Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-22-2012, 11:42 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
freshalaska's Avatar
 
City: Skagway Alaska
Country: Skagway Alaska and the Philippines
Vessel Name: Nowitna and Yukon
Vessel Model: Schucker and 53 foot wood homemade
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 103
cell phone signal internet

I'm looking at getting internet on our boat when in Southeastern Alaska, when we are away from port. I think the options are ACS or GCI, as a cell carrier. If I want internet on say a laptop computer would or should I get an external antenna and or a booster? Is this different than Wi-Fi?
Remember the only dumb question is the one not asked.
Should I get 12 volt dc laptop or just plug into the boats 120 ac inverter.
I don't want to fry my equipment.
Okay thanks all in advance.
__________________
Advertisement

freshalaska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2012, 12:09 AM   #2
Guru
 
Ocean Breeze NL's Avatar
 
City: Springdale, NL
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Ocean Breeze
Vessel Model: Ocean Alexander 85OA38
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 530
Quote:
Originally Posted by freshalaska View Post
I'm looking at getting internet on our boat when in Southeastern Alaska, when we are away from port. I think the options are ACS or GCI, as a cell carrier. If I want internet on say a laptop computer would or should I get an external antenna and or a booster?
This all depends on how strong your signal is. A booster ( or what you are referring to is a Router ) will help give you more strength somewhat, most will just allow you to obtain wireless. Some will allow you to attach an external antenna, which will boost the signal to the router. Check out a NetGear Router MBR1210, it is a router that allows an external antenna and gives you both a hard connection as well as Wi-Fi or wireless connection. If you are looking for a booster like pre-amp for a CB to boost your Internet signal it may be hard to find unless you go with a dish which you will still require a hub or a Router for the wireless connection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freshalaska View Post
Is this different than Wi-Fi?
No, what your Router does is allow a Wi-Fi connection to your laptop as long as you have a Laptop that has wireless on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freshalaska View Post
Remember the only dumb question is the one not asked.
You are Correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freshalaska View Post
Should I get 12 volt dc laptop or just plug into the boats 120 ac inverter.
I would get a laptop that I could plug in to 120ac so I could use it anywhere. I would also get a good Serge suppression power bar that is good for both spikes and brown outs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freshalaska View Post
I don't want to fry my equipment.
Understandably so!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by freshalaska View Post
Okay thanks all in advance.
Your welcome, I hope my input helps some.

Elwin
__________________

__________________
Elwin
Ocean Breeze NL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2012, 01:01 AM   #3
Guru
 
City: Hotel, CA
Country: Fried
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 8,328
Quote:
Originally Posted by freshalaska View Post
I'm looking at getting internet on our boat when in Southeastern Alaska, when we are away from port. I think the options are ACS or GCI, as a cell carrier. If I want internet on say a laptop computer would or should I get an external antenna and or a booster? Is this different than Wi-Fi?
Remember the only dumb question is the one not asked.
Should I get 12 volt dc laptop or just plug into the boats 120 ac inverter.
I don't want to fry my equipment.
Okay thanks all in advance.
If you have good signal strength and a smart phone with a good data plan the easiest way to make it happen is contact your carrier and ask them to add tethering service to the phone. This will make your cell phone essentially the router or wi-fi hot-spot if you will.

This option has worked well for my son in the Air Force. Wherever he goes and has a signal, he has internet for his laptop. The only caveat is making sure you have sufficient data speed where you are located.

I wouldn't rely on it offshore or in remote rural areas though.
CPseudonym is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2012, 01:27 AM   #4
TF Site Team
 
FlyWright's Avatar
 
City: California Delta and SF Bay
Country: Sacramento, CA, USA (boat in Vallejo)
Vessel Name: FlyWright
Vessel Model: Marshall Californian 34 LRC
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 10,189
Quote:
Originally Posted by CPseudonym View Post
If you have good signal strength and a smart phone with a good data plan the easiest way to make it happen is contact your carrier and ask them to add tethering service to the phone. This will make your cell phone essentially the router or wi-fi hot-spot if you will.

This option has worked well for my son in the Air Force. Wherever he goes and has a signal, he has internet for his laptop. The only caveat is making sure you have sufficient data speed where you are located.

I wouldn't rely on it offshore or in remote rural areas though.
That's exactly what we're doing and it works well in the CA Delta. My carrier, AT&T, has tethering with a 4GB data plan. It works well for us and allows both the admiral and me to connect at the same time. The range on this 3G signal is pretty much limited to 30-50 ft.

