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Old 05-04-2016, 14:42   #31
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Re: WiFi Antenna Comparison

About cell phones for data...

I wrote a piece about how we use our phone here: International Cell Phone Hack - no cell phone minutes or texts bill, just data...

As to to mast-top mounting, you can see that here: Flying Pig WiFi
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Old 05-04-2016, 14:59   #32
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Re: WiFi Antenna Comparison

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Originally Posted by crankysailor View Post
Wirie AP+ US$399 on their website hmm... I just bought the Grove 52HPN and a 9dbi Antenna on Amazon for US$75. A little PoE Adapter was a couple of bucks extra.

I am not sure what the extra $$$ would get you. Transmit power and antenna gain for all these gadgets seem to be around the same ballpark (from 500 to 600mW and 8 to 9dbi antennas). Yes.. I am aware it is not just about numbers and dBs are a logarithmic scale and spectral patterns and blah blah.. but I find it hard to justify the price difference.

You could even get away cheaper at least here in Europe with an Alfa Tube 2H + their 9dbi Antenna for US$64 .. I "splurged" on the Grove since it appears to be widely used and liked. I also considered the Ubiquity Bullet M2 for a few bucks extra but what swayed me towards the Grove was that you can switch between 2.4 and 5GHz so I can get another Antenna later and be all set. The Bullet was 2.4 only.

I'll let you know how it all works once it arrives
As Cranky says, you can put (cobble?) together systems for less than what you'll pay for the Rogues or Wiries, but as some have pointed out, the setup can leave you, for lack of a better word, "cranky." The Rogues and the Wiries charge for their interfaces which may or may not be worth the extra cost.

As mentioned in my earlier post, I like the Wirie's sim card capability, as unsecured networks are a shrinking market. That said, I'm not sure that ability can't be tacked on to the other products. Of course, tacking on can bring its own set of issues.

Good luck!
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Old 05-04-2016, 15:12   #33
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Re: WiFi Antenna Comparison

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Originally Posted by skipgundlach View Post
About cell phones for data...

I wrote a piece about how we use our phone here: International Cell Phone Hack - no cell phone minutes or texts bill, just data...

As to to mast-top mounting, you can see that here: Flying Pig WiFi
Skip, Any experience with Verizon data coverage in the Bahamas? They claim I'm covered, but I doubt it. I'm counting on using a BTC sim card in my Wirie Pro, but the Verizon data rates compare favorably with BTC via mrsimcard.
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Old 05-04-2016, 15:21   #34
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Re: WiFi Antenna Comparison

I was just at Batelco, and the topic came up from a user.

Seems the coverage depends mostly on where you are, and isn't too swift, either, but it's 'free' with your plan.

Of course, doing what I do is as well, as the fee would be paid in any event (your plan or BTC's), but covers all the bases.

In chasing around a very important solution took an awful lot of phone calls. In the entire time I've been doing this hack, I've put a total of $10 into Google Voice's international calls; I would have paid that much just for the new sim when I got here, for the flip phone I gave away when i got to Marsh Harbour...
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Old 05-04-2016, 15:32   #35
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Re: WiFi Antenna Comparison

So the question was asked earlier, why not use a cell phone for a wifi hot spot instead of The Wireie or a DIY solution cobbled onto the Bullit or a Groove?

I am new to this subject of WiFi and needing a 3G connection to access the net when WiFi is not available, but I am starting to get it. You need both.

Can someone please explain what the advantage or preference might be for buying the Wireie Pro or building a DIY solution for 3G, over a cell phone hot spot? No matter which solution you choose, you are still going out and buying a Simm card and putting it either in the Wirie or the cell phone.
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Old 05-04-2016, 15:32   #36
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Re: WiFi Antenna Comparison

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Originally Posted by skipgundlach View Post
I was just at Batelco, and the topic came up from a user.

Seems the coverage depends mostly on where you are, and isn't too swift, either, but it's 'free' with your plan.

Of course, doing what I do is as well, as the fee would be paid in any event (your plan or BTC's), but covers all the bases.

