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Old 20-03-2009, 19:59   #61
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Ok with info from this board I just ordered a engenius eub 362 and a omni directional antenna, Question with the engenius is there software to install? Can somebody give me a brief lession as I am computer illiterate
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Old 20-03-2009, 21:39   #62
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It is pretty straight forward. The drivers come on a CD. Pop it in and load the drivers before plugging in the 362. Most of the marine omnis have abut 30" of pigtail with a reverse polarity SMA connector. It screws right in to the 362. That is plenty for a portable unit. Get a 15' USB cable with the small B end and plug it all up. When I am on a charter or delivery I sit the 362 on the flaked main, hang the antenna on a lazy jack with some double sided Velcro straps and run the USB cable back to the laptop.

Down on the task bar you should see another little CRT icon. Right click it and then click Open network Connection. You should see a new adapter besides the internal wifi and the wired network. (And maybe a 1394 fire wire connection.) Right click it and rename it something so you can tell which is which. Turn off your internal wifi adapter. Left click the new adapter and View wireless Networks. You should see all the available signals. Pick one with a good signal that is not secured and you are off and running.

BTW, an neat freebie worth finding and downloading is NetStumbler. It is a program that sniffs out and logs wifi signals. It reports signal strength S/N and a bunch of other things. Real handy when you are looking for a good connection. You would be amazed at the number of unsecured signals there are around the Caribbean.
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Old 20-03-2009, 22:42   #63
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Gash, as I said, "when you are not moving". An eight degree beamspread is more than adequate when you are not moving. In any of the three axes or directions. If you're planning to web surf, that may mean tying up or anchoring bow and stern. But if you just need to check email--five minutes with a solid link is more than most of us need.

Anyone can whip up an omni on the spot, but the high gain directionals need a wee bit more time and skill to build. Making it a good investment to buy one in advance--in case that's what you will need. Or not, if that's going to break the kitty.
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Old 21-03-2009, 00:44   #64
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Gash
I ordered a 15' antenna cable, do I want a 15' usb cable and a shorter annt cable Does it make a differance?
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Old 21-03-2009, 00:57   #65
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That makes a difference yes. You can go up to 5 meters of USB cable without loosing signal strength/quality but every inch of antenna cable results in loss.

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Old 21-03-2009, 05:51   #66
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Nick is right. At the 2.4Ghz frequency that Wifi works even the finest 1/4" coax (LMR-200) will lose almost 40% of the power in 15 feet. Cheaper Radio Shack RG-58 will loose more than 60%. 3' of LMR-200 will only loose about 9%. The pigtail that comes on the antenna is usually LMR-200 or an equivelent.

There is the quandry of portable gear. Altitude is your friend. The higher you can get the antenna the better the signal but you only have 20' from the center of the antenna to your laptop. It takes some thought to place the antenna in the best spot with the least hassles to set up. You can get USB extenders but that just adds more money and crap to deal with. Every boat is different. I found my spot on most boats was the lazy jacks. I used white duct tape to add a loop to the top of my antenna and tied on a length of cord with a fishing weight on the other end. Toss the weight over the lower joint of the lazy jacks and hoist away.
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Old 21-03-2009, 07:25   #67
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Please could you back up a little or direct me to a site that I can understand what you fellas are discusing? Very much need to know the logistics ofa computer and am/fm radio on board. Heading out this summer for long term and need to initially purchase a unit that includes low power use, long life battery. Then of course need to know what services and accessories to get Skipe email etc. on anchor?
Thanks for your help in advance Lue
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Old 21-03-2009, 08:39   #68
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The Wi-Fi - Wireless Wiki will tell you almost everything you ever didn't want to know. Don't let it confuse you though. As a casual user however, 99% of it you don't really need to know. As with anything it takes a little practice to pass the hair pulling stage but once you get the hang of it it is pretty easy to do anything you need to do.

Wifi is very low power. Even a big high power unit needs less than half an amp. A USB adapter like the EUB-362 is powered by your PC so you hardly notice it.

Aside from a reasonably reliable laptop and the wifi parts we have already mentioned you might want a Bluetooth ear piece for Skype if you don't want everyone on the boat to hear your conversation but it will work through the mic and speakers on the laptop. Skype works just about everywhere. The way it works it is almost impossible to block. Cable & Worthless tried to block it in the BVI a few years back and gave up.

You can set up a free or almost free email account with hotmail, Yahoo or several others. That is about all you really need. Once you get connected to a shore side access point it is just like surfing at home just a little slower. Unless the wifi link is extremely weak it is almost always faster than the link from the shore side station to the Internet in the more remote spots. Most Internet in the Caribbean is over relatively slow DSL connections.
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Old 21-03-2009, 09:15   #69
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Actually, LMR-200 is good cable but not at all the best for microwave use. LMR-400 or LMR-600 would be better choices from the same vendor. RG58 is fine for VHF radios or CBs but let's not even joke about using it for microwave antennas, if any vendor is selling it for them, that's a cruel joke.

http://www.timesmicrowave.com/cgi-bin/calculate.pl

An online calculator that will tell you how much loss there is for each LMR product, per feet of run.