I also have a Wave Wifi Extender which pulls in Wifi signals from area sources. Realistically, it allows for a Wifi range of 3-4 miles even though they advertise 5 miles or more. This helps for those free, open wifi sources like area marinas or restaurants. I have a wireless router onboard that transmits this Wave Wifi signal via a password protected wifi link to a radius that allows reception by other boats in the area to whom I provide the password.

By combining the two, I can provide protected Wifi to my friends in anchorages or raftups. I can receive the signal via my AT&T 3G dataplan, transit it theough my phone's wifi then receive the phone wifi through my Wave Wifi antenna which is hardwired to my wireless router and retransmit it through my wireless router to my friends.

It all sounds a lot more complicated than it really is.

I hope this makes sense and helps.
FlyWright is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2012, 01:38 AM   #5
Guru
 
C lectric's Avatar
 
City: Somewhere
Country: , Canada
Vessel Name: Island Pride
Vessel Model: Palmer sedan 32'
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,872
Welcome to Wave Wifi, the #1 Name in Marine Wifi, Yacht Wifi, Marina Wifi & Wireless Internet

and

http://www.engeniustech.com/images/s..._Datasheet.pdf

and

USB Active Booster Extension Cable -- DataPro


I have an earlier version of the Engenius [EUB362EXT] and it does work. Even better with the 20 ft active usb booster cable and the larger antenna which may or may not be available for the 9603.

Keep in mind that these units must still be able to "see" the source. If there is too much interference between you and the wifi source or hot spot, reception will be degraded. These units work extremely well if you are anywhere in range of a wifi hotspot that your built in card cannot access.

The other way as suggested is to tether to a cell phone or get an aircard or mifi. We have a mifi and it works well enough when cell service is present.
C lectric is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2012, 02:19 AM   #6
Scraping Paint
 
City: -
Country: -
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
Quote:
Originally Posted by freshalaska View Post
Should I get 12 volt dc laptop or just plug into the boats 120 ac inverter.
I don't want to fry my equipment.
Okay thanks all in advance.
As someone who uses both a computer and an iPad a lot for both work and my own writing projects on the boat I would strongly suggest that you get a 120vac-capable computer. As Ewin said this will give you a lot more versatility.

We run the laptop several different ways on the boat. One is to plug its AC power supply into one of the boat's 120vac circuits that is either being powered by groundpower, the generator, or the boat's 2500w Heart inverter/charger. Another is to plug the AC power supply into a small, automotive type inverter that plugs into one of the boat's cigarette lighter-type 12vdc outlets. The third is to plug the computer's 12vdc cigarette-type power cable into one of the boat's 12vdc outlets. We have an Apple laptop and have experienced no problems no matter how we power it.

We operate the iPad the same way when we don't want to run it off its internal battery: from a 120vac outlet on ground, generator, or inverter power, from the little stand-alone inverter into a 12vdc outlet, or directly into a 12vdc outlet using the iPad's automotive-type 12vdc power cable.

Can't offer any suggestions for connectivity in remote areas. We have a 50 gig AT&T 3G contract for the iPad and that has so far given us connectivity everywhere we've gone in the boat (and across the country).
Marin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2012, 07:15 AM   #7
Guru
 
Anode's Avatar


 
City: Missourah
Country: USA
Vessel Name: M/V Scout
Vessel Model: Sundowner Tug 30'
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 645
Ubiquiti Bullet and a good external antenna for wifi.
For charging I use the Targus system which has both AC and DC capabilities and interchangeable plugs for all the electronics I carry.
__________________
Chip

Deliveries & Yacht Services
www.captainchip.com
Anode is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2012, 09:05 AM   #8
Curmudgeon
 
BaltimoreLurker's Avatar
 
City: Stoney Creek, MD
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Moon Dance
Vessel Model: 1974 34' Marine Trader Sedan
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,631
I was late to the party but I love my Android smart phone. Is it just me, or are these phones our Dick Tracey wrist radios? I am so stoked that the technology that we were teased with as kids is coming on-line.

I am a little PO'd though that the warp drive isn't on the near horizon.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	dick_tracy_watch.jpg
Views:	78
Size:	94.8 KB
ID:	11429  
BaltimoreLurker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2012, 10:28 AM   #9
Guru
 
Nomad Willy's Avatar
 
City: Concrete Washington State
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Willy
Vessel Model: Willard Nomad 30'
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,722
When you're in the beautiful wild wilderness of Northern British Columbia and SE Alaska how can anyone think of needing the internet???????

Looks like there must be some addiction going on here.

I did get an i-pad and thanks to Marin I downloaded the app Navamatic. The charts aren't as good as my Garmin chart plotter and surprisingly different. But what a wonderful safety feature. And now I can surf my i-pad for dangers and anchorages ahead while staying on my chart plotter and not running into things.

