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Old 16-08-2010, 10:19   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiltym View Post
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.

Mark
True, but the closer the signal source, the stronger the signal.
My Bullet always sees the boat's LAN as the strongest signal.
The LAN is located behind my electrical panel just above the waterline and it's almost directly below the Bullet at masthead.
Depending on the state of the tide, our house's LAN is below at approximately a 45 degree angle and is strongly received as well.
I chose masthead mounting because my sailing area (PNW) includes lots of hills and trees around anchorages.
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Old 16-08-2010, 10:47   #47
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Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
True, but the closer the signal source, the stronger the signal.
My Bullet always sees the boat's LAN as the strongest signal.
The LAN is located behind my electrical panel just above the waterline and it's almost directly below the Bullet at masthead.
Depending on the state of the tide, our house's LAN is below at approximately a 45 degree angle and is strongly received as well.
I chose masthead mounting because my sailing area (PNW) includes lots of hills and trees around anchorages.
Certainly the closer the Access Point (AP), the better the signal (assuming the AP's within range are about the same power). And keep in mind your AP on your boat (an maybe in your house as well) is probably using a small 2-3db antenna, which is basically like a light bulb transmitting WiFi, creating a "bubble" of WiFi around your boat, but not very far horizontally (basically its transmitting up as far as it is sideways). So, in close proximity, with a very low gain antenna on your AP, you should able to see it anywhere within the "bubble" from the AP. The stronger the AP, the bigger the bubble, and the more chance for any antenna to connect to it. But, for the most part, we (all of us when on our boats), only have control over one end of the communication link, and being on an unstable platform, like a boat, most experts tend to agree an 8-9 dBi antenna is the best compromise of added performance, but not so narrow a transmit/receive beam as to cause issues in varying situations and when a boat rolls at anchor (as one data point, take a look at what most systems use as a gain for their antenna's that sell Marine WiFi solutions).

And certainly there is nothing wrong with a masthead location, I only meant to imply that it is typically not necessary.

Mark
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Old 16-08-2010, 10:58   #48
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Don't forget that the mast height will magnify the amount of sway the antenna experiences. A spreader mount will move less than a top of mast mount under the same circumstances
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Old 16-08-2010, 13:24   #49
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Originally Posted by gettinthere View Post
Don't forget that the mast height will magnify the amount of sway the antenna experiences. A spreader mount will move less than a top of mast mount under the same circumstances
The movement of the antenna would be accentuated, but
the degree of roll is the same at all heights.
Having a multihull, I don't worry about that.

The antenna's gain is a function of its vertical polar pattern and will not be affected by height of installation.

The closer the signal you are trying to capture, the more the angle will be a factor, but ALSO, the stronger the signal will be.
IMHO, it's a wash.
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Old 16-08-2010, 20:10   #50
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I don't know if you have been to Bonaire but I was moored directly in front of the wifi station at the dock near town and couldn't have been more than 1/4 mile at the most from the shore site of the wifi and the 8 db antenna on the boat I was sailing upon didn't work. I took my computer to a friend who was farther away and had a 12 db antenna and got reception. In this case bigger was better. So why wouldn't it make sense to get the 15 db antenna?
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Old 16-08-2010, 20:59   #51
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Originally Posted by kiltym View Post
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.

Mark
Yes, mark you are correct. I am the owner of Wi-Fi for Boats and a full time live aboard cruiser living and sailing in the Eastern Caribbean from 2002 to 2009 and then to Rhode Island last summer, down the East Coast to Florida for the winter and then back up the East Coast to spend the summer touring Washington DC.

I have spent years helping other cruisers with their computer problems and yes putting together Wi-Fi equipment for them. It is those cruising friends who urged me to make my expertise and yes, a kit of equipment available to others while living and sailing full time on my Mason 43 sailboat "Quietly."

Sincerely,
Dalton Williams
Mason 43 s/v Quietly
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Old 16-08-2010, 21:10   #52
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Originally Posted by karmaladen View Post
I don't know if you have been to Bonaire but I was moored directly in front of the wifi station at the dock near town and couldn't have been more than 1/4 mile at the most from the shore site of the wifi and the 8 db antenna on the boat I was sailing upon didn't work. I took my computer to a friend who was farther away and had a 12 db antenna and got reception. In this case bigger was better. So why wouldn't it make sense to get the 15 db antenna?

Just so I am not out of line here answering this question I will quote from a public source, the Wi-Fi on a Boat Wiki:

"There is a fair amount of discussion here about beam width and why a boat must have an omni antenna with about 8 dBi or less gain. Let us do a practical test of this. Take your hand bearing compass out and site a location about 1000 feet from your boat. Then slowly turn six degrees and look at that point. Now imagine that distance turned vertically and that is the beam with of an omni antenna with a beam with of 6 degrees at 1000 feet. Repeat this for a point 2000 feet away, then 3000 feet away, then 6000 feet away.

This test convinced me to experiment with high gain omni antennas from the practical perspective of a sailing boat. I am not disagreeing that at close proximity that a lower gain antenna is better. But as the distance increases the effective beam width increases. Years of actual experience aboard sailing boats confirms that higher dBi gain omni antennas work well on a boat at anchor as well as at a dock close to the shore side station."
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Old 17-08-2010, 00:42   #53
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bitstorm

I installed the bitstorm xtreme with the unleashed option for the onboard hotspot. I have had good success with it in San Francisco.

