the video and audio quality were horrible, the editing was bad, and that poor girl in the video had a black eye
If the content was perfect I might have made comments on the cinematography. In this case it would have been piling on.
I hope Jessica's black eye healed nicely. I actually didn't notice that.
There's actually a good story behind this video.
As I noted, I fully expected that your intentions were only the best.
At the time, all we had was a 5v router. We didn't have a voltage regulator so I took apart a cell phone charger, got out the soldering iron, and made a make-shift regulator (I'm not recommending this as the first one melted due to lack of power output. Two in parallel did the trick. We didn't have access to Radio Shack while in the Carib – so we made what we had work.)
Someday we'll have to share soldering stories. Skipping the top of the mast ones, some of my favorites are at bars. Seriously. I carry a piece of ceramic to solder on and have soldered all kinds of things on bar tops.
As for the PEO (Power over Ethernet - make sure you pronounce it correctly!) there are lots of options.
The unit linked to from your blog is going for around $26 the last I looked. The one on my boat and many customers is the size of a match box and ran about $5. What I use now is the one Bob Stewart at IslandTimePC uses (see his website at Marine PC's & WiFi by IslandTime PC
, click on WiFi, and scroll down to the picture of the bits). It is tiny.
We spent about $120 for our setup.
That's pretty good. Adding up all the pieces for mounting, thru-deck clams, cable, connectors, and such I haven't been able to do much better than Bob's current $209.
At the time (and this still may be the case) the bullet didn't come with any instructions. The firmware for the bullet is crude and slightly un-user friendly.
I don't think the Bullet web page is crude. It is up to those of us who understand it to make it accessible to others.
So if SVAuspicious is up to the challenge, here's what I would love to hear more about:
Ha! You don't know me very well. *grin*
1) Which db Antenna would you recommend and why? 12db worked well for us, but perhaps there's a better choice? As the db increases so does the range, but at the loss of reception radius. Since boats rock and swing, a compromise must be met.
8 to 12 dB is the sweet spot, mostly because of boat motion as you suggest.
2) What's the ideal mounting height? Some recommend the mast, but the higher you go, the more swing you introduce into the antenna. It's also easier to maintain from lower, so we mounted ours on the bimini top.
I like to see the center of the antenna 10 to 20 feet above the water. Part of my reason is your point that the antenna swings around more as you get higher (although the angles are the same) but mostly because when you are closer to the shore-side access point (AP) you can run into issues where the AP is pointing down below the antenna pattern of your antenna on the boat. Your choice of location is a good one.
3) Which parts would you recommend on your setup? Specific items listed are nice for people. Many people will make their own selections based on what you recommend. But others will want an easy to follow list and follow it exactly.
I agree. By no means do I claim to have all the answers. In my experience the biggest issues are mounting hardware and pulling cable.
I like the Air802 12dBi antenna but I have used a number of 8dBi units for size, access, and cruising patterns. I really like the Bullet but the Groove is starting to look pretty good. I like Cat 5e for additional RFI resistance but regardless shielded. I've had great experience with the Linksys WRT54GL routers.
I think this is a great topic that should be updated and explored. More and more cruisers are looking for solutions to pick up internet aboard their vessels and the options out there can be confusing.
I agree. Would you like to work together to update your video? Jessica is certainly more presentable than I am. I'd be happy to work on a s c r i p t (SailNet doesn't like that word) and screen captures on my end. We can coordinate on the story line and make sure neither of us is being sloppy on the technical side of things.
I've done dozens of these installations and perhaps some of the lessons I've learned will have value to you and the audience.
If you are interested in a collaboration send me a PM with your e-mail address and I'll get back to you. Things have been rough here lately but I have some more time for a while.