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Old 29-06-2007, 21:55   #31
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Hellosailor,
You are most correct concerning the PCMCIA or PC card as is refered to now days. I have a parkervision (200mw)wlan1500 PC card and it would pick up at almost a mile. There are 400mw cards and I also have one of those untested as of yet. This would be the cheapest and may I say cleanest choice.
Another point however is : there are bridges, Access Points, and client devices.
Celestialsailor is connecting to an access point. He needs a client device, unless he wants to build his own lan, Then the lesson begineth

thx
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Old 30-06-2007, 04:52   #32
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Old 30-06-2007, 05:43   #33
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all the above is good info ... just thougt I would note that the internal antenea is fairly easy to adapt to an external, in most cases, there are two internal anteneas, these attach to the "pci" board that is mounted in a 'hatch' on the bottom of you laptop. I just took the antenea and board out of a gateway laptop and installed both into an HP, granted, I am a bit more brave when it comes to crackign open a laptop than most, but the antenea's simply plug into the "board" which plugs into a slot on the motherboard... pretty simple really... though I would just go with the higher power PCMIA card, if that is failing, try the Cantenea, if that is failing, go to the cellphone option, though speeds are not as good, the range is more like 5 to 9 miles.... and the cost is greater.... The cantennea can get up to 4 or 5 miles from what I have seen, though not underway, they are pretty focused...
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Old 30-06-2007, 12:25   #34
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I think someone gave you this link already, but it uses a USB and seems very straight forward. I am ordering this product in a few weeks.

¤RadioLabs || WaveRV Marine - Wireless antenna
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Old 03-07-2007, 08:32   #35
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WOW!
This thread is worth the price of admission!
You folks have gone way out of my depth of knowledge but l just want to say l am glad to know we have so many informed teckies (is geek obsolete ?)on this site.
Thanks for the ride!
Dave
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Old 01-01-2008, 11:37   #36
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pirate wifi antenna

check out the super usb wifi antenna from C. Crane Company, Inc.
i have seen it operate exceptionally well throughout bahamas.
user inserted the unit in a piece of capped pvc for protection from elements. accessed wifi & used skype while simply anchored near various homes spotted on islands in bahamas. cost $100. simply plug into usb port on laptop.
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Old 01-01-2008, 15:08   #37
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Is Ignorance Bliss?

There are a couple of China places making these gizmos, some reported to work well others being DOA junk. I have no idea which one Crane sells but would be suspicious of ANY vendor who is selling an integral WiFi radio and gain antenna (which is what this is) and doesn't know enough to call it such.

If you plug a WiFi "antenna" into a USB port you'll just blow a fuse--or your computer. Antennas have to be plugged into radios, and in this case they are selling a complete WiFi radio (adapter, whatever) which is built into the base of the antenna.

This allows the extension cable to be a USB cable, instead of an antenna cable. That's a good thing because antenna cables for microwave devices (WiFi) have a lot of loss and degrade the signal, unless you get into thick expensive cables.

So if Crane is buying the better gizmos, it might be good. But they either don't know what they are buying and selling--or they don't want to confuse their customers with the facts.

This is not "an antenna" and it cannot be used with ay existing WiFi adapters. If your adapter CAN use an external antenna, that might be all you need.
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Old 01-01-2008, 15:33   #38
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i am not that techno savy. all i can say is my friend had it, he used it repeatedly, it worked wonderfully, & he loved it.
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Old 02-01-2008, 12:40   #39
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fyi antenna sources

have found similarly priced wifi antennas at:
www.radiolabs.com
Netgate
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AlwaysLowest Systems Laptops Displays PDAs Storage Printers Memory Lowest Prices
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Old 02-01-2008, 14:41   #40
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Look at it this way: If you were buying a new car, and you asked about that newfangled AM RADIO option, and the salesman told you "Well, there's a Victrola and a stack of records in the trunk" would you feel comfortable about that?

