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Old 22-06-2010, 19:52   #1
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WiFi/Cell Antenna?

I'm hoping that someone out there has experience with a permanently-mounted antenna that works for WiFi and a 3G dongle. When we're cruising in Mexico, we use Mexico's TelCel 'Banda Ancha' 3G dongle that give us pretty good internet access when we're within their range and the dongle has a very small connector for an external antenna. However, many of the marinas also offer WiFi service as well and when we're in range of that, we prefer to use it (there is a limit on a monthly basis for how much data you can download with the Banda Ancha but it's quite a bit).

I'm having an antenna bar added to the frame that supports my solar panels and I'd like to have just one antenna for both services. Does anyone know of such an animal? Would I still need two antennas? What make of WiFi antenna have you permanently installed? Are you happy with it?

Thanks.

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Old 22-06-2010, 20:04   #2
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Several previous threads have covered wifi antennas. This is one of the more recent.

The Wirie

Search for "wifi AND antenna" or similar combinations and you will find several other threads.

Can't help with info on wifi antennas working with a 3G cell system.
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Old 22-06-2010, 20:50   #3
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I suggest you don't bother with an external antenna.

They are more trouble than they are worth.

Keep using the Banda Acha adapter and get something like an Alfa 500 MW USB adapter for WiFi.

The technology is evolving so rapidly that anything you install today will be obsolete next year. This allows you to stay nimble and upgrade inexpensively as the "next" thing comes along. That approach served us well during our 5 years in Mexico.

For example, we just returned to the US and are now using an HTC Droid Incredible to tether our computer to broadband access via a USB cable (works like the Banda Acha but less expensive). You can also get a MiFi in some markets that connects to the 3G cell network and acts like a WiFi acess point for up to 5 computers.

None of this will work with external antennas.

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Bill
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Old 22-06-2010, 22:59   #4
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Thanks, Bill. I am disappointed we didn't get to meet you. My brother, Mark, spoke very highly of you.

Are you returning to Mexico next year?

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