3G EVDO cellular modem or connection via cell phone. I've used a Bluetooth equipped phone to connect my laptop to the internet. It's not the speediest...but it is available in many areas now.
sailingdog is offline  
Quote Quick Reply Share with Facebook
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.


User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Re-naming the boat pirateofcapeann General Discussion (sailing related) 130 01-07-2014 11:14 AM
New name (I know, I know) owlmtn Boat Review and Purchase Forum 13 12-13-2009 07:46 PM
help with lifes dream kimby Boat Review and Purchase Forum 37 12-02-2009 11:32 PM
What can you tell from the numbers? brazilnut Boat Review and Purchase Forum 10 07-01-2009 04:09 PM
buying first boat jerrycooper14 Boat Review and Purchase Forum 21 04-23-2002 02:15 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome