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Old 07-08-2011, 15:59   #961
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

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I would second Waterwayguy's post. I use the ALFA AWUS036H 1000mw unit after having had all the various different external antenna including all the WaveRV models. I really like the ALFA and especially its price at $31 versus the listed price for the 5miwifi price of $400.
- - If you are too lazy to buy and build the external waterproof box for the ALFA you can buy the system assembled from "The Wirie" for about $250
I agree, and I don't think there will be open wifi around forever to justify spending any more on a booster than is necessary.

Cheers
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Old 07-08-2011, 16:20   #962
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Alfa in a tube! This should spice up the discussion! Go down and read them talking about USB cable loss in the description! heh heh They do claim that it's based on the Realtek RTL8187L chipset so that's a plus. @ $39 I may get one to play with.

George
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Old 07-08-2011, 16:33   #963
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

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I agree, and I don't think there will be open wifi around forever to justify spending any more on a booster than is necessary.
Cheers
Actually there are very few if any "open/free" wifi around now. But that has little to do with the usefulness of an amplified wifi antenna.
- - Being able to establish good communications with "for pay" wifi and having a much larger variety of good "for pay" connections available allows you to choose the better priced pay site.
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Old 07-08-2011, 16:58   #964
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

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Alfa in a tube! This should spice up the discussion!
Well, I think the only good thing about it is the housing that they cloned from the Ubiquity Bullet :-)


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Old 07-08-2011, 17:40   #965
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

The zip tie installation should appeal to the blue tarp contingency.

George <---- who is currently using a blue tarp for a sun shade in this heatwave.
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Old 07-08-2011, 18:11   #966
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

And one with a 12dbi built in directional antenna.



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Old 07-08-2011, 18:34   #967
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

ALFA makes many models of Wifi stuff. The "Tube-U" thing is only 500mw not 1000mw. The "UBDo-gt" although listed at 1000mw is "directional" which makes it worthless for use on board a boat at anchor.
- - For the outside/marine use put the ALFA AWUS036H in an enclosure like shown/sold here:
Outdoor Enclosure for Alfa AWUS036H / AWUS036NH combined w/ 9dBi Antenna & 5-meter USB Ext Cable (Active)
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Old 07-08-2011, 18:48   #968
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I have an Alfa USB dongle type, and was thinking of getting a directional antenna to use with it. So I'm curious about the statement that directional antennas are worthless on a boat? Is that only based on a permenant installaton? Or is there something else i should know? I'm OK with aiming the antenna when needed (although I can see that being a hassle at anchor if using the web for longer periods). But I'm also ok with getting a better Alfa device if need-be, I'm just wondering how much improvement I would see between the two options. And also, what other external antennas are preferred for connecting to any alfa device? Is higher gain always better?
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Old 07-08-2011, 18:52   #969
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

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ALFA makes many models of Wifi stuff. The "Tube-U" thing is only 500mw not 1000mw. The "UBDo-gt" although listed at 1000mw is "directional" which makes it worthless for use on board a boat at anchor.
- - For the outside/marine use put the ALFA AWUS036H in an enclosure like shown/sold here:
Outdoor Enclosure for Alfa AWUS036H / AWUS036NH combined w/ 9dBi Antenna & 5-meter USB Ext Cable (Active)

That's nice, but you are absolutely wrong about directional antennas being worthless for on board a boat at anchor. On the contrary, I find ours exceptionally useful. It's a myth we busted wide open on our most recent cruise to the Abacos and back. A powerful directional antenna will always have a place in our arsenal.

George
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Old 07-08-2011, 19:01   #970
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

With that I would respectfully disagree as I have built very high gain directional wifi antennas before the commercial versions were available and had to constantly re-aim the antenna every time a puff of wind turned the boat.
- - It is logical that if your directional antenna is pointed at a shore wifi source and the wind turns the boat - the antenna is no longer pointing at the shore source and you lose the signal. If you didn't then the antenna is omni directional.
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Old 07-08-2011, 19:36   #971
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

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With that I would respectfully disagree as I have built very high gain directional wifi antennas before the commercial versions were available and had to constantly re-aim the antenna every time a puff of wind turned the boat.
- - It is logical that if your directional antenna is pointed at a shore wifi source and the wind turns the boat - the antenna is no longer pointing at the shore source and you lose the signal. If you didn't then the antenna is omni directional.
It is certainly OK to disagree, and I suspect that the difference could be in a number of areas. Anchorages differ as well as wind and current conditions. Also there isn't a directional antenna for wifi that I know of (even theoretically) that produces a pinpoint signal at any distance. They all have some spread so antenna design, while still "directional" will provide varying degrees of coverage at distance.

In practical use our cantanna over performed our store bought yagi. There were times when it could sit on the cabin top or clamped to the canopy for hours without having to be re-aimed. There were other times when I would have to hand aim the thing while Kerri downloaded our email and weather reports. But (and it's a big butt) without that antenna we would not have got those weather reports or emails.

There were other times when it wouldn't do the job at all and at those times, and for that matter always our first choice, we have a 15dbi omni (also widely reported to be useless at anchor).

And we still use our Alfa usb devices on shore-side excursions although I have a little something-something up my sleeve for that to be announced a little later.

So I say, vive la différence!

George
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:15   #972
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Somewhere back in this thread you can find discussion about the Ubiquity NanoStations doing very well on boats... these are directional with a 60 degree opening angle. Swinging up to 90 degrees at anchor is just fine in all but the longest distance Wifi connections. The big positives of doing this is that with an angle that is 1/6th of an omni-directional, you also eliminate 5/6th of all noise which greatly improves the signal-to-noise ratio.

I have both aboard and use directional 90% of the time... but if you can only have one radio then yes, go omni-directional.

ciao!
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Old 08-08-2011, 08:05   #973
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Also if you go back far enough in the thread you will find where I put an Alfa in a $9 Plano Liqua Bait Wallet from West Marine. It works great and has a latch on the cover instead of screws while also allowing you to see the LED indicator light on the Alfa. Sure you have to cut your own antenna hole and notch for the usb cable but that's 5 minutes.

George
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Old 10-08-2011, 16:19   #974
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

We'll make the 1,000 replies in this thread

I think I finally beat Steve Dashew with early adapting some boat technology... he describes his Ubiquity NanoStation here while I have one for well over a year now

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Old 10-08-2011, 16:58   #975
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

You would have to post that link to Steve Dashew - Son of a b.... I met Dave and Jaja when their kids were babies - I am just getting too old, too soon.
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