Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 05-02-2012, 06:24   #31
Senior Cruiser
 
osirissail's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: A real life Zombie from FL
Boat: Gulfstar 53 - Osiris
Posts: 5,416
Images: 2
Re: Wi-fi on board

The "Bullet" is not the only system out there. The ALFA works just as well or better and the whole set up cost me less than $100. I have put together several of them. But I did use Home Depot cable instead of the higher priced exterior cable. And I have a 2 watt b/g/n system.

As with anything - boat related - how much you can D-I-Y can make a dramatic difference in the dollars needed. It is all a matter of where your talents are - if your time is worth more writing or doing something else, then buying the "plug and play" systems can be a better path than hassling through the mechanical skills needed and don't have in order to D-I-Y. I can't write books, but I can scrounge scraps of this and that and build a boat or whatever else I need and it is fun for me.

The point is there are options for folks wanting "wifi on board" other than the high priced "plug & play kits."
__________________

__________________
osirissail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2012, 09:23   #32
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Wi-fi on board

Quote:
Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
The "Bullet" is not the only system out there. The ALFA works just as well or better and the whole set up cost me less than $100.
I need to point out that you just did a sleight of hand misdirection with your argument. The topic was bullet systems and the relative cost of roll your own vs. a vendor system.

Yes, the Alfa is less expensive, but connects through USB, unable to be permanently mounted, and unable to wirelessly connect multiple devices without resorting to tricks like software sharing through a common computer or buying an expensive router.

IF you were to build equivalent roll your own systems (and leave out the fact that you will still be connecting through USB), then the cost of the Alfa is $35 less than the bullet. If you want wireless connectivity, then the cost of a router suitable to connect the Alfa is far more expensive than a $30 vanilla Belkin. This would make the roll your own Alfa solution more expensive.

Wifi package vendors (regardless of equipment flavor) add a lot of value to most people who want to simply plug in their equipment and get on with things. They provide complete and excellent technical support and warranty service. For this, you will pay ~$80-150 extra, depending on who you buy your wifi solution from. For many, this is well worth the cost and similar to buying a complete computer system rather then building their own from scratch components (do you do this to save money also?).

Mark
__________________

__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2012, 09:45   #33
Senior Cruiser
 
osirissail's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: A real life Zombie from FL
Boat: Gulfstar 53 - Osiris
Posts: 5,416
Images: 2
Re: Wi-fi on board

No sleight of hand intended - the topic is "Re: Wifi on board". And the ALFA can be connected with either USB cables or CAT 5E cables (with adaptor - which is my current incarnation). AND, it is permanently mounted. AND, requires no "tricks" etc. of any sort. It is plug and play - you assemble the parts into a waterproof box, mount it where you want, run the cable to your computer and plug it into your USB or LAN port as appropriate for the cables you are using. That's all.

If you look at the contents of the "plug and play kits" it is not in anyway difficult to put together your own version be it Ubiquiti or ALFA or some other brand.

I am not begrudging those selling "plug and play" but saying that you can purchase on-line all the same parts for much less than the $300 to $400 prices listed by some of the links to "plug and play" - if - you are willing and able to D-I-Y. After all, those buying the expensive "plug and play" are providing a service by contributing to the cruising kitty of the folks selling them who are selling a "service" besides the equipment. That's capitalism.
__________________
osirissail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2012, 09:56   #34
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: New York
Boat: FP, Eleuthera 60
Posts: 280
Images: 4
Re: Wi-fi on board

Quote:
Originally Posted by George Hoskins View Post
How good are the marine wi-fi antennas that I see for sale?

Do you have one that you recommend?

What is the range?

I had one on my last boat, cost me $125 and looked like a piece of wood with some pins sticking out, it only worked in certain harbours and certainly not as well as the makers claimed. However that was 3 years ago. Have they got better?

George
i have the Bitstorm Bad Boy Xtreme and have great results from it, easy to install and excellent support for (like me) not very computer literate. I use it all the time, good range, no problems.
__________________
MIRELOS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2012, 11:12   #35
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Wi-fi on board

Quote:
Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
No sleight of hand intended - the topic is "Re: Wifi on board". And the ALFA can be connected with either USB cables or CAT 5E cables (with adaptor - which is my current incarnation). AND, it is permanently mounted. AND, requires no "tricks" etc. of any sort. It is plug and play - you assemble the parts into a waterproof box, mount it where you want, run the cable to your computer and plug it into your USB or LAN port as appropriate for the cables you are using. That's all.

If you look at the contents of the "plug and play kits" it is not in anyway difficult to put together your own version be it Ubiquiti or ALFA or some other brand.

