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Old 09-01-2024, 08:55   #31
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Re: Mobile phone router?

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Originally Posted by Brendan View Post
on my boat, I've just recently completed the install of:
1) a Peplink 5G Dome Pro (with one cellular modem and two wifi as WAN transmitters), placed on the mast-head, on a custom mast-cap ss plate. This is powered over PoE.
2) a Peplink SIM injector mini, at the nav desk.
3) a Peplink PoE Switch at the nav desk, running off a 12vDC to 48vDC transformer
4) a Peplink Balance Two Router, with the 5G dome connected via a virtual WAN port via the PoE Switch.
5) a Starlink Flat High Performance (not using the Starlink Router) into one of the WAN ports on the Peplink Balance Two Router.
6) two Peoplink One Wifi Access Points inside the boat.

The above works well, but managing SIMs in the Peplink set-up is a bit tricky - they can't have SIM PINs on them, and the Peplink hardware/software won't receive or display any SMS messages from the cellular network providers, eg. when you hit their "fair use" data limit etc. Starlink is simpler and more robust in terms of connectivity, but is power hungry and much more expensive than buying a local pre-paid data sim. I just picked up a Vodafone pre-paid Data sim here in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria for €34 for 150 GB. Compare that with £247 a month for 50GB of Starlink "priority" data - but of course Starlink works at sea - which is why one needs a local SIM / cellular set up to preserve that Starlink data for at-sea connectivity.

In Europe at least, Starlink data is unlimited if you are in harbor or in coastal waters. The 50GB per month is only when you're in international waters.


I've about come to the conclusion that SailCrazy (or whoever it was) is right. €2.8k for hardware is not more expensive than the whole Peplink installation. Seems like Starlink is the way to go.
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Old 09-01-2024, 09:25   #32
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Re: Mobile phone router?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
In Europe at least, Starlink data is unlimited if you are in harbor or in coastal waters. The 50GB per month is only when you're in international waters.


I've about come to the conclusion that SailCrazy (or whoever it was) is right. €2.8k for hardware is not more expensive than the whole Peplink installation. Seems like Starlink is the way to go.
Depends on whether you can handle a few seconds of drop on a video call. If yes, starlink should be fine, and maybe a mifi backup.

If you’re in a case like us, working from the boat, and not having to make excuses for your internet cutting out, you might need a more advanced setup.

We are in Daytona Florida at the moment and last night starlink (high power dish) dropped to 3mbps down for about a minute. I was too slow on the draw to take a screenshot. But slowdowns happen pretty regularly. Barely noticeable if you’re not on a video call, though.
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Old 09-01-2024, 13:32   #33
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Re: Mobile phone router?

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Originally Posted by SV Confianza View Post
Depends on whether you can handle a few seconds of drop on a video call. If yes, starlink should be fine, and maybe a mifi backup.

If you’re in a case like us, working from the boat, and not having to make excuses for your internet cutting out, you might need a more advanced setup.

We are in Daytona Florida at the moment and last night starlink (high power dish) dropped to 3mbps down for about a minute. I was too slow on the draw to take a screenshot. But slowdowns happen pretty regularly. Barely noticeable if you’re not on a video call, though.

Yeah, the use case is called "yachtdesking". Regular business Zoom and Teams calls. But 3mbs is enough for audio, and audio only is ok once in a while.


Showing my age, I know, but in the old days, an E1 line was 2mbs, and was considered a ton of bandwidth, enough to run a big office. T1 was 1.6mbs IIRC.
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We must have a turn together . . . . I undress . . . . hurry me out of sight of the land,
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Dash me with amorous wet . . . . I can repay you."
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Old 09-01-2024, 21:10   #34
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Re: Mobile phone router?

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Originally Posted by SV Confianza View Post
Depends on whether you can handle a few seconds of drop on a video call. If yes, starlink should be fine, and maybe a mifi backup.

If you’re in a case like us, working from the boat, and not having to make excuses for your internet cutting out, you might need a more advanced setup.

