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Old 20-04-2010, 10:13   #31
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work.
Thats an interesting word. "Work"


Doesn't really roll off the tongue.

Is it fun?



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Old 08-05-2010, 21:04   #32
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Against advice here I installed the 12 db antenna at the masthead.
At our dock, I pick up 39 networks from our neighborhood, 6 of them unlocked.
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:40   #33
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To those of you who have these other systems...if you have a chance please take a look at my wifi woes postings and see if you can shed some light on what isn't working for us?
thanks,
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Old 15-08-2010, 15:36   #34
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You are exactly correct and the upper picture is the one I use. I connect that to a 5 Amp fuse on my electrical panel for safety and then connect the Wi-Fi for Boats Antenna to the jack labeled POE and my computer to the jack labeled LAN.
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Old 15-08-2010, 15:50   #35
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Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
After reading this thread, I got jazzed enough to add another project to my mast work (which just happens to be off the boat and in my yard).
I ordered a M2hp bullet, a POE, a wireless LAN, some ethernet cable, hooked it all together with a 12 db antenna and HOLY MOTHER OF GOD! My laptop went from 1 available LAN (mine) to 18. That's with the antenna temporarily sitting on deck, not at the masthead. I can only imagine what it's going to be like when I get the mast back up.
This is at my dock in a neighbohood, not at anchor, but I'm still impressed. Out of 18, there are four unsecured networks.

Buying the parts separately although the antenna was given to me I spent a total of just under $150.
The bullet was $79, the LAN was $38, the POE was $3.99. I just fed 12 v to the LAN and POE. They work great.
Hi Steven,

Make certain you protect the POE with as small a fuse or breaker as possible. Certainly no more than 5 Amps as the wires in the Cat5 cable are tiny!

As for mounting on the top of the mast... That is not necessary. The bottom of the antenna needs to be about 10 feet off the water is all. Of course higher will get over the big power boat that might be next to you, but the top of the mast is not necessary. If you have a mizzen, that would work better.
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Old 15-08-2010, 16:08   #36
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Whoa! I need a bit of help. I'd like to install a wifi antenna and the information and products are mind boggling. How about some basic info and references where I can obtain more help? I know other cruisers who have spent several hundred of dollars and gotten little in return. It isn't necessary to place the antenna on the mast head according tot he experience of some others but how high should it be? I hate to mount anything where I can't get to it easily if I need a repair.
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Old 15-08-2010, 16:26   #37
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One good reference is the Wi-Fi on a Boat Wiki. You can find that at Wi-Fi on a Boat - Wireless Wiki
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Old 15-08-2010, 16:39   #38
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Hi Steven,

Make certain you protect the POE with as small a fuse or breaker as possible. Certainly no more than 5 Amps as the wires in the Cat5 cable are tiny!

As for mounting on the top of the mast... That is not necessary. The bottom of the antenna needs to be about 10 feet off the water is all. Of course higher will get over the big power boat that might be next to you, but the top of the mast is not necessary. If you have a mizzen, that would work better.
I did fuse the LAN and Bullet separately.
I disagree with the height not being an advantage.
If you read back on my posts, deck level (temporary) got 18 networks and the final masthead installation got 39.
This is with the boat at my dock.
The actual number of stations received varied with the height of the tide as well.
More at high, and significantly less at low.
As you can see, no mizzen.
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Old 15-08-2010, 16:53   #39
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Yes you will definately get more stations with the antenna higher than deck level. Especially if you are in a marina with tall boats and tall buildiings obstructing the line of site between your antenna and the AP you are connectiing to. I can see where higher is better for you.

The antenna I use is 64 inches tall so with the base mounted 12 feet above the water the top if the antenna is about 17 feet on Quietly. I have tried mounting it higher with out much difference but then I am 95%of the time at anchor. Again I can understand where being a the dock the additional height works for you.

Thanks for your thoughts and the next time I am on the dock I will try raising my antenna to check out the difference.
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Old 15-08-2010, 17:07   #40
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I'm almost always at anchor so would probably try the lower installation first for ease of troubleshooting - but.....how far away from the wifi "station" can I anchor and still hope to get a signal if I install this 10 feet off the water?
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Old 15-08-2010, 17:43   #41
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I'm almost always at anchor so would probably try the lower installation first for ease of troubleshooting - but.....how far away from the wifi "station" can I anchor and still hope to get a signal if I install this 10 feet off the water?

