Originally Posted by JeanJeff
The last time I cruised the Caribbean
, 13 years ago, I would just find an internet cafe whenever I could, but I imagine the options have changed since then.
I would recommend a multi-tiered approach. You can get a so-called NAS (basically a network attached hard disk) cheaply, which you can load up shoreside with anything you expect to need, reference books
Due to moving frequenctly in Hongkers (though not on the water) I have learned the value of not having tons of DVD's, books
Instead I have a 9 Terabyte Diskpack with RAID5. You can then install a wifi router etc. and you have your own local network. This can handle anything you expect to need, including tons of ripped movies, downloaded TV series, Music
, reference book, curiculum etc.
situation is a bit questionable on some stuff, but such a local "internet cache" is great. Plus you control what is going on, so you know what is on your "BWW - Boat Wide Web".
Sure works for me. I started out in the mid oughties on a 1TB drive, I never delete stuff, I just upgrade the Harddrive solution every other year. I am sure you could get a truely waterproof enclosure for this, with external heat-exchanger for cooling
, so it should even survive a flooded boat.
What is more cool, if you have a shore-base, you can have an equal system there, which you can remote
connect to and get it to pull new stuff, which gets synched up, once you are back in civilisation, on some form of fast network. Imagine pulling into port and have your systems auto connect and pull the latest episodes of your fav TV shows from the shore based data crypt....
Which brings us to the next point. While all my HK Midelevel flats had (of course) wired internet, I tend to go to remote parts
of Hongkers for holidays, renting
of Air'B'n'B. There you usually find cellphone sticks inserted into the router. The Network is slower than wired, but usable. There are also those personal hotspots, battery
powered which are great for excursions ashore, of course they can also be linked into a wifi network.
So, you have a lot of content you take along (just like food
etc.) and you can get onto the local Cellphone Network, where available.
This leaves staying in touch with shore when you are far enough off-land that even with boosters and special aerials (which you should probably have) you cannot get decent cell signal.
I guess back to shortwave and a 2.4K modem
speed (heck, I remember hacking phone companies and even the Pentagon on acoustic couplers that did even less).
Set clients apps right and dowload text only. It may be time for a mail collector and re-server app on the BWW, routers these days should handle it. That way you wake up and have all the e-mails you tried to get away from in the first place by going cruising waiting for you in the morning. Ain't that swell (someone shoot me, please)?
I'd say router, disk pack, casing to avoid moisture ingress etc. to make a boat network should fit the space of a 19" rack, say 430mm X 132mm or less.
More fun stuff, you can jack wireless cameras (docking?, security
?) and all sorts of sensors (bilge water
?) etc. into such a wifi network (it usually has slots for 255 conneted devices) and have the server ring your smartphone if something is up.
I know all this goes against "simple systems", but sometimes more complex means more simple. A "on demand" wifi based bilge water
sensor can last for ages on a duracell and self report for battery
change.If it gets wet you can wake up and manually pump if you must or turn on the engine
to seriously pump if you have a major leak. Think of it as a modern style Smoke Detector.
So anyway, I would suggest to:
One - take as much data as you can handle and think to need on a waterproof platform that is low power
Two - have cell modems available to jack into your network so you get shorebased Cell, have boosters etc. so you gget ul bars way off shore (this kiind of system may be illegal to use shoreside).
Three - have radio
modem for when you are far off shore (or don't so you have an excuse to be out of touch for a while).