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Old 02-08-2012, 13:26   #1
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On-Board WiFi Network ?

While we're cruising in Fiji, we have 3G service on our PC from Vodafone. It's pretty fast, reasonably priced and surprisingly good coverage. It's nothing more than a USB stick with a SIM in it.

What I'd like to be able to do is create an on-board wireless network so our other devices could also connect to the Internet but I don't know how or even if it's possible. All the wireless routers I've seen want a broadband connection to be plugged directly into the router.

Any ideas?

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Old 02-08-2012, 13:53   #2
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Re: On-Board WiFi Network?

Cradlepoint makes a router that takes a USB 3G dongle as well as ethernet connections and provides wireless access to the boat. Other companies may make similar products.

Another option is a mifi 3G router that takes the sim card and provides local wifi access to the 3G connection for up to 5 devices. These are very portable and can be taken anywhere. Also, it is possible to adapt a short coax pigtail to the antenna circuit and add a high-gain external antenna for increasing your signal/range. Huawei and many others make these.

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Old 09-08-2012, 12:29   #3
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Re: On-Board WiFi Network?

Something like this should do what you want here:

11N High Power 1000mW USB 2.4GHz 150Mbps 802.11b/g/n 3G Wireless WLAN Router/AP/WDS/Repeater - Free Shipping - DealExtreme

Regards, Arne
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:57   #4
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Re: On-Board WiFi Network?

I have a Globesurfer III+, wi-fi router uses any sim card. Connected to external amp and antenna for 3g service.

Chuck
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Old 09-08-2012, 13:35   #5
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Re: On-Board WiFi Network?

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Cradlepoint makes a router that takes a USB 3G dongle as well as ethernet connections and provides wireless access to the boat. ...
Mark
+1. I run a CradlePoint MBR-900 aboard my boat and at my house. Can be powered direct from 12V and only draws about 1amp. Inexpensive too -- the two I purchased were $20 & $40 respectively on eBay.

I've run it with a few different models of Huawei modems with SIM cards from several different carriers and it has always worked great.

Not sure about the interfaced to your specific set-up, but as noted it does support both USB to cellular modem and direct to Ethernet cable connection.
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Old 09-08-2012, 23:08   #6
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Re: On-Board WiFi Network?

Here is a link to the Ericsson-W35 Marine pack, they also have othe wireless routers on the Powertec web site.

Internet for boats, broadband for boat, marine internet, marine fax, boat, phone, marine
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Old 09-08-2012, 23:52   #7
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Re: On-Board WiFi Network?

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
+1. I run a CradlePoint MBR-900 aboard my boat and at my house. Can be powered direct from 12V and only draws about 1amp. Inexpensive too -- the two I purchased were $20 & $40 respectively on eBay.

I've run it with a few different models of Huawei modems with SIM cards from several different carriers and it has always worked great.

Not sure about the interfaced to your specific set-up, but as noted it does support both USB to cellular modem and direct to Ethernet cable connection.
Can you tell me if the antennas unscrew to be able to connect via coax a wifi amp and external antenna?

Bill
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Old 10-08-2012, 00:07   #8
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Re: On-Board WiFi Network?

You don't need any hardware if your computer has wireless built-in. Just click on the appropriate button in the network control panel. No? My MacBook does this and I don't see why a Windows system would not.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:02   #9
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Re: On-Board WiFi Network?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daddle View Post
You don't need any hardware if your computer has wireless built-in. Just click on the appropriate button in the network control panel. No? My MacBook does this and I don't see why a Windows system would not.
The OP Internet is provided by the phone system so you need a 3G modem with the appropriate sim card. Only a small number of tablets and laptops will do this.

My solution is is one of the small mifi routers. They run off their own battery (so can be hauled up the mast in marginal signal areas) or direct off 12v. They will share the Internet with up to 5 computers / tablets /phones.
You can put any sim card in them (as long as they are unlocked)
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:23   #10
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Re: On-Board WiFi Network?

If your USB Modem dongle is attached to a Win7 machine, then there is a free, software only solution. Download Connectify and install. It will allow you to share the 3G connection over the Win7 machines WiFi to other devices. Straight forward setup and install.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:50   #11
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Re: On-Board WiFi Network?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daddle View Post
You don't need any hardware if your computer has wireless built-in. Just click on the appropriate button in the network control panel. No? My MacBook does this and I don't see why a Windows system would not.
I've never had much luck with Windows Internet Connection sharing. Also, for it to work the computer must be on. Computers draw lots of juice. At no more than 1 amp draw, I leave my Cradlepoint on most of the time and just turn other wireless devices (laptops, kindle...) on as needed. This way the WiFi is always up and using very little juice.
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Old 15-08-2012, 07:16   #12
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Re: On-Board WiFi Network ?

Go to EVDOINFO.COM or 3GSTORE.COM and see what is there. I have a wireless lan (CRADLEPOINT) on my boat and a USB Shockwave card with AT&T as the service provider. It works fine, but I also have an external antenna with a Wilson in line amplifer to boost the signal. The Shockwave card is 3G/4G and has an antenna port for hooking an external antenna to it. When I get a card I always make sure I can hook the external antenna to it. Its the difference between 2 bars and 5 bars for signal in many cases. All of which translates to speed.

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Old 15-08-2012, 07:38   #13
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Re: On-Board WiFi Network ?

i found the built in windows wifi thing is weak and needs some enhancement--there must be a wifi booster that isnt more pricey than boat parts for use in places wherein there is weak wifi....
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Old 21-08-2012, 09:00   #14
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Re: On-Board WiFi Network ?

Search eBay for 3G router
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Old 21-08-2012, 12:58   #15
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Re: On-Board WiFi Network?

Quote:
Originally Posted by svBeBe View Post
Can you tell me if the antennas unscrew to be able to connect via coax a wifi amp and external antenna?

Bill
Hmmm, thought I replied to this, but don't see it in the thread:

I see no obvious way to remove the antennas. They swivel and tilt, but are not screwed onto a coax connection.
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