I decided a mast top install with a 6db antenna was best and that proved to be the most difficult part of the project.

Nothing but good things to say about the product and the customer support at bitstorm. I think they could use some help on the product naming though....

My install did not require a separate "power injector". The xtreme is connected to the unleashed via cat5 and two wires are pulled out to power both from the 12V house bank. (Fourth diagram here: Bitstorm - BAD BOY Product Comparison)

The downside is that I don't have any hard wired enet ports but so far that is not a problem. The computers and PS3 I have on board all have wireless.
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Old 17-08-2010, 05:46   #54
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Originally Posted by s/v Quietly View Post
Just so I am not out of line here answering this question I will quote from a public source, the Wi-Fi on a Boat Wiki:

"There is a fair amount of discussion here about beam width and why a boat must have an omni antenna with about 8 dBi or less gain. Let us do a practical test of this. Take your hand bearing compass out and site a location about 1000 feet from your boat. Then slowly turn six degrees and look at that point. Now imagine that distance turned vertically and that is the beam with of an omni antenna with a beam with of 6 degrees at 1000 feet. Repeat this for a point 2000 feet away, then 3000 feet away, then 6000 feet away.

This test convinced me to experiment with high gain omni antennas from the practical perspective of a sailing boat. I am not disagreeing that at close proximity that a lower gain antenna is better. But as the distance increases the effective beam width increases. Years of actual experience aboard sailing boats confirms that higher dBi gain omni antennas work well on a boat at anchor as well as at a dock close to the shore side station."
And to quote Wiki as well:

"The simplest and easiest improvement is to use a higher-gain omnidirectional antenna (4-8 dBi), thereby avoiding the need to aim the antenna horizontally (point it at the shore-based wireless access point). Such an antenna works by concentrating energy/sensitivity in the horizontal direction that would otherwise be wasted vertically (up and down). Beyond about 8 dBi the vertical beam angle becomes so narrow that vertical aiming can be problematic on a boat:"


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Old 17-08-2010, 05:50   #55
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Originally Posted by karmaladen View Post
I don't know if you have been to Bonaire but I was moored directly in front of the wifi station at the dock near town and couldn't have been more than 1/4 mile at the most from the shore site of the wifi and the 8 db antenna on the boat I was sailing upon didn't work. I took my computer to a friend who was farther away and had a 12 db antenna and got reception. In this case bigger was better. So why wouldn't it make sense to get the 15 db antenna?
Hi,

The obvious first questions I have are this:

What were the WiFi adapters being used on the two systems? Were they the same? (not the antenna, the actual WiFi adapter)
What were the mounting locations on the two systems?

I suspect I know the answers to the above questions, but it would be great if you could post some info about it.

I have references from people in Bonaire using 8dB antenna's with no issues, but obviously every location is different, and things can change on a daily basis.

Mark
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Old 17-08-2010, 12:59   #56
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Looking at those two factors, I give my highest recommendation to Island Time PC. Their prices are the best you'll find and Bob is right there with incredible support for those times you need it.

Island Time PC is at:
Marine WiFi Systems

I have no affiliation with Island Time except I purchased a system at full price. I'd do it again in a heartbeat if I ever need another.
Same here. We are very happy with out Island Time PC WiFi System! We met Bob and his wife in person. Very nice folks and Bob has been very helpful. We even bought a spare system to take with us to the Bahamas in the event of lightning, low bridges (our antenna is at the masthead - I vote with senormechanico that it picks up more signals from up there) bird strikes, unrepairable operator error etc.
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Old 31-01-2013, 00:52   #57
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Re: 'WiFi for Boats' System Package

Can I use 2 Bullets on the mast top?
One with 6-12db antenna to receive the signal from the shore = wired into another Bullet that will distribute Internet around the boat.
Power still need to be provided for both. I could use the power cable that is already routed to the Weather Station, just put additional fuse.

How do I program the both Bullets? or is it plug&play?
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Old 31-01-2013, 05:34   #58
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Re: 'WiFi for Boats' System Package

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Originally Posted by SVI View Post
Can I use 2 Bullets on the mast top?
One with 6-12db antenna to receive the signal from the shore = wired into another Bullet that will distribute Internet around the boat.
Power still need to be provided for both. I could use the power cable that is already routed to the Weather Station, just put additional fuse.

How do I program the both Bullets? or is it plug&play?
No need for 2. One bullet on the mast (or wherever) gets plugged in to a standard (and cheaper) Wifi router that distributes the signal to the rest of the boat. You can put the router anywhere, but obviously more convenient to have down in the living area, nav station etc. Also no need to "program" the bullets as such, but there is a seperate, browser based interface that is used to view and select available connections.

Just bought a package from IslandTime last week and from opening the box to receiving a signal was maybe 30 minutes tops. Still need to permanently mount the antenna and run the wires, but the set-up of the antenna and bullet itself is a snap.
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Old 25-02-2016, 21:38   #59
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Re: 'WiFi for Boats' System Package

S/V Jedi:
I have been trying to get my Nanostation M2 Loco to work wirelessly for 4 months, but have not been able to accomplish it.
Do you have a suggested setup with the Nanostation M2 on a boat to receive wifi signals from the Marina access point and use it to gain access to the internet on your boat?
pumpcity
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Old 26-02-2016, 02:00   #60
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Re: 'WiFi for Boats' System Package

Try a firmware update, my titanium bullet refused to work correctly until I installed latest firmware.

Regards

Ab


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