FWIW, my antenna is 12 db but with a trimaran
if the boat is heeling 10 degrees, it's time to reef so the antenna works well for my boat.
There might be some interaction with the VHF
antenna because I sometimes notice some dropout of signal when swinging at anchor
. Not sure if it's antenna or location.
Before installing, I checked operation of Bullet in our house with a variable DC supply.
It worked all the way down to 7.5 volts, although current consumption
was inversely proportional to voltage input. I.E, constant power consumption
via internal circuitry.
Regarding encrypted signals, we find a usable signal around 50% of the time.
Lots of B&B's and restaurants have open WiFi to encourage people to stay around and buy more food
When we are anchored and find a signal like that, we usually buy a meal there if we can.