Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 02-09-2013, 08:06   #16
Senior Cruiser
 
rebel heart's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 6,190
Images: 3
Re: Internet On Board, Again

I don't really this is applicable for you, but what we're running:

- Cat 5e cable for places that have jacks. More common than I thought.
- WirieAP for boosting weak signals.
- Various in-country cellular USB sticks.
- An AT&T global data (quad band) Android phone that has recipricol arrangements with most nations.
- Iridium phone + uunet for being really out there.
__________________

__________________
rebel heart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2013, 08:12   #17
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,762
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
Re: Internet On Board, Again

i found i only need one stick and i pay for same sim in each area of mexico. perfect.. wifi i gain from marinas in summer only, or i go to restaurants i have friended with and use theirs with food and beverages for a spot of time.
i dont need constant interwebz, spot fills in with momma when i am out of range---
but--isnt it good to get back into communications after having spent lovely time away from that bother....
__________________

zeehag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2013, 09:21   #18
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,727
Re: Internet On Board, Again

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
We use the Huawei mifi devices. One thing to know about these is that the external antenna connections on these are very frail. They are really only test ports and will fail within 50 insertions or so.

So I have bypassed them and soldered coax pigtails directly into the antenna circuit and added external higher gain antennas. This is a very tricky soldering job with a lot of potential for bricking the unit, but it is possible.

We have times and places when hoisting it up a flag halyard is the only way to make a connection. But these places are far away from sea-level towers and behind islands. Hoisting gives us the line of sight necessary in these places.

But I question your need for an external antenna. Ours is only useful in a few of the particular places we cruise, but not necessary anywhere else. I can't imagine you are that far from cell towers in your cruising grounds where the external antenna will make the difference.

These can be powered by 12V adapters. For some of our cruising areas, we cannot permanently mount it because we need regular access to the SIM card to renew our data plans. Other areas are different - I don't know about yours.

Mark
Thanks, Mark.

The thing about all these measures to improve connections is that you don't need them in 96% of cases anyway. I have been using an Option Globesurfer mobile router with no external antenna and mounted at my nav table for 4 years, and in most cases I have a perfectly good signal even when phones are not working (the internal antenna is much better than that of regular mobile phones).

The problem is the other 4% of the time, so how far do we go?

The English Channel and the Atlantic coasts of Europe have some surprisingly wild and desolate places, and it does happen from time to time that no one can get a signal, and/or we can't get a 3G connection for decent Internet. This has forced me to leave some anchorages where I really would have preferred to stay, and has caused me to miss some calls and emails which I really should not have missed.

I would be willing to spend a fair amount of money and/or trouble to eliminate these situations, at least some of them.

I suppose that simply hauling a MIFI device to the masthead would eliminate a further 90% of that 4%, so is looking for further improvement like counting angels on the head of a pin? I don't know. But I kind of like that idea of a robust external antenna, and it wouldn't be that hard to mount it, and they are not that expensive. I am liking more and more the idea of a comms box not connected to anything by wires, living mostly on my pushpit, with a small solar panel and antenna(s). No need to bring it inside to charge it. Haul it up the mast when needed. With an external antenna and at 75 feet above sea level, surely that will give me a connection in any situation where it is even remotely possible. I like the idea of that.
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2013, 09:24   #19
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,727
Re: Internet On Board, Again

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
I don't really this is applicable for you, but what we're running:

- Cat 5e cable for places that have jacks. More common than I thought.
- WirieAP for boosting weak signals.
- Various in-country cellular USB sticks.
- An AT&T global data (quad band) Android phone that has recipricol arrangements with most nations.
- Iridium phone + uunet for being really out there.
That's actually pretty similar to what I have now (minus the Iridium phone). And you probably use No. 3 for 90% of your data, right? (in-country USB sticks).
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2013, 09:25   #20
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,727
Re: Internet On Board, Again

Quote:
Originally Posted by scoobert View Post
That is a mobile data terminal, so you sign up for a data plan with a mobile phone provider, and stick the SIM card into the unit.
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2013, 09:40   #21
Moderator
 
noelex 77's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Living on dirt waiting for our new yacht to be built.
Boat: Half built Bestevaer.
Posts: 10,618
Re: Internet On Board, Again

One slight snag I can see is dealing with software freezes.

The MIFi units do occasional freeze. It happens only, or least a lot more, in marginal signal areas (perhaps switching between 2G and 3G ?)
Often it can be restarted remotely (turning the Internet connection off and on via the software from one of the attached tablets or PC's), but sometimes it needs to be restarted at the unit and occasionally it needs the battery taking out.

The units do need to accessible to fix these sort of problems.
__________________
noelex 77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2013, 09:44   #22
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,727
Re: Internet On Board, Again

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
One slight snag I can see is dealing with software freezes.

The MIFi units do occasional freeze. It happens only, or least a lot more, in marginal signal areas (perhaps switching between 2G and 3G ?)
Often it can be restarted remotely (turning the Internet connection off and on via the software from one of the attached tablets or PC's), but sometimes it needs to be restarted at the unit and occasionally it needs the battery taking out.

The units do need to accessible to fix these sort of problems.
Yes, I have the same problem with my GlobeSurfer. Have to unplug it for a cold reboot. It actually happens not that rarely

Well, just have to haul it down the mast, in that case, I guess. At least it wouldn't require going aloft.

I reckon we would have the same problem with a fixed install unit. In that case, however, we can cut the power remotely.

