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Old 26-07-2011, 05:54   #916
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Ethernet twisted pair cabling was designed to span the kind of distances (up to 100 meters) we want to use on boats.
Or just have no Ethernet or USB cable. Then you have no issues or arguments about either cable type. (But then this thread would probably slow down I suppose.)

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Going beyond 5 meters is not how it's meant to be used and needs "tricks"
A USB hub is not a "trick". Sorry, doesn't fly with me. There is nothing wrong with going over 5 meters, but yes, you need to use Active Extension cables (a single port USB hub). USB hubs are no trick and fully part of the USB specification.

This is starting to sound like the anchor thread again. It is quite obvious what some of the opinions are on this thread by the more vocal contributors. This has also been discussed at least 2 times in this same thread already. But there are other options as well that are just as valid for different people and different situations (such as USB or 100% wireless). As I said before, I think this horse has been beaten by now. But, I can't read information that is incorrect, written like fact, and not say something, else people believe it.


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The active USB repeaters are a pain and they all use USB power which we don't have to spare because the high power radio needs it all and our laptops often can't supply that much on their USB ports.
This is a very general broad sweeping statement. I can state for a fact that our product has no issues with extension cables on more computers then I can count. True, some applications and products have issues, but there are others that have no issues (for over 2 years running) with what you are describing so these statements should be based on specific products, not just generalizations.
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Old 26-07-2011, 06:32   #917
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

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This is starting to sound like the anchor thread again.
Yeah.... Maybe we should tone it down a bit
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Old 26-07-2011, 06:53   #918
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

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A USB hub is not a "trick". Sorry, doesn't fly with me. There is nothing wrong with going over 5 meters, but yes, you need to use Active Extension cables (a single port USB hub).
You are trying to cloud the issue by avoiding my direct question and turning it into "Hub = trick" which is not what I said at all! I said that using a hub to get cable length beyond 5 meters is a trick which is something really different.

Quote:
As I said before, I think this horse has been beaten by now. But, I can't read information that is incorrect, written like fact, and not say something, else people believe it.
No this is very different. Anchor tests are highly controversial while the electrical specifications of cabling systems like USB, Ethernet, POE etc. are all crystal clear. It is you who wants to cloud this, because of your conflict of interest. There's nothing wrong with that... I might do the same in your situation, but the difference is that I do not have a commercial interest in this matter at all, so my reasons to make statements pro or contra are not based on that.

So, here is some information to support my view of USB being a design for short length cabling with low-powered devices (up to 2.5W): USB - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
It also shows that POE will support an easy 12W of power for lengths up to 100m. Now, you show us supporting documentation that states USB being designed for cable lengths > 5 meter and high powered devices... or admit that this ain't so, instead of avoiding the issue while stating my info is wrong. (it isn't.. I used to design this kind of **** LOL).

Quote:
This is a very general broad sweeping statement. I can state for a fact that our product has no issues with extension cables on more computers then I can count. True, some applications and products have issues, but there are others that have no issues
Ah so here it is. I never said it wasn't possible, I said it was a "pain". You must realize that many cruisers tend to buy cheap netbooks that have much more trouble with USB ports than posh laptops. This means they attract the kind of trouble around USB that you just admit exists here. When they use Ethernet, the problem is not there.

I was also never addressing your product, I was addressing USB vs Ethernet in general. You make it personal now by writing "state for a fact that our product..." etc. and I will not enter that argument any further.

This whole discussion is typical of one of an engineer vs salesman. It's not very productive. All the engineers will say Ethernet based while salesmen say whatever they sell. It's the way of things.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 26-07-2011, 06:59   #919
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

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Yeah.... Maybe we should tone it down a bit
I'm done, sorry

ciao!
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Old 26-07-2011, 07:15   #920
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

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Old 26-07-2011, 07:23   #921
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
This whole discussion is typical of one of an engineer vs salesman. It's not very productive. All the engineers will say Ethernet based while salesmen say whatever they sell. It's the way of things.
Ah, you are an engineer. So now it is all your fault (remember the one about a salesman/manager in a hot air baloon?).

To keep it on topic - when I was considering my options I went with a PoE design (Bullet HP), but then I am an engineer too...

Marius
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Old 26-07-2011, 08:03   #922
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

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Ah, you are an engineer. So now it is all your fault (remember the one about a salesman/manager in a hot air baloon?).

To keep it on topic - when I was considering my options I went with a PoE design (Bullet HP), but then I am an engineer too...

Marius
I'm neither and I have both. I like ethernet with POE for permanent installations (I like to limit my trips up the mast) and I like USB for *most* temporary installations and shore side excursions.

I've spent any fun money I have for the month but when the eagle poops on the 1st of Aug I'm going to purchase some stuff to make the "thingy-wifi". I will fully document that. And I share... I guess the "dead-horse" contingent would really like that to stop but hey, we are here to help one another cruiser style, not make a living.