Wi fi all the time? Forget it. Just say no to wi fi.

Seriously I'm probably just an old man behind the curve.
Nomad Willy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2012, 10:31 AM   #10
TF Site Team
 
FlyWright's Avatar
 
City: California Delta and SF Bay
Country: Sacramento, CA, USA (boat in Vallejo)
Vessel Name: FlyWright
Vessel Model: Marshall Californian 34 LRC
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 10,189
Some people actually conduct work from their boats to allow them to spend more time aboard. Crazy, I know...
FlyWright is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2012, 09:22 PM   #11
Veteran Member
 
CamanoFolks's Avatar
 
City: Bellingham, WA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Whimsy
Vessel Model: Camano 31
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 71
We love the silence of remote anchorages. But then getting emails at the odd marina does allow us to keep in touch w/ the grandkids. Most places w/ a dock have free wifi but it is nice not to be in touch 24/7. Working folks have my sympathy.
CamanoFolks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2012, 06:00 AM   #12
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Avalon, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 15,920
Quote:
Originally Posted by manyboats View Post
When you're in the beautiful wild wilderness of Northern British Columbia and SE Alaska how can anyone think of needing the internet???????

Looks like there must be some addiction going on here.

I did get an i-pad and thanks to Marin I downloaded the app Navamatic. The charts aren't as good as my Garmin chart plotter and surprisingly different. But what a wonderful safety feature. And now I can surf my i-pad for dangers and anchorages ahead while staying on my chart plotter and not running into things.

Wi fi all the time? Forget it. Just say no to wi fi.

Seriously I'm probably just an old man behind the curve.
Not necessarily an addiction...it's a tool that I wouldn't leave behind any more than a set of wrenches and more importantly it resembles a great shop manual than any particular tool.

When cruising and a problem comes up it gves you the ability to troubleshoot and research the problem way more in depth than a shop manual sometimes.

But yes to "just say no" to the mindless hours people spend on some websites!
psneeld is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2012, 07:34 AM   #13
Guru
 
Keith's Avatar
 
Vessel Name: Anastasia III
Vessel Model: Krogen 42
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,716
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWright View Post
Some people actually conduct work from their boats to allow them to spend more time aboard. Crazy, I know...
That's me. Sent my last couple of weekly reports from an anchorage.
Keith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2012, 02:12 PM   #14
Curmudgeon
 
BaltimoreLurker's Avatar
 
City: Stoney Creek, MD
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Moon Dance
Vessel Model: 1974 34' Marine Trader Sedan
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,631
I've submitted proposals to the Fed from a tiki bar that I journeyed to on my boat. Does that count?
BaltimoreLurker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2012, 03:29 PM   #15
Guru
 
skipperdude's Avatar
 
City: Whittier AK
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Apache II
Vessel Model: 1974 Donald Jones
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,147
Where is your home port?

The reason I ask is. There is no cell phone service in most parts of Alaska.
You get 10 miles outside of town and NO Service

No cell. No wi/fi.

SD
__________________
If you can't repair it maybe it shouldn't be on the boat
skipperdude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 12:56 PM   #16
Veteran Member
 
weebobby's Avatar
 
City: Cochrane, Alberta
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Painters Cove
Vessel Model: 1997 Bayliner 5788
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 88
Hopefully leaving Tuesday morning for Ketchikan and will likely spend a month or so in Alaska.

I checked with the phone company (Telus) today about roaming charges for my internet stick and cellphone and the answer was shocking.

Based on my regular usage, a month “roaming” in Alaska would cost approximately $10,000.00 but, wait for it, they have a “Special roaming deal’ for me and with that, as a valued customer it will “only “ cost about $2000.00. This compared to my usual cost of about $100.00.

Some “deal”, eh!!

So I will be using my US prepaid cellphone (where there is service), for internet I will depend on WiFi whenever and wherever I can find it .
Bob
weebobby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 03:52 PM   #17
Guru
 
skipperdude's Avatar
 
City: Whittier AK
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Apache II
Vessel Model: 1974 Donald Jones
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,147
Yeah Bob.
If you spend much time in Alaska you will find it is the last frontier.
A good SSB or don't leave the towns is you only hope, if you really need to rely on modern things like the internet and cell phone's
A sat phone could be usefull.
Or just enjoy the disconnect and get back to your own resources.
life is fun if you get use to things that are uncomplicated.

SD
__________________

__________________
If you can't repair it maybe it shouldn't be on the boat
skipperdude is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:09 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012