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Old 03-06-2013, 05:00   #16
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Re: Best marine WiFi antenna?

I have the Bullet2. Works well now, but was a pain to set up. What is more important is the antenna. I have a Comrod omni, a TP Link 8dbi directional and a Solwise 12dbi directional. The latter is the one I nearly always use. Needs a stable wind to allow the boat to stay fairly still.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:24   #17
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Re: Best marine WiFi antenna?

The prepackages units are much more expensive than building the unit yourself, but no more effective. They do offer the convenience of plug and play and perhaps some support functions if the plug and play doesn't work. We have been building our own over the years and I am by no means an expert on building wifi units. It has been all trial and error but the end result has been very satisfying and the performance has been nothing short of excellent. Here is the detailed progression of our onboard wifi over the last several years, The Trawler Beach House: WiFi . I hope this will help those that might want to put their own system together. Chuck
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:52   #18
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Re: Best marine WiFi antenna?

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Originally Posted by bstreep View Post
We have an islandtime unit, and it's been flawless. Support is awesome.
Ditto! We've had ours installed for about 3 years, only had one problem and it was our mistake (we had been installing new batteries). I called to leave a message for Charlie on a Sunday to see if I could get a replacement part sent on Monday. He answered and spent about 30 minutes talking us through potential fixes for our problem. After a complete system reboot of our router and antenna we were up and running!
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:59   #19
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Re: Best marine WiFi antenna?

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
As a DIY project you can make something similar, with much the same components for less $.
I put a battery in mine so its completely wireless, but bulkier.
My son is living on board with us and is looking for a project to do. He likes the idea of what you did and wants to know if you can give him some direction on parts and so on to build his own.

Thank you in advance,
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:23   #20
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Re: Best marine WiFi antenna?

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Originally Posted by SailOnEverAfter View Post
My son is living on board with us and is looking for a project to do. He likes the idea of what you did and wants to know if you can give him some direction on parts and so on to build his own.

Thank you in advance,
I started a tread here:

Wi Fi Project

Let me know if you have any questions.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:33   #21
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Re: Best marine WiFi antenna?

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Originally Posted by SailOnEverAfter View Post
My son is living on board with us and is looking for a project to do. He likes the idea of what you did and wants to know if you can give him some direction on parts and so on to build his own.

Thank you in advance,
Some info 2 posts up. Chuck
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Old 03-06-2013, 13:24   #22
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Re: Best marine WiFi antenna?

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The first question would be do you want a router and a hotspot on your boat or will you be happy with a USB connection?
If you can be happy with a USB cable to your computer, you have many inexpensive options. Check ebay or amazon for wifi boosters, anything that's more than $20.00 will probably make you happy in the marina.
If you want to use a router and you want a clear signal at 2-3 miles (that's me) Well, I love our island Time PC and it's almost $100.00 less than the competition or at least it was when I bought it. You can built the same thing from pieces sourced from several sources and save about $50.00. That wasn't worth it at all to me. This was a nice and clean install.
Any suggestions on the $20-30 boosters? We are in a marina for the summer and the wifi is barely there so a modest boost should do the trick.
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Old 03-06-2013, 13:54   #23
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Any suggestions on the $20-30 boosters? We are in a marina for the summer and the wifi is barely there so a modest boost should do the trick.
Boosters is a path of pain and sorrow. Be wise and buy a Ubiquity Nanostation M2loco for $69 or so and be done with it.
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Old 03-06-2013, 14:06   #24
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Re: Best marine WiFi antenna?

Have used IslandTime solution for a year and happy. Haven't needed any support. Always works in my marina. I will say, however, that when I'm in a new location the Bullet software you have to use to find a new hotspot is pretty clunky and non-intuitive. You need a couple screens and a couple saves to get a new hotspot connected. It could be so much easier. Has the typical "designed by a geek" feel (I count myself as a geek by the way so not trying to insult anyone - but fellow geeks understand). A new one page, one click UI would be most welcome. Just borrow it from an iPhone...
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Old 03-06-2013, 14:13   #25
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Re: Best marine WiFi antenna?

