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Old 14-02-2017, 14:44   #1
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Boat wide Wi-Fi with surveillance cameras, Internet and Garmin gpsmap 7000 series ch

I think I cracked the code!! For sometime now I have been trying to figure out a network that meets these requirements.

1) Single boat wide wi-fi network that always has same name/connectivity for crew regardless of internet connection. Possible connection options:

a. Connected to marina wi-fi via wi-fi repeater or signal booster
b. Connected to cell phone hotspot
c. Connected via iridium or other option
d. Connected to Garmin GPSMAP via Garmin Helm from any device on boat netwok (ipad or android) wi-fi which has own network with dhcp server and fixed (unchangeable) ip address.
e. Display garmin helm on main salon tv flat screen via internet.
f. Remote monitoring of boat surveillance cameras (inside and out) from anywhere via internet
g. Remote monitoring of temperature and high water via internet

The key seemed to be a relatively new device called the Almond. It is a very simple to setup WiFi range extender with a touch screen.

These devices will run on 12 volts. And my configuration will likely consist of three of these almond devices as well as the Arlo WiFi cameras for both inside and outside the boat.

I will be posting more information later about how I made this happen but for now here are some screenshots and pictures from my configuration. The beauty of this setup is that the cameras and other devices can be set one for the boat wide WiFi and not reconfigured every time you arrive in a new location or connect in via a different internet connection method.

The Almond devices are quite cheap $61 on Amazon one each Each Almond will be configued as follows:

#1. Wi-fi range extender. It will be necessary to reconfigure this one every time I'm in a new port or harbor. The rest should be able to be configured prermanently one time.

#2 Almond wi-fi extender to bring Garmin network to boat wide wifi.

#3 Almond to bring cell wi-fi to boat network.

I have already configured more than half of this already and pretty much tested the rest. Network drawings will follow later.

I also have the Google Chromecast hdmi video adapter ($35) configured on the boat wide wi-fi so that I can Chromecast the Garmin helm from my android phone to the 14" flat panel tv in my main salon.

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Old 14-02-2017, 14:48   #2
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Re: Boat wide Wi-Fi with surveillance cameras, Internet and Garmin gpsmap 7000 serie

I have seen several discussions on this type of thing and I have had it for a while. I have a wave rouge, more expensive, but I don't need 3....
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Old 14-02-2017, 14:58   #3
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Re: Boat wide Wi-Fi with surveillance cameras, Internet and Garmin gpsmap 7000 serie

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Originally Posted by Tkeeth View Post
I have seen several discussions on this type of thing and I have had it for a while. I have a wave rouge, more expensive, but I don't need 3....
I researched your device. It is certainly ideal for long range wi-fi (at an anchorage for example) and I may still add one of these to my boat but currently most of my connections of this sort will be at a marina and the $61 device seems to be quite suitable for that. The other connections that I'm attempting (connect the hotspot from my cell phone, connect the Garmin) really demand more than one range extender. This is where the relative inexpensive Almond really comes into play.
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Old 14-02-2017, 15:03   #4
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Re: Boat wide Wi-Fi with surveillance cameras, Internet and Garmin gpsmap 7000 serie

it may be oversimple, the rouge or any extender with a cheap 40 netgear works fine. I use my cell hotspot to connect to rouge, through the net gear to power 2 roku, laptops, ipad, whatever. I skip the marina net most of the time, its just too slow to stream. The more you build into these things the less reliable they become...I had to make it simple enough for others to use it while i am not there. all my wife has to do is turn on a breaker and the phone...done.
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Old 14-02-2017, 15:11   #5
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Re: Boat wide Wi-Fi with surveillance cameras, Internet and Garmin gpsmap 7000 serie

Interesting, if I understand you, you've configured the Rogue to permanently connect to the cell phone hotspot so if you want to connect to an outside Wifi service you would have to reconfigure it correct? Basically this means you are always burning data on your cell phone.
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Old 14-02-2017, 15:11   #6
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Re: Boat wide Wi-Fi with surveillance cameras, Internet and Garmin gpsmap 7000 serie