In chasing around a very important solution took an awful lot of phone calls. In the entire time I've been doing this hack, I've put a total of $10 into Google Voice's international calls; I would have paid that much just for the new sim when I got here, for the flip phone I gave away when i got to Marsh Harbour...
I think season one will be Wirie Pro with a BTC sim card. Then with season two we'll survive and advance, e.g. Verizon if need be. Misdirection: Do you keep your boat in the Bahamas year-round? I'm looking at the options.
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Old 05-04-2016, 17:01   #37

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Re: WiFi Antenna Comparison

Actually, if a WiFi point is open and unprotected, it is risky to use it. Even if the owner works in the Vatican and wear a scarlett cap...if the router is open, someone else can hack it, collect all the information you send on it, or worse, connect back to your computer and load malware on yours. Yes, everything can be protected, but few folks really will be sure of how to do that.


Not all phones can be hot spots. For instance, if you use an AT&T phone in the US, it can be a hot spot. But if you use a Cricket (AT&T subsidiary) SIM, only their branded phones will work as hot spots. A bring-your-own won't.


And data plans are always changing. Unlimited date was damn scarce not too long ago---the early unlimited plans got shut down or no longer offered. Now? Data is sometimes metered, but many companies are unlimited again. They just throttle you to 2G or 3G (which is still faster than many home broadband services) once the high-speed limit is reached.


So, "your mileage may vary".


If I'm using a password protected public hot spot (hotel, etc.) I still get enough security warnings that I'd rather just use my celullar data.
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Old 05-04-2016, 18:08   #38
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Re: WiFi Antenna Comparison

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Originally Posted by robgrant1 View Post
I think season one will be Wirie Pro with a BTC sim card. Then with season two we'll survive and advance, e.g. Verizon if need be. Misdirection: Do you keep your boat in the Bahamas year-round? I'm looking at the options.
If the year round question was directed at me, no, I don't.

However, I do know several who do; the rationale is to save the crossing hassle; for us, we don't care about the crossing, and prefer to bring it over and back.

That said, the last time we were in the Bahamas extensively (5 years ago) we flew in and out several times, which made our visas renew automatically, but we had to renew at rather much more money, because the boat stayed longer than her 1-year cruising permit. Both issues become moot when you and the boat leave and return, even for a day. In fact, I had the distinct impression that the Customs person wanted me to enter a second time, saying I'd just arrived, rather than renew. I persisted, however, and paid the $500. I haven't decided if I'd do it differently on another occasion, but with our lives as they are at this point in time, it's moot, as we're in and out frequently. If that sounds annoying, consider that every month in the godawful Indian River costs $400 on a ball and another multi-deca bux for the diver, as it's overgrown in that time. However, if you want to keep your boat there...

After two renewals, you have to 'import' the boat. Staying more than 8 consecutive months is the best you can do for a visa; after that you have to apply for residency (which has some form of costs involved, but I don't know how much).

Hope that helped...
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Old 05-04-2016, 19:32   #39
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Re: WiFi Antenna Comparison

This is a bit of a thread drift but here goes.when back in Australia a few months ago I went Jcar to buy a booster and was told that it would not work in Asia as they use a different system, , however thinking about it now I still get wifi reception on my device so a booster should still work, or have I missed something?
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Old 05-04-2016, 20:31   #40
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Re: WiFi Antenna Comparison

We used Bitstorm Extreme and the Unleased internal unit for years sailing the globe without a hitch. Keep the manuals though unless you move around a lot as it needs to be re-programmed for each new provider via your Notebook.
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Old 06-04-2016, 05:19   #41
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Re: WiFi Antenna Comparison

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onemoreproject View Post
I've read a lot of threads on this forum and some outdated magazine reviews, but haven't found exactly what I am looking for.

I'd like to hear from people with hands on experience comparing if possible the following products.

The Groove by Island Time
The Wirie
Bitstorm Bad Boy
Rogue Wave
I haven't seen any reviews comparing The Groove to any of the above mentioned systems. I have heard it performs well, but is hard to set up and generally less user friendly.
I am not a techie and want something that is plug and play and easy to use.
We are planning on travelling to many different countries and am looking for one that will be internationally wifi compatible as well.
A DIY antenna is of 0 interest.

Thank-you anyone in advance for sharing your experience.
You might enjoy this Active Captain post on the subject of wifi in the Bahamas:
https://activecaptain.com/newsletters/2016-02-03.php
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Old 06-04-2016, 05:24   #42
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Re: WiFi Antenna Comparison

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipgundlach View Post
If the year round question was directed at me, no, I don't.

