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Discussion Starter #1
New to living aboard and looking into WiFi connectivity. Our marina has Beacon WiFi but, apparently, our slip is too far away from the server/transmitter to pick up their WiFi signal. By way of an experiment we signed up for a 24 hour-1 day plan just to see if it would work and couldn't connect from the boat. Thinking about one of their antennas IOT extend the range but don't know it that will work either. Hate to invest the $ and have it not work.

BL: Does anyone have any experience with Beacon WiFi's antennas and their effectiveness (or have any other experience with getting WiFi onto their boats?
 

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Super Fuzzy Moderator
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On board we mainly connect via our mobile phone plans which give us two gig a month free. I'm hard pressed to download more than that so it works well for us.

Of course if we were out of Australia that would not be a viable option.
 
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We were looking to using something like NETFLIX to watch a little TV - one source told me that a 'rule of thumb' was one GB per hour of viewing. Two one hour TV shows (PER MONTH) would bust 2GB in no time I'm afraid.
 

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Jnoiur Mebemr
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We have a Ubiquiti Bullet II wifi booster and are extremely happy with it. We pick up signals more than a mile away. The Bullet is run to a regular home router that is set up as a bridge allowing wireless access from any place on the boat. The basic setup is a 15 dbi antenna connected to the bullet, a cat 5 cable from the bullet to a poe injector, the poe is connected to the home router and to a dc source.
 

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dave, A wifi extender will pull in signals from miles away if it is the right antenna and set up properly. Any limited paid wifi plan is going to eat you alive streaming videos. There are pre-made extender systems for a few hundred to $500.00. Or you can buy the pieces and put them together yourself for under a couple of hundred dollars. Have a look at the progress of our wifi set up, The Trawler Beach House: WiFi . We have added Verizon Mifi to the mix but only use it on a limited basis because of the data limits. Even our basic unit that we used early on will make a major improvement. Hope this helps. Chuck
 

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We were looking to using something like NETFLIX to watch a little TV - one source told me that a 'rule of thumb' was one GB per hour of viewing. Two one hour TV shows (PER MONTH) would bust 2GB in no time I'm afraid.
good point but I've not the urge to watch TV on board ... maybe catch up with DVDs would be simpler.
 

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We use "the Bullet" available from Islandtime PC. I've used it on Beacon networks and it has increased our ability to connect considerably. Not only with Beacon but other wifi networks we would not be able to connect without some sort of booster aeriel and the Bullet is one of the best. I connect to a router so we can have more than one computer connected to the same account.
 

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dave6330;

Check yer guigs there. Mebbe run15 min. just ta see.I got nearer 100 meg/hr on my Verizon acct using netflix.

regards,
paul
 

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Just to clear up some things that have already been said. The ubiquity bullet II hp is what you will need it can be configured in several different ways but you will be using the bridge option in the setup utility. what you will call it is a high powered bridge. You will connect your bridge to the Beacon wifi network and it will deliver internet access to an onboard router. you will connect the bridge to the internet port on the onboard router. at this point you will be able to log in to your paid account at Beacon and then surf the internet through your onboard network. Your bridge will be mounted somewhere up in the rigging where it will have good line of sight to the access point.

With this setup you will be able to connect to beacon with excellent signal strength. Depending on how many people are using beacons bandwidth you usually can do Netflix. suggest you have someone help you set things up.

oh yea you will also need an antenna for the bullet. Suggest something like a 9 db Omni.

My point is that it will work if setup right. but there will be a learning curve.

good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #11
dave6330;

Check yer guigs there. Mebbe run15 min. just ta see.I got nearer 100 meg/hr on my Verizon acct using netflix.

regards,
paul
WILCO. Once we get connectivity we'll be monitoring our usage VERY closely. Fo now, I have no experience with any of the on-line services, hulu, netflix or what ever else is out there. If netflix really does run for (roughly) 100 meg/hr, that'll be a big plus!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
"suggest you have someone help you set things up...My point is that it will work if setup right. but there will be a learning curve.

good luck
You bet I will. I'll admit to being a digital caveman...not exactly savvy in all things electronic (yet).
:)
 

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If you are in a metropolitan area you can pick up TV signals to get the major networks with a cheap TV antenna.
 

