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Old 10-08-2016, 10:47   #1
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Cruising IT people

As a cruising programmer who loves sailing as much as programming, I thought it would be a great idea to have a discussion area for folks who participate in the IT world who are also into boats that can be used for cruising.

IT folks work best with clearly defined terms so for the purposes of this thread :

Cruising IT person: You realize that it would be great to be able to work from your boat and you are, or are planning to, work while on the water. ( or on the hard from your boat )

Hardware: Any computer or computer related device used in the process of engaging in any IT related activity.

Software: Anything that runs on the above hardware

Internet Connection: Any type of connection to the actual internet.

Disconnected IT work: Any work that does not require a full time presence on the internet.

Connected IT work: Any work that does require a full time presence on the internet.

VPN connected work: Any work that requires a connection that uses a VPN for security.


So, to start off I will offer up my experience with engaging in programming while disconnected.

For wireless I use a Ubiquiti BULLET-M2-HP Outdoor 802.11b/g M2HP, connected to a Engenius Outdoor High Gain 8dBi Omni Antenna (EAG-2408).

I run this up the mast on my flag pulley rope. Gets about 50 feet off the water and is powered by running 5 volts thru the cat 5 cable that snakes up after it, by using a Ubiquiti Poe-15 15VDC 0.8A Output Power over Ethernet Adapter.


I typically can reach out about 5 to 10 miles and get libraries, coffee shops, marinas, real estate offices.... Most are password protected but some are not, like the public library.

I also have what I call a satellite in a can. ( more like bucket ).
It is a hughesnet satellite dish mounted in a 5 gal bucket. The bottom of the bucket has an inch of concrete holding the satellite pole mount. I fill the bucket with water when I have it positioned where I want it. Basically the bucket has to be perfectly level, on solid ground and pointed south. Then fill with water.

I also have a Cell booster that sits right below wireless receiver on the rope that attaches to the flag runner.

Using the above rigs I can maintain a full time VPN connection while close to shore near a town or at a marina.

Full time in motion Satellite is what I would like to do but I haven't found one that isn't cost prohibitive.

Anybody have any experience with this?
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Old 10-08-2016, 13:06   #2
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Re: Cruising IT people

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Originally Posted by Thorne View Post
I also have a Cell booster that sits right below wireless receiver on the rope that attaches to the flag runner.
Great information. What cell booster are you using and are you pleased with its performance?
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Old 10-08-2016, 14:48   #3
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Re: Cruising IT people

Yes, actually it works ok. ( not perfect, can't beat physics )

I use a Verizon MiFi Jetpack 4620L 4G LTE Hotspot Modem it has a port for an external cell Booster Antenna. ( works great for VPN connections )

The Antenna is a Verizon Wireless Novatel MiFi Jetpack 4620L 4620LE 4G LTE Global Hotspot External Log Periodic yagi antenna

The highest gain is 11DB w/ 30ft cable when you get it set right.

It is not Omni directional.

You have 60 degrees of arch you can pick up a tower in. I have basically a string I use to move/swing it into place. Really only good at anchor but that is when I work, so it works for me.

Please note the Ubiquiti BULLET-M2-HP works GREAT, but, it is NOT a Hardy "leave it up in 50 mph winds" kind of device, especially on a rope.

I run it up "just like a flag" when I am working, it is water resistant so that's no problem, and I leave it up when I'm in one spot for a while with no big weather fronts coming in.

The only other thing I have up the mast is the Cell Booster antenna, it is pretty hardy.

I could mount both on the mast but I'm too old to go up 55 ft and it's pretty expensive to get someone else to do it.
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Old 10-08-2016, 15:15   #4
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Re: Cruising IT people

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thorne View Post
As a cruising programmer who loves sailing as much as programming, I thought it would be a great idea to have a discussion area for folks who participate in the IT world who are also into boats that can be used for cruising.

IT folks work best with clearly defined terms so for the purposes of this thread :

Cruising IT person: You realize that it would be great to be able to work from your boat and you are, or are planning to, work while on the water. ( or on the hard from your boat )

Hardware: Any computer or computer related device used in the process of engaging in any IT related activity.

Software: Anything that runs on the above hardware

Internet Connection: Any type of connection to the actual internet.

Disconnected IT work: Any work that does not require a full time presence on the internet.

Connected IT work: Any work that does require a full time presence on the internet.

VPN connected work: Any work that requires a connection that uses a VPN for security.


So, to start off I will offer up my experience with engaging in programming while disconnected.

For wireless I use a Ubiquiti BULLET-M2-HP Outdoor 802.11b/g M2HP, connected to a Engenius Outdoor High Gain 8dBi Omni Antenna (EAG-2408).

I run this up the mast on my flag pulley rope. Gets about 50 feet off the water and is powered by running 5 volts thru the cat 5 cable that snakes up after it, by using a Ubiquiti Poe-15 15VDC 0.8A Output Power over Ethernet Adapter.


I typically can reach out about 5 to 10 miles and get libraries, coffee shops, marinas, real estate offices.... Most are password protected but some are not, like the public library.

I also have what I call a satellite in a can. ( more like bucket ).
It is a hughesnet satellite dish mounted in a 5 gal bucket. The bottom of the bucket has an inch of concrete holding the satellite pole mount. I fill the bucket with water when I have it positioned where I want it. Basically the bucket has to be perfectly level, on solid ground and pointed south. Then fill with water.

