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Old 11-06-2010, 07:59   #16
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Mark (Colemj),
Thank you very much for sharing your advice and experience. Real world feedback is why I (and I suspect many others) read this board regularly. Mark's (kiltim) public response was reasonable and allowed readers to draw their own conclusions. But I am dismayed that you felt compelled to write essentially a legal disclaimer. That is not in keeping with the spirit of this board. Vendors, especially members here, should be tolerant enough to accept positive and negative reviews of thier products without shooting the messenger. Wirie just lost my business.

Brett
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:16   #17
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Brett,

I was just trying to back out of this whole topic - it may have appeared to some that I was more involved with this issue than I intended to be and I was only trying to clarify that. Don't dismiss Wirie because of that - I wouldn't, and didn't mean for my posts to have that effect. Please make a decision after evaluating all systems, not from my inability to communicate effectively.

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Old 11-06-2010, 09:37   #18
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EnGenius

We have been using the EnGenius EOC-2610 for the past year and have been pretty happy with it. Just now: with just the laptop inbedded card, no connections found. With our router, connected to our EnGenius, hoisted up the flag halyard: 18 connections found.

See pictures of our setup on our blogs.
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Old 11-06-2010, 22:21   #19
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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
That shouldn't be a problem - Ubiquitie's website states that it will run on 24V.

Mark
I emailed Island Time PC, and they said their unit would work up to 24v, it would not work on a 24v electrical system. Based on the Practical Sailor article, I am confident the Wirie will meet my expectations.
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:25   #20
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I don't see the need to waterproof anything when it comes to WiFi. Very few cruising boats are without cockpit cover, and height isn't important unless you're in a marina and want to "see over" the boat next to you (but in a marina you usually don't need a high power system because you're close enough to the WAP). Anchored out it's line-of-sight and no need to see over the horizon.
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:20   #21
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I don't see the need to waterproof anything when it comes to WiFi. Very few cruising boats are without cockpit cover, and height isn't important unless you're in a marina and want to "see over" the boat next to you (but in a marina you usually don't need a high power system because you're close enough to the WAP). Anchored out it's line-of-sight and no need to see over the horizon.
I see several advantages to waterproofing. Using it during rainy weather. Keeping out moist sea air in general. Most important to me is the ability to leave it permanently mounted and forget about the hassle of moving it around and storing it. Height is somewhat important as there is a fresnel effect with the water. Reflected signals from being too close to the water (within the Fresnel zone) will arrive out of phase and cause a canceling effect, thus lowering your ability to connect. As an example, for wifi frequencies and at 2 miles distance from an AP, this edge of the Fresnel zone is 18' above the water and reflected signals interfere below this height.

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Old 13-06-2010, 11:33   #22
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Mark (Colemj),
....Vendors, especially members here, should be tolerant enough to accept positive and negative reviews of thier products without shooting the messenger. Wirie just lost my business.
Brett
That seems a bit harsh, Mark was only trying to defend his product. I don't have a Wirie or any affiliation with them (I use an Engenius 362) but do know a number of people that have bought them and are very pleased with them - first rate technical support when needed as well apparently. Sure, they cost more than their component parts but not everyone's a technician I suppose.
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Old 13-06-2010, 18:23   #23
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Originally Posted by SailFastTri View Post
I don't see the need to waterproof anything when it comes to WiFi. Very few cruising boats are without cockpit cover, and height isn't important unless you're in a marina and want to "see over" the boat next to you (but in a marina you usually don't need a high power system because you're close enough to the WAP). Anchored out it's line-of-sight and no need to see over the horizon.

Just to second the comments by Mark, height is an important factor in WiFi reception. Some for the reasons Mark described, but as well as all of the local interference that is present on a modern cruising boat (biminis, dodgers, booms, radar arches, etc). All of these items, and especially the metal associated with them, reflect and refract the signal, either improving, but more likely, reducing, the effective range you are able to get. So, one of the biggest things you can do is get your antenna mounted above all of the local obstacles on your boat. This will make a major difference, in any system, on how well it works. From our testing, this height above local obstacles is the most important. Higher than this, say the top of your mast, the difference in gain becomes pretty minimal and hard to quantify.

There are both sides to the Fresnel effect of water on WiFi that I have read and researched. From experience, this seems to be a lot less of an issue than local interference on the boat. For instance, our unit is mounted about 6' off the deck, and we have seen 2-5 mile ranges with it, which from pure math, would be an issue.

