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Old 26-07-2011, 12:41   #931
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Wow! With all that said what I use is an Alpha unit with a 9db omni, inverted hanging by the cord in the cocpit area somewhere to maintain the vertical polarization of the whip antenna. Under a hundred bucks.
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Old 26-07-2011, 15:18   #932
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Quote:
Originally Posted by saben View Post
Wow! With all that said what I use is an Alpha unit with a 9db omni, inverted hanging by the cord in the cocpit area somewhere to maintain the vertical polarization of the whip antenna. Under a hundred bucks.
Sure, that'll work pretty good. The 1000 mW version is being sold with both 9 dBi and a 5 dBi antenna (for travel) for $30.- now so it's also the cheapest solution. Alfa 1000mW 1W 802.11b/g USB Wireless WiFi Network Adapter with Original Alfa Screw-On Swivel 9dBi Rubber Antenna AWUS036H + 9dBi


ciao!
Nick.
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Old 29-07-2011, 17:09   #933
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Got my Bullet 2HP yesterday from Latvia ordered on eBay...1 week delivery......followed Bobs setup (thanks for posting!) have 20 AP's on a 15 dBi antenna at my desk at home.........I can hardly wait to get this on the YOT.

Cheers
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Old 29-07-2011, 19:31   #934
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Had a problem with my Bullet last week while in the San Juans.
After a few emails, all of a sudden reception was terrible.

After a lot of checking everything when I got home (including using an old cordless phone antenna as a substitute), it turned out (I hope) to be a tiny corrosion on the antenna input of the Bullet. I suspect I didn't have the Bullet sufficiently tightened to the antenna.
We shall see, and I'll report.
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Old 30-07-2011, 06:10   #935
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Quote:
Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
I suspect I didn't have the Bullet sufficiently tightened to the antenna.
You indeed have to tighten it sufficiently. Look out that you don't brake the connector off the Bullet housing though. When it's attached and working, tape the Bullet-antenna joint with rescue tape, on top of that put electrical tape and use a tie wrap to keep that in place. The rescue tape makes the joint waterproof and the rest is to protect it from UV.

Also check firmware and upgrade if needed.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 30-07-2011, 14:02   #936
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

I agree in addition to an Antenna - it's worth spending 25 euro a month for a USB mobile internet stick. Speeds are getting seriously good with HSDPA. Then --- the thing is how to not have to have that stick in your one laptop - especially if there are other people wanting to use it and it's a pain having to have the stick stick out the laptop waiting to break.

Solution: 20 quid/euro very effective and cool: a little wireless router on 12v to put the USB stick modem into !: http://www.zoomtel.com/products/mobile_broadband_overview.html?gclid=CJ_Ft-nn-acCFU8lfAodq1Q0rA#4506

Beware: it can be difficult to install - you need to program the PIN of the USB stick AND A CODE into the router - here the settings for Spain: NOTE the DIALLED NUMBER and the APN are the important parts you need to input !!! leave all the rest blank. So it should look like:

WAN Type
3G
APN
ac.vodafone.es
PIN Code
(pin code 4 numbers)
Dialed Number
*99#
Account
Password
******
[ Wireless Setting ]
Wireless
Enable
SSID
(your router name)
Channel
10
Authentication
WPA-PSK / WPA2-PSK
Encryption
TKIP/AES
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Old 30-07-2011, 14:14   #937
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Nick, is that Alfa one full watt of RF output from the unit? Or is it one watt ERP counting the 9db gain from the antenna? They don't seem to make that clear at all.

