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Old 15-01-2012, 16:08   #1
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WiFi Problems in the Marina

I can't understand what's wrong but I guess we're not the only ones. I can stand 5 feet from the antenna outside the marina office with my cell phone wifi meter going and get a crappy signal. I go 300 feet away away from it, opposite direction as my boat and it's perfect. Barely a signal on our boat from any of their 3 antennas. I got nailed by att last week because I thought the tv was connected to the marina but it connected to my cell phone instead and used up my data for the month.

Anyway, what can I install in the boat that can work like a wireless router? I need it to pick up the marinas wifi and let our TV, laptop and phones connect to the router. I can't find a single antenna that will work with everything and tried a few of the signal booster mods on youtube. Those were all hopeless. Any ideas?
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Old 15-01-2012, 16:18   #2
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Re: wifi problems in the marina

They have WiFi repeaters that could work.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...peater&x=0&y=0

If you stand too close to a powerful or amplified antenna, your device's antenna can get overwelmed. Think of it like someone is shouting, but you are only two feet away from them. The same thing happens with amplified TV antennas.
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Old 15-01-2012, 16:23   #3
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Re: wifi problems in the marina

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Originally Posted by rrranch View Post
Anyway, what can I install in the boat that can work like a wireless router?
This is one option: The WirieAP: Long Range Boat WiFi and RV WiFi
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Old 15-01-2012, 16:40   #4
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Re: wifi problems in the marina

Thanks. I hadn't heard the term repeater before. That's what I need to get. I hope it works. I go nuts without netflix on the boat. Actually my wife would. If I can't sit down and watch a movie occasionally then I'm spending money on something for the boat.
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Old 15-01-2012, 17:03   #5
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Re: wifi problems in the marina

The signal is sent within a horizontal and vertical range. Standing just next to the antenna (esp. a bit lower/higher) often brings signal drop. You may be at the extreme of the lobe. The same rule applies if the sender antenna is directional or screened (e.g. by walls, furniture, etc.).

The other thing is your receiver may be getting overloaded but it is a wild guess as I have seen this with radio signals but not with wifi signals.

Can you walk into the office and ask them where the antennas are and how they are positioned? Perhaps if there is only one and it is inside, you can get together with some other owners and you could fund an outdoor omni-directional one?

b.
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Old 15-01-2012, 17:37   #6
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Re: wifi problems in the marina

Quote:
Originally Posted by rrranch View Post
Anyway, what can I install in the boat that can work like a wireless router?
Well, you could install a wireless router. Pick one up at Walmart, Home Depot, pretty much anywhere for $30. If you are in a marina with close access points, this will work fine.

If you want to really get connected, try islandtimepc, bitstorm or wirie for a more complete solution.

But many places with access points severely restrain your download speeds for high bandwidth stuff like netflix. If this is the case, then nothing will help you.

Mark
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Old 15-01-2012, 20:19   #7
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Re: wifi problems in the marina

We spent 3.5 years in Corpus Christi Marina, until just a few months ago. What you are experiencing is very typical. Corpus Christi claims to be the first "wireless city" - with free wifi all over town. It just sucks, that's all.

We put in a wifi antenna from Marine PC's & WiFi by IslandTime PC. Bob's support is great, and the product works. well. Once we did this, we had no problems with wifi. BUT... We found the best, consistent and fastest signal we got was from the Bayfront Inn - on shoreline. This connection worked so well and so fast, that all of our neighbors were pissed when we left. They were ALL using our wireless router! Also, unlike the city wifi, you never get logged off for inactivity.
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Old 15-01-2012, 20:30   #8
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Re: wifi problems in the marina

+1 for Islandtime!
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Old 16-01-2012, 08:26   #9
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Re: wifi problems in the marina

