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Old 23-08-2013, 08:05   #1261
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Is this the same for 3G TDMA and WCDMA? In the areas we have been traveling, GSM has been only 2G.

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Old 23-08-2013, 10:33   #1262
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

dave, it is nearly impossible to say what the carriers are actually doing, because they consider their programming and operations to be trade secrets and security matters.

Although some of us would say they're just following 1980's business practices: If you keep the customer in the dark, they can't figure out what the best product buy is.

Since few if any towers are "aimed" to cover relatively empty water, it is probably safe to assume the towers over water are using the same programming as the rest. And the 16-mile rule is designed to prevent cellular systems from being overloaded as too many towers try to negotiate with the system controller for who gets to handle which signal.

That logic would probably still work the same way, regardless of technology (TDMA, GSM, CDMA, all of which are intermingled these days in one way or another) because it still comes down to "How many requests for one signal, can the system controller arbitrate at any one time?"

I heard sixteen miles from some anonymous guy on the internet, who claims he knew it because he used to work on towers and systems for one of the cellular companies. Of course then they had him whacked for leaking classified information.

If you want positive proof of the games the are being played, look around for call recording software on android phones. You can get it, in the UK. You can get it for Chinese phones and Korean phones. But you can't get it to work on phones in the US market. Someone(s) has been very quietly removing a critical code library from practically every Android phone from every carrier in the US market. And neither the carriers nor the phone makers claim to know who ordered this. Even though it violates the Google Android licensing terms (removing a standard part of the OS and crippling a standard function) and obviously, can't happen by accident. Games.
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Old 23-08-2013, 17:27   #1263
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Very interesting stuff. Thanks I had no idea there was an agreed upon 16 mile limit. No point in hoisting my hotspot up the mast then!
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Old 06-10-2013, 01:38   #1264
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Hi Everybody,

I have been doing my best to trawl through this thread and find the answers I want but unfortunately at this length its getting difficult. Therefore I have decided just to join in myself and make it longer :P

Basically I am looking to fit out a boat with a WiFi system. An antenna to be fitted about 6 or 7 meters off the deck with a cable running into the boat where it would be fitted to a router to provide an in-boat wireless network or wired network. Obviously the longer the range the better. Unfortunately, after spending the hours skimming through this thread I now have more questions than when I started! Perhaps one of you could help me out.

1) It all seems to be bullet, bullet, bullet by now. Is the bullet really the best? What advantages does it have over other devices?

2) If you were building a system from scratch, what do you need as well as the bullet. additional antenna, router. . . anything else?

3) I am under the impression you need an antenna to plug into the bullet. Therefore what does the bullet actually do? and what different types of antenna are there and what are their benefits?

4) What is PoE?

5) What is the difference between 2.4GHz and 5GHz and what is preferable?

6) How much effect does the power have? Ubiquiti boast about their 600mW power for the bullet but why is that so boast worthy?

7) Is the N-type connector a fairly universal connector for all countries?

8) What ranges can you realistically expect from this system?

9) Is it possible to integrate a 3G simcard into the system somewhere for when WiFi is simply out of range? Can that simcard be swapped, depending on what country your in, so you can always get the best rates?

I actually do think I know the answers to a couple of these questions but I included them anyway as I thought it would be helpful to others if there was a sort of summary which could be referred to in future.

I realize this is a fairly big ask but there seems to be a couple of really knowledgeable folk here.

Cheers,

Edd Hewett
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:31   #1265
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

The bullet is a wifi transceiver that uses a Ethernet (cat 6) cable powered by the POE (power over Ethernet) to inject 12-24 volts to the unit. the 15dB antenna is fine, expect ranges up to 4 miles unobstructed. all for under 175$. no you cant stick a sim card in it. for 5000$ you can get the top of the line sat Iridium pilot system but cost per use. make phone calls anywhere and the web any where.
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:56   #1266
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Considering the large supply today of long range wifi, 3G systems (marine) available on the market on both sides of the Atlantic and elsewhere and that everybody (as you would have noticed in this thread) has an opinion of, I would suggest that you do your own techno/commercial evaluation to determine what suits your needs and budget.

I was caught up in this and other threads and realized there is a of 'noise' here and assessed my own needs, prepared an elaborate evaluation sheet, contacted a variety of suppliers for data sheets and made my own decision for a extended wifi, 3G marine system. You don't need to be a technocrat once the data is in front of you to compare - much of it is obvious.
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:06   #1267
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

The answers below do not cover every little detail but they are a start.