How far depends on the equipment you install. You have to watch out for the unscrupulous guys who promise you miles of range. Several come to mind but I won't mention names.

Many of todays really good systems use the Bullet 2hp from Ubiquity. That and a good 12 or 15 db omni antenna will get you at least half mile range. You can purchase Bullet 2hp and a good antenna and make your own system if you like beating your head against the wall.

But I would suggest purchasing a complete kit. The extra $50 to $75 is well worth the money if it comes complete with all the bits and saves you from running back to the store to get something. The good vendors like Island Time (Marine WiFi Systems) do a lot of the setup for you making it much easier to install.
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Old 15-08-2010, 19:23   #42
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How far depends on the equipment you install. You have to watch out for the unscrupulous guys who promise you miles of range. Several come to mind but I won't mention names.

Many of todays really good systems use the Bullet 2hp from Ubiquity. That and a good 12 or 15 db omni antenna will get you at least half mile range. You can purchase Bullet 2hp and a good antenna and make your own system if you like beating your head against the wall.

But I would suggest purchasing a complete kit. The extra $50 to $75 is well worth the money if it comes complete with all the bits and saves you from running back to the store to get something. The good vendors like Island Time (Marine WiFi Systems) do a lot of the setup for you making it much easier to install.
I bought the individual pieces, but have a son who is a systems administrator for his company.
He helped me through all the pitfalls.

We recently linked up and got successful email receipt and sending while under sail which had to be a minimum distance of 3 miles. I have no idea where the LAN was, and it could have been considerably more.
That's not to say you always get such reception.
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Old 15-08-2010, 21:50   #43
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That's great Ssteve. I have occasionally seen that myself when sailing in the Chessapeak and going down the ICW.

In a quiet place with not a lot of Wi-Fi signals jamming one another during my 8 years in the Caribbean Islands I frequently had good connections capable of clear Skype calls at a distance of about a mile. But back here in the states with all the jumbled signals I have not been that lucky. It is great that you are! The Ubiquiti Bullet is a great radio!
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Old 16-08-2010, 09:33   #44
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You have to watch out for the unscrupulous guys who promise you miles of range. Several come to mind but I won't mention names.

But I would suggest purchasing a complete kit. The extra $50 to $75 is well worth the money if it comes complete with all the bits and saves you from running back to the store to get something. The good vendors like Island Time and Wi-Fi for Boats do a lot of the setup for you making it much easier to install.
Said from the owner of Wi-Fi for Boats, no?

On a side note also, keep in mind the quality of parts vendors are "re-selling". Many of the "marine WiFi" antennas being used are not suitable for marine use, do not use stainless steel, but coated steel that will deteriorate in a few months on the water, WiFi adapters that are not 100% waterproof, etc. If your going to buy a product from a company, be sure to ask about their components. If you don't, you are apt to be paying for unsuitable marine equipment and will be disappointed in their lifespan.

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Old 16-08-2010, 09:41   #45
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It isn't necessary to place the antenna on the mast head according tot he experience of some others but how high should it be? I hate to mount anything where I can't get to it easily if I need a repair.

The most important thing in mounting location is near-by obstacles on your boat (masts, booms, biminis, etc.). You want to get above them, and have as much "clean air" around your antenna as possible (i.e. don't mount the antenna next to a 1-2" pole or you will be blocking a large sector of your antenna). On a typical sailboat, 6-8' off the deck of the boat should provide this, and maintain the ability to get to the unit in case of maintenance or repairs.

On power boats, often the top "roof" or bridge-deck is a good place. Again with the goal about near-by obstacles on your boat.

There are very specific situations where having an antenna at the top of the mast might help, but in general, it wont make the difference between getting online or not. WiFi is all line of sight. With a good 8-9db antenna, it wont be any issue from 6-8' off your deck communicating with access points at shore level or mounted a few floors up on buildings or roofs. A higher gain antenna will start to have some effect on how well it "sees" above and below its physical location, and a lower gain antenna you will lose distance from the access point itself.

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