I would have to agree with Jedi on this one.

My recommended USB WiFi adapter is from Newegg, Rosewill RNX-N600UBE Wireless Dual Band Adapter IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n USB 2.0 Up to 300+300Mbps Wireless Data Rates WPA2 - Newegg.com, at $30, plus two 12db antennas from eBay at $5 apiece New WiFi 2 4G Wireless 12nu llGai nsS MAAnten naBoost erGo ldHe | eBay is one of many listings. So for a total of $40 you get a high power dual band n-class system, which uses USB and is not waterproof. I can personally attest that this works very well.

OTOH for $30 more the Nanostation uses ethernet and is a router so can be shared through an inexpensive switch (about $20) and is waterproof. Both offer 2-antenna n-class services (2X2 MIMO) so should do about the same basic job of reception. If for no other reason I would go with the Nanostation for the ability to grow in the future: a USB will always be attached to a single computer, but ethernet can attach to a single computer or through a switch to multiple computers. Another thing which often gets lost is that the USB WiFi requires the installation of a driver, which must be compatible with the chip used in the wifi and the operating system, and has been a big headache through the years; ethernet doesn't require a specific driver.

Personally I am using a Bullet M2HP with 12dB antenna in the rigging. For really long range use that is still the best approach for folks at anchor and who are technically savvy; otherwise buy a packaged solution that includes a Bullet. But these days buy the Titanium edition for the better waterproofing. If in a marina this is overkill - stick with the more compact Nanostation.

Greg
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Old 03-06-2013, 17:19   #26
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Boosters is a path of pain and sorrow. Be wise and buy a Ubiquity Nanostation M2loco for $69 or so and be done with it.
I just bought one of these (not the Loco model though, just the M2), any tips on installing it? I'm hoping not to have to mount it high up, I'll be using it pretty much at the marina exclusively so I can work from the boat.
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Old 03-06-2013, 17:51   #27
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I just bought one of these (not the Loco model though, just the M2), any tips on installing it? I'm hoping not to have to mount it high up, I'll be using it pretty much at the marina exclusively so I can work from the boat.
The M2 has a bigger antenna array and is like a cannon. It has two mounting feet instead of the single one on the loco. Just use tie wraps to slap it onto a stanchion or any tubing of bimini frame etc. and point it in the general direction of the wifi service. Limit power unless very far away.
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Old 03-06-2013, 17:54   #28
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Re: Best marine WiFi antenna?

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
The M2 has a bigger antenna array and is like a cannon. It has two mounting feet instead of the single one on the loco. Just use tie wraps to slap it onto a stanchion or any tubing of bimini frame etc. and point it in the general direction of the wifi service. Limit power unless very far away.
Thanks. I'll be installing it this weekend. If I post on CF over the weekend you'll know it worked...
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Old 03-06-2013, 18:25   #29
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Re: Best marine WiFi antenna?

Currently at home I have a Canopy radio (on a dish antena) that feeds a Netgear WNDR3400 router inside the house. Works great, communicating with a station about 8 miles away.

I could see just replacing the Canopy radio with something like the Ubiquiti BulletM2 Titanium radio and using that with the Netgear router on board the boat.

The concern I have is that to set current system up, I go into the Netgear admin program and have to type in the radio ("internet connection") IP address ect. This works fine now as I am tied in with a dedicated provider and know this information, but is not going to work when cruising and trying to link into new networks.

I need of course to be able to have the system connect to a network like my computer connects to my router: Scan for available networks showing name, security settings, signal strength, saving entered passcodes, etc. I don't know how I would do this with my Netgear router (or any other router). Does this require special firmware in router, special driver or software in computer? I don't get it.

How does this get done?
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Old 03-06-2013, 18:39   #30
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Re: Best marine WiFi antenna?

Dennis, We have been using our bullet with our Belkin router for years. The AirOS software for the bullet lets you pick a wifi access point and once the bullet is connected the router can be used by any computer connected to it. It's all in our blog posts on our wifi set up. Chuck
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