Fifteen feet is argubaly tolerable with a gain antenna, although using a USB cable with remote radio would make a big difference in the signal.

Lue, an am/fm radio as in "car stereo" has nothing to do with all this. Install it where convenient, they aren't very picky about antennas (even a coat hangar will often work well) and they're totally separate from computer communications systems.
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Old 21-03-2009, 10:11   #70
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I was just trying to keep things easy to handle. LMR-400 is more than a half an inch thick, heavy and can't be rolled up less than about 24" in diameter. That is a pretty big bundle to stow. I use LMR-400/600 and hard line in my HAM shack and will run 400 up the mast to my VHF antenna (probably over kill but I am short on RG-213 and long on LMR-400) but the 400 would be a bear to argue with in a portable system on a boat. A short run of 200 is the best compromise in this situation.
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Old 21-03-2009, 19:11   #71
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YEs thanks. I will check out the Wifi link and get back to you for clarification.
As for the am fm radio it is always nice to listen to radio? So you say dont need anything special? for that?
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Old 21-03-2009, 19:29   #72
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Wow lot of info!

I am a computer user here on land for some time 25 years but am not a techie!
Where can I go for simple straight forward direction of how to put internet on my 40 foot sail boat. as a long term live aboard?
for example
1)what is the best laptop to buy, most energy efficient? (understand that moisture will play harshley)
2) understand wireless on land but how does that work through Wifi? what is the router connected to? Satellite? What is the cost of that? and who?
3) Understand the need for antenna............but again simply put which one do I buy?
4) understand hot spot but does that mean you get intermittent reception?

Thanks guys................Lue
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Old 21-03-2009, 22:32   #73
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"am fm radio ...you say dont need anything special? for that?"
The transmitters are fairly robust, the radios typically designed for use in cars with a simple whip antenna. You can buy a simple whip antenna for a car stereo for under $20, just plug it in and drop it into the headliner or other space. The transmitter towers are sometimes literally 1/4 mile tall so the height of your antenna makes very little difference, and unless you have a steel hull it will not interfere with the signal.



"Where can I go for simple straight forward direction of how to put internet on my 40 foot sail boat. as a long term live aboard?" The radio or communications sections of most sailing forums.

"what is the best laptop to buy, most energy efficient?" Long discussions abound as to "best" versus performance, price, and other issues.

"understand wireless on land but how does that work through Wifi? what is the router connected to? Satellite? What is the cost of that? and who?"
Satellite is EXPENSIVE, forget it unless you are willing to pay business rates to do business with it, or you plan to only use short bursts for important short texts. Wifi is wifi, the same way that you can connect to a wifi router in your home, you can connect to one at an internet cafe up to a mile or so away. IF there is an open wifi connection, much the same as you would use a coffee shop in a city. Again, there are many many posts online--search for them and read them.

3, 4...search and read. "The truth is out there."
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Old 22-03-2009, 07:11   #74
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The best setup we like uses two wifi-routers. The first one is used for the link to the shore-station. We use a LinkSys loaded with different firmware to allow a "client-routed" configuration. This is something you only want to do yourself if you really know computer stuff. Ask a geek to do this for you otherwise. Software choice: Talisman, DD-WRT, Tomato. Beware that you need specific models of LinkSys for this to work. Google will enlighten you ;-)

When you have this router configured for client-routed, the shore-station sees only 1 MAC address, while the Internet connection is available on ethernet ports of the LinkSys. This cable may be up to 100 meters long so you can hoist the router up high etc. But we opted to change to external antenna and even have an amplifier available for when the going gets tough.

Next, you could connect computers with ethernet to the LinkSys but we need wifi for many gadgets aboard like iTouch, squeezebox, iPAQ etc. So we have a second wifi router:

Here you can use a standard configuration one and we really like the DLink DGL-4500. Just connect it to the LinkSys like if the LinkSys is a DSL modem. Choose different wifi channel for this one. Now you have your own boat's wifi service and can also connect with ethernet to the DLink.

About wifi routers, keyboards, mice, laptops etc.: we found that the "gaming" versions of all are much better quality. They need to be able to take the abuse of gaming ;-) We use: DLink DGL-4500 gaming router, Logitec G5 mouse and G11 keyboard (both gaming grade, the mouse-cord even has a polyester outer-braid!) and a Dell XPS gaming laptop. We also have a Dell 24" LCD monitor which doubles as entertainment screen for watching DVD's.

cheers,
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Old 22-03-2009, 08:18   #75
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wow Nick how much power does that all take? We will be on our sailboat trying to minimize our energy use. We will have a GPS/radar and use our laptop as a secondary navigation devise. THe computer will be for internet use.
Thanks for this explanation it is much more understandable.
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