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Old 09-04-2009, 13:23   #136
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DD-WRT is very capable firmware but most of what it does is not needed by a boater and it is harder to use than the Bullet firmware. IMO the Bullet firmware is the best on the market for a boater.

Oh hi Bob!

I just figured out who you were. I installed one of your systems on an Island Packet in Mandyville LA and we spoke briefly on the phone once. As an installer *and* an end user I'm aching to get my hands on one of those Bullet's. Maybe someone will want one hear in Annapolis and I can do the install.

I think the biggest advantage of using DD-WRT is having wifi for all our computers aboard without needing a second router. Well worth the $20. But not for everyone as you point out.

George
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Old 09-04-2009, 13:46   #137
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Oh hi Bob!

I think the biggest advantage of using DD-WRT is having wifi for all our computers aboard without needing a second router. Well worth the $20. But not for everyone as you point out.

George
Hi George, I remember talking with you on that install. You obviously did it right cause I've never heard from them.

The repeater function of DD-WRT and some other firmwares is useful but keep in mind that it halves your bandwidth and this can be significant when dealing with a very weak signal as is frequently the case at anchor. I think you're better off getting a wireless router and putting it below. You can find factory refurbished units from $15 to $25.

Bob
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Old 09-04-2009, 13:58   #138
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Oh yeah, they are happy with the system for sure, both with the install and the equipment. For my part I was happy to get the help I needed on the phone so quickly and that kind of tech support makes a big difference. I know that Bruce has recommended you to others.

George
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Old 09-04-2009, 16:45   #139
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First, thanks for the quick replies and additional information.

Second, are any of you installers in the Florida West Coast area? If so and the cost is reasonable, I think it would be worth my while to have a professional assist me with this.

Any takers? If not, any recommendations in the Tampa Bay area?

Cheers,

Greg
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Old 09-04-2009, 17:00   #140
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First, thanks for the quick replies and additional information.

Second, are any of you installers in the Florida West Coast area? If so and the cost is reasonable, I think it would be worth my while to have a professional assist me with this.

Any takers? If not, any recommendations in the Tampa Bay area?

Cheers,

Greg
I worked for Sea Tech Marine Electronics in Naples. They are straight shooters. Not the cheapest but they do the work right. Ask for Paul.

It's a shame because I was just down there for an art show in Hyde Park...

Or just purchase from someone like Bob who can walk you through it. As I remember, he made it pretty easy for the DIY so if you can use plain old hand tools you should be a shoe in. The only reason I had to call him was because I lost the crib sheet that came with the unit and could not remember how to access the user interface.

George
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Old 09-04-2009, 17:15   #141
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Thanks, George. I just emailed Bob, so I'll try that route, especially if it comes with installation support! Supporting fellow cruisers' businesses is always my preference.

I'm reasonably handy, I just want to make sure this is done right. I'm planning to run my business from the "boat office" while I'm in the Bahamas next month, so reliability is critical.

Cheers,

Greg
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Old 11-04-2009, 02:21   #142
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So I went back into the security settings and set us up with WEP security to solve that.
Keep in mind that WEP can be broken in minutes with free software from the net.
I would disable WEP and enable WPA.
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Old 11-04-2009, 05:32   #143
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Keep in mind that WEP can be broken in minutes with free software from the net.
I would disable WEP and enable WPA.
Also keep in mind why you've taken security precautions. In the case of "thatboatguy" he wanted to limit intentional and unintentional access to his AP that would eat up his bandwidth. WEP works well for this as does not broadcasting your SSID, MAC filtering and combination's of these. WPA has a lot more CPU overhead than the other methods but doesn't accomplish any more.

The important point for security on most boats is the link between the boat and shore which is unsecured in most instances. The best way to secure this link is to subscribe to one of the "hotspot VPN" services. They provide software to encrypt data at your PC. The encrypted data is routed to one of their servers where it is unencrypted and put back out on the internet. The down side to this can be very slow service because of extra distance involved and heavy use of the server.
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:02   #144
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Keep in mind that WEP can be broken in minutes with free software from the net.
I would disable WEP and enable WPA.
Very good point Anderes,

And oh yes, I've explored "penetration testing" and have struggled (successfully I think) with the accompanying demons... Note in my rather long post above that "Wireless Security, isn't". In the case of Culebra, all anyone had to do was get closer to the free hotspot in town. We simply had better kit.

BTW it's kind of sideways topic wise but Culebra is one groovy destination for cruisers. We got pinned down there with weather for days and could have spent a lot more time there, and plan to go back.

George
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Old 11-04-2009, 22:45   #145
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Hey gang I have a question or maybe just an observation. First I bought an engenius 362 It worked well but it was shangied by a friend so I bought an Alfa unit. The alfa unit seems to work better and the software was MUCH more easily installed for vista. At The same time I also bought an hawkings 15dbi omni directional a outdoor antenna. This was by far the mostly costly part of the system purchased. With either unit I see no difference between the small stock antenna and the Hawkings antenna. I am using a 16' active usb cable to reach my flybridge And am useing only the short 3' antenna cable included with the hawkings antenna. Why do I not see an improvement? Now the fact is I have only tested my setup in the marina. Did I waste $130 on this antenna or will I see the value when cruising?
Thanks everybody for your help
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Old 12-04-2009, 05:57   #146
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When you say you "see no difference" what do you mean. Same number of AP's when you do a scan? Same signal strengths? Are you seeing AP's that may be in condo's 4or 5 stories up.

In a marina where your AP's may be close to you, putting 500mw into a 15dbi antenna can make connections worse instead of better because you are overloading the AP's receiver.

At anchor, say 1/2 to 1 mile from an AP with the Hawking properly aimed you should see an improvement over the stock antenna.
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:01   #147
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Both the number of AP's and the single Strength seem the same. The only know ap I have is app 3/4 or a mile away. This is a omni antenna. Are you saying the anternna and the adapter are not a match?
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Old 12-04-2009, 15:14   #148
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I read too fast and got in my mind that you had a Hawking Corner Antenna rather than an omni. At 3/4 of a mile I would have expected that the 15dbi would give a noticeable improvement in signal strength if you're dealing with a line of sight point to point connection. If you've got a lot of multi-path with reflections off buildings and such your 15 dbi antenna may be getting most of the signals coming from outside of the narrow vertical beam width.

You may need to get out of the marina and try a few anchorages and see which gives you a better connection.
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Old 20-04-2009, 09:25   #149
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I just got my Alpha500 from Data-alliance.net Home Page and it works great I am able to connect here at the boat now however it is evient that I need to use an external antenna, can anybody advice me what antenna, cables and connectors should I get from Data-alliance.net Home Page

Thanks
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Old 20-04-2009, 09:36   #150
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... can anybody advice me what antenna, cables and connectors should I get from Data-alliance.net Home Page Thanks
Buy the short pigtail from Data-Alliance. Make sure you get the correct connectors for the antenna below if you go that route...

I searched their site (DA) for antennas and did not see an outdoor model I liked. I got the engenius 8db outdoor antenna that HUD mentioned at the beginning of this thread: EAG-2408 - EnGenius Datacom Products

I found it at Prometric.com. Not the absolute cheapest supplier but they had it in stock and were within $4 of the lowest cost dealer I found.
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