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Old 21-01-2016, 12:01   #16
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Re: What's your WiFi solution ?

I use a Ubuntu bullet and a wireless antenna I bought from.... somewhere

It hooks into my lowarance ethernet hub with an adapter and the whole shebang gets broadcast wirelessly using a gofree wireless hub. That means I have one wireless network for the boat that I can view instrumentation output as well as get internet.

Internet and the wireless instrumentation can be switched on an off separately as they are on separate breakers

I've put more details here here and here
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Old 21-01-2016, 12:02   #17
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Re: What's your WiFi solution ?

If you travel in the Med as well as the USA and South America if you want the optimum distance you will need 2 systems. I would think it would be best to have an on off switch for each unit.

Here is an EU system that I think will also work in BVI and other non US Caribbean carriers. It has a whopping 30 Kilometer range from boat to land cell tower.

http://www.stelladoradus.com/product/stella-5-band-marine-repeater-for-big-ships/

Here is a dual GSM and WiFi set up that works USA, Caribbean and EU.

http://www.thewirie.com/marine-wifi-3g-product-pro.html#



The Wiriepro:Long Distance WiFi and Worldwide 2G/3G/4G

The Wiriepro*combines the best long range WiFi adapter on the market with a commercial grade 2G/3G/4G router that supports all worldwide data bands. This provides the ultimate flexibility to get on the internet: You can choose between a WiFi connection or a 2G/3G/4G data connection based on what's available at your location.



The Wirie works extremely well - The Wirie took the xG signal 12 miles from the coast. You definitely have a happy customer here."*
- S/V Kingushu (Wiriepro)*
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Old 21-01-2016, 12:06   #18
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Re: What's your WiFi solution ?

I don't know anything at all about ATT unlimited, however I had Verizon unlimited forever, and if I ever want a 4G phone, the unlimited part is gone, I'm only Grandfathered in on 3G. I am talking about if I buy a 4G phone elsewhere now, not if I buy one from Verizon.

Also I believe their contract is to provide you unlimited data, the contract doesn't specify at what speed, it's my experience that Verizon does in fact throttle you, I assume that is true for others too.
My gut feeling is they are huge, I'm nothing, and I think I can make them do anything?
How by talking to the person in their store, or maybe the one on the phone?


Are you stationary? May sound stupid, but maybe you could get cable to a building locally and from there set up your own wireless access point to connect to?
My local cable used to be unlimited, but recently now charges extra for over 300 G, but that's better than the phone guys
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Old 21-01-2016, 12:10   #19
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Re: What's your WiFi solution ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert644 View Post
Thanks for all the responses.

I think I'm going to try and get my Ubiquiti Picostation working first. It seems to me to be basically the same thing as the Bullet, coming from the same company. I have 10' whip extenders on my boat, and I'll just zip tie it to one of those for the time being. When it comes time to sell, I'd like to have a more 'professional' solution, other than some little plastic doodad in a plastic bag ziptied to the end of an old VHF antenna.

I post in another forum, populated by the under 25 crowd, who are know it all experts, and one of them brought up the ATT unlimited wireless plans that a person can buy on ebay for a grand or so.

I have known about these for a long time, and I'm not really taken. Of course the young ones say, 'oh these are good forever and if ATT ever tries to change the unlimited contract you can sue ATT and put them out of business and their friend knows a friend who - - -

But does anyone here have any experience or knowledge about those plans. If I am giving ATT $300-$400 a month anyways, and I pay a grand for one of these plans, after 3 months I'm coming out ahead regardless of what ATT does in the long run.
I gave details of the AT&T unlimited plan in my earlier post. I was one of the first, day one to sign up for the GSM network and was given the lifetime unlimited plan. 10 or more years later I'm still on it. Use data and voice on my Samsung 6+ all day long. Truly unlimited. But I'm not sure how legal the transfer to someone else is. I'm sure ATT&T would cancel if they found you were not the original person on the original contract.
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Old 21-01-2016, 12:39   #20
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Re: What's your WiFi solution ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert644 View Post
It's come to the point where I need to install a better WiFi solution for my needs. Currently I am using ATT for internet, over my cellphone @ $10 USD per GB. I can easily go through this in a day, and $400 - $500/mo bills are things I have seen quite often.

