Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 18-04-2014, 19:12   #16
Senior Cruiser
 
s/v Beth's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
Boat: Valiant 40 (1975)
Posts: 4,066
Re: MiFi Devices

So I have a stupid question- these devices are cell phone boosters correct? Why not just make a permanent antenna on top of the mast down to a router at the nav desk? Am I missing something about the cell phone service?
__________________

__________________
s/v Beth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-04-2014, 20:18   #17
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: MiFi Devices

No, they are not cell boosters. They are cell receivers integrated with a wifi router - so you put your sim card in, it picks up the cellular signal and transmits it through wifi to your computer.

An antenna at the top of the mast with coax down to a router would pretty much negate any benefit of the antenna gain through the coax loss. Coax is VERY lossy at cell frequencies.

We connect the mifi device to a high gain antenna through a 6" piece of coax and send that up the mast. This way, there is no signal loss through coax and the wifi router sends the data to the computer.

Mark
__________________

__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-04-2014, 20:20   #18
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: MiFi Devices

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Were moving around often. Have Digicel chip for modem. Comes and goes. Good service now (chart shot attached), but pretty close to mainland here. Antenna hoisted in rigging helps, but not as much as a hi-gain antenna would I suspect.
Ah, you are in cambombia. You should have a clear sight to the Nargana tower. When you move to the Coco's, you will be in a blind zone - even we fail there.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-04-2014, 08:51   #19
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,921
Re: MiFi Devices

Yes, strong and fairly reliable signal here...just not so good in other places. Of course, lack of Internet access is not always a bad thing, reminds you to do fun stuff like go snorkelling!
__________________
belizesailor is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 19-04-2014, 08:54   #20
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,921
Re: MiFi Devices

Oh, and I have my USB stick a bit up in the rigging connected to the router via an active (amped) USB cable which seems to work well, but of course does not actually add any gain, but just gets better line of sight shot to the tower. Bit diff subject I know, but thought this might be useful to someone.
__________________
belizesailor is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 14-05-2014, 12:46   #21
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Eastern Caribbean
Boat: Cal 44
Posts: 152
Send a message via ICQ to barboak
Re: MiFi Devices

A bit late on this thread but in the Caribbean we have had good luck with Axxess Marine out of St. Martin which is offering different options for cellular data (not phone). It is particularly useful it you are sailing down island as they have a sim card that seamlessly connects with 4g data networks on almost all the Caribbean islands and they offer different router and antenna combinations to create a hotspot aboard. We put a Bell sim card router with an external antenna which worked real well as far as St. Barts this year and will take it all the way down island next year. It was geared more toward "big boats" but they are now offering a $120 for 10G (I believe) a month which may be too much for some of the cruisers here but for many of us it is a handy and timely option of connecting with the internet while out there.
I have been using many different manners of wifi antennas and boosters for the past 10 years but believe that those days are almost over and that it makes sense to figure out a way to get connected with cellular instead of wifi. Of course this all is for the Caribbean and y'all in the states have different options. Dennis at Axxess is in St. Martin 1-721-588-4948

of course we have no connection with the company except for dealing with them in St. Martin this past season
__________________
"There was nowhere to go but everywhere,
so just keep on rolling under the stars."
Jack Kerouac, On the Road
barboak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-05-2014, 09:51   #22
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Usually South Florida these days
Posts: 825
Re: MiFi Devices

MiFi devices that I've purchased in the US have always supported at least 5 simultaneously connected devices. The one I bought in Italy a couple of years ago, only supported 2, even though it was supposedly the same brand & model number as the ones that I had previously purchased in the US.

I haven't used a MiFi in over a year now, since my Andriod will do double duty as both a phone & a hot spot. If you shop around, you can get unlimited voice & data for as little as $40/month in South Florida.

All of these devices are limited to cell phone range from shore. These days, I find that to be around 8-12 miles max in most places for a 3g or 4g signal. If you have a phone that supports the older analog cell system, that number stretches out to around 30 miles in some places.
__________________
pbiJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-05-2014, 09:00   #23
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 126
Re: MiFi Devices

There hasn't been any analog cell phone service in the US for several years. I would be surprised if there is any in use anywhere by now. Maybe you're referring to 2G networks which still exist, but are being phased out almost everywhere in favor of high speed 3 & 4g networks. This causes a problem because the carriers that still have 2g, like GSM, are not installing it at new sites, and have reduced the number of channels to a point where data throughput is poor at best and non existent at busy times. Even still, 30 miles is also pushing the envelope, because all digital signals rely on accurate timing. GSM uses a time based modulation method that allows each user to use the entire channel, for a fraction of time( milliseconds), then another user, and another, etc. up to 16 timeslots on the same channel. Data is given more timeslots, in some cases (edge-2.5g). What happens at long distances is the data packets are arriving too late to be in the assigned timeslot. The carrier can design the system to allow for more time, but this affects capacity. Capacity requires more channels which are more efficient on 3&4g. Spectrum is very limited and very expensive, so the older tech is not even as good as it used to be.
__________________

__________________
El Rubio is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mifi (global gig) and the Mediterranean Plank Europe & Mediterranean 20 08-02-2014 04:13
Mifi and iPhone Antenna / Amplifier CarlF Marine Electronics 2 01-03-2011 18:26
Charging devices playing together? Extemporaneous Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 7 12-03-2009 09:11
Night vision devices amytom Marine Electronics 29 21-10-2008 16:31
Roll Control Devices Duckonfidelis Product or Service Reviews & Evaluations 12 13-09-2007 15:00



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 16:53.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.