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Old 13-11-2012, 22:05   #16
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Re: High Gain Wifi Antenna's

i have a Rogue Wave and am happy with it - pretty much plug and play. Range, as determined from when I could connect to (or loose connection from) the free WiFi on Washington State ferries that regularly passed nearby, was 3-4 miles. I probably haven't optimised location of antenna, I just put it where convenient.

Yes, most of the 20-30 networks I see at any given time are password protected. The booster just makes it easier to connect to one that you do have legit access to.
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Old 14-11-2012, 03:43   #17
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Re: High Gain Wifi Antenna's

I have been using RADIO LABS Wave WIfi Antenna for the last four years and highly recomend it.

8 db Omni Directional, built in wifi card, USB connector at $169.

We mounted it on the stern antenna tree and use two 15 foot powered USB extention cables to run it to the laptop at the nav station....

They recently came out with a new Wave XL 12 db Wifi Antenna as well...
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Old 14-11-2012, 05:33   #18
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Re: High Gain Wifi Antenna's

We've been using a Radio Labs Wave Magnum USB-powered adapter (¤Wave Magnum || - USB WiFi Adapter) for several years now, and that works well -- usually with the adapter/antenna inside the saloon, connected to our laptop with a USB extension cable -- with very little effort required for driver installation. Basically plug-and-play.

I'd assume Radio Labs has something even better, now...

-Chris
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Old 14-11-2012, 07:16   #19
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Re: High Gain Wifi Antenna's

I also have the WirieAp and I am happy with it. After extensive searching I decided that having all the equipment (antenna, router, etc) in one location that needed just 12v power to function won out over all the other options. Yes you can build your own because the WirieAp really doesn't use any proprietary parts but getting the whole thing ready to go was worth the price. I can't give you any idea on the range because I have used it in just one place and get a source from about 1/2 mile away.
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Old 14-11-2012, 08:34   #20
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Re: High Gain Wifi Antenna's

This is a hard question to answer. I have been anchored up to a 1/4 mile away from a marina and received a good usable signal. What I like about the Bitstorm system is it is very easy to use. I can't recommend it highly enough. Cheers, Golden Echo
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Old 14-11-2012, 08:51   #21
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Re: High Gain Wifi Antenna's

I was using an ubiquiti extender but it was no reliable enough. It needed reboot all the time. I found a dual antenna usb network adapter( like 12 or 15 bucks) and was able to attach it to a marine wifi omni antenna -12db gain(about 60 bucks) and the other i used a YAGI directional antenna about 30 bucks works like a charm. I use an fiberglass extendable paint roller pole(25bucks) as the antenna mount. 14 or 20 feet and stick in a pvc tube attached to a stanchion. The whole thing can break down for storage in about 30 seconds. and I can move it to the van in an emergency like a storm evacuation. I bought several of the USB NICs they were like 15 bucks a piece.
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Old 14-11-2012, 08:56   #22
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Re: High Gain Wifi Antenna's

Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticGringo View Post
Like skipmac, I have heard nothing but great things about these.

Marine WiFi Systems

They are on my list of stuff-to-buy when I get the budget for it.

I'm sure you could piece together your own system, but I'd rather pay an extra $50 (or what ever the number is) to same the hassle.
I pieced a similar system together, but I would also advise most people to spend the extra $50 and buy their set-up or at least someone's based on the Bullet and not the USB option unless you are really into computers.

I've also use a USB system and have more about the comparison between it and the Bullet based system on our site here...

Computer-Chartplotter Build Page-1

So far about the longest distance we have been from a WiFi source is just under 5 miles. Don't expect fast transmission at that distance. We have been able to connect with close to wireless speeds up to 1 mile. The main thing is that WiFi is a two way street and it is just as important for them to be able to receive your signal as it is for you to receive theirs. More on our complete system here....

Compurer-Chart Plotter-Navigation Index

To the OP....



.... the router (blue box above) doesn't use that much elect. and/or space and you can find ones like above that run directly on 12 volts. In our case the Bullet radio and router take less than 1 amp and I'm also using a DC/DC converter to inject 18 volts into the cable to the radio that is in that figure. It allows us to easily run 2 or more computers off the Bullet 2 HP radio.