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Anyone who is technically inclined and understands networking could assemble their own for less money than what Island Time charges. I just ordered the parts this morning (8db Antenna, Groove 52HPn high power interface, ethernet cable) for about $110 from Amazon. This is the same kit that they sell for $200.

If you aren't experienced with networking and want help making the system work then the Island Time option looks like a good one.
 

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The main thing us you want an Ethernet device. Do nor waste your time with any system that uses USB as the drivers are very flaky and unstable. I have had very good luck with the Ubuquie (sp?) devices. I have a several year old nano that has served ne well. Shame that most signals ate encrypted now. I have set up a few bullets with various antennas successfully. Not hard at all.

Sent from my ADR6425LVW using Tapatalk
 

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Our marina has had a few setups and they all stink. It's not bleeding edge technology anymore, so I always attribute this to cost control and inadequate antennas. We tried to stream netflix aboard for the kids, but it just kept dropping.

I rarely bother using there wifi anymore and just use our 3G service. If I want a movie, I go out for coffee or to the diner and download them while there. Often onto my phone. Renting through iTunes is awesome. You get 30 days to watch, after you download (although 24 hr to finish once you start watching). One huge tip...... download the SD version, not the defaulted HD version. The later take 5 times longer to download.
 

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This is what I have (well I was using an older version) but am not currently. I used it for years to share an internet connection in an apartment with another person in another building. It connected for months at a time. (the USB device I started with had to be rebooted a few times a day) It has a built in antenna, that is mostly omnidirectional, though I did find it somewhat directional. Came with a 110 volt power injector.

Amazon.com : Ubiquiti NanoStation M2 : Network Access Points : Computers & [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31%[email protected]@[email protected]@31%2BUf1IdYlL

If I were starting again I would go with a bullet, if range is an issue there is a High Power version and there is a "Titanium" version that is supposed to be more durable.

this would be a good set up to start with:

Amazon.com : Ubiquiti BULLET2 AP or CPE Outdoor 802.11b/g : Network Access Points : Computers & [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/[email protected]@[email protected]@21gHZjsZM1L for 31.99

OR

Amazon.com : Ubiquiti BULLET2-HP High Power WiFi AP or CPE Outdoor 802.11b/g : Network Access Points : Computers & [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/[email protected]@[email protected]@31FZuxDrVtL for 68.99 (gives better range)
+
for 22.50
+
Amazon.com: Super Power Supply® Power Over Ethernet Kit PoE 5V 12V 24V 48V 1A 2A 1.5A 2.1 5.5 Clear Modem Wifi Wireless WAN DSL 4G Wimax Router Switch Linksys Cisco Netgear E1000 E2000 E3000 E4200 E1200 E3200 E1500 E1550 E2100L Valet M10 M20 Plus WRT610N WRT54G2 WRT100 WRT330N E2500 WRT120N WRT150N WRT160N WRT160NL WRT310N WRT320N WRT350N WRT300N WRT400N WRT600N WRT54G WRT54GL WRT54GS WRTU54G-TM WRT54G-TM WNR834B WGR614 FS116 GS108 GS116 B G N WNR854T WNR1000 WNR2000 WNR3300 WNR3500L: Computers & [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/[email protected]@[email protected]@31jllLVvBLL for 3.89

So for under $60 or $100 depending on range. I think in a marina the standard bullet would be fine, but if you anchor out and want to see if there are any more distant signals you can grab, then the HP might be worth it. Just remember the other station will only put out so much power so it is going to be the antenna that helps receiving, therefor download speeds. Plus you will need a couple of Ethernet cables. you can run it straight to a router, or even to the Ethernet port on your laptop.

You can find cheap wireless routers on eBay or Craigslist all the time or use an old one from home if you have one. It is really easy to set up, took me like 10 min, and was connecting.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
"technically inclined and understands networking".

I'm about 180 degrees out from being so inclined and understanding...
:confused:
 
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