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Old 13-09-2007, 13:05   #1
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Internet

Thought I would try internet questions again. Has anyone set up their own internet system on their own boat? Would calm anchorages accomodate a RV type internet antenna or does it have to be a true marine antenna with gyroscope. I know lots of marinas in Sea of Cortez have WIFI but would prefer my own system. Marine antennas run $4,000 to $6,000. Would be used on the west coast of Mexico so think reception should be OK.

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Old 13-09-2007, 19:21   #2
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Would be used on the west coast of Mexico so think reception should be OK.
The stability of a small dish seems hoplessly linked to a large wad of cash or a tied to the land stability. If you have to have that much Internet connection need you have too many problems to be a Crusier. It's nice to think you could be but the closer you get to the equator the worse it gets. Elimination of the need is cheaper. Low bandwidth text based Internet is almost universal at cheap prices with SSB or HAM.
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Old 14-09-2007, 10:07   #3
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RV/semi-tractor

There are small cone antenaes for RV/semis-. The only experience I have with them is watching a guy throw it away; apparently it corroded rapidly into uselessness on his motorboat.

If you need the internet, either have the money for/will power to maintain the necessary marine hardware, or give up the cruise. Or, I suppose, spend your time worrying about/desperately seeking internet access.
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Old 14-09-2007, 13:00   #4
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There are small cone antennas for RV/semis-. The only experience I have with them is watching a guy throw it away; apparently it corroded rapidly into uselessness on his motorboat.
Hughes had a dish system for vehicles but it only worked if you were parked with a view to the southern sky. It wasn't cheap. There are self contained units that run on sat lines but they cost a whole lot of money and many $$ per minute in connect time fees. They can deliver voice and 64 Kb of data and work great if you own an oil tanker and need to kick the captain around regularly from the office.
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Old 14-09-2007, 18:08   #5
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Cantenna

I got a cantenna off eBay for sixty bucks. It quadruples the range of the built in wireless adaptor, just plugs into the USB on the computer, has its own driver and a nice little utility to scan for and connect to networks. I have dropped it off the deck into the cabin about 6 times and it is still ticking. It is fairly directional and when swinging on anchor it will lose the signal easily. At a dock it works great. Lots of marinas are offering wireless now, some pay and some free. And a big thank you to all those folks living near the water who have joined the movement to make one great big world wide hotspot by leaving their wireless routers wide open. Thank you thank you.
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Old 14-09-2007, 18:36   #6
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Just a word of warning -- in the US there are places where they will actually prosecute you for using an open wireless connection if you don't have explicit permission. Yes, it sounds (and is) asinine, but those are the choices Americans make when they continue to vote corrupt morons into office (not like I have any strong feelings about that, eh?).

Just a warning.

Also, kind of on the original subject, the last few days I've been scouring the internet looking at all the connectivity options since I make my living via the internet. What I've found has convinced me that I need to "outsource" as much of my business as I can before ever taking off on a boat. I figure I'll get it to the point where getting online once or twice a week from an internet cafe will have to be good enough. Work on stuff while away from shore -- do all the up/downloading while docked.

Broadband connectivity while underway would be nice, but so would a magic wind that's always behind the boat. =:)

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Old 14-09-2007, 18:59   #7
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I am currently using this little device which only has range as good as mobile phone signal, so in most poulated areas of Australia, it'll probably have mobile phone range while on the water.

But it does work a treat, if in an area that it works in.

The cable running to the right is a magnetic antenna, but on the verion I have now, I am not using that, and I have no difference in signal strength

BigPond Next G Wireless Broadband USB Mobile Card Review - Wireless

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Old 15-09-2007, 16:45   #8
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I am glad to see that I am not the only one who would like to get internet, after a few replies to my original question I was beginning to think that you had no right cruising if you like having internet. I will check out some of your suggestions.

Thanks
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Old 15-09-2007, 17:21   #9
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A couple of old threads on the subject.

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...tory-4803.html
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f13/antenna-wifi-8958.html
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Old 16-09-2007, 15:12   #10
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It's all in how you say it...