1. The Bullet is arguably the best wifi radio available for boaters. There are other Ubiquiti devices that can also be used and Mikrotik has a device called the Groove that has copied the Bullet form factor. It has a high receive sensitivity and very high transmit power for use if needed. It is an ethernet based device so it can easily be attached to a standard wireless router to provide internet access to all wireless devices onboard.

Besides ethernet based devices there are USB based devices available. They can work very well for connecting a single computer to the internet at a very low cost. Alfa Networks make a variety of these devices and also has a wireless router that can give access to multiple wireless devices.

2. If you are building a Bullet system you need an antenna to connect the Bullet to. The Bullet has an N-male connector so you need an N-Female connector to connect the Bullet to. The Bullet is designed to be supported by the antenna so choose an antenna that has a mounting option that you can use onboard.

2.4 Ghz wifi antennas come in a variety of gains. You would want something between 6dbi and 15 dbi. You'll find discussions as to what the best gain is.

Besides the Bullet and antenna you will need Cat5e cable to run between your Bullet and a dry location below.

The ethernet cable plugs into a POE (power over ethernet) injector inside the boat. The POE sends power to the Bullet on 2 pairs unused wires in the Cat5 cable. You will need a "Passive Poe" if you are going to power the Bullet directly from your boats 12 volt system or an AC/DC POE to use AC to power you system.

The last thing you need is a computer or wireless router to plug your cable into.

3. The Bullet is the radio transceiver that receives and processes the signal. There are directional and Omni antennas. Most boaters use omni's because of the way a boat swings on anchor. The antennas come in different gains just as your VHF antenna does.

4. See #2

5. You must have a device that uses 2.4Ghz if you want to receive wifi from a public hotspot. 2.4 Ghz is an unlicensed band as is part of the 5 ghz band. 2.4 Ghz is the standard band used by all wifi devices at the moment. Because there are so many 2.4 Ghz devices in use there is a lot of radio noise on that band. The 5 Ghz band is currently not used by many devices and is quieter.

More and more devices (laptops, tablets, smartphones) come with dual band radios. As the number increases we may start to see public wifi that provide both a 2.4 Ghz access point and a 5 Ghz access point so that users of 5 ghz gear can benefit from the quieter conditons in that band.

6. Power is important in some situations but most of the time people tend to use far more power than is required. Using too much power when connecting to a strong signal can prevent the connection or degrade your throughput and will also increase the radio noise of other users in the area. 600 mw is far more output than is usually required in most situaltions encountered by boaters. The Bullet is designed for commercial use and has capabilities beyond what is needed by a boater.

7. The N connector is worldwide as are most electronics connectors. They are not country specific.

8. All distances are dependent on the quality of the access point and other local conditions. You can expect to make usable connections at 1-2 miles with an antenna installed at least 12 feet off the water and connecting to a professionally installed outdoor system with good line of sight. Higher is better for the antenna but you get diminishing returns for the greater height.

Line of sight is very important. You can be sitting at a dock with a condo between you and the street and your radio will never see signal from the cafe with wifi across the street from the condo.

9. There are a variety of wireless routers that can use the input from either an ethernet device like the Bullet or a broadband (cellular) USB dongle. If you get a broadband dongle that is unlocked you can swap sim cards in it when you move to a different country.
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:27   #1268
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Quote:
Originally Posted by eddhewett View Post
Hi Everybody,

I have been doing my best to trawl through this thread and find the answers I want but unfortunately at this length its getting difficult. Therefore I have decided just to join in myself and make it longer :P
Based on your questions, I would suggest you purchase a packaged system from the likes of IslandTimePC or Bit Storm or some other integrator. You can then learn how all the pieces fit together without the frustration of trying to make it work by yourself.
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:44   #1269
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Based on your questions, I would suggest you purchase a packaged system from the likes of IslandTimePC or Bit Storm or some other integrator. You can then learn how all the pieces fit together without the frustration of trying to make it work by yourself.
To piggy back what DotDun said: under $300 and all the work (besides installing), research and guessing has been done.
http://islandtimepc.com/marine_wifi.html
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:55   #1270
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The Bullet is no longer the best omni-directional option from Ubiquity... but it is the cheapest.

The very best is now the Rocket-M coupled to the AirMax Omni AMO-2G13 antenna. This is a carrier class 2x2 dual polarized MIMO antenna at 13dBi gain. You need a dual polarized radio to drive it, hence the Rocket-M instead of a Bullet.

http://dl.ubnt.com/datasheets/airmaxomni/amo_ds_web.pdf
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:07   #1271
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

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Originally Posted by W32PAMELA View Post
Chuck isn't using a rubber ducky and he doesn't have any coax cable losses either.

