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Old 02-10-2013, 08:55   #16
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Re: Wifi: Bullet vs. Bad Boy

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Even if it is less waterproof than yours, it comes with a 1 year warranty from installation that covers water intrusion (and this will be a very rare thing).

Let's say it does fail for weatherproof reasons in 3 years. Your product costs twice as much, so one could simply buy another one and be ahead of the game - even under your warranty policy.

Again, I don't have a problem with your full systems approach, and recommend it to others, but this particular product is egregious pricing. You have a point that it does come loaded with your custom firmware, and that is a positive - but it is not apparent from your website that this is so.

Mark
Mark,
One can go to the hardware store to buy a load of lumber, and it will cost less than the house that it will eventually build. But you will not build the house for the price of the lumber. This difference represents added value. Some car/passenger ferries that have installed Xtreme to provide internet to their passengers are more concerned with reliability, performance, ease of use and support than they are about absolute lowest acquisition costs. Our retail resellers too. There will always be the DIY system builders, who are free to use portions of our products to achieve their goals.

Metaphorically, you can buy the bare lumber and begin to saw and hammer happily if that is your ken, but to suggest a price based comparison of a bare Ubiquiti Bullet against a developed, tested, enhanced, improved and supported solution in our opinion is equally egregious.

However, we do take your point that our Product Features tab on our website should be expanded to make these points more pronounced and will be enhanced in the coming days.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:04   #17
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Re: Wifi: Bullet vs. Bad Boy

I have been using the Badboy for the past 5 years and have found it to work very well. When I encountered any issues I found the Bitstorm support to be very responsive. I would not hesitate to recommend the product.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:22   #18
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Re: Wifi: Bullet vs. Bad Boy

What Makes Bitstorm BAD BOYs Different

Note: Some characteristics are identical and have been noted.

Up to 36dBm (4W) power output. (Same as Bullet)
Small size allowing for unobtrusive installation in any convenient location. (Same as Bullet)
Specially designed high gain omni-directional antenna tuned precisely to provide maximum coverage in the smallest package. (Xtreme N & MJ)
IP65 (Xtreme N - Same as Bullet) and IP67 (Xtreme MJ) rated allowing for permanent outdoor installation.
Can be installed up to 300' (90m) away. Masthead installation is the absolute best in range and unobstructed reception. (Xtreme N & MJ) (Same as Bullet)
Bitstorm developed firmware ensures simplicity in operation with a minimum of button clicks.
Country selection to ensure compatibility and compliance no matter where in the world you are.
Hotspot access keys (wifi passwords) are saved. These can be backed up and restored to prevent loss.
Automatic adjustment of device capabilities to assist in conforming to selected country's Wi-Fi regulations and limitations to keep you legal. (Xtreme N & MJ, Unleashed N)
Expandable: connect multiple computers, networking switches, network printers, etc. Whatever you need. (Same as Bullet)
Acrylic conformal coating on the printed circuit board keeps the environment off the electronic circuitry. (Xtreme N & MJ)
No software drivers to load. Everything needed is already built into your operating system - Windows, Mac, Linux, whatever. (Same as Bullet)
Everything controlled from your favourite browser. (Same as Bullet)
Friendly URL access. Simply enter 'xtreme.wifi/' or 'unleashed.wifi/' into your favourite browser. No cryptic IP addresses or numbers. Other friendly URLs include 'badboy.xtreme/' or 'badboy.unleashed/'. Or use '10.20.30.1/' (for Xtreme) and '10.20.30.2/' (for Unleashed).
Choose from a variety of mounting options: pole, rail, flat surface/wall, backstay or standard 1-14 (Xtreme N only) covering any mounting requirement.
Cable is outdoor rated: custom designed for Bitstorm, shielded, PVC jacketed and UV protected, black.
Can be powered directly by 5-30Vdc (M-POE-DUO-S15.5 Power Injector) or from 100-250Vac via a power adapter, so it will operate anywehere in the world. Output is regulated at 15.5Vdc.
Ignition noise/spike protected, start delayed until power stabilizated, short circuit current limited, thermal shutdown and reverse polarity protected (all provided by included Power Injector).
Includes a Remote Reset button on Power Injector, so you don't need to climb up anything to do a reset after forgetting a password.
Power miserly: typically only draws 100-200mA. (Same as Bullet)
Lithium dielectric corrosion inhibitor included for use on connectors to prevent corrosion. (Xtreme N & MJ)
Future proof: Free firmware updates. Latest features and capabilities will always be available.
Shipped in anti-static bags to ensure it arrives alive.
Works worldwide, shipped worldwide. (similar to Bullet and depends on International or North American version)

Barebones Ubiquiti Bullet Limitations

Bitstorm has custom developed the firmware to make connecting to hotspots simple, easy and quick. Most settings are automatically controlled and configured for maximum performance and are therefore not shown to users. Each firmware version goes though months of testing prior to release. The following are issues that can be found when using a Ubiquiti Bullet with its native firmware:

Firmware is intended for a network engineer, not a typical untrained user.
Complex configuration - many settings that if configured incorrectly, will prevent the Bullet from connecting to a hotspot or if connected, will cause poor performance.
Operates natively in bridge mode, so finding its IP address may be challenging. Can be set to router mode, but will be returned to bridge mode on reset.
No access key (hotspot password) retention. Only the most recently used is saved. If returning to a previously accessed hotspot, the access key will need to be re-entered.
Country selection is requested once on first login and then locked and cannot be changed. When travelling and visiting different countries, capabilites and ability to connect to hotspots can be restricted if the incorrect country is being used. To reselect a country, a hard reset will be required.
Reset button brings it back to the Ubiquiti firmware default state.
No acrylic conformal coating for electronic circuit card protection.
Limited support - Ubiquiti does not offer a phone number to call when issues arise.
Addition of a local access point (to allow connection with iPads, Androids, iPhones, etc.) will require the configuration of a hotspot without DHCP, NAT etc. which can be confusing to typical users.
IMPORTANT: While the Bullet is reverse polarity protected, it does this by shorting the pins in the ethernet connector that supply the power. While the electronics in the Bullet are safe from harm with this method, in an unprotected circuit this situation can result in melted cable or worse, fire. Do not try this at home!
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Old 19-03-2014, 08:34   #19
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Re: Wifi: Bullet vs. Bad Boy

Here's the latest Practical Sailor extended cruise review of Bitstorm's Bad Boy high power Wi-Fi products: The New Bad Boy - Practical Sailor Article.
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Old 20-03-2014, 04:51   #20
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Re: Wifi: Bullet vs. Bad Boy

Practical Sailor probably should have considered the Island Time PCs WiFi packages.
http://www.islandtimepc.com/marine_wifi.html

They are much cheaper and come with great instructions and support. We are very happy with their Bullet plus router package.
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Old 20-03-2014, 21:08   #21
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Re: Wifi: Bullet vs. Bad Boy

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Originally Posted by svseachange View Post
Practical Sailor probably should have considered the Island Time PCs WiFi packages.....
They are much cheaper and come with great instructions and support.
Island Time and Bitstorm both have good offerings, with good support and if you compare apples to apples (...Bullet), they're not far apart in price.
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Old 21-03-2014, 18:41   #22
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Re: Wifi: Bullet vs. Bad Boy

I use a buffalo wifi router that has been rooted with dd-wrt. This turns the wifi router into a flexible unit that can act as a NAT and wifi client with an ethernet switch. You get a high-gain external antenna, a 25ft cable and SMA reverse to N-type adapter... Then you mount the high-gain antenna on the arch, run the cable down to a dry section under the cockpit and connect to the buffalo router. Run Ethernet from the router to where it is needed and 12 volt power to the buffalo. Presto, you have a very nice performing wifi system with 4 or 5 ethernet connections available. I don't think that I would go more than 25 ft of antenna cable as the signal would degrade. Many other routers can be used with dd-wrt, but the buffalo wifi router has the ability to boost power a bit more than normal.
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Old 21-03-2014, 21:11   #23
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Re: Wifi: Bullet vs. Bad Boy

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Originally Posted by ardoin View Post
I use a buffalo wifi router that has been rooted with dd-wrt. This turns the wifi router into a flexible unit that can act as a NAT and wifi client with an ethernet switch. You get a high-gain external antenna, a 25ft cable and SMA reverse to N-type adapter... Then you mount the high-gain antenna on the arch, run the cable down to a dry section under the cockpit and connect to the buffalo router. Run Ethernet from the router to where it is needed and 12 volt power to the buffalo. Presto, you have a very nice performing wifi system with 4 or 5 ethernet connections available. I don't think that I would go more than 25 ft of antenna cable as the signal would degrade. Many other routers can be used with dd-wrt, but the buffalo wifi router has the ability to boost power a bit more than normal.
That 25' of coax is costing you 10-15db of your signal, so you better have a 15db antenna to just get back to the low power of the base router itself. For the same amount of money, you can have way more performance with the same features than the setup you describe.

