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Old 11-09-2013, 09:12   #1
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Wifi: Bullet vs. Bad Boy

We are wanting to install a wifi antenna system. Have read previous posts and reviews about the Bullet,and it seems that it is either loved or hated. Sounds like a lot of problems with defective units and ease of installation. Has anyone had any experience wih the Bad Boy system?. They are kind of pricey—about $375-$400 for the whole package that will make it completely wireless. It does include an omni-directional antenna, which I understand is important.

I would like to hard wire the system into the boat’s 12 volt system, but it seems that it will then be drawing a constant source of power, whether in use or not. Any suggestions?
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Old 11-09-2013, 12:43   #2
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Re: Wifi: Bullet vs. Bad Boy

The Bad Boy system IS a Bullet which they provide an antenna and custom software interface. And a common router, if you get that option.

For perspective: Bullet-$70, router-$30, antenna-$50, cabling-$30, POE injector-$10

If you bought those pieces yourself, you will need some basic understanding of setting up a router, etc (not too difficult, but does need some knowledge). I assume Badboy would have all of that ready to go out of the box.

Another choice for the same system is islandtimepc.com - $249 +$85 for a router. You could save $50 by buying your own router.

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Old 11-09-2013, 12:50   #3
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Re: Wifi: Bullet vs. Bad Boy

We had some issues, had to replace the Bullet, but overall for two years it was pure magic and we were the envy of many cruisers in Europe.
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Old 11-09-2013, 16:11   #4
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Love our Bullet + 12v router package from IslandTime PC. Paid the extra $50 bucks or so to reduce the hassle factor. Cuts our metered 3G/4G bandwidth usage by at least a half.
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Old 12-09-2013, 08:46   #5
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Re: Wifi: Bullet vs. Bad Boy

The ubiquiti hardware (Bullet) is pretty solid, and well-supported. But it can be daunting for the non-nerd to install and configure from scratch. In addition to Island Time and Bad Boy mentioned above, another supplier of pre-configured ubiquiti units for cruisers is bitstorm.

(no affiliation, really; but I have installed them and I like them)
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Old 12-09-2013, 08:49   #6
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Re: Wifi: Bullet vs. Bad Boy

I think you got the wrong link there.

Anyway, Badboy is made by Bitstorm (Bitstorm is the company and Badboy is the product).

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Old 12-09-2013, 09:02   #7
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Re: Wifi: Bullet vs. Bad Boy

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I think you got the wrong link there.
Fixed, thanks!

Quote:
Anyway, Badboy is made by Bitstorm (Bitstorm is the company and Badboy is the product).
... you're right. I keep forgetting that 'Bad Boy' is in the name.
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:03   #8
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Re: Wifi: Bullet vs. Bad Boy

I just looked at their website and products. I don't have a problem when these companies put together packages and sell them for profit. However, one thing that is very egregious about Bitstorm is that they are selling a bare Bullet Titanium (the new version) with no antenna, cabling, software, etc - just the device as one would buy it anywhere, only they stick a Bitstorm sticker on it.

The price for that sticker alone must be over $100, because they are charging $220 for a $100 item (I recently bought one).

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Old 12-09-2013, 09:12   #9
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Re: Wifi: Bullet vs. Bad Boy

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I just looked at their website and products. I don't have a problem when these companies put together packages and sell them for profit. However, one thing that is very egregious about Bitstorm is that they are selling a bare Bullet Titanium (the new version) with no antenna, cabling, software, etc - just the device as one would buy it anywhere, only they stick a Bitstorm sticker on it.

The price for that sticker alone must be over $100, because they are charging $220 for a $100 item (I recently bought one).
Besides providing a one-stop package, the real value-add of the Bitstorm products is that they put custom firmware on all the units, which is why they're up and running within minutes of installation.

I've worked with stock ubiquiti hardware (Pico, Nano) for some other projects (long-range wireless camera links, etc) and they're highly flexible units, but because of this they're also really daunting to configure for a specific purpose, even when you're following a script. So I would estimate that going for a package from Island Time or Bitstorm would save the average cruiser 2+ hours of configuration hassle.
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Old 12-09-2013, 10:26   #10
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Re: Wifi: Bullet vs. Bad Boy

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Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
Besides providing a one-stop package, the real value-add of the Bitstorm products is that they put custom firmware on all the units, which is why they're up and running within minutes of installation.

I've worked with stock ubiquiti hardware (Pico, Nano) for some other projects (long-range wireless camera links, etc) and they're highly flexible units, but because of this they're also really daunting to configure for a specific purpose, even when you're following a script. So I would estimate that going for a package from Island Time or Bitstorm would save the average cruiser 2+ hours of configuration hassle.
Yes, I agree with that and have never had a problem with these vendors making a profit by adding value by making ready-baked packages. I actually recommend that direction to most people.