George
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Old 26-07-2011, 08:12   #923
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

I'm done. I am not trying to cloud anything, just state what I feel to be more accurate and representative information then what others have been posting. The Wiki link you gave states a lot of the same facts I have corrected on this forum. 2.5W is plenty for a high-power WiFi device (1W output) yet you are implying its not by stating "low-powered devices". WiFi radios are "low-powered" devices relative to most of the world.

If what I have stated is being misinterpreted, I'll go back to making my baggywrinkles, and I apologize.

I do think its a bit unfair to tell me I am biased (plus more) when we have a product that has nothing to do with USB or Ethernet. If people don't want to use USB, that is A-OK with me. But, there are customers and situations that USB makes more sense than Ethernet.

I think the future is in using neither USB or Ethernet, much better for everyone, and why I invested so much time in our new product.

For the record, I too am an engineer (and sailor).
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Old 26-07-2011, 08:27   #924
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Reading all of the technical stuff is enlightening, but my experience shows the number of access points (open routers) has plummeted in the past year. I guess most people are now longer willing to share a little bandwidth with us nice yachties anchored outside their condos. (streaming movies doesn't really pull that much, does it?)

When I first installed my bullet antenna, a number of access points were "available" at various locations along our journeys. Now, most of those routers are blocked and I'm stuck with $35.00 per month or some serious hourly charge. Admittedly, there isn't much population between New Bern and Oriental, NC, but the "boater friendly" access points are now less friendly.

Out of frustration, I bought a Verizon Aircard. It's about the speed of dialup, but at least I can connect where ever and I have even dropped the fiber cable modem at the land house... just have to connect at a slower pace, uhh, much slower.

So now, I have a great POE antenna hanging on the arch and I'm connecting through a cell phone size electronic gizmo laying on the hatch screen above the nav desk.


...but if I can just get friends to stop all of those forwards and If I can find an intelligent news site where the news is read instead of viewed on bandwidth sucking videos, and If I could only figure out how to use the Bullet antenna to boost my Aircard speed...then life will be good.

Bill
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Old 26-07-2011, 10:07   #925
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Bill,
I think you are right, the wild west days are coming to an end. I only hope something better comes along soon.

To all, I should have separated my "dead horse" reference from my "making a living" reference above. I was shooting an arrow at the concept, not an individual. My only excuse is that I'm posting quickly between sessions in my backyard in an epic struggle with a Perkins 4-108 rebuild. I think I'm having trouble bouncing back and forth across the technology gap.

I will completely disagree that this thread is anything like an anchor choice discussion. You look at a hunk of metal and no matter it's shape it's pretty easy to get a grip on what's happening with it. Most of us don't have that level of understanding with electronics and this discussion has served to enlighten many, including myself. Let's continue the civil discussion of various wifi solutions going.

George
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Old 26-07-2011, 10:24   #926
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Mark,

One needs to have a thick skin in the on-line world. Here on CF, we're being much (much!) nicer to one another than on most other forums. I can do a spicy discussion about USB vs Ethernet (or slab reefing vs in-mast etc.) but I will not carry on when you enter the "our product does/does not" phase. I don't want to argue about your products and I don't even think it's allowed or wanted on CF. But I can talk about USB or Ethernet, so I will do just that

What I just can't have on CF is readers who think it's a good idea to bring a USB cable up the mast for some USB wifi solution. If it works at all at these kind of lengths of 20m/60', it's flaky. There will also be active components every 16' in the cable meaning you probably can't even pull the cable because these bulge out of the cabling. You are also working outside USB specs which say 5 meters maximum. I agree that it might work for a wifi adapter, but it will not work at all for isochronous devices like webcams etc. which shows it's outside the specs.
Now, you can keep on defending USB for longer than 5m/16' cables and I will just keep on arguing against it. The Wikipedia URL I supplied before does certainly not state you can go longer than 5 meters. It actually states under specs:
Quote:
Length : 5 metres (maximum)
I will provide more info here. On USB.org - Welcome is a site from the designers and makers of USB (USB Implementers Forum). They have a FAQ on-line and I will quote from that so that we clear all uncertainties about the issue:

Quote:
Cables and Long-Haul Solutions

2. I want to build a cable longer than 5 meters, why won't this work?
A: Even if you violated the spec, it literally wouldn't get you very far. Assuming worst-case delay times, a full speed device at the bottom of 5 hubs and cables has a timeout margin of 280ps. Reducing this margin to 0ps would only give you an extra 5cm, which is hardly worth the trouble.

3. What about using USB signal repeaters to make a cable longer than 5 meters?
A: Don't bother. The best solution is self-powered hub with a fixed 10m cable that had a one-port bus powered hub in the middle. The maximum range will still have to deal with the timeout, so any out of spec tweaking of the terminations between the two hubs and the timing budget still won't yield more than 5cm of extra distance. A better solution is described in the following question.