This would mean also that when I leave the boat for extended period of time I would have to leave a cell phone behind instead of using the free WiFi at the marina
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Old 14-02-2017, 15:16   #7
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Re: Boat wide Wi-Fi with surveillance cameras, Internet and Garmin gpsmap 7000 serie

I applaud keeping it simple!! To tvat end for your purpose Im pretty certain a single almond along with a Netgear router would suffice. Total under $100. Just to be clear I have absolutely no interest or investment the company or product. Just very impressed with it (low cost and how simple it is to set up) because of the touch screen.
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Old 14-02-2017, 15:28   #8
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Re: Boat wide Wi-Fi with surveillance cameras, Internet and Garmin gpsmap 7000 serie

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This would mean also that when I leave the boat for extended period of time I would have to leave a cell phone behind instead of using the free WiFi at the marina
You can configure more than one connection...

"Unlimited wifi plan" plus i live on my boat, so different usage.
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Old 14-02-2017, 21:33   #9
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Re: Boat wide Wi-Fi with surveillance cameras, Internet and Garmin gpsmap 7000 serie

It's going to be a really interesting learning curve for me to learn how to do these things on this scale, as I am currently doing this kind of work on the superyacht scale.

Our installations usually consist of a Pepwave MAX HD2 (US+EU cell version) for wifi and cellular internet, a Kerio Control Box 3000 for firewalling, a slew of HP 2900 series switches to get everything on board connected, a couple Ruckus 3000 controllers, and as many wireless access points as it takes to blanket a 250' five deck yacht with so much R/F that you get a tan indoors. It all amounts to several tens of thousands of dollars.

My recommendations, however, are to avoid wifi repeaters and boosters. If you can at all run a cable, and then configure the extra wireless access points' SSIDs exactly the same as your primary. This is how wifi is designed to work. The connecting devices should be smart enough to choose the one with the strongest signal. When you're at a large site like a hotel or airport you'll noticed the same SSID exists "everywhere". Typically they're also being managed by a central controller, but not necessarily. Our older installations don't have controllers and all the wireless access points are configured with the same SSIDs and work "as expected".

I'm also curious what kind of performance you're seeing for cellular data and in what regions. A few ships I've been working on went out for sea trials and I/we were able to maintain high speed cellular data as much as 10 miles off shore. That was using my cellphone and a freestanding cellular modem with internal antennas. I wonder what kind of range it could get with an appropriate aerial on the mast.

Our experience with marina wifi is exactly as you described. Everyone gets all excited to have terrestrial internet and get away from high latency / high cost satellite and then they are subjected to a highly oversaturated service and wonder why they went to the cost and trouble of installing a wifi bridge. Though honestly that's mostly to do with 2.4ghz wifi being so noisy that the signal sucks - if you can find 5ghz wifi at a marina or nearby hotel it likely will be MUCH better.
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Old 15-02-2017, 05:09   #10
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Boat wide Wi-Fi with surveillance cameras, Internet and Garmin gpsmap 7000 s...

LoudMusic, Thank you for the reply! I particularly liked your "so much R/F that you get a tan indoors!" I do understand the benefits of access points over range extenders. It turns out that the Almond can actually be configured to work either way but obviously for marina wi-if that is not an option. I've actually been reasonably impressed with the fact that both cameras are working reasonably well while I'm away from my boat at a marina with fairly low uplink speeds.

Regarding cellular and off-shore. I've seen similar connectivity (10 miles but not much more). Interestingly it has not seemed to help to raise the cellular modem up the mast (heck the wifi range could handle the distance). So I'm not certain that you would see much of a difference with a real cellular modem which is certainly a bummer. Personally I'm holding out for the prices on Iridium hotspot to drop in the next year or so thanks to successful SpaceX launches (I think they got 10 new ones up December 2016).

