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Old 20-11-2013, 03:57   #1
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Long Range wifi or USB Modem

Hi

T-Mobile lied to us and the pay by the month plans are ineligible for the free roaming so we are in BVI headed to St Martin and need new wifi etc. For those who have been here longer which do you think will give better service, long range wifi like the bullet or a USB modem like Lime. I like the idea of free wifi but do not know the coverage on islands from St Martin to Trinidad.
Bob
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Old 20-11-2013, 06:57   #2
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Re: Long range wifi or USB modem

Not experienced with the area, just throwing out some ideas...

It's always cool to have good wifi equipment for when it's available. The solutions based around something like the Ubiquiti bullet mounted outside are the best wifi solution overall, but I've also grabbed some solid wifi connections using a $20 USB wifi adaptor similar to this. It's not the sturdiest thing and definitely not for outside mounting, but something to keep in a drawer for occasional use.
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Old 23-11-2013, 03:43   #3
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Re: Long range wifi or USB modem

Mobile telephone data is much more consistent and reliable than Wifi, which is very much "catch as catch can".

The difference is that mobile phone towers are put up by commercial operators mostly covering a whole country. WiFi is short range and individual to the particular spot. In some countries, there is a WiFi data provider (like NetABord in France) which covers a number of ports or marinas, but mostly you are stuck with individual systems to which you may or may not be able to get a connection. Note that it is not always free, and when it is not free, then you have to go through a whole rigamarole to register and pay, every time, usually, you change locations.

You can usually buy a local SIM card with data which will work all over a given country; sometimes region. If you have to choose one or the other, this is the way to go.

I have both -- a mobile phone data router, and also a Ubiquity "Bullet" mounted on my first spreader for long range WiFi. I get 95% of all my data from mobile telephone operators.
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Old 23-11-2013, 04:08   #4
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Re: Long range wifi or USB modem

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
a Ubiquity "Bullet" mounted on my first spreader
Sorry to drift a bit but could you give a bit of detail oh how you mounted this (photo if you have one). I've been trying to work out how best to mount one without the benefit of a rear arch and ubiquiti's support have been less than helpful on the subject of mast mounting. Sounds like you might have done what I'm looking to achieve.
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Old 23-11-2013, 08:55   #5
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Re: Long range wifi or USB modem

Quote:
Originally Posted by muttnik View Post
I've been trying to work out how best to mount one without the benefit of a rear arch
This company has a few options. It seems the best mounts involve either something with the antenna connection, or a pipe connection to the Bullet's base.
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Old 23-11-2013, 10:07   #6
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Re: Long range wifi or USB modem

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Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
This company has a few options. It seems the best mounts involve either something with the antenna connection, or a pipe connection to the Bullet's base.
Some good options for rail mounting there which is my fallback option (I've seen a few US/Canadian suppliers for such brackets, eventually I'll find one in the UK :-). I was particularly interested in how Dockhead had done the spreader mounting, how far away from the mast the bullet was and whether there was a problem with shadow from the mast. Ubiquiti support declined to offer any advice on mounting distance from the mast.
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Old 24-11-2013, 03:50   #7
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Re: Long Range wifi or USB Modem

This may help: How to share your Wi-Fi signal using a single card, under Windows 7 or 8
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Old 24-11-2013, 12:35   #8
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Re: Long range wifi or USB modem

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Originally Posted by muttnik View Post
I was particularly interested in how Dockhead had done the spreader mounting, how far away from the mast the bullet was and whether there was a problem with shadow from the mast.
If you have the Bullet but have not yet mounted it, you'd actually be able to test this
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Old 25-11-2013, 12:59   #9
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Re: Long range wifi or USB modem

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If you have the Bullet but have not yet mounted it, you'd actually be able to test this
In an effort to not repeat past errors I have a firm policy of not buying things until I know exactly how I'm going to fit them, so not purchased yet :-). Of course even when I think I know exactly how something is going to to be fitted it rarely works out that way...
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Old 30-11-2013, 00:12   #10
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Re: Long Range wifi or USB Modem

^ I will say amen to that sage advice.
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Old 30-11-2013, 09:25   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muttnik View Post

Sorry to drift a bit but could you give a bit of detail oh how you mounted this (photo if you have one). I've been trying to work out how best to mount one without the benefit of a rear arch and ubiquiti's support have been less than helpful on the subject of mast mounting. Sounds like you might have done what I'm looking to achieve.
I just zip tie the bullet to the spinnaker halyard and raise it if I have to.. In most bays it can just get propped up in the window. As far as the mast getting the way.. It grabs so many signals that it's rarely been an issue. Although I have, on one occasion, while grabbing a signal from more than several miles away, lost and picked up the signal as the boat swung...
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Old 30-11-2013, 09:49   #12
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I use a mikrotik groove (similar to the ubiquity bullet).

As for location flexibility is the key. I mount the groove inside then i have an aerial mount on my arch. I usually run an omni antenna most times but switch to a directional antenna if needed.

The groove and small antenna is portable so i can take it with me or hoist it on the mast. Wifi can be time consuming to use at times but i find the groove can find and hold a connection much better than the in built antennas in devices which are optimised for packaging and not receptoion.

The groove also has much less latency. This is likely due to the better antenna options i can use. There is lots of competing interference on 2.4 GHz and i am less than impressed with 5 GHz accesspoints.

Data connections thru sim cards round out our other main option.
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