That's a perfect analogy to what you've been told when someone tells you one of these things is an "antenna". It isn't.

It may be a very nice solution--but it isn't what they are selling it as. That should raise some concern about the vendor, like maybe they know even less about radios and computers than we do, and they have no ability to evaluate a really GREAT gadget, as opposed to a piece of junk.

If they don't speak decibels, they have no idea how well that "antenna" performs, so how can they tell you anything besides "It might work, and oh yeah, there's a Victrola in the trunk."

<G>
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Old 02-01-2008, 18:51   #41
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I echo Wind Rose’s thanks and also limitations.

My question to the Gurus deals with the limitations of cruising in the Philippines. Outside the capital you are limited to the 2 major cell phone carriers (SMART and GLOBE) and they each offer a roaming service using their proprietary network data cards with limited antenna capabilities. (Meaning you sometimes need to take the laptop out on deck to find a signal).

The companies don’t quite understand that I am often anchored a distance away from their towers and need to improve on signal strength.

Assuming line of sight what is the best product available today to boost the link to cell phone Tower?

Access Tech: HSDPA, 3G/UMTS, EDGE, GPRS, GSM
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Old 03-01-2008, 06:10   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Access Tech: HSDPA, 3G/UMTS, EDGE, GPRS, GSM
The access technology you choose will control the speed of your connection but will not significantly increase the ability to connect at a distance.

I think you want a wireless amplifier like one of the ones sold here:

Cell Phone Amplifier - Boost Your Cell Phone Signal

This is just one of many companies that came up when when I googled "cell phone amplifier". I've never used one of these devices or dealt with this company.

Bob Stewart
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Old 03-01-2008, 08:28   #43
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Has anybody tried one of these ???

¤WaveRVII || - Wifi USB Adapter
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Old 03-01-2008, 09:33   #44
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Cotton-
"The WaveRV II is an " All-in-One" wireless card and antenna that connects via USB!" They can be great little devices. By putting the radio directly on the antenna and running a USB cable instead of a conventional antenna coaxial cable, they eliminate the normal coaxial cable power losses--which can be HUGE for WiFi.
There are a number of Chinese companies making these gizmos, some great, some junk, and the only things you really need to know are the sensitivity and ERP (effective radiated power) of the whole unit. More is better, for both.
ERP would be in milliwatts or watts, the typical WiFi card and built-in antenna is about 200-400 milliwatts (0.2-0.4 watts) and if the gizmo pushes that out to more than one full watt--that's great. Increasing the wattage at high frequencies (like WiFi) is expensive and illegal, do son't expect to see it get much higher than that.

Every country there are laws limiting the output power that civilians can use without a license. That's to ensure the service is literally shared by many users--not monopolized but just a few.
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Old 03-01-2008, 09:40   #45
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Pelagic-
The two-way cell phone boosters (typically $300-400 with a 3-6 watt output) that Bob mentions are a great way to start. They are the maximum legal power you can use in the US--and that may vary overseas. For a reference, the "bag phones" and dedicated car phones here were 6 watts full power, and a typical cell phone today adjusts itself from flea-power to a mximum of 0.6 watts (600 milliwatts).
Not every booster works with every technology (GSM, CDMA, etc.) and not every country will legally allow the use of those boosters.
If you have a cell phone with the conventional stubby antenna or internal antenna, simply adding an external antenna (with a good quality SHORT cable) can boost the phone's effective power as much as the $400 booster will. And of course, using both is even better.
I say "short GOOD" cable because cell phones use high frequencies, and at high frequencies cables soak up the power very quickly. It is very easy to stick a great antenna at the end of a 50' cable--and wind up losing more power in the cable, than the antenna can ever compensate for.
Height also counts, cell phones are "line of sight" just like your VHF. Climbing the mast and using your cell phone from the masthead would also be a great way to pick up distant towers, without expensive add-ins. <G>
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