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Old 29-09-2012, 03:18   #1186
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

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Originally Posted by W32PAMELA View Post
You do have to consider the fact that it has a directional antenna and be prepared to run out and adjust the antenna direction when you occasionally lose your signal.

I would bring it in when you go to sea. I don't think it is as weather-tight as a Bullet although a good tape job on the sliding door at the base would help a lot.
I like the Nano alot. It has a very sensitive receiver, good price, weatherproof, 12V POE, and easy to use.

My NS2 was installed in 2008, stayed out in the weather for 4 years, and was replaced with an NS2M last year. Not because it broke, just upgraded. The NS2 is now a spare.

It really isn't a big deal finding a station. I start out pointing it at town, swinging it around 30 degrees at a time looking for something interesting and then fine tune it. The Ubiquiti Antenna Align tool is nice for this.

I made my antenna rotator out of mostly Home Depot and eBay parts.
see http://www.warboating.com . Unfortunately there is no commercial value in selling these because the market is so small and Trimble owns the patent that covers this. That doesn't mean you can't make your own.

The more stations you can see, the better chance of finding an open one.


Cheers, Dave
Sailing Vessel Tortuguita
Guaymas, Mexico (this month)
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Old 29-09-2012, 07:49   #1187
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

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.. The hard part is keeping the boat still after you get the Nano pointed for maximum signal.
You are sure right there. Our little Mac sure sails around on anchor. The anchor sail helps a lot, but it still isn't sitting in the same place for very long. The Endeavour is not as bad.

I guess if something works for you and you are happy with the results go for it. Neither are that expensive that a person couldn't try both and keep the other for backup,,

Sum

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Old 09-10-2012, 08:54   #1188
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Hi All,

Has anybody tried the ALFA N2?

If it's anywhere as good as the USB ALFA, with it's 12 dbi antenna and POE, it really makes alot of the negatives in the prior posts about our little USB friend moot. Cheers, Dave
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Old 06-02-2013, 02:01   #1189
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Hi All,

I'm new to the forum and have been reading through chunks of this thread, though it's a bit meaty now to read it all! Based on some of the early advice, I'm looking to get a client bridge device, with a ~9db omni antenna, powered by PoE and installed at the masthead / spreaders.

While looking around, I came across this: EOR7550

which I can find for around £80-£100, so total cost about £130 with external antenna and delivery.

Does anyone have any feedback or comments on this device?

My thoughts:
* PoE and includes the injector.
* Would purchase a 8/9db omni antenna (for picking up remote access points). Was looking at an engenius 8db one - any comments or reccomendations?
* Dual radio device: 1 to act as the client bridge, 1 as a local access point on the boat for easy connection to laptop / phone etc. This is why I like this model in particular - seems a better solution than having either 1) A single machine plugged into the ethernet cable or 2) a 2nd access point / wifi router inside the boat. Do you think this will work?

Does anyone have any experience with this model? I see it is now marked as discontinued, but I can't find a more recent direct replacement from Engenius.

How are the Engenius devices in general? I've heard comments that the firmware can be a little buggy.

Any other thoughts or suggestions would be most welcome!

Thanks in advance,

xan
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:21   #1190
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Hi Xan,

I like the idea of back-to-back radios I think your idea of the 9db omni is reasonable for ease of installation and operation. You have to be careful when putting 2 antennas in close proximity. I put my local omni antenna above the long range radio's upper lobes. I am also running my local AP as 802.11a so it doesn't interfere too much with the 802.11g wifi to the shore. The antenna radiation pattern on the EOR7550 is pretty much a sphere so you may not find a dead spot for your remote antenna.

One thing I would caution about is that unless you are prepared to deal with 48 volt POE and the extra power consumption of an inverter, you will be wishing you had a 12 volt radio unless you have a trawler or always stay on shore power.

Cheers, Dave
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:24   #1191
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Hi Dave,

Thanks for your thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djdeakyne View Post
You have to be careful when putting 2 antennas in close proximity. I put my local omni antenna above the long range radio's upper lobes.
Hmm - this wasn't something I'd considered - wireless network design is a bit of a new field for me! This makes me think that 7550 might not be as configure-n-go as I'd thought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djdeakyne View Post
One thing I would caution about is that unless you are prepared to deal with 48 volt POE and the extra power consumption of an inverter, you will be wishing you had a 12 volt radio unless you have a trawler or always stay on shore power.
Yeah, the power consumption was something that bothered me. We are currently in a marina with shore power, so this isn't so much of a problem at present. However, to run this off the 12V system will need a DC-DC step up converter of some description and I imagine 12-48V is a bit harder (ie - power input and cost) than 12 or 24V.

My alternative setup is to go with something like the Ubiquiti Bullet and then have an access point / router on board. However, the bullets still need 24V I think so it doesn't "solve" the power problem and then you've got to power the router as well which is another thing to wire in as well as the PoE injector.

If I had infinite resources and really wanted the 2 radio solution I'd probably just get something like the Nauticloud (which I think is essentially 2 Bullets stuck together with gaffer-tape, albeit in a very neat and professional looking package), but it's just too expensive.