If you put the antenna up with 25 to 100 feet of coax you will lose most of your signal. 25 feet of LMR240 has 3.2db attenuation. This will cut the power at the antenna by more than half (~480mw). If you go to 50 feet of coax you're down to 229mw at the antenna. What type of coax comes with the 5mile?

If you want to permanently mount an antenna at the masthead you should look into a POE based Client Bridge that can be mounted on the mast close to the antenna.

Bob Stewart
I agree with the Bridge/POE idea, but for those that want to run coax, what do you think of LMR-1200DB watertight jacket coax? Its 2db/100ft attenuation at 2Ghz is good, and seems perfect for a boat, although it's $8/ft. Sheeesh. I'm from the old days when solid metal hardline was the only way to go. These days they seem to have better (and more flexible) solutions. I see the LMR-1200 is listed as 7/8 diam, semi-rigid ...
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:31   #1272
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Is the bullet output 600mW? Since it's a client/POE solution, all of the power is available at the antenna. That's good, because in spite of the various posts in this thread stating that power is pretty secondary, my experience seems to indicate it's pretty important. From (land based) vehicle operations, I've noticed that I can often see distant WIFI spots that I can't hit. (implying my antenna/power setup is inadequate). BTW, it's my equipment and software application that "sees" these distant signals.
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:16   #1273
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

Ok I am starting to get the hang of this. Thanks everyone who answered, especially W32PAMELA (island time bob?). Sorry aboutgone. I am just looking for a WiFi system. We already have a great sat setup but want a better WiFi setup for sending and receiving large files cheaply. Also Island Time looks great but I really want to understand exactly what I am buying and fitting first.

Just a couple more questions and I think I will be there.

1)

Quote:
the Rocket-M coupled to the AirMax Omni AMO-2G13 antenna. This is a carrier class 2x2 dual polarized MIMO antenna at 13dBi gain.
What do; carrier class, 2x2, dual polarized and MIMO mean in layman's terms? Why is this so much better than the bullet setup?

2) I understand high gain antenna - better but less vertical angle range. Low gain antenna - not so good but better vertical angle range. I will figure out what gain antenna I am looking for tomorrow (probably by standing where the antenna will go and using a Portland plotter to measure the angles and get a good picture in my head). But what is a good brand antenna to buy if going for the bullet over the rocket?

3) What is a good brand of PoE injector or can you get Routers with a PoE port on them to save having the injector as well?

4) The bullet connects straight to an antenna rather than having a transceiver inside, out of the weather connected to the antenna by a RF cable. Is this because a long RF cable would cause connection quality issues where as a long CAT5e cable does not? Or is it because the antenna needs power which it can only get from the bullet or an alternative power supply?

5) Can you get routers with built in 3G capabilities? What is the best way to integrate 3G into this system for when WiFi is simply unreachable? (Sorry I am being a bit lazy with this question. Haven't really researched it yet, will started searching the web for answers to this in the morning).

Hope I am not asking too much here.

Cheers,

Edd Hewett
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Old 06-10-2013, 19:16   #1274
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

1- The bullet is cost effective, performant, and convenient (it does not require a coax cable, instead using a cheap and lossless network cable, allowing mounting it as far up and away as you like).

2- Antenna required, usually a high gain vertical omni, or else a directional for those who need it. The higher the gain (omni), the narrower the vertical beam width. It's very unlikely however that the beamwidth will ever be too narrow (assuming you are not healing under sail). Antenna mount required, network cable (use outdoor cable if exposed to sun and elements), passive POE injector for 12V.

Optional: network switch (to share wired network with several computers, printer, network storage); WIFI access point (to share wirelessly), needs to be low power and sometimes need to change channel so as not to interfere with Bullet above. Note: the Bullet should be configured as router, hence the network switch rather than another router below decks.

4- Power Over Ethernet allows DC power for the Bullet to be fed via the network cable, along 4 unused conductors of the 8. The POE (passive) injector goes between the Bullet and the switch (or PC) and has a connection for 12V from the boat. An active POE injector would use 110/220VAC as a source and might inject 24V to the Bullet.

5- Today 2.5Gz is the public standard for WIFI access worldwide. 5Gz may begin to appear with time.