The next addition to the network will be the water sensor from Ammon $40 and indoor/outdoor temperature sensors (also $40) so that I can set rules/alarms to warn me of possible freezing conditions or malfunctioning HVAC system and high water in the bilge.
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Old 15-02-2017, 07:22   #11
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Re: Boat wide Wi-Fi with surveillance cameras, Internet and Garmin gpsmap 7000 serie

Ah, home automation devices on a boat. This is another thing I've been interested in - have you found anyone else that's doing similar work?
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Old 15-02-2017, 07:51   #12
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Re: Boat wide Wi-Fi with surveillance cameras, Internet and Garmin gpsmap 7000 serie

The Almond connects to something called the ZigBee and/or Zwave rf standard for home automation. If you google Almond Securifi and then look for home automation you will see a more complete list of the sensors the device supports.
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Old 15-02-2017, 09:10   #13
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Re: Boat wide Wi-Fi with surveillance cameras, Internet and Garmin gpsmap 7000 serie

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Originally Posted by Lamb Chops View Post
The Almond connects to something called the ZigBee and/or Zwave rf standard for home automation. If you google Almond Securifi and then look for home automation you will see a more complete list of the sensors the device supports.
I have an Almond+ (at home, I'm still trying to WiFi the boat).
They are great, and you will find that you can extend them quite easily, especially if you have a mobile internet USB dongle, you can leave it plugged in to the almond, and have a bullet connected to the WAN network port, so you can connect to marina wifi etc.
Then you can choose your connections.

As far as home automation, I have mine set up with a Nest thermostat and protect, I don't see the thermostat being useful, but the battery protect has a CO sensor on it as well, and the Almond can monitor the status of this.
Combine it with this: Sailing with free hardware | Sailoog and you can have a tweeting boat!
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Old 15-02-2017, 09:34   #14
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Re: Boat wide Wi-Fi with surveillance cameras, Internet and Garmin gpsmap 7000 serie

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamb Chops View Post
I think I cracked the code!! For sometime now I have been trying to figure out a network that meets these requirements.

1) Single boat wide wi-fi network that always has same name/connectivity for crew regardless of internet connection. Possible connection options:

a. Connected to marina wi-fi via wi-fi repeater or signal booster
b. Connected to cell phone hotspot
c. Connected via iridium or other option
d. Connected to Garmin GPSMAP via Garmin Helm from any device on boat netwok (ipad or android) wi-fi which has own network with dhcp server and fixed (unchangeable) ip address.
e. Display garmin helm on main salon tv flat screen via internet.
f. Remote monitoring of boat surveillance cameras (inside and out) from anywhere via internet
g. Remote monitoring of temperature and high water via internet

The key seemed to be a relatively new device called the Almond. It is a very simple to setup WiFi range extender with a touch screen.

These devices will run on 12 volts. And my configuration will likely consist of three of these almond devices as well as the Arlo WiFi cameras for both inside and outside the boat.

I will be posting more information later about how I made this happen but for now here are some screenshots and pictures from my configuration. The beauty of this setup is that the cameras and other devices can be set one for the boat wide WiFi and not reconfigured every time you arrive in a new location or connect in via a different internet connection method.

The Almond devices are quite cheap $61 on Amazon one each Each Almond will be configued as follows:

#1. Wi-fi range extender. It will be necessary to reconfigure this one every time I'm in a new port or harbor. The rest should be able to be configured prermanently one time.

#2 Almond wi-fi extender to bring Garmin network to boat wide wifi.

#3 Almond to bring cell wi-fi to boat network.

I have already configured more than half of this already and pretty much tested the rest. Network drawings will follow later.

I also have the Google Chromecast hdmi video adapter ($35) configured on the boat wide wi-fi so that I can Chromecast the Garmin helm from my android phone to the 14" flat panel tv in my main salon.

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Old 15-02-2017, 11:31   #15
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Re: Boat wide Wi-Fi with surveillance cameras, Internet and Garmin gpsmap 7000 serie

Very interesting thread, thanks for starting it Lamb Chops! I'm particularly interested in how to integrate Garmin chart plotters into the boat's WiFi network. I'd reached out to Garmin, and they said it would not work, but I suspect that was just because they don't officially support it. I have a GPSMAP 1040xs that has its own embedded WiFi, and I'd like to be able to have any device connect to the onboard network and access the Internet or the Garmin without switching networks. If you have any more details on how you achieved this, I'd be most grateful for some pointers.

Regards,
David
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