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Old 11-10-2004, 05:36   #1
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WiFi in the marina

About 9 months ago, we went to a wireless DSL system in this marina. Since then, we have gone through 5 service providers, 3 of which were bought out by the replacing company. I've gotta tell ya ... it's been a nightmare. Seem's that this is a growth industry, and everybody is so caught up in being in on the ground floor ... that they've forgotten that they actually have to be able to provide service! When it works ... it's fantastic ... problem is, it never works for long. Our current provider is pelagic networks, they have been here about 2 1/2 months ... in that time, we have had reasonable service for only about 2 weeks, and then only when we threatened to remove their equipment! Calls to their support department gets a person empty promises that they will "send someone out" ... usually a week or so later. They don't reply to e-mails, and calls to their outsourced billing company sends you straight to voice jail ... with the promise that they will call you back ... which they don't do. We have come to find out that Pelagic has been removed from at least several other marinas ... simply because they have not lived up to their promises. If you get the chance to try WiFi in your marina ... do your best to check out the ISP first!

L S/V Eva Luna
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Old 11-10-2004, 06:07   #2
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Bob:
Thanks for the warning ifo’.
Please let us know if you ever acquire a better Wi-Fi service provider, and their contact information.
From who else (in addition to “pelagic”) have you had unsatisfactory service?
Anyone else had better luck?
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Old 11-10-2004, 09:52   #3
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Easier/cheaper alternative

At my prior marina (just haven't got around to it yet where I am), we simply signed up for either DSL or Cable broadband (I forget which), purchased a cheap wireless router (less than $150) and put the router and the modem in a dockbox. 4 of us shared the monthly cost of about $50/month.

This eliminates the need to go with a wireless provider.

If you have either wired phone or cable service to your slip this will probably work.

Curtis
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Old 11-10-2004, 16:57   #4
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At times, I have a mind like a steel seive .... the first provider was bought out by the 2nd, which in turn was bought out by the 3rd, which was bought out by a company called "Skyline" ... so the first 3 services no longer exist. Skyline was completely unable to deal with a problem called "bleedover" where other ISP signals over rode thiers.
Interesting, Comcast has a big building one block from here, but they will not install DSL lines to the marina unless the dockmaster will garuntee them that 100 out of our 140 slips will sign up. That only leaves the option of Sprint phone lines ....I don't want to start and wild discussions here ... let's just say my last dealing with Sprint was decided by the FCC (in my favor) and I will never deal with that company again ... if I can avoid it! Have an AT&T cell phone and am completely satisfied with the service ... so for me, WiFi (if they can make it work!) is perfect.

L S/V Eva Luna
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Old 11-10-2004, 21:29   #5
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I have found it simpler to use an "air card" from T-Mobile. I have unlimited internet access anywhere I have cell service. The cost is less than 30 per month and I can use it any where. I use it on the boat, in my car, on a street corner. It eliminates the whims of ISPs. The only draw back is cell service.
Jim Kane
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Old 31-10-2004, 17:12   #6
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WiFi update

Things have gone from bad to worse here. One of the big promises that Pelagic makes is that they are available anywhere in the marina, they do this by putting up repeaters. They put up two in this marina, one where it wasn't needed, one where it wasn't effective ... the one that wasn't needed was removed by hurricane Charley, the other has stopped working. Their system goes down every evening, typically between 9:00 and midnight. Getting it going again depends on one of the marina residents doing a re-start of their equipment. They have shown no interest in making the situation right. DSL my ass ... dial up is faster, do they care? Obviously they are hoping to be bought out by a bigger company and their only goal is to make a bunch of bucks without doing any real work .... screw the damn customer! Once again, I say, if given the chance to bring "Pelagic networks" into your marina .. run! Don't walk!

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Old 31-10-2004, 23:11   #7
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Firstly, why so many repeaters. If you have enough elevation, you should be able to cover the entire area with one. I have a Mate covering the our Marina and entire town. In know of systems set up covering Cities with one antennae.
Secondly, why not do it yourself. Set up a system and provide the WiFi over the Marina. Charge access. Good little side line. It's very simple really. You just need a DSL hardwired connection yourself and a place to broadcast/receive from. Perhaps the top of your work building or is there a Marina office or something.
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Old 24-11-2004, 12:19   #8
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Re: WiFi in the marina

Hi Bob,

Sorry you are having so much trouble. Telecom companies can be VERY frustrating. Here's what I would do:

First, you know what you want, right? I mean the BUSINESS objectives of having WiFi in your marina are to have a leg up on the other marinas. You want to have a reliable connection that doesn't go down all the time, or take more work than running the marina. It should just work, right?