We're at the island moorings marina in Port A. I talked to the ladies int eh store and they have a wireless booster I'm going to try. She said I could take it and pay for it if it works or bring it back if it doesn't. That's nice of them. They have three antennas mounted. The store, boat house and one at the restaurant. I can pick up all three signals on our boat but they are really weak. Hopefully the booster works. Then I can try to figure out the TV signal. I have tried three different antennas now both directional and omnidirectional with no luck. All I can get clearly is spanish speaking stations and that is getting kinda irritating. Oh and the shop at home network. English news would be nice.
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Old 16-01-2012, 09:05   #10
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Re: wifi problems in the marina

Quote:
Originally Posted by rrranch View Post
We're at the island moorings marina in Port A. I talked to the ladies int eh store and they have a wireless booster I'm going to try. She said I could take it and pay for it if it works or bring it back if it doesn't. That's nice of them. They have three antennas mounted. The store, boat house and one at the restaurant. I can pick up all three signals on our boat but they are really weak. Hopefully the booster works. Then I can try to figure out the TV signal. I have tried three different antennas now both directional and omnidirectional with no luck. All I can get clearly is spanish speaking stations and that is getting kinda irritating. Oh and the shop at home network. English news would be nice.
Gotcha. I thought you were in CC City Marina.

A long range wifi like the one from islandtimepc.com will solve the problem. It will also allow you to get wifi at anchor in many places (but, not Ingleside - seems like everyone there secures their wifi).

For TV, we have a Slingbox on our DVR at home. So, we watch it over our wifi internet. Anything we get on cable, we get on the boat.

We also use an HDTV antenna that can be hoisted up the mast. We get all of the network channels, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox.

You do have a digital TV or Box right?
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Old 16-01-2012, 10:45   #11
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Re: WiFi Problems in the Marina

This is the one I use and yes, they work really well: Rogue Wave | Wave Wifi, the #1 Name in Marine Wifi, Yacht Wifi, Marina Wifi & Wireless Internet

The only problem with them is that often it's the marina itself with the lousy internet connection. Not a lot of options when that's the problem, except for maybe moving into an area with 4G Sprint as I think that's the only unlimited data mobile option at the moment.
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Old 16-01-2012, 10:48   #12
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Re: WiFi Problems in the Marina

With a good long distance wifi antenna, you can often pick up other wifi spots.
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Old 16-01-2012, 11:23   #13
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Re: WiFi Problems in the Marina

We do have a new hdtv. And a new blueray player with wireless internet for netflix and things like that. The antenna we're using now is a HDTV directional one. I still haven't been frustrated enough to spend the 400 bucks on a quality marine onmidirectional antenna like our neighbor at island moorings has. This one is frustrating. I clamped it to a piece of 1 1/4 pvc and ran that up the port side shroud cable. I have been using a boat hook out of the fwd hatch to turn it but any kind of wind and it's all over the place and can't hold a signal. I need a real one I guess. Something permanently mounted on the mast.
bstreep, you're at island moorings also right? If so, our boat is named Chaser out on the last dock. We sure do love it there. Leaving tonight to go back for about 10 days. Our farm is up in Lubbock. That's where we are right now.
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Old 16-01-2012, 16:54   #14
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Re: WiFi Problems in the Marina

No, we are in City Marina in Port A. End of the transient pier - still hoping for a permanent slip before the end of April.

We use this one in a pinch:

Amazon.com: CLEARSTREAM2 Antenna: Electronics

We put it up on a flag halyard, and use an additional line at a corner to hold it in position. The best part of this antenna is the installation instructions:

"Do not attempt to install if drunk, pregnant, or both
Do not eat antenna
Do not throw antenna at spouse"
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Old 16-01-2012, 20:01   #15
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Re: WiFi Problems in the Marina

Google one of these:
Bene505 Bullet2HP
Bene505 "long range wifi"
There are a number of threads on the Bullet2HP. After all the work to set these up, I'd recommend using a serivce, unless you understand IP addresses.

We hit the marina 1/2 mile away. (I asked nicely and got permission.)

Regards,
Brad
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