The one product I mentioned, however, is simply the bare unit without any added value other than a sticker.

Even if it came with custom firmware, the price is still not defendable - one could hire someone to set it up for less money.

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Old 12-09-2013, 10:54   #11
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Re: Wifi: Bullet vs. Bad Boy

I use a bullet with the ubiquity software and it is more confusing than some but not that bad. I'd say if computers confuse you, go with the custom ui stuff. If you like working with computers, have no trouble changing your ip from dnas to static and back again, you should have no problems.
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Old 01-10-2013, 14:52   #12
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Re: Wifi: Bullet vs. Bad Boy

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I just looked at their website and products. I don't have a problem when these companies put together packages and sell them for profit. However, one thing that is very egregious about Bitstorm is that they are selling a bare Bullet Titanium (the new version) with no antenna, cabling, software, etc - just the device as one would buy it anywhere, only they stick a Bitstorm sticker on it.

The price for that sticker alone must be over $100, because they are charging $220 for a $100 item (I recently bought one).

Mark
To be correct, this is not a "bare Bullet Titanium". When the Titaniums arrives at our office, they are disassembled, have an acrylic coating applied for electronic circuit card protection, firmware load for ease of operation and reassembled to IP67 as opposed to the IP65 Ubiquiti rating. And we do test and operate them fully submerged using our Firecat cable, Xtreme MJ and 8dBi antenna. Only then do we put our badge onto it and offer it with up to 3 years warranty.
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Old 01-10-2013, 15:12   #13
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Re: Wifi: Bullet vs. Bad Boy

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Even if it came with custom firmware, the price is still not defendable - one could hire someone to set it up for less money.

Mark
One must also consider that the native Bullet's firmware has a country choice that is one time selected at first login. This country select configures many none adjustable operating values along with power output. These can include bandwidth, number of channels available, encryptions allowed and connection speeds. To not set the correct country properly can result in no or poor connection to hotspots. For example while North America operates on 11 channels, most of Europe uses 13 and Japan has 14. Many countries limit wifi operation to lower power levels, etc. This would require someone to have to setup again whenever a new country is entered if maximum performance and range is desired. And the native Bullet has only one way to get back to selecting a country - a hard reset. A configuration file can't be used since it already contains a preselected country - unless you make a configuration file for each and every country contemplated to be visited. A true world class product needs to make this easy - like Xtreme does. So, before buying any system, ensure that it is capable of operating correctly anywhere in the world, and that it can be easily changed to reflect the requirements of the country being visited.

BTW: Ubiquiti offers two models of their Bullets: North America and International. Choose wisely.
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Old 01-10-2013, 16:12   #14
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Re: Wifi: Bullet vs. Bad Boy

Bullet vs. Bad Boy
Since this topic was started, we have not responded immediately as is our policy and to allow others to comment. Since the comparison includes our Xtreme products, we feel qualified to respond.

Any comparison with the Bullet and our Xtreme needs to consider all of the components that make up a system. Our kit includes just about everything that a typical user needs to get connected. With Ubiquiti Bullet, many other items are required such as outdoor rated Ethernet cable, 8 dBi antenna, mount, power injector, etc. The time and effort to find the individual components and to pay for the individual shipping costs can become the price of a ready made kit. Support will then come from multiple vendors. Also consider that a desktop router device installed to be a boat’s access point may not stand up to the environment and may also require a separate power converter if it cannot operate from an 11-14.5Vdc source.

For a comparison of Xtreme and Bullet M2HP you can review this pdf.
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Old 01-10-2013, 18:42   #15
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Re: Wifi: Bullet vs. Bad Boy

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Originally Posted by mlahrkamp View Post
To be correct, this is not a "bare Bullet Titanium". When the Titaniums arrives at our office, they are disassembled, have an acrylic coating applied for electronic circuit card protection, firmware load for ease of operation and reassembled to IP67 as opposed to the IP65 Ubiquiti rating. And we do test and operate them fully submerged using our Firecat cable, Xtreme MJ and 8dBi antenna. Only then do we put our badge onto it and offer it with up to 3 years warranty.
Michael,

First, I have no beef with your company, and recommend most people buy packaged systems and not build them themselves.

However, you are making a lot of hay with your service in this case. The Titanium is very weatherproof - maybe not operable underwater, but will stand up to anything thrown at it in a usual mounting place on a boat, including full dowsing with waves.

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.

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