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Old 05-27-2017, 10:21 AM   #1
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WiFi Extender and Optimizer/Repeater

Hi Guys:

I installed a RedPort Halo antenna and optimizer and haven't been thrilled with it's performance. I am looking into a Hawking "building to building" antenna/repeater but don't want to make a mistake a second time.

Please share your experiences and what's working for you. Thanks.

Jim

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Old 05-27-2017, 10:40 AM   #2
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Last year we upgraded and added an IslandTime Wifi extender. One of the reasons were we wanted an antenna that also had the 5.8Ghz band. The 5.8GHz band doesn't have the range but is less crowded than the 2.4Ghz band. The marina we're in now, broadcasts on both bands and the speed/connectivity is superior on the 5.8 GHz. We had the "Bullet" before which as ok but only had the 2.4 GHz band.

Here's an article discusiiong the differet bands. It's for routers but is applicable for our system:

5 Pros and Cons to 5 GHz Wi-Fi Routers

The Island Time system we bought has the Mikrotik Groove 52HPn Dual Band High Gain antenna 2.4/5.8Ghz, 7/8dbi

Marine WiFi Systems
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Old 05-27-2017, 01:33 PM   #3
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We have the same Microtik based extender from Island Time and have been using it for going on 3 years now. It's been great, provided of course there is good available wifi to begin with. And 5ghz is indeed an improvement over 2.4ghz, so well worth having. And I've been very happy with Island Time for going on 8 years now. The products are well packaged, include excellent support, and are reasonably priced.
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Old 05-27-2017, 07:56 PM   #4
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I'm using a Hawking Technology Wireless - AC Range Extender/AP (HW7ACX) . 12V power source, seems to have good range, easy to set up.
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Old 05-27-2017, 08:19 PM   #5
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I also bought a mikrotik as well as a mikrotik router that works directly on 12V (direct from Mikrotik) but still need to find time to install it so cannot testimony on the performance. Only thing I can say is that the antenna and antenna receiver are very well built and the router is very small which is nice to be able to fit it somewhere.

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Old 06-09-2017, 12:45 PM   #6
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I have used Ubiquiti Bullets over the past years and learned to hate them. My experience, though it may be different than that of others is that Bullets only last for so long until the "brick!" Further, user assistance is poor.

So a couple of years ago I ventured into Mikrotik's Groove 52HPN router. It became a challenge to get it to function so I put it aside until a couple of weeks ago. Another pain in you know where

I never got it to work, I had too many fights with WinNet which sometimes would not allow access to the Groove. But my many attempts made me familiar with the beast leading me to believe that it is best used in a permanent installation such as a bridge. Here is the problem...at least for me. Every time one wants to change the WIFI source, a site survey is required as one would expect. That in itself should not be an exercise in frustration but frustration occurs every time the WinNet tool has to open the device. And you must open the Groove or you cannot do the survey. If I were able to reliably get the Groove to work, it would have been connected to the same 15db omni-directional antenna that once shared service with my old Bullets.

Last night I put in place a new plan of attack to solve this *&^%$ problem! I ordered a Linksys AC1200 RE6500 range extender. My plan is to attach the 6500 to my 15db antenna using an adapter cable to marry the antenna's Type N connector to the 6500's SMA connector. I will not have any performance results until I get delivery of the 6500.

While at it, there is an uncertainty here that I have not had time to research although I intend to move forward in any case. That uncertainty relates to how an extender can receive a signal and at the same time amplify and re-transmit it. My guess is that one of the two antennae is used to receive while the other is to broadcast. I don't think this is going to be a problem.

Site surveys of course are needed with the 6500 but they should be much easier to do. My plan is to have an eithernet cable running between the extender and a laptop to access the site survey function and rely on whatever antenna that does the broadcasting to provide onboard WIFI.

The beauty of being able to do site surveys is it will allow me to access particular channels rather than the strongest channel from any site. Too many frustrating times have we had strong WIFI signals at our marina but have no access to the the internet. I am hoping being able to select channels along with bands will overcome this obstacle. More later---
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Old 06-10-2017, 12:40 AM   #7
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I've been using Wave WiFi equipment for years on several different boats and I've never been disappointed.
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Old 06-10-2017, 06:59 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Capt.Bill11 View Post
I've been using Wave WiFi equipment for years on several different boats and I've never been disappointed.

Yes, and others have used Ubiquiti's bullets for years without problems. Mine eventually bricked. There comes a time when one has to cut bait and fish elsewhere.
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Old 06-10-2017, 07:37 AM   #9
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I think it's safe to say that any router that is wifi will fall in time. Ubiquiti has a sold reputation in the industry for it's robustness.
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Old 06-10-2017, 09:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfelds View Post
Hi Guys:

I installed a RedPort Halo antenna and optimizer and haven't been thrilled with it's performance. I am looking into a Hawking "building to building" antenna/repeater but don't want to make a mistake a second time.

Please share your experiences and what's working for you. Thanks.

Jim

Jim Felds
MV Kokomo
48 Hatteras LRC
Lying in Fort Lauderdale, FL
We have been using the Redport Halo for a year and have no complaints with its performance. What don't you like about it?
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Old 06-10-2017, 11:55 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by mbevins View Post
I think it's safe to say that any router that is wifi will fall in time. Ubiquiti has a sold reputation in the industry for it's robustness.

Sure, no argument here. A building to building application, be it a Bullet or Groove could last for many years without issues. My belief is that other applications such as on boats or RVs may subject them to higher failure rates. That is because they must be "opened" by software of course whenever an IP's source or channel is changed.

Am anxious to see how Linksys's range extender works out for me especially with a 15db omnidirectional antenna attached.

EDIT: I already have the 15db antenna and purchased the extender new on EBay for $35 +$9 shipping. So if for any reason this approach fails, not many bucks are at stake.
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Old 06-13-2017, 10:04 PM   #12
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I've been happy with my 2015-era Bullet M2. Today, the harbormaster in Ketchikan told me that KPU's internet service wasn't good in the harbor, but I'm picking it up fine. EnGenius antenna, POE adapter, apple airport, all run off of a dedicated 400w true sine inverter. I'm a nerd, though, so setup was easy for me. Just one opinion.
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Old 06-14-2017, 06:19 AM   #13
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I started using Bullets around 2006-7. One was replaced under warranty after bricking. Later the repaired unit failed after warranty expired and I purchased a second. That unit failed, again a brick about 3 years ago. When the Bullet worked, it worked fine. Just my experience
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Old 06-14-2017, 06:24 AM   #14
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Have used Ubiquiti's Bullet for years. Tricky software. Have not run into the 5.8GHz band where we cruise.
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Old 06-14-2017, 10:27 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Bay Pelican View Post
Have used Ubiquiti's Bullet for years. Tricky software. Have not run into the 5.8GHz band where we cruise.

Unless you have a Bullet that supports 5ghz, you will never know whether there is 5ghz service available.
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Old 06-14-2017, 10:52 AM   #16
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Some laptops have duel Wi-Fi capabilities and you can pick the frequency. If not, you can buy for less than $25, a duel band, USB, WiFi adaptor. People at the marina we're in now are using them. A lot of the complaints about the crappy wifi have died down. After asking around I can't say one brand is any better than the other so do your research but here are a couple of options.

https://www.amazon.com/ANEWKODI-600M...S9AXCN2Y675S72

EDIMAX - Wireless Adapters - AC600 Dual-Band - AC600 Wi-Fi Dual-Band High Gain USB Adapter
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