I think on balance I'm leaning towards the Bullet type system because:
  • A more modern / recent device
  • Better firmware / software
  • Current device, still supported by manufacturer
  • Lower power draw
  • Neat and tidy package, very easy to mount

Any further comments? Does anyone know of more modern equivalents of the Engenius EOR7550 which might be better, or any alternative solutions which might work?

Thanks for your help!

Cheers,

xan
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:38   #1192
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

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However, the bullets still need 24V I think so it doesn't "solve" the power problem and then you've got to power the router as well which is another thing to wire in as well as the PoE injector.
<
The bullet as well as many routers happily work off of 12V supply. You only need a higher voltage if you have a very long cable run to the antenna.
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:52   #1193
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

You might check out this link Wi-Fi for Boats just to get another idea.

They use the Bullet 2 attached to an external omni antenna, POE at 12 volts DC, and a below-deck mounted Pico bridge/router/ to make your boat a WiFi "hot spot". Power consumption seems about an amp during use. (Don't hold me to that.... "mileage may vary" ...

We're happy with the results of having this system aboard.
Caveat: the antenna currently advertised is different to the 6ft pole /VHF-looking style that we purchased.

My only problem was routing the Cat5 cable behind the interior woodwork, but that's to be expected when retro-fitting a boat.
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Old 07-02-2013, 13:13   #1194
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

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Originally Posted by xan View Post
Any further comments? Does anyone know of more modern equivalents of the Engenius EOR7550 which might be better, or any alternative solutions which might work?
Set a Bullet M2HP or Bullet 2HP up as a Station/CPE and feed its LAN into the WAN port of any 12 volt consumer grade router mounted in a dry location below This would include most Linksys, Netgear and Asus routers among others. This is cheaper and places only one device out in the sun and weather.

If you want to be try something other than the Bullet you might take a look at Mikrotiks new Metal 2SH2n or Groove 2Hn as alternatives.
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Old 07-02-2013, 14:20   #1195
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

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...... or any alternative solutions which might work?
if you are in UK I just had good service from Crucial Wifi.




A 1000mW network adapter

ALFA NETWORK AWUS036H LONG RANGE WIRELESS USB ADAPTER ,WIRELESS USB ADAPTER 1000MW ,REALTEK 818


and this..
R36 Alfa network Wireless N Network Router for AWUS036H, 3G to Wireless Network N router, Wirel

plus an antenna ..
AOA-2408R 2.4GHz Omni Marine Antenna 8dBi ,Alfa Network Outdoor Yacht N Type Antenna

Haven't had much time with this sytem yet, but so far very good. Not tried it yet but looks like the r36 can create a hotspot from a usb phone data dongle as well.

Works for me, incoming wifi has "one machine only".. once retransmitted tablet, laptops, phone, they all work.
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Old 07-02-2013, 16:03   #1196
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I'd like to know why is everybody seems to be choosing a 8 dBi antenna over a 14 or 15 dBi omni for a long range wifi system on a boat. Is there another reason than price?
I certainly don't want to hijacking this thread, but since we're on this subject.

Michel
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Old 07-02-2013, 16:19   #1197
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

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I'd like to know why is everybody seems to be choosing a 8 dBi antenna over a 14 or 15 dBi omni for a long range wifi system on a boat. Is there another reason than price?
I certainly don't want to hijacking this thread, but since we're on this subject.

Michel
It's because of money but some myths about hi-gain antenna's not performing are brought up because that sounds better... even after countless reports of very good results with the high gain antennas.
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Old 07-02-2013, 16:59   #1198
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Michel-
"why is everybody seems to be choosing a 8 dBi antenna over a 14 or 15 dBi omni"
For precisely the same reasons that we use 8x binoculars not 15x or 20x, even though the latter are "more powerful".
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Old 07-02-2013, 21:24   #1199
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Quote:
Originally Posted by siroismi View Post
I'd like to know why is everybody seems to be choosing a 8 dBi antenna over a 14 or 15 dBi omni for a long range wifi system on a boat. Is there another reason than price?
I certainly don't want to hijacking this thread, but since we're on this subject.

Michel
A 9dBi omni antenna migh have ~12-15 deg vertical beamwidth. A 15dBi antenna might have ~ 3-4 deg vertical beamwidth. The narrow vertical beamwidth can make alignment very difficult.
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Old 07-02-2013, 21:34   #1200
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

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A 9dBi omni antenna migh have ~12-15 deg vertical beamwidth. A 15dBi antenna might have ~ 3-4 deg vertical beamwidth. The narrow vertical beamwidth can make alignment very difficult.
that's one of the myths yes. Let's assume above data; this means that at 4 degrees angle, the gain is -3dB, i.e. 15-3=12dBi which is still double that of the 9dBi version.

People who use a 15dBi antenna are very happy with them and never report problems about too narrow radiation patterns AFAIK.
That said, the 9dBi omni's are fine too and I much prefer directional over higher gain as elimination of noise works as good as increasing gain so you get double bang. This is why the NanoStations do so well.

cheers,
Nick.
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