One could also hope that the software has evolved to the point where this happens less often. I finally -- after 15 years of using smart phones -- for the very first time have a smart phone which doesn't crash, or at least hasn't crashed once in three months of use.
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2013, 10:01   #23
Senior Cruiser
 
rebel heart's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 6,190
Images: 3
Re: Internet On Board, Again

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
That's actually pretty similar to what I have now (minus the Iridium phone). And you probably use No. 3 for 90% of your data, right? (in-country USB sticks).
It's fairly split to be honest. I've had really good results with the WirieAP unit. If there's wifi in range, even 1/4 mile away, I can usually grab it enough for basic browsing and the such.

When I really need it the Iridium is amazing. I'm regularly the boat with the most current weather and storm tracks by a wide margin. We're in a hurricane zone in hurricane season so seeing the tracks and warnings on a daily basis (or better) is no joke.

I've gotten a lot more comfortable cutting my "bs'ing around online' time to a minimum. When we have good and free broadband you'll see me on CruisersForum a lot, but if it's a huge pain in the ass or expensive to get online I'll just stick with reading books and being online for my job and not much else.
__________________
rebel heart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2013, 12:35   #24
Nearly an old salt
 
goboatingnow's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,649
Images: 3
The other thing Dockhead is that its perfectly feasible to put a Marine 3G /4G antenna with 5m of coax. This allows it to be mounted permanently outside with the router inside.

Surely if your need is great , then Fleetbroadband is an option for you

Dave
__________________
Check out my new blog on smart boat technology, networking and gadgets for the connected sailor! - http://smartboats.tumblr.com
goboatingnow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2013, 12:54   #25
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,727
Re: Internet On Board, Again

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
The other thing Dockhead is that its perfectly feasible to put a Marine 3G /4G antenna with 5m of coax. This allows it to be mounted permanently outside with the router inside.

Surely if your need is great , then Fleetbroadband is an option for you

Dave
Cheers, Dave.

Fleet Broadband will definitely be in the works if I can wangle a sabbatical for an Atlantic circuit. On which I am working.
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2013, 14:01   #26
֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 13,022
Re: Internet On Board, Again

Dockhead-
Unlike GSM (2G or 3G) where there are primarily four frequencies, one protocol, and "international" phones are common, you will find that 4G-LTE is very much incompatible systems. The ones used in the US won't work in the UE. The ones used by AT&T won't work on T-Mobile in the US, and vice versa. And the claims for "4G" without the LTE usually mean 3G with an enhanced backbone (more bandwidth out of the towers into the downlinks).

If you stick anything "4G-LTE" onto your system, you are going to be forever tied to ONE CARRIER and one system. That may not be bad--but you should be aware that you're going to be married to them, and unable to use the 4G-LTE services of anyone else.

So, 3G isn't such a bad way to go, since most of the 3G systems are available to cover "all" carrier options.

I have a 3G "booster" aka picocell, and I chose 3G because while my carrier offers 4G-LTE, I don't want to marry them. I'd rather know I can grab any signal out there, and change carriers without buying anything new.
__________________
hellosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2013, 14:41   #27
Nearly an old salt
 
goboatingnow's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,649
Images: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Dockhead-
Unlike GSM (2G or 3G) where there are primarily four frequencies, one protocol, and "international" phones are common, you will find that 4G-LTE is very much incompatible systems. The ones used in the US won't work in the UE. The ones used by AT&T won't work on T-Mobile in the US, and vice versa. And the claims for "4G" without the LTE usually mean 3G with an enhanced backbone (more bandwidth out of the towers into the downlinks).

If you stick anything "4G-LTE" onto your system, you are going to be forever tied to ONE CARRIER and one system. That may not be bad--but you should be aware that you're going to be married to them, and unable to use the 4G-LTE services of anyone else.

So, 3G isn't such a bad way to go, since most of the 3G systems are available to cover "all" carrier options.

I have a 3G "booster" aka picocell, and I chose 3G because while my carrier offers 4G-LTE, I don't want to marry them. I'd rather know I can grab any signal out there, and change carriers without buying anything new.
True. In Europe its not so bad , with 800, 1800 and 2600 being the three common frequencies.

Dave
__________________
Check out my new blog on smart boat technology, networking and gadgets for the connected sailor! - http://smartboats.tumblr.com
goboatingnow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2013, 19:14   #28
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: canada
Posts: 1,688
Re: Internet On Board, Again

why is everyone trying to host everything up? we run cell modems in the boat with external cell antennas outside. like a 4' Shakespeare. just run coax up. Wilson amps help too.
__________________
smac999 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2013, 19:39   #29
Registered User
 
svseachange's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: East Coast of Australia
Boat: Custom Steel 43 ft
Posts: 781
This subject just became more relevant to me. The lead programmer I took years grooming to take my spot just quit so it's me again for a while. At least I am doing the job from a boat and not chained to the frigid Midwest.

In the US we use a Bullet, 12v wireless router amd Verizon Droid Hotspot to great effect. We have lots of devices so I just connect the Bullet/12v router to either WiFi or the Hotspot depending on availability. My family always connects to the 12v router. They could not care less how the boat is getting the Internet connection. They are happy.

The Verizon Hotspot works almost everywhere in the US but I connect the boat to local WiFi networks when available to save a few dolllars. Overage on our Verizon plan is a very reasonable $10/gig.
__________________
svseachange is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2013, 19:48   #30
Registered User
 
Capt.Alex's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Somewhere in the Bahamas
Boat: Hylas 46
Posts: 308
I just picked up one of these. 4G LTE, really fast. Comes with a quality external antenna, antenna mount, and all cables and adapters. Just add an AT&T SIM card.

http://www.powertecusa.com/store/ind...er-marine.html
__________________

__________________
Capt.Alex is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
internet

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:44.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.