We are in Daytona Florida at the moment and last night starlink (high power dish) dropped to 3mbps down for about a minute. I was too slow on the draw to take a screenshot. But slowdowns happen pretty regularly. Barely noticeable if you’re not on a video call, though.
Some people run two regular Starlink dishes/services in parallel with a router that has failover. Apparently that overcomes the Starlink dropouts as the independent dishes do not drop out at the same time.

Any satellite service will suffer during heavy rain, so that’s a consideration too. If you cruise where there’s good mobile coverage then a good, boosted, mobile router and antenna is adequate.

But come to the South Pacific and SE Asia and marine mobile coverage is too spotty to work if you want or need full time high speed coverage. That includes the populated coasts of New Zealand and Australia. Once we got Starlink there was just no need to continue paying for a data sim.
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Old 10-01-2024, 17:35   #35
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Re: Mobile phone router?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Yeah, the use case is called "yachtdesking". Regular business Zoom and Teams calls. But 3mbs is enough for audio, and audio only is ok once in a while.


Showing my age, I know, but in the old days, an E1 line was 2mbs, and was considered a ton of bandwidth, enough to run a big office. T1 was 1.6mbs IIRC.
Yeah I think “Yachtdesking” might be a little too pretentious for my vocabulary. Ill stick to Work from Boat haha.
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Old 10-01-2024, 17:37   #36
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Re: Mobile phone router?

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Originally Posted by fxykty View Post
Some people run two regular Starlink dishes/services in parallel with a router that has failover. Apparently that overcomes the Starlink dropouts as the independent dishes do not drop out at the same time.

Any satellite service will suffer during heavy rain, so that’s a consideration too. If you cruise where there’s good mobile coverage then a good, boosted, mobile router and antenna is adequate.

But come to the South Pacific and SE Asia and marine mobile coverage is too spotty to work if you want or need full time high speed coverage. That includes the populated coasts of New Zealand and Australia. Once we got Starlink there was just no need to continue paying for a data sim.
Yeah I can see that making sense for areas that just don’t have much in the way reliable 4-5g cell carriers. I have the high power dish now, and considering adding another regular dish to do some comparison tests.
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Old 11-01-2024, 09:08   #37
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Re: Mobile phone router?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV Confianza View Post
Yeah I think “Yachtdesking” might be a little too pretentious for my vocabulary. Ill stick to Work from Boat haha.

Same difference!


"Yachtdesking" is a joke, at least among my circle of "work from the boat" friends. Even though one of them has a 100 foot motor yacht
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"You sea! I resign myself to you also . . . . I guess what you mean,
I behold from the beach your crooked inviting fingers,
I believe you refuse to go back without feeling of me;
We must have a turn together . . . . I undress . . . . hurry me out of sight of the land,
Cushion me soft . . . . rock me in billowy drowse,
Dash me with amorous wet . . . . I can repay you."
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Old 11-01-2024, 10:50   #38
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Re: Mobile phone router?

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Yes, I have an old Wilson (now WeBoost) booster aboard with an external pig tail antenna that I hoist in the rigging. It then attaches to a router which uses a celluar modem that will take a local SIM chip. Helps significantly in areas of weak signal. However sometimes the signal is just too crappy to use and you are just boosting noise.

Ive seen some cruisers put their cell phone in a plastic jar and hoist it into the rigging.
Yes, this.
Router is not 5he correct name, it is a BI-DIRECTIONAL AMPLIFIER.

The antenna receives a signal on X frequency and then retransmits an amplified signal on the exact same frequency. The trick is to assure the outdoor and indoor antennas do not talk to one another, that they are isolated.

Running the outdoor antenna up the most is good. But you really want a decent omni-directional antenna that can work without a ground plane. They can be had but do not come with the WeBoost kit.

At best you will get the sam3 signal indoors as you get at the antenna.

We have 2, one for our boat and one for the hunting cabin.
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Old 11-01-2024, 22:02   #39
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Re: Mobile phone router?

The problem with boosters is that they’re only one antenna. Modern speeds require MIMO (multiple in multiple out), which requires multiple antennas.

If you need video quality internet, it’s all but unachievable with a single antenna.
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Old 11-01-2024, 22:21   #40
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Re: Mobile phone router?