4. I really need to put a USB device more than 30 meters away from my PC. What should I do?
A: Build a USB bridge that acts as a USB device on one side and has a USB host controller at the other end. Use a long-haul signaling protocol like Ethernet or RS-485 in the middle. Using cables or short-haul fiber, you can get ranges upwards of a kilometer, though there's no reason why the long-haul link in the middle of the bridge couldn't be a pair of radio transceivers or satellite modems.
Embedded host solutions capable of doing this already exist. Also, two PCs connected via USB Ethernet adapters are essentially a slave/slave version of this master/slave bridge.
So, the designers and makers of USB advise to use another medium, like Ethernet, when you need to have long cables. When you must have USB at each end, they tell us to create bridge devices, that convert from USB to ethernet and vica versa at the other end.

There's also still the issue of USB drivers. Alfa does not have a MacOS Lion driver. May be the old Snow Leopard driver will work, may be it will not. Last time, when we went from Leopard to Snow Leopard, some geeks found out a way to tweak the old driver to work under the new OS (without using the installer) so may be it will be like that again this time. Now, I have abandoned Windows a long time ago but I think similar issues will have occurred with that abomination called Vista (I'm getting up to speed ) or Windows 7. Cruisers are not waiting for that kind of **** trouble.

For Ethernet you can pull a simple cat5 passive cable up to 100m/300' length and you are 100% within Ethernet and POE specs. I would advice shielded cable and extra waterproofing but that's the only remark I can come up with for this solution. You will have loss in the cabling like with any other cabling, but if you use a radio like a Bullet, it will only require 9V so when you start out with 12V you have a lot of room to work with. It's designed for this kind of application. Your OS doesn't matter because they all support Ethernet without having to download and install drivers.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 26-07-2011, 10:31   #927
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

ok guys--i have a wave system for which the cd has fouled into gibberish. how can i find a usb/flash kind of programming device for teaching my netbook how to accept it? the instructions were on cd and programmed into machine from that-- so i havent the instructions. anyone have a clue for me?
i would hate to know i wasted 200 dollars for a system i cannot use.(bought it 4 yrs ago or 5)
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Old 26-07-2011, 11:39   #928
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

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ok guys--i have a wave system for which the cd has fouled into gibberish. how can i find a usb/flash kind of programming device for teaching my netbook how to accept it? the instructions were on cd and programmed into machine from that-- so i havent the instructions. anyone have a clue for me?
i would hate to know i wasted 200 dollars for a system i cannot use.(bought it 4 yrs ago or 5)

If your product is the WaveRV system by Radiolabs, I would just go to their website. I am sure the software you need is available on their website once you locate the product you own.
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Old 26-07-2011, 12:00   #929
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

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Ethernet and USB cables have the same amount of loss, none.

Coax cable has signal loss.
You took my commentary out of context, but given your background I think you could have realized what I meant. I will clarify: From what I understand, a USB based device is limited by the maximum effective length of its USB cable, AND if that said device needed a remote mounted antenna to achieve the owner's height requirements, the coax would be the factor of signal loss. Am I wrong?

I wasn't denigrating your product or any like it, I was simply stating the obvious: that an ethernet based device is more efficient when considering cable runs. You can argue the point all day long. I'm not an expert with any of the technology, but I am a consumer, and I do understand what works, what doesn't work, and what my wallet agrees with when comparing performance and components.

Your product provides an invaluable service to those who need the plug and play and customer support, and I have recommended it to people that I know. I had not heard of the Bullet/Ethernet based devices until I read about them here on CF - and after I researched them, I decided they better fit my application than a USB based device.
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Old 26-07-2011, 12:20   #930
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

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Originally Posted by RV Daring Game View Post
You took my commentary out of context, but given your background I think you could have realized what I meant. I will clarify: From what I understand, a USB based device is limited by the maximum effective length of its USB cable, AND if that said device needed a remote mounted antenna to achieve the owner's height requirements, the coax would be the factor of signal loss. Am I wrong?
I did not understand what you meant, and did not mean to take anything out of context. I would not do that purposefully. I did quote only part of what you wrote, but what I read was about signal loss and I felt it was inaccurate and other readers would read it as I did. You are correct in the statement above.

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Originally Posted by RV Daring Game View Post
I wasn't denigrating your product or any like it...
I never thought you were degenerating our product. Sorry if something I said sounded like that. I was just trying to make sure your statement was clear, as when I read it, I read about signal loss, which was not accurate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RV Daring Game View Post
Your product provides an invaluable service to those who need the plug and play and customer support, and I have recommended it to people that I know. I had not heard of the Bullet/Ethernet based devices until I read about them here on CF - and after I researched them, I decided they better fit my application than a USB based device.
Thank you for the compliments!
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