First comment is that Comcast is a CABLE provider, and doesn't install DSL lines. I'm not sure if you had confused them with your Telephone/Bell company, or not.

Here is a way around the nightmare. Tell Comcast you want to use their system for your marina OFFICE and let them install a cable modem and router there. This connection will stay up most of the time... at least in Ft Lauderdale and here in NH, I have NEVER gone down with Comcast's service.

After you get that installed and working on in your marina office, simply add another wireless router and antenna that will cover the marina area. Ideally place it high up, on the 2nd floor of your building or the roof. You can connect this larger broadcasting unit to your existing office network, which will be using the Comcast cable modem. Technically, it's called creating a subnet, but that's not important.

The important thing is that you don't tell Comcast that you want to have service to everyone in the marina. Just say you want it for the marina office. Once that is up, you can build the wireless part yourself, or better yet... tell some techie who owns a boat in your marina about your problems. He'll leap at the chance to make the wireless connection work 24/7. He will understand how to create the subnet using the wireless router, and you will be good to go!

Then, you can simply add a small fee into everyone's yard bill to cover costs and make a profit. Doing this is so cheap (under $500 to set up, and probably $90/mo), that nobody will notice if you even triple the costs and add it into the slip prices.

Forget all these jerks who are trying to sell you advanced systems at huge costs. They are not delivering anything more than what I just told you to do. They make all their money by overcharging you for something that shouldn't cost more than what I stated above. The reason they are always going out of business is that you can't trick people into paying more for something that is not worth it for long. Their customers end up realizing that they can just do what I said above, and save thousands of $$.

Best of luck, and if you have any questions, please don't hesititate to call on me.

Sean



Quote:
Wahoo Sails once whispered in the wind:
About 9 months ago, we went to a wireless DSL system in this marina. Since then, we have gone through 5 service providers, 3 of which were bought out by the replacing company. I've gotta tell ya ... it's been a nightmare. Seem's that this is a growth industry, and everybody is so caught up in being in on the ground floor ... that they've forgotten that they actually have to be able to provide service! When it works ... it's fantastic ... problem is, it never works for long. Our current provider is pelagic networks, they have been here about 2 1/2 months ... in that time, we have had reasonable service for only about 2 weeks, and then only when we threatened to remove their equipment! Calls to their support department gets a person empty promises that they will "send someone out" ... usually a week or so later. They don't reply to e-mails, and calls to their outsourced billing company sends you straight to voice jail ... with the promise that they will call you back ... which they don't do. We have come to find out that Pelagic has been removed from at least several other marinas ... simply because they have not lived up to their promises. If you get the chance to try WiFi in your marina ... do your best to check out the ISP first!

L S/V Eva Luna
Bob
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Old 24-11-2004, 12:21   #9
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Quote:
Jentine once whispered in the wind:
I have found it simpler to use an "air card" from T-Mobile. I have unlimited internet access anywhere I have cell service. The cost is less than 30 per month and I can use it any where. I use it on the boat, in my car, on a street corner. It eliminates the whims of ISPs. The only draw back is cell service.
Jim Kane
T-Moblie air card is great for being connected all the time, no matter where you are, but it is S-L-O-W. It's useful for email, but I wouldn't want to be stuck surfing the web on one.
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Old 24-11-2004, 13:16   #10
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Just keep in mind that reselling internet connections is probably against the terms and conditions of your comcast contract and would be illegal. But hey, what the telecom companies are doing to customers probably should be illegal. Maybe I'm still a little sore from the money I lost on XO communications a few years ago.