However, I do know several who do; the rationale is to save the crossing hassle; for us, we don't care about the crossing, and prefer to bring it over and back.

That said, the last time we were in the Bahamas extensively (5 years ago) we flew in and out several times, which made our visas renew automatically, but we had to renew at rather much more money, because the boat stayed longer than her 1-year cruising permit. Both issues become moot when you and the boat leave and return, even for a day. In fact, I had the distinct impression that the Customs person wanted me to enter a second time, saying I'd just arrived, rather than renew. I persisted, however, and paid the $500. I haven't decided if I'd do it differently on another occasion, but with our lives as they are at this point in time, it's moot, as we're in and out frequently. If that sounds annoying, consider that every month in the godawful Indian River costs $400 on a ball and another multi-deca bux for the diver, as it's overgrown in that time. However, if you want to keep your boat there...

After two renewals, you have to 'import' the boat. Staying more than 8 consecutive months is the best you can do for a visa; after that you have to apply for residency (which has some form of costs involved, but I don't know how much).

Hope that helped...
Thanks Skip, it is helpful. We haven't made the crossing before and we'll have a dog onboard, so we're not sure how anxious we'll be to make it an annual event. In addition, our boat is not a Florida boat, so keeping it there for an extended period has sales tax implications. We will have to see how it goes.
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Old 06-04-2016, 06:05   #43
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Re: WiFi Antenna Comparison

If you owned the boat for more than 6 months, in the states, before you brought it to FL, the tax issue is moot. Ownership outside the states suspends the 'tolling' of ownership time, so if you just bought it in the US and went to the Bahamas for 6 months, that wouldn't pass muster.

However, the reality is that the FRS is dramatically overstretched. The likelihood that you'd have a visit from them is remote at the very most pessimistic. Search Charles Martin Florida Revenue Service (or whatever they call themselves) for a thread on the subject; I worked with him and an advocate during my purchase and refit, during which time liability for tax was suspended, until I 'exported' the boat later...

Sorry for the thread drift!

As to leaving it and traveling with a pet, that is onerous in itself, not to mention a hassle. $10 bux and a boilerplate form gets you in with the dog, but Delta, at least, charges $150 each way for a cat; dogs, being bigger and having to be baggage, may be even more...
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Old 06-04-2016, 07:51   #44
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Re: WiFi Antenna Comparison

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Originally Posted by skipgundlach View Post
If you owned the boat for more than 6 months, in the states, before you brought it to FL, the tax issue is moot. Ownership outside the states suspends the 'tolling' of ownership time, so if you just bought it in the US and went to the Bahamas for 6 months, that wouldn't pass muster.

However, the reality is that the FRS is dramatically overstretched. The likelihood that you'd have a visit from them is remote at the very most pessimistic. Search Charles Martin Florida Revenue Service (or whatever they call themselves) for a thread on the subject; I worked with him and an advocate during my purchase and refit, during which time liability for tax was suspended, until I 'exported' the boat later...

Sorry for the thread drift!

As to leaving it and traveling with a pet, that is onerous in itself, not to mention a hassle. $10 bux and a boilerplate form gets you in with the dog, but Delta, at least, charges $150 each way for a cat; dogs, being bigger and having to be baggage, may be even more...
Sorry I've led you adrift. By the time we reach Florida, prior to departing for the Bahamas, we will have owned it for at least 10 months. If I understand you, if we then go to the Bahamas for 6 months and then return to Florida for storage for hurricane season, we won't be subject to sales tax. Is that correct?

Our plan for transporting the dog (labrador retriever) was to take the ferry rather than fly.
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Old 06-04-2016, 08:05   #45
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Re: WiFi Antenna Comparison

There's a ferry from US to Bahamas??

That is my understanding from the time I had a concern about taxes.

Certainly, I have no reservations about leaving my boat in FL for extended periods of time, having properly exported it from FL, and spent well over 6 months cruising the US east coast before returning.

And, here's what I found in searching for Charles Martin: http://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/s...rt-13423.htmlf

It confirms my personal experience, even before he retired...
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