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Old 13-05-2014, 20:06   #1
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WIFI Antenna need Advice Please

I have a Brewer 12.8 sloop. It has a nice stern arch. Im installing a Dell SFF desktop enabled for wifi. Question---which exterior antenna and adapter-- Omni directional or directed--- is best. Thanks, George
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Old 13-05-2014, 20:42   #2
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Re: WIFI antenna need advice please

All depends on your budget and your actual requirements. have a look Here for our range. Yes, you can buy some for $50.00 but in my experience they are pretty useless!
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Old 13-05-2014, 20:42   #3
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Re: WIFI antenna need advice please

Since you're in Florida:
Marine WiFi Systems

By the way, love the Brewer 12.8. Beautiful boat.
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Old 13-05-2014, 20:44   #4
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Re: WIFI antenna need advice please

Have to say those ones DDabs listed are pretty common, but never tried one myself!
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Old 13-05-2014, 20:46   #5
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Re: WIFI antenna need advice please

We've had good success with Mikrotik products. Specifically the groove which comes with a 3db omni directional antenna. Mikrotik have great software but you'll need to build up your wireless networking skills.

The biggest problem with wifi is the latency and typically poor QoS on offer. Very few online sites are optimised and assume we all have fiber to the node.

We do use a number of good apps which can work well over weak and poor QoS connections. Particularly with backups and syncs overnight. Real time expectations like streaming and even viewing many web sites is poor over a great majority of cellular and wifi connections.

We live and run a tech startup on our Liberty 458. This is only possible because we have 18 Mbps AT&T Uverse to our dock.
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Old 13-05-2014, 21:36   #6
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Re: WIFI antenna need advice please

+1 on Marine wifi. I use the Ubiquiti Bullet. Works great and when I've had a question he called me back within an hour. I'm using it right now in fact. Sitting in the comfort of my cabin while others have walked to the lounge to get reception.

A couple of years ago you could find free wifi almost anywhere. There was a very nice anchorage in SC where a house had a wifi labeled "Cruiser's Guest Network". Bless their hearts! That may still be there but most newer wifi set ups have some security as the default and open networks are getting rather rare. For USA coastal cruising one of the cell phone networks are getting very popular.
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Old 14-05-2014, 09:49   #7
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Re: WIFI antenna need advice please

You may wish to also check Bitstorm (www.bitstorm.com).
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Old 19-05-2014, 15:18   #8
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Re: WIFI antenna need advice please

I just installed a bitstorm with the "unleashed" wireless router option. Pretty happy overall. No frills but its very easy to set up; the integration works very well. So far the connections have been pretty solid and speedy.
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Old 20-05-2014, 00:49   #9
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Re: WIFI Antenna need Advice Please

I have done several installations with the Ubiquiti Bullet products, and really like them. I currently use a Bullet Titanium M2, hooked up with exterior grade shielded cable per manufacturer's recommendation. The Titanium model includes a combined power supply/POE inserter so no chasing compatible parts. I have been using a TP-Link WR702N travel AP on the local side to connect wirelessly inside the boat and it works a champ. I then tried a Ubiquiti airGateway, which was a disaster, but will be returning it for an airGateway LR. This is an AP which plugs into the Titanium's power supply (no need for a separate one) and is held together as a single package (LR only - do not buy the original version). I use the Titanium as a router for all of the internal connections and thus present a single connection to the marina (although it is also possible to just bridge and have multiple connections to the marina).

Greg
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Old 21-05-2014, 06:00   #10
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Re: WIFI Antenna need Advice Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by georgetheleo View Post
IQuestion---which exterior antenna and adapter-- Omni directional or directed--- is best. Thanks, George
I think you'll get better overall performance with a good omni antenna. I've installed systems using the Ubiquiti Bullet and they work well.

Bitstorm or Island Time have packaged systems that are easy to set up and configure, if you're not a network engineer.
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Old 21-05-2014, 06:33   #11
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Re: WIFI Antenna need Advice Please

Check with Bob at Island Time PC, a cruiser who has been selling and supporting a range of systems for years
SB

Marine PC's & WiFi by IslandTime PC
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Old 25-05-2014, 21:01   #12
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Re: WIFI Antenna need Advice Please

I second Bob's comments about Island Time. We installed one of his systems about 6 months ago and am extremely happy. Plus he is fantastic for tech support.