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Old 25-03-2014, 11:49   #24
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Re: Wifi: Bullet vs. Bad Boy

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And this is where you lost my attention.
Obviously you know nothing about signal propagation, or antenna reception. When using a 6 degree width antenna, you need to be about the same level as the transmitter (router) to receive its signal. Although some businesses mount the antennas on poles, or top of buildings, most do not. In fact the locations i have visited, even at low tide, the router is no more then to the top of my enclosure.

Furthermore, your router product is always setup wrong. When the boat next to me has the bad boy router at full power, he actually blocks the wi-fi signal for the next 3 or 4 boats due to interference. It makes everyone else more miserable. Why would you ship these routers with a default power setting so high, when they only need to cover the inside of the boat they are used on, and maybe the deck area.

Again, your company seems to be a middleman, between a wholesaler, and a retailer, who puts a product in a pretty box. (I assume you have nice box art for $150 markup?)
Thank you for your concerns Dan316.

To get the best, clear and unobstructed reception, you need to have a clear line of sight to the hotspot. Having an antenna mounted on the rail will usually require the signal it receives to pass through adjacent hulls and masts. Wi-fi bounces off metal like light off a mirror. In Wi-Fi, this is known as multi-path interference. Does a nasty thing to data. Getting the antenna above all the interference caused by the forest of masts gets you the best signal. A proper marina installation will have the hotspot antenna mounted high and shooting down onto the boats. If they simply put it in an office window, then you usually get very poor signal at the end of the docks. Most common marina location is the office's roof. Having your antenna at masthead will be more aligned (on the same plane) as the hotspot then. If just window located, again your higher location will be 'shooting' through less obstructions. For greater distances and to minimize effects of earth curvature, you would want to keep the Fresnel zone from touching the water - again higher is better. (i.e. If you are 6 feet tall and standing right at the water's edge, then your eyes are about 5.5 feet above the surface. The distance to the horizon is then SquareRoot(5.5 / 0.5736) = 3 miles. Higher is again better when you are connecting at 5+ miles.

Regarding incorrect setup: On our Xtreme's (our receiver/router) Link Setup page of the built-in Management Application, the very top item is Country selection which selects regulatory requirements and includes maximum power allowed. We include a power adjustment control and a note on screen that states: "Reducing power may improve performance if hotspot is very close". Hotspot selection is found below this. The tools are all there and simply need to be applied by a user. For a screen shot, check out our Quick Start Guide.

Regarding blocking signal: When operated within legal limits (i.e. correct Country selected and using only Bitstorm supplied components), neither Xtreme nor Unleashed is capable of generating signals that block others. Wi-Fi is time sliced with only one station transmitting at any one time on a channel. The transmitter is not on continuously and each device gets their time slice to transfer their data packets. In the US, Wi-Fi devices must all meet FCC Part 15.247 which defines power limitations. And we can assure you that if it could 'block' signals as you suggest, it would disrupt a much larger area than just the 'next 3 or 4 boats'! And to ensure that everyone is aware that when operated in the USA, our Xtreme is only capable of 36dBm (4W - the max prescribed by US law) and Unleashed is limited to 33dBm (2W - half of the max). When operating in Europe, the maximum power is limited to 20dBm (100mW).

Regarding 6 degree antenna width: To get a beam angle of 6 degrees, the antenna would typically have a gain of ~11dBi. With a fully cranked Bullet, that would be pushing out 28dBm + 11 dBi = ~39dBm (~8W). Please tell us that you are not using this combination since it is twice the power legally allowed in the most permissive countries and could (and probably will) cause interference.

We also want to assure you that we are not a 'middle man' - we manufacture much of what we sell including the only 5-30VDC, fully regulated, filtered, short circuit, thermal and reverse polarity protected power injector with a remote reset feature. The only item that we buy pre-made (currently) is the Wi-Fi transceiver microcontroller hardware and we add our custom firmware to it that simplifies and extends functionality well beyond what the original can do. Also, try and get support for your system from some hardware vendors - Ubiquiti does not even publish a phone number for you to call!

And thank you - we do have a pretty box.
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