Sounded to me, Terry, like you were looking for on-demand broadband no matter where you were on the globe. That means satellite. And while there's a new system I just read about which has much cheaper access fees, the entry-level hardware package was $33,000 USD.

If you're just looking for beefed up wifi access, that's an entirely different kettle of fish. I understand some of the new antennae can maintain signal at more than a couple hundred yards. There are several cellular systems allowing faster-than-wifi (some claiming faster than broadband) connections via cellular networks. These systems are proprietary, and not at all universally available; most larger US cities now have one or another service but nowhere near most cities. There are also cellular modems, which of course work with most any cellular network.
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Old 24-09-2007, 15:02   #11
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Blame Al Gore

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Jennings View Post
Just a word of warning -- in the US there are places where they will actually prosecute you for using an open wireless connection if you don't have explicit permission. Yes, it sounds (and is) asinine, but those are the choices Americans make when they continue to vote corrupt morons into office (not like I have any strong feelings about that, eh?).

Just a warning.

Also, kind of on the original subject, the last few days I've been scouring the internet looking at all the connectivity options since I make my living via the internet. What I've found has convinced me that I need to "outsource" as much of my business as I can before ever taking off on a boat. I figure I'll get it to the point where getting online once or twice a week from an internet cafe will have to be good enough. Work on stuff while away from shore -- do all the up/downloading while docked.

Broadband connectivity while underway would be nice, but so would a magic wind that's always behind the boat. =

Jay Jennings
After all he INVENTED the internet.
I use a cell phone modem and a cantenna for wifi
....as for the legality....leaving your door open doesnt mean anyone is free to enter the house.I dont plead innocence as I access wifi where ever I need to.
But I can understand the issue of privacy
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Old 24-09-2007, 15:33   #12
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Saw this in a mag in OZ, but it would seem you can get them in the us as well

Ericsson W25 Fixed Wireless Terminal, 3G Fixed Wireless Terminal, EDGE, UTMS, 3G, Gateway, HSDPA

They were something like $1200 AUD

But then that card above was only $300 AUD


The Ericsson W25 3G Fixed Wireless Terminal provides voice/fax services and high speed broadband internet for marine vessels.

High speed internet services then become available by connecting the W25 to a computer via an ethernet cable, WiFi or the W25's inbuilt four port router. A telephone handset and fax can be connected via the W25's RJ11 ports.

The W25 provides a low cost alternative to satellite communication when a boat is in port or crusing along the coastline.





Dave
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Old 24-09-2007, 17:07   #13
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Check into Sprint/Nextel broadband via cell. They have just added the west coast of Mexico to their network at least as far south as Cabo. (I confirmed this by accident when I emailed my resignation to my old boss in Cabo expecting that he would not read it until he got back to Texas). In any case it may not be a complete solution but it may be an improvement on finding the internet cafe or rare unsecured wifi. Our commercial cost was about $60 per month with no restriction on traffic volume.
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Old 25-09-2007, 12:23   #14
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Though Steve is correct, unauthorized use of wifi is a no no It is similar to what many of us did with signal tone generators in the 60's. Some got busted by the phone company.

I you wish to make a wifi antenna that works and a fun project under $5. Mine works for nearly a mile if I go on the roof. [FONT='Arial','sans-serif']Biquad Antenna Construction .[/FONT]
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Old 25-09-2007, 16:20   #15
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This is covered in the other threads but there is a practice called "war driving" where people drive around and crack APs and yes it is illegal. There are a lot of neat tools in the war drivers kit for an IT professional to use to test the security of his APs. But consider for a second that WIFI internet is not just floating out there like wind. It is broadcast in certain areas by companies who have spent a lot of money to make it available for a subscription and the individuals who pay the fee. Finding and using an open AP without the permission of the owner of the AP and the company providing their service is about the same as climbing the pole and stealing cable. I have an agreement with my ISP not to allow access to outside users or resell the service. If my neighbors kid starts file sharing over my AP then I get pulled into it. I guess that a few years acting as an IT director and a lot more years programming I have a strong negative opinion of people taking access via my networks.
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