I am not begrudging those selling "plug and play" but saying that you can purchase on-line all the same parts for much less than the $300 to $400 prices listed by some of the links to "plug and play" - if - you are willing and able to D-I-Y. After all, those buying the expensive "plug and play" are providing a service by contributing to the cruising kitty of the folks selling them who are selling a "service" besides the equipment. That's capitalism.
Assuming ~$20 for a USB-ethernet adapter, then the cost difference between a bullet system and Alfa system is $15. Not very significant.

I agree that the vendor kits are easy to put together oneself (that is what I have done and I am using raw circuit board stuff and not packaged bullets). But to do so oneself, one must know which parts are needed, where to get them, how to hook them up and get them running. And be willing to go without technical support and without reasonable ability of returning for a warranty claim on any component.

I also agree that those vendors selling identical systems for $300-400 are taking a bit too much profit. But for those selling them for under $300, that little extra money for setup, support and warranty can be money well spent for the majority of cruisers.

Just look at how many people in these threads have rolled their own after asking about which parts to buy, had trouble installing and setting them up, and were back on the forum looking for technical support. Amazingly, they often got that support from vendors who did not sell them anything!

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2012, 20:09   #36
Senior Cruiser
 
osirissail's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: A real life Zombie from FL
Boat: Gulfstar 53 - Osiris
Posts: 5,416
Images: 2
Re: Wi-fi on board

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
. . .
Just look at how many people in these threads have rolled their own after asking about which parts to buy, had trouble installing and setting them up, and were back on the forum looking for technical support. Amazingly, they often got that support from vendors who did not sell them anything!
Mark
Seems that maybe we are doing the same thing and the system preference is just a matter of opinion and the luck of the draw.

But anyway, I do agree that there are a lot of folks who are not able to D-I-Y or just don't have the time and inclination so then "plug and play" systems put together by outfits like those in previous links may - may make sense for them.

In many areas of cruising and cruising boats, sometimes engaging "outside" help is the better choice but there is no one rule fits all. As to the folks trying out D-I-Y, I salute them and encourage them learn especially if their objective is to set sail for distant parts of the world where there is no such thing as technical support available.
__________________
osirissail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2012, 21:26   #37
Do… or do not
 
s/v Jedi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: in paradise
Boat: Sundeer 64
Posts: 9,198
Re: Wi-fi on board

The question now is which of the systems discussed will integrate with the autopilot?!

ciao!
Nick.
__________________
s/v Jedi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2012, 04:19   #38
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,751
Quote:
Originally Posted by Multihull
What security issue?

You should guard your devices with security software and a firewall.

The unsecured connection to the rest of the world is not relevant.

Rob
Exactly. No one can see your drives just because you are using an insecure connection. Only if you have no firewall AND have network shared your drives to anyone. I use VPN to connect to my office server. This creates an encrypted SSL channel so no one can read your email, either, even over an insecure WiFi connection.
__________________
"Parce que je suis heureux en mer, et peut-ętre pour sauver mon ame. . . "
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2012, 07:53   #39
Senior Cruiser
 
osirissail's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: A real life Zombie from FL
Boat: Gulfstar 53 - Osiris
Posts: 5,416
Images: 2
Re: Wi-fi on board

Along the lines of wifi systems on board "while you are cruising" rather than as a static live aboard or weekend-type cruiser - there is the question of whether you should go ahead and set up an internal router to distribute your wifi access to more than one computer/lapbook/netbook computer (e.g., yours and your partner/wife/kids).

Those who have actually been cruising, in my experience in the US east coast to Bahamas, and down island in the Caribbean, the speed or throughput or whatever you call it is quite slow/low. IMHO, trying to access the internet by more than one computer via your one on board wifi antenna system slows everything down way too much.

By using D-I-Y and sourcing your own components you can build more than one system for less money than purchasing a single source vendor's "kit." Then each person on board has their own access system that will function at whatever the shore based AP can put out. There was a discussion of this sort of thing in a similar thread on CF - but - I found they were mainly discussing being able to connect to a fully capable AP speedy system. Down Island that is not the case, the shore side AP's are incredibly slow and low "volume." And they go down (cease to function) quite regularly. This makes the "old way" of taking your computer to an internet cafe or "hot spot" still a good option if you have a lot of stuff to upload/download.
__________________
osirissail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2012, 08:32   #40
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Wi-fi on board

Quote:
Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
Those who have actually been cruising, in my experience in the US east coast to Bahamas, and down island in the Caribbean, the speed or throughput or whatever you call it is quite slow/low. IMHO, trying to access the internet by more than one computer via your one on board wifi antenna system slows everything down way too much.
The bandwidth of the systems we are discussing here, along with that of home routers that would be used to distribute the signal on the boat, is far higher than the bandwidth the access points will serve. Whether one connects two individual computers to that access point or two computers through a shared connection will have much of an impact. In fact, if the whole anchorage connected through only a few distribution points, the access would be better.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2012, 09:09   #41
Senior Cruiser
 
osirissail's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: A real life Zombie from FL
Boat: Gulfstar 53 - Osiris
Posts: 5,416
Images: 2
Re: Wi-fi on board

I think there may be a word or two missing from your post . . .