Good luck

Chuck
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Old 25-05-2014, 21:02   #13
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Re: WIFI Antenna need Advice Please

Oops sorry I meant Scott's comment
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Old 26-05-2014, 05:18   #14
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Re: WIFI Antenna need Advice Please

I agree with the comments about wifi. It is far less useful than the mobile networks. HSDPA (3.5G for Europeans; palmed off on Americans as 4G) in practically all of the world I know is better than home broadband was just a decade ago or so. And the mobile networks cover large areas systematically, unlike wifi "hotspots" which are here or there and most often "not here" .

Nevertheless, there are times when there happens to be wifi, or when only wifi will do (downloading charts for example -- you can't buy preloaded chips anymore!!! ). So I also think it's worth thinking about.

I have a Ubiquiti Bullet on a spreader. It is fairly fiddly to get set up and connected, but once you've done it a few times it gets easier. The Bullet itself is quite cheap and it's quite easy to put together the other stuff you need for a system to work (antenna, ethernet cable, connectors, POE injector) so I don't really see the use of all those "wiries" and other systems which are just repackaged Bullets with a bit of user interface wrapper.

I am sometimes too lazy to use the Bullet and have recently made a delightful acquisition -- a USB stick Wifi transceiver, which only cost about 50 euros. I put it on the end of a USB cable extension and put it out a hatch. It improves connections by about 100x compared to the built in wifi card in the laptop, and it is so good that I haven't used the Bullet once since I acquired it. Now it's always going to be in my briefcase for when I have to use a marginal wifi connection!

So I think most people could probably use something like this to great effect and skip the hard installed system. But if you do want ultimate range and power, the Bullet is the ticket.


Now what I really want, and haven't quite found yet, is a hard installed super duper mobile telephone system. There are cases when there is a marginal connection and you really, really need to connect. Noelex of this parish uses a MiFi unit which has battery power, and which he hauls up the mast when he needs a better connection. I think I might try that first. I have been using (for the last four years) an Option Globesurfer III, which is not battery powered so can't be hauled up the mast, but I have gotten tremendous good use out of it (using it right now, in fact!). It is a wonderful unit which has a much more powerful radio (or better antenna) than a normal mobile phone or data stick. Maybe I should stop futzing around and just put an external antenna on it which I can haul out a hatch.

But I continue to dream about something like the WiBE router (http://www.deltenna.com/products/wibe.aspx), which has the radio and very cool antenna in one housing which can be mounted on a spreader. It's expensive but looks like the absolute killer app for this.

The only thing which has stopped me so far is that there is not an LTE version of the WiBE so far -- and I would hate to invest that kind of money without LTE, since the European networks are rolling out LTE everywhere.
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Old 26-05-2014, 05:28   #15
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Re: WIFI Antenna need Advice Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I agree with the comments about wifi. It is far less useful than the mobile networks. HSDPA (3.5G for Europeans; palmed off on Americans as 4G) in practically all of the world I know is better than home broadband was just a decade ago or so. And the mobile networks cover large areas systematically, unlike wifi "hotspots" which are here or there and most often "not here" .

Nevertheless, there are times when there happens to be wifi, or when only wifi will do (downloading charts for example -- you can't buy preloaded chips anymore!!! ). So I also think it's worth thinking about.

I have a Ubiquiti Bullet on a spreader. It is fairly fiddly to get set up and connected, but once you've done it a few times it gets easier. The Bullet itself is quite cheap and it's quite easy to put together the other stuff you need for a system to work (antenna, ethernet cable, connectors, POE injector) so I don't really see the use of all those "wiries" and other systems which are just repackaged Bullets with a bit of user interface wrapper.

I am sometimes too lazy to use the Bullet and have recently made a delightful acquisition -- a USB stick Wifi transceiver, which only cost about 50 euros. I put it on the end of a USB cable extension and put it out a hatch. It improves connections by about 100x compared to the built in wifi card in the laptop, and it is so good that I haven't used the Bullet once since I acquired it. Now it's always going to be in my briefcase for when I have to use a marginal wifi connection!

So I think most people could probably use something like this to great effect and skip the hard installed system. But if you do want ultimate range and power, the Bullet is the ticket.
OK Sir-thanks! Can you translate the "USB WIFI Transciever" to a make and model number? Thanks.
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