I also have a Cell booster that sits right below wireless receiver on the rope that attaches to the flag runner.

Using the above rigs I can maintain a full time VPN connection while close to shore near a town or at a marina.

Full time in motion Satellite is what I would like to do but I haven't found one that isn't cost prohibitive.

Anybody have any experience with this?
Within the industry myself; out of curiosity, what development do you do?
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Old 10-08-2016, 15:21   #5
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Re: Cruising IT people

I did a lot of research before we bought Neptulink. We will be moving from country to country in our Custom Built Bruce Roberts 370 (40ft overall) and we needed to eliminate the uncertainty of undependable wireless connections, either from marinas, friends vessels, or just trying to hook up onto one nearby (that really is not dependable at all). So we opted for cellphone technology, inserting a sim card into our cel booster and we have had (t'ill now) great success. Regularly we are connected 20nm out from the nearest cel tower unobstructed by mountains and we pay the cel provider for a monthly data package. (Just like at home in Canada but cheaper). It is simply the best out there.
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Old 10-08-2016, 17:16   #6
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Re: Cruising IT people

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Within the industry myself; out of curiosity, what development do you do?
C#., DotNet, JavaScript, angularjs, reactjs, sql server.

Mainly web based "Systems". So internet access is very critical to me.

How about you?
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Old 10-08-2016, 18:01   #7
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Re: Cruising IT people

Sitting in the saloon right now with my laptop on my knees (actually on one of those padded trays*), switching between SQL Server Management Studio and CF

My internet is through a 4G LTE wireless modem connecting to Digicel PNG. Works fine in the marina and cruising around the local reef and islands, but no good if I get further from Port Moresby.

When I head down to Queensland, I switch SIMs on my phone to an Australian one with a data plan and configure my phone as a hotspot.

* One of these:
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Old 10-08-2016, 18:09   #8
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Re: Cruising IT people

Very nice, i do php, javascript, C# and monitoring my sites are critical to my work. I run my net through satellite, bit pricey but have to keep the net connection going.

Sent from my SM-G930P using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 10-08-2016, 18:44   #9
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Re: Cruising IT people

I'm still in the transitional phase, but my office setup is a Linux powered workstation running multiple Windows virtual machines which allows me to switch to any legacy development platform. Over the years I've developed with Delphi, MS Office VBA, Visual Studio, DBase, MS JET, MS SQL Server and Postgresql. I'm currently negotiating to divest my software portfolio because these days it's just too expansive for me to upgrade and manage as a single operator who simply doesn't want to have to work constantly whilst cruising. At this time, I've installed a Netgear 790 4G cellular modem on the boat with an omni directional multi band 3G antenna mounted atop the radome pole for anticipated remote communications. Fortunately I won't need to work exclusively online, so a constant and fast Internet connection isn't absolutely critical in my case. My plan is to use a notebook workstation running Linux with virtual machines similar to my current desktop setup, which has proven an excellent platform. If I can divest most of my Windows based applications, I plan to start playing around with Android development and web based application development using Java and PHP. I'd actually prefer to just write plugins and components rather than anything complex these days which will suit me just fine. If not, I'll focus on converting some of my long in the tooth legacy apps into web based versions.
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Old 10-08-2016, 19:03   #10
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Re: Cruising IT people

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If I can divest most of my Windows based applications, I plan to start playing around with Android development
You may be interested in playing with B4A

https://www.b4x.com/b4a.html

I use it primarily for Android based data capture applications (with SQLite) which then get uploaded to Access, MySQL or SQL Server backends.
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Old 10-08-2016, 19:44   #11
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Re: Cruising IT people

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuM View Post
You may be interested in playing with B4A

https://www.b4x.com/b4a.html

I use it primarily for Android based data capture applications (with SQLite) which then get uploaded to Access, MySQL or SQL Server backends.
Cheers Stu.

I'm having somewhat of a programming hiatus this year forced in part by the recovery process from my illness and in order to rejuvenate my enthusiasm which tends to wane from time to time. Not to mention I'm putting in most days refitting the mighty Firebird! I've been reacquainting myself with Java and PHP coding using Eclipse and then ADT Studio for horsing around with Android development. I do love an IDE with a good WYSIWYG editor though so will make a bookmark of this site and give it a try soon!
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Old 10-08-2016, 19:55   #12
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Re: Cruising IT people

I am a solutions architect now with a lot less hands on programming. I hotspot off both my AT&T phone and a verizon mifi. In the Bahamas I use a standard Wilson phone booster with omni-directional antenna that came with it.

We find less and less useful wi-fi so for work I am almost always on the hotspot.
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Old 10-08-2016, 20:12   #13
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Re: Cruising IT people

C/C++/Java/Python and a lot of writing, Jira, Git, AWS and such. WiFi, AT&T and Digicel network. Email, slack, Google hangout, etc. is actually a lot mor of my day.

Cheers, RickG
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Old 11-08-2016, 01:46   #14
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Re: Cruising IT people

Thorne not sure where you are but some of the greatest IT guys around are sailing the east coat of the usa -- they are the developers of OpenCPN and are always looking for good folks to assist in that little project. and they are great guys

look at OpenCPN and there should be contacts there.
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Old 07-09-2016, 21:34   #15
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Re: Cruising IT people

I work from home on Oracle databases and Linux systems with high end storage and network management thrown in the mix. Goal is to eventually transition to a cruising boat setup. This is doable where I live in San Diego.
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