So, the ability to mount the unit outside, with some height, is a crucial part of any system, no doubt about it. How much waterproofing you want/need, thats a personal preference on how they will likely be using their boat I would suspect. For me, if its on my boat, its waterproof, end of story. I have enough things breaking every day .

Just my .02.

Mark
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Old 13-06-2010, 20:18   #24
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OK, so behind the scenes I have Mark from Wirie contacting me concerning my post......

These forums are for people like you and me to discuss things at will, but vendors do not have the same freedoms here. So, in recognition of this, I am willing to withdraw my personal experiences and any data presented here and have everything I wrote earlier expressed as opinion only. Like I said, I don't care what people use to access wifi. Please view everything I wrote as one person's opinion, possibly heresy and incorrect, and do not make any decisions based on it alone.

I only expressed my experiences and opinions and did not expect to be drawn into argument or debate on the subject - technical or otherwise..... So I am done with this topic, Mark

Ok Mark, here is the deal….. We both have boats, we joined this CF to learn from other cruisers’ experiences, not just sailing, but product experience, recognizing that it is a well intentioned opinion requiring due diligence.

As a professional, I know a lot about sailing the world and try to help others, but I am a total neophyte when it comes to roaming internet communications and what equipment will give me the best range and reliability for my hard earned dollars.

This is where I depend on people like you Mark to give me real world input, answer a few dumb questions that only another sailor would understand and point me in the right direction of equipment type and possible suppliers for me to do my homework and make a final decision

This Forum is for the USERS and any vendor who PM’s and intimidates a fellow cruiser who is trying to help…. is simply off my list.

I hope this is not the case with Kiltym so as a simple test from a fellow sailor who greatly appreciates your advice and your freedom to express it I ask you this:

For my Stargazer, that anchors off areas with Wifi Hotspots in the Philippines and has a N series router on board, if you were setting up a fixed system on board to pull in the most shore based stations…. What would be your present recommendation on a complete system?

Here is a photo to help you visualize the boat and thanks for any help from you or other objective sailors on ways to set this up. Vendors are also welcome to give their opinion

Thanks in advance....Nick
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Old 14-06-2010, 07:31   #25
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That is one pretty boat.

OK, I'll bite, but remember, these are my opinions only.

You want a fixed system, and I am making the assumptions that you wish to access it wirelessly (given your current router) and that the cable run will be longish (given that you have a large boat).

Given this, we don't even have to address price or performance of different systems. I think an ethernet based client bridge is your only real option.

On board wireless: With USB clients, you can have a form of local wireless (software based access point / internet sharing), but that still requires you to have a computer connected to the USB cable and share its bandwidth with others on your network. Plus you already have a router whose only function is to do that type of work efficiently, but it needs an ethernet connection to the wifi bridge.

Long cable runs: Your cable runs look like they might be long. Active USB cables can be strung together to 75', but doing so really isn't an elegant or weatherproof solution. It would take 5 cables to make 75' and the cable connections on active cables are large and very difficult to seal. In addition, the connector ends require bulkhead holes and passages much larger than the cable itself. You cannot run raw cable and then make up the end connectors yourself. I wouldn't trust any USB cable connection in the open environment. Ethernet cable is very thin and can run ~300' with little performance loss. You can snake it almost anywhere easily and if the small connectors are still too big to run, you can run the raw cable and then make the end connectors yourself with a cheap tool.

Several companies sell commercial packages for your needs. I ask you to google for them, because I don't want to appear to endorse any single company (I do not own any commercial package product myself). The key words to look for are ethernet and client bridge. The most common ones will have Ubiquity or Engenius products in their packages. In my opinion, I would only get systems containing these two companies products - they are well respected everywhere. I would look for features such as self-contained weatherproofing and direct antenna connectors and technical support availability. As mentioned earlier in this thread, if you have a 24V system, you might need to make some accommodations for power. You can always use an inexpensive DC/DC converter to keep voltages under 24V if needed.

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Old 14-06-2010, 14:11   #26
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This Forum is for the USERS and any vendor who PM’s and intimidates a fellow cruiser who is trying to help…. is simply off my list.

I hope this is not the case with Kiltym so as a simple test from a fellow sailor who greatly appreciates your advice and your freedom to express it I ask you this:

For my Stargazer, that anchors off areas with Wifi Hotspots in the Philippines and has a N series router on board, if you were setting up a fixed system on board to pull in the most shore based stations…. What would be your present recommendation on a complete system?