I used to have one of these -

Super USB WiFi Antenna 3 – High Power Long Range 802.11 B G N Wireless > Antennas > WiFi Antennas | C. Crane

And it worked great until I destroyed it's dual plug USB cable. Now I want to install something a little better than zip-tying the above mentioned antenna to one of my VHF masts. I would like to get an antenna and an interior amp. I don't want something like the Bullet -

https://www.ubnt.com/airmax/bulletm/

I need something that goes inside. I live in the PNW and I have no faith in outdoor mounted electronics when the freezing/melting/snow/wind/rain is going on for 6 months straight.

What kind of solutions have you seen or deployed ?
Robert,

We have a Wirie Pro [WiFi and separate Cell data] mounted on our split backstay in Alaska year around. We have yet to experience any issues due to weather/ temps, etc... [but this is the first winter with the device...] It has had everything thrown at it as you describe.

It is also a great performer [We added the external cell antenna- replacing the rubber duck that comes with it- for improved range] and we use it as the central WiFi hub to integrate our other WiFi devices.

We highly recommend the Wirie because the device is solid and the company [soon to be ex-cruisers...] provide excellent tech support if needed.

In case this is helpful.

Cheers!

Bill
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Old 21-01-2016, 13:00   #21
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Re: What's your WiFi solution ?

Since you have the Picostation, go for it.

I installed a Bullet on my last boat. Excellent range if the other party also had professional equipment.
For heavy users I'd suggest something like that.


For occasional use I think a USB network adapter like the ALFA AWUS036 works almost equally well, especially with directional antenna.
That is what I use now. For long distance in good weather I use a long USB extension and put it outside with velcro.

But actually I prefer a beer & free Wifi in a bar.
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Old 21-01-2016, 16:13   #22
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Re: What's your WiFi solution ?

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Originally Posted by sv.threejacks View Post
Karma is a wifi device from LTE cell service. $150 one time fee for the box and 50 bucks a month for 15 GB. There is a pay as you go option as well but I don't have the specifics.
I use exactly this on my boat. It's run through Sprint so service isn't always perfect, but I've always been able to get online. It slows down to 3G on cloudy days sometimes.

It should be said that this kind of service probably won't last much longer. I have a Scratch Mobile phone which was free texting through Sprint and then calls and data on wifi, or pay as you go, and that got cancelled a couple of months ago without warning. I fear the business model of these companies doesn't have a long life because there's people who exploit the service and use a TON of data on them. That's what happened to Scratch anyways.

I love the Karma and hope it lives as long as possible! A bonus to it is if a stranger logs on it credits your account 100mb or $1 depending on your plan.
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Old 21-01-2016, 17:36   #23
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Re: What's your WiFi solution ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
...

That being said, the Bullet is overkill for 90% of the time (oh, but that 10% . . . ).
...
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Old 21-01-2016, 17:40   #24
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Re: What's your WiFi solution ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert644 View Post
It's come to the point where I need to install a better WiFi solution for my needs. Currently I am using ATT for internet, over my cellphone @ $10 USD per GB. I can easily go through this in a day, and $400 - $500/mo bills are things I have seen quite often.
...
More thatn 30GB per month!? And I used to think my consumption was high… Have you thought about limiting your usage a bit, or perhaps locking down those autoplay features? Or, well, the outdoors?
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Old 21-01-2016, 17:49   #25
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Re: What's your WiFi solution ?

I use a 1W Mikrotik Groove, superior to the bullet it but requires above average skills in network programming likely beyond most cruisers. The router currently has 3 WAN inputs;

1. 3G/4G via Three mobile UK the call plan of which can be used in dozens of countries at no extra cost Feel At Home - Phones - Discover - Three
2. External 16dB wifi antenna which has a claimed 5 mile range for picking up free wifi (attached to the Groove)
3. Tooway broadband satellite internet system with fixed dish on a motor (not on gyro) only works when still in harbour

all 3 connections are connected at the same time and the system has been programmed to load balance all connections to work together, or each can be selected independently.

... Fizz
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Old 21-01-2016, 18:08   #26
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Re: What's your WiFi solution ?

We've used a Bullet for years and have had no issues till this year, but 2015 was the year of electronic fails..... Bullet - Depth/Speed/Temp sensor - NMEA183 Wind sensor. Dragging myself slowly to a proprietary manufactures network and NMEA 2000
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Old 21-01-2016, 19:02   #27
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Re: What's your WiFi solution ?

Wow! You guys like to keep things way too simple. My setup consists of 4 devices between the ISP and me.