Sum
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Old 14-11-2012, 09:06   #23
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Re: High Gain Wifi Antenna's

I have seen the Bullet on the "Island time PC" site. I'm not sure what it does. Amplify the signal?
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Old 14-11-2012, 09:25   #24
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Re: High Gain Wifi Antenna's

The bullet is reciever/router. that attaches to an ampified antenna. It takes the signal youre attached too an then acts as your internet source so you can attach it to a router or just one pc. The problems I had with mine is that it requires POE(power over internet) from the power injector to the top base of the ubiquiti is about 25 feet and then to the antenna if mast mounted is another 40 feet. Also I think it was more heat sensitive than advertised. I had it out side directly attached to the antenna with a cat5 going back the router. I just think it just got baked our heat index for that month was 100+ every day. I had tested at my work in PA for months included the router and cable and as soon as it gets installed on the boat it just runs like crap - full factory resets needed literally every day. It was either the sun or I had unstable power. But I was using the same UPS system I had for bench testing.

The usb powered adapter has been very reliable i use a 12 foot usb extender and place it near a window an attached the antennas with micro coax.

Amazon.com: Etekcity High Power 802.11 B/N/G 300M USB Wireless 1000mw Wifi Network Adapter with Dual Antenna: Computers & Accessories
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Old 14-11-2012, 10:00   #25
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Re: High Gain Wifi Antenna's

Quote:
Originally Posted by sushirama View Post

The usb powered adapter has been very reliable i use a 12 foot usb extender and place it near a window an attached the antennas with micro coax.

Amazon.com: Etekcity High Power 802.11 B/N/G 300M USB Wireless 1000mw Wifi Network Adapter with Dual Antenna: Computers & Accessories
I take it that is the one in the link provided. How far away does it draw a signal in?
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Old 14-11-2012, 10:13   #26
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Re: High Gain Wifi Antenna's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
I take it that is the one in the link provided. How far away does it draw a signal in?
There are many factors involving Wifi reception, the boat's antenna db gain and the antenna height being a couple of factors... \

The transmitting antenna and the environment are huge factors in determing reception distance.

For instance in the San Joaquin River, I was picking up a Wifi Signal three miles away from my boat at a KOA Camp ground. On the other hand, when I am in marinas with lots of sailboat masts, I am lucky to get reception from a couple hundred yards away.

So what I am saying is... using reception distance for a WI-Fi Antenna is probably not that reliable, unless you compare each antenna under the same conditions.
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Old 14-11-2012, 10:18   #27
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Re: High Gain Wifi Antenna's

Quote:
Originally Posted by sushirama View Post
The bullet is reciever/router. that attaches to an ampified antenna. It takes the signal youre attached too an then acts as your internet source so you can attach it to a router or just one pc. The problems I had with mine is that it requires POE(power over internet) from the power injector to the top base of the ubiquiti is about 25 feet and then to the antenna if mast mounted is another 40 feet. Also I think it was more heat sensitive than advertised. I had it out side directly attached to the antenna with a cat5 going back the router. I just think it just got baked our heat index for that month was 100+ every day. I had tested at my work in PA for months included the router and cable and as soon as it gets installed on the boat it just runs like crap - full factory resets needed literally every day. It was either the sun or I had unstable power. But I was using the same UPS system I had for bench testing.

The usb powered adapter has been very reliable i use a 12 foot usb extender and place it near a window an attached the antennas with micro coax.

Amazon.com: Etekcity High Power 802.11 B/N/G 300M USB Wireless 1000mw Wifi Network Adapter with Dual Antenna: Computers & Accessories
Not sure what your problem is but we have had ours running on first one boat and then the second boat (moved it) for about 1 1/2 years with no problems and that was in Florida with high heat. We do carry a second radio but haven't had to use it. We pay $50 a month at home for internet, so even if the radio went out once a year spending $70 would not be that bad. The Bullet is used for a lot of outside industrial installations other than WiFi.

One thing we did do was spend about $40...



...on the POE injector above....

The wireless stocking distributor that offers free technical support before, during, and after the sale.