Thanks in advance....Nick
Just to clarify a few things, as this is how rumors start.

There was no intimidation involved, not sure why that is being assumed, but I certainly hope it is not, as its far from the case. I wrote Mark an email as I am unable to express my opinions on here being a vendor and trying my best to abide by the forum rules. What I stated to him is that I felt he overstated and over-implied some of the things he was trying to give his thoughts on. Which is why he tried to clarify his points on his second post, and was thanked and appreciated by me for doing so.

And, about your setup, since I am also confused as there are 2 Marks here, I will give you my quick thoughts as well.

If we were talking in person, I would first ask what are your requirements on your boat? What are you trying to accomplish besides access to shore-side access points? What other, if any, systems need to communicate over your WiFi system on your boat? What are you using your router for now, why do you have it? etc, etc. This would determine what type of direction I would recommend for someone. Ethernet solutions will give a user the ability to have a full network (shared printers, shared hard drives, etc) on their boat, which for some, is what is required. USB systems, like The Wirie, will allow the user to share the internet connection it has with multiple devices on board, as Mark stated, via the computer The Wirie is plugged into. For most cruisers, this is their requirement, not a full network. But I would have to know more about your specific requirements to give my personal recommendation.

If you want/need to continue to use your N router, your only option is an Ethernet based client bridge, as Mark states as well. I am assuming you are using this router for something already, and want to continue to do so. I agree with his hardware recommendations, but over the past year or so, I would say more people seem to be happy with the Ubiquiti equipment than Engenius.

Be prepared however to be managing and administering a network on your boat. This comes with the territory of using an access point and client bridge. A bit of networking knowledge will go a long way to minimizing your frustrations. If you are technical, this should not be an issue for you, if you are not, I would enlist the help of an expert that can get things installed and set up for you and explain how everything works.

Mark
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Old 14-06-2010, 15:58   #27
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Just to butt in here, we have the Wirie - and are happy to endorse it. We tried two other wifi adaptors in a similar price range before it, but were disappointed with the range and quality of their performance. The Wirie has, however, been great. Are there other products cheaper or better? Might be, but we're happy campers with the unit we have, so if it ain't broke don't fix it and all that.. Essentially, the Wirie keeps us connected without fuss - and reliably.

Yes, we do know Mark, since he installed it for us. But no, I'm most definitely not writing here at his behest. Just anxious that a good product supplied by an honest and very likeable chap gets the public thumbs up - deservedly so.
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Old 14-06-2010, 16:38   #28
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Be prepared however to be managing and administering a network on your boat. This comes with the territory of using an access point and client bridge. A bit of networking knowledge will go a long way to minimizing your frustrations. If you are technical, this should not be an issue for you, if you are not, I would enlist the help of an expert that can get things installed and set up for you and explain how everything works.
Mark
One other factor, that I forgot to mention, that also needs to be looked at is waterproofing level and fitness to be used in the marine environment. Almost all of the client bridge systems are called "weatherproof". For me, this is not what I look for in a marine product. So, when shopping around, please look into and find out things like the IP rating of the device. This will give you a good idea of how waterproof the unit is, and in turn, what type of life expectancy it may have being exposed to salt air and splashes year after year.

Mark
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Old 13-05-2011, 09:09   #29
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Re: The Wirie

Bumping this thread to see if anyone has anything new to add about any systems. Was looking at client-bridge but prices that I saw were in the $300 range. Seems like all electronics have gone way down unless they are boat related.
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:25   #30
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Re: The Wirie

I see the last post is over one year old .... Is there any news under the sun ?

We own a Wirie for almost one year, had it shipped to us when in Ft Lauderdale last winter. We are in Grenada and happy with the devise. We have connection almost everywhere even if it is slow. Most of the time, we can pick up the weather and the e-mails; and this is the most important for us.
Surfing the internet is not easy and for this we really need to be inside a marina. So if there is a upgrade product on the market, I would love to hear from it :-)
Sometime, we have good connection and fast speeds but then another sailboat ( mostly Americans) comes anchor close-by and "by-by" the connection ....
I suppose they have a " better" system and " steal" our connection....

So; we would like to upgrade..... Any suggestions anyone ?

PS : We have notised that "open" connections are relatively current in all the "english - speaking" islands but when in French territory, ALL the connections are secured .... There we are obliged to take one of these " 10 $ " a day connections ( hot-hot-hot- spot and similar)
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