From a practical standpoint the "choke point" is the speed of the slowest component, which is normally the shore-based AP. It would appear to me that if one person on board was downloading continuously a large file (movie or whatever) then the "flow" from the shore-based AP for that computer is at its allowable maximum.

Sort of like a "garden hose" and you are drawing the maximum flow that hose can handle. If you add an additional "nozzle/ teed off hose" to the original hose the new two "nozzles" have to share/split the flow which was previously being drawn by only one "nozzle." Having a different "hose" attached to a different valve/source from the supply would allow full allowed flow down each hose.

AP's down island appear to have "limiters" on them so that a single user can only draw at a certain pre-determined maximum through-put. In real life when we use two separate access antenna systems each of our computers gets faster "service" as compared to tying them together via an on board router.

Practically speaking for most uses the actual amount of through put one computer uses is a fraction of the allowable per unit of time as there is considerable "dead" time while we hunt and peck out a message or email or read what has been downloaded. But in certain instances when doing massive continuous down/up loading one computer is "maxing out" the available allowed throughput.
__________________
osirissail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2012, 09:25   #42
Do… or do not
 
s/v Jedi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: in paradise
Boat: Sundeer 64
Posts: 9,198
Re: Wi-fi on board

It's time to think a bit further than wifi just for Internet access. We need wifi to listen to our music, to watch a movie, to make a backup of our laptops etc. and all that can be done without any Internet link at all. Local (within the boat) speed is crucial for all this and while I type this I am enjoying a blazing 450Mbps 5Ghz link with the Apple TimeCapsule

ciao!
Nick.
__________________
s/v Jedi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2012, 09:40   #43
Marine Service Provider
 
AnchorageGuy's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Wherever the boat is!
Boat: Marine Trader 34DC
Posts: 4,618
Re: Wi-fi on board

Quote:
Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
Along the lines of wifi systems on board "while you are cruising" rather than as a static live aboard or weekend-type cruiser - there is the question of whether you should go ahead and set up an internal router to distribute your wifi access to more than one computer/lapbook/netbook computer (e.g., yours and your partner/wife/kids).

Those who have actually been cruising, in my experience in the US east coast to Bahamas, and down island in the Caribbean, the speed or throughput or whatever you call it is quite slow/low. IMHO, trying to access the internet by more than one computer via your one on board wifi antenna system slows everything down way too much.
We have been using our two wifi setups for years now while cruising the US coast, Bahamas, northern and western Caribbean. Both of our systems were relayed via a Cradlepoint router to two on board computers. At no time have we felt that running through the router or having both computers connected at the same time have had any affect on the speed of the connection. We don't have any scientific method to measure this but turning computers on and off and using the wifi adapter at times without the router have had no significant, or any we could see at all, affect on our connection. We have put these systems together and set them up ourselves. Chuck
__________________
Chesapeake Bay, ICW Hampton Roads To Key West, The Gulf Coast, The Bahamas

The Trawler Beach House
Voyages Of Sea Trek
AnchorageGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2012, 10:08   #44
Registered User
 
particlepat's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 7
Re: Wi-fi on board

My parents have a wifi antenna with a great range. The higher you set the range, the higher the cost of energy. We've been able to get a decent connection from a bar half a mile away while anchored in a bay. Sorry I can't remember what brand it is right off the top of my head.
__________________
particlepat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-02-2012, 10:29   #45
Registered User
 
Highland Fling's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sunny Scotland but sail in the Caribbean
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 461
Posts: 374
Re: Wi-fi on board

Quote:
Originally Posted by svBeBe View Post
I have referred IslandTime PC to a number of cruisers. They all are happy with the results. The owner of Island Time was a cruiser before he was forced to go back land side. See this link: Marine WiFi Systems

Bill

we have an Islandtime WiFi set up now and it works great
__________________

__________________
Now with 600AH of LIFEPO4
kindest regards
David
Highland Fling is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cruising on $500 per Month . . . goprisko General Sailing Forum 3094 24-03-2012 23:32
Wi-fi On Board George Hoskins Fishing, Recreation & Fun 61 11-03-2012 22:57
Foresail Sheets on Cooper 416 hummingway Monohull Sailboats 45 07-03-2012 06:00
Tcdata Folder on 2.5 Mac Release ? sailorF54 OpenCPN 4 06-03-2012 23:47



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 23:33.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.