Sounds like a great deal for the price, either way, but it would be nice to know how they were counting.
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Old 31-07-2011, 00:30   #938
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Quote:
Originally Posted by saben View Post
Wow! With all that said what I use is an Alpha unit with a 9db omni...
I've also got an Alfa and it works well. Bit of a problem with Windows 7 drivers, so I Googled for "RT2870 driver" and found the driver from the chipset manufacturer, Ralink.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brainmaker View Post
... it's worth spending 25 euro a month for a USB mobile internet stick...
Or (in Spain) try MasMovil for €15!
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Old 31-07-2011, 05:32   #939
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
is that Alfa one full watt of RF output from the unit?
Yes. This is output spec from Alfa without antenna.
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Old 31-07-2011, 05:36   #940
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

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I've also got an Alfa and it works well. Bit of a problem with Windows 7 drivers, so I Googled for "RT2870 driver"
You are talking about a different Alfa adapter, AWUS036NH. The one mentioned above is AWUS036H, and does not have any issues running on Windows 7, including with Alfa's drivers from their website.

The AWUS036NH adapter does not perform nearly as well as the AWUS036H. The AWUS036H adapter uses a Realtek (8187L) chipset, not Ralink (RT2870).
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Old 31-07-2011, 06:04   #941
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

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Originally Posted by kiltym View Post
Yes. This is output spec from Alfa without antenna.
And to clarify, the 1W output will only happen at B rates, and when the speed is slower. The unit, like many good WiFi adapters/radios, will modify the output power based on the quality of the connection. As the quality decreases, and speed decreases, the output power is higher. On the spec sheets from Alfa you will always see 2 (or 3) output specs, one for B mode, one for G mode, and now one for N mode.
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Old 31-07-2011, 08:30   #942
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device (for charterers)

I don't own a boat....yet. But it's still nice to have long distance wifi when I bareboat charter. Using all the great information on this thread, I put together a kit that easily packs in a suitcase: The Alfa adaptor, a high quality 8DB omni antenna, and 16' of active USB cable. When I wanted wifi, I strapped the antenna/alfa unit to a stay as high up as I could reach, using velcro straps, and ran the USB cable through the hatch down to my laptop at the nav station. It worked well as far as "seeing" networks, but connecting was not always easy because more and more networks are now requiring passwords. Ironically, my best connection was on a mooring off Saba. There was nothing along the coast to provide network access, but the entire island was covered by SATEL and I presume there was an antenna on top of the mountain. After paying 10 bucks, I had excellent internet for the next three days, from probably a mile or two away.
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Old 31-07-2011, 10:11   #943
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiltym View Post
You are talking about a different Alfa adapter, AWUS036NH. The one mentioned above is AWUS036H, and does not have any issues running on Windows 7, including with Alfa's drivers from their website.

The AWUS036NH adapter does not perform nearly as well as the AWUS036H. The AWUS036H adapter uses a Realtek (8187L) chipset, not Ralink (RT2870).
My point was that Alfa stuff is OK. And no problem with drivers, just that the link on the Alfa site is dead. Strange that the 1W AWUS036H preforms better than the 2W AWUS036NH.
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Old 01-08-2011, 13:02   #944
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
You indeed have to tighten it sufficiently. Look out that you don't brake the connector off the Bullet housing though. When it's attached and working, tape the Bullet-antenna joint with rescue tape, on top of that put electrical tape and use a tie wrap to keep that in place. The rescue tape makes the joint waterproof and the rest is to protect it from UV.

Also check firmware and upgrade if needed.

ciao!
Nick.

Nick,
I did exactly what you said, but first I opened up the Bullet on my antistatic workbench to make sure no water intrusion had taken place.
It was pristine.
I reassembled it, remounted the antenna (after making a new nut to replace the old one which had split, but that's another story).
After putting a dab of silicone grease on the connector terminals and threads I did the rescue tape thing with a couple of zip ties.
I can pick up lots of stations, and am sending this post from my Bullet.

Thanks for the suggestions !
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Old 01-08-2011, 15:40   #945
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Quote:
Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
After putting a dab of silicone grease on the connector terminals and threads...
I hate to open a whole new six-pack of worms, but silicone grease is an insulator!

Try this stuff: ContraLube
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