Woody
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Old 24-11-2004, 23:20   #11
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Update.
As suggested by Pelagic, I moved my boat from one end of the marina to the other ... as we are nearly full this time of the year, it took near an act of God, and the calling in of a lot of favors... the results were ... well? No improvement. The best thing I can say for Pelagic is that prior to yesterday (when their system crashed) they had managed to keep it online (albeit with problems) for two weeks straight. One of the locals here has heard of an advertisement for the "do-it-yourself-Wifi" and sent away for the info ... I wish him luck.
Once again, I say, when WiFi is working right, it's great ... problem is the operaters ... don't understand the importance of the service they provide, nor have the necessary capability to maintain their system ... only interested in the quick buck. Would like to see them all go on a long sail in a boat setup just as they do their business ... would change their attitudes in a heartbeat!

L S/V Eva Luna
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Old 16-01-2005, 12:46   #12
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end of the disaster

dear all,
I have been offline since before Christmas ... why? Once again our WiFi provider has been sold, as as soon as Pelagic was bought out ... they gave up any efforts to keep the system running. The new ISP sounds promising ... but I have had ENOUGH ... signed on with Sprint instead ... they should have had me up & running a week ago, but all of my dire predictions of their service have come true ... one snafu after another ... anyhow ... should be back online soon ... looking forward to catching up on all that has been happening on the forum..

L S/V Eva Luna
Bob
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Old 16-01-2005, 16:29   #13
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Re: end of the disaster

Quote:
Wahoo Sails once whispered in the wind:
dear all,
I have been offline since before Christmas ... why? Once again our WiFi provider has been sold, as as soon as Pelagic was bought out ... they gave up any efforts to keep the system running. The new ISP sounds promising ... but I have had ENOUGH ... signed on with Sprint instead ... they should have had me up & running a week ago, but all of my dire predictions of their service have come true ... one snafu after another ... anyhow ... should be back online soon ... looking forward to catching up on all that has been happening on the forum..

L S/V Eva Luna
Bob
I'm telling you Bob... it's easier my way...

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Old 17-01-2005, 06:07   #14
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Air Card

Well, I've been looking at the Air Card too. AT&T seems to have the best coverage in my area and the areas I mostly roam. They claim that it is "High Speed". BUT it's 79.99 per month. Ouch. That is for unlimited full time access. So what is High Speed for an air card? My current cable connection at work (roadrunner)gives me 120KBps. The only answer I get from AT&T is that I can have a thirty day trial and can cancel if not happy with the performance. BTW, the want 299.00 for the card itself too. That is also refundable. Please share your experience if you've had some.

Greg
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Old 17-01-2005, 06:27   #15
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Re: Air Card

Quote:
Greg B once whispered in the wind:
Well, I've been looking at the Air Card too. AT&T seems to have the best coverage in my area and the areas I mostly roam. They claim that it is "High Speed". BUT it's 79.99 per month. Ouch. That is for unlimited full time access. So what is High Speed for an air card? My current cable connection at work (roadrunner)gives me 120KBps. The only answer I get from AT&T is that I can have a thirty day trial and can cancel if not happy with the performance. BTW, the want 299.00 for the card itself too. That is also refundable. Please share your experience if you've had some.

Greg
Hi Greg,

The Air Card (or any data device you use on a cellular network) is significantly slower than a broadband connection, and often times runs much slower than a 56Kbps standard modem (or dialup). They are rated to run UP TO 56Kbps, but in reality they tend to run in the 20-35Kbps range, which for comparison, is half the speed of a standard home modem. This is unbearably slow, but will work great if you want to access email (without attachments) from any port in any major city in the USA and globally. Tmobile is the way to go if you want global coverage, since they are an international company and already have plans in place for that purpose.

To put the RoadRunner (and all other cable modem speeds) into perspective, think of it this way. Just convert everything to Kbps. On one hand you have an Air Card or any of its cellular equivalents running at 20-35Kbps. This will work anywhere in the world there is a signal, but is quite slow. Setting up Road Runner will work only in the area you decide to cover with your own "base station" if you want wireless in a marina or in your house. However, at less than half the price, and a speed of 3Mbps (3000Kbps), it is the clear choice for a local wireless network.

The slowest cable modems today run at 3000Kbps and they run up to about 5000Kbps. That's close to 1000 times faster than the highest rated speed of the Air Card.

However, the choice comes down to choosing between the following:

Do you want a fast connection in a local area, or do you want a very slow connection in many places throughout the world? That is the real difference between the two.

Hope this helps.

Sean
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