A successful relatively high speed signal is required for Skype. We work from our boat and depend on Skype for communications
, both audio and video. The important factor is bi-directional signal strength which can be affected by range and many other factors.
It takes 2 to tango, so bi-directional is the key. If you are relying on connecting to "free" unsecured wireless routers in someones shoreside home where you are receiving a signal less than -70dB then the most expensive and powerfull solution on board will not help.
If you are receiving a reasonable signal, you will need to transmit at a signal stength that can be received at -70dB or less. Here is where adding equipment
Most important is the EIRP power which is what is radiated from your antenna
and line of sight.
EIRP is the sum of what the transmitter puts out and what the antenna
concentrates. Of course a directional antenna gives the best concentration but you have to keep it pointed. My view is a 500mW device with an omnidirectional antenna of around 8dBi. This gives you close to the max FCC power and a 25 degree vertical cone with 360 horiz that will allow you to swing at anchor
. Avoid antenna cables
, expensive and lossy at 2.5GHZ.
So this points at electronics
mounted in a weatherproof box with an antenna mounted on the box.
Weatherproof is important. Waterproof mounted to the side of a building is very different from salt environment
. Look for IP6 or NEMA6 ratings.
Up the mast
or on the rail depends on line of sight.
Most important is that you have the ability to understand the technology or the technology is simple enough for you to use. Low cost components used by professionals abound, but they don't provide tech support and the documentation
is often in Chinglish.
So, depending on your budget
, on the low end, you can take an Alfa USB unit, add an antenna and a waterproof box, essentially the Wirie and live with the limited outside 12-15' distance provided by the USB cable.
The 5 mile wifi
is similar but has higher power to offset the antenna cable losses and is much more expensive.
As posted, PoE is great in allowing device and antenna to be connected without coax. I would look for 500mW with an 8dB antenna.
The bullet 2HP looks great in terms of power and concept
. I have not tested it but plan to do so soon. My concerns are the RJ45 connector being weatherproof and the user interface for setup. The data sheet is tehnical and sparse. The AIROS operating system looks good for network technicians but may be beyond the typical user.
The OmniBox is also a PoE solution with a NEMA 6 waterproof rating It is designed for the boater in terms of the marine environment
and ease of use. Its repeater function, dual antenna support and multi-user support is probably more than you need and it is priced similarly to the 5 mile WiFi
which is above your budget
With respect to permanant mounting, use a waterproof enclosure, make sure connectors are sealed and take the cable, USB or ethernet with PoE through the deck
with a low cost waterproof gland.
Much better than trying to get LMR400 coax through the deck
with a bulkhead connector or a big hole sealed with gunk. I have not found a sealable gland that will pass a N type connector although glands for cat 5 are available.