Well some of what you say is true.. Boosters have issues and MIMO isn't the only one.. but first, video quality Internet requires about 3-4mbps, which you can get with an old Cat3 4G-LTE Modem with 1 antenna. You don't need the fastest modems and MIMO, etc for video quality speeds.

Of course alot depends on what the definition of "video quality" is.. two-way Zoom? SD or HD? Netflix? SD, HD, 4K? Youtube? ProRes 4K full frame? There's a huge range.

But modern LTE/LTE-A/5G modems have 2-4 antennas (2x1, 2x2, 4x2, or 4x4 MIMO) which certainly improve speed immensely as well as signal quality. Most 5G modems expect 4 antennas. LTE and LTE-A can work on one antenna even if the modem supports 2 or 4.

Cellular Boosters operate on a single antenna and effectively break MIMO, however, they also only support the common 700, 800/850, 1700/2100, 1800/1900 Mhz frequencies that have been in use since 4G was launched. Many 5G signals are on 2500Mhz, 600Mhz, 3500Mhz, etc (in addition to the old common ones listed above) and as such the vast majority of the time your phone or modem will use frequencies that aren't supported by the booster.

Nowadays, Cellular Boosters help primarily in the edge cases where you've travelled far enough from shore that the non-boosted frequencies are no longer strong enough and the phone/modem is searching for lower priority signals and finally see one or more of the boosted signals. So it extends your range, albiet with limited frequency bands to choose from and hampered MIMO. At some point a bit further out than that, the signal is no longer strong enough for the booster to do anything and then you lose your signal entirely.

So all in all, if your goal is to get the most "range" at any cost, a booster can help, but in practice we find that the masthead mounted HD1 Dome Pro (5G, MIMO) antenna provides the best performance both close in and AT distance because it provides support for all 20+ 4G-LTE (Cat20) and 5G frequency bands, eliminates antenna cable signal loss entirely, provides full 4x4 MIMO, and allows for the antennas to be at the maximum height to get over obstacles like hills, trees, etc.

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Originally Posted by SV Confianza View Post
The problem with boosters is that they’re only one antenna. Modern speeds require MIMO (multiple in multiple out), which requires multiple antennas.

If you need video quality internet, it’s all but unachievable with a single antenna.
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Old 13-01-2024, 07:36   #41
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Re: Mobile phone router?

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Well some of what you say is true.. Boosters have issues and MIMO isn't the only one.. but first, video quality Internet requires about 3-4mbps, which you can get with an old Cat3 4G-LTE Modem with 1 antenna. You don't need the fastest modems and MIMO, etc for video quality speeds.

Of course alot depends on what the definition of "video quality" is.. two-way Zoom? SD or HD? Netflix? SD, HD, 4K? Youtube? ProRes 4K full frame? There's a huge range.

But modern LTE/LTE-A/5G modems have 2-4 antennas (2x1, 2x2, 4x2, or 4x4 MIMO) which certainly improve speed immensely as well as signal quality. Most 5G modems expect 4 antennas. LTE and LTE-A can work on one antenna even if the modem supports 2 or 4.

Cellular Boosters operate on a single antenna and effectively break MIMO, however, they also only support the common 700, 800/850, 1700/2100, 1800/1900 Mhz frequencies that have been in use since 4G was launched. Many 5G signals are on 2500Mhz, 600Mhz, 3500Mhz, etc (in addition to the old common ones listed above) and as such the vast majority of the time your phone or modem will use frequencies that aren't supported by the booster.

Nowadays, Cellular Boosters help primarily in the edge cases where you've travelled far enough from shore that the non-boosted frequencies are no longer strong enough and the phone/modem is searching for lower priority signals and finally see one or more of the boosted signals. So it extends your range, albiet with limited frequency bands to choose from and hampered MIMO. At some point a bit further out than that, the signal is no longer strong enough for the booster to do anything and then you lose your signal entirely.