The setup on the boat is a Bullet Titanium mounted on my radar mount (Questus backstay) and a standard wifi router from Netgear (most of there home stuff is 12v). At my old marina, the bullet would connect to an Optimum Wifi hot spot (local cable company) and the Netgear router gives me a private wifi on the boat for multiple devices.

When I changed marinas, there was a hot spot at the entrance to the marina, but my slip is at the end of its range, and there is a big tree in between us. Even worth the Bullet, I had an extremely unreliable connection at high tide, and none whatsoever at low tide. My friend a few slips away also wanted wifi and the tree is out of the line of sight with the hot spot at his slip. So I created a dockside setup as well. That consists of a Picostation and a Nanostation, and a 24db directional antenna mounted on a pole on the bulkhead. The antenna is connected to the Picostation and is aimed at the hot spot. The Picostation is connected to the Nanostation via cat5, and gets its power through that. The Nanostation's second ethernet port is connected via cat5 in flexible conduit to a dockside electrical box I made. I'm in a town marina so I can not modify or touch the power post. I made a 3 foot power cord to plug into the post. The other end goes into the box which has an outlet inside to plug the PoE adapter for the ubiquity gear on the pole. The other side of the box has a 30A twist-lock outlet that my friend plugs his boat into.

So... Optimum Wifi -> Picostation -> Nanostation -> Bullet -> Netgear -> Amazon Fire TV! Works well enough to stream Netflix most of the time. It's only when there is heavy use of the hot spot that I have to buffer occasionally.


Edit - I had originally put a Hawkings smart repeater on the pole. This does the same as the two Ubiquity devices, but built into one device. It has separate receiving and transmitting radios so as not to half throughput. It worked well when it worked but had a major flaw for my particular setup. In order to expand its wifi network for its wifi only mobile phone service, Cablevision's Optimum Online cable modems now broadcast an Optimum hot spot. That means anyone using their modem with the built in router are a hot spot. The Hawkings repeater worked well enough to pick up about a dozen of these hot spots, but the way Cablevision's wifi network works, channel shifting every 30 minutes, the hawking would lose connection and reconnect to another optimum hot spot with a weaker signal. I switched to Ubiquity because I can lock to a MAC address, so even with channel shifting it would always reconnect to the strongest hot spot. This is only an issue if your trying to connect to an SSID that shows up multiple times.

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Old 21-01-2016, 19:18   #28
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Re: What's your WiFi solution ?

It was a major PIA to get my ubiquiti bullet properly configured, but it has been 100% reliable, and I am not concerned that it is not weatherproof. The trick is figuring out how to configure it so that 1) all devices on my boat (including guest cell phones and tablets) can log on to my boat's network and have seamless internet access, 2) my network is firewall protected, and 3) I can access the bullet from inside (inside both my network and my boat, without needing to physically access the bullet or any other network hardware.

The problem I have is that free hotspots are note easy to find, so I mostly use it to get on to my YC's network.

I used to have cellular data access through Clear -- $50/mo, no contract, no activation (so I could turn it on and off to suit my needs) for unlimited data. Unfortunately, Sprint shut that down after its acquisition of Clear, so I am looking for a good pre-paid service that offers the same flexibility.
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Old 21-01-2016, 21:07   #29
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Re: What's your WiFi solution ?

thanks for all the great responses. The Ubiquiti picostation sure has turned out to be a real pain to configure. The Mikrotik equipment sure looks interesting and has a nice price point as well.

RouterBoard.com : Products

I think I'll get this Picostation going in a couple days, and hoist it up to end of one of my whip extensions, and see what I can pull in. Buying someone else's unlimited ATT data plan just sounds so sketchy, even if it isn't. But it would be nice to be true !
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Old 22-01-2016, 02:33   #30
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Re: What's your WiFi solution ?

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Originally Posted by robert644 View Post
The Ubiquiti picostation sure has turned out to be a real pain to configure. The Mikrotik equipment sure looks interesting and has a nice price point as well.
If you think Ubiquiti is difficult to configure, you'll get a nosebleed with Mikrotik. The advantage is you can make a Mikrotik router do almost whatever you want, but the disadvantage is it requires more than the typical enthusiast's knowledge to get anything other than the most basic function.

As for weather proofing my Groove has been attached to my boat withstanding the UK weather for 3 years and has never had a problem.

Good luck ... Fizz
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