6- 600mW is plenty of power and may be more than legal when using a high gain antenna. High power might get your transmission to go further, but if you cannot receive the public access point signal, what's the point? Transmitting with 1W or more (as some do) probably make the conditions worse for everyone in the harbour, without actually gaining range. There is more to gain from a higher gain antenna, as you improve both send and receive.

7- N connector: yes standard everywhere.

8- Many miles, if line of sight and no interference from other WIFI. We have connected 3-4 NM in remote places. Depends as much on the shore access point as on your setup.

9- 3G: Switch off the Bullet and install an additional 3G router on your onboard network (switch) when required. International 3G routers exist (mostly in Europe) for GSM networks. Or cheaper, get a 3G USB dongle in local country, with prepaid service, and use on one PC.

We have been using both the Bullet+12db omni and Ubiquiti's NanostationM2 (which has a built in directional antenna). The Nanostation, being directional, has the advantage of filtering out alot of interference in busy harbours (with 30-40+ WIFI signals). It also creates less interference, as it only transmits/receives over about a 60° horizontal angle. Off course it has the great disadvantage that it must be rotated when the boat swings, and this is sometimes tedious. However having compared the two antennas many times, we have concluded that the Nano is almost always better. In noisy harbors the Bullet+omni is often hampered by interference but the Nano will connect. In weak distant signals the Bullet+omni sees nothing, but the Nano connects. In strong signals the Nano connects fine regardless of it's direction, since WIFI radio waves bounce off buildings, steel pilings or vessels, plus it does actually receive somewhat all around. Our Nano is mounted on a telescopic aluminium pole on the stern, at a normal height of 10ft. Raising it to about 17ft sometimes helps for very distant signals, or if docked alongside tall motor yachts. The NanostationM2 has two network ports, so if you prefer, you can share it with two wired computers by running two network cables to the Nano, rather than using a network switch (only one cable would have the POE).

All Ubiquity devices are made for commercial/professional use, and have a good price/quality. Their user interface is however not very end-user friendly, and configuring it the first time is tricky for the unsavvy. Some enterprising resellers have rebranded the Bullet and supply it with antenna, cable, and a more convenient user interface, at a premium cost. For those (like us) who would rather pay less, I have written an illustrated Beginners Manual for Mobile Users, available on the Ubiquity website, or by request to me at nano@3dym.com.

Leo



Quote:
Originally Posted by eddhewett View Post
Hi Everybody,

I have been doing my best to trawl through this thread and find the answers I want but unfortunately at this length its getting difficult. Therefore I have decided just to join in myself and make it longer :P

Basically I am looking to fit out a boat with a WiFi system. An antenna to be fitted about 6 or 7 meters off the deck with a cable running into the boat where it would be fitted to a router to provide an in-boat wireless network or wired network. Obviously the longer the range the better. Unfortunately, after spending the hours skimming through this thread I now have more questions than when I started! Perhaps one of you could help me out.

1) It all seems to be bullet, bullet, bullet by now. Is the bullet really the best? What advantages does it have over other devices?

2) If you were building a system from scratch, what do you need as well as the bullet. additional antenna, router. . . anything else?

3) I am under the impression you need an antenna to plug into the bullet. Therefore what does the bullet actually do? and what different types of antenna are there and what are their benefits?

4) What is PoE?

5) What is the difference between 2.4GHz and 5GHz and what is preferable?

6) How much effect does the power have? Ubiquiti boast about their 600mW power for the bullet but why is that so boast worthy?

7) Is the N-type connector a fairly universal connector for all countries?

8) What ranges can you realistically expect from this system?

9) Is it possible to integrate a 3G simcard into the system somewhere for when WiFi is simply out of range? Can that simcard be swapped, depending on what country your in, so you can always get the best rates?

I actually do think I know the answers to a couple of these questions but I included them anyway as I thought it would be helpful to others if there was a sort of summary which could be referred to in future.

I realize this is a fairly big ask but there seems to be a couple of really knowledgeable folk here.

Cheers,

Edd Hewett
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Old 06-10-2013, 19:57   #1275
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Re: Long-Distance WiFi Device

I have a parts list for what we used here (go down page to WiFi)...

Compurer-Chart Plotter-Navigation Index

.... but just buy Bob's setup and you will get what you need. A little more, but way less frustrating. I took the hard route and studied and had to learn a lot that I didn't know to get up and running. I like that but most don't, so I wouldn't recommend that approach unless you have the time and so forth.

Use the WiFi setup when you can connect to WiFi and use a 3g/4g phone when you can't and set it up as a 'hot spot' or tether it to your computer for times of no WiFi when you can connect via the phone. That is what we do,

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