So all in all, if your goal is to get the most "range" at any cost, a booster can help, but in practice we find that the masthead mounted HD1 Dome Pro (5G, MIMO) antenna provides the best performance both close in and AT distance because it provides support for all 20+ 4G-LTE (Cat20) and 5G frequency bands, eliminates antenna cable signal loss entirely, provides full 4x4 MIMO, and allows for the antennas to be at the maximum height to get over obstacles like hills, trees, etc.
Yes I was trying to keep my response a bit more simple haha. But thanks for adding a good explanation here.

For boosters, I think I remember seabits or mobile resource center doing a side by side test that showed a good Mimo antenna is almost always better than a booster. The multiple antennas increases the likelihood of picking something up, even if not boosted.

I am jealous of your Dome Pro. In our current iteration of our system, I’m using poynting antennas, and I’ve unfortunately partially blocked them with a solar arch.

My problem with the Dome Pro is how expensive it is. We try to keep our system modular so we can stay up to date every couple of years. A $2,800 component makes that a tough pill to swallow, unless money is no object.

I just upgraded our Max Transit this year to the Max Br1 5g pro, only to find out that they planned to upgrade to the x62 chip on that model 4 months after I bought it. I now have the old one without carrier aggregation.

I think in my next set up, I’m going to split off the cellular modem from the router.

Now that I think about it, the new antennas from poynting are getting quite expensive, and then add a separate modem, and the dome doesn’t look quite so bad…
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Old 13-01-2024, 07:46   #42
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Re: Mobile phone router?

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Originally Posted by SV Confianza View Post
...

My problem with the Dome Pro is how expensive it is. We try to keep our system modular so we can stay up to date every couple of years. A $2,800 component makes that a tough pill to swallow, unless money is no object.
You can always do a DIY dome. https://onboardwireless.com/Build-yo...eries_b_9.html

I was going to go this route, but the Admiral did not approve of the look. I was also worried about the heat. Doug is based in the PNW, and we're on the east coast and south where it gets much hotter during the summer.
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Old 13-01-2024, 08:46   #43
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Re: Mobile phone router?

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Originally Posted by SV Confianza View Post
Yes I was trying to keep my response a bit more simple haha. But thanks for adding a good explanation here.

For boosters, I think I remember seabits or mobile resource center doing a side by side test that showed a good Mimo antenna is almost always better than a booster. The multiple antennas increases the likelihood of picking something up, even if not boosted.

I am jealous of your Dome Pro. In our current iteration of our system, I’m using poynting antennas, and I’ve unfortunately partially blocked them with a solar arch.

My problem with the Dome Pro is how expensive it is. We try to keep our system modular so we can stay up to date every couple of years. A $2,800 component makes that a tough pill to swallow, unless money is no object.

I just upgraded our Max Transit this year to the Max Br1 5g pro, only to find out that they planned to upgrade to the x62 chip on that model 4 months after I bought it. I now have the old one without carrier aggregation.

I think in my next set up, I’m going to split off the cellular modem from the router.

Now that I think about it, the new antennas from poynting are getting quite expensive, and then add a separate modem, and the dome doesn’t look quite so bad…
Forgot to mention too that we’re seeing more and more towers not responding past a certain distance. We’ll have plenty of signal strength, but no internet. Happens offshore quite a bit now. So that’s another case why boosters are losing usefulness.
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Old 13-01-2024, 08:50   #44
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Re: Mobile phone router?

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You can always do a DIY dome. https://onboardwireless.com/Build-yo...eries_b_9.html

I was going to go this route, but the Admiral did not approve of the look. I was also worried about the heat. Doug is based in the PNW, and we're on the east coast and south where it gets much hotter during the summer.
Ooo nice thanks for the link. Interesting idea.

I broke up with my max transit, so I would try another modem, but still pretty interesting. The processor on the max transit is just too underpowered. A few devices on video calls concurrently using speed fusion would grind it to a halt.

Might be right about the heat too without ventilation for the modem.
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Old 13-01-2024, 08:57   #45
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Re: Mobile phone router?

I use a Peplink router in combination with a Parsec Husky antenna. It has worked great in the temporary configuration I’ve been using for almost a year (basically just on deck) but will soon be up on a pole aft (about 9 feet above the waterline)
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