...that injects 18 volts in the line to the radio from any 9-36 volt source. You can also use cheaper injectors that just inject whatever voltage is available from you batteries/charging source. That is what most people do or hard-wire the voltage into the cable.

Quote:
I have seen the Bullet on the "Island time PC" site. I'm not sure what it does. Amplify the signal?
To connect to a WiFi source you need a radio and your present computer probably has the radio/antenna inside and is meant to communicate probably with another radio over a very short distance. The Bullet is a radio that attaches to the bottom of an antenna and that combination is much more powerful than the radio in your computer. The external USB radios that also attach to an antenna are the same as the Bullet basically. When these radios are attached the one in your computer is bypassed.

The Bullet has a couple main advantages. First is that the radio is attached right to the antenna, so there is no loss vs. say a setup where you have a coax cable between an antenna and a radio. From the radio/antenna to your computer or router you can use a CAt5 outdoor shielded cable that is meant for an outdoor environment and it has very little signal loss and is capable of also carrying 12-18 volts to the radio as the radio has to receive power. This cable can also be quite long, longer than about any situation you would find on one of our boats.

The USB cable is meant to work with distances of less than 15 feet, but you can find extender cables an link them together. These cables/connections don't do well in a continuous outdoor environment. Also the USB type radios have to be either hung out and retrieved or put into some type of enclosure to protect them.

I personally like the Bullet since it can bring in more signals from a further distance than the USB radio we also have and that it is always ready to go. No hanging radios/cable outside and taking them in when it rains and so forth. Still a number of people are happy with the USB solution. If you are in a marina and close to a source it might be the cheaper way to go. We are out on anchor a lot of times more than a mile from a signal and like what we are using,

Sum
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Old 14-11-2012, 10:28   #28
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Re: High Gain Wifi Antenna's

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post
There are many factors involving Wifi reception, the boat's antenna db gain and the antenna height being a couple of factors... \

The transmitting antenna and the environment are huge factors in determing reception distance.

For instance in the San Joaquin River, I was picking up a Wifi Signal three miles away from my boat at a KOA Camp ground. On the other hand, when I am in marinas with lots of sailboat masts, I am lucky to get reception from a couple hundred yards away.

So what I am saying is... using reception distance for a WI-Fi Antenna is probably not that reliable, unless you compare each antenna under the same conditions.
Just curious, how high is your antenna? I read of that problem with a high antenna being too high for the source at some marinas. It can be looking over the source due to the cone shape of the signals. Have you just noticed it with a lot of other boats? When we were at Boot Key Harbor (Marathon, FL) there were a lot of boats, but we still got a lot of signals. Most were not open though.

Our antenna is about 12 feet off the water. I think that is high enough to get out 4-5 miles considering the curvature of the earth. Getting past that with our equipment I don't think would do any good since the signals will start getting so weak.

I do have a comparison between an Alpha USB radio and a Bullet 2HP here...

Computer-Chartplotter Build Page-1

....at the same time, same location,

Sum
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Old 14-11-2012, 10:32   #29
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Re: High Gain Wifi Antenna's

a 45 db antenna may create more problems than it solves. Generally about 9 db is what most of us use. Here are some of our blog posts on the WiFi systems we have used and are currently using, The Trawler Beach House: WiFi . Chuck
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Old 14-11-2012, 10:54   #30
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Re: High Gain Wifi Antenna's

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I take it that is the one in the link provided. How far away does it draw a signal in?
It depends on your antennas, the ones shown can be removed and higher gain units attached. Also factors such as line of sight and weather affect it. I have gotten from best case about 1500 feet down to less that 100 feet. But I have not had my antennas more than about 12 feet off the water and they are not tuned. At 30 feet that number would increase substantial. The YAGI directional has really good gain but a very narrow beamwidth. Like 4 degrees or something like that. So you have to be spot on to your access point The omni does good but you cant focus on your target. Search with omni - focus with YAGI.

The difference between the built in wireless on my notebook and with this attached was substantial. I was getting like 3 or 4 access points. The adapter picked up about 20-ish. I was able to map a few almost a mile out but I couldnt connect to them the signal was